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The Best (and Worst) Winter Wedding Decorations

When it comes to decorations, there's a fine line between winter wonderland and whoa!

Contributing Writer

You've got a sizable reception room and a Christmas wedding theme. What can you decorate with to give the room an elegant look? What décor is best left in the attic? We offer up a list of what's naughty and what's nice in the world of winter wedding décor.


Festive Ideas for a Christmas Wedding



Snowflakes—the faux kind, not the actual stuff that falls from the sky—come in many different styles and shapes. Check out the offerings at your local party store: snowflakes covered in silver glitter; in sizes ranging from three inches to 15 inches; in plastic and polyfoam. You can use them to decorate tables and the wedding cake, or string them together and hang.


White pillar candles

A mass of short and tall white pillars arranged on tables will give the room a romantic holiday glow.



Nothing evokes Christmas like the smell of fresh evergreens. Use a strand of this hardy plant to decorate the cake table (but not the cake itself, where it would overtake the sugarfest's more delicate scent).

Photography by: Carrie Patterson

Pine cones

The decorating options for this woody pine-tree fruit are endless: String a dozen to form a garland, add them to floral arrangements, cluster them as a topper on your wedding cake, use as table-card holders, or spray-paint them silver or gold and place in a big glass bowl as a centerpiece.


Christmas balls

If your wedding is around Christmas and pine cones are too rustic to suit your style, put pretty colored glass balls of any size in a clear bowl or vase to decorate guest tables. The shinier, the better!

Photography by: Jen Huang

Fir trees

Install a majestic Christmas tree near the reception's entrance to put guests in a festive mood as soon as they step foot in the door. Keep decorations simple—shiny, sparkly garlands or giant ornaments in the same color like silver, gold, or white would be particularly spectacular. No room for a giant tree? Use tree branches spray-painted white.


Modern color palette

If you want to skip the classic red and green motif for colors that are more unexpected and contemporary, choose rich jewel tones like sapphire, amethyst, and emerald. Use these dynamic colors to add drama to centerpieces, linens, even reception stationery like place cards and menus. Other colors for your winter setting: silver and icy blue, gold and white, and red and white.



Hang them on doors and walls or place on tables with a hurricane vase and pillar candle in the center for a gorgeous, affordable look.


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Santa and Mrs. Claus cake toppers

Everyone loves the Clauses but decorating your beautiful wedding cake with the jolly pair's image will come across as more kitschy than celebratory. 


Anything with a snowman

Adopting a snowman motif will be a big hit with your school-age guests, not so much with anyone over the age of 10.


Too much red and green

This traditional Christmas palette can look lovely except if you overdo it. A little color goes a long way.