It’s time to burst a bubble: you don’t have to be a millionaire to have the most magnificent wedding that ever was and ever will be. (Gasp!). Oh, no—the secret of visual brilliance isn’t how much something costs, but how you make it look. So say hello to your inner designer—drag them forward kicking and screaming if you have to—and join me on our brave quest to discover some of the simplest and most effective tips of the trade to getting the look when you don’t have money to burn. You’ve just found the Holy Grail.
The key? Decorative props. These are anything that serve to add authenticity to a wedding theme or setting and they encompass anything and everything from different colours, designs, shapes and forms. Magic is in the details, and with props you definitely prove that detail matters. In fact, often it’s the smallest things that make the biggest impact, for good or ill (good, in this case). Look around, and you’ll see inspiration everywhere. Anything has creative potential if you look hard enough.
Look to Nature
Thin vines and twigs in your garden or nearby park can be twisted into different shapes; loose branches can be strapped into position as a natural shelf, hook or archway, and tree stumps or logs outfitted with decoration can be used as seating, centrepieces, or more; leaves painted and/or attached with string or ribbon can be used as decoration or a stationery alternative; rocks and gravel can be scattered across tables or floors or used as paper/balloon weights or the backdrop to a mini terrarium or other small items (like wedding favours!); hollowed-out pieces of wood or fruit are a great storage space for iced drinks or champagne bottles or mini favours or centrepieces too. Even as a drink container itself, or a DIY candle!
…With all of this available in nature, just imagine the possibilities with the changing seasons too!
Making a statement is not exiled solely to decoration though. For a pretty, nature-friendly wedding you can make belts, corsages, buttonholes or crowns of flowers out of the things listed above. It may be best to use artificial fruits or flowers for this though, unless you want a hive of bees to chase you down the aisle.
Use strips of ribbon or twine, or garlands of crystals or pearls, to wrap buttons, charms and other materials together—flowers (origami is a fantastic option!), feathers, fabric. Absolutely anything.
You might have small hidden treasures all over your house that are perfect accessories for decoration—even what you always thought of as ordinary becomes extraordinary. Look at these hanging umbrellas! (What a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious idea!)
Cost commonly restricts people to using smaller arrangements for their wedding décor—smaller candles, fewer flowers, far-spaced centrepieces…. Of course, these can look stunning and are perfect as wedding decorations for any theme. They’re also ideal for someone who wishes to decorate their ceremony, venue, or look more subtly and sparingly.
But if you want to bring back the impact, we take a look at the flip-side: use risers and platforms to elevate your other decorations. Put vases on boxes, candles on a pile of books, place cards or notes in tall card holders. The effect could be magnificent if you drape flowers down the sides so they spill onto the table…. The boxes don’t even have to be fancy either—just grab your regular cardboard box and paper it up with a pretty role of wallpaper. Or bypass the idea of boxes all together and use glass, plastic or porcelain containers or glasses with a long stem.
Think layers, and contrasts; be wary of elevating too much, or your wedding table may look more like a car-boot sale. Try for an assortment of high and low items so as not to overwhelm your guests. It gives texture and variety, instead of throwing it in people’s faces.
One of the most simple and beautiful ways to make a statement on a budget is to add water to your décor. A bowl of water with floating flowers, flower petals, candles or fruit can really add that WOW factor to your wedding. There’s a whole host of container ideas too from vases to wine or Martini glasses, bowls and bottles. Add an extra pop with draped lighting too, or fluorescent paint, or a centrepiece lit from below.
With a touch of imagination, your wedding will be stunning.
Looking for more ideas? Check out our DIY article pages or browse thousands of products in our shop! Plus you can discuss this topic and more with hundreds of brides and brides-to-be in the Confetti forums!
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Leanne manages Confetti's Instagram account (@confettiwedding) and is one of Confetti's article writers. She enjoys being a highly creative person with a life-long passion for art and creative writing; she has a determined dream of becoming a published author. She values giving help and advice to everyone she can, and loves talking to new people.