Whether you’re having a wedding in a luxurious ballroom or a no-frills civic center, ugly décor happens. Maybe you love everything about the place except the color of the walls. Or you give a thumbs-down to everything except the budget-friendly rental rate. But don’t feel like you have to smile and pretend the tackiness isn’t real. Fortunately there are ways to make the ugly go away or at least minimize it. Check out these common gripes and smart solutions.

The problem: The carpet at the reception venue is revolting.

The fix: If you’re having a hard time accepting the look of the brown-and-gold carpeting or the myriad stains that look like part of the pattern, you can do something about it. Renting a dance floor would cover much of the carpet. But if there’s already a dance floor in place, try decorating the room with luxurious linens, chair covers and centerpieces. They’ll serve as a focal point when guests enter the reception space, not the dingy carpet. Keeping the lights down and using an abundance of candles to create a romantic atmosphere will also help downplay the carpeting.

The problem: The room’s overhead fluorescent lighting looks ideal for performing surgery, not so much for celebrating a wedding.

The fix: It’s all about creating atmosphere. Turn the lights off and drape the ceiling with fabric and installing twinkle lights within the fabric to lend a soft romantic feel. Choose the fabric based on the look of the room, what ambiance you’re going for, and budget. Choices include sheer polyester chiffon, translucent polyester silk and opaque tissue lamé.

The problem: The draperies clash with your wedding colors.

The fix: First, try to incorporate the color of the drapes into your decor if possible. The easiest would be in the centerpieces or with the table linens. You could also rent pipe and drape [basically, a frame with fabric] to completely cover the draperies by going around the perimeter of the room, if you have the budget for it. Another option: Ask your catering contact if the draperies can be pulled back. But if trying to fix what you don't like would be too expensive and you are really unhappy, says Morris, it may be better to choose another venue that you really love – as is.

The problem: The ballroom chairs look beaten up.

The fix: Disguise those banquet or folding chairs with elegant chair covers. Contact your local party-rental company about their selection. White is the most popular color for weddings but you can sometimes rent black, brown or ivory too. Add a colorful sash or even a rhinestone buckle for some glam! The covers will not only keep the chairs’ scuffmarks under wraps but they’ll give the room a more finished look.

The problem: The walls are a putrid green.

The fix: Fabric comes to the rescue again! “Definitely drape the walls with fabric. This will not only cover the [offending] color but soften the space and make it look more welcoming. You could also add uplighting – that’s where you place small lighting units on the floor around the perimeter of the room to illuminate the walls from floor to ceiling with colored lights; for a wedding, you’d showcase your wedding colors.

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