Shabby Chic Wedding Decor

Looking to plan a shabby wedding but don’t know what decor to use? Find out everything you need to know with this complete guide.

By Jane Chertoff

Shabby Chic Wedding Decor
Photo by Unsplash

Shabby chic weddings, with decor featuring vintage and rustic touches, have a truly romantic vibe that is both sophisticated and casual. And it’s one of the most fun themes to prepare for, as it typically involves sourcing wedding decor at antique stores and wedding sites that carry items like bird cages, vintage trunks, antique hardcover books, and other vintage decor.

Think that sounds right up your alley? Here's a look at color wedding palettes, ceremony decor ideas, and tips on how to use shabby chic wedding decor at your wedding reception.

What Is Shabby Chic Wedding Decor?

Shabby chic weddings usually involve distressed and vintage furnishings that are repurposed for wedding decor (for example, a large gold vintage mirror found in an antique shop you can use to write table seating assignments or your menu on.)

You can incorporate shabby chic decor elements at both your ceremony and wedding reception. You can even incorporate this rustic vibe into your apparel by wearing a bohemian or vintage wedding dress. Your wedding party could also wear lace or floral dresses and suspenders and bowties to complete the look.

Shabby Chic Color Scheme Ideas

When it comes to a color scheme for your shabby chic wedding, you have a few different options.

Soft Pastel Shades

Soft pastels, like light blue, lilac, pale pink and yellow, mint, and peach, all give off an old-time, vintage feel. You could use solid versions of these shades in your decor, or look for patterns, like small florals, that feature these colors.

Champagne, Pearl White, or Gold

As for the chic part of the “shabby,” you’ll want to elevate your decor with touches of pearls, Champagne, or gold. You could incorporate these into your decor or your dress.

Metallics and Wood

Look for ways to feature antique furnishings in silver, gold, brass, or wood—and bonus points if you find something old. When it comes to shabby chic, the more distressed the piece is, the better.

Shabby Chic Ceremony Touches

Consider featuring your shabby chic decor throughout your event, starting with a warm welcome to guests at your ceremony. Below are a few ideas on how to incorporate this style into your wedding decoration as you say your vows.

Welcome Sign

The welcome sign will likely be the first thing guests see at your event. Set the tone for your shabby chic event with a wooden or DIY sign where you write, “Welcome to our wedding” on a vintage mirror or chalkboard.

Antique Barn or Other Wooden Doors

Use antique doors at your ceremony to make a real statement. You can place the doors at the entrance to the ceremony to welcome guests into the space to add to your shabby chic style. Or, create an arch between the doors (and cover it with fresh flowers), and use the pair as a ceremony backdrop.

Vintage Chairs and Sofa

For a unique touch, instead of using traditional folding chairs at your ceremony, find or rent vintage-style armchairs, love seats, and couches. Your guests will enjoy the ceremony in both comfort and style.

Shabby Chic Wedding Decor | Zola Photo Credit // Unsplash

Tin Buckets Filled With Fresh Flowers

Fill vintage tin buckets with wildflowers or baby’s breath. Then, attach them to the chairs on the ends of each row to line the ceremony aisle.

Shabby Chic Reception Ideas

You can continue the shabby chic look at your wedding reception as well. Below are a few ideas to make sure every detail throughout the event looks cohesive and put together.

Seating Assignments

Instead of handing out individual cards with guest’s seating assignments on them, look for a large vintage window with the glass intact. You can write the table number and each guest’s name underneath each pane. Or, do the same on a full-length distressed mirror. Source antique shops or vintage wedding shops online to find these pieces.


There are options abound when it comes to centerpieces for your shabby chic affair. You could decorate antique birdcages and fill them with flowers and strings of pearls. Or, use mason jars painted in pastel colors and fill them with wildflowers or baby’s breath. Another option is to stack antique hardcover books and top them with vases of flowers and candles.


To elevate your “shabby” decor, hang chandeliers strategically around your reception. You could also use candelabras for a dramatic look that also adds some beautiful wedding lighting for the evening.

Antique Sweetheart’s Table

Look for a distressed wooden table for two that would make the perfect sweetheart’s table. Decorate it with plenty of lace, pastel flowers, and candles to complete the look.

Vintage Trunks

Place these around your reception as extra seating or as a perch for your guest book. Or, leave them open as storage for costumes and props for your photo booth.

Distressed Dresser

Source antique shops for an old-timey dresser or table that will serve as the perfect shabby chic cake or dessert table. Look for gilded vintage cake stands for your desserts to complete the look.

Ready for even more great décor ideas? Check out Zola’s Expert Advice.