The Ultimate Wedding Decor Checklist [Part 2 of 4]- How To Plan Your Wedding Decor (Wedding Ceremony)
You may have ideas about the kind of decorations you like, but making it all come together can seem like an insurmountable task. Decorating for a wedding involves seemingly countless details that all have to be accounted for, and getting them all ironed out, organized, and in place ahead of your big day is enough to stress anyone out. That’s where our ultimate wedding décor checklist comes in!
We’ve broken down the décor you need into four parts so you can focus on each one individually. In this part, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to plan your wedding ceremony décor, complete with a wedding decorations checklist PDF. With help from our checklist, not only will you plan perfect décor that you can afford, you’ll also be armed with a resource that will ensure you aren’t unpacking a box ahead of your nuptials only to discover something important has been left behind!
Determining Your Décor
When it comes to deciding on décor, it is very helpful to think about the big picture before you get attached to specific décor items. By focusing on the feel of your nuptials, you can avoid obsessing over a single detail that takes over your décor, wrecking your budget and causing you stress along the way.
Take some time to browse Pinterest and find themes you like. Then, when you’re looking over our ultimate wedding décor checklist, you can add a few options to consider for each point on the list. For example, you may have your heart set on a flower arch at the altar, but you might also be willing to consider combining smaller flower arrangements on flowing fabric to get more bang for your buck.
Make sure you also consider where your ceremony is taking place. If you’re planning to get married on the mountain, it probably isn’t a good idea to haul a bunch of fragile flower arrangements up to your ceremony spot. You may want to consider a geometric wooden arch adorned with some wisps of pampas grass instead.
The weather is an important consideration as well. If it’s sunny and hot, you may want to consider a tented ceremony space. Loose fabric isn’t a good idea for windy spots, and paper décor isn’t a good idea for outdoor ceremonies in the spring when rain is the norm.
It’s important to consider your wedding checklist and budget at the same time. When you’re considering the overall tone of your event at the same time you’re considering your budget, you can look for ways to save. For example, if you love the boho look, you may want to try your hand at making a macrame backdrop instead of spending money on one.
Don’t forget the power of thrifting! Many popular wedding items like picture frames, lanterns, and vases can be bought for a steal when you know what you’re looking for. Buying in bulk can help you save too, and you can recoup even more costs if you plan to resell items after your wedding is over. Renting is also an option if you’re looking to save money.
Altar décor should be at the top of your wedding ceremony checklist. After all, exchanging vows is the entire reason why you have gathered with your friends and family!
It’s important to consider some kind of arch or backdrop to frame your nuptials. Traditional arches are popular, especially if they are covered in blooms and/or fabric. Geometric arches in the shapes of hexagons, circles, and triangles are popular, especially at boho or outdoor weddings.
Backdrops are another popular option. Brides and grooms love flower walls. Macrame hangings are also having a big moment, but you can hang nearly anything as a backdrop. Keep things simple with a fabric backdrop, DIY an affordable backdrop made out of carnations hanging on fishing wire, or create a ground arrangement. If you’re hosting your ceremony under a tree or indoors, you could even hang your altar décor from up above.
Other elements are often arranged at the base of the arch or backdrop. Candles, lanterns, and flowers can look stunning at nearly any wedding. Things like pumpkins are appropriate at a fall wedding, while a rug can be a great way to define any altar space.
Don’t forget a table if you plan on signing your marriage certificate as part of your ceremony! A small table also makes it easier to do a unity ceremony, and it can even be a great place to put your bouquet if you don’t have a bridesmaid to hold it for you.
If you’re hosting a minimalist wedding, or if you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to incorporate any aisle décor into your ceremony space at all. However, many brides and grooms like to make their walk down the aisle special by zhoosing things up a bit, which means you’ll need to add it to your ultimate wedding décor checklist.
The most basic aisle décor involves using an aisle runner. Not only can it be beautiful, but it can serve a purpose too. If you’re getting married outdoors, in a barn, or in a dusty old industrial building, an aisle runner can keep your shoes and the bottom of your dress clean. Paper is a practical choice, but if your budget allows, you should consider a fabric runner instead. If you want a modern twist, have a poem or bible verse printed on it.
You have many other options if you’re looking for something a little different than a traditional aisle runner. Flower petals are always a favorite. They can line the aisle or be sprinkled directly on top of the aisle itself.
Rugs are also a great way to line the aisle. A single, long rug looks stunning at black-tie affairs, while an eclectic collection of rugs looks fantastic at a laid back wedding.
Don’t assume the aisle has to be straight either! A curvy aisle can make you feel like you’re walking along a path instead of down an aisle, while a spiral arrangement enables you to see every guest as you walk towards the center altar.
Seating is often overlooked by many brides and grooms. They simply use what they have on-hand that is supplied by the venue. That can be a great way to save money, but if you have it in your budget, you should consider doing something a little different with the seating at your ceremony.
White folding chairs always look better than metal folding chairs. Acrylic chairs are especially popular at modern wedding ceremonies, while cane chairs look great at outdoor garden weddings. If you host your ceremony and reception in the same area, you can reuse the chairs, which can help you save money. If you can’t get the chairs you want, consider finding
ways to make the chairs you do have more interesting. Place tie backs on each one or cover them with throw blankets.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Unconventional seating can be really cool at a wedding ceremony. Think mismatched upholstered furniture, worn benches in different colors and styles, and poufs or stacks of hay covered with blankets.
Décor at the end of ever row is an important wedding checklist item you should also consider, although it isn’t strictly necessary. You may want to tie small flower arrangements to the chairs that line the aisle or decorate the floor along the aisle with candles, floral arrangements, or other elements.
You may also want to consider decorations that flank the beginning of the aisle where you make your grand entrance. Flower arrangements, lanterns, statues, and more can flank where the aisle starts. If you’re looking for that wow reveal, but don’t have access to doors at the end of the aisle at an indoor ceremony, create your own! Doors and even windows can be a stunning way to frame your grand entrance in large warehouse spaces and at outdoor celebrations.
It’s true that signs can be cute, but they can serve a purpose as well. Signs can do everything from telling guests where to sit to where to sign the guestbook. A few signs you may want to consider include:
- Road signs
- Direction markers inside the venue
- Welcome sign
- Guestbook sign
- Wedding program
- "Choose a Seat, Not a Side" sign
- "Here Comes the Bride" sign
- Reserved seating signs
- "In Memory of" signs
- Hashtag sign
- Bubble or confetti sign
Signs can be made out of nearly anything. Old pallets provide a great canvas for painting phrases at a rustic wedding, while mirrors and glass are a classy way to display important messages at more upscale affairs. Chalkboards are fun at a whimsical wedding, and clear acrylic signs are popular at modern weddings.
Don’t forget to consider how you’re going to display your signs! A wire frame might be necessary for a canvas sign while small wooden signs might be nailed to trees. You might also want to add easels to your wedding décor checklist. We especially love the look of acrylic easels because they make sure guests focus on the sign itself.
There are little extras you should also consider having at your wedding ceremony. For example, do you want guests to blow bubbles or throw confetti as you and your partner walk down the aisle together? If so, make sure you create a display at the entrance to your ceremony space where they can grab what they’ll need to help you make your first moments as husband and wife memorable.
You should also think about your guests’ comfort. If it’s chilly, consider hanging throw blankets over the backs of chairs. If your ceremony is going to be long, consider placing pads on seats, while water bottles and hand fans are great on hot summer days.