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Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations

Updated on September 21, 2013
Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations
Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations | Source

Wedding decorations set the tone for your wedding more than anything else. Everyone expects to be there to see the bride and groom, but it’s the wedding decorations that tell your guests all about you. Some brides and grooms want their weddings to be sophisticated but smart, economical but classy.

As it has become more and more acceptable to have a DIY wedding, couples are choosing to have clever, beautiful, and (above all) economic designs without having to hand over a fortune. Whether you need an economical wedding or if you simply want to spare a few bucks here and there, there are plenty of hip, contemporary, funky things you can do that will both match your personality and save you a couple of Ben Franklin’s.

If you’re playing with the idea of a DIY wedding, spray paint, lace, and paper will be your best friends, and they’ll make your wedding look classy. Although you can buy most of these things at the dollar store, or the hardware store, at dollar-store prices.

So let’s take a look at some great ideas!

Stuff at Home

Don’t underestimate what you already have at home. Just by putting your desk or buffet table in the lobby of the church, you’ve made it into a DIY guestbook table.

Make it funky with antiques such as candlesticks, bird cages, globes, typewriters, and gilt-framed oval mirrors, all which you can get from your local thrift store. Make it contemporary by adding paper hearts and banners, and/or make it relevant by adding framed pictures of the two of you from right off your living room wall.

Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations
Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations | Source

Hanging Beauties

Hanging beautiful decorations isn’t just an easy way to dress up a wall or a garden, but it’s ideal for brides and grooms who want to make a wedding space their own. By just putting on your arts-and-crafts hat, you can really dress up your wedding ceremony or reception venue, (without painting walls and moving around furniture) and you can make the space uniquely yours.

-Create lace or thread lanterns by wrapping a balloon with the lace, thread, or yarn. Spray with fabric stiffener or soak with Mod Podge. When the textile is dry, pop the balloon. Peel the balloon out (you should leave a hole in the top for this), and you’ve got a perfect little lantern to insert a light bulb, or you can just hang it from a tree or the corner of a room.

-Make paper chains cut from brown paper bags. These aren’t your grade school paper chains. You can write the bride and groom’s names on each chain, a pretty quote, or even use a stamp.

-Stretch large squares of lace between each circle of an embroidery hoop. Tighten the outside screw and trip off the excess lace. Hang from trees or on walls.

-Paper blooms can be made from tissue paper, wrapping paper, book pages, or even fabric. These can be small or large and can hang from the ceiling or from trees, or even be used as decorations on your tables.

-Tissue paper fringe is a perfect pop of color for empty walls, and can be made from colored tissue paper or construction paper. It’s simple. Make the length of paper as long as you want and cut both sides finely, until you reach the middles of the paper. The wider the paper, the better movement you’ll have in the fringe.

-Fill used, upside down light bulbs with water and little flowers. These are best if hung by ribbons from trees or from branches, or even used as table centerpieces.

-Blow up regular latex balloons and thumb-tack each one to the ceiling next to each other to fill your desired space. To make them hang properly, put a marble on the inside of each.


Who’s wedding are we at again? Oh, yeah. Well, your wedding guests won’t forget who’s wedding they’re at when they see your cheerful banners hanging on walls, over tables, or behind chairs. When you make banners, a great base paper is newspaper, and you can use acrylic paint to create letters over the newsprint.

-Triangular flags are great for decorating cake tables.

-Square letters are good for chairs and are easier for painting large letters.

-Polaroids. All you need is a long, chunky string, clothespins, and pictures of the happy couple.

-Butterfly garlands can be made by cutting butterfly outlines out of different kinds of paper (again, newspaper is good here, but also try scrapbooking paper and tissue paper) and gluing the middle of the bodies to twine.

Quick Poll

Would you be willing to make the decorations for your wedding?

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Photo backdrops are a huge hit at DIY weddings. Not only to they dress up the wall of an indoor venue or add a wall at an outdoor venue, but they create a lively and entertaining space both for the guests and for the bride and groom. Here are some great ways to create a backdrop.

-Spray paint a thin rubber doormat with white, gold, or glitter spray paint. There are plenty of beautiful thin rubber doormats cut into scrolls or into damask designs, and with a little TLC, you can make it into a DIY backdrop. Try to find one at your local consignment shop or at a garage sale.

-The same concept goes for shutters. Just by selecting a variety of different antique shutters at yard sales, thrift stores, and even online on eBay, you can arrange them in cool and interesting ways to provide a backdrop for any location in your event. You can paint them all different colors or you can even paint them all the same color. These don’t need to be on a wall to look great either. What about the backdrop for your buffet table, escort card table, or even guest book table?

-Did you know that you could turn window shades into wall medallions? Just by gluing the top flat edge and the bottom flat edge together, they create an interesting pinwheel look that can be easily stapled to a wall or hung from a tree. By repeating the design with different colors and sizes, you can create an interesting display and also incorporate all of your wedding colors prominently.

Wooden Pallate Design

Designing things with wood pallates is on the rise, and DIY wedding crafts are not exempt. Inexpensive and easy to find, these are the perfect item for wedding decorations. Pallates create both a rural and urban look, and can be a contrast of texture to all of the satin and lace in your wedding, automatically resulting in visual interest. Here are a few pallate designs.

-Paint a Bible verse or quote for easy tone-setting. Set the palate at the base of a table, hang it on a wall, or stack a few rustic crates and put it atop the crates. You can display this in several different ways.

-Staple twine in the gaps of the palate and clip to the twine pictures of the happy couple or name cards for seating arrangements. The palate, then, is not only decorative but functional. Again, it can be stacked in a number of different ways.


With DIY wedding design, you can use candles unlike anyone has used them at their own weddings.

-Do you like quotes or icons? Roll white candles over large inked stamps for a dressed-up and economical look.

-Do you like simplicity? Wrap the body of the candle in lace and adhere with Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue.

-Buy candles in bulk online and create a wall of them in your venue.

-Line your ceremony aisle or guest entry walkway with candles to greet them as they enter.

-Fill paper bags with paper doilies glued inside with candles for a gorgeous lantern look.

Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations
Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations | Source


With some simple wood and chalkboard spray paint, you can turn anything into this DIY wedding design trend. Menus, candles, backdrops, and even ping pong paddle boards so that you can write messages and hold them up during pictures. Some brides go big and have a door-sized chalkboard, and some brides go small by spray painting old wine bottles and writing table numbers on them.

-For those couples with a lot of symbolism in their weddings, you could write stories, quotes, or even meaningful sayings on chalkboards to display in prominent places.

-Your guest book table could feature a chalkboard with directions for using your setup in the case of more detailed guest books, like filling out a card and tying it to the tree.

-Your seating chart could be one big chalkboard, with drawings showing everyone which table they are to sit.

-You could offer little chalkboard escort cards with names and table numbers.

-At your guest tables, little chalkboard place cards could direct individuals to their seats.

-You could simply cover the tables in black paper and draw separate place mats in chalk for each place setting.

-On your buffet table, you could use chalkboards to label your different food items.

-Dessert buffets and candy buffets could use little chalkboard labels to identify each item for guests.


Another huge trend in DIY weddings includes an array of frames. For pictures, get a diverse selection of frames in sizes, colors, and designs. (If you don’t like the color, you can always spray paint it.) These can be held up during pictures to frame the couple or to frame memories.

If you don’t want to over-use frames but you like the idea, think about a different display. Try one heavy, large-scrolled frame with rows of twine strung on the inside. Then use clothespins to pin pictures of the happy couple, or seating arrangements.

Frames can not only frame pictures, but frame signs. Framed mirrors can become seating charts, directions, a beautiful story or quote, etc. Picture frames can be hung on the wall as a backdrop, collected on tables, or even strung from string above tables for decoration. The options are endless.

Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations
Saving Money on Your Wedding Decorations | Source

Mason Jars

Mason jars can be used for everything. Think about them in your house, even. They are durable storage containers that can hold everything from food to small items. So why not use them in your wedding?

-Place candles inside each jar. Keep them plain or stretch and glue lace to the outside of the jar.

-Store flowers, beads, buttons, or pearls on the inside for a splash of color on a table display or center pieces.

-Use mason jars for centerpieces by using a painter’s marker and a stencil, and baking for a durable number painted on the outside of each.

-Fill them with stones for solid flower vases, fill them with pens for the guest book table, or fill them with marbles and put flags in each for table numbers, escort cards, or place card markers.

-Fill them with flowers and hang them from twine from shepherd’s hooks down your ceremony aisle.

-Essentially, you could even use them for drinking glasses for your guests.

An arts and crafts, DIY wedding doesn’t have to look like a tacky craft fair. Instead, you can use only the crafts that color your character and likewise color the character of the wedding.

Some brides do a “Shabby Chic” wedding theme and combine white antiques with bright blues and metallic. Other brides prefer a rustic-themed wedding and combine hard and soft elements such as lace and burlap, wood and satin.

And others just do it to save money. The best part about a DIY wedding is that you can do whatever you want. It’s your wedding. Enjoy yourself! This is supposed to be fun!

Quick Poll

What is your favorite wedding decor idea in this article?

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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness


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