Winter Wedding Decor

My summer wedding will have flower centerpieces, but there are plenty of options if you’re looking to save some money or don’t want to go that route. Last year, I was on the decor committee (along with Designer B) for my church’s major benefit held in the Radisson Blu hotel. Since we want the majority of the ticket price to go towards our mission, we try to keep decor costs as low as possible, and there are definitely ideas worth stealing.


Image via Ocken Photography

The party was really a benefit, held for the mission organization of my church. That’s their logo, which is not just relevant because the benefit was for them but because the majority of my contribution consisted of bringing that shape into the decorations. Its a ten-pointed spiky-not-chubby star.


Image via Chicago Lights

That, combined with shades of blue, were our driving force behind the decorations. Every table had a blue tablecloth (in several shades) and a centerpiece with a glass base wrapped in a word representing one of the mission programs, and gold stars in some form.

Short Centerpiece

Image via Ocken Photography

The short centerpieces, clustered on the first two rows of tables out from the dance floor, had shallow vases filled with gravel (on top of a styrofoam cake form to save on gravel cost/weight) with a 3D papier mache star in gold. They also had small gold stars in two sizes (painstakingly punched by, um, my students) and several candles scattered around.

Medium Centerpiece

Image via Ocken Photography

The medium centerpiece had three vases, each with a different texture, lit from within with LEDs. Each vase was on a gold star, and the shades of gold were slightly different. I used wrapping paper for the stars, so they were not expensive, and they looked very nice as bases. The tallest vase had cellophane crinkled inside and then was filled with water (I was skeptical, but this actually looks really cool as long as you are careful to fold under the top crinkle so it doesn’t try poking out), the medium had plastic crystals (they look like ice cubes) and the shortest had clear water beads. The different textures lit up looked really neat.

Tall Centerpiece

Image via Ocken Photography

The tall centerpiece was pretty simple, with these large stars illuminated from within with LED lights on gold-covered pole (wrapping paper on PVC), held up in a dollar store vase with a word representing one of their programs or missions. The base, which you can just barely see, is an 18″ 10 point star. I made a template (math in real life!) for all of the medium and tall stars so they would look like our inspiration star above.

Illuminated Star

Image via Ocken Photography

The stars looked really neat when the lights went down, and I loved how they looked with the lights in the room.

Wine Auction

Image via Ocken Photography

The dance floor held the bottles for the Mystery Wine Auction during dinner–you buy a ticket for a bottle of nice wine, and one lucky winner gets three really valuable bottles instead. I used three extra stars and some creative height-makers to give it some dimension and it really popped. Kathryn even ordered the gobo in the shape of the stars to project on the curtain behind the band.

The process was pretty cool–the committee chairs, Designer B and Event Planner K, both bought various things they thought could work with our very vague theme of “shades of blue,”  “something that goes with the cool lights” and “stars like the logo.” Kathryn found these amazing spiky gold balls that I loved, but they didn’t end up being the best fit for everything else. My main contribution was to say I could figure out how to make all the gold stars for the bases–so basically they asked me to be on the committee because I’m good at scissors.

Some of our best money-saving moves:

  • One of the vases on each medium table and the only vase on the tall table is from the dollar store.
  • Wrapping. Paper. I used it for the stars that were the base of each table as well as covering the poles. I think it was $20 or so, and we had 50 tables. I bought it from several stores and the variation in gold tones made it look even classier.
  • Several high impact choices–the 3d stars on our low and tall tables were fairly pricy but also made a big impact, which meant all the other (inexpensive) decor around them wasn’t as big a deal, since your eye caught those parts first.
  • Going with the look of the room–the star is in the logo, but a similar look is present in the light fixtures. Since it all ties together, we get the impact of the fixtures too.
  • Cohesive elements. Its easiest to see in the short centerpiece photo, but one vase in each centerpiece had a word wrap on it, representing one of the many programs of the organization. Repeating the word wrap and some size of gold star in every centerpiece wasn’t expensive at all but made everything flow very well.

What are your best bets for saving some money on decor? Anyone else use wrapping paper?


4 thoughts on “Winter Wedding Decor

    • I’m so sorry I didn’t see this earlier.I think the large lit stars are from Save on Crafts. The stars on the low centerpiece tables were a clearance item at paper source that we spray painted.

    • Which stars are you referring to? The sources that I know are in the comment above. If its another one let me know.

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