Inexpensive Ideas for Wedding Decorations

Updated November 19, 2018
simple inexpensive ceremony decorations

With the right wedding decoration ideas, a couple can have an elegant, stylish event without breaking the bank. A little creative thinking and discount shopping will keep the wedding decorations budget-friendly and leave guests feeling as if they were at a lavish event.

Cheap Flower Decoration Ideas

Choose in-season blooms for the best prices and buy flowers from local growers to save on shipping charges. For a casual wedding, consider growing your own flowers or using native wildflowers. Once you have your wedding flowers selected, use them in the following ways:

  • Use three to five stems in a hand-tied bouquet rather than a tightly wrapped bouquet full of blooms.
  • Pick up cheap vases or mason jars from dollar stores and paint them in your wedding colors. Metallic spray paints add an elegant touch.
  • Move flower arrangements from the ceremony altar to the reception entrance.
  • Use bridesmaid bouquets as table decorations so you don't have to buy as many additional ones.

Finally, give your wedding aisle and reception tables a decorative boost with silk flower petals.

White Baby's Breath in jar

Decorate Inexpensively With Lighting

Change bulbs in prominent lighting fixtures to match your wedding colors for an instant, easy, and cheap way to add color to your reception or ceremony. Just a few other ways to decorate cheaply with lighting include:

  • Ask friends and family members if you can borrow white twinkle or rope lights from Christmas to line pillars or drape under tables.
  • If your venue has a spotlight, have the operator switch the filter for one that offers a soft glow and turn many of the rest of the lights off during the ceremony.
  • Utilize candelabras at churches for a pretty glow behind the officiant.
  • Add a disco ball or simple party lights to the dance floor for instant wedding decorations with lights.
  • Put battery operated lights in windows to create a pretty glow around the reception.
Twinkly lights at wedding reception

Decorate Cheaply With Balloons

It's probably best to skip balloons at the ceremony, but when tastefully done, reception balloons can be a great decoration for a small budget. Create an entrance arch, elevated centerpieces, or even a whimsical balloon drop for the end of the evening.

Wedding reception balloon decorations

Fabric Covers Save Money

Add swags of fabric behind the head table for a soft, luxurious backdrop, or layer colored linens on tables for unique accents instead of plain white linens. Decorating with tulle and other inexpensive fabrics makes it easy to create a tent ceiling to cover plain architecture, or to create a colorful walkway down the aisle or at the reception entrance. Fabric covers hide a multitude of problems so you can concentrate on decorating other areas of importance.

Fabric covers used in wedding decorations

Bring Nature Inside

Let nature do your decorating. Take advantage of natural beauty, such as brilliant fall foliage or pastel spring flowers, that can serve as backdrops to your event.

  • Add pressed leaves to tables in the fall. Pinecones make a great accent, too.
  • Place wildflowers in mason jars for centerpieces in the spring and summer.
  • Use birch and evergreen branches above doorways and arches in the winter.

Budget Friendly Table Decorations

Pick out cheap wedding decorations for tables that will still look lovely. Start with the tablecloths provided by the venue. Add a cheap strip of fabric as a runner and avoid paying for upgraded linens in your colors. Cheap flower centerpieces will always be popular, but consider other ideas like:

Candles Are Cheap

Pillar, tea light, and votive candles can be placed on mirrors at tables. Floating candles in clear glass bowls always look lovely; heart or flower shaped candles are perfect for a romantic feel. Add a few beads around the candles for a finishing touch.

Food Centerpieces

Fruit wedding centerpieces, rich artisan breads, and bowls of candy or snack mix can be placed in the center of each table. If you're serving wedding cupcakes, place them on a large plate in the center of the table.

Favors Double As Decor

Favors can be coordinated with table decorations and added to each place setting for extra color. Floral centerpieces in small terra cotta pots or tin pails can double as wedding favors. Alternatively, arrange matching votive candles with personalized labels in the centers of tables. If you're giving away homemade goodies, put them in fun jars or boxes with tags on a pedestal in the center of the table.

Tray of wedding favors

Outdoor Wedding Decorations on a Budget

An outdoor wedding venue can be decorated inexpensively. Let Mother Nature shine and just add some accents for a festive feel to the wedding. For example:

  • Skip renting a bridal arch and have your ceremony beside a tree.
  • Tie large bows on the ends of ceremony seating rather than paying for expensive wedding aisle decorations.
  • Landscape pebbles on a decorative plate with a candle create centerpieces that won't blow away.
  • Hang paper lanterns on fishing line from one end of the site to another for a quick and cheap lighting idea.
Tables at outdoor wedding setting

Cheap Decoration Tips

Save even more with these wedding ceremony and reception ideas on a budget that work for anyone. If you make smart decisions, you don't need to buy or rent as many decorations as you think.

Select a Picturesque Site

Choose a wedding ceremony site that has free natural beauty, such as a church or museum with beautiful stained glass windows or a garden overlooking a scenic landscape. If the site is already beautiful on its own, you will only need a few simple, inexpensive decorations.

Bride and groom kissing in church

Place Decorations Strategically

Concentrate your decorations at the key focal points, such as the ceremony altar and reception tables, instead of spending more money on decorations for obscure areas. Guests are going to be focused on places where things are happening, so don't give a lot of thought to corners no one will utilize.

Use What's Available

Ask if your wedding venue locations have decorations available. Many halls and churches have a variety of decorations in storage that you may be able to use for free or a small fee. Check with your catering company or the reception venue about the linens and tableware included in your package. Use theirs instead of renting or buying your own so you can put your money to use in other areas.

Wedding Decorations on a Budget

There are a lot of cheap wedding decoration ideas a savvy couple can take advantage of to have a beautiful wedding for a basic budget. With a bit of creativity, your wedding ceremony and reception decorations on a budget can be gorgeous, and so will your savings.

Inexpensive Ideas for Wedding Decorations