Decorations do more than just about any other element to personalize your wedding. They set the mood, create the guests' first impressions, and help tell the story of your love. They're also among the most fun aspects of wedding planning!
Like a good book, a good decorating scheme begins with a central theme. This may be as vague as a color or as specific as your favorite movie. Celebrate how you met, your shared hobbies, or fictional characters you seek to emulate in your own romance. Whatever makes you happy is the right theme, whether it's vintage or modern, a campground or a comic book.
If your theme is a color pairing, like sunflower yellow and royal blue, then you're already set. If your theme is a little broader, like a specific city, season, or activity, you may have more work to do. Regardless, choose colors that you enjoy, that flatter your complexion, and that fit your venue. Hot pink bows on the pews in a very traditional church may jar some sensibilities, and orchids might look out of place in a reception space that's a hunting lodge.
Ceremony décor needs to be practical as well as pretty. If you use a unity candle in your ceremony, for instance, lots of free-flowing tulle or dried flowers placed around the open flame aren't a great idea. That said, embrace your wedding's theme and use the space to your advantage. If you need to create your own structures, use a trellis to decorate. Bring your theme's colors front and center with flowers, foliage, and fabric. Want something unique? Consider using suncatchers, windchimes, feathers, or even framed family portraits to emphasize the joining of two families.
The primary décor at any reception is the table centerpieces. Keep things simple with a single style replicated at each table, or give every cluster of guests something unique. Although flowers and candles are traditional, don't feel like you have to have either. Use floating candles in bowls of water for an enchanting experience, feature live succulents, create driftwood art, or provide materials for guests to make centerpieces of their own. You can even make it a competition!
Framing the Venue
You want the guests to see the wedding and reception venues as part of your wedding. If you use the family church, a popular park, or some other public place, you need to help guests view these scenes through different eyes. Rework the space with not only tables and chairs for guests but also arches, trellises, tents, temporary walls, or even fabric hangings.
Regardless of whether or not you could afford the venue of your dreams, decorating gives you power to transform your environment into a fairyland, a rooftop garden, a ballroom, or a spaceship. It can be anything you want. Just call on the bridal party for a bit of heavy lifting, recruit your crafty cousin, and get creative!