DIY Decorations for Outdoor Weddings

Wedding decoration in the form of lighted letters that spell out "love" on top of small wood stumps.

Outdoor weddings provide you with a blank canvas to make beautiful wedding decorations that are inspired by the natural elements. Here’s a selection of DIY decorations to help transform your wedding venue into a work of art.

Tree Trunk Seating or Centerpieces

Tree trunks are a readily available and versatile decor item that’s perfect for a rustic outdoor wedding. Use them any number of ways. Large trunks can lining the aisle of the ceremony and then offer additional seating at the reception. Use smaller trunks cut down to the appropriate size to act as centerpieces for reception tables, with votives and other small decor touches on top. You can basically sit any decoration in the middle of them for the perfect rustic touch.

Hay Bale Seating

A rustic wedding ceremony with hay bales and a burlap sign.

If you’re hosting a wedding on a farm or other rustic location, hay bales can offer inexpensive seating to fit the theme. Some love the idea of hay bales for seating during the actual wedding. Others utilize hay bales for a resting area along the dance floor at the reception. Simply set up bales of hay in rows and put quilts or blankets over them for a pretty look and a comfortable feel. You don’t have to cover them, but it’s much more comfortable for guests to have some soft cushion.

Wine Bottle Candle Holders

Planning a wedding at a vineyard? Take used wine bottles and turn them into a masterpiece with a little work. There are a few ways to do this. If you want to create wine bottle candle holders, you can cut the bottles down to size using this technique. You can then decorate the wine bottle however you want, placing a candle inside. If you don’t want to go to that extent, you can decorate the entire bottle with twine, ribbon, and other accessories, creating a vase for stemmed flowers.

Twinkle Lights

A tree decorated with strings of lights and lanterns.

One of the prettiest, easiest ways to decorate an outdoor area is with white Christmas lights. There is just something majestic about them as they illuminate the dark night. You can string big white lights or the smaller variety across trees, or on posts around the dance floor. Just ensure that there’s an electricity source nearby and that people will not trip on the cords.

Floating Florals

Floating flowers can actually save you money compared to regular stems since they provide the floral look without the expense of vases or other containers to hold them. Float flower blooms in a pool, in wooden continers, or even in metal buckets or troughs for a farm wedding. Combine them with floating candles for an even prettier look.

DIY Photo Booth

A tree with picture frames hanging from it for a photo booth.

You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars to rent a photo booth for your reception. Use large wooden photo frames in different colors and styles, hanging them throughout the venue to uitlize the natural beauty of the backdrop. Put fun masks or signs by these frames so guests will get the feel of their very own photo booth as they snap photos on their phones or (if you have the budget) provided Polaroid cameras.

Wedding Program Fan

Who knew wedding programs can double as decorations? Cute programs are easy to make yourself on cardstock with your home printer. After cutting them to size, glue or staple them onto large popsicle sticks, placing them on chairs at the ceremony or in a basket at the entrance. They’ll offer relief during a summer wedding, as well as provide an order of service for the ceremony.

Chalkboard Signs

Succulent wedding favors with a chalkboard sign that says

You can utilize a chalkboard for any kind of sinage at a wedding. Whether you want to use a few chalkboards to create a master seating plan or simply write out the menu, it’s your own blank canvas. Some other ideas include using one to welcome guests to the ceremony or reception area, to write quotes about love or Bible verses from your sermon, or to provide directions to the dance floor or photo booth.

Wooden Planter Coolers

Wooden planters offer a basic template to play up any wedding theme. Paint them in your wedding colors or keep them natural with a wood stain. Line them with plastic trashbags, and then fill with ice and beverages. Fill a few with flowers for additional color and beauty.

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