Inexpensive Wedding Decorations

So, you want a beautifully decorated wedding without paying for the price of one? Well you have come to the right place. In this post, I am going to provide suggestions and links that will make any wedding magazine worthy for less than $450.

The average wedding in the US has just over 120 guests. That being said I am going to provide information on inexpensive wedding decorations for an average size wedding. You can easily adjust the number for larger or smaller weddings.

The wedding decoration suggestions below can be applied to any theme or color choice.

The Ceremony

A classic wedding ceremony has: an aisle runner, arch or backdrop (to signify the front of the ceremony), flowers or decor (going down the aisle), and flowers or decor at the front of the ceremony. A ceremony with 120 guests would ideally have 10 rows of chairs with the aisle runner between chairs 6 and 7 in each row. In other words, 6 chairs on either side of the aisle runner. Below, you will find a decor list and directions on how to decorate a wedding ceremony site.

  • Flowers – Hydrangea (10 – $11.99 amazon x4)
  • Aisle runner (3×50 – $19.99 amazon)
  • Arch / backdrop (7.5ft metal arch $24.99 amazon)
  • Rocks / Dirt/ Sand (free)
  • Flower planters (24” planter $10.43 each x2)
  • Paper lanterns/ plastic bottles(10 – 6” lanterns $8 / 35 – 16 Oz $37 plastic bottles)
  • Tulle (optional, amazon 6” x 100 yds – $6.50)

Formal/ Traditional Ceremony Set-up

For this set-up, we will have 8 flower arrangements going down the aisle (4 arrangements on each side). Before the arrangements are put into place the tulle will need to be draped between the rows of chairs. This will be done by tying or taping the tulle to the aisle chairs on rows 1,4,7, and 10. Make sure to leave enough tulle between each section that is tied off to make a nice and even swoop between the rows.

The flower arrangement will be placed on both sides of rows 1,4,7 and 10. To make the flower arrangement put two flowers (in this case hydrangeas) into a paper lantern or one flower into a plastic jar and tie them with tulle to the chairs covering the area where the tulle was tied or taped to the chair.

So You Want a Ceremony Arch

A wedding ceremony arch provides a beautiful statement piece to signify the front of the ceremony. There are a few things you need to know about the arch and a few tips and tricks to make it beautiful while inexpensive.

Many wedding arches are not very sturdy. Most times if the ceremony is outdoors the venue will not allow the arch to be pushed into the ground. Therefor, the arch will need to be secured for an indoor or outdoor wedding ceremony. To secure the arch, use a 24” planter that is at least 7” high or a 24” crate as a base.

Fill the planter with sand, dirt or rocks. If using a crate, bag your choice of filling and place inside of the crate. Once the arch is completely assembled place the arch ends firmly down into the base. If you are using the crate, make sure the arch poles are resting on the bottom of the crate and surround the poles with the bags.

Once the arch is secure drape fabric in between and over the arch covering the bases. Leave at least 2 feet of fabric on the floor to create a cloud like form covering the bases. Take 2-3 flowers and fill in the gaps between the draped fabric on the arch until the desired look is achieved (around 20 flowers).

Wedding Ceremony With Out an Arch… Just as stunning!

Many wedding ceremonies do not have an arch. There are so many different ways to decorate a ceremony space that accent and complement the space. The most simple way is to select a venue with a view. There is no additional cost with this option.

Another simple alternative is to place floral arrangements or candles at the front of the ceremony. Or you can hang some drapery at the front of the ceremony.

Final step is to lay down the aisle runner. If this is an outdoor wedding the aisle runner will need to be weighted down so that it doesn’t blow away. This can be done by opting for a burlap type of aisle runner. The extra weight will weigh it down enough so that a slight breeze won’t move it. Bonus… burlap aisle runners come in all different colors.

Nontraditional Ceremony set-up

For a non-traditional wedding ceremony there are only a few adjustments that will need to be made. For example, an aisle runner is not necessary with this type of ceremony. If you would still like something on the aisle when the bride walks down, the flower girls can still toss flower petals.

A bride that I officiated for last year really wanted flower petals when she walked down the aisle. However, the flower girls were very young and both of them fell asleep about ten minutes before the ceremony began. There was no way that we were going to get them to make it down the aisle and no way we were going to let the bride know.

So, I grabbed the flower girl baskets and took off outside to the ceremony site where the guests had just begun taking their seats. I handed the petals to the guests sitting in the aisle chairs. I told the guests that once the door opened and the bride could see everyone to throw the petals in the air and into the aisle.

“That moment was priceless!”

When the doors opened the bride had just enough time to notice that there were no flower petals on the aisle and then the petals were thrown and floating to the ground all at once. There wasn’t a dry eye in sight and no reason to have an actual aisle runner.

Tulle or not to Tulle

Tulle is another item that is not required with a non-traditional ceremony. Having the flower arrangements on the aisle chairs provides an elegant ceremony without feeling super formal.

Wedding Arch Decoration

The final option for this type of ceremony would be how you choose to decorate the wedding arch. Many wedding arches are beautiful just the way they are. At the same time, the base “filler” should still get covered. This can be done by placing fabric or flowers on top of the filler.

The arch can also be covered by just the draped fabric or the flowers. Less is more when it comes to non-traditional wedding ceremonies.

The Reception

Time to set up for the party! I love carrying a theme all the way through the wedding day. The best way to make the most of wedding decorations is to have them serve multiple purposes. To keep cost down once the ceremony is over, the wedding party, guests, or set-up crew can help relocate the ceremony floral arrangements.

The wedding reception will have seating and placement for 130 people total. This is to include the wedding party (average 8) plus the newlyweds. There should be 16 round tables seating 8 people, a round cake table, an 8ft gift table, and two 6ft tables for the newlyweds and their parents.

This simple yet elegant reception set-up can be used for traditional and non-traditional weddings.

  • Flowers – Hydrangea (10 – $11.99 amazon)
  • Tablecloths (108” round $5.35 each, 90×132 $6.34, 90×156 $7.14 LinenTablecloth)
  • Paper Lanterns/ plastic jars (4” or 8” 10pk – $8 or 48 12oz jars for $46)
  • Tulle (optional, Amazon 6” x 100 yds – $6.50)
  • Tea lights (100 pk flameless led – $37 Amazon)
  • Napkins (100 pk disposable clothlike $23 or 100 pk standard $11 Amazon)

To decorate the tables, drape a pressed tablecloth over them. The tablecloth should match the chair color if possible and as long as it does not clash with the wedding colors. If the chair color will clash opt for a white or ivory tablecloth.

10 additional flower arrangements will need to be made matching the 8 ceremony flower arrangements. When the ceremony is complete the 8 arrangements will be taken off of the ceremony chairs and placed on an empty table. Preferably placed on every other table as the paper lanterns here are 2 inches larger than the ceremony arrangements. If using plastic jars this won’t apply.

One flower arrangement will be placed at the center of each guest table. For a formal wedding there can be a mixture of lanterns and jars. To do this use a 4” lantern and one jar arrangement. Another option is a set of 3 jars (add 34 more flower arrangements if going with this option). Two centerpiece arrangements will be placed at the head table.

Place a coordinating wedding color napkin on the table in front of each chair.

For a formal reception, tie tulle (that matches the napkin color) to the back of each chair and place 4 tea lights around the centerpieces on each table.

The Wedding is Now Beautifully Decorated!

Most times for a buffet style reception or plated reception the charger plates, cups and silverware will be provided by the catering company. This is another great way to save a LOT of money on your wedding decorations without missing out on anything.

Now you know how to have a magazine worthy wedding for less than $450 using inexpensive wedding decorations. I would love to hear your thoughts, and plans on what will be included in your wedding decor. Also, if you have any questions about decorating your wedding just ask in the comment section below.


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