31 Stylish but Affordable Wedding Decoration Ideas on a Budget

Inexpensive and cute? You can have both.
Samantha Iacia - The Knot wedding style expert
by
Samantha Iacia
  • Samantha writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in wedding decor, trends, and fashion
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Samantha was a features and weddings contributor for The Baltimore Sun
  • She is based in Washington, D.C. and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism
Updated Mar 03, 2023
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Sticking to a budget can be one of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding. But we get it—the last thing you want is to have to cut corners and sacrifice on style. These wedding decoration ideas on a budget prove that you can be intentional about your spending and still get the look you want. A good first step? Work with wedding vendors who will help you plan accordingly and identify where you can splurge or save. Then, consider these affordable wedding ideas and tips when it's time to start finalizing the details.

In this article:

Tips for Decorating Your Wedding on a Budget

Focus on details that have maximum impact.

When you're choosing your wedding decor, it's easy to get caught up in small details that matter to you, but realistically, some things will go unnoticed by your guests. To make the most of your budget, prioritize the larger elements or one area of decor that will make a lasting impression. This could include unique table linens, a floral arch at your venue entrance or colorful candles to accent your centerpieces. Once you've chosen your "splurge" category, you can stick to the basics (and your budget) for the rest.

Look for items that can be repurposed.

As the saying goes, two is better than one—and the same mindset applies to your wedding decor. If you're able to get multiple uses out of items on your wedding day, you can avoid spending money on duplicate decor, and it will help justify the cost compared to items that are only used for a brief moment. Wedding ceremony flowers are a good example of this, especially smaller arrangements like the aisle markers. They'll help tie the ceremony space together and will look amazing in your wedding photos, but you can maximize their use by bringing them over to the the reception (think welcome table or bar decor). If your florist is creating a custom ceremony arch, ask about moving it into your reception space as a backdrop for your head table.

Avoid getting too crafty.

It's tempting to think that you can save money by handling a lot of the wedding decor yourself, but it's also important to recognize that doing so can backfire in some cases. Supplies for your projects can come with unexpected costs, not to mention the actual time you'll have to spend making sure everything is finished. Be realistic about what you can handle and remember that wedding vendors are professionals for a reason. They've learned the best tricks through their network and years of experience, which can often help you save money (and stress) in the long run.

Top 7 Picks for Inexpensive Wedding Decorations

Not sure where to start shopping for budget-friendly wedding decoration ideas? Check out some of these editor-approved picks.

Glass Bud Vases

four assorted small glass vases with single stems of flowers

These petite vases are the perfect accent to any spot that needs a little decorating, from the bathroom countertops to the gift table. The set of four comes in clear, white, blue or purple glass.

Custom Cocktail Napkins

custom wedding cocktail napkins with fun facts

Personalize these cocktail napkins with fun facts about you, your partner and your relationship story. With dozens of different napkin color and ink combinations, it's easy to match your wedding theme.

Velvet Table Runner

ivory velvet wedding table runner with greenery centerpiece

Layer this velvet table runner on top of a basic white tablecloth to add a hint of glam without breaking your budget. It looks especially gorgeous paired with greenery centerpieces and metallic gold accents.

Rattan Lantern

round rattan lantern with rope handle

Purchase a few of these lanterns to use as aisle markers, centerpieces or venue entrance decorations. Bonus: They'll look cute in your home after the wedding day.

Oversized Tassel Balloons

affordable wedding decoration idea oversized round black balloons with gold and white tassel strings

Available in four different colors, these giant balloons are fun and inexpensive wedding decorations that double as photo ops. Add festive tassel garlands to give them even more flair.

Arched Table Numbers

boho wedding table number with wooden arched design

Table numbers may seem like a small detail, but they'll stand out in your centerpieces and tablescape photos. Tie your decor together with these affordable wooden designs.

Wooden Candle Holders

inexpensive wedding centerpiece decor wooden candlestick holders with glass covers

These chic candle holders are perfect for a minimalist centerpiece. The set of two includes glass hurricane vases and the gold-rimmed wooden pillars.

Affordable Wedding Flowers

Wedding flowers account for roughly 7% of your total wedding budget, but those costs can add up depending on the season, design and location. Keep these tips in mind to help you maximize the budget when working with your florist.

Small Wedding Bouquet

It's no secret that wedding flowers can be expensive, but there are a few tricks you can use to get the most out of your budget. Carry a small wedding bouquet (which is actually one of our favorite flower trends of the moment) and focus on using flowers that naturally bloom during your wedding month for more affordable options.

Greenery Wedding Boutonnieres

Skip the elaborate floral boutonnieres and opt for simple greenery instead. If your florist is already sourcing greenery for the other flower arrangements, they can use the same greenery for the boutonnieres—and the more simplistic designs means less time required to make them.

Bud Vase Wedding Centerpieces

Minimalist wedding centerpieces can have just as much of an impact as large-scale floral arrangements when done correctly. Cluster mismatched bud vases at the center of each table, then fill with single stems and greenery from your florist.

Palm Leaf Ceremony Backdrop

If a full-blown flower arch isn't in the budget for your ceremony backdrop, create a curtain of greenery or fresh flowers instead. Use long-stemmed blooms and hang them vertically to take up more space.

Queen Anne's Lace Seating Chart Display

This simple wedding seating chart is easy to replicate with just a few stems of Queen Anne's lace, baby's breath or a similar bloom.

Ceremony Altar Flower Arrangements

Try to intentionally choose your ceremony backdrop based on a unique feature at your wedding venue. It could be an exposed brick wall, a floor-to-ceiling picture window or a fireplace mantel—anything that acts as built-in decor. Then, you'll only need a few small altar arrangements (if any) to finish the setup.

Wildflower Wedding Centerpieces

Small centerpieces with in-season wildflowers can help you maximize your floral budget, especially if your florist is able to source the blooms locally (read: you can avoid paying for shipping costs and extensive prep time).

Baby's Breath Wedding Cake

Elaborate flower wedding cakes are beautiful, but they're an additional cost for your overall flower budget. Consider keeping the design more simplistic with buttercream icing and a few small flowers.

Potted Plant Wedding Centerpieces

Green is one of the top trending wedding colors of the moment, and this inexpensive wedding centerpiece idea is a literal take on the trend. Prioritize flower arrangements for the main focal points at your venue, then decorate any secondary spots with a collection of potted plants.

Affordable Wedding Table Decorations

To avoid being tempted by items you don't need (and inflating your budget), go into the process of choosing table decor with a clear vision of what's absolutely essential. Here are a few low-cost wedding table decoration ideas that are savvy and stylish.

Custom Wedding Cocktail Napkins

These may seem like a small detail, but they're a personal touch that your guests will remember. Custom napkins will be more affordable when you order in bulk and choose just one design—if you want to mix and match monogrammed napkins with multiple fun facts, keep in mind that the price will increase with each separate design.

Arched Wedding Table Number

Paper table numbers are generally more affordable than acrylic or calligraphy options, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on style. Look for a template with interesting typography and a unique shape, like this arched design.

Greenery Wedding Table Runner

For a stylish but casual look, decorate wooden tables with greenery runners instead of fabric linens. The greenery will double as a centerpiece and tie the whole tablescape together.

Candle Wedding Centerpieces

Candle centerpieces are another alternative to flowers that you can consider. A bulk order of tapers, votives or floating candles can be made to look multi-dimensional with the help of vases in varying heights and shapes.

Dried Wedding Centerpieces

Dried flowers are a statement all on their own, which means you need fewer of them overall to make an impact. If you love this boho look, recreate it by pairing dried sun palm leaves with taper candles and metallic bronze accents.

Long Wedding Reception Tables

Need to fill a large reception room while also making the most of your decor budget? Long banquet tables will visually "ground" the space and help it seem less empty. Top them off with glass vases, napkins and florals that contrast with the table linens.

More Wedding Decorations on a Budget

From simple candle accents to seating arrangements that make the most out of your wedding space, check out these ideas if you're looking for even more affordable wedding decor options.

Wedding Invitation Suite with Ribbon Detail

Elevate even the simplest wedding stationery by finishing the design with satin ribbon tied around the main invitation or inner envelope. You can purchase bulk spools of ribbon from a local craft shop or stationery store.

Simple Wedding Stationery Design

If adding more details to the actual invitations isn't an option, think about ways you can dress up the basic white envelopes. Colorful stamps and handwritten addresses will grab guests' attention upon opening their mailboxes.

Candle Wedding Aisle Markers

Create a warm and inviting ambience for your ceremony with the help of glowing candles (battery-powered candles are an option if your venue doesn't allow open flames). Then, repurpose them during the reception to decorate the bar, welcome table or your centerpieces.

Wedding Seating Chart Sign

An all-in-one seating chart is a budget-friendly alternative to individual escort cards (which would require purchasing all of the components separately). You can have your seating chart custom-made by a wedding stationery pro or design something yourself and head to a local print shop for the final product.

String Light Backdrop

An illuminated string light backdrop feels especially romantic after the sun goes down. Use bistro lights or fairy lights to create this dreamy setup behind your altar or head table.

Oversized Balloon Decorations

Whimsical oversized balloons are a cute addition to your ceremony aisle or venue entrance. Not only do they require minimal setup time, but you can easily move them to other parts of the venue as needed.

Bench Seating

outdoor wedding ceremony overlooking mountaintop with white benches as seating
Photo: Fidan Kandemir

Need to fit a lot of guests into one space? Consider using benches instead of chairs. While the final cost will depend on the style and the rental vendor you choose, benches can help maximize the amount of seating for larger weddings.

Paper Lantern Installation

We love the way that ceiling decor and hanging installations can instantly transform a reception space. Paper lanterns are popular wedding decorations on a budget, and you can use as many or as few as you want. They're most impactful when you cluster them at the center of the room and mix a few sizes together.

Self-Serve Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a nice surprise for your guests, but the last thing you want is people leaving them behind. Edible treats, like popcorn and candy, are always a hit, especially if you bring them out a few songs before the end of the reception. Save on the cost of individual favors by serving snacks in bulk instead.

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