Wedding Décor Checklist

By Published On: March 27, 2024

No matter your style or aesthetic, there are certain things that come in handy for jazzing up your big day — stunning florals, vintage China, a one-of-a-kind seating chart, a video-recorded guest book, and maybe even a neon sign that introduces the new couple. Here, we round up some of our top décor must haves that will truly add that wow factor to your ceremony and reception.

THE CEREMONY

An Aisle Runner

Whether in a church, on the lawn, or far-away on some sandy tropical beach, an aisle runner helps to add focus and sophistication to that momentous walk. The options are endless when it comes to color and material (i.e. silk, linen, even a bed of rose petals), allowing it to seamlessly tie in your theme.

 

Arches, Arbors and Altars

From the traditional and religious to the unconventional and unexpected, an arch, arbor or altar offers a backdrop to the most important moment of your day — your vows. Choose one based on your cultural, religious, or aesthetic preferences. A cascade of florals on a thin metal arch offers a romantic accent whether indoors or out. A wooden arbor can add a touch of rustic elegance while a ceremonial chuppah bedecked in flowers and greenery highlights age-old traditions.

 

Seating

While those exchanging vows within a temple or church may not need to worry about seating, anyone planning a ceremony elsewhere may need too. First decide the style. Classic gold Chiavari? Rustic wooden benches? Luxe velvet? Tropical rattan? Modern acrylic? Industrial Marais style? The options are plentiful and dependent both on the day’s desired look and the space in which the ceremony (and reception, too!) takes place. Next, you’ll want to ensure you rent or purchase enough for all guests (with a little extra just in case). Local businesses like Detroit Chiavari, Bloomfield Party Rentals, Special Occasions Event Rental & Design, and Alpine Events can help you choose the style that’s just right.

 

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Viridian Ivy

A Flower Basket and Ring Pillow

Don’t forget, your tiniest guests have important roles, too, so giving them the right accessories for the job is a must. A flower basket can be just that but can also take on a more unexpected look in the form of a small purse for a chic accent. For the ring bearer, a satin pillow is traditional but today possibilities can be as unique as your event — a small heirloom box, a prized book, or even a handmade sign.

 

Vow Books

If writing your own vows, choose to write them in something more memorable than any old note pad. Look for something that can stand the test of time, something to look back on and to pass down, like this sleek, black style. We also love the custom vow books from Tiffany Ambrosia of Metro Detroit-based The Ambrosia Rabbit  — a luxury paperie and calligraphy studio.

 

THE RECEPTION

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Jenna Borst

Seating Chart

We love the creative possibilities that a seating chart offers. As an opportunity to truly stretch your artistic wings, a unique seating chart offers a fun way to set the event’s tone, can offer a look into the couple’s love story or simply add an engaging and interactive (and sometimes even a takeaway keepsake) element to the evening’s festivities, like this playful golf-inspired design.

 

Guest Book and Gift Table

From a favorite novel to this ultra fun audio style, a video recording, or an instant camera picture album, a guest book offers a place for your friends and family to leave a note, words of wisdom, and well wishes to the new couple. We love when couples take an unexpected approach that invites an interactive experience for guests and a lasting memory for the newlyweds. Add a chic gift table or card box nearby to make it easy for guests who’ve generously brought a gift. Displaying photographs of loved ones and floral arrangements can make this a station a stylish and memorable one, too.

 

Welcome Sign

Add a bold statement to your reception with a sign that welcomes guests and introduces the new couple. Anything from traditional signage like the floral-bedecked design above to custom neon lights or a dramatic greenery backdrop is sure to do the trick.

 

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Kellie Hetler

Cocktail Hour Furniture

While you’re are off taking photos with your new forever partner, offer your guests a place to relax before the evening’s festivities. A cocktail hour with cozy leather sofas, bar top tables for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a bar cart with signature drinks, casual seating for chatting, lawn games, and more can allow guests to mingle and unwind before dinner and dancing.

 

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Jenna Borst

Photo Booth

Who doesn’t love a good photo booth? Not only is it a way to grab your squad for some silly wedding fun, but the memories (and the laughs!) the photos bring to guests and couples alike are everlasting. Don’t forget to create a wedding hashtag, too — guests will want to share those pics. Rockford-based Glitter Booth even offers a 360 Spinning Camera Photo Booth for added fun and a hilarious GIF Booth that creates digital files easily shareable on your favorite social platforms.

 

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Kate Headley

Tableware

Nothing creates the mood of a dinner more so than a well set table. From the choice in linens to the charger, style of plate, the flatware, drink ware, and napkins, each element brings the opportunity to truly elevate your dining experience. We love the regal yet modern glamour of this setting above, which features a beautifully printed tablecloth, glimmering flatware, and gorgeous tones of gold and emerald. At Special Occasions Event Rental & Design in Grand Blanc and Grand Rapids, brides and grooms can choose from over 2,100 linens and various other accents like napkins and chargers. Over at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, their intimate wedding packages even include the use of their vintage China for a truly unique look.

 

Table Numbers and Place Cards

While table numbers and place cards are an essential and functional aspect of your decor that will help your guests easily find their seats, the look and style of each doesn’t have to be plain and boring. Use these simple accents to showcase your personality and further the evening’s aesthetic. Above, dried florals and hand-painted numbering add to the rustic charm of this nuptial. Place cards can do the same, too with details like hand-cut paper or personalized calligraphy.

 

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Kate Headley

Lighting

Dramatic, oversized paper lanterns in this colorful and grand reception do more than set the mood, they deliver a stunning and magical impact above. We love that with lighting, something as simple as a set of string lights, perfectly placed petite candles, or a timeless candelabra can add warm and cozy ambiance while also elevating the event’s mood and vibe.

 

Florals

From the bride’s and her attendants’ bouquets to the groomsmen’s boutonnieres to centerpieces, chairs, and everywhere in between, florals — and all their marvelous varieties, textures, scents and hues — can truly add that wow factor to every part of your ceremony and reception. For instance, this otherwise simple cake table was transformed with a stunning look of whimsy and romance thanks to the addition of dramatic floral arrangements both above, beside and below.

 

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Tana Helene

Centerpiece

While traditionally thought of as just a floral arrangement, your centerpiece can be so much more. By combining different elements and textures — from fabric runners, floral garland, greenery, and candlesticks to vintage vases and of course arrangements of gorgeous blooms — your centerpiece will add an instant wow-factor to the dinner service.

 

The Head Table

Standout from the guest list with a table that makes an impact both in the room and in pictures thereafter. Whether set for just you two or for your complete wedding party, the head table should correspond to the evening’s theme but with a little extra drama. Florals, fabric draping, unique furniture, candles, or even a stunning backdrop view are just a few options.

Wedding Décor Checklist

Photo by Kate Headley

A Cake Topper

Retro figurines, custom lettering, a dramatic floral extravaganza — the cake topper is a personalized element that takes this timeless wedding faire and makes it unique to the couple. We’ve even seen couple’s beloved furry friends (in toy form, of course) top a classic three-tier.

 

The Send Off 

Jet off to your honeymoon in style by saying thank you and good bye to your dearest friends and family with a send off to remember. Sparklers, fireworks, rice, birdseed, sky lanterns, ribbon wands, bubbles, streamer (or confetti) canons, or even a vintage getaway car (or speedboat!) aren’t just a dramatic way to end the evening but they also make for stunning photography.

 

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