Whether your guests enter the wedding venue from a stunning stone staircase or watch you descend into the reception on gorgeous steps, stairs can really take a wedding to the next level. A well-decorated staircase not only creates an elegant photo opp for you and your wedding guests, but it also adds dimension to your wedding aesthetic.
Looking for a step by step? Read on for everything you need to know about creating fabulous staircase decorations.
Step up your staircase game with these ideas for a fabulous staircase that will take your guests’ breath away.
Light might be the most versatile decoration tool in your wedding utility belt. A little illumination can highlight a staircase’s geometric beauty and unique accents. And there’s more than one way to light up your wedding staircase.
Candles are classic, romantic, and can work in a number of different ways, including:
Tea candles in water: Create the illusion of hovering lights along the staircase with tall, transparent candle glasses. Fill these glasses with varying levels of water and scatter them along the sides of the staircase. Add floating tea candles and enjoy the ethereal effect.
Glass candle cases or lanterns: From modern glass orbs to geometric glass lanterns, shape the light along your staircase to match your aesthetic.
Pillar candles: Pillar candles are effortlessly elegant. You can keep it simple by lining the edge of the staircase with a candle or two per step, or, if your staircase is wide enough, create a spill-effect of light. Start by adding a few candles to the top of the staircase, then inc easing the number as the steps continue. The more candles you use, the bigger the wow factor. You can also create candle clusters of three or five candles for each step, adjusting their height with a candle-cutter to create depth and dimension.
Not feeling the candlelight? Or just a little worried about potential fire hazards? String lights can add just as much romance and illumination to your staircase.
Banister: The banister is prime real estate for string lights at your wedding. Play around with weaving and wrapping the string lights in different patterns. You can try things like:
Lining: Lean into a minimalist aesthetic by lining the inner aisle of the stairway with a strand of lights on each side.
Field of Light: If the entrance to your venue is a wide set of stairs, (think the NYC Public Library), you can section off the middle part and fill the rest of the area with sparkling light. First, lay out a “path” for your guests by placing two strands of string lights a yard or two apart and at a slight angle. From there, create “rays” of light by lining the rest of the stairs on either side with strands upon strands of string lights.
Staircase Tip: Expand your definition of stairs to add staircase beauty to your day. Even if your wedding venue doesn’t have a dramatic spiral staircase or a grand foyer with even grander stairs, chances are there are a few steps somewhere around the property you can play up with wedding decor. Consider the steps leading from the entryway into the reception venue or the steps of an outdoor veranda, for example.
Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll probably find a mini staircase to decorate and dazzle.
When it comes to traditional wedding decor, you can never go wrong with flowers. They’re naturally beautiful, smell amazing, and symbolize new beginnings. Plus, the soft shapes of petals contrast gorgeously with the angular grace of an epic staircase.
If you’re struggling to narrow down the wide world of flora for your staircase, you can always look to the seasons for inspiration:
Winter: Deck your staircase with boughs of holly, pine branches, or snowdrops. Plus, bonus option to hang some mistletoe at the top of the stairs. (Wink, wink!)
Spring: Stun your wedding guests with a staircase of spring flowers. Talk to your florist about creating banister arrangements made of daffodils, peonies, ranunculus, irises, or delphiniums.
Summer: Make a statement with a staircase covered in summer’s natural gems. Sunflowers, bougainvillea, and hydrangea will bring a little summer sunshine to every step.
Fall: Gild your stairway with fall wedding colors—orange yarrow, red chrysanthemums, scarlet poppies, golden asiatic lilies, and dahlias. You can even scatter autumn leaves along the steps to create a gorgeous autumn-accented pathway.
Your floral arrangements on the staircase can also work within your wedding theme. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of flowers you can use for popular wedding aesthetics:
Modern: Create a unique modern staircase style with a banister garland made of orchids, king proteas, and succulent blossoms.
Rustic: Bring a countryside meadow into your wedding staircase decorations by adding wildflowers, daisies, sunflowers, or cornflowers to your banister garland.
Fairy Tale: Enchant your guests with a staircase worthy of Cinderella herself. A garland of roses, peonies, and stargazer lilies will create a magical atmosphere. Don’t forget to scatter a few petals on the step for a super romantic fairy-tale effect.
For added staircase style, play around with different kinds of plant holders. You can introduce new textures and materials to enrich this stunning staircase.
Vases: You can’t go wrong with a staircase full of classic flower vases. For safety’s sake, opt for vases with wider bases, so they’re less likely to tip over. You can keep it classic with transparent glass vases, or use a mix of ceramics to add eclectic flair to your stairs.
Potted Plants: For a more natural (and ecologically friendly) approach, place potted plants along your staircase to bring the beauty of a greenhouse to your special day.
Anything That Holds Water: Get creative with your plant presentation and find new ways to arrange your staircase florals. You can use:
Staircase Tip: Who says flowers get to have all the fun? No matter the season, vines and greenery look gorgeous on a banister or splayed out on the sides of a stairway.
The varying textures, drapes, and colors of fabric can draw attention to the architectural beauty of a staircase while amplifying your wedding’s themes. The flexibility of fabric—literally and figuratively—gives you tons of room to play around with design ideas. Here are a few to try:
Gauzy Tulle: Tulle is such a dynamic fabric. It can hold interesting shapes and still look polished when tightly woven around a banister. You can keep it sleek, or puff the fabric in fun, modern shapes.
Satin Ribbons: Shining ribbons in white, gold, silver, rose gold, or bronze can bring classic glamor to your staircase. Or, mix and match colors to fit within your wedding palette.
Lace: By adding lace trimming to your banister, you can evoke old world charm and delicate grace.
Carpet: A carpet runner over elegant stairs can add plush luxury to your staircase wedding decorations.
Staircase Tip: When you’re trying to figure out how much fabric to use, bring your measuring tape to the venue—but not the kind you use to measure whether your partner’s couch will fit in your new place. Fabric or clothing measurement tape is more flexible and can more easily wrap around the banister.
Looking to add a bit of funky flair to your stairway to marital bliss? Try feathers. This natural element evokes bohemian fashion, Hollywood glamour, and the elegance of nature. You can incorporate feathers in a number of ways, including:
Feather boas: Tap into your inner flapper with a banister wrapped in feather boas. A classic white boa wrapped around the banister can create a dramatic focal point for your special day.
Feather bouquets: Instead of flowers, place several peacock or ostrich feathers in vases around the stairs.
Staircases are a blank canvas for your wedding decorations. You can mix and match different materials, styles, and textures to make your mark on the staircase. Try a few of these, or combine them all:
Greenlit Banister: Create a verdant and glittering garland by twisting vines and string lights around your banister.
Florals and Fabric: Mix textures by weaving together whimsical strands of flowers and ribbons to wrap around your staircase.
Petals and Candle Light: Scatter flower petals around clusters of candles for romance and illumination at every step.
Feathers and Flowers: Tuck wisps of feathers into your stair’s flower garland for a staircase that Mother Nature would love.
Staircase wedding decorations can express you and your partner’s unique personalities, wedding vision, or create a dramatic multi-level photo opp your guests will remember forever. But the first step to reaching that wonderful day? Wedding planning.
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