10 Best Places to Find Affordable Wedding Decorations

by | Oct 1, 2019

Affordable Wedding Decorations that Look Expensive but Really Aren’t


You’re getting married and you know you’re going to look beautiful so your surroundings absolutely need to match. But — since you’re not in the financial position to throw a celeb-style wedding bash, how can you pull off the luxe party you’ve been dreaming about? Fear not! Turns out, there are countless hacks to decorate your wedding when you have champagne tastes on a beer budget.


Here’s how:

  1. Start with a picturesque wedding venue.
  2. Treat your wedding attire like art.
  3. Decorate your wedding strategically.
  4. Ask for free or cheap wedding decorations.
  5. Plan to DIY as many wedding decorations as possible.
  6. Deck out the wedding hall on a budget.
  7. Create gorgeous wedding tablescapes on the cheap.
  8. Use clever lighting for affordable wedding ambiance.
  9. Arrange flowers in a budget-friendly way.
  10. Use crafty and chic signage to direct wedding guests.


Let’s explore each one.


1. Start with a picturesque wedding venue.

If you book a stunning venue for your budget wedding, much of your work will already be done for you. Let the natural (or artificial) beauty of the location serve as the focal point of the decor and then operate from the standpoint that less is more. All you’ll need to do is add some thoughtful accents to make it feel like it’s truly your wedding.


2. Treat your wedding attire like art.

All eyes will be on you, your beloved, and the wedding party, so be sure that everyone is decked out to match the theme of the event. What you wear should complement the rest of the decor in a seamless and artful way. Consider these easy and cost-effective ideas:

  • Add a colored sash to the wedding dress and matching cummerbunds to the tuxes.
  • Make sure the bouquets and boutiniers feature the wedding’s hues.
  • Dye both the men’s and women’s shoes (when appropriate).
  • Use the same tulle for both the wedding veil and other elements of the venue’s decor.


3. Decorate your wedding strategically.

You may be inclined to cover every square inch of your wedding venue with some sort of embellishment. That’s a costly mistake. Instead, think about where your guests are going to hang out most — and focus your attention there. Make sure the overall appearance of the venue is beautiful and that each table is inviting. Beyond that and you’ll be eating into your honeymoon funds for things your guests won’t even appreciate.


4. Ask for free or cheap wedding decorations.

Before you buy anything — ask your wedding venue if your rental package includes any decorations. Your caterer may also supply linens or other items for the dinner table as part of your deal. The next step is to hit up your family and friends for anything that you could use. They may have the perfect decorations on hand just waiting for the taking.

Pro Tip: If your arrangements with vendors don’t include decor of any kind, you may still be able to buy some of the things you need through them for less money than if you went elsewhere. 


5. Plan to DIY as many wedding decorations as possible.

Since you’re so busy, it’s tempting to buy all of your decor readymade at retail prices. But — doing so may put you over budget fast. Instead, think about what wedding decorations you could DIY to save some money. Hit up Pinterest to get great ideas on how to make wedding invitations, table centerpieces, floral arrangements, and more — all with your personalized touch. To score fantastic deals on supplies, check out:

  • Flea markets or yard sales
  • Thrift stores
  • Your local craft store (be sure to get on their coupon list and watch for big sales!)


6. Deck out the wedding hall on a budget.

At a glance, your wedding venue should look breathtaking. Here are a few ideas to help you pull off an affordable, but elegant look:

  • Buy balloons that match your color scheme to draw the eye. They can be arranged in a line to mark aisles, in an arch to denote an entryway, or in a cluster to create a focal point. 
  • Use tulle as a wall covering, table runner, archway accent or in any other place that could use a bit of airy beauty. 
  • Cover chairs and tables with other budget-friendly fabric that fits the vibe of your wedding.


7.  Create gorgeous wedding tablescapes on the cheap.

Your guests will spend a lot of time at their tables, so you’ll want them to look amazing without breaking the bank. Here’s how:

  • Create centerpieces that match the theme of your event. If you’re going super romantic, be sure to feature candles and flowers. If you’re a foodie, go with a platter or bowl of treats for guests to share. You get bonus points if your wedding centerpieces can double as wedding favors.
  • Use glass vases or mason jars in varying heights and sizes. They can be painted to match your color scheme and can hold just about anything like flowers, candles, treats, or beads. 
  • Scatter plastic pearls, silk flower petals, or small wooden hearts in the center of the tables. They’ll look really pretty but cost next to nothing.
  • Repurpose the bridesmaid bouquets into flowers for centerpieces to save money at the florist.


8.  Use clever lighting for affordable wedding ambiance.

Lighting, especially at evening weddings, can really make the event special. Here are some ways you can keep your guests in the glow on short money:

  • Use candles liberally. Candelabras are great for a dramatic look and votives or tea lights work well scattered throughout the venue. Don’t want to deal with real fire? Battery operated candles will still look great.
  • Hang up paper lanterns. They’re perfect because they’re super fun and super cheap.
  • Break out the Christmas lights. The strands of lights can be placed anywhere to create an inviting, glittery look. Extra credit if they’re triggered by motion or have different flashing settings.
  • Whip out the disco ball! It adds just the right amount of light to the dance floor as you boogie the night away.
  • Buy colored light bulbs. Using bulbs that match your wedding colors will really add to the experience without adding much to the price tag.


9. Arrange flowers in a budget-friendly way.

Wedding flowers can set you back a pretty penny, but they don’t have to. Try these ideas to get the floral look you’re after at a price you can afford:

  • Work with mother nature. You may be able to get flowers, greenery, pinecones, and tree branches outside for free! A hot, rustic trend is pairing tree branches with tulle and baby’s breath.
  • Go with paper flowers. If you or someone you know has the skill to make them, paper flowers can be very beautiful and less expensive than the real deal.
  • Buy silk flowers. If you find a good sale, buying silk flowers can be extremely cost effective. As an added bonus, they’re hypoallergenic and reusable.
  • Require double duty from your blooms. Be sure to reuse all of the flowers from the wedding ceremony at the wedding reception.
  • Make smaller bouquets. You don’t need 3-dozen long-stemmed roses at each table to make a visual impact. Put together a handful of flowers that complement each other and call it done.


10. Use crafty and chic signage to direct wedding guests.

Your guests need to know what’s happening, where to go, and where to drop off their wedding gifts and cards. To guide them, consider these affordable decor ideas:

  • Buy vintage frames or mirrors and insert blackboard material for larger signs. Then, write clever sayings that help and inspire your guests.
  • Use mini-blackboards, small picture frames, or decorated cardstock to denote table settings. 
  • Check out craft marketplaces like Etsy. If you’re not artistically inclined or don’t have the time, this type of site will connect you with artisans that can help you at any budget.


Final Thoughts

Your wedding is a big deal and you want everything to be perfect — down to the last detail. Lucky for you, there are an abundance of affordable wedding ideas that can help you make your event gorgeous and memorable — without putting you in the poorhouse. You can absolutely get cheap wedding decorations and still have your special day look chic, lavish, and luxe.

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