The average wedding costs a whopping $30,000! But who has that kind of money laying around, especially when many young couples are trying to pay off student loans or save up for a down payment on a house? Luckily, there are ways to cut costs and still have a beautiful wedding. One of the best ways to save a ton is to forgo a traditional wedding venue and opt for a tented wedding instead. Of course, wedding tent décor can also get expensive if you’re not careful. So, it’s best to go with some inexpensive and DIY decorations to wow your guests without breaking the bank. Do you need some inspiration? Then keep reading to discover 15 stunning and budget-friendly wedding tent décor ideas.
1. Go with an Open Tent
Do you already have a beautiful location to place your wedding tent? Then why not let the location do all the work for you? Opt for a pole or marquee tent, where the top is covered but the sides are open. The natural beauty surrounding you will then act as part of your décor. All you have to do is stick with the same style to create a cohesive look for your wedding. For example, if you’re getting married by a beach, go with some light nautical décor and an ocean-inspired color palette. If you’re getting married in your parent’s large backyard, use their backyard décor and flowers as inspiration for your color palette and wedding décor.
2. Decorate the Entryway
A great way to give your guests a good first impression is to decorate the entryway of your tent. If you already have a small water fountain, consider placing this in front of your tent. A decorated arch, some lanterns, or a large sign are also good ways to bring that wow factor to your tent’s entryway. You can even reuse the arch or décor from your ceremony to save big.
3. Hang Ceiling Drapes
Ceiling drapes are perhaps the most popular way to decorate a wedding tent. And there’s a good reason why. Ceiling drapes are an affordable way to make a huge impact. You can either buy special tent drapes online or simply by as many yards of fabric as you need from your local craft store. While white seems to be the color of choice for ceiling drapes, you can also choose to use your wedding colors to add a fun pop of color and wow your guests.
4. Hide Support Beams
Does your wedding tent have a few vertical support beams coming down? Unfortunately, these can really be an eyesore and take away from the look you’re trying to achieve. However, they are easy to hide. Simply wrap tulle or garland around the support beams to help them blend in with the rest of your décor.
5. Use Chair Sashes
Chair sashes can be an effective and budget-friendly alternative to expensive chairs or chair covers. By going with a thick sash, you can add interest and color into your wedding tent while masking less-than-ideal chairs. While you can buy these online, it's often more affordable to buy a few yards of fabric or ribbon to make your own. You can also find chair cushion covers online to really take your chairs to the next level.
6. Get Some Bean Bags
Do you want a fun and relaxing wedding? Then you can’t go wrong with buying a few big bean bags. Just set them up in a corner of your tent along with a rug and a few throw pillows. Voila! You have a comfortable and unique conversation pit that is sure to impress your guests.
7. Hang Fairy Lights…
Fairy lights are the ultimate lighting for almost any type of wedding. Depending on the rest of the décor, they can help to create a rustic, chic, romantic, or mystical feel. Not only are they affordable, but they can also be reused after your wedding to decorate your backyard or patio. So, if you need a little extra light in your wedding tent, fairy lights are perhaps the best investment.
8. …Or Paper Lanterns
Are you looking for something a bit more unique than fairy lights? Paper lanterns add plenty of light and visual interest while remaining affordable. While white is a good go-to, opting for colorful lanterns can create a fun and unique atmosphere.
9. Go Rustic
It’s no secret that rustic weddings are trending. But they can also be some of the most affordable weddings since rustic décor is typically very cheap and easy to create yourself. Old barrels, toolboxes, and tin buckets are perfect to create a rustic wedding. Mason jars are affordable to buy in bulk and can be used as drinking glasses or vases. Wooden tables and chairs don’t need to be covered, saving you even more money.
10. Go with Chandeliers
Do you want a formal or sophisticated wedding? Then consider splurging on some chandeliers to hang from your tent’s ceiling. You can get these cheaper by buying in bulk or shopping from a used bridal décor site, like Bravo Bridal or Wedding Recycle. If you can find them for the right price, they’ll act as a focal point, so you can keep other aspects of your décor minimal.
11. Decorate with Flower Petals
Many couples are shocked to discover just how expensive wedding flowers are. But this is a great area to cut back on. Instead of having large floral centerpieces, opt for flower petals instead. They’re much cheaper and still give you that floral feel. Just sprinkle them on every table and add some candles to create simple and affordable centerpieces. For a more romantic look, consider buying floating candles and long, narrow vases. You can then fill the vases with water and submerge some flower petals so they look like they're floating under the candle.
12. Use a Colored Tablecloth for the Sweetheart Table
Are you looking for a cost-effective way to make your sweetheart table stand out? Instead of splurging on fancy chairs and tons of décor, consider using a different colored tablecloth. Many weddings will have white tablecloths and colored napkins to match your wedding colors. You can use that napkin color as your tablecloth color and opt for white napkins. This will help ensure your table stands out without looking out-of-place.
13. Use Large Letters
One of the hardest parts of decorating a tent is figuring out how to fill up large, plain areas. If you’re having this problem, consider creating a focal point using oversized painted letters and garland. You can either spell out your last name, use your initials with an ampersand, or write out a word like “love”. Then, set some garland or bunched fabric on the floor. You can also use fairy lights, lanterns, or flowers to make a bigger impact.
14. Create a Selfie Station
There’s no denying the allure of photo booths. It gives guests something to do other than dancing and they even get a cute picture to take home as a keepsake. However, photobooths have gotten very expensive. If you don’t have room in your budget to rent a professional photo booth, consider creating a DIY selfie station. You can buy a backdrop online or make one using colored streamers or a fun piece of fabric. Then, buy some cheap props, like oversized glasses, princess crowns, funny hats, and cute says on dowels. You can even DIY your props to save even more! The last step will be to buy a selfie stick, so your guests can take the best photos possible. You can also opt for a polaroid camera as a fun throw-back that your guests are sure to love.
15. Get a Unique Dance Floor
Your dance floor will likely take up a huge chunk of your wedding tent. While there may be an upcharge, upgrading to a unique dance floor will allow you to save money by acting as a focal point so you don’t need to spend as much on other aspects of your décor. Colored dance floor squares can be arranged to create checkered, striped, or geometric patterns. You can also find dance floors with floral designs or monogrammed dance floors to add a personal touch.
Your Guide to Affordable Wedding Tent Décor
Don’t spend a fortune on your wedding décor. Instead, follow the guide above to make your wedding tent look stunning while sticking to your budget. From renting an open tent to getting a unique dance floor, there are many wedding tent décor ideas that won’t break the bank. Are you looking for ways to upgrade your home on a budget too? Then check out our collection of large bean bag chairs that will give you a stylish and cozy home!