These days, there seems to be the notion that not hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator is essentially committing matrimony malice, but that couldn't be farther from the truth, especially given the amount of DIY wedding decorations out there. If you fall under this umbrella of décor-savvy or budget-friendly couples who want to tackle the planning process independently, prepare to be the best temporary wedding planner your ceremony will ever see. To make your life a heck of a lot easier, we rounded up several DIY wedding decorations that you and your partner can easily and elegantly pursue for the big day. And, fear not, un-crafty couples—every suggestion on our list is a realistic DIY project that doesn't require a ton of skills or expertise. We're talking affordable flower arrangements, table runners and centerpieces to take decorating the reception tablescape into your own hands, string lights you can easily hang on your own, and much more. Here are our 60 best DIY wedding decoration recommendations.
In order to create a balanced space, start off by prioritizing your DIY projects according to the overall visual you want to create. This will ensure that the dispersal of décor is perfectly proportioned and guarantees you won't be wasting your time on projects that won't pack a punch. So, visualize and prioritize before you execute. And be sure to enlist the help of some trusted friends or family members who can lay everything out on the big day while you are getting ready.
Compile the Wedding Seating Chart
Rather than having to arrange individual escort cards for each of your guests, resort to one easy-to-read sign that denotes each table setting. Print it, prop it, and you're good to go.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, $12.50 from $25
Drape Garlands of Greenery
Garlands are the ultimate when it comes to filling out sparse areas and adding a dash of lush greenery to any space. Snake them down banquet tables as runners, drape over the newlyweds' chairs, decorate a bar area, outline the beams of a tent, or use them to rope off reserved ceremony seating.
Cluster Floral Centerpieces
Clustered vases are a simple way to create a full centerpiece without breaking your budget. Mix together bud vases, glass bottles, and other odds and ends from around the house in a variety of shapes and hues for an eclectic look. Transform those low-cost, mixed bouquets from the grocery store into chic floral assemblies by deconstructing them into single stems filling small vessels.
Design a Ceremony Backdrop
While nature is usually the best—and most budget-friendly (it's already included in the venue fee)—option when it comes to ceremony backdrops, we understand that sometimes your altar just needs that little extra oomf. Picture your ideal snapshot for the vow exchange and then build a frame for it using flowers, branches, greenery, candles, saplings, or lanterns. We're loving this desert-inspired, asymmetric frame created with dried palms, pink anthuriums, and foraged local flowers.
Disperse Pressed Glass Frames
From table numbers to signs to photos of you and your future spouse, there's no shortage of frame-worthy paper wedding essentials. Once you've got the frames covered, you can easily design your own creative fillers.
SHOP NOW: BHLDN, from $12
Write Out Wedding Signs
Transform your wedding signage into pieces of estate décor by utilizing imaginative canvases. Here, a vintage mirror adds opulence to a bucolic setting. Write out your message with a marker or have a decal custom made. For a more rustic and natural aesthetic, stick the decal to plywood or use stencils to paint your wording.
Turn Napkins Into Cutlery Holders
Why burden your budget with extra props when you already have everything you need? Consider your linen napkins the Swiss Army knives of place setting pragmatism. With a pocket napkin fold you can create the space to tuck your menu card or cutlery right into its breast, sans the unnecessary added accouterments.
Arrange Your Own Bouquets
Bouquet arrangements should come from the heart and speak to who you are as an individual, so, in that sense they should be easy to create on your own. Opt for foraged flowers, local greenery, picks straight from the garden, or fill in with loose stems from a local florist or farmers market to make your personalized mix. For the finishing touch, wrap the base in ribbon or leave long trails of fabric to add a little flow. You can also get sentimental with a shirt cuff or strip of fabric from your grandmother's wedding dress. Secure with pins, an heirloom brooch, or a meaningful memento.
Display Escort Cards
This simple escort card display is super easy to execute and packs a visual punch. Create a flower market vibe by filling buckets that represent each table with fresh blooms and sticks with your guests names on them.
Source a Cake Topper
Go the minimal route when it comes to your cake topper. Rather than buying the standard "his and hers" figurines, take the handmade path and personalize the dessert décor with your initials. Stick it front and center inside the confection and dig in.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, from $24.99
If you can tackle the task of bundling a bridal bouquet, you can absolutely throw together a boutonniere or two—they are just tiny posies after all. Feel free to utilize the same mix from the bouquets, albeit with a slightly more masculine approach, and tie together with ribbon or twine. Here, a mix of sprigs of lavender and olive leaves befitting the couple's French châteaux nuptials.
Experiment With Table Runners
From gauzy fabrics flowing in the wind to trails of moss and ivy vines, along with stems of eucalyptus, rushes of olive branches, and scatterings of floral petals there is no shortage of dramatic table runner options that won't break the wedding budget. Pick the best medium to match your wedding style and theme and deftly snake them over tables for a professional display.
Embellish With Candleholders
Add some height to your wedding décor with the strategic use of candleholders. Mix and match hues and sizes for a cool, eclectic arrangement. Play with textures like brass, wood, or polished metals to add dimension or sheath with thin, cylindrical hurricane votives to amplify the glow.
Hang a Mr. & Mrs. Banner
Let there be no confusion as to who the celebrated couple is. Drape this banner in front of a wedding cake display, dessert bar, chair backs, or use it as an ultra-personalized photo backdrop. Or, if you've got the time on your hands and craftiness in your veins, you can create something similar with some twine and fabric cutouts.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, from $14
Assemble a Ceremonial Arch
If a chuppah or wedding arch is something you've always wanted, why not design your very own? Whether curved, square, or in a modern pyramid-shape the simple structure is easy to put together with reclaimed wood. This couple’s chuppah was built with bamboo and topped with fabric, while vibrant astilbe and yarrow flowers were draped from the beams for the finishing touch.
Create a Floral Photobooth Backdrop
While flower walls make for unquestionably stunning focal points, they also come with a pretty hefty price tag. A garden-inspired backdrop, however, is a pretty uncanny DIY alternative. Here, the wooden canvas was bedecked with individual flowers and served as an escort card display until it was later repurposed as a photo booth backdrop. For a less deconstructed take, you can fill the whole board up with foraged blooms and greens.
Orchestrate an Exit Toss
Natural alternatives to exit tosses and sparkler send-offs are not only eco-friendly but also a great crafting project. Fill up paper cones, linen sachets, or any other creative vessel you can think of with fresh petals, olive or eucalyptus leaves, fragrant lavender buds, or aromatic herbs.
Use a Wedding Program Template
DIY wedding programs needn't be a huge undertaking. With a digital template, you can edit the layout with all of your own big-day information and print on whatever type of paper suits your style. We especially love this elegant and minimalist style that can perform double-duty as a fan for your guests. Just add a paddle stick and you're good to go.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, $8.99
Weave a Few Flower Crowns
So easy a child could it! Freshen up those carefully-cultivated crown-weaving skills from your youth and plait a few floral crowns for your bridal party or tiny attendants. No need to get too elaborate, a simple daisy chain is oh-so tender. Or, use fresh greens, ferns, foraged flowers, garden finds, baby's breath, chamomile, or dried flowers for an organic touch. We especially love bunny tails for their rustic elegance and youthful innocence.
Whip Up a Pet Collar
And while you're at it, why not put together a little flair for your furriest family member. Weave a collar in the same way you would a floral crown but tie off the ends with ribbon so that it can be sized to your pet and easily taken off. Attach a ring pillow if they're also acting as ring bearer for the day.
Construct a Reception Table Canopy
Who amongst us has seen a trellised, alfresco dinner arrangement and not drooled at its magnificence? If your outdoor venue doesn't come naturally equipped with the option or you're taking your celebration indoors, a custom canopy can easily be built and outfitted with lush greenery and vibrant blooms. It's basically a pint-sized version of a ceremonial arch in its structure.
Repurpose Wine Bottles
Put empty wine bottles to good use, and enjoy drinking their contents in the process. Instead of traditional signage, paint table numbers on them (perfect for a vineyard setting), fill with flowers for centerpieces, or use them as water carafes for the tables. We even have some creative uses for the corks later on.
Build a Barrel Bar
A barrel bar requires minimal assembly—seriously, even those with limited carpentry skills can knock this one out. Just balance a flat, wooden topper over two barrels and et voilà! Deck out your work in equally rustic décor (we like wine for the continuity...and the taste) and you have a visual masterpiece.
Garnish With Fresh Herbs
There's nothing like sourcing your wedding décor from a grocery store or farmers market. Herbs are not only aromatic and fresh but also provide an organic aesthetic to any celebration. Use a sprig or two to accent a table setting, garnish the drinks, or display them in potted form throughout the venue. We love the idea of sticking to herbs that are featured in the menu's offerings for a sense of culinary foreshadowing.
Utilize Wood Slices
Ah, the humble wood slice. This seemingly low-key staple is actually a titan of wedding décor versatility. Anchor a tablescape with wood-slab charger plates, employ them as bases for centerpiece displays, or exalt them to the ranks of the much-lauded cake stand for a rustic-chic vibe.
Get Creative With Corks
After creatively upcycling all those wine bottles, you undoubtedly have a ton of corks laying around. Let's put those babies to good use by cutting into them horizontally to create place card holders or a display stand for polaroids. Or, the perennial classic: Fill hurricane votives or jars with them for vino-themed decorative accents
Get Artsy With Leaves
What's more budget-friendly than leaves? They literally grow on trees. They're also the perfect, natural canvas for organic escort cards, table numbers, exit tosses, even chargers if they're big enough. Here, monstera blades were completed with gold calligraphy and transformed into dramatic table markers. Expert calligraphy skills are not needed, just some neat handwriting and a gold pen will do.
We can't get enough of baskets as wedding décor, not just for their rustic cuteness but for their functionality as well. Jazz them up with fresh flowers, dried stems, or ribbons and use them as vessels to be carried by your flower girls, to house wedding favors, to be filled with stationery, to gather floral centerpieces, or to hold comfortable accessories for your guests.
Define a Path
If your chosen venue errs on the expansive side, you may need to consider how your guests will get from one point to the other. If an actual trail doesn't already exist, you can outfit one out with paper lanterns to illuminate the path. Your guests will thank you when they're trying to find the bathrooms later.
Throw Vintage Rugs
Boho rugs have had a serious resurgence, and for good reason. The colorful textiles add texture and personality to any venue, as well as a decidedly bohemian aesthetic. Hit up a thrift store for some retro finds and use them to cushion out a lounge area, line the aisle, or anchor the ceremony space.
Don't Be Intimidated by Drapery
Drapery may seem complicated and intimidating, but all you really need is a good sense of the space and a ladder. When utilized properly a few sheets of fabric can add softness to a venue, make large spaces more intimate, inject a light and airy mood to heavy wood, and allows you to fully utilize vaulted ceilings as decorative vehicles.
Mix In Colored Glassware
Laying out tinted glassware is an ultra-fresh approach to injecting pigment into a tablescape. Stick to one shade for a uniform verve of color all throughout your table or mix and match different tones for an eclectic vibe—also great if you're sourcing from vintage finds or pulling together from what you already own. Our personal favorites are of the amber or blue-hued variety.
Hand-Stamp Wax Seals
Wax seals instantly add a luxe look to any wedding stationery or paper products from escort cards and place cards to invitation suites to menus, programs, and favor bags. Have a custom seal made with your new monogram or just some numbered ones like those used above and go to town. If you're not into the whole idea of hot wax dripping all over your house, you can always get adhesive seals that look just as old-school.
Accent With Fresh Fruit
Another win for grocery store wedding décor finds. We love tablescapes and centerpieces that mix fresh fruit with classic florals. Go for seasonal picks like summery citruses for bursts of vibrant tones or autumnal harvests like pears, apples, persimmons, and pomegranates. Veggies are not to be cast aside either, we've seen some pretty creative usage for artichokes, too.
Forage for Aisle Décor
Typically when one thinks of aisle décor their mind immediately jumps to floral runners snaking their way down the sides, but the same vibe can be achieved by far simpler means. Elevate the look by tying clusters of freshly foraged flowers and greenery to the sides of the first chairs for the same lush aesthetic.
Don't Forget the Table Ends
It can be easy to get swept up in designing centerpieces and table décor and completely forget the ever important table ends that anchor those designs from the ground up. Stay aligned with your tablescape by using the same flowers, greenery, and tones for your table ends. Cluster everything together for a full look of varying heights. Make sure to include some candles to illuminate each table, as well.
Bake a Pie
While catering may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering décor, we think you'll reconsider once you realize we're talking about the confectionary pièce de résistance of the night: the wedding cake—er, pie in this case. Nothing says comfort food like a homemade pie and guests will be more than happy to celebrate your love with a slice or two. Warm them up and serve with ice cream for a homegrown touch.
Decorate the Trees
Alfresco fêtes are prime opportunities for whimsical décor. Transform an outdoor venue into a storybook setting by hanging lights, lanterns, and paper cutouts off of tree branches. This couple went so far as to decorate the trees with candles and snippets of their favorite love poems. Swoon!
Lay Out a Comfort Station
Be the consummate hostess that you are by considering guests' needs. A comfort station is the perfect way to ensure they have everything they may require to fully enjoy the festivities. Visualize all of your wedding plans to better understand how the day will play out and gather a few things that you believe could mitigate any factors of stress like parasols, blankets, flip flops, etc. Then gather vessels like baskets, barrels, and trunks to artfully display those items in a stunning visual.
Craft Place Cards
Place cards intrinsically lend themselves to an easy DIY project. You can use just about any object that matches the theme as long as you can either write on it or have it hold a card. We've seen objects from leaves to stones to crystals and everything in between. At this nautical wedding in Montauk, guests' seats were marked by oyster shells emblazoned with their names. “I ordered the shells on Etsy, and they weren’t so fresh-smelling when they arrived," recalls bride Kelly. "I washed 200 of them with a toothbrush in our bathtub!”
Fashion a Wagon
Including tiny tots in your wedding party can be quite the undertaking. Ensure that their journey down the aisle is as seamless as possible by providing them with a little vehicle all their own. Get crafty with paints, flowers, streamers, and signs to fashion the ultimate carriage of their youthful dreams (and yours).
Reimagining indoor furniture for the outdoors is one of our favorite DIY decorative strategies. Vintage chests, dressers, or bookshelves make for stunning, residential displays juxtaposed against the wilds of nature. Here, a vintage dresser transforms into the ultimate something blue as a petal station. We also love the inspired use of furniture in creating escort card displays or bars.
Concot a Beverage Station
Self-serve beverages for the win! Dream up a beverage display that is oh-so summertime fine by pre-mixing some of your favorite drinks and serving them en-mass in glass dispensers. These in particular were filled with tequila-rich Palomas but you can go for more wholesome options like lemonade or iced tea. Let the glassware dictate the vibe with mason jars creating a rustic aesthetic or champagne flutes for a more refined touch.
Set Out Colored Taper Candles
Taper candles are generally pretty inexpensive, so go crazy and flesh out an entire tablescape with these beacons of light. Classic ivory is a mainstay, but consider the visual impact of colored taper candles for a moment. Pastel hues of blues and pinks in gilded candleholders are breathtakingly whimsical, tone-on-tone neutrals of beige and light wood are charmingly rustic, and navy blues or blacks with ornate, brass candleholders are exquisitely opulent and dramatic.
Exhibit Potted Plants
Potted plants make for a refreshing, earthy spin on the more conventional floral arrangements. We especially love that the plants can continue to live on in your home or garden after the celebration, serving as mementos of the big day. Utilize the plants as aisle runners, table ends, centerpieces, or decoration for stairwells. Here, fresh basil and daisies were repotted into quirky, retro cans for an added shot of color but simple terra cotta is always at the height of rustic elegance.
Make for a Grand Entrance
The entryway to your aisle sets the tone for the entire day, so you'll want to make sure it's a sight to behold. Frame the gateway to your nuptial union with elements that speak to the rest of your décor. Fresh florals and greenery are a traditional mainstay but also consider dried grasses, lanterns, candles; we've even seen a memorable display of saplings flanking the aisle. Here, clusters of eucalyptus, pampas grass, and cacti fringe the entrance for a desert vibe.
Outline the Dance Floor
If you want your guests to get their boogie on, you'll need to show them exactly where to do it. Since keeping the floorspace free is paramount, look upwards to find your canvas. Hanging paper lanterns, disco balls, balloons, garlands, flowers, or light fixtures above the dance floor never fails to get the point across.
Sprinkle in Some Lavender
Lavender is such a wonderful sensory overload and so versatile that it requires its very own shout out. Fill bowls for an aromatic experience, add them to bouquets and boutonnieres, garnish cakes and cocktails with them, fill little sachets for guests to take home as favors, accent centerpiece displays, or drop a sprig on top of a place setting for a little French touch.
Lay Out the Sweets
Poll any wedding guest and we guarantee they'll divulge that the best wedding decorations are the edible kind. Beautify a dessert bar with a sampling of sweets (think bite-sized cookies, candies, or chocolates) encased in pretty glass jars. The jars will add shape and dimension while showcasing their yummy contents.
Dangle String Lights
While bistro lights may get all the attention these days, we've found some creative uses for the ever-humble string light that literally puts its stale reputation on its head. In lieu of hanging them horizontally, we urge you to experiment with hanging the strands vertically for a whimsical scene that looks as if it's dripping in magic. You can even continue the vibe by clustering them together and creating a fully-fledged light curtain.
Visualize Your Table Settings
Table settings need not be overly complicated. At the end of the day, all you really need are plates to hold the food, utensils to consume it with, a napkin for the sake of propriety, and a place card if you opt for assigned seating. To give each setting a little visual pizzaz, choose one element to stand out over the rest. Here, the brushed-gold cutlery provides texture and blends exquisitely with the blush-toned, woven linens. Or, you could put the focus on the plates by sourcing ones with an intricate print or go for an eclectic, mismatched look.