Wedding Ceremony Decorations

These ceremony décor setups left us speechless. Steal these ingenious ideas from real couples around the country and make them your own

Updated 06/24/11

Steven Michael Photo

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handmade lantern ceremony decor

Steven Michael Photo

"I've always pictured getting married beneath a huge tree decorated withlights," says Natasha Gentry. "So my friend and I came up with the ideaof hanging votive candles and lights in different antique jars." Thebride sourced mason jars from a local antique store, lighting cords fromIKEA, and bulbs from a hardware store; she spray-painted the cords gold,drilled holes into the jar lids, and fit them all together to create the suspended display. "The glowing tree became the focal point of theceremony and looked even more beautiful as the sun went down," saysNatasha.

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Embroidery Hoops

Braedon Photography

For their alfresco ceremony, bride Shannon Pezzolla, an interiordesigner, secured swatches of lace in wooden embroidery hoops andsuspended them from tree boughs to create an eye-catchingvintage-meets-modern display.

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Capiz Shells and Feathers

Chenin Boutwell

For a sunset ceremony held atop a bluff, Julie Hsu wanted the décor tocomplement the Pacific Ocean backdrop. "We thought flowers would simplypale in comparison to the panoramic views," she says. "Plus, we wantedto incorporate natural elements in white to suit the beach setting."Capiz shell chandeliers suspended from the venue's pergola and tallarrangements of white feathers on translucent pedestals fit the billperfectly. Décor by White Lilac Inc.

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Jagger Photography

"Our ceremony was held indoors, but we wanted to somehow bring the outdoors inside," says Taryn Myers Rothstein. Thecouple's lighting designer projected a design (called a "gobo") of atree as the ceremony backdrop. "We wanted our guests to feel like theywere a part of our love story, and the trees helped make our weddingceremony feel like a modern-day fairy tale," says the bride.

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Fabric Ribbons

Michèle M. Waite Photography

The bride's sister-in-law made the ceremony backdrop using thin stripsof fabrics in a variety of pink and blush tones. "It wasbeautiful—organic and modern," says bride Ashley Anderson. "It wasa true reflection of my and my husband's different styles."

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Wooden Sign

Jonas Peterson

To decorate the outdoor ceremony space, the couple hung a wooden signbearing their wedding's tag line, "True Love Is a Big Deal." Afterdesigning a stencil of the text on the computer, they found a localwoodworking shop with a CNC wood router (a tool that creates precisedesigns from wood) to cut the sign from plywood and then painted itwhite themselves. Event design by Beth Helmstetter Events

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Paper Flowers and Pinwheels

Ashley Rose Photography

"We wanted something really whimsical and dramatic," says bride LaurenVirden, who worked with event designer Jesi Haack on the ceremonydisplay. "I had a photo of paper flowers in my wedding-planning file, and we decided to make an arch entirely out of paper." They fashionedhundreds of pinwheels from patterned paper from a local craft store;Jesi added colorful kites and giant paper flowers in the center of thedisplay. "As we drove up the hill to the ceremony venue on the day ofthe wedding, I spotted a giant mass of color in the distance," saysLauren. "I gasped when I realized it was the arch—it was moredramatic and beautiful than I could've imagined." Event design by JesiHaack Design

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Paper Garlands

Austin Gros

"We wanted the décor to have a vintage feel to complement ourvenue—a historic church—and my wedding gown, a dress fromthe 1950s," says Chelsey Meyer. The couple decorated the altar withold-fashioned paper garlands and tissue paper flowers in white andcream. Paper garlands, Bulk Party Supplies

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Picture Frames

Kristen Marie Photography

"We didn't want anything typical, like an archway or a gazebo," saysbride Jordan Overdick. Instead, the groom's father constructed a woodstage and oversize frame, which Jordan decorated with vintage photoframes from her family's collection that she'd repainted gray;additional frames were suspended from the trees.

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Airplant Arch

Adrienne Gunde

"We wanted our ceremony décor to be bold and unique, but with an organicfeel and a neutral color palette," says bride and floral designer MaiHoang, who created the design herself. "Airplants were the perfectchoice—they're sculptural and make a big statement without having to adda lot of color." White blooms such as hydrangeas and roses were added tothe design to create a lush archway. Floral design by Bunch Studio

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Fabric Tent

Kimberlee Newman, Simple Splendor Photography

"Many of our guests had been to weddings in our ceremony venue before,so I wanted ours to be like nothing they'd ever seen," says brideBethany Bunch. "I was hoping for goosebumps!" She, along with her maidof honor, visited the site months before the wedding to brainstorm décorideas. "My friend suggested a draped fabric tent and I loved the idea.My mom, who's a great seamstress, along with a small army of familymathematicians, figured out the proper dimensions and got it done." Thebride purchased 40 yards of black-and-white-striped fabric online, whichwas used to fashion the 20-foot-tall tent, along with a ceremony aislerunner and linens for the cake table at the reception.

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Frame with Paper Garlands

Mark Brooke Photography

"We wanted to include our guests in our ceremony in a tangible way," says bride Alison Arnote. After seeing a photo of an art piece incorporating hanging paper shapes, she decided to adapt the idea for the wedding. To create the display, Alison cut out circles from different patterned papers and suspended them from a picture frame they'd painted blue. "The hanging circles looked like they were floating," she says. As guests arrived, they were asked to write notes to the couple on the circles, and once the wedding began, the frame served as the ceremony backdrop. "We loved that we were surrounded by our guests' thoughts and well wishes as we exchanged vows," Alison says. Patterned papers, Paper Source

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