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Paper Planes, Party Hats & More: 15 Ways to Decorate with Paper

Most great ideas start on paper. If you've already started planning your wedding, we're guessing you've got a journal full of ideas, assorted post-it notes and scrawled-on cocktail napkins, maybe even some Aqua Notes from moments of creative wedding brilliance in the shower. And, of course, the invitation. You never knew a piece of off-white paper could come in so many different varieties! 

But, partying with paper doesn't end there. When it comes to creative decoration, paper is one of the most versatile, affordable, easy-to-use materials to use and lends itself to some pretty powerful personalization. So, without further ado, we bring you 15 creative ways to use paper at your wedding, beyond the invite.

1. Ceremony Backdrop: Get married under a canopy of paper! Bring in tons of color and textures by crafting all types of pinwheels, flowers, fans and kites. Just attach to chicken wire and tie it with wire to an existing arch or structure. (Photo: Ashley Rose Photography)

 

2. Paper Vases (Left): Give your centerpieces a makeover by simply wrapping vases in your favorite paper! Or use a paper towel roll and paint it and hide a bud vase inside. So cheap and custom! Honey and Poppies, photo credit: YWD magazine

3. Decorative Paper in Your Centerpieces (Right): Add some spunk to your flowers by incorporating a paper element into your centerpieces. Cut out maps in the shape of a heart, or any shape that is in line with your event concept. It adds dimension and gives you more color options that might not be available through flowers. (Photo: Closer to Love Photography)

4. Nostalgic Name Tags: Use old school sticker name tags to guide your guests to their seats. Super easy and cheap, and fun because you get to use your own personal handwriting! (Photo: Jagger Photography)

5. Airplane Programs: Speaking of old school throwbacks, let's get back in touch with paper airplanes. Take any type of ceremony program and fold it into an airplane. Or try a simple Origami creature. (Photo: Jagger Photography)

6. Paper Table Runner (Left): For a less expensive and more interesting table runner, use your favorite kind of paper. A flight plan, blueprint, music sheets or maps are a great alternative to a fabric runner. It also gives you so much more freedom to play with colors and patterns! (Photo: Jon Paul Douglass) 

7. Confetti Table Runner (Right): Confetti makes everything better. Sprinkle paper confetti in all shapes, sizes and colors to spruce up a bland tablescape. (Photo: Gem Photo)

8. Ceiling Installation: Spice up any space by adding some major paper craftiness in the ceiling. Cut up fun colored paper in any shape that you love, glue them to twine or string, and hang above for an overhead wow factor. (Photo: David Stubbs)

9. Guest Book Haikus: Want to put your guests to the creative test? Ask for guest book entries in the form of haiku. Nothing beats that old 5-7-5 structure. (Photo: Mr. Haack

10. Party Hats (Left): Party hats are always a WIN. Bring them back by adding them to the décor of your wedding! As the night goes on, guests will celebrate by getting silly and fun!  Check out this awesome tutorial to DIY here, or check out Joyful Joyful on Etsy to get them custom made! (Photo: Gabriel Ryan

11. Paper Cake Topper (Right): Cut out a personalized illustration and stick it right into the top of your cake for a super affordable and personalized cake topper. This Etsy seller does amazing illustrations! (Photo: Braedon Flynn)

 

12. Paper Boutonnieres: Add a pop of interest to your traditional boutonniere by adding a bit of paper behind the flower. Use a map of a place you and your fiancé met to make it even more personal. If you're not up for the DIY, check out Marija on Etsy. (Photo: Ashley Rose Photography)

 

13. Dessert Table Backdrop: Using paper to create a backdrop for any part of your wedding is not only affordable, but extremely versatile. The sky is the limit!  Make paper flowers and attach them to fabric or use books and pages from books, glue them to a sheet of OSB board 4ft x 8ft and hang from behind the table or simply set it on top. You can use paper and chicken wire to create words too, by rolling up a sheet of paper and sticking it through the holes in the wire. So fun! (Top photo: Mr. Haack, Bottom photo: Focus Photography)

14. Appetizer Picks: Customize your food and tie in your event's design by adding some paper to your appetizer sticks. Just browse the scrapbooking aisle of your favorite craft store, and pick out whatever scrapbook adornments you love the most. Glue them to a toothpick and you have instant interest added to your food spread! (Photo: Gabriel Ryan Photography)

15. Fortune Cookie Favors: Give your guests a fun thank you note in a paper fortune cookie. Use the “fortune” to convey your thankful message. Create them in your colors or make them ombre to add more dimension and a beautiful spread on any table! And check out the simple DIY here. (Photo: Mark Brooke)

Got any creative ideas for using paper as decor at your wedding? Looking for more ideas? Give us a shout in the comments below or find us on Twitter.