Picking a Style or ThemeTo figure out what kind of styles you'll need, you first need to settle on a theme for your wedding. You might already have a wedding theme or color scheme in mind; if not, start your brainstorming with you and your partner's interests or your wedding ceremony's location. If you're really stuck, check out wedding magazines or even just Google "wedding themes" to find all kinds of ideas.
Examples of how wedding themes can translate into decorations:
Halloween: Go crazy with orange, black, and purple. Drape chairs in faux spiderwebs, fill little bowls on the tables with candy and try clusters of black candles for a startling effect. If you plan your decorations a year ahead of time, you'll be able to find all kinds of decorations on sale.
Shakespeare: If you and your partner love the Bard, why not base your wedding theme on his work? Frame your favorite quotes and place them throughout the room. Dress the wedding party in Renaissance costume, decorate with candles and masks, and give quills out as favors.
Wine: Are you two getting hitched in wine country? Use wine bottles as vases, create grape bunch centerpieces with balloons, and pick theme colors of deep wine red and white.
Sports: Are you fans of the Cavaliers or Hokies or another local team? Borrow the team's colors for your wedding, hand out mini balls or other sports equipment as favors, and use other decorations and food to call up a "tailgating" theme.
Picking a Color SchemeIf you don't want an elaborate theme for your wedding, you can base your decoration choices off a few color choices instead. To pick colors for your wedding, start with you and your partner's favorite colors and any colors dominant at your ceremony location. If you're still stuck, look to your wedding planner or wedding magazines for ideas on what colors are hot this season.
Decoration IdeasHere are a few other fun decoration ideas to get you started:
- Bring your family into your wedding, even those ancestors who could not attend, by using framed wedding photos as decorations.
- Light can be a decoration too, and a cheap one. Lights in the right places and in the right colors, whether strings of lanterns, Christmas twinkle lights, or spotlights, can set any mood from soft and romantic to a dazzling disco.
- For a fall wedding, collect or buy pine cones, which you could also spray paint different colors depending on your wedding colors, like black, red, or gold.
- Use a tower of colorful tropical fruit as a centerpiece that doubles as a snack.
- Add an elegant touch by hanging garlands of dried flowers from the back of each chair.
- You don't have to buy decorations that are explicitly for weddings; usually these will have inflated prices.
- Clearance sales of seasonal merchandise.
- Candles are cheap but very picturesque decorations.
- Capitalize on pre-decorated spaces if you can. If you're getting married in a church near Easter or Christmas, the church might already be beautifully decorated. Or if you've chosen a garden or park, the natural world might supply all the decorations you need.
- Flowers can double as decorations and even favors, too.
- You can often find cheaper decorations if you buy from a wholesale retailer or in bulk. Check online!
- Enlist your friends' help to bring your decorations from the ceremony site to the reception.
- Try tissue paper or silk flowers in place of real flowers.
Virginia Decoration SourcesAn Enchanted Event (Harrisonburg): Event decorator and florist offering many kinds of decorative props for rental including gazebos, candelabra and fencing. Used to decorating themed weddings, An Enchanted Event caters to couples up and down the East Coast.
Decor Xpress (Culpeper): Decorator offering balloon decorations, including arches, columns, and centerpieces.
Rainbow Rentals (Springfield): Party rental company serving the D.C. metropolitan area offering tents, tables, and dinnerware as well as purely decorative items like columns, arches, and candelabra.
Aztec Rental (Roanoke): Event rental services; offers many types of decorations for rental, including molds for ice sculptures, cake stands, tents, and items for themed parties.