October 23, 2019
I’ve always said: “If I didn’t love photographing weddings so much, I would probably be a wedding planner!” I don’t think I could live without the wedding industry! If you know me, you also probably know that I love decorating and styling, whether it’s my apartment, bridal/baby showers, or my wedding! When we got engaged, you can only guess how excited I was to start planning! I was the girl that had her wedding vision planned to a “T” since 2010 when Pinterest first came out. However, I know that not all brides know exactly what they envision for their wedding day right away, and that’s why I’m here to help! When there are so many decisions to be made, it’s hard to know where to start with the planning then moving on to the executing!
If you’re starting the planning process and are in the middle of choosing a theme, this is for you:
- First of all, start a Pinterest board. Search for wedding decor inspiration and ideas, and see what kind of theme you’re drawn to. It could be modern, romantic, boho, glam, or a mix of anything! It could be a Christmas theme, a travel theme, a woodsy theme, and tons more. There are so many different, unique ways to style a wedding, and you can’t go wrong. No matter what you choose, make sure it fits your and your fiancé’s personality!
- Once you have an idea of what you envision for your wedding, make more specific searches in Pinterest related to that theme. This will give you tons more ideas that will fit your theme specifically!
- Choose wedding colors. All weddings have to have a color palette, even if it’s a neutral color palette! Stick with your colors to make the entire wedding cohesive!
- Make a list of items that your venue already allows you to use, such as tables, chairs, plates, glasses, silverware, candles, table cloths, etc. If you love what they have, use it! Some venues don’t include things like this, so be sure to check! If you’re planning a tent reception, you’ll need to come up with everything yourself and include that in your budget! If there’s a specific kind of chair you want, for example, and it’s within budget, most venues will allow you to bring in rentals!
- Make a budget and stick to it. This is very important to do before you go out and start purchasing/renting decor!
- Shop around, but don’t purchase the first thing you see, unless it’s a good deal! There are so many places you can find wedding decor, but oftentimes, brides don’t know where to start!
- Focus your time, attention, and money on the parts of the wedding that are really important to you and the parts that your guests will actually see! Focus on things that will actually make an impact on the way your wedding looks and feels, otherwise, it might be a waste of time!
I’m going to walk you through some of the places I found the things I was looking for for our wedding day, plus some other good options with hopes that it will give you lots of ideas for your own wedding! Our wedding theme was summery, romantic, intimate, timeless, and classy, with a hint of vintage; blush, white, and gold were our colors! This meant there were lots of flowers and candles, and lights strung everywhere.
- Facebook Marketplace
- Garage sales and thrift stores
- Hobby Lobby
(All photos are by my wonderful photographer Seneca Epley!)
Generally, all the styling and decorating goes to the ceremony and reception, mostly the reception. But for our wedding, I wanted the morning/getting ready portion of the day to feel cohesive with the rest of the day too. We rented a couch set from Borrow My Vintage for a seating area at the reception that I was in love with. And because I loved it so much, I decided to have it at my parent’s house in the morning as well! Borrow My Vintage is a rental company close to Iowa City and they have almost everything you could possibly need for your wedding day: tables, buffets, love seats, cake stands, vases, signs, and so much more! Plus, Macy is so sweet!
Lavon had also gifted me a vanity for Christmas the year before, and since it was so special to me, I wanted it where I was getting ready! Things like this may seem a little over-board, which they are, but for me, it was things like this that made everything more special and exciting.
I love the look of soft, flowy ribbon blowing in the wind on bouquets, so that’s what I did! I got silk ribbon to tie around all the bouquets from Etsy.
Lavon and I painted them, but my brother was kind enough to make the door frame to the ceremony and the arbor for us!
Welcome table is from Facebook Marketplace.
Welcome mirror on easel is also from Facebook Marketplace!
Small crate is from TJMaxx.
Votive candle holders are from Facebook Marketplace and Afloral.
Guestbook is from Etsy.
Picture frames are from TJMaxx and Ross.
Polaroid cameras are from Amazon.
Birdcage for cards is from Hobby Lobby.
Doors for the door frame are from Facebook Marketplace, then my brother put it all together!
“S” + “L” letters are from Hobby Lobby.
Crates are from Menards – then we painted them white!
Gold lanterns, wooden “R”, and “You and Me” sign are from TJMaxx.
White fabric draped over the arbor is from Amazon.
Faux flower petals are also from Amazon.
A few friends helped me make the floral arrangements on the door frame, the arbor, and shiplap wall at the reception…couldn’t have done it without them!
Ceremony benches are from the Amish wedding wagon in the area.
Unity sand set is from Etsy.
White hexagon table was from an antique shop!
Flower girl baskets were 38 cents from Goodwill, then spray painted white!
The wagon for baby Leo was an old, red, wooden wagon from Facebook Marketplace that needed fixed up. We painted it white, added greenery and it looked brand new!
Table number holders are from Amazon.
Blush cloth napkins are from CV Linens.
Glass jars/containers for dessert and ice cream toppings are from Hobby Lobby. Scoops were borrowed from my aunt!
White tablecloths are from Tablecloths Factory.
Tall floral vases are from Afloral.
Plates are from Webstaurant.
Gold chargers were rented from Borrow My Vintage!
Water glasses were rented from a friend.
My husband cut the boards for the shiplap wall and my brother put it together for us!
Blush fabric draped over the shiplap wall is from Amazon.
Cake stand is from Amazon and came in a set of three, so we used the others for the dessert table!
The couch set and end tables were rented from Borrow My Vintage.
Coffee table for the seating area was from a garage sale!
Compote floral vases are from Afloral.
Brass candlesticks were rented from Borrow My Vintage.
We rented the vintage chandeliers from a friend then hung them between each tent post.
Cake knife set is from Amazon.
Picture frames are from TJMaxx.
Seating chart was also on a smaller shiplap wall that we made!
Wine barrels, chalkboard menu, cake table, and dessert table were all rented from Borrow My Vintage.
We rented the dance floor from Big Ten Rentals.
(also, look how cute my little sister is!!)
White Christmas lights and extension cords are from Amazon.
As you can see, we found a lot of things off of Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, and TJMaxx! Always see what kind of items you can find from friends, Facebook Marketplace, garage sales, and thrift stores first. For any other items you’re looking for, decide if you would rather rent or buy. A lot of the items we purchased, like vases, crates, candle holders, cute tables, tablecloths, napkins, and Christmas lights, etc. we ended up selling after the wedding no problem! It was cost efficient and we were still able to have the wedding we envisioned! We even ended up selling the door frame and the ceremony arbor we made! The items we rented were items that either weren’t practical for us to buy ourselves or we couldn’t find them at any stores or online.
The vision you have for your wedding might be completely different than mine, but you can still find almost anything when you just take a little time to look!