How to decorate the front of a church for a wedding

Updated April 17, 2017

Churches provide a traditional setting for your wedding, combining a spirit of community and spirituality. When your guests arrive at the church, they should be greeted with decorations that reflect the nature of your wedding. Whether brightening up a plain building or highlighting beautiful architecture, decorations placed in the front of the church contribute to the distinctive details of your wedding day.

Consult with the church managers or administrators. Some churches may not allow decorations, or only allow certain types, such as flowers. The church may provide wedding decorations, which you can incorporate with your own.

Study the church. Visit, or view photos if the location is long-distance. Note the structure of the front of the church, such as stairways, windows, porch railings, a pathway or other key features. Note the overall style of the church. A traditional Gothic church will call for different decor than a contemporary church.

Decide on your theme for the decorations. This may reflect your overall wedding theme, or be tailored to specifically complement the front of the church. For instance, choose a single eye-catching colour scheme, or use a butterfly or star motif in all your decorations. Incorporate seasonal decor for holiday weddings.

Meet with your designer or wedding planner. Consulting with a professional helps you decide the most tasteful and easy ways to implement your designs. Your wedding planner can also help you work out a budget.

Purchase and choose your supplies. Some possible ideas include weather-resistant lanterns and luminaries, display stands, flowers, candle holders, potted plants, garlands or wreaths, an arbor archway, outdoor runner rugs, streamers and banners or seasonal items, such as outdoor Christmas trees.

Arrive early to decorate. Check with the church administration to find out when you, your wedding planner or other volunteers can arrive to decorate the church front. Depending on other church events and the timing of your wedding, you may be able to decorate the evening before or several hours before. The earlier you decorate, the more time you have to deal with last-minute issues.


Include practical elements. At a large church, especially, your guests may need directing to the main ceremony or reception venues. Include signs with your other decorations, to point the way or verify that they're in the right spot. Be creative with your decorations. For a church with a pathway or large lawn, decorate an arbor archway with flowers that match your bridal bouquet, and place it near the entrance for guests to pass beneath. For an evening wedding, line the steps or pathway with luminaries and flickering candles. An outdoor-resistant runner rug adds elegance as guests enter the church. Standing displays of flowers or a banner over the door personalises your wedding. Weave floral garlands into guardrails.

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About the Author

Sally Murphy began writing professionally in 2000. She has worked as a writing instructor and written for various organizations and publications on topics ranging from history to hairstyles to television shows. Murphy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and also holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing.