The day you cleave your heart, body, and soul to another person might just be the happiest of your life, but decorating for the blessed event is pure misery. If you, like most of us, don’t have a massive budget which allows you to throw money at the problem, it gets even worse, since you’re trying to make the whole thing memorable and beautiful, all on a shoestring. Luckily, with a little ingenuity and creativity, it doesn’t take much effort, time, or expense to create a lovely display worthy of your everlasting love. You just need a few wedding decorations used to maximum effect.
Hang It Up
Weddings can get pretty cluttered with all the centerpieces and table settings, to say nothing of chairs and people at base level. By putting up dangling bouquets, cheap chandeliers, or really, anything at all that hangs overhead will draw the eye upward, meaning you don’t need to do as much down low.
Focus On Fonts
Adding a personal touch doesn’t actually require doing anything personal. This is the time of automation, so for anything that requires lettering or numbers, pick fonts that look handwritten, or are extremely distinctive. People will forget fake flowers, but remember if everything was written in military stencil.
Run The Table
Rather than cluttering up the tables with a lot of excess items, give them a sense of depth and class by using minimalist table runners with a geometric design. It’s simple and effective at reducing the sense of dead space, while also functional for keeping tablecloths clean.
Big Bright Balloons
Along with things that draw the eye upward, having balloons that either hang from the ceiling or float above the table is an easy way to make a room fun and festive. Get them in a load of brash colors, paint them multiple hues yourself, and you can even stick them to walls as a cheap, easy photo backdrop.
Plenty of Paper
Folded paper lanterns can be energetic and playful, or you can go with a more traditional Japanese lantern look to create a soft glow. Paper garlands, paper streamers, and paper backdrops in wide color ranges quickly transform a space without requiring more than a broom for cleanup.
Fun With Numbers
Make your table numbers shock and amaze by putting them on pennants, the balloons, or in hand-made floral topiary. It makes seats easy to find and adds revelry to the atmosphere by making the mundane enticing.
Washi Your Walls
Decorative washi tape can go a long way toward creating a patterned wall or backdrop, and can be used on tables, chairs, and anywhere else for your own patterning and personal design that is easily removed.
Weddings are about love, so feel free to show off friends or family members in standing or hanging displays. Aim for happy couples to help set the mood, or animals cuddling to create that warm feeling in everyone’s chest.
Massive Mood Lighting
The Japanese lanterns mentioned above are good for this, but using basic table lamps with colorful shades – which can also be done in paper – or miles of candles sets a romantic tone that makes the whole event seem sultry and a little sexy.
Greenery is a major go-to right now for couples who want to show off their sustainability. Load up on living plants and vines, or potted trees to both freshen the air and give guests lots to look at.
Here we actually recommend going with a set of cheap bulk napkins in basic white that you then dump into a dye vat yourself. You can also stamp them with fabric inks for a theme, embroider them if you wish, or give each table its own personal tint.
Wire It Up
Wire will work with just about anything out there, so don’t be afraid to hang wire wreathes wrapped in flowers, paper, greenery, or lights. By using a wire frame, you can turn the ordinary into extraordinary with just a few bends. For added bonuses, use bright copper or silvery wires that are decorations all on their own.
Glasses are inherently boring, so consider renting some colorful options that change the light around them and are stellar all on their own.
Faux Flower Arrangements
Rather than cutting a bunch of fresh flowers, go with silk options that you can get for a pittance at any craft or thrift store. Weave them with wire, pin them to paper, or just toss them around for a jaunty, haphazard springtime look.
A basic set of Christmas lights or under-cabinet rope lights can go a long way toward adding atmosphere to a room, and can be outfitted with cones or bunting to make them look exceptionally classy.
Reams of Ribbon
It’s never a mistake to wrap ribbon around anything and everything, as that simple strip can turn a white wall into a set of streamers, a wooden chair into a throne, or put a little more flourish on that plain floor sign.
Feathers of all sizes can be had inexpensively and then added to or scattered over anything and everything in sight. If you’re worried about them tickling noses, going with large, faux feathers can fix any nose woes.
As with ribbon, dramatic drapery rarely goes awry. Tossing lengths of cloth over rafters, over lights – safely, please – or down walls puts color and majesty into a space. Drapes can also give a sense of mystery to simple windows or even blank spots in the decor.
Cut & Paste
You’ll need to be smart about this, since you don’t want any part of your wedding to look like a kindergartener’s failed Mother’s Day scrapbook, but by cutting fabric strips, paper displays, or even chopping out parts of photos and placing them strategically, you can have all the grandeur and artistry you want on the cheap.
People will want to throw things at the happy couple as they walk into their new life together. Flower petals are great for this, and help decorate the room, as well as add lovely scents. Provide a table with cones or cups that guests can fill with petals so they don’t end up chucking anything else at you.
Decorative Dye Jobs
We’ve suggested dying your napkins, but you can extrapolate that out to anything that can hold color. Paint the paper, paint the tablecloths, paint the table runners! Anything that can hold color can be made flashy and fabulous with nothing more than a paintbrush.
Natural wood is pretty impressive all on its own, and has an innately classy appeal. Wooden wall decorations, hanging branches, and even centerpieces of driftwood can be delightful with a little cleaning a coat of polish.
Put Some Cork In It
Like wood, cork has a nice, neutral, natural look, but it also allows you to go as wild as you want. Pin up pictures, cloth, murals, tapestries, or whatever else on a cork board, rather than punching holes in a wall. It’s a blank canvas all your own.
Spend On Sparkle
Glitter and metallic paints can be useful if they’re not overused. Be careful going this route as a few shining stars or metallically adorned chandeliers are nice. Go too far and it will feel tacky…or like a strip club.
Using chalk signs that have your own calligraphy – or that of someone who’s actually good at it – give a personal touch to a room. You can also add sayings or quips, as well as chalk drawings all around for a look that is classic and entirely your own.