You’ve thought about the ostrich feather centerpieces, ordered your bouquets, and stocked up on dollar store rose petals for your flower girls. But did you think about decorating your ceremony space? Grand cathedrals and gracious mansions may not need (or allow) much decor,but for many couples, the focal point of their New Jersey wedding ceremony (hey, you know I can’t resist a plug, lol…) needs a little ambiance. 

Now, I  know that your budget, whatever it is, is probably shrink wrapped around your wedding day needs already, so I figured I’d call in some expert help for this dilemma.

My colleague Kerry McCullough, was the perfect person to weigh in on how to have a beautiful ceremony space without spending a ton of money. After planning her own wedding, she realized that many other couples faced the same challenge that she did; how to create a memorable and festive celebration without rolling the change in the couch….She started  Maryland Budget Wise Weddings, a great website that helps brides on a budget to plan an affordable wedding in the Maryland area.   But many of her ideas span geography, and here are some that might just work wonders for your own ceremony space.

Making the Most Out of Your Ceremony Décor

You can do yourself a huge favor by selecting a beautiful setting for your ceremony so that you won’t have to over-do it with decorations.  For instance, public parks often have gorgeous gazebos on the water, in the mountains or on a beach.  It is very inexpensive to reserve these areas for a few hours/the day (usually around $100 or less). 

In these types of outdoor settings that have a nice backdrop, you can tie the whole thing together with a simple arch (rent for about $35) and some kind of arrangement to each side of the arch.  I recommend renting 2 plants similar to the ones below (rent a 4-5’ plant for about $30 each)…       

These plants are still tall and dramatic, but cost significantly less than the typical ceremony floral arrangement (usually $75-100 each).  You could also do something as simple as tiki torches with white ribbon around the base of the torch if it’s an evening outdoor wedding.

For the chairs/ pews, consider saving money by only decorating the first few reserved rows and the very last row (what people see when they first walk in).  You can also save a lot by using ribbon instead of flowers.  If you feel like something is missing, just slip one flower or some baby’s breath into the ribbon to give it a little more umph. 

If you are getting married in a church, consider doing it during a religious holiday season like Easter.  The church will be beautifully adorned at no extra cost!  If there is a choir loft, let some children drop silk rose petals on the new couple as they exit the church.  It’s a fun and sentimental extra touch. 

Don’t forget to transfer your flowers/ plants/ chair sashes to the reception so you don’t have to double-buy!