How to Decorate a Stairway for a Wedding

Draw attention to the bride's entrance with flowers, ribbons, and lights

By Cynthia Myers

Wooden Stairs with White Decoration
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The image of the beautiful bride descending a staircase to meet her beloved is the stuff of romantic dreams and a reality for any bride lucky enough to have a staircase as part of her wedding venue. Decorate a stairway for a wedding to add to the beauty of the event. Whether you use flowers, greenery, fabric or lights, your decorated stairway will look lovely in photographs and be a fitting setting for the bride's entrance.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Some staircases are dramatic and elegant on their own, needing very little help in the decor department. Others, however, may need some help from flowers, greenery, ribbons, bows, tulle, fabric and lights. You'll need straight pins and cable ties to keep these decorations in place.

Step 1:

Choose your decorating material. Choose materials that coordinate with your centerpieces and other decorations. Echo your wedding colors. The most common way to decorate a stairway is to form swags evenly spaced between the banisters. These can be evergreen swags, material such as tulle or ropes of artificial or real flowers. You can also add tiny white lights, which are especially effective for an evening wedding.

Step 2:

Measure the staircase to determine how much material you'll need. To allow for the drop between swags, plan on evergreens, flowers or fabric twice the length of the stair railing.

Step 3:

Fasten the material to the stairway. You'll need to tie or wrap your swag to the banisters or railing. Plastic cable ties, available in white or black, work well for this. They can be pulled as tightly as necessary to ensure a secure hold. Snip off the ends. Attach the material every 3 or 4 feet, making the swag as deep as you desire. At the bottom, leave a long end free, draping it in front of or wrapping it around the newel post.

Step 4:

Add lights, if you're using them. Start at the bottom of the stairs and move up. This will allow you to hide any extension cords leading to electrical outlets at the top of the stairs, where they'll be less noticeable. Use additional cable ties to attach them.

Step 5:

Add flowers or ribbon bows to hide each cable tie. These can be pinned to the swag. A single large blossom or a corsage of several blossoms is a nice touch with either fabric or evergreen swags.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Layer several types of swags such as evergreens or flower ropes over fabric or two colors of fabric overlapping. Stagger the swags for a scalloped effect.
  • Evergreens aren't only for Christmas. Use ropes of magnolia leaves or palm branches for a spring or summer wedding.
  • Remember to double your materials and measurements if you plan to decorate both sides of the stairway.

About the Author

Cynthia James is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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A shelter of branches under which a couple stands to exchange vows. Can also be made of latticework covered with vines.

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