Guests didn't come just to look at the bride and groom. While it's the couple who are the center of attention, guests do come to view the whole shebang from the flowers adorning the church to the silverware and the patterns of the table napkins in the reception. Guests with a good eye for detail (and a taste for the elegant and the beautiful) are quick to notice unmatched table napkins and boring wedding souvenirs.

Wedding decorations are the centerpieces of the ceremony. They also define the mood and atmosphere of the setting. It is, after all, these small details that complete the whole picture, whether it's a church or a garden wedding, or even a beach ceremony.

Where to decorate

Church weddings require more elaborate decorations, while outdoor ceremonies are more casual and airy. In any case, take note of these special spots at the wedding ceremony which needs decorating.

Wedding decorations on the entrance or the doorway (or arches and tents for outdoor weddings) are the first details your guests will notice. Decorations for the entrance should be light in detail and should not obstruct entry.

And then of course, there's the altar. Traditional weddings in cathedrals are more ornate with heavy swaths of lace and flowers framing the altar. Garden weddings require just a table and a small centerpiece, and thus, are easier to decorate.

Pews and chairs are another matter. Modern weddings go for a simple arrangement of flowers on the pews and chairs, sans the lace and the tulle that seem to take up the entire church and aisle. Others who'd like to save up and be more practical go for the pew bows a simple bow arrangement of ribbons and lace that are not only good decorations in the church, but can also be moved to the reception as table and pillar decorations as well.

In the reception, it's the tables and the wedding cake that need the details. Table wedding decorations can range from a simple arrangement of daisies and baby's breath to candles and small lamps. And then, of course, there's the wedding cake. Now, this is something that the couple can decide on whether they'd go for the traditional man and woman figurine or go for doves or flowers or something else.

Something to Remember

It's all about the theme. When choosing your wedding decorations, think of the big picture and the kind of atmosphere you want your wedding to have. Is it the classical, fairy-tale affair? Or is it a minimalist, simplistic ceremony? Is it a winter wedding? How about if it's an autumn or a spring ceremony? Or what about an Indian ceremony? Traditional weddings would mean embroidered table napkins, a three-tiered wedding cake, and tiny wineglasses for souvenirs. Simple ceremonies require less detail. Today, not everything in the whole wedding ceremony has to match. They just have to complement each other. Table napkins need not have matching embroidered designs with the plates; the table flower decorations need not be the same with the bride's bouquet.

Think T-I-M-E. Unless you're planning on a quickie wedding in Las Vegas (where everything's ready for youfrom the ring and the bridal bouquet to the church decorations), you're running against time from the planning to the decorating, up to the time you take down those decorations. Planning ahead on your table napkins to your table centerpieces will help you save time and money. It's usually the reception area where much decorating needs to be done, and where every detail needs to be polished the souvenirs, the design for the wedding cake, the tables and chairs, the dining ware.

With a clear idea of your wedding's theme or motif, you can opt to start shopping for those decorations and souvenirs at wholesale prices. Others buy the stuff in bulk and assemble them on their own, especially if they want a more personal touch. Still, others suggest buying during the 'off season', when prices are still relatively low due to a relatively low demand.

It's your wedding, it's your choice. Your wedding decorations may be trivial details, not something you'd like to lose sleep over. But again, these details are the small things that add color to the wedding picture the wedding cake design, those pretty bows adorning the church pews, the wedding souvenirs and others more that you'd like to add to your picture-perfect moment.