Go ahead and borrow that photo backdrop, especially if you can find a different use for it.

By Alyssa Brown
November 28, 2018

It may be common for a bride to wear a piece of jewelry or a veil on loan from a family member or friend, but there's no rule that says your wedding's "something borrowed" has to be part of your big-day wardrobe. Instead, you may find that someone offers to lend you wedding décor from his or her own wedding. Whether it's something large, small, or in bulk, this is an offer that's worth considering-after all, very few pieces of your ceremony and reception fall into place this easily, so if you can benefit from a loved one's generosity, you should. Worried it may feel like you're trying to replicate your family member or friend's wedding style? Have no fear. There are plenty of creative ways to reuse someone else's big-day décor and make the pieces your own.

Breathe new life into whatever you borrow.

If you're worried about something being recognizable from another wedding, try to find a way to use it that isn't a direct copy. Let's say, for example, you borrow a friend's gold sequin backdrop from their photo booth. Rather than using it in your own photo station, maybe you can use it as a tablecloth for your cake table instead, or find a creative way to attach your escort cards to it. By using it in a different application, any guests that were at both events probably won't notice the reused décor.

Run it by your designer or florist.

If your friend had a beautiful ceremony structure built and is happy to loan it to you for your wedding, you may want to pay a visit to your designer first to see what's involved in incorporating this element. If there's a whole additional floral installation needed to make it work with your wedding aesthetic, it may or may not be worth the borrowing depending on your budget.

Focus on borrowing the basics.

Basic details like bistro lighting, lanterns, shade umbrellas, firepits, and furniture are easy to borrow and reuse, as they aren't highly recognizable. These kinds of larger wedding details lend ambience and charm to a wedding by making the setting feel more comfortable. You can adapt things like Adirondack chairs to your style simply by adding in a few throw pillows that match your wedding theme.

Consider the smaller details carefully.

Smaller things like votive holders, table numbers, hand fans, pashminas, and throw pillows tend to be the kind of things couples buy in bulk and have plenty left over after the wedding. If it makes sense to take the excess from a friend, go for it, but just be sure that these smaller details really align with the style of your wedding. You can also try to incorporate your own style into the way things like this are displayed. For example, it would make sense to fill a few pretty jute baskets with pashminas at a beach wedding.


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