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10 Affordable Outdoor Wedding Decoration + Reception Ideas

Whether you use it to exchange vows, host a reception or both, the outdoors can be one of the most beautiful settings for “the big day.” Natural greenery, the setting sun and a panoramic landscape will set the scene – but it will be the added style accessories that really bring it to life. Keep reading to see our favorite, most enchanting backyard wedding décor ideas for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime aesthetic. (Then, share this article with your planner for future reference!)

1. Heart-Shaped Wind Chimes

Love is in the air – at least, the sound of it is! Hang wind chimes at the perimeter of the party for a faint musicality at light breeze. Go with heart shapes to celebrate the romance, and so that even when the wind doesn't blow, the decor will still be on point.

2. Rustic Wall Decor

Wall decor for the outdoors isn't something you see everyday, which makes it perfect for an outdoor wedding. If you plan on partying until after sundown, make the wall decor glow with neighboring sconces or solar lights. Arrange near the bar or above the gifts table for a rustic touch.

3. Vases

Small vases stuffed with seasonal flowers can be placed on guests' tables as quaint centerpieces, perfect for the rusticity of a garden or backyard wedding. If you're feeling extra-generous, miniature teracotta pots or vases in front of each table setting makes a great wedding favor. Either way, this decorative staple allows you to infuse a small splash of color into your venue.

4. Planters

Line the aisle or walkways along both sides with seasonal plants and planters to enhance the blooms and freshen the air. If you have a 'photo op' or photo backdrop area, spotlight one or two oversize plants + planters for guests to pose with. During the ceremony, bookend the bridal party with statement planters (and, yes, plants!) for extra lushness.

5. Placemats

The placemat is often the decorative item that many wedding planners and hosts don't realize they're missing – until the entire table is set. Visually, placemats tie the table together, define each person's place and add character to the aesthetic. This is also an opportunity for color contrast (or coordination)!

6. Hanging Lanterns

Whether you like it or not (we assume like!), an outdoor wedding is naturally going to feel enchanting. Especially at night when the stars are out and the lighting begins to shine, there's nothing more charming than the brisk open air of a celebration devoted to romance. Hanging lanterns exist to support the vibe, creating a glowy, floaty party experience.

7. Sculpture Sets

#1 rule of outdoor weddings: if there's a surface, decor goes on it! Bar counters, window ledges, carts, pedestals, decorative stoools, coffee tables and dinner tables are just a few easy places for ornaments of your wedding's theme. Sculputres/figurines are probably the easiest since they're heavier (you can even use them as paperweights for napkins).

8. Faux Flowers

Wedding florals can and will increase your budget limits, and unfortunately won't last longer than a few weeks. For the same look and bigger dividends, go faux, which you'll be able to reuse for other occasions (for free). Pansies, hydrongenas and water lilies are synonymous with nuptial bliss, so if you are going faux, look for any of these types first.

9. Centerpieces

Vases and sculptures are beautiful, but if you want a wedding party guests will keep talking about, reserve them for the sidelines. For the main table centerpiece, try more personal: picture frame or frames of photos of the happy couple allow for an intimate dining experience. Try slightly different photos at each table to keep guests on their toes.

10. Refreshment Stand

If there's one thing you're going to invest in for an outdoor wedding, let it be the bar. A good bar will keep guests happy in more ways than one (it's pretty decor! it holds the beverages!). Arrange one bar or refreshment stand for every 35 guests to ensure there are drinks enough to go around.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.