Image by Ariana Tennyson. See more of this real wedding here.

Prioritizing a budget-friendly wedding celebration doesn’t mean sacrificing dream decor elements. Before diving into the planning process, it’s important to curate a comfortable and realistic wedding budget that is best for you and your partner. After your budget is complete, fun planning begins—including decorating your wedding ceremony and reception. 

When it comes to reception decor, the endless Pinterest-worthy options can be overwhelming. To avoid pushing past your budget and to create a stress-free planning season, we have compiled nine top-notch budget-friendly decorating tips. We’re proving you don’t need to drain your bank account in order to have the wedding of your dreams.

1. Use Items From Your Home

From decorative pillows and blankets to chairs and rugs, there are many personalized decor elements—found in your home—that represent your style as a couple and preserves your wedding budget. Look around your house and get creative with ways you could use décor you already own to decorate your wedding reception. In addition to saving money, you guarantee your wedding will feel like “you.”

Image by Carmen Lopez Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

2. DIY Wedding Décor 

With weddings shifting focus from quantity to quality, “do it yourself” wedding decor has become increasingly popular. DIY wedding elements—from signage to photo booths—are an easy and affordable way to get loved ones involved in the wedding planning process and save money. 

Images by Isaiah and Taylor Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

3. Repurpose Ceremony Décor

Reusing décor elements—like seating and backdrops— throughout your day is a major time, money, and stress saver. You can use your ceremony seating as part of your reception seating. You could even carry your eye-catching ceremony backdrop over to the reception as a sweetheart table backdrop. There’s no reason you should have to spend money on duplicate items, especially if your budget is tight. Want more examples? Here are more clever ways to repurpose your wedding décor from ceremony to reception.

Images by Boutique Weddings + Adventure Elopements. See more of this real wedding here.

4. Think Outside The Box For Centerpieces

There are no rules when it comes to centerpieces. Floral arrangements, books, mismatched glassware, lamps, lanterns, and geometric gold table décor are all great centerpiece options. We recommend carefully crafting a reception table decor palette and running with it. 

Tap into your creativity by looking around your house for sentimental items that could be used. If you’re looking for more centerpiece ideas, check out these affordable Amazon wedding decor options

Images by Marissa Merrill Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

5. Drape Lights To Transform Your Reception Space

Wedding lighting is undoubtedly one of the most underrated elements. It’s amazing how lighting can truly transform a space—a huge plus when decorating on a budget. Whether your wedding reception will be taking place outside or inside, you can instantly add elegant and warm touches by strategically hanging twinkle lights. 

Images by Liz Osban. See more of this real wedding here.

6. Add Florals And Greenery

Whether it’s garlands of eucalyptus, giant tropical leaves, potted ferns, or olive branch wreaths, greenery has the power to add life and a sense of natural elegance to wedding décor without the large price tag of traditional floral arrangements. The best part is that you can add greenery just about anywhere and it will look great—on the backs of chairs, down the center of tables, even on the ground. Check out the times greenery wedding décor proved less is more.

Image by Gina & Ryan Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

7. Rent Items To Save Your Wedding Budget 

Wedding rentals are a budget-friendly couple’s best friends. There are endless rental opportunities—from seating to decor—that are offered at a fraction of the cost. As a bonus, you’ll save time and money not having to find everything yourself. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about transportation on the day of the wedding—what a win. 

8. Shop Secondhand

While renting large wedding items is always a great idea, there may be unique items that simply can’t be rented. Rather than buying those items new, save some money by shopping at second-hand stores. It’s amazing what can be found at local thrift stores or even flea markets. While shopping, keep an eye out for everything from small centerpiece items to larger seating options. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless. 

Image by Jane Lee. See more of this real wedding here.

9. Make Big Statements With Select Pieces 

Rather than incorporating dozens of different over-the-top design elements, focus on one or two big items that will have a large impact on the look and feel of the space. With extra money left in the budget, find large ticket items—like these jaw-dropping Amazon wedding decorations—that complement the meaningful details and will leave a lasting impression. 


There are many eye-catching decor substitutes that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for more budgeting tips that go far beyond the reception, you won’t want to miss the best wedding budget tips from top wedding planners around the world. 

Image by Carmen Lopez Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

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