Creative DIY Projects for the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

DIY project of marquis lighted letters spelling "LOVE." Photo by Ashton Imagery

Heather Featherston

November 28, 2023

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Having your wedding outdoors is an attractive choice for many reasons. Taking advantage of nature’s beauty is one of them. You can reduce your decorating and floral budget by incorporating your venue’s picturesque, natural backdrop to enhance your décor. Another way to stretch your budget is by creating DIY projects.
Let’s start with décor. First, take a tour of your venue and make sure to take pictures! You believe you will remember exactly what everything looks like, but a few weeks down the line, you may not remember exactly.
View your venue’s photos gallery online, and search for photos taken in the season you plan to hold your wedding. Look at pictures of a wedding held there, representing what the foliage will look like for your wedding. Now, pick some DIY projects (like the ones I share in this blog!) that will enhance nature’s beauty.

Strung market lights and an LED lantern provide light and ambiance to wedding guests


Once you determine what type of lighting your venue will provide, consider creative ways to enhance that lighting:

  • A chandelier hanging from a tree can add a romantic touch.
  • Lanterns with LED candlelights are a great way to light up paths if your wedding is in the evening.
  • For a slightly more involved DIY project, consider making marquis letters in wood with lighting installed. You can make words such as “LOVE,” “WELCOME,” or your names as a whimsical addition to your décor.

Creative lighting will create that romantic ambiance for you and your guests.
Candles inside mason jars line the aisle during a wedding ceremony. Photo by Jana Johnston Photography

Mason Jars

Mason jars are a versatile and inexpensive addition to your DIY décor. You can use mason jars in so many ways for a little over $1 a jar. They come in all kinds of different sizes and even different colors. Here are some ideas:

  • Fill them with twinkle lights and string them from tree to tree to add light for your guests while adding to the charming backdrop of your wedding.
  • Use mason jars as lovely vases for your floral arrangements. You can place the flowers in water so they stay fresh or place colored marbles or stones in the bottom for some added color.
  • Plant tiny succulents in small mason jars and present them to your guests as wedding favors.
  • Turn the mason jar upside down, place an LED candlelight on top of the lid, and then close it. Wrap a little twine or lace around the jar, and voila, a beautiful addition to your tablescape!

The options to utilize mason jars for DIY projects are endless so let your imagination (or Google searches!) run wild.
Tree stumps used as cake chargers. Photo by Katelyn Bradley Photography

Tree Stumps

Do you have a family member or friend who is handy with a chainsaw? Many people will be happy to have you cut up a downed tree on their property for free.
First, make a list of how you would like to use the sections of the tree, and then make a list of dimensions. There are numerous ways to enhance your décor with natural wood:

  • Have 12″ to 16″ rounds cut to place at the end of your wedding ceremony aisles with a cute flower vase showcasing a small bouquet or singular flower in your wedding colors.
  • Cut some 1″ to 2″ slices to be used as bases for your centerpieces. Or, these slices can hold appetizers or desserts on your tables.
  • Utilize some branches to make small place card holders or candle holders.
  • Remember to scoop up the pinecones. You can use them to hold place cards and add to your centerpieces.

Wood is a fantastic (and often free!) way to add that rustic, natural element to your outdoor wedding décor.
A repurposed pallet provides the base for an elegant table setup in blue pastels


Pallets can be a wedding DIYer’s best friend. You can often find them readily available for free. Call hardware stores, garden shops, furniture stores, pet stores, and grocery stores to see if they have any pallets. Also, post on social media that you are looking for pallets. Here are some ways to use pallets for your outdoor wedding:

  • Create signs. You can post your wedding timeline, a welcome sign, a seating chart, a saying or quote that is special to you and your partner, or your wedding bar offerings.
  • Build furniture. You can stack pallets together with cushions on top for additional seating. Create a display table with pallets stacked on each other and a glass top. Then fill the opening with flowers for a colorful addition to your day.
  • Create a photo display station. Showcase pictures of you two throughout your relationship leading up to your wedding.

Because they’re generally free, pallets can maximize your budget and create a bohemian or rustic style for your outdoor wedding.
A burlap and lace table runner photographed by Lela Spiva

Burlap & Twine

A great purchase when planning your wedding décor is burlap and twine. These inexpensive items can be used in numerous ways and are an excellent base for decorating:

  • Create table runners. For an added touch, add lace to each side.
  • Use a long roll as a wedding aisle runner.
  • Incorporate into your wedding invitations to set the stage for your wedding theme.
  • Wrap twine around flower vases with baby’s breath or other small flower or greenery.
  • Tie around chairs with a bow in the back to dress up your reception tables.

Burlap and twine create that natural background for all of your décor and will let the colors you choose for your wedding shine.
Wedding guests play cornhole. Photo by Athena Kalindi Photography


Some fun lawn games can really enhance your outdoor reception. Check if games are available through your venue, then add to the options. Keep your guests entertained with some of these easy-to-make outdoor games:

  • Build your own Jenga with cut-up and colored pieces of 2×4″ pieces of wood.
  • Create a slingshot with wood, a ball, a rubber band, and buckets to knock over.
  • Grab some rope, cut out Xs and Os from balsa wood, and have an outdoor Tic Tac Toe.
  • Are you and your fiancé sports fans? Create a football toss game with a piece of plywood with a couple of holes cut out and give that football a toss.
  • You can never go wrong with a game of bean bag toss, a.k.a “cornhole.” Make a cornhole board, buy or make your own bean bags, and paint.

You can create a game that all your guests will enjoy playing!

Wedding DIY Projects

Once you have decided on your DIY projects, it is time to round up your supplies. First, check out your local thrift and antique stores. These are wonderful places to find great bargains and unique items that suit your style.
Visit a dollar store for some basic items like jars, vases, and game items. Also, remember to check social media marketplaces. Many people sell the things they used for their weddings at bargain basement prices.
A wedding doesn’t have to break the bank. Ask your friends and family to lend a hand in creating some of these fun projects. Invite those who will help over and make it a fun time. Have a pizza party or a sip-and-build event.
These DIY projects can be fun with those you love and create even more beautiful memories that will be part of your wedding experience.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 22, 2022, and has since been updated. 

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

Heather, an Event Manager for the Rough & Ready Vineyards, oversees the day-to-day operations. She takes satisfaction in seeing everyone happy and is always grateful for the opportunity to make this happen. Heather enjoys meeting with brides-to-be in order to gather the details needed to ensure their wedding day is perfect! “Every wedding and reception at the Rough & Ready Vineyards is so beautiful,” she says. “I love being able to see people enjoy the amazing venue we have created here!”

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