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WEDDING ADVICE INSPIRATION

DIY Wedding Decor - Where to start?

Most weddings include some sort of DIY decor, because buying all that decor gets expensive, fast. Maybe you need a couple spooky decorations to give your historic theater venue that extra dark vibe you wanted. Or maybe you’ve found this really charming space near Boston, and you want to make all your decor DIY so the space really becomes your own. Whether it’s just the centerpieces or the whole shebang, sooner or later you’re probably going to want to make some decorations on your own. The question you may be asking is, “Where do I start?”. 


There’s a lot of information about DIY wedding decor out there. Crafting websites, wedding blogs, caterers, lighting rigs, TikTok, etc... It can be a challenge to know what you’re looking for before you even start crafting it! What you need is a place to give you not only a variety of DIY wedding decor ideas but also some more general tips on how to start DIYing. That’s where we come in. 


Hey there! We’re Olio. We’re that really charming historic theater venue in the North Shore of Boston (Main Street of Peabody, Massachusetts, to be exact). We’ve hosted hundreds of weddings here, and we’ve definitely seen our fair share of DIY decor. In fact, our whole space is designed to be a blank slate for our clients to decorate as much or as little as they'd like. So, DIY is a big part of that. Here are some ideas and inspiration for you, plus some tips and tricks to help you when you get stuck. 



Wedding ceremony with DIY wedding decor, wedding DIY drapery, white draped fabric over ceiling
Photo by the Gowans


DIY Floral Wedding Decor 

Flowers and greenery are one of your biggest assets when it comes to wedding DIY. They’re incredibly versatile. They can be used to flourish just about any piece of furniture fitting any theme. Dark ivy over some chairs works for your gothic, spooky aesthetic; or maybe you want to adorn your wedding arch with roses for a more regal look. You can even make things more personalized by arranging your own bouquet! Or maybe, if it’s your vibe, flower crowns for some of your wedding party. 



Newlywed couple sitting at table, floral ring garland framing them, Mr. and Mrs. chairs, bride in a flower crown, DIY wedding floral decor
Photo by Esso Media


A few tips when it comes to using floral elements in your DIY wedding decor: 

  • Colors. Make sure to pay close attention to the palette. You don’t want flowers that end up clashing with your theme, clothing choices, etc. You also don’t want to end up using plants that can bleed and stain if you have a lot of white surfaces. 

  • Ask a professional. Don't underestimate how difficult arranging flowers can be. There’s a reason many people do this professionally. Even if you are good at it, if the thought of making tons of centerpieces, decorations, and bouquets seems exhausting, don’t do it all yourself. Ask a professional florist to lighten the load. 

  • Make sure of the season. It can be easy to forget what flowers are in season and at what time. It’s important to know this before you end up having to import your dahlias, making your DIYing a little more tedious and a LOT more expensive.

Unique DIY Wedding Centerpieces 

Speaking of floral arrangements – centerpieces! At Olio, we love nontraditional, personalized centerpieces. We’ve seen tall, candlelit, wintergreen centerpieces; centerpieces with mini pumpkins; and even seen arrangements with extravagant feathers! Needless to say, we’ve seen many cool and unique centerpiece arrangements. We’ve seen so many, we made a whole post about it which could serve as inspiration for you! 



DIY wedding centerpieces, winter wedding centerpieces, pinecones and white roses and candles, fairy lights
Photo by Caroline Giuliano


DIY Wedding Backdrops  

Decorating or even building a wedding backdrop can be such a fun project for you! There are a lot of options on where to start. You could construct an arch from PCV piping and decorate it. You can decorate a wall of the venue or make a free-standing wall or divider. What you use as your backdrop is not necessarily as important as how you make it look. DIYing is about making things your own, so make the backdrop work for you and your wedding. Paint a mural that fits your theme, and make sure the lighting and greenery fit the overall look. Want a winter-themed backdrop? Fairy lights, arches, pinecones, holly branches, etc. Soon, you have a backdrop perfect for your winter wonderland! Pro tip – When it comes to DIYing a backdrop, simple is best.  



Married couple, DIY wedding backdrop, wedding decor, vines hanging down, fairy lights, neon sign reading "always", couple kissing
Photo by Brionna Rose


Personalize Your Seating 

Even your seating can be personalized through DIY magic. Something as simple as a unique arrangement can give the seating your own unique spin, but if you want to go even further, try making your own seating charts or placecards. Handmade placecards can be the best spot to subtly insert your theme into the decor. You don’t even need to use just paper for the cards. Attach the name cards to pinecones for that winter wedding, write the names on seashells if you have a beach theme, or use hand-carved wooden card holders for your rustic theme. You can also have fun with the seating chart itself. Decorate it with greenery and decor of your choosing. 



Themed DIY wedding seating, fancy drapery, vintage chairs
Photo by PTaufiq Photography


You may feel the urge to decorate all the chairs themselves as well. And if you can afford the decorations for that, we encourage you to go for it! But if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, maybe start with just decorating the wedding party’s seats or even just the newlywed's. 


DIY Wedding Signs 

Whether it’s telling your guests who is getting married or where they need to go, wedding signs are helpful and memorable pieces of the decor. And the best part is they’re easy to make. Just consider your theme and what would look best as a sign – wood, glass, acrylic, paint and canvas, chalkboard, etc. Then write what needs to be shared – wedding schedule, directions, names, or whatever else. If you’re worried about your handwriting, don’t be afraid to use stencils to mimic professional calligraphy.  A cricut or similar tool is a fabulous option.



Married couple under DIY wedding sign, DIY wedding decor, neon fairy lights family name sign
Photo by Abigail Renee


DIY Wedding Favors 

Lots of folks find creating their own custom wedding favors to be one of the easiest DIY options. You want to be sure to give your guests a favor they won't forget! It’s better to give people a personal, meaningful favor that fits you as a couple as well as your wedding theme. You could make a favorite homemade food like brownies, cookies, or other pastries. Or maybe jam, preserves, or honey. Or coffee, teas, and hot chocolate. If food and drink aren’t what you’re looking for, try homemade candles or soaps! There are loads of ideas that could work here, so just find what fits your vision best and have fun making it! 




DIY Reception Area 

Okay, so this one may seem a little more general, but there’s a lot you can do to make your reception area your own. Install your lounge area for your guests to rest in after a night of dancing. Hit up a thrift store for some furniture, lighting, or maybe a nice rug to pull everything together. Maybe you want to turn that DIY backdrop you made into an area for a photobooth? Light it up nice and bright, and buy some props for people to pose with. Maybe you want to have an open bar, but don’t have a ton of funds. Ask your venue if they allow you to bring in your own alcohol from a wholesale store to be served. 



DIY wedding reception, dining area, wedding crowd sitting at tables under fairy lights, whimsical
Photo by Channing Johnson


DIY wedding lounge, wedding lounge area, people sitting on leather furniture, candlelight
Photo by Ceijay Photograph


A Few DIY Wedding Decor Tips 

We’ve hit a lot of the main areas of the wedding where you can work your DIY magic, but we’ve still got a few general tips and suggestions for you before we finish off this blog.  

  • Mood or Vision Boards. When you’re making a lot of decorations yourself, you want to make sure you’re sticking to a cohesive theme or vision for your wedding. Making a vision board can help you pin all your DIY wedding decor ideas and inspirations to one place for you to easily reference. 

  • Do you want a planner? If you’re trying to DIY your wedding, you may be tempted to literally do everything yourself. But a wedding planner or even a day-of coordinator can be a great asset to you. They help make sure your vision for your wedding stays alive while also keeping track of your budget. They can even help you find ways to DIY your decor! 

  • Know your limits. Some projects just won’t be completed. Wedding planning takes a lot of work, and no one has the time or energy to do everything they want. If a project stresses you out to the point where it’s no fun, maybe it’s time to drop it. Make sure you get help from planners, family members, and friends to split the workload where you can. Again, it may be a DIY wedding, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. 

  • Start planning early. Even if you have to drop some things, we expect that you won’t want to compromise on most of your big plans. It’s your wedding and you’ll want to make it look just like you’ve always dreamed it would. That means making sure you have the time to complete the DIY projects you consider essential. Make a project list early and get started right away. DIY projects take time, and you wouldn’t want to be rushing on the big day! 



Decadent DIY wedding decor, couple sitting at table, loads of white flowers, hanging white flowers, candles, glass cases, overhead drapery
Photo by Mary Nguyen Photography

 

There’s a lot out of ideas there when it comes to DIYing your wedding. We hope that this list was helpful to you, but if there are any other questions you need answered, feel free to contact us. And if you’re looking for a venue that will let you DIY your heart out, then schedule a tour with us! We’d love to hear from you. 

 

Warmly, 

 

Sarah Narcus 

Owner, Olio 

(reach me directly: sarah@oliopeabody.com) 



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