We all know that weddings are not cheap, and everything adds up so quickly! The average couple spends somewhere around $25,000 on their wedding. With a number that high, "cheap" anything sounds like a good idea. But just because something is budget-friendly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, though! We’ve got plenty ideas for cheap wedding decorations that still look classy. Take advantage of antique decorations and DIY projects to complete the look of your dream wedding without breaking the bank.
When budgeting for a wedding, buying (or DIY-ing!) affordable wedding decorations also means you can use those savings elsewhere. You’ll be glad to have a little extra to spend on the things that are most important to you, whether that’s your future home, your dream honeymoon, or a down payment on a car! Use these ideas for cheap wedding decorations as inspiration as you curate the perfect aesthetic for your ceremony and reception.
Ideas for Cheap Wedding Decorations
Light, flowy fabric can be draped all over your wedding reception area including your wedding arches, pews, doorways, ceilings, walls, and more to create a sophisticated wedding atmosphere. Best yet, you can find this sheer fabric for $3/yard, making it an easy “yes” for your list of cheap wedding decorations. Even if you don’t plan to use drapery throughout your reception venue, it works great as a backdrop for a photo station.
Create-Your-Own Table Runners
As with sheer fabric for drapery, you can also get other kinds of fabric by the yard for a good price at any local fabric store or at this Etsy shop for $2/foot! Find something that fits your color scheme, then simply cut the swathes of fabric down to size to use as table runners. This gives your table décor a pop of color for a low price. You can also use this fabric to accent your drapery, or save the scraps for use in other DIY projects like centerpieces or floral bouquets.
Play with the magical interplay of flame and reflective surfaces with this simple idea for cheap wedding decorations. Get these cute votive candles for only $0.80/candle, and don't forget the mirrors! Mirrors are an easy wedding centerpiece element that are also incredibly inexpensive. Check out these beautiful round mirrors that'll be easy to implement into your wedding theme (for only $3 too)!
Paper lanterns are another staple of cheap wedding decorations. Save big when you buy them in bulk, then hang them around your ceremony venue or reception hall. Because they come so cheap, you can let loose when you decorate, hanging dozens close together. These paper lanterns are only $0.62 each, and they come in 30+ colors! Vary the size, height, and color to create the ultimate ambiance.
We’re all about ambient lighting, and fairy lights are a great way to create this for your wedding. Use these great cheap wedding decorations up and down the aisle, on the altar, at the head table, and anywhere else you want a little extra twinkle. These fairy lights are only $5.50/16 feet, so don't worry about compromising your budget! If you plan far enough ahead, you can buy them at a discount after Christmas sales.
Another common way to save money on wedding decorations is to use the wedding party’s bouquets as centerpieces on the head table. Lay them flat so they look like a table runner or place them in a vase after the wedding party’s entrance into the reception hall. If you’ve already invested in beautiful bouquets, you should get the most out of them throughout the day.
Chalkboards are trendy, yet classy way to create beautifully hand-lettered signs for your wedding ceremony and reception. Grab this chalkboard for $32 without a personalized message or $42 with one. These can be use in a variety of unique ways: welcome people to the ceremony, guide them to the reception, or let them know about the wedding hashtag. Best of all, because they’re erasable, you can reuse or sell them after the wedding.
Engagement or Couple Photos
Photos are another often overlooked element of cheap wedding decorations. Cute baby photos, yearbook pictures, snapshots from vacations, engagement portraits, and more—hang these framed photos or set them on the gift or guestbook table. Vintage family photos—especially wedding portraits—are another great example of cheap wedding decorations, because your parents or grandparents likely already have nice framed photos you can borrow.
More Tips to Help You Stretch Your Wedding Decoration Budget
Everyone loves to fawn over gorgeous wedding decorations dripping with blossoms, but fresh flowers can drive up your budget quicker than you think. Industry secret: most people can’t tell the difference between real and fake flowers from a distance. When people at weddings comment on fake flowers, it’s usually to say how real they look—and feel if you go for the “real touch” variety! You can save a lot by making DIY fake flower arrangements ahead of time and simply placing them the day-of.
Consider including more green in your arrangements! Greenery like eucalyptus, fern, and more is used to bulk up a bouquet without overloading on expensive blooms. You can also opt for fake greenery to incorporate in your wedding centerpieces, drape from the ceilings, or use in your bouquets! Snag this artificial greenery for only $6.50/bundle! If you go for a bigger ratio of greenery to flowers, you can enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to flowers and cheap wedding decorations.
Crowdsource Your DIY Decorations
Borrow, rather than buy, what you need for your DIY or antique wedding decorations. Plenty of your friends and family have chalkboards, mirrors, vases, candelabras, mason jars, old books, fairy lights, and more sitting around their home that they would be willing to let you borrow. This is a great way to save money and reduce waste. Rather than having to box up and store all your cheap wedding decorations when you’re done, you can just return these items to their owners—you can even coordinate for them to reclaim their items immediately following the reception.
Borrow from Newlywed Friends
A lot of common cheap wedding decorations are popular, which means someone you know may have recently used the same items you’re envisioning. Rather than buying all new decorations, you may be able to borrow the things your future mother-in-law’s friend’s daughter used in her wedding. From drapery to lanterns to fake flowers, you’d be surprised how much you can borrow just by asking around. The newlyweds will feel flattered that someone liked their décor enough to want to borrow it, and they’ll be happy to see it used again.
Buy Decorations You Want to Use in Your Home
Another way to save on wedding decorations is simply to buy them with reuse in mind. Not only is this more sustainable, it’s also an affordable way to redecorate. Your wedding can be a perfect excuse to live out your interior design dreams, whether you are moving into a new home after you get married or simply redecorating when you finish unboxing the wedding gifts from your registry.
If you imagine a home full of terrariums and succulents, buy a handful of each to use as centerpieces and then keep them to use in your home. If you want a chalkboard for your grocery list or family calendar, buy one to use as a wedding sign. If you plan to have potted plants, invest in some nice ones to place around the altar or hang from the ceiling in the reception hall. Your personal aesthetic should come through in the look of your wedding, so why not make the most of the investment and save money by combining wedding and home décor costs?
Planning a wedding on a budget doesn’t mean you need to forego nice décor. These are just some of the many great ideas for cheap wedding decorations that can help you save big. Check out even more ideas for cheap and/or DIY wedding centerpieces from real Wedding Shoppe couples!
How do you plan to stretch your wedding décor budget? Share your tips in the comments below!