20 Ways to Feature Wedding Bells Throughout Your Celebration

large wedding bell decor at wedding venue
Phosart Photography & Cinematography

Wedding bells play a fundamental role in many ceremonies, especially religious ones. In the past, church bells were rung at the end of a ceremony to announce a couple's matrimony. It was also believed that the sound of the chimes would ward off any evil spirits, bringing the newlyweds good luck. Thanks to this history, wedding bells are one of the most recognized symbols of marriage—even for nonreligious brides and grooms. This probably explains why more and more duos have decided to incorporate wedding bells into their big-day décor.

Although bells are typically used during wedding ceremonies, they're a fun addition to your reception, too. We suggest personalizing bells with your guests' names for sweet-sounding escort cards or offering bell favors that attendees can use during your send-off and beyond. Just make sure you consider your celebration's theme when picking the best option for your event. Farm weddings, for example, call for cowbells; if you're hosting a holiday soirée, pass out jingle bells adorned with red and green ribbons for a festive twist.

If you want to use bells in a traditional way, look for a wedding venue that already has them. This pair tied the knot in Venetsanos Winery in Santorini, where beautiful bells are an essential part of the property. These musical accents not only made for a stunning portrait backdrop, but their chimes contributed to the celebratory vibe as the duo exited their ceremony. This example (and the many ahead!) prove just how much bells, whether they're classically displayed or reimagined, can elevate any wedding.

01 of 19

Family Heirloom

Family Heirloom wedding bell
Heather Cook Elliott Photography

A guest was tasked with ringing this family heirloom at the end of the ceremony in celebration of the happily married couple.

02 of 19

Calligraphed Display

Calligraphed wedding bell display for guests
Kirsten Ellis of Beaux Arts Photographie

Attendees arriving at this wedding were greeted with a calligraphed bell display by Rosey Calligraphy. Before sitting down, they each took one to ring as the couple exited the church.

03 of 19

Ring Me Tags

wedding bells with Ring Me Tags
Lacie Hansen Photography

Different shaped bells adorned with bows and "Ring Me" tags by Lazaro Press and Design were passed out to friends and family at this event.

04 of 19

Place Cards

copper bells Place Cards with calligraphed tags
Megan Welker Photography

Place cards in the form of copper bells with calligraphed tags by Prim & Pixie guided guests to reception tables.

05 of 19

Cow Bells

farm themed wedding red cow bells
Michèle M. Waite

Decorated cow bells made for theme-appropriate favors at this farm wedding.

06 of 19

Flower Girl

flower girl ringing silver bell
Pasha Belman Photography

Instead of tossing petals, this flower girl walked down the aisle ringing a silver bell.

07 of 19

Multipurpose Cowbells

Elizabeth Messina Photography

These cowbells, which were calligraphed by Anne Robin, were used as escort cards, favors, and noisemakers throughout one creative couple's wedding.

08 of 19

Escort Cards

Jen Huang

Guests were encouraged to ring the bells on their calligraphed escort cards by Victoria Hoke Lane as the newlyweds arrived at their reception.

09 of 19

Irish Culture

wedding ceremony officiant bell
D'Arcy Benincosa

The couple hosting this destination event asked their priest to ring a simple bell at the end of their ceremony to honor traditional Irish wedding culture.

10 of 19

Illustrated Tags

Nancy Neil

Copper bells with hand-illustrated tags by Molly Prentiss—they featured the lyrics to the bride and groom's favorite song—were used as musical escort cards.

11 of 19

Ribbon Wands

amy mark california ribbon wands with bells
Rachel Thurston

Guests waved wands with pink ribbons and small jingle bells as the couple recessed out of their ceremony at this wedding.

12 of 19

Vintage Crystal

ramsey charles ireland wedding bells on mantel
Abby Jiu Photography

This bride spent a year collecting vintage crystal bells for her celebration; on the wedding day, they served as escort cards, thanks to calligraphed vellum tags.

13 of 19

Christmas Jingle

Kate Headley

As friends and family exited the church at this Christmas-themed ceremony, they were given jingle bells to ring in honor of the couple.

14 of 19

Historical Landmark

Collin Hughes

This historical venue, The Chapel of Agia Marina, features a bell that rang throughout the town after the couple said "I do."

15 of 19

Porcelain Tribute

celina rob wedding virginia bell
Abby Jiu Photography

As a nod to her mother's bell collection, this bride repurposed Currier & Ives porcelain bells—finished with calligraphed die-cut paper "ribbons" by Laura Hooper Calligraphy—as place cards.

16 of 19

Wand Exit

Beth & Ty In Love

Guests found wands topped with bells and ribbons on each of their ceremony seats; they later waved them as the newlyweds exited the church.

17 of 19

Bike Favor

Millie Holloman

To showcase their shared love of biking, this bride and groom passed out bike bells with custom labels as favors.

18 of 19

Sprigs of Fir

jingle bell favors
Tec Petaja Photography

Guests received jingle bells adorned with sprigs of fir trees and calligraphed tags as Christmas-themed favors.

19 of 19

Send Off

Kate Headley

At the end of this winter reception, guests sent the couple off into the night to the sound of jingle bells.

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