When wedding planning, it can feel like there are endless details to work out (some of which are more fun than others...dare we even mention seating charts?). Of course, choosing a venue you love is essential, but decorating it is also an important part of the wedding planning equation. Decorating the venue is a great way to create a beautiful space for guests to enjoy, and it can also help to tell the story of you as a couple. A modern wedding theme can be minimalist in style and also feature playful designs that are fun, personal, and unique.
“Wedding decorations show the couple’s personality and create a memorable experience for guests,” says event coordinator Ashley Padalecki. “Florals are, of course, always a beautiful way to add personality and flair to your event, but don’t miss out on other decor elements,” she adds, noting that adding modern wedding decor like colorful glassware, tapered candles, and pretty linens can “transform your space to match the vision you and your partner have.”
Meet the Expert
Ashley Padalecki is the owner and event coordinator at Marigold Events & Design.
To help you add some eye-catching pops to your wedding venue, we've researched the best options available—keeping style, cost, and overall quality in mind. A few of our top picks include the Minted Galeria Seating Chart, the Funterest Gold Flower Vases, and The Floral Society Fancy Pillar Candles.
Read on for the best modern wedding decorations.
The Floral Society Fancy Pillar Candles
Sculptural candles are having a big moment right now—there are so many fun molded and pillar options to choose from. While these sleek ones may be a bit pricey to put on every table, try adding a few as statement pieces in a few key areas like the dessert table or couple's table. They’d look stunning on a modern pillar holder or inside tall glass votives for added drama.
Price at time of publish: $42
Minted Galeria Seating Chart
Add a creative boost to your wedding decor with this seating chart from Minted artist Kelly Schmidt. Available in seven different color theme options, the graphic, pop art-inspired design gives wedding day signage an elevated touch.
Price at time of publish: $118
Funterest Gold Flower Vases
These petite brass vases are perfect for small bud arrangements or floral moments throughout the wedding venue (think welcome table, bar area, bathrooms, coat check, and more). Choose all of one shape, or mix and match with rounded or taller shapes.
Price at time of publish: $17
For Your Party Personalized Party Napkins
Customized wedding napkins are an affordable way to add personalization to your cocktail hour. Look for a design that's sleek and simple like this retro-inspired motif—we love the modern script font and graphic style that pops off the the paper.
Price at time of publish: $34 for 50 count
MTM Workshop Large Wooden Mid-Century Modern Letter
If a neon script sign isn’t your style, but you want to add a touch of your monogram to the celebration, this mid-century-inspired design is a gorgeous choice. It's another great memento that can be used as wall decor after the wedding day has passed.
Price at time of publish: $17 for 6 inches
Anding White Ceramic Vase
Make a statement at your reception with these ceramic sculptural vases. Featuring a matte finish and a range of shapes and sizes, they look gorgeous on top of cocktail tables or arranged on large tablescapes with smaller glass vases mixed in.
Price at time of publish: $30
Hawkins New York Aurora Sphere Vase
Whether you’re going all out with florals or decorating with greenery, vases are a must. We love this sphere vessel from Hawkins New York, featuring a classic globe design with a variety of muted colors to choose from. For an even more modern appeal, mix and match shapes by adding in other sculptural pieces from the brand's other earthy collections.
Price at time of publish: $35 for small
Minted Goldfinch Wedding Program
Your wedding program is part of your decor, too. This style by Minted artist Lindsay Stetson Thompson is a great choice for the modern bride who loves a touch of retro-modern charm. Choose from eight rich background colors, or customize them to match your wedding palette.
Price at time of publish: $184 for 100 count
Black Sea Eyes Terracotta Pampas Grass
Pampas grass and other dried botanicals are a continuing trend in wedding decor, both for modern or rustic settings. We love this terra-cotta-colored pampas grass as an alternative to the more ubiquitous snowy white version.
Price at time of publish: $3
Hazel Gray Co. Custom Watercolor Wedding Drink Sign
In addition to adding meaning and sentimentality, personalized touches make wedding decor stand out. And, while there are plenty of great bar sign options out there, we love this custom watercolor wedding drink sign. It's a great option for couples who are featuring a signature cocktail at their reception—and it makes for a sweet keepsake to hang above your at-home bar, post-nuptials.
Price at time of publish: $175 for 8x10 inches
King Zi Yu Love Sign Vases
Another sculptural wedding centerpiece or accent idea, these whimsical ceramic vases add a touch of fun and creative flair to any surface. Perfect for a dessert table, bar, or gifting area, this contemporary set is a great way to turn up the love.
Price at time of publish: $50
Wild Wood Wedding Jigsaw Puzzle Guest Book
Guest books are another fun way to create a personalized decor moment at your wedding. To mix things up, look for unique and specialized options that go beyond the traditional book format. Perfect for the puzzle-loving couple, this wooden version comes with the option to add a customized box and a sign to remind guests to fill out a puzzle piece before they leave.
Price at time of publish: $50 for 12 puzzle pieces
Atelier Saucier Mix-and-Match Chroma Napkins
If you love color and are looking for a fun spin on cloth napkins, we love this mix-and-match option from Atelier Saucier. The set features six different colored napkins made from premium deadstock fabric recycled from the fashion industry.
Price at time of publish: $125
GreenTree Home Hand Poured Beeswax Pillar Candles
When it comes to decorating for your wedding, you want to choose items that feel unique, personal, and touch on the trends with a more timeless feel. A great way to incorporate current modern trends into your big day without it feeling too trendy is by decorating your tables with sculptural candles, like these beeswax pillar candles from GreenTree Home. You can stick to a solid color theme, or go bold with a mix and match of different hues.
Price at time of publish: $35
Lovely Heart Things Blue Gauze Table Runner
Modern weddings are all about mixing textures for an ultra-romantic setting. One way to do so is with your table runners—and we can’t stop swooning over this cotton-crinkled option from Etsy. Available in a stunning dusty blue, this runner is the perfect addition to any modern wedding tablescape.
Price at time of publish: $7
What to Look for When Shopping for Modern Wedding Decorations
Consider the venue
The first and most important thing to consider when shopping for wedding decor is your venue. Consider whether or not you are starting with a blank slate, Padalecki explains. Find out what's available at the site before you start shopping. “Some venues feature massive chandeliers, so you don’t need to pay for hanging festoon lights or add tons of uplighting, while other venues offer an empty ballroom that is perfect for transforming in any way," she adds.
Your decor budget is another important thing to consider. “Decor elements don’t have to break the bank,” says Padalecki. “You can pick up golden tapered candlesticks from Amazon instead of renting them from a company, and then you can use them again,” she suggests. “By choosing design elements that relate to your taste, you can reuse some of the pieces in your home or for future events.”
What are popular decorations for a wedding?
According to Padalecki, modern trends are all about unique wedding decorations. “Hanging florals, candle vignettes, textured linens, custom lighting, and chair decorations can be used to spruce up your space,” she explains, adding that stationery is a fun way to enhance your wedding decor.
“By utilizing stationary like customized place cards, menus, and signage, you can tie in your invitation suite to the event and add in personalized touches," she says.
How do I choose a wedding style?
“Your wedding style should be a reflection of who you are as a couple,” says Padalecki. “An easy way to decide on style is to make a list of your favorite places to shop (or window shop) for clothes and home furnishing,” she adds.
For example, Padalecki says if you love a modern design store like West Elm, “go for a design aesthetic that is mid-century modern and earthy meets glam with wooden tables, greenery, pops of metallic, and lots of luxurious textures.”
How much should you spend on wedding decorations?
“Wedding decorations can certainly add up, but they are not something to stress about financially,” Padalecki says, adding that the most important thing to do first and foremost is to decide on an overall budget. Once you have that number, Padalecki recommends deciding on two to three things that are most important to you, whether it's catering and food, entertainment, or decor.
"If wedding decor is the most important thing for you, you might want to hire an event coordinator with design experience to help you source decorations and put them up on your wedding day,” says Padalecki. The amount you spend on your wedding decorations is entirely up to you—there are many ways to decorate on a tight budget. Padalecki recommends checking out wedding resale shops, DIY decor, and online shops to find ways to save.
Why Trust Brides
Jessie Quinn is a bridal-obsessed lifestyle and DIY writer with a Bachelor’s Degree in fashion journalism. She got her start in the wedding industry in high school, when she worked for a wedding planner in Los Angeles and helped assemble wedding invitations, table numbers, menus, and more, along with assisting decoration set-up. She now writes about fashion, decor, and paper for Brides.