How To Make Any Cheap Wedding Venue Look Classy

Are you on the lookout for a cheap wedding venue in Melbourne? Weddings can be hugely expensive affairs, and anything you can do to keep the price down is a good thing!

According to The Wedding Report in 2021, the average Australian wedding now costs around $27,000. Surveys suggest that over 40% of that cost is typically spent on the wedding venue – that’s over $10,000 for venue hire alone!

With the cost of living rising and the high price of housing, many Australian couples simply don’t want to blow that kind of money on a single day – even for one of the most important days of their lives.

But we all have a vision in our head of the beautiful wedding reception we want, and it usually involves an elegant function venue. So how do you get the look you want without blowing the budget? The answer is to hire a cheap hall or function room and transform it into a classy reception space with party hire pieces.

An empty hall before the transformation into a wedding venue.

After the hall was transformed adding table cloths, chair sashes and centrepieces.

How To Find Cheap Halls For Hire Near Me

First, you need to find yourself a cheap wedding venue in Melbourne. Any function venue that markets itself as a ‘wedding venue’ is going to cost more, so think outside the box! Consider:

  • Scout halls
  • Community centres, council and library rooms
  • Bowling and sports clubs
  • Masonic Lodges and Mechanics Institutes
  • Church halls
  • Hotel and restaurant function rooms
  • Performance spaces, dance and art studios.

Now, how do you find these spaces? Google makes it easy! Simply type in ‘halls for hire near me’ and several venues will pop up on your local Google Maps.

Also, head to your local council website and look for ‘venue hire’. You should find a variety of spaces, all at a reasonable price.

Finally, try an online function room search engine, like

What To Look For In Your Cheap Function Venue

When choosing your venue, you don’t need to worry too much about the existing décor. Some of it can be changed or hidden and the remaining parts will become less noticeable once the rest of the space is decorated. What you want to make sure of is that the size and facilities are up to scratch. Consider the following:

Kitchen Facilities – Is there space for food preparation, refrigeration, and storage?

Bathrooms – Are there adequate facilities, including a disabled access toilet? Make sure these are clean and well maintained.

Space – Will the room adequately accommodate your desired number of guests in a formal seating arrangement, or will you need to go for a cocktail style event, where people stand and mingle? The venue hire agent should be able to inform you of capacity limits.

Tables and Chairs – It’s a bonus if you can find a venue that includes table and chair hire. Note if these are included in the venue hire fee and when you will be able to access the venue for set-up.

Immovable Décor – Are there unsightly decorations or furniture pieces that you are not allowed to move? Can you cover them with a backdrop or fabric curtain?

Parking – Make sure there is adequate parking for all of your guests at or around the venue, including close disabled access if needed.

Public Liability Insurance – Find out if this is needed for your venue hire. Some agents who require insurance will also allow you to temporarily come under their insurance by paying a small fee – local councils often do this.

How To Make Your Cheap Wedding Venue Look Classy

It’s amazing how a cheap wedding venue can be transformed with the hire of elegant chair covers, crisp linen tablecloths and sweet decorations. These things make all the difference and really give that ‘wow factor’ to any space.

Table and Chair Hire

If table and chair hire are not included in your venue hire, you’ll need to arrange it with an external company. Make sure you have the room dimensions on hand when talking to the hire service and get their advice on the best shape and layout of tables.

Get quotes for both DIY pickup and delivery options. Have a think about the logistics – including pick-up and drop-off times, transport, venue access and who will help with setup. Your cheapest option may be asking a friend to help with DIY pick-up and set up (it could be their wedding present to you) but consider whether this is practical for your event.

Table Linen and Chair Cover Hire

Quality table covers, chair covers and sashes will provide the biggest difference to your venue. They are a cost-effective way to instantly create that ‘ballroom’ feel in any space, even when using the most ordinary of furniture.

You can’t go past classic white for table and chair covers, but you can add a pop of personality with coloured chair sashes. You’ll find these available in a rainbow of colours and material finishes, and they can be tied in either a bow or drape formation. Your Event Essentials in Melbourne have chair sashes for hire in satin, organza and lycra. Also, consider adding a coloured or patterned table runner for extra effect.

Bar tables can also be enhanced using table covers and sashes, so don’t feel limited to just using them for sit-down receptions.

Centrepiece Hire

Placing a centrepiece on each table is another great way to elevate the look of your cheaper venue, and centrepieces don’t have to be big or expensive to have an impact. Some simple, inexpensive ideas include:

  • A small vase of fresh flowers
  • Floating candles in a bowl
  • Fairy lights in a jar
  • Candlesticks or candelabras
  • Cutout figures (or table numbers) skewered into a flower arrangement
  • Glass bowl containing coloured beads, seashells, cacti or other themed items
  • Tall martini glasses or table lamps draped with pearls
  • Colourful feathers in a tall vase or candle holder
  • Long twigs draped with baubles in a vase.

centrepiece hire service like Your Event Essentials will provide all of these items and set them up at your venue anywhere in Melbourne. Alternatively, source items from bargain stores or op shops and get friends to help set them up for you.

Centrepiece hire and set up by Your Event Essentials, Melbourne party hire service.

Backdrops and Ceiling Drapes

An unsightly ceiling can be dramatically improved with the addition of ceiling drapes. These are long swathes of fabric draped between rafters or light fixtures. Adding fairy lights creates an especially enchanting atmosphere.

Long fabric curtains hung on a frame also help mask walls and work particularly well behind the wedding party table.

Buying this much fabric can be quite costly and it’s unlikely you’ll want to re-use it too often. Setting up also requires ladders and frames. As such, these items are usually best sourced from, and set up by, an event hire service.

Before adding ceiling drapes and a curtain backdrop at a community hall in Melbourne.

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After ceiling drapes and a curtain backdrop were added at a community hall in Melbourne.

Finishing Touches – Wedding Signage, Plinth and Flower Hire

Finish off your venue with custom signage that welcomes guests and shows them the way in, along with an elegant seating chart. You can create the artwork yourself, use a template from, or hire a low-cost designer from Have it printed on heavy card, then hire a signage stand.

It also looks lovely to mark entryways or frame the bridal table with hired plinths and floral arrangements. All of these items can also be sourced from a wedding hire service

Wedding party table floral decoration from Your Event Essentials, wedding hire service Melbourne

Final Tips For Decorating Cheap Wedding Venues

Hiring a cheaper venue and decorating it using a party hire service is a great way to save money while still achieving the beautiful wedding you want. However, you still need to be conscious of your budget and not overspend, as the possibilities for hire items are endless!

Start with those items that will give you the biggest visual bang for your buck – we recommend chair cover, sash and table linen hire be your highest priority – then add on any extras as your budget permits.

Also, find a party hire provider who is happy to work creatively to fit your budget. This is something the team at Your Event Essentials in Melbourne pride themselves on. They will create custom centrepieces and figure out the best DIY or full-service option, to suit your planned expenditure.

Finally, get quotes for both DIY and paid delivery/setup options. Consider how much work is involved, whether you have friends who can help, and the logistics and timelines, before you decide on which option is best for you.

With a bit of creativity, a little work, and the help of a wedding hire service, you can have your dream wedding reception with a cheap wedding venue price tag!

Create the beautiful, affordable wedding reception you want, with Your Event Essentials wedding hire service, Melbourne. Offering DIY and professional setup options for chair covers and sashes, table centrepieces, wedding signage and more. Contact us to explore the options and obtain a no-obligation quote.