Wedding decor is becoming increasingly important to modern brides and grooms, with a healthy amount of the wedding budget now going towards the overall “look” and vibe” of the wedding day.
Whether you opt for elaborate and different, or simple and traditional wedding décor, you’ll want it not only to stand out as beautiful and unique but also to reflect who you are as a couple.
Here we’ve developed a thorough wedding decor checklist that should help inspire you and give you lots of ideas on how to visually design your space.
Whether your budget is big or small, this will give you some guidance…
Your Ceremony Space
Let’s start at the beginning: the ceremony.
Your ceremony venue is often the place where guests hang around initially as they await the bridal party, but afterward, they don’t spend much time there.
Where are your guests sitting for the ceremony? If the venue provides chairs or benches that you are happy with – then great. If not, think about the space and what works best.
If you’re bringing in seating don’t worry about going all out – sometimes the most simple wooden chairs can look the most effective.
If your ceremony will be outside, have you considered straw bales of hay? Heck, some people choose floor cushions and rugs!
To enhance the beauty of the ceremony, many couples choose to decorate the space where they’ll be standing and saying their vows (some call this an altar!).
Floral arrangements are particularly popular here, arches are also becoming top choices
Hopefully, you’ll have your bridal party bouquets and buttonholes sorted but also think about whether you are having any floral arrangements in the ceremony room. Also if you have flower girls speak to your florist about a basket of petals for them.
If you do have flowers within your ceremony space, don’t forget to use them again later in the day in the reception room – there’s nothing wrong with making the most out of your decor items; flowers can be expensive!
Most couples consider a wedding aisle runner, a long strip of material or vinyl, which not only looks classy but also protects the bottom of your wedding dress.
But, you could also line your aisle with simple greenery and flowers. Candles in glass jars also provide a romantic feeling for indoor ceremonies.
Not all couples choose to create programs for their wedding ceremony but we’ve included it on the wedding decor checklist as it’s something to discuss.
A program houses details of the ceremony; members of the bridal party etc. It also includes any words for readings, songs, or hymns you are including. It could also include a section about the couple.
This is a chance for you to subtly personalize your wedding even further.
It’s a lovely touch to have a “Welcome to Our Wedding” sign as your guests enter. You could also consider further signage such as “This is an Unplugged Ceremony” i.e. no phones, please!
If you are having signs designed and printed you may also want to include another wedding directional signage such as “Cocktails This Way” or “Party Here.”
Wedding Reception Decor
Next up on the wedding decor checklist is the reception decor.
Whether you choose to go with elaborate decorations and extras or keep it simple, this list should help get your thoughts in order…
You’ll want your wedding guest book and a nice pen placed on a table somewhere visible. You could also choose to include a guest book sign to encourage people further.
A few flowers or greenery around it will make it look more elegant too.
Gift and Card Table
This table should be placed somewhere near the entrance of your reception room so that your guests can drop cards and gifts off when they arrive.
This should include a nice basket, box, or post box for cards, and enough space for gifts. You could get a “Gifts” sign here.
Your venue will know the best location for this – you want to show off your beautiful cake as much as possible!
Don’t forget a nice cake stand and a topper.
Some venues will suggest a dessert table – this should include a dessert menu if there are multiple choices.
You probably spent hours deciding on where everyone was going to sit (I know I did!) so make sure you have your large seating chart sign highly visible near the entrance to your reception room so guests know where they are headed.
Candles, fairy lights, disco lights… whatever you choose, make sure it’s all thought about in advance with your planner or direct with your venue. The lighting and ambiance are crucial!
Make a statement with hanging string lights, lanterns, floral chandeliers, balloons, or a huge disco ball – just don’t forget to look up!
If you’re lucky enough to have created your own drinks menu for the wedding, don’t forget to include bar menus with the details.
I love the idea of having a personal cocktail dedicated to each member of the couple.
Leave enough space for your photo booth – some will require more room than others if they have boxes of props, etc.
Check in with the supplier on this and place it somewhere with the appropriate amount of space.
You won’t need to bring anything in for some venues, but for any large outdoor / marquee weddings make sure you have a good and large solid dance floor in place – wooden ideally.
Not an essential item on the wedding decor checklist, but lots of couples choose to have cute quote signs dotted around their venue… this might include your wedding hashtag if you have one.
Large bespoke neon signs look awesome in the photos and “Mr & Mrs” signs or lights are also very popular.
Wedding Dinner Table Decor
And now your tables…
This is where you and your guests will be spending a lot of time, for your meal and your speeches, so it’s probably the most important space.
Plates, Glasses, and Silverware
The basics. You will want glassware for both wine and water.
The number of courses you are having will dictate how much silverware to place here.
Depending on what kind of tables you’re using, you may want to cover them entirely – white linens are the most classic, and don’t forget your napkins too.
Whether you are selecting a grand tall floral display, some greenery, or potted plants, you will want centerpieces to decorate your tables.
Flowers could match the color palette of your bouquets, and depending on what you choose, you may also need a table runner to run the length of each table.
Candle centerpieces also work well and always add a romantic ambiance to a table display.
These are essential if you are assigning your guests to specific seats.
Some couples get creative and use different materials for their name-place settings other than a card- from pine cones to coconut shells to drinks coasters!
Your wedding favors are typically placed on each dinner place setting – sometimes these can double up as a name card e.g. I’ve had personalized mini bottles of vodka at a Polish wedding which I thought was a nice touch!
Remember to choose different favors for any children – a little game or book is always a good idea – oh and candy of course!
It’s always handy for your guests to know what the menu is going to be in advance – don’t forget to include veggie and vegan options too
These are more important for bigger weddings with lots of tables, but don’t forget to clearly label your tables!
This is a lovely idea for the bride and groom’s chairs – a little “bride” and “groom” sign hanging from the back of your chairs to make you feel even more special on your big day!
We hope this checklist has helped you plan all elements big and small for the design of your wedding space.
Remember that not all of them are essential, so choose the ones that are most important to you as a couple, and work within your budget.