Tag Archives: wedding reception decorations

Vintage Wedding Ideas - Flea Market Finds
The Ann’s Bridal Bargains team recently visited the Junk Bonanza held at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. Junk Bonanza is like a giant flea market and it is filled to the brim with vintage wedding ideas. We’re sharing our favorite flea market finds and the most popular trends we found at the show. Shop your local thrift stores, antique stores and flea markets to begin creating similar looks or something entirely new.

Vintage Wedding Ideas - Flea Market Finds


Vintage fabrics are everywhere. Floral patterns are big, especially for wedding, and burlap is still very popular as decoration, totes, pillows and chair covers. We also saw a lot of repurposed flour sacks.


Mix and Match

Mixing and matching chairs and furniture began to trend a few years back, and now we’re seeing mix-and-match vintage China patterns as a gorgeous option for wedding reception dishes. This happens to be one of our favorite vintage wedding ideas.


Eclectic Bins

Vintage suitcases, crates, baskets and drawers can all be used as bins at your wedding reception. Guests can put cards and gifts in old drawers or suitcases placed on your gift table. You can also use crates and baskets to hold wedding favors, appetizers, treats, etc.



You’ve seen the Pinterest explosion! Now just imagine what a talented group of flea market mavens can do with something as versatile as chalkboards. We saw serving trays, table numbers, menus, antique frames and labels for jars and drinks.


Wedding Reception Decoration

White wash woods and chairs were fairly common as well as lots of bottles and jars in various shapes and sizes. Some of the more elegant centerpieces we ran across were cloche (bell-shaped glass) placed over greens or flowers.
Now it’s your turn! We hope these vintage wedding ideas helped inspire your creative side, and we wish you luck in gathering some awesome flea market finds to bring your visions to life.

Terry & Kristi's Wedding - Part 2

Terry & Kristi's Wedding - Part 2

Our wedding turned out absolutely wonderful. There were things we could have done better, but I wouldn’t change them for the world. We had 200 guests at our wedding, served a full meal, had unlimited drinks and beer, and a dance with a DJ — all for about $15,000. What was even better is that our vendors, friends and family were so great that we didn’t have to worry about a thing on the day of our wedding. We were able to enjoy every minute of it.

Planning the Wedding

I don’t consider myself a fashionable person, and I hate decorating. I’m not good at it. So when it came time to plan the wedding, I kept things simple. I started with the color fuchsia and from there we chose our invitation. We wanted an invitation that was simple, yet formal enough for a wedding. We chose Ann’s Filigree Perch invitation with black ink. Filigree Perch is a thermography invitation, which means the ink is raised. That made the invitation elegant yet simple. After choosing our invitation, we decided our colors would be fuchsia, black and white.  I wanted my bouquet to be full of bright colors, including fuchsia to match the bridesmaids’ dresses and some greens to balance it out. We planned our reception decorations using the flowers from the bouquet and the filigree design from our invitations.

Planning the Reception Decorations

You might remember me mentioning above how much I hate decorating. Well, planning our reception décor was probably the most difficult thing for me. We were on a budget, but I didn’t want it to be so plain that it was boring.

We started out thinking we were going to have to buy or rent all of the pieces for the decorations, and then take the time to assemble them. We did a bit of shopping around and found the rental prices for vases, table cloths and lighting to be very expensive. Plus, we would be the ones decorating the reception venue before the wedding. My mother-in-law suggested we see how much it would cost for a decorator to do it.

The Decorator

We met with the decorator at her showroom and she had all kinds of centerpieces and other displays. I would never have been able to come up with these ideas on my own. She told us to pick items as if we were going to be able to afford everything we wanted. When she told us to dream big, we were a bit scared of the price tag. About a week later she sent us the estimate. It was too much, but not so much that we couldn’t handle it if we did some trimming. We met with her again to make some changes.  She pointed out the more expensive items and gave us some alternatives that cost less. We ended up choosing four different centerpieces to have on the tables. Our initial estimate was $1,400. After adjusting our centerpieces and removing a few items that were not needed, our new estimate was $1,200. The estimates were based on 300 guests, but we ended up having only 200. In the end, we paid $1,050 for the decorations and decorating services. They set it all up, and they took it all down. It was stress free and gorgeous!

Suggestions for Decorating

A good rule of thumb when shopping for centerpieces is the higher the centerpiece the higher the price.  Choose multiple styles of centerpieces that range in price. Use the expensive centerpieces less and the inexpensive ones more. This works out really well because taller, more expensive centerpieces can block the guest’s view of the people sitting across from them.

Another way to save a ton of money on wedding decorations is to use silk flowers instead of real flowers. If we had used real flowers in our centerpieces, we would have had an additional $500+ in costs. As you can see by the pictures, our centerpieces were beautiful and the overall look of the room was gorgeous.

Come back tomorrow for more pictures of the wedding and to find out how I saved money when choosing our venues and vendors. We’d love to hear what you think or answer questions if you have any. Just leave a comment on this post and we will respond.

Photos Courtesy of Kendra Elizabeth Photography.

Wedding Decorations with Paper Lanterns
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to dress up your wedding, paper lanterns are an excellent idea. A step above balloons but still budget friendly, paper lanterns are a trend that I love to see at wedding receptions and along ceremony aisles.

Wedding Decorations with Paper Lanterns

Pick one color to make a dramatic impact or mix up the colors and add trailing ribbons for a splash of color. Try hanging them at different heights for a stunning visual and use them as a backdrop for your wedding photos or the reception’s photo booth. The lanterns can even be used as centerpieces filled with flowers popping out of the top or with battery-operated tea lights for a beautiful evening glow.

Dress up your ceremony aisle by tying paper lanterns to chairs with satin ribbon in colors that coordinate with your wedding. Paper lanterns can also be used to create a path at outdoor wedding locations or along the driveway.

Bonus! Use them after the wedding. These lanterns make great decorations for showers, birthday parties, anniversaries and other celebrations. Want to see more affordable decorations? Read “Top 5 Cheap Wedding Reception Decorations from Ann’s.”
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Paint markers are so much fun! With a little imagination, you can create anything from spooky votive holders to Halloween shot glasses.


Get started by finding the right colors of paint markers (be sure to read the directions to make sure they’ll work on glass). We found a spiderweb design we wanted and sized it appropriately to fit our glasses. We then taped the piece of paper inside the glass with the design pointing outward, which allowed us to trace the design with a paint marker onto the outside of the glass. It only takes a few minutes to dry, and the paint will come off with soap, water and a little scrubbing.

What a great wedding reception idea, too! Handwrite the names of each bridal party member on toasting flutes and place them at the head table for a personal touch.


Halloween Tip: Sprinkle plastic spiders or bugs on tables and serving trays like confetti, and don’t forget the personalized napkins!

We’ve gathered three looks that you can recreate for less, and you’ll find some tips below each wedding reception idea on how to get started.

Photography By: GETMARRIED

Love the look of polished silver and crystal? You can have it! You can recreate this elegant wedding cake table to coordinate beautifully with your wedding reception decorations.

Get this look for cheap (plus a romantic twist)! Ann’s offers heart-themed accessories, which fit this look beautifully. Check out the Heart-Handled Serving Set, Open Hearts Flute Set and the Acrylic Cake Stand.


Photography By: Seven Degrees Images

Vibrantly colored wedding reception decorations paired with bright bunches of flowers and petals create a passionate look.

Get this look for cheap! The colors here are beautiful, but you can get this look for less by toning them down a bit. Try wrapping chairs with White Gossamer and using one strip of colorful ribbon or cloth to accent. Sprinkle Silk Rose Petals along the tables and choose less expensive, clear Glass Votives. Place colorful, Personalized Wedding Napkins at each place setting. The nice part about toning down the color is that the color you do feature will really stand out!



Beautiful in its simplicity, this wedding reception idea is perfect for accent tables but could easily be used on all of your reception tables due to its subtle, charming style.

Get this look for cheap! First of all, gerbera daisies are an affordable flower that can add color and impact. Also, one stem placed in clear glass Bud Vases makes this look even easier (great for wedding favors, too). Clear Glass Votives placed among the flowers allow the vases to catch the candle light, creating romantic lighting on your tables. Don’t forget to check out Place Cards, too.


How are you decorating your wedding reception?  Let us know your inspiration for your wedding reception decorations and comment below.

Wedding Planning Checklist: Section 4: Part 4

When you think accessories, you think sparkling bridal jewelry and shimmering heels. When we think accessories, we think so much more! That’s our job after all, to help you remember the important details that might slip your mind in all the excitement of wedding planning.

Wedding Ceremony Accessoriesinclude any kind of decoration or accessory that adds to the overall look and feel of your wedding ceremony. Here’s what most brides purchase for their ceremony:

Unity Candle or Unity Sand Kit – the unity ceremony is a common tradition, which involves either lighting a unity candle or today’s popular alternative of pouring sand into a unity vase.

Ring Bearer Pillow – a classic accessory needed for the ring bearer in your wedding party.



Flower Girl Basket– a classic accessory needed for the flower girl in your wedding party.


Aisle Runner – adds an elegant touch to any church aisle and looks fabulous in photos!



Wedding Reception Accessories include everything from decorations and centerpieces to wedding favors and serving sets. Here’s what most brides purchase for their reception:


Napkins – add color, stylish detail and personalization to any wedding reception.


Favor Boxes – a popular choice available in lots of colors and styles! Fill with treats and embellish with accents, such as ribbon and charms.




Toasting Flutes – a special touch for the head table, which the bridal party will love using during the wedding toasts.


Guest Book and Pen– needed at the entrance of the church if you’d like a record of guests in attendance.


Cake Server Sets – a beautiful complement to your wedding cake that’s needed for slicing and serving.


Cake Toppers – the finishing touch for your wedding cake creation.


Place Cards – indicate where guests will be sitting for an assigned seating reception.


Matchbooks a traditional favor that’s perfect on its own or combined with other items.


Reception Decorations – use any variety of decorations to add to your reception’s theme and ambience.



Reception Centerpieces – reception table centerpieces should coordinate perfectly with your décor.





Garters – for wearing throughout the ceremony and tossing at the reception, of course!

We can fill you to the brim with great ideas for cheap wedding invitations, decorations, bridal party gifts and more, but are some “big-picture” ideas that will help you reign in the spending before you even start.  One of the largest expenses includes your wedding reception so we are offering five ways to save money.

Red Loft Studios
Photography provided by:  Red Loft Studios via GetMarried.com


1. Set Your Budget Right Away.

Don’t even look into wedding ceremony and wedding reception venues before you and your fiancé have decided what your wedding budget is. It’s much easier to stick to a financial plan if you have one, and you’d be surprised how many couples book wedding venues and services before they’ve finalized a budget.


2. Shop Around

The secret to being a Bargainista is patience and dedication. If you’ve found the perfect cake top but think it might be a little pricey, keep shopping. You’ll probably find that same cake top somewhere else for less, or you’ll find something similar for less. Shop around for EVERYTHING, including your wedding venues, wedding invitations, decorations and more.


3. Find Free Stuff

Go online and look at local boards for sale items or free items. Chances are your local area has the resources you need to find a variety of things for super cheap if not free. Examples: Craig’s List and state-run campaigns like Eureka Recycling in Minnesota.


4. Trim the Guest List

It’s simple — fewer guests mean less cost. We understand that you want everyone to join in the celebration, but keeping your guest count low will help you save a ton on wedding expenses.


5. Accept Help

Friends and family want to help, which can really help your budget. If your aunt loves to bake, ask her to bake your wedding cupcakes. If your best friend is big into scrapbooking, utilize her talents for DIY wedding invitations. But be tasteful about asking. Don’t expect or push people to help. Ask nicely and accept their answer graciously, whether it’s yes or no.


Looking to cut the cost on your wedding reception decorations? Read this! Top 5 Cheap Wedding Reception Decorations from Ann’s Bridal Bargains.

Also make sure to stop back on Thursday for wedding reception inspiration ideas and how to recreate the look for less!

We’ve got sweet tips to help you save on your wedding cake, wedding cake decorations and wedding cake accessories.

Wedding Cake with Flowers

Photograph provided by Creative Cakes via GetMarried.com

1. Want the look of several layers, but don’t want to pay the price? Ask the baker to decorate one or more false tiers.


2. Hand-constructed, floral wedding cake decorations are expensive. Decorate with fresh flowers or fruits instead. This fresh look complements wedding reception decorations for any season beautifully!


3. Are there any culinary arts schools near you? See if you can enlist the students to create a wedding cake for a fraction of the typical cost.


4. Don’t spend too much on your wedding cake topper. Cheap wedding cake toppers that still look great are out there!


5. If you’re confident in your baking skills but don’t want to tackle the wedding cake decorations, ask your baker to decorate a cake you provide.


6. Serving sets can get pricey, but you can find a quality wedding cake server set that doesn’t put a dent in your budget.


7. Try a less expensive alternative to wedding cake. Cupcakes, pies, pastries and even candy bars are quickly becoming a hot new trend in today’s weddings.  We have recently added our Double Heart Cupcake Picks to dress up an array of cupcakes – how fun!


8. Ask around your local community for an at-home specialty baker. You might find a local person that creates specialty cakes on the side for a very reasonable price.


9. Opt for butter cream frosting or a similar inexpensive option. Marzipan and fondant icing are often used for elaborate wedding cake decorations, which are considerably higher in price.


10. It’s cheap to be square — square wedding cakes yield more slices than round ones.


P.S. If you plan to do a groom’s cake, check out this hilarious Ball and Chain” cake topper!



the wedding reception you want for a price that fits beautifully into your
wedding budget. Ann’s Bridal Bargains has affordable wedding reception decorations
to help you pull it off!

Reception decoration idea

Photograph by Ben Vigil via GetMarried.com

#5 Glass Cylinder

Vases are super
versatile, which means they’re super easy to use with any wedding theme. Plus,
they’re an elegant yet inexpensive way to display not only flowers, but any number
of decorations:

• fill them with
colorful Christmas ornaments

• fill with
apples and pears or your favorite candy

• fill with long
stretches of vines from hardy plants like philodendrons and spread the vines
along tables.

#4 Luminary Kits

If you’re having
an outdoor ceremony and/or reception, luminary kits are a wonderful addition to
your décor. Line walkways with them, place them along the aisle for evening
ceremonies, set them in the windows. Continue this “Love will light the
way” theme throughout your wedding with personalized matches as favors!

#3 Tissue Bells

Tissue bells,
when used tastefully, create a cute and romantic atmosphere. Ann’s offers lots
of colors to complement your wedding perfectly. Hang tissue bells in the
doorway of your church or reception venue, or hang clusters of bells above each
reception table and/or the wedding cake table.

#2 Balloon Arches

Balloon arches
make a big impact for a small price. Usually used in fairly large venues or
wide open spaces, balloons and balloon arches can be turned into some of the
most creative and inspiring decorations. Ann’s offers balloon arch tape, a
heart sculpture kit and balloons in a variety of colors and styles.

#1 White Gossamer

White gossamer
(also known as tulle) has become a very popular element in wedding reception
decorations. Gossamer quickly and easily creates an elegant appearance in any
venue and is quite inexpensive. Many couples combine white gossamer with white
lights — a beautiful combination!

For more wedding
reception decoration
products, check out Ann’s bargains!

Ann’s presents 5 Ways to Save on a few of the most common elements you’ll find in wedding ceremonies, so listen up. These are helpful tips for any bride planning a wedding.

White Pew Bows Wedding reception decorations   5. Indicating Reserved Seating

You can easily make “reserved” signs from quality craft paper for little to nothing, but give them that pretty wedding look with Ann’s pew bows ($5 per pair) or tissue garland ($2 per 25 feet). Tissue garland is available in several colors.

Flower Girl Baskets 4. Flowers for the flower girl

Fill your flower girl’s basket with fake flower petals. They look beautiful, are easy to clean up and the flower girl can be as generous as she wants, while walking her pretty self down the aisle, because you’ve only spent $3 for a whole bag!

Wedding In A Box 3. Wedding ceremony accessories

Before you spend an entire day shopping for all of your wedding ceremony accessories, check out our Wedding in a Box. It’s everything you need for one great price.

Wedding Bubbles 2. The wedding toss

Instead of tossing rice after the wedding ceremony, surround them with bubbles. Bubbles are a fun alternative to rice, which churches commonly prohibit. Plus, bubbles make for great photo opportunities!

Wedding Unity Candles 1. The unity ceremony

Ann’s has a great variety of inexpensive unity candles. You can purchase a unity candle for $6, tapers for $3 and dress them up with ribbon to match your wedding colors. Find an inexpensive unity candle stand at Ann’s or use something you already had in mind and you’ve got a beautifully coordinated ensemble for your ceremony.