Wedding Reception Forum

How to transform a gym?

Has anyone here used a gym as their reception venue? I'm just in the very beginning of the planning stages, our date isn't even firm yet. But there's a large gym that I'm thinking would make a great location for our reception. Great parking, centrally located near a beautiful park and golf course, but I have reservations about how to decorate and transform a large, empty open space into a beautiful, elegant reception venue. Picture a full basketball court with pull out bleachers on one side and space around the outer edge of the court with a very tall ceiling. How would you go about making it seem less like a basketball court and more like a beautiful reception hall?
We've only been engaged about 2 weeks, we have not made a lot of firm plans. Probably around 100 people. Not extremely formal, early evening, spring 2014. Small budget.

Thanks for the advice.

Re: How to transform a gym?

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    It's going to be difficult trying to make a gym not look like a gym.  I think you either have to be okay with that, and just concentrate on making your tables as beautiful as you can, or use whatever budget you had planned to decorate/disguise the room and put that towards a different venue.
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    I went to a wedding reception that was in a gym, and I didn't even notice until someone pointed it out. From what I recall, they didn't have a ton of decorations, but they kept everything kind of  in the middle so that you wouldn't notice the stuff off to the sides (ex. bleachers). I think it helped that the bleachers were on the same wall as the entrance, so when I walked in, I looked at the tables and never really looked around because the tables were gorgeous. 

    They also had the basketball hoops in the "up" position because they were the type that are hung from the ceiling. Not sure if this helps at all for yours, and I don't think you can completely transform it, but I thought I'd let you know I've seen it done. 
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    im not sure how this would look but you could hang gosmmer or tulle from the top of the bleachers down and hang christmas lights behind whatever fabric you buy not sure if this will help but it might help make it look more intimate

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    Thank, folks. Still not decided about the venue, but the gym is $275 and our second choice for the venue is $2500, so you can see why the gym is very appealing!
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    yes i completlty understand but then again you should look into how much all your decorations for the gym are going to cost because you could end up spending just as much trying to transform the gym 
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