The front of the church is the first thing your guests will see when they arrive for your wedding, so decorating this area lets them know your wedding style. Before making any decorating plans, find out from church officials what decor you're allowed to use. Your church may have rules against hanging anything on the outside of the church, for example, or using certain types of decorations.
A few pots of bright flowers make an immediate statement without costing too much. Buy plain terracotta planters or wrap plastic pots in ribbon, then plant flowers matching your colour scheme in them. Arrange the pots on either side of the church door. Save money by making your church flowers do double duty---after the ceremony, ask your wedding planner or friends to transport the flowers to the reception site to decorate it as well.
Wheat is a symbol of weddings and fertility, so arranging wheat outside the church will be a good omen for your life together. Stalks of wheat are also cheap to buy from a garden store and don't wilt quickly, which means you can buy them several weeks before the ceremony. Arrange loose stalks of wheat in buckets or tie them together into neat bunches. Stand them in wooden boxes to arrange on the church steps.
Decorating the front of the church with ribbon requires no special skills or decorative eye, so even the groomsmen can handle this task. Buy thick satin ribbon in a bright colour. The strong visual impact this creates means you don't have to use much ribbon to create an effect. Wrap ribbon around the church steps railings and wind it around bushes. Tie some pieces into large bows and attach them to the church doors.
Evergreen wreaths are especially appropriate at Christmastime, but wreaths decorated with fresh or dried flowers are fitting any time of the year. Wreaths are also an ideal decorating idea if the front of the church is cramped, since they will brighten up the space without blocking the sidewalk or doorway. Hang one large wreath on each door so it's eye-level to guests. Wreaths are also easy to transport to your reception space---hang them on the doors to create continuity from venue to venue.