Planning your wedding decorations can quickly spiral into long hours on picture boards and late nights of gluing and ribbon-cutting DIY. All the possibilities for wedding decorating may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help. We’ve interviewed wedding planners and compiled a list of the trendiest and creative fixtures to include at your wedding to make your special day that much more breathtaking.
“Modern wedding design focuses on the space above and behind the tables, than on the actual tables these days,” says wedding planner Christina Baxter of Cibi Events. Statement hanging pieces are a great way to utilize your venue’s space, and make for a memorable touch in your wedding décor.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate hanging elements into your wedding is through lighting. Depending on your wedding theme, a custom drum shade or strings of raw lightbulbs can become stunning overhead fixtures. Otherwise, bring the attention to you and your groom by hanging a canopy of sheer material around the altar for a soft, romantic atmosphere.
Wedding lights show
An advantage of indoor weddings is that you get more control to create a certain atmosphere for your ceremony. If you’re planning an evening wedding or simply want an elegant vibe, consider using LED projectors in place of a spotlight or altar at your wedding. These projectors, called gobo projectors, can be programmed to shine whatever text or image you chose on a dark surface.
Rent a few gobo projectors or make good use of the ones included in your venue by dimming the lights and drawing attention with a unique spotlight. Many couples will project a stylized monogram of their names above the reception table or on the dance floor, but there are no limits to how you’d like to use a gobo projector!
Copy a design motif from your wedding cards and project it onto the aisle instead of a physical aisle runner.
Instead of real flowers, a gobo projector can create beautiful flower patterns against the wall or low ceiling of your venue. Lights can even replace wedding altars – shine a background of trees, flowers, or delicate altar onto a projection screen and have the couple stand in front of it, taking their vows as their shadows become part of a romantic storybook scene.
Loose, Green Garlands
Forgo the traditional floral arrangements in favor of loose garlands of greenery and flowers! More dynamic than vases of flowers, these installations create a slightly wild and ethereal atmosphere for indoor weddings and emphasize the natural beauty of outdoor weddings.
Drape leafy vines or lengths of small blossoms over the entranceway and altar for a creative floral addition. Play around with other materials for garlands according to your wedding’s theme – see-through beads and shiny confetti are eye-catching alternatives for flora.
Another way to creatively decorate your wedding is to create a “flower wall” in your venue. A section of your venue covered in roses, sunflowers, or another seasonally appropriate flower will serve as a dramatic centerpiece for your wedding ceremony and celebration.
These types of installations can be pricey, Baxter admits, but “by focusing on one or two strong focal points, and going lighter on your table arrangements, you can help stretch your flower budget and can make a big impact on your overall design.”
A flower wall would serve as the perfect backdrop for photos with guests, making this décor idea worth the investment.
Make your venue work for you
Not all couples want to burn their budget on decorations or bother with elaborate set-
ups. For a beautiful wedding that’s no-fuss, planner Tiffany Rivera of Simply Breathe Events suggests choosing a venue where minimal décor is needed. Basing your wedding in a scenic location, says Rivera, will “steer your guests’ eyes clear of what you don’t have, by focusing on what’s already there.”
Wedding-ready locations can be manicured gardens, historical churches, rustic barns, museums, or well-maintained parks. By booking at such venues, you can allocate your wedding funds to other parts of your big day.
Garnish low ceilings
Intimate indoor wedding venues such as churches, barns, or lofts often feature gorgeous low ceilings and exposed beams. Lift your guests’ eyes upwards and draw attention to the unique structure of the building by stringing lights and decorative materials across the rafters.
For weddings that run into the night, wrap fairy lights around each individual beam or hang them in overlapping strings across the ceiling for a softly romantic glow. Weddings that are on the quirkier side can opt for pennants in a matching color scheme.
You should err on the side of restraint when decorating with pennants to avoid cheapening the overall look.
A few neatly hung strings of pennants over the aisle or reception tables is just enough to add some creativity and fun to the décor. Adding elegance to a rustic wedding is just as easy – weave billowy white cloth runners across the rafters for a casually refined look.
The best part of a wedding (beyond the actual vows, of course!) is getting to see all your closest friends and family come together for your special day. Document the day with a photo wall so guests can leave their own little mark on your wedding, and you have fun photographs to remember them by.
Photo booths are a popular wedding addition, but offering guests a Polaroid camera or two to print photographs works just as well for a fraction of the cost. Set out a table with markers and decorative tape and ask guests to take a picture of themselves. They can write well-wishes or draw on their photos before sticking it onto a designated wall; what better way to decorate your venue than with the words and faces of your loved ones? Alternatively, string several photo lines across the wall for guests to clip their photos to.
By incorporating your favorite decorations from this list into your big day, you’ll ensure that your wedding is as picture-perfect as you’ve envisioned. Our wedding experts have also compiled a “wedding ceremony ideas page” to help you through all stages of planning your wedding ceremony.