How to Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon

Decorating the getaway car for a wedding is a fun way to greet the newly-wedded couple after the ceremony. Traditionally, the best man and groomsmen decorate the car with ribbons, banners, and other decorations.[1] However, bridesmaids, friends, family, and even the couple themselves can decorate the car. There’s no one right way to outfit the car with ribbon, but it always helps to consider the colors and theme of the wedding when planning your décor. In some cases, the car rental company may even help you decorate, if applicable.


[Edit]Creating a Decorative Scheme

  1. Check to see if the rental company allows decorations, if applicable. In many cases, this won’t be a problem, but it’s always good to check. Check with the company to ensure they will allow decorations on the car, and to see if there are any limits to what you can and can’t include.[2]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 1.jpg
    • Some companies may also require that you purchase a decoration package from them instead of decorating yourself. Ask to see if this is the case for you.
    • If you’re not renting and plan to decorate a vehicle that belongs to someone else, be sure to ask them if it’s okay before attaching decorations.
  2. Establish the wedding color palette. Weddings often work with a palette of 2-5 colors. These colors are integrated into everything from the flowers to the dresses and tuxes, to reception decorations. Figure out what the color palette for the wedding is so that you can plan the car decorations to match.[3]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 2.jpg
    • If you’re unsure about the palette, white decorations are usually a good option for a traditional wedding.
  3. Ask about a wedding theme. In addition to a color palette, some weddings have themes like art deco, shabby chic, or rock ‘n’ roll. Ask the couple if their wedding will have a theme. If so, look for decorations that fit the overall style and aesthetic of the theme.[4]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 3.jpg
    • For example, if the wedding is shabby chic, you can make a “Just Married” banner for the windshield out of burlap or card stock and twine.
    • If the wedding theme is rock ‘n’ roll, paint the banner on old 45 rpm vinyl records.
  4. Find out what kind of car the couple will use. The model of car can play into the theme of the decorations, too. Find out what make and model the couple will be riding off in to adapt your décor to vehicle style.[5]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 4.jpg
    • If they reserved a vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom limo, for example, the traditional white ribbons and cans would look very appropriate.
    • If they reserved a 60’s-style Volkswagen bus, you may consider adding some peace signs or tie-dye ribbons to the decorations.
    • If they’re using their own or someone else’s vehicle, you can consider matching the decorations to the car style or color. You can also go with any ribbon color you like, and not worry about the matching the vehicle.
  5. Check the forecast for the day of the wedding. Since these decorations have to wait outside for the couple, they need to be able to withstand the weather. If it looks like rain on the day of the wedding, consider laminating paper banners or choosing a water-resistant material.[6]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 5.jpg
    • Likewise, think about what the ground outside the venue will be like. If it’s going to be wet and muddy, think about using dark-colored ribbons that will hide the dirt.
  6. Ask the car rental company if they offer decorating services. Limo rental companies, vintage car rental companies, and other companies that do a lot of weddings often offer car decoration packages. Ask a few weeks before the wedding to see if this option is available, if applicable.
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 6.jpg
    • These packages usually have an additional fee associated with them, so get a quote or estimate before you book.

[Edit]Positioning and Securing the Ribbon

  1. Run ribbons over the front of the hood to create a sleek, modern look. You will need 2 pieces of thick fabric ribbon that measure roughly from the hood of the car to the back of the roof. Secure 1 end of both ribbons to the latch on the front-middle of the hood.[7]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 7.jpg
    • You can also use mounting putty to secure the ribbon in place.
    • Avoid using tape to secure ribbon to the car, since this could damage the paint.
  2. Use the car’s windows to secure the other ends of the ribbon. After attaching 1 end to the hood latch, pull each ribbon back in a diagonal to form a V shape up toward the rearview mirrors. Secure the other ends of the ribbon by rolling them up in the front windows on either side of the car or tying them around the rear view mirrors.[8]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 8.jpg
    • This technique makes the car look gift-wrapped.[9]
  3. Tie bundles of ribbons onto the rear bumper for a traditional look. Cut several lengths of ribbon long enough to trail behind the car when hung from the rear bumper. The exact number of ribbons you need will depend on the width of the car and how dense you want to make your trail.[10]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 9.jpg
    • For a small ribbon trail, 20-25 lengths of ribbon will do. For a dense trail, it may be closer to 50.
    • For some cars, you may be able to slip the ribbons through the bumper itself. For others, you may have to bundle the ends of the ribbons and close them in the trunk to get them to stay.
    • Make sure you don’t obscure the license plate![11]
  4. Drape tulle on the hood or along the sides of the car. You can wrap the hood in colorful tulle and tie the ends around the rear view mirrors or the car door handles for a simple solution. Secure one end of the tulle at the hood latch, drape it loosely over the hood, and tie the other end around one of the rearview mirrors, the antenna, or the door handles. Use mounting putty to secure the loose tulle to the car’s body.[12]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 10.jpg
    • You can also drape the tulle along the sides of the car or use the trunk to secure sections of tulle to the rear of the car.
    • Make sure you don’t block the doors with the tulle!
  5. Tie pretty ribbons and streamers to the car’s antenna. Use ribbon in a few different colors, sizes, and fabrics for a fun look. You can knot the ribbons and streamers around the top of the antenna or use tape to attach them. Make sure ribbons are only a few feet long, since longer ribbons may snag on objects or bother other drivers on the road.[13]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 11.jpg
    • You can use as many ribbons you want—just remember to keep your choices pretty simple so that you don’t obstruct the driver’s view!
    • Try to avoid using thick bunches of ribbons or super wide ribbons, since car antennae aren’t super sturdy. 5-10 lightweight ribbons ought to be enough!

[Edit]Adding Accents

  1. Make a bow to put on the hood. No matter the wedding theme or aesthetic, bows are a classic decoration. Make a large ribbon bow to put on the hood of the car, or to stick onto the back near the latch of the trunk.[14]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 12.jpg
    • If you choose to pull V-shaped ribbons across the hood of your car, you could put the bow at the front of your hood where the 2 ribbons meet. This covers up any messy ends at the bottom of the V. Use very thick ribbon that’s wide.
    • You can also make smaller, matching bows to stick on the back of each of the rear view mirrors. Go with ribbon that’s wide for this.
  2. Attach plastic soda bottles to rear bumper streamers. Traditionally, tin cans were used, but these can actually create sparks when they hit the asphalt at high speeds. In some areas, using tin cans for this is even illegal! A safer, more modern take on this is to tie plastic soda bottles to the ends of the ribbons.[15]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 13.jpg
    • A strong double-knot should secure the plastic bottle to the ribbon, but you can also use hot glue.
    • You could also use small, heart-shaped Mylar balloons instead of plastic bottles for a quieter option!
  3. Attach flower bows to the back of the rearview mirrors. You can buy flower bows at most floral shops in any color you wish. Tie them around the rearview mirrors and secure the flower part to the back of each mirror with mounting putty. Then, let the streaming ends hang down so they’ll flutter in the wind when the couple drives away.[16]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 14.jpg
  4. Add other accents like banners or window writing. Accents and banners aren’t necessary, but they are pretty common. Hang a banner from the rear bumper or windshield that says “Just Married,” or something significant to the couple. Use magnetic tape to attach the banner to the car, which shouldn’t cause any damage. Alternatively, you could use window-writing markers to write the message in the rear windshield.[17]
    Decorate a Wedding Car with Ribbon Step 15.jpg
    • You could also hang the banner on the inside of the back windshield or use decals that stick to the rear window glass to create the message.
    • As with any décor, make sure you check with the car rental company before you write in the windows.

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

  • Various ribbon colors and sizes
  • Scissors
  • Flower bows
  • Plastic soda bottles
  • Heart-shaped Mylar balloons
  • Mounting putty
  • Card stock
  • Twine
  • Streamers