Home Decoration Ideas Wedding – Every item on this page has been selected by an ELLE Decor editor. We may earn a commission on some of the items you choose to purchase.
As anyone who has ever been engaged knows, once the champagne stops, the stress begins. In the chorus of congratulations. you’ll be faced with a barrage of inevitable questions from curious friends and family members: where and when are you going to hang out? Even when these issues are resolved, you’ll still be making a lot of decisions about how to decorate the joint, from big-picture details like color schemes and table settings to little things like serrated napkins and font size and place cards. At this point, the only thing you want to have and maintain is your sanity and an intact credit score.
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The trick, according to top New York wedding planner Fallon Carter, is to start early in the planning process. “I always tell our clients to find a place that has enough atmosphere that you have to bring very minimal decor,” she tells ELLE DECOR, “and whatever you bring helps elevate the space.” Carter, who once climbed a mountain in Peru in search of the perfect local flora, also recommends using what’s already there for an effortless wedding look. “I try to be authentic in the space we’re in. I’m also focused on sustainability, so I don’t want to bring a lot of stuff.”
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We might just let you come to the wilds of Pinterest for a little extra inspiration. Instead, we tapped Fallon and three other top names in wedding planning to provide some unique and gorgeous wedding decor ideas to help you enjoy your big day in style.
At this outdoor garden wedding in California, guests were ushered — to the sound of a fanfare — into this gorgeous outdoor venue from New York and Charleston, South Carolina event designer Augusta Cole. The
The designer styled the freshly cut sherbet-hued table with several shades of silver silver (as seen on the Ginori chargers from Theoni Rentals) and zinc-colored chairs to play off the stone found in the classic landscape. “Our floral punch was rich with cheerful sorbets and melon-hued dahlias, garden roses, Japanese rose and stone fruit,” says Cole, who worked with florist Kathleen Deery to create the look. Candlelight and the setting sun, meanwhile, shimmered among clear glassware and hurricanes of candles.
We’ve all been to events where a dramatic centerpiece—however beautiful—obstructs the view of the guest across from us. At this wedding in historic Charleston, South Carolina, his home
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–Certified event planner Mr. Blake Sams of Gregory Blake Sams Events moved the lush green centerpiece to a rattan booth. “We filled the Medici rattan booths from Atelier Vime Editions with flowers and greenery to add scale and warmth,” Sams tells us. “We also recommend designing low and multi-level tables so the conversation can flow easily.”
Licensed wedding planner Fallon Carter. “If you’re working in a space with tons of green, balance your color.” In the case of this apple orchard reception, Carter and her team contrasted the fresh green surroundings with a soft palette of whites, creams and soft pinks. Apple pies and apple bowls add extra charm to the ambiance. “The table looks like it’s always been there,” Carter adds.
Event planner Bryan Rafanelli knows a thing or two about throwing events on a presidential scale: not only did he create holiday decorations for the Obamas, but he also planned Naomi Biden’s recent White House nuptials. For this glamorous wedding, at the Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel in Montecito, California, she designed an epic flower aisle overlooking the ocean. “We also wanted the ceremony to be organized in a circle so the couple could feel the love of their friends and family surrounding them,” Rafanelli tells ELLE DECOR.
To add height and drama to your reception space, consider hanging skylight chandeliers above each table, as Augusta Cole did at the aforementioned California celebration. “Cage chandeliers added a layer of sparkle to the outdoor setting,” she says.
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“We loved planning this modern, colorful, less wedding reception,” she tells us. “We made large poles with lightweight material and custom globe lights to create a warm, moody and unexpected marquee.”
Rooftops are glamorous and dramatic destinations. To define the area for the couple’s vows, Carter and her floral team created an asymmetrical array of meadow-like flowers and grasses—the perfect foil to the New York City view. Bonus points: the dusty tones of the peach blossoms go perfectly with the newlyweds’ elegant tuxedos!
Want to spice things up? Let your friends and family be part of the decoration. At this Montecito, California wedding, Rafanelli tells us, “we found the guests with a bright vibrant color palette so that they provided most of the color on the wedding night. Our guests became our color!’
The ceremony is obviously the most important, not to mention sacred, aspect of your big day, so Cole made sure to go
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Divine. “For this winter wedding, we relied on layers of winter white! At the ceremony we were in a Greek Orthodox church inspired by the European one”, he explains. “To create a layer of ethereal magic, we added a pass of egg whites and poppies.” Here she worked with florist Porcelain Vine on an inspiring scene.
If Sams has any wedding advice, it’s to invest in quality table linen. This goes from the dinner tables themselves to smaller vignettes like this elegant table card display. “For this custom place card, we chose a beautiful velvet fabric from designer Rose Uniacka and borders from Brunschwig & Fils Bouillon,” says Sams. “The result was a beautiful tablecloth to live on.” Bonus: If you’re a fan of fancy tablecloths, you can use them at your own dinner parties for years to come.
A blushing bride? How about a blush colored tablescape! Rafanelli chose bunches of pale pink roses and coordinating plates for this romantic scene. His space (and budget!) saving solution? “We used the menus as both place cards and menus, minimizing the need for extra cutlery on the table, keeping it clear for extra flowers and candlelight.”
Trees are so often associated with family, so why not celebrate your beginning by lining your driveway with real saplings? This elegant look, courtesy of Carter, accentuates the height of the church setting and provides a rich counterpoint to the all-white interior.
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At a farm reception for the same wedding, Carter incorporated a vibrant floral fabric of the bride’s choice into everything from the tables to the pillows. The bright pinks, blues and greens went perfectly with the food and outdoor ambiance. “Again, it’s playing with the natural color that was there,” Carter says. “I wanted to be a guest at this wedding – I loved it so much!”
Instead of generic sushi carts at this wedding reception, Rafanelli customized them with the couple’s name. “We custom-made a really cute sushi cart that the hotel had in house as a subtle nod to the newlyweds,” she tells us. Details, details, details!
If you skip the broom in midsummer, embrace the colors – and the light – of the season. Here, Cole set the tables with bright yellow fabric linens from Britannia Soana, pink and yellow flowers courtesy of florist Bowen Studio, vintage crockery from Petunia Rose and marble menus from No One Alike. No surprise: “Our client is an interior designer,” says Cole.
Forget winter blue: try winter sage, olive, white and beige. To create this unforgettable South Carolina wedding, Sams brought in plenty of seasonal greenery and flowers (here he relied on white papers and magnolia branches), placing them in metal and clay containers to add height and textural details to add “just the just the right amount of drama and scale of events.”
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The bride of this spring wedding wore a Monique Lhuillier gown covered in delicate lily of the valley appliqué. Cole ran with the theme for the table settings, using Schumacher fabric for the tablecloths, lily of the valley chargers from the Tabletop Company, and custom embroidered napkins adorned with sweet flowers. Cole adds, “An eclectic mix of spring’s best white and green flowers, green tapers and faux white bowls danced on the long tables.”
Carter lined the church entrance for this Peruvian wedding with waterfalls of fresh flowers. All flowers are sourced from the local market. Carter and her team even stopped at a local market and found pottery and vases to decorate the reception tables. “Find key pieces that are natural and authentic to where you are,” says Carter.
Every part of your space can incorporate tones of your theme, like this sparkling dance floor designed by Rafanelli. “Our circular piste had the same lace design as our bride’s veil. It was also highlighted on the velvet paper above the wedding invitation,” she says
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