Planning a wedding is a joyful, if not slightly stressful, experience. But one of the most enjoyable parts of wedding planning is choosing the decor for the big day. Whether you’ve chosen a neutral, blank canvas wedding venue or one that comes equipped with classic decor, there are many ways to make your venue a welcoming space filled with love and joy. This article explores 30 wedding decor ideas to make your special day magical.
1. Wedding Banners
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to create a welcoming atmosphere in your wedding venue is to hang wedding banners. Banners are so much more than a strip of material; they are there to make your guests feel welcome and add a personal spin to your wedding decor. Choose from various messages, including a simple ‘welcome to the wedding of [insert names here]’ or perhaps ‘congratulations to the happy couple’. It’s all up to you!
In terms of placement, make sure banners are front and centre and can be seen from a distance. Hang them on walls, drape them from the ceiling, attach them to the front of the top table or hang them up in trees if you’re celebrating your nuptials outdoors.
2. Floral Archways
Floral archways are the ultimate wedding decor feature, perfect for placing on the aisle, behind the top table, over the venue entrance or against a wall as an aesthetically pleasing backdrop. Decorated with various beautiful blooms and greenery, floral archways are like living artwork.
Choose flowers to match your wedding colour palette to create a cohesive look. Do you like bright colours? Or is a neutral colour palette more appealing to you? But colour isn’t the only thing you need to consider. Floral archways can take many forms: circular, square, asymmetric, or even a simple garland draped between two trees. Each floral archway is uniquely beautiful, and whichever option you choose will give your special day an elegant feel.
3. Personalised Signs
Add a much-needed dash of personality by placing personalised signs around your wedding venue. Use personalised signs to point your guests in the right direction as they arrive at the venue, mark the location of the all-important buffet table, or simply leave a nice message or a heartwarming quote. It’s a functional detail that has the dual benefit of enhancing your wedding decor. Choose from a range of beautiful designs, such as elegant calligraphy on chalkboards or rustic wooden signs. In recent years, neon signs with the illuminated names of the happy couple have become incredibly popular. It’s not hard to understand why, they look great and make the perfect photo backdrop!
4. Fairy Light Canopies
Fairy lights have the power to turn an unremarkable space into an extraordinary one. Fairy light canopies are a simple but impactful way to enhance your wedding decor, giving your venue an undeniably magical feel. Hook them up to the ceiling for a starlit indoor dancefloor, or weave them through the trees for an enchanting outdoor reception. So if you’re looking for an easy way to amp up your decor, fairy light canopies are the way to go!
5. Paper Laterns
Hanging paper lanterns is a fantastic way to make your ceremony really stand out. One of the main appeals of paper lanterns is their versatility. Hang them from the ceiling, create a starry-night effect indoors, or hang them from trees if you’re celebrating outdoors. Paper lanterns come in a wide selection of designs, sizes and colours, so it's easy to find ones that fit in with your wedding theme. If you’re going for a sleek and elegant look, consider purchasing white lanterns. If you’re looking for something a bit bolder and brighter, purchase lanterns in various colours
6. Floral Centrepieces
Centrepieces are the main focal point of your wedding tables, so you need to find some showstopping decor to put there. Floral centrepieces are a great option because you can easily tailor the flowers to your wedding theme. The options are seemingly endless; peonies are perfect for a springtime soiree, whereas white tulips and roses are perfect for a classic white wedding.
Candles are inherently romantic, emitting a soft light that creates an intimate and inviting atmosphere. Either arrange candles in clusters on tables, line them along pathways for a fairytale feel, or float them on the water to give the space an air of romance. Remember its safety first, so ensure all candles are in suitable holders. If you’ve invited children to your wedding, it’s perhaps best to stick to LED candles. It’s just not worth risking having your special day go up in flames. Literally.
Add a touch of colour and texture to your wedding venue by adorning the floor with rugs. You can use them to delineate spaces, such as a lounge area or even the dancefloor. Alternatively, you can line the aisle with them to create an eye-catching walkway with a boho feel. Why not mix and match different rug patterns if you’re partial to an eclectic look.? If you’re more of a traditionalist, stick to one colour. You’ll be amazed at just how much rugs elevate your venue!
9. Chair Sashes
Add a splash of colour and elegance to chairs by wrapping them in delicate sashes. They’re easy to match with your theme and colour scheme, and the fabric is affordable. Decorate chairs in a neutral colour if you’re having a traditional wedding, or go for bright colours if you’re going for a more vibrant, eclectic feel. Some venues will provide chairs with sashes on them. If not, you might be able to enlist some friends and family members to help you dress the chairs ready for the ceremony!
10. Rustic Furniture
More couples are choosing to have rustic weddings over traditional ones, and who can blame them? Rustic weddings have a particular charm about them. Reclaimed wooden tables, farmhouse chairs, and vintage sideboards brimming with treats for your guests. A rustic wedding theme is inherently homey and opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to decor. If you’re really leaning into the theme, why not use hay bales as seating for your guests? Just drape some blankets over them, and they’ll make a comfy perch!
What is classier than candelabras? Do not skip out on the candelabras if you’re going for a fairytale vibe! Choose from various candelabra types, including the classic gold, silver and brass ones (think Phantom of the Opera) with an air of elegance. Alternatively, you can opt for more modern, geometric designs with a Scandi decor feel to them. Place candelabras on tables, mantelpieces or line them down the aisle to give the room a romantic, intimate feel. Your guests will love them!
12. Grazing Tables
This one is a win for the foodies. Grazing tables aren’t just full of delicious food for eating, they’re a central aspect of your wedding decor. Perfect for a rustic wedding, grazing tables are a treat for the eyes and the stomach! Picture a long, reclaimed wooden table filled to the brim with artisanal cheeses, ripe fruit, cured meats, crusty bread, and decadent desserts, a grazing table will be a real hit with your guests.
13. Seating Plan
Creating a seating plan is a tough job. You’ve got to try and decipher where everyone should sit. It’s all a bit stressful until you realise that your seating plan might actually be a secret weapon in your wedding arsenal. You get to choose who shares stories and laughs for a couple of hours, and what is nicer than that? The cherry on top is that your seating plan can also bring your wedding decor together, as you can get the seating plans printed out and attached to a standing frame. Place the beautifully presented seating plan at the entrance of your reception to people know who they’ll have the pleasure of sitting next to at the wedding breakfast. This aesthetically pleasing but functional wedding decor idea will surely capture your guest’s attention.
14. Macrame Backdrops
Macrame, a creative knotting technique, is making its way into the world of weddings! Picture yourself saying your vows against a backdrop of beautiful macrame or maybe striking a pose in front of it for a DIY photo booth. Macrame backdrops are a particularly fantastic choice if you’re planning a boho-themed wedding, adding texture and style to your venue
15. Neon Signs
Trying to think of ways to add a much-needed pop of colour to the venue? Look no further! Neon signs are a showstopper and a major talking point for your guests. Choose from a range of messages, including ‘Love’ and ‘Just Married’, or even order a personalised neon sign illuminating the happy couple’s name or your very own wedding hashtag! Display your showstopping neon sign at the entrance to your venue, next to the dancefloor, or behind the top table. It’s all up to you!
16. Dessert Table
A dessert table is a must if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Dessert tables have become more popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do they look great, but they’re also full of delicious treats your guests will love. Cupcakes, brownies, doughnuts, macarons, cheesecakes, marshmallows, and of course, the wedding cake. Your guests will thank you for giving them easy access to a wide array of treats
17. Soft Play Area
If you plan to invite children to your wedding, a soft play area is a must. This area can keep the little ones entertained, giving their parents some time to relax and enjoy the wedding while they play. Fill the soft play area with mats, ball pits, soft toys and age-appropriate games. Set the soft play area up in a safe and visible location, and ensure an adult supervises at all times.
18. Mismatched Chairs
Mismatched chairs add a unique and eclectic touch to your wedding decor that will surely invite compliments from your guests. You can mix and match different styles, colours and materials to create a truly unique look for your special day. You can use vintage, modern and rustic chairs or perhaps even benches. The key is to weave a common element into the look, such as a particular colour or material, to make a cohesive look.
19. Comfort Station
A comfort station is a thoughtful addition to any wedding party. Fill the designated comfort station with comfortable seating, blankets and cushions for your guests to use when needed. But comfort goes beyond seating. An extra thoughtful way to ensure your guests are comfortable is to stock the area with items such as flip-flops for tired feet, sun cream and a first-aid kit in case any accidents occur. You could even provide toiletries such as mints, hairspray, hand cream and other items your guests may need during the day.
20. Barrel Bar
A barrel bar is the perfect decor option if you're having a rustic wedding. Create a unique but fully functional bar using wine barrels by placing a wooden plank on top of two barrels, or use a single barrel as a small cocktail table. You could also use a barrel to display the drinks menu or your wedding cake. Either way, a barrel bar is the perfect rustic addition to your special day. It has the added benefit of being an excellent conversation starter!
21. Upcycled Furniture
Upcycled furniture is a must if you want a sustainable wedding. You can transform old and discarded furniture into unique decor for your wedding. For example, use an old door as a photo backdrop, a vintage suitcase as a deposit box for cards and gifts, or a wooden ladder to display floral arrangements and fairy lights. The upcycling opportunities are almost endless!
22. Doughnut Bar
Fellow sweet tooths, this one is for you. A doughnut bar is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Display the doughnuts on tiered stands, hang them on an Instagrammable doughnut wall, or even stack them up like a big doughnut cake. Remember to include boxes so guests can take doughnuts home (if any are left at the end of the night).
23. Mirror Decorations
More couples are incorporating mirrors into their wedding decor. Mirrors add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your venue and can be used in various ways. For instance, they can be used as table centrepieces, seating charts or menu displays. But they don’t have to be that functional if you don’t want them to be. Instead, you can hang them around the venue to reflect light and create a romantic atmosphere. Opt for vintage mirrors if you’re having a rustic or boho-themed wedding. Alternatively, if you prefer a contemporary look, choose sleek, modern mirrors or even disco balls!
24. Wine Bottles
If you’re a fan of upcycling, you’ll be happy to learn that there’s a way you can incorporate used wine bottles into your wedding decor. They can be painted, filled with battery-operated fairy lights or used as candle holders. You can also use them as table numbers by attaching a tag with the table number to the neck of the bottle, although the table number bottle may quickly get lost among all the other bottles of wine that will surely fill the table throughout the night.
25. Table Runners
Table runners are a simple and cost-effective way to add colour and texture to the tables in your venue. You can use fabric, lace or even greenery as a table runner. If you like the sound of the greenery option, we recommend using eucalyptus, rosemary, ivy or olive branches. You can also add candles or flowers on top of the runners for a layered look.
26. Wedding Favours Display
If you’re giving out wedding favours as small keepsakes and to thank your guests for coming, you need to find a way to display them that fits in with your overall wedding decor theme. But don’t fret because you’re spoiled for choice in terms of options! If you’re going for a rustic or vintage theme, consider displaying wedding favours on an antique table or a reclaimed wooden crate. For a more modern and minimalist theme, a ladder shelf or a glass table are perfect ways to showcase your favours to guests. Just ensure the wedding favours are somewhere central, so guests don’t forget to take them!
27. Geometric Decorations
Geometric decorations are ideal if you’re going for a modern and minimalist wedding decor theme. You can use them as table centrepieces, hanging decorations, or photo backdrops, or fill them with flowers, candles or fairy lights to give your venue a magical feel
28. Tree Decorations
If all or part of your wedding is taking place outdoors, why not purchase some tree decorations? Trees provide a perfect canvas for hanging fairy lights, lanterns or flowers from the branches to create an intimate, enchanting feel to your venue. You could hang photos of yourself and your partner from trees for a more personal, sentimental touch.
29. Vintage Tea Sets
If you’re having a vintage-themed wedding, why not incorporate vintage tea sets to add a touch of charm and elegance to your special day? Scour charity shops for second-hand tea sets in a wide range of beautiful eye-catching designs at a fraction of the price, there’s no need to purchase them brand new! Vintage tea sets are a versatile and charming addition to your wedding decor.
Who can forget this classic party decor? Bunting is a versatile decor option that adds a cheerful touch to your wedding celebrations. Used to enhance indoor and outdoor venues, you can hang bunting across the ceiling of your venue, drape them around the edge of tables or string them between trees if you have an outdoor wedding. Opt for pastel or floral bunting to create a nostalgic atmosphere if you're going for a vintage feel. Alternatively, if you’re having a more modern and minimalist-themed celebration, consider using bunting in bold and bright colours to add a stylish touch to your chosen venue.
What Decorations Should I Use for My Wedding?
It’s important for you to choose wedding decorations that reflect your personal style. The most common wedding decorations are floral vases and stand arrangements. Candles are also popular, as they make the venue look romantic and expensive without blowing the entire budget.
It also makes sense to purchase items for your wedding that you can reuse in the future. A good example might be bulk-buying candles that you can use during the ceremony and the evening soirée. The same goes for vases and planters containing floral arrangements, which you can take home after the ceremony and fill with flowers and succulents or even use as storage containers.
Ultimately, how you decide to decorate your wedding is completely up to you and your partner. It’s your wedding, so try not to be too swayed by the opinions of others. Choose decor that appeals to you personally.
How Can I Make My Budget-Friendly Wedding Look Expensive?
Having an elegant wedding doesn’t necessarily require a mammoth budget. With some strategic planning and plenty of creative thinking, you can make your budget-friendly wedding look expensive. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on key elements with the biggest visual impact. Instead of spreading your budget across many areas, focus on a handful of standout features. For example, this could be a showstopping floral arrangement placed centrally in the venue, an eye-catching backdrop or high-quality tableware. Hanging decorations from the ceiling, such as flower chandeliers, canopies and paper garlands, is another affordable way to make your wedding look pricey.
Using lighting wisely is another way to make your wedding look expensive without spending tens of thousands of pounds on decor alone. The soft glow of fairy lights, the flicker of candles and the luminance of lanterns have the power to turn your venue into a romantic, intimate celebration that your guests will remember for years to come. Candelabras are a great option here, as you can purchase affordable ones second-hand. What is classier than a candelabra?
The choice of venue significantly impacts your wedding aesthetic. Opting for a venue that is inherently beautiful, such as a beach, historic building or formal garden, will reduce the amount you’ll need to spend on decor. However, some venues can be expensive to hire.
Can I Decorate My Wedding DIY?
Decorating your wedding yourself is a time-consuming but rewarding experience that allows you to add personal touches to your big day (and save some money in the process). The best place to start is by choosing the theme or colour theme for your wedding, which will guide your decisions about creating decorations. Whether you’re going for a rustic, vintage or modern wedding, having a clear vision will help you stay consistent.
Next, you need to consider the different areas of your venue that need decorating, such as the entrance, ceremony area, reception tables and outdoor spaces. For the entrance, you may decide to create a welcome sign or a banner to guide your guests to the right place. You might want a stunning DIY backdrop arch of flowers or balloons for the ceremony area. For the reception area, you might consider making homemade centrepieces consisting of artificial flowers and LED candles. If your venue has outdoor spaces, you might want to create seating areas with upcycled furniture, light outdoor pathways with DIY lantern garlands or homemade paper fans to hang in trees.
Remember that DIY doesn’t mean doing absolutely everything yourself. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of friends and family to make the process more manageable and to utilise their skills!
Planning a wedding is a wonderful opportunity to express your love and unleash your creativity. From wedding banners to vintage tea sets, there are almost endless ways to make your special day unforgettable. Remember that an elegant wedding doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. With creativity and plenty of help from family and friends, you can create a stunning wedding on a budget!