Wedding Ideas Store
Reception Ideas Index
Wedding Decorations
Inexpensive Decorations
Why Wedding Favors?
Wedding Favors Index
Beach Favors
Beach Weddings Index
Beach Theme Receptions
Hawaii Theme Wedding
Beach Wedding Tips
Hawaiian Weddings
Caribbean Weddings
Florida Weddings
Wedding Cakes Index
Wedding Cake Pictures
Cake Ordering Tips
Monogram Cake Toppers
Custom Monograms
Custom Save the Dates
Bridal Shower Ideas
Guest Book Ideas
Stationery Items Index
Place Card Holders
Do It Yourself Ideas
Planning Articles
Self Inking Stamps
Wedding Ideas Blog
Site Search
Save on custom monogram cake toppers and custom self-inking address and monogram stamps.

Unique wedding decorations
will put your guests in another place and time, where they can relax, remember, love, and have a great time.

Wedding decorations help create that incredible feeling that life has stopped for a day and everyone is in a different and very happy place where nothing matters but smiling, hugging, and showing how much they care for one another.

Weddings are one of the few occasions in life where people stop to savor the moment. They forget the world around them and see life and love in all its purity. While you are getting married, they’re remembering or imagining their wedding day.

Each man is remembering how he was more choked up than he had expected to be as he stood up front – and how he was afraid that he would lose it and cry when he first saw his bride – and how he almost did.

Each woman is remembering the look in her Dad’s eyes as he got ready to walk her down the aisle– she hadn’t expected to see him with tears in his eyes – and she wanted so much to tell him how much she loved him and how much he meant to her, but she couldn’t or they would both be crying.

Grandparents are remembering how it felt to see their children get married – feelings of happiness and sadness at the same time that could only be expressed in tears. Words just didn’t exist for the moment.

But what does this have to do with your wedding decorations? Everything. You see, your guests are already primed to be in a great mood and have a great time. From wedding favors to centerpieces, all you have to do is keep that feeling alive with special surprises (wedding decorations) that let everyone know that this is no ordinary show and dinner afterward.

You will keep your audience thrilled all night long – and as an added gift, you’ll be reminding them of the love they have for their loved ones.

Unforgettable, and all for just a little effort and a tiny percentage of your budget - spent wisely on your wedding decorations.

Don’t feel like you have to get everything covered with your wedding decorations! Everybody is different and we are discussing a lot of things here so everyone can find something that may help. Some will appeal to some people but not you and vice versa. It’s your wedding! You can use or exclude whatever wedding decoration ideas you want here.

For most weddings, the wedding decorations can basically be broken down into two main events – the ceremony and the reception. At each, there are some basic and traditional wedding decorations to consider, as well as some optional details to include.

These extra details are where you can set your event apart from every other wedding your guests have attended. Here's an easy way to find some of those ideas that make a big difference with the small details.

NOTE: Most brides begin their wedding planning by tackling a few of the BIG details first, like finding a ceremony and reception location, along with setting a date. Initial thoughts about the decorations for your ceremony and reception are probably on your mind at this time, too - even if you don't actually finalize your decorations until a month or so before the wedding. One especially good wedding planning resource suggests that you choose a theme or style for your reception about 12 months before your big day and discuss colors and decorations with your vendors about 9 months before the wedding. (For more wedding planning tips and a 12 month planning timeline, check out the Wedding Calendar Countdown from

From here on, this page discusses the basics of wedding decorations. If you're looking for more unique wedding decoration ideas or for ideas broken down by theme or item (wedding favors, wedding centerpieces, etc.), try our unique wedding reception decoration ideas page.

Wedding Decorations at the Ceremony:

Basic wedding decorations for the ceremony

* Pew bows or flowers – Many ceremonies taking place in a church or chapel will include some sort of decoration on the “aisle side” of the pews or rows of chairs. This makes for especially nice pictures of you and the rest of the wedding party entering and exiting the ceremony. Bows, either purchased or made as a do it yourself project, are the most common. Here's a great example of an aisle decoration that incorporates easy to create personalization, bows, flowers, and bags of tossing rice for the guests to use as you exit.

* Aisle runner – This is the long carpet that lines the aisle as you and your wedding party enter. It’s an optional wedding decoration, but sets the scene for a grand event. Some churches or chapels may have this for you to use or rent. If not, you can buy an aisle runner. Just make sure you measure the length of the aisle and buy one slightly longer than you need. Note: for outdoor weddings you can line the aisle with flowers to create a border. This actually works with or without an aisle runner.

* Unity candle – The unity candle is commonly used in ceremonies to represent the “merged lives” of the bride and groom. Traditionally, the mothers of the bride and groom each light an individual candle, and the flames of these individual candles are then used by the bride and groom to light the unity candle. Don’t forget the lighter/snuffer for lighting and putting out the flame. Note: For outdoor and beach wedding ceremonies (especially where open flame is not allowed), you may want to consider an alternative to this tradition that uses water or a sand ceremony. Both are similar to the unity candle tradition in that they take colored sand or water in separate vases and add it to a larger clear vase to signify two becoming one.

* Flower arrangements – If your wedding is in a chapel/church with an altar, these may be in the center, or if outside, flanking “center stage” on either side.

Your flower arrangements for the ceremony should complement the flowers you selected for your bouquets and boutineers. You can also save a little money by having these flowers do “double duty” as wedding decorations at the reception. Just have a friend or relative transport them to the reception site to decorate the head table or other area. Don't forget the flower girl.

* Exiting favors – These are the rice, confetti, bubbles, bells, butterflies, etc. that you give to your guests to throw, blow, ring, or release when you leave the ceremony site to go on to the reception. For an outdoor wedding, you could instruct guests to use these as you walk down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife. People love these as it gets them involved – and kids will have fun with it too.

Extra wedding decorations for the ceremony

* Program area – While not necessary, a program of the ceremony can be a nice touch – especially if you have members in your wedding party that a lot of the guests don’t know. Here’s an easy wedding decoration that goes with this idea: Decorate a basket or other receptacle to coordinate with your theme and/or colors. You can have the basket near the entryway for guest to pick up a program or pick a host/hostess to warmly greet your guests as they enter and hand out programs. Tip: This is a great job for kids that are too old to be ring bearers but too young to do other things.

* The Guest Book – Most couples have a guestbook and pen for their guests to sign before or after the wedding ceremony. As with the program, you can jazz this area up (often a table or podium) by including a small flower arrangement, potted plant, picture display, or other simple decoration to complement your theme and colors. This is a great place to snap a quick picture for your instant photo wedding guest book and hand out bubble favors (shown here decorated with ribbon), ecofetti, or rice for the new couple's exit.

* Musician area – If you are planning to have special music during the ceremony, don’t forget to include the area where your musician(s) will perform in your decorating and set up plans. Each situation is different, but people will be looking at this area a good bit so, at a minimum, make sure extra equipment will be moved out of the way for a nice clean look. Tip: A simple floral decoration or fabric dressing is an easy way to solve most problems here. Note: For Wedding Songs and Music - WedAlert Wedding Song Directory offers soundclips of Ceremony Music; First Dance Songs; Mother / Son (Groom) Songs; Father / Daughter (Bride) Songs, and other music for your wedding reception.

* Restrooms – If you’ve ever been to a fancy restaurant, you can already picture what we’re talking about. These wedding decorations need not be major – a single stem flower or other simple decoration will do just fine. In this case we’re referring to the DETAILS. Think about what your guests would like to have to “freshen up”. Consider things like hairspray, mouthwash (with some small disposable cups), combs, lotion, and some aerosol deodorant. You can do this for the church and/or reception site. Put a little note in the basket that holds the toiletries that says whatever you want it to say – it lets them know that you were thinking of everything and they’ll appreciate it. This is a great little trick that costs very little. Sample sized toiletries cost just a dollar or two and a little basket is inexpensive too.

Wedding Decorations at the Reception:

Basic wedding decorations for the reception

*The Head Table – This is where you and your wedding party will sit if your reception includes a meal. Typically a long rectangular table, it should include a flower arrangement or other decoration. As noted previously, you can use an arrangement from your ceremony (just have someone else do the transporting). Another nice touch for the head table is to have place cards. Place card holders can be purchased and given to your wedding party as favors, or you can make some creative place cards.

NOTE: There are more opportunities than ever for making a difference with the details at your reception. For example:

  • Whether you use self inking stamps, custom logos, or simple monograms, you can create your own persaonalized theme to carry throughout your event. A very simple and inexpensive logo can be put on everything from stationery items to place cards, wedding favors, decorations, candles, and more. This is not expensive. And it makes all the difference in the world.

  • Try to think of wedding favors as useful decorations first and wedding favors second. There are lots of great wedding favors that pull double duty, acting as place card holders, carrying a theme, making your guests laugh or participate, and more while decorating for your theme and in some cases, carrying your custom logo.

*Guest Tables – Your guest tables will typically include a wedding centerpiece , place settings, and wedding favors. You can also include place cards, if seating will be assigned, and a table number or other way to identify the table (here are some fun ways to use wedding place card holders ).The centerpieces can be the same on each guest table or can include two or more designs to be used on alternating tables. Some economical wedding centerpieces are those that don’t require full floral arrangements – such as combinations of candles and/or a few individual flower stems in glass vases. The wedding favors can and should be a complement to your décor and place setting. Read more about choosing wedding favors and some of our personal favorites on our wedding favor ideas page.

The items in the picture below can be found at our store's monogram cake topper page.

When you seamlessly blend the font of your monogram cake topper with the font on your place cards, you end up creating wedding decorations out of things that aren't really considered to be decorations at all.

*The Wedding cake – (here are some
wedding cake pictures )Your wedding cake is another great opportunity to express yourself. While design and flavor are important, so too is the wedding cake topper. Traditional wedding cake toppers often feature a loving couple representing you – the bride and groom. A more modern twist on the wedding cake topper features the couple’s last initial. Also important are the wedding cake accessory items you will use to do the official wedding cake cutting and service. Options here include a knife engraved with your names and/or wedding date among other designs. This serving set can be a nice memento of your special day and can even be passed down to your own children or saved to cut your 25th and 50th wedding anniversary cakes.

Extra wedding decorations for the reception

*Gift Table – It is likely that guests will bring gifts and/or cards to give to you at the reception. Don’t miss a single detail by decorating this table to fit your theme and colors. Be sure to include a card box or other place for cards to be placed safely. You could use the basket or bin you created for your ceremony programs if you’d like. Tip: Make sure this table is set up away from the entrance/exit of your reception area, in a safe place where it will not be unattended or out of sight. You may want to assign someone to load gifts and cards midway through the reception to avoid tempting fate.

*Service Areas – Don’t forget to include the
coffee station, bar, and groom’s cake areas in your decoration plans. Little details such as personalized napkins add a nice touch here. Small cards trimmed with ribbon in your wedding colors can display information such as suggested mixed drinks, available brands of drinks, labels (e.g., coffee, hot water for tea, decaf, etc.), or even the story behind a unique groom’s cake.

*The Restrooms – The same applies here as noted above at the ceremony site. Your designated people can simply move the items from one site to another, or you can supply items for both sites.

Themed Receptions

You don't have to have a big theme like a beach wedding theme or a Hawaiian theme wedding to have a themed reception. Instead, consider a simple and elegant motif or monogram to use with your wedding favors, napkins, and other decorations to create a simple but elegant wedding theme idea.

Find other wedding decorations at our store.

footer for wedding decorations page