Wedding Ceremony Decorations

If the ceremony sets the tone of the wedding then the decorations help set the style for the ceremony. When you visualize your wedding, chances are you imagine a beautiful church or dramatic scenery outside. That's where the wedding ceremony decorations come in.

The amount and lavishness of the decorations will depend largely on the ceremony site.  A spectacular church with stained glass windows, rich, deep wood and elegant candelabras will require little decoration. Other churches are simpler and may require an extra decorative touch.

Think about the time of year and the day of your wedding. If you're having a Christmas wedding the church may already be decorated for the holidays. While candles add a romantic touch to an evening wedding ceremony they may not be necessary during the afternoon when there's plenty of daylight.


The easiest way to decorate a ceremony site is through flowers, bows and candles. Professional decorators and florists generally have an inventory of rental items that can be customized to carry out your wedding theme.   It's wise to rent silk and dried flower arrangements, pedestals, arches, and plants that you will only use for one day. Similar items can also be rented from part rental or wedding specialty stores.

Combine these items with ribbons, tulle, or lace swags, candles and wreaths to make beautiful customized wedding decorations.

Another money saving idea: consider using ceremony decorations at the reception site as well - but, be sure that someone responsible (like a Wedding Liaison) will transport them quickly and set them up artistically at the reception before your guests arrive!

Pew bows can incorporate flowers, ivy or other greenery (pine cones, berries, vine wreaths). Instead of pew bows, place aisle candles at the end of each pew. Candles can also be placed on window sills as well as their customary spot on the altar.

Pew Bows and Decor
If you're not having the wedding ceremony in a church there are plenty of other decoration options. Use the ceremony site for ideas. If you're having an outdoor wedding ceremony, let nature be your only decoration.

How can bouquets compete with a meadow of wildflowers? And what are a few candles compared to the dramatic colors and glow of the setting sun?

In most cases, decorations need to be set to just prior to the ceremony and taken down immediately
afterwards. There usually isn't enough time for members of the wedding party to take on the decorating task.

If you prefer to have a hand in your own decorating, look for decorations that can be prepared ahead and a very responsible person (like me) to arrange them according to your wishes.

Depending on the style/relgious aspect of your ceremony, your list of accessories may vary. You can make your decor elegant or simple -- it's all up to you. Therefore, while there is no definitive list, there are some basics that couples should consider for their ceremony:

  • General
  • Guest Book / Pen
  • Programs
  • Aisle Runner
  • Aisle/Pew Bows
  • Roses for the Presentation of Roses
  • Memorial Candle(s)
  • Family Medallions
  • Ring Pillow
  • Flower-Girl Basket
  • Candles for Unity Candle (and lighting source)
  • Sand and Vases for Sand Ceremony
  • Handfasting Cord
  • Toss & Getaway Prop (bubbles, sparklers, petals, etc.)
  • Baskets to Hold Certain Props Shown Above

  • Catholic Ceremony
  • Lasso (Hispanic and Filipino families)
  • Rosary
  • Bouquet for the altar of the Virgin Mary

  • Jewish Ceremony
  • Kiddush cup
  • Kosher wine
  • Kippot (yarmulkes)
  • Chuppah
  • Tallit
  • Nice pen for Ketubah ceremony
  • Wedding Glass (usually placed in a velvet bag)
The amount and lavishness of the decorations will depend largely on the ceremony site.  A spectacular church with stained glass windows, rich, deep wood and elegant candelabras will require little decoration. Other churches are simpler and may require an extra decorative touch.

Copyright © 2009 Carolyn Burke - Wedding Liaison

Wedding Liaison Blog

Carolyn Burke | Officiant | Coordinator
(314) 821-4844
Main Website : CarolynBurkeSTL.com