Western Wedding Decorations
Old West Decor For Your Ceremony and Reception
No matter where your wedding will be held (in a church, on a verandah, in a barn, out in a picnic area), you'll certainly want some western wedding decorations to jazz up the location and set the theme of your wild west marriage celebration.
There are a lot of different icons that reflect a western theme such as horseshoes, bales of hay, saddles, covered wagons, cowboy boots and hats, rope, and wagon wheels, just to list a few. You may have to pick and choose to narrow the types of decorating items you'll want to display. Sometimes, less is better than more, especially when decorating the ceremony location.
The following are great ideas on what you can use for wild west country wedding decorations.
Western Wedding Decorations: Pew Markers
Your first order of business will be decorating the area where you will be holding your ceremony. Let's start with ideas for pew markers.
- You could simply (and cheaply) tie together small bouquets of wildflowers with raffia or ribbon. However, I would suggest you use silk wildflowers for this rather than real ones, mainly because these types of flowers can quickly wilt after being cut if they are not set in water. (You can find a list of western wedding flowers here.)
- Paint small wooden horseshoes in your wedding colors. Glue on a sprig of dried flowers and attach a miniature cowboy hat to one side and hang with ribbon. This is cute and quaint western pew marker, especially if your theme is centered around cowboys and/or horses.
- Purchase small wicker baskets and glue in an arrangement of dried wildflowers, lace and ribbon. Wrap ribbon around the handles and tie a bow on top. Use a small length of matching ribbon to attach these to the pews/chairs.
- Keep it really simple by using children's cowboy hats as your aisle decorations.
Western Wedding Decorations For The Ceremony
How you decorate your western ceremony location will depend on where the nuptials will be taking place.
If it's at a church, then your decorations will most likely be more reserved. If it's at a local ranch or other such open area, then you can have more fun and use more creativity in what you may wish to do.
Here are several decorating suggestions that you can pick and choose from. Be sure to also have a look at our page on western wedding centerpieces for ideas on table decor for the entrance and gift table.
- Hang a "Last Chance Corral" sign at the entrance to the ceremony. Alternatively, you could also make signs such as: "The Wedded Bliss Ranch", "(Bride's name) and (Groom's name) Corral", etc.
- Place bales of hay near the entrance. Drape a saddle, horse bridle and rope on top.
- If the ceremony is in the evening hang kerosene lamps along the walkway for illumination. (Be sure they are safely hung and not near anything flammable.)
- Make a nice wooden arch out of latticework to stand under during the ceremony. String fake ivy through the lattice, tack upright horseshoes to the corners (for good luck) and add some twinkle lights.
- Instead of tall standing bouquets of flowers (or large flower urns), create arrangements of wheat, cat-o-nine tails and prairie grasses? Lean a small wagon wheel against them.
- If the Officiant is willing, have him or her dress up like an old western sheriff.
Western Wedding Decorations For Your Reception
While the ceremony is often a more solemn affair, your reception should be a real celebration. Have fun with it! It's something that you will remember for years to come, so make those memories happy and exciting, filled with laughter and joy. Don't forget that you can use some of the decorations from the ceremony here too.
- Decorate a wooden lattice arch with ivy, wheat and/or wildflowers. Add an upright horseshoe to the center of the arch. Set this at the entrance of the reception.
- Place bales of hay around the area for additional seating if there is dancing after the meal. If you're going for a rustic look in your western wedding decorations, you could also pile them up high enough and place long boards or planks along the tops to double as your food tables. This is a great idea if the reception is being held outdoors or in a barn.
- Hang rope and lassoes from the walls; drape rope over the corners of a few bales of hay.
- Hang Navajo blankets or country quilts on the walls and/or use them to cover the tops of bales of hay that are being used for seating.
- Place a couple of fake cactus' and bleached cattle skulls with some deadwood in the corners of the room. You could also string small white lights around the cactus.
- Use saddles, halters, and horse bridles as added decorations. Place a saddle and blanket over a sawhorse with a halter hanging nearby.
- If your reception is going to be a BBQ and picnic affair, cover picnic tables with red and white gingham cloth.
- Wrap silverware in bandanas and secure with rope love knot "napkin rings".
- For a really rustic western theme serve meals on tin plates and use tin or pewter cups for drinking.
- Use split rail fencing to cordon off certain areas such as the dance floor, bar, etc.
- Hang bandanas down along the sides of your serving tables in a triangular fashion for colorful decorations.
- Check with some local farms and see if they have some old wagon wheels that you might be able to rent or borrow for the day. Place them against the walls throughout the room. If outside, lean them against some trees or use them to section off the "dance area" from the main area.
- Fill large washtubs with ice to keep cans of pop and beer cold.
- Create wanted posters of the bride and groom. Put them up at the entrance to the reception and perhaps have guests sign the posters instead of a guest book.
- Make decorative bows from thin denim or raffia instead of using tulle or ribbon.
- Hang a clothesline along one wall. Take childhood pictures and have them blown up on a color copier. Cut out the pictures in the shapes of clothes (shirts, pants, socks, vests, dresses, etc.) and hang on the line with clothespins for a timeline snapshot of your lives.
- Have a large dinner bell hung up to be rung when it's time to announce dinner and/or upcoming wedding toasts and speeches.
- Place washtubs and washboards around the room for a country feel.
- Add some tumbleweeds too for extra effect.
- Make daisy chains and use these as garland or added decoration on tables.
The above should give you some good ideas on what can be used for western wedding decorations both at your ceremony and reception. If you're using flowers, it's usually best to stick with western type flowers that grow in the south and south-west, otherwise your floral arrangements and bouquets may look out of place.