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10 Everyday Items for Affordable Wedding Decor

I’ve been reading A Practical Wedding for just about as long as it has existed. Meg Keene is the kind of person you want to sit by at a dinner party. She is funny and whip smart. She tells hilarious stories and in the next breath will tell you something deep and life-changing. She is one of my favorite people and she recently published her second book, just for people planning a wedding called A Practical Wedding Planner. It’s filled with brilliant and (ahem) practical advice on planning a wedding. I bought several copies and sent them to my friends who are engaged. It’s extremely well written and I highly recommend it! Today I asked Meg to share some ideas for Affordable Wedding Decor. See more after the jump!

A Practical Wedding Planner

10 Everyday Items That Make for Awesome Affordable Decor 
By the A Practical Wedding Team

When you start planning decor for your wedding, it can be come obvious quick that what seems affordable at first glance, can get real expensive real quick when you start doing the math for a one-hundred person guest list. Which is why it should be no surprise that wedding designers are pros at turning nothing much into something awesome. Because when faced with a big space, and a small budget, that’s the time to get creative. So for the #APWPlanner, Meg polled some of her favorite design pros to ask for their best suggestions for affordable materials that you can make look awesome a little bit of elbow grease and creativity. Some of these items will surprise you (and make you run and look them up); some of them will simply remind you not to forget old standbys.

A Practical Wedding Planner

ANYTHING PAPER: People usually ignore party shops when it comes to weddings, but paper pom-poms, crepe paper, paper wedding bells, and paper lanterns can look modern and classy when done up right. Raid your local party supply store for ideas! (The Oh Happy Day Party Shop has a bunch of great options!)

A Practical Wedding Planner

LOTS OF CANDLES:  If you’re not into lots of crafting, you can make a huge impact in your space by just piling on the candles. The soft glow makes for beautiful photos, and you don’t need any special skills to make them look good (cluster a few different sizes together and go.) If you want to make big impact while using smaller candles (because pillars can get expensive), try our hack and cover simple cylinder vases with vellum paper. Pop in some small votives for a beautiful soft glow at your tables.

A Practical Wedding Planner

PAPER AND GLUE: Paper is one of the most versatile decorating tools when you want quantity, because it’s cheap and can be made into a million different things. Think: glitter paper, butcher paper, tissues paper, wrapping paper, and just add creativity. For our most affordable and impactful paper project, check out this paper flower backdrop which you can download for free right here.)

A Practical Wedding Planner

STRING OR RUBBER BANDS: When combined with wood and nails, you can make incredible geometric designs out of colorful string or rubber bands.

A Practical Wedding Planner

BALLOONS: Balloons are another one of those oft-ignored party store items that can make a huge impact when you buy lots of them and fill up a room (or pool).

A Practical Wedding Planner

FLAGGING TAPE: Ribbon is super expensive when you try to do anything large scale with it. But there’s this magical stuff called flagging tape (which is basically plastic caution tape, but in a variety of colors and patterns) that costs literal pennies on the dollar, and has essentially the same impact.

A Practical Wedding Planner

COLORED NAPKINS: If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your tables, swap out white napkins for bright colorful napkins. They make a huge difference, without making a huge dent in your budget. If you want to make your own, check out our DIY neon edged napkin tutorial here.

A Practical Wedding Planner

FABRIC, MUSLIN AND DROPCLOTHS: Some of the cheapest fabric you can get is the standard painter’s dropcloth. Add paint for an easy, affordable, show-stopping backdrop.

A Practical Wedding Planner

METALLIC PAINT: When all else fails, spray paint (or regular paint for cleaner lines if you’re so inclined). You can paint anything metallic to make anything look appropriately festive. Think: Plastic animals, figurines, or other small affordable items.

A Practical Wedding Planner

FRUIT: Speaking of things you can paint for festiveness, pick up a bag of fruit at your local Costco and make a modern, organic centerpiece.

A Practical Wedding Planner

Image Credits: Candles, Paper Flowers, Seating Chart, Balloons, Flagging Tape, Napkins, Backdrop, Metallic Paint, Fruit

  1. Cheyanne

    February 11, 2016

    These are some really wonderful ideas! I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid for a wedding next Winter and I will definitely be sharing this post with the bride! Some of these decorations would also be perfect for the birthday brunch I am throwing! :)

    http://www.CheyanneFulton.com

  2. Michelle

    February 11, 2016

    Sounds like a good investment for the time I will marry (although that will still take a while I guess)!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

  3. Tamara

    February 11, 2016

    Hi! Thank you for all the great ideas! I just have one question: I’ve been searching for flagging tape in pretty colors (think pink, corals, mint, etc) but couldn’t find any. Is there a known place for this? :)

      • Ali
      • February 11, 2016

      I believe someone recommended this site on APW a while back: http://www.gemplers.com/flagging-tape. They have a bunch of colors and patterns. I’m not sure anyone makes coral or mint flagging tape though…

  4. Kari

    February 11, 2016

    Thanks for sharing that resource for flagging tape. What a fun look!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  5. Beth

    February 11, 2016

    Such good ideas! I love crafting with paper. I’d love to make a giant paper flower wall as a back drop!
    Xox

  6. Nicole

    February 11, 2016

    I absolutely need to buy this for my girl friend who just got engaged!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Cintia - Sol de Noche {deco crochet}

    February 13, 2016

    Love all the tips! My faves are the anything paper and the flagging tape :)

  8. Candace

    February 14, 2016

    Wow, these ideas are sweet. I don’t plan to get married anytime soon, but I imagine that when I do, it’ll have quirky and original ideas like this. Thanks for sharing!

    http://thequirklife.com/

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