Typically the best man (with the help of the maid of honor, groomsmen, and bridesmaids) sneaks out of the wedding reception about halfway through to decorate the wedding car.
Sometimes, even the bride and groom like to be included.
Decorating the wedding car is definitely a fun and creative way to honor (or even embarrass) the new couple!
Old shoes were tied to the back bumper because leather was thought to ward off evil spirits, and would keep the young couple safe. Sometimes tin cans were also tied to the back of the car, to make noise and call attention to the happy newlyweds. Now, more couples are renting limousines and are aware that shaving cream might damage the paint and rental companies discourage tying anything to the car. There are many other alternatives now available that won’t harm the car in any way. ~ Married Today
If you’ll be helping to decorate the couple’s wedding car, here are lots of fun ideas for you…
Best Wedding Car Decorations
You could use just about anything under the sun to decorate the couple’s wedding car.
Following are the most popular ideas, along with links to find these items online and DIY tips from people who’ve added wedding car decorations to cars before:
Streamers. Using streamers to decorate the wedding car is cheap and easy. Toilet paper is even cheaper, but less colorful. Though doing an entire mummy wrap could be effective. Crepe paper streamers come in lots of fun colors. (Try to use the couple’s wedding colors.) There are lots of unique streamers as well — including metallic streamers that will glisten in the sunlight and won’t “bleed” if it rains. Tie streamers to the antenna, side-view mirrors, door handles, or to the car’s hubcaps. You could also make a big bow for the hood of the car. You could even make your own streamers lots of different ways.
Window Markers or Liquid Chalk or Glass Markers. These are great to use for writing messages on the car’s windows. (Shoe polish is okay, but it needs to be removed right away. Bar soap isn’t quite noticeable enough. Shaving cream can be messy. You could even use blue painter’s tape!) Make sure to write large and clear so people can read the message from a distance. (White writing is best.) You may want to use stencils, then just color within the lines. Keep it simple with something classic like “Just Married,” or get noisy with “Honk! We’re Married!”
License Plates or License Plate Frames. This is a fun way to decorate the wedding car in a way that gives the couple a permanent memento. There are “Just Married” license plates available in party stores or online. Some can even be engraved with the couple’s names and the date of their wedding. You can attach it to the front of the couple’s wedding car, or just stick it in the rear window.
Balloons. Balloons add a fun touch to the wedding car. Plus, they’re cheap and probably the easiest to decorate with. Get balloons in the wedding colors, or just keep it simple with red or white — the universal colors of love. You can also get heart-shaped balloons. Put balloons all over the car to grab attention. You could even stuff balloons into the car (or straw instead of balloons!) and watch as the couple tries to get past all the balloons when they climb inside!
Of course, there are many ways you can get really crazy. Put Twinkies under the car handles so that when they open the door, they get a handful of cream. If you can get inside the car, even better! Balloons and glitter are great stuffers. Glitter will stick around for months, if not years, to come, reminding the wedding couple of that night for a long time. Hanging handcuffs, feathers or lingerie from the rear view mirror is a great way to embarrass the new couple, and encourage them to have fun that night. –Associated Content
Pom Poms. Small plastic pom poms are a nice (and cheap!) ways to decorate the wedding car. You can line the hood, bumper, and windows with the pom poms. Make sure to use the couple’s wedding colors — unless it’s the same color of the car — then use other contrasting colors. You could even make your own pom poms.
Silk Flowers or Fresh Flowers. Using fresh flowers is the most traditional way to decorate the wedding car. You can tie a beautiful bouquet of flowers to the hood of the car or make a heart-shaped flower wreath. Silk flowers will last longer and withstand the elements better — especially the heat from the car.
Car Flags. Using stick flags (like they do in the presidential motorcade) is another way to decorate the wedding car and bring attention to the new couple. You could even order personalized stick flags to commemorate the couple’s wedding day and be a lasting memento.
Banners & Pennants. Banners & triangle-shaped pennants are less formal and can even be used to ‘spell’ messages. There are magnetic wedding banners for cars, as well as wedding banners that can be tied onto the vehicle. You can stick them anywhere — such as the car windows, doors, hood, or bumper.
Ribbons. Using ribbons will give the wedding car an elegant, classy feel. You can attach ribbons around the car, or make bows from ribbons. (Here are some videos showing how to make ribbon bows.) You could also combine tulle and ribbon and fresh flowers and use them in different ways on the wedding car.
Window Clings. Window clings are a great way to decorate the wedding car with a sophisticated style. These window clings can be personalized and come in many colors and sizes:
Signs. Create signs on your computer, or by hand. You can print out signs with computer graphics or use construction paper, glitter, and paint to decorate the signs yourself. Use fun sayings like “Newlyweds On Board” or “Just Married.” You could even make your own wedding signs using pictures of the newlyweds. Find photos of when they were babies, in high school, at graduation, making funny faces, at parties, or just a nice photo of them together as a couple. Then, add those photos to poster board and decorate with funny or inspirational sayings. Finally, attach the signs to the inside windows of the car for everyone to see!
Wedding Car Decorating Kit. Save time and money by purchasing a kit that has all of the best wedding car decorations inside — like window markers, clings, balloons, streamers, pom poms, strings, paper wedding bells, and more.
Silly String. This is a quick way to add some creativity (or mess) to the wedding car. Spray silly string outside and inside the car — all over the steering wheel and anywhere else you can think of. Make sure to remove the silly string ASAP because it could damage the car’s paint if left on too long.
Noise Makers. This is almost a must when decorating the wedding car. Tying noise makers such as tin cans or plastic soda bottles (no sparks) to the bumper will definitely bring attention to the new couple as they leave. It was once believed that tying leather shoes to the rear bumper of the wedding car would ward off evil spirits.
After You’ve Finished With The Wedding Car Decorations…
When you’re done, step back and evaluate your work:
Also, you need to make sure that the driver will be able to see well enough to drive. Test it out by sitting behind the wheel of the car to check that you can see out the rearview mirror and the side mirrors.
Finally, before the bride and groom drive away, encourage them to remove anything that’s adhesive or stuck to the windows or the car itself the very next day. Otherwise, the glues and chemicals in things like silly string, shaving cream, and shoe polish can damage the car’s paint job. And the longer things remain on the car’s windows, the harder they’ll be to remove as well.
The avoid-at-all-costs list includes spray paint (duh), whipped cream (anything containing sugar will wreck a paint job), and electrical and masking tape. —The Knot
Here’s a great list of do’s & dont’s for decorating a wedding car.
I planned my own Destination Wedding and everything went off without a hitch — we got married barefoot on the beach in the Bahamas! I like to help brides-to-be find unique ways to do things that will ultimately save them time & money on their wedding. I write about "outside the box" wedding ideas that most people wouldn't think of! When I'm not exploring the latest wedding trends, you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).