18 of Our Favorite Over-the-Top Wedding Ideas

Here's the truth about big, over-the-top weddings: It takes more than an unlimited wedding budget to really pull off something different and amazing. The secret? A great team and lots of creative details designed in unexpected ways. From a flower-filled dance floor to a garden-like ceiling, see the most amazing wedding ideas we can't stop talking about.
  1. A Hanging Flower Dance Floor

    Holly Chapple's hanging flower reception installation
    Photo by Katie Stoops

    Not that you need a reason to put pretty flowers everywhere, but here's another one. This hanging flower installation, designed by florist Holly Chapple, created a stunning focal point right above the dance floor. "I love for the flowers to be on different levels, so the eye can move around and always see something beautiful," Chapple says.

  2. A Flower-Filled Dance Floor

    Preston Bailey's flower-filled reception dance floor
    Photo by John Labbe

    It's like the elegant wedding version of a disco dance floor. Planner and event designer Preston Bailey and his team created this dance floor that lit bright yellow and purple flowers from underneath to create a serious pop in the middle of the room. It's a complete room transformation like this that makes us love weddings. "My favorite way to wow the guests is to create something they have never seen," he says. "Ultimately, I always try to push the limit of what's new and different."

  3. A Draped Checkerboard Ceiling

    Tara Guerard's luxe tented reception lounge
    Photo by Liz Banfield Photography

    This modern draped ceiling, by designer and planner Tara Guerard, takes the black-and-white checkerboard dance floor and literally turns it around for a totally unexpected look. For an otherwise classic, formal wedding at Marlsgate Plantation in Scott, Arkansas, this lounge area was the perfect place to let loose a little with the design. The draped ceiling adds a fun twist to the other elegant details, like the navy and white color palette, comfy living-room-style seating and damask print details.

  4. A Dramatic Red-Draped Reception

    Marcy Blum's dramatic draped reception venue
    Photo by Eliot Holtzman Photography

    Go big or go home. That's what wedding planner Marcy Blum did when she and her team created this ultra-dramatic, all-red wedding reception. An added benefit of all that saturated color was that it took a very large space with high ceilings and created a more intimate vibe.

  5. An Open-Top Tent

    Sharon Sacks's open-top reception tent
    Photo by Parker J Photo

    When you think about it, nature really does provide some of the best décor – just take a starry night sky, for example. And event designer Sharon Sacks used nature to her advantage when planning this tented wedding reception. “We left the ceiling open in sections so guests could see the stars while still creating an intimate feel by making a space for the reception,” Sacks says. It also meant guests got a great view of fireworks at the end of the night!

  6. An All-White Hanging Centerpiece

    Nancy Liu Chin's floating orchid wedding reception centerpiece
    Photo by Kevin Chin

    Tons of all-white orchids floating above the tables seem to defy gravity in this hanging centerpiece by floral and event designer Nancy Liu Chin. But beyond its beauty, this design is also pretty practical -- elevating the centerpieces above the table leaves space open for guests to mingle! “Over-the-top, but functional,” is a trend that Chin embraces in her modern-yet-elegant designs.

  7. A Rose Petal Cannon

    Mindy Weiss's rose petal cannon ceremony recessional
    Photo by Amy & Stuart Photography

    Pretty cool, right? By swapping out colorful paper for white rose petals, celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss gave the confetti cannon a seriously romantic update for a ceremony. “I love the end result, and it reminds me every weekend why I do my job,” Weiss says.

  8. A Whimsical Canopy on the Beach

    Michelle Rago's destination wedding canopy reception
    Photo by Abby Ross Photography

    This “Bombay-meets-the-beach” inspired design by destination wedding planner Michelle Rago brought together the couple's Indian culture with the festive vibe of their wedding destination in Riviera Maya, Mexico. An airy canopy gave the reception a distinct space on the beach while still letting the sunset shine through.

  9. Hanging Framed Mirrors

    Diann Valentine's pink mirror reception decor
    Photo by Alison Duke Photography

    You're more likely to see mirrors like these on your vanity than at a wedding, but wedding planner Diann Valentine gave them a whole new purpose -- as hanging ceremony décor! With a few fresh pink flowers, the silver-framed mirrors added depth to the pinked-out space and made a creative alternative to chandeliers to add sparkle to the ceiling.

  10. A Centerpiece Vase Made Out of Ticket Stubs

    David Stark's ticket stub forsythia vase
    Photo by Susan Montagna

    This jaw-dropping vessel filled with forsythia branches, created and designed by event producer David Stark, proves that elegant can be fun. "While it is a serious day of great importance, a wedding can also include levity and a wink and a nudge," Stark says.

  11. An All-White Curtained Ceremony Entrance

    David Beahm's all-white curtained ceremony entrance
    Photo by Shawn Connell/Christian OTH Studio

    As if it were a Broadway play, event and floral designer David Beahm set the tone for a dramatic-yet-elegant ceremony with a stunning all-white curtained entrance. Beyond the curtain, beautiful large white flower arrangements and dramatic lighting gave the room at The Pierre hotel in New York City an intimate glow. "Lighting brings out the drama in everything," Beahm says.

  12. A Curved Ceremony Aisle With Beach Ottoman Seating

    Colin Cowie's Paradise Island, Bahamas beach ceremony
    Photo by Colin Miller

    Every beach is a blank canvas to design something beautiful (and that's why we love weddings on the water), and event designer Colin Cowie made the most of the scenic Paradise Island, Bahamas, by letting the natural beauty of the ocean take center stage. The low ottomans and winding shape of the aisle worked with, not against, the sandy landscape. "People think these things happen so easily, but I like to make sure that my work always appears effortless and elegant; it should never look contrived," Cowie says.

  13. Secret Garden Banquette Reception

    Todd Fiscus's secret garden reception decor
    Photo by Stephen Karlisch & Steve Wrubel

    It's one thing to create a beautiful reception, but it's another to make it look as natural and effortless as this greenery-and-twinkle-light-covered banquette, with birdcage chandeliers, thought up by planner and event designer Todd Fiscus.

  14. A Modern Mirrored Reception Entrance

    Bryan Rafanelli's luxe reception entrance with mirrors and candles
    Photo by Barbara Kinney Photography

    Glamorous is the perfect adjective to describe this vignette of flowers, mirrored pedestals and votive candles at this reception designed by event planner and producer Bryan Rafanelli, who says he loves to create surprises a little bit outside of the expected for his clients. The mirror effect creates a warm glow from the candlelight and the illusion of tons of white flower petals.

  15. A Terrarium Tablescape

    Jung Lee's terrarium reception table decor
    Photo by Brian Dorsey Studios

    Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, event designer Jung Lee played with proportions to create this table filled with shapely glass vessels and oversize snail motif plates. This whimsical twist on the garden theme is exactly why it's on our list of favorites, "I find the couple's shared passion for one unique element and I creatively weave it throughout the entire wedding," Lee says.

  16. A Ceremony With a Hanging Garden

    Jeannie Savage's hanging flowers tented wedding ceremony design
    Photo by Hazelnut Photography

    Talk about a total room transformation! This wisteria-and-chandelier-covered ceiling, created by wedding designer and planner Jeannie Savage, takes the idea of a garden wedding to a whole new level. And it's the complete transformation -- from the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, to an enchanted garden -- that's really amazing. "We created an environment that was unexpected and out of the ordinary," Savage says.

  17. White-Rose-Covered Trees

    Mark's Garden oceanside ceremony design
    Photo by Simone Martin Photography

    Height equals high impact in this ceremony entrance at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach, California, flanked by trees covered in white flowers designed by the team at Mark's Garden. And floral designers and cofounders Mark Held and Richard David are all about scaling up designs to create a jaw-dropping effect. "Detail is great, but if you want to create the wow, think big," David says.

  18. A White Floral Archway

    Karen Tran's flower-covered entryway
    Photo by Carla Ten Eyck

    Part architecture, part floral arrangement, this archway, created by florist and designer Karen Tran, is the perfect introduction to an all-white reception. It's a subtle-yet-stunning way to seamlessly connect one space to another.