Decoration ideas for your ceremony and reception venues

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Your ceremony and reception sites may already provide some decorations (either included in the package price or available at an extra cost). However, if the choice of decorations is limited or no decorations are available at all, you may want to "spice the place up" a bit before the ceremony begins.

Ideally, you and a few of your wedding helpers would go to the venue the day before with all the needed supplies and decorate the site as you would like. Not all vendors will allow you access to the facilities, however. What you may need to do instead is tour the facility beforehand, discuss what types of decorations you would like to use on your wedding day with both your wedding helpers / planners / coordinators and the ceremony site and, provided your venue will allow you to decorate, either:

  1. Send a few of your wedding assistants (perhaps even including the groom) to the site the morning of the wedding (they will decorate according the place as you wanted to see it while you are getting your hair and make-up done).
  2. Better yet, see if the ceremony / reception site or your caterer could decorate the site for you according to your preferences. In this case, all you need to do is to drop off the decorations at the venue a day or two in advance, make sure the person decorating understands the instructions, and check in with the vendor the morning of your wedding day to make sure everything is taken care of.

So, what are some of the typical decorations that you could use at your ceremony and reception venues? Here are a few ideas, and feel free to use our feedback form at the end of the article to add any others things so that others could see those ideas right away - we'll add particularly outstanding ideas to this list.

Aisle runner

Use the aisle runner at your ceremony site if one is not already available. For more details on how to choose an aisle runner, see our related aisle runner options article.


Arbor (aka a "Wedding Arch") is a great choice at all weddings - and often a must-have especially for outdoor ceremonies. You can borrow, rent, buy one or even make one yourself (given you have time and desire to do so). If you can borrow one, that is definitely the most affordable option :) Otherwise, between renting and buying an arbor, we at would recommend for you to buy one since the rental price will, in most cases, come up to 60-70% of the purchase price anyway.

In addition, renting means that after the wedding, you would need to rush back to the rental place in order to return the arbor on time. If you do decide to buy an arbor, you can either choose to keep it in your garden, donate it to a friend for their wedding, or sell it and recoup a large part of the initial cost.

Among the arbors and arches we have reviewed in the past, here is one of the wedding arbor ideas we recommend at It looks great on photographs and is easy to assemble and decorate with flowers, ribbons, draping, etc.

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