19 Unique Ways to Incorporate Stained Glass Into Your Wedding Design

classic large stained-glass church window
Jacob & Pauline

When it comes to modern wedding décor trends, there are plenty to choose from: acrylic elements, terra-cotta motifs, and pampas grass details all come to mind. While these are all gorgeous motifs to use when decorating your reception and ceremony spaces, we think you should also look into the past when thinking up your celebration's details, which is exactly why we're currently loving stained-glass elements.

It's no secret that stained glass has been around for centuries—some of the world's oldest cathedrals and churches are famous for their dramatic, colorful windows. However, if you're not planning on tying the knot in a historic house of worship (like this couple's traditional church ceremony at St. John's Hyde Park, for example), you'll be pleased to learn that this classic design element also has contemporary applications. For proof, just look to the following photos from real celebrations. Searching for the perfect colorful seating chart for your wedding? Bookmark one couple's stained-glass setup, complete with calligraphy. If you're look for a simple way to use this medium in your reception, take note from one duo who lined their tables with glasses in varying hues. However, if you love the look of a classic stained-glass window, consider using them as your ceremony backdrop or asking your stationer to illustrate them onto your invitations.

With so many beautiful options for turning stained glass into practical wedding décor, it's easy to see why this design element has withstood the test of time. Whether you're planning a vintage wedding or a contemporary event, there's a way to make stained glass (or stained glass-inspired details) a central focus in your big-day décor.

01 of 18

Venue Inspiration

stained-glass window wedding stationary design
Ashley Kelemen

If your venue has a prominent stained-glass window, why not incorporate it onto your wedding invitations? Not only will it add a pop of color to your suite, but it will also give your guests an inside look at the event to come. Prim & Pixie translated the vibrant window at the Fig House (this couple's venue) right onto the main component of their paper goods.

02 of 18

Ceremony Backdrop

geometric design stained glass Ceremony Backdrop
Jacob Pachon Photography

Believe it or not, you don't need to be married in a historic church to be surrounded by stained glass during your ceremony. Instead, opt for an arch like this one from Julia & Evita and The Secret Owl. Its geometric design (coupled with the pampas grass arrangements from Betty Flowers) made the space feel more modern.

03 of 18

Stained Glass Cake

Stained Glass designed three tier wedding Cake
Jenelle Kappe Photography

A stained-glass motif translates beautifully onto your wedding cake, especially when it's as detailed as this Elysia Root Cakes confection. Each tier's shine and cubed shape only added to its realism (it looked just like window panes!).

04 of 18

Handmade Backdrop

Handmade geometric stained glass Backdrop
Light As Gold

Don't worry if your venue doesn't have any stained glass—you can still incorporate it into your ceremony with a backdrop like this one by Sugar Creek Event Rentals. The pros created sections out of wood and painted each space a different color, resulting in a stained-glass effect.

05 of 18

Welcome Sign

art-inspired wedding ideas abstract welcome sign
onelove photography

Add a stained-glass effect to your glass or acrylic big-day elements. All you have to do is channel Shindig Chic and paint colorful shapes onto the medium of your liking. Then, use it anywhere it's needed—as a welcome sign or as an unexpected bar menu.

06 of 18

Stained-Glass House

Stained Glass House-shaped wedding ceremony backdrop
Vanessa Boy

With a structure as unique as this ceremony backdrop (the painted glass "house" was created by Tom Fruin for the Canvas Restaurant & Market), it's best to keep your aisle décor to a minimum. To ensure all the attention was on the front of the space, Peplum Events & Design accented this aisle with mini terrariums and small floral arrangements.

07 of 18

Stained Glass Escort Cards

Stained Glass moon-shaped Place Cards
Chloe Moore Photography

Although stained glass evokes a classic vibe, it can still work for your bohemian wedding. These crescent-shaped place cards by Brewer & Marr were made out of moody-hued glass and copper that created the perfect balance of old-meets-new.

08 of 18

Black and White

black-and-white, deckle-edged stationary suite
Cecelina Photography

There's a way to integrate your love of stained glass into your vintage-themed wedding without actually using it. For proof, just look to Elins Art Studio's black-and-white, deckle-edged invitation suite. The cards featured the façade of the church where this ceremony was held and a recreation of the venue's stained-glass rose window.

09 of 18

Indoor and Outdoor

stained glass window wedding venue
Jessica Scott Photography

Getting married during the warm-weather months? You don't have to sacrifice getting married outside to tie the knot in a venue with stained-glass (typically built into indoor locales, only). Search for a ceremony locale that offers an indoor and outdoor experience—and stained glass—like Gruene Estate. The roof provides the perfect amount of shade; plus, guests can still enjoy the summer breeze through the spaces in between the colorful windows.

10 of 18

Photo Backdrop

stained-glass Photo Backdrop
Hannah Woodard Photography

Vintage windows can be repurposed in a number of creative ways. If you're looking for a photo backdrop for your outdoor wedding, consider hanging a stained-glass pane from a wooden beam like ABBA Design did here. Want to dress up the display even further? Wrap a vine (this one is from Mighty Tendril Farm) around the setup.

11 of 18

Stained-Glass Lantern

Stained-Glass Lantern decor
Rebecca Yale Photography

If you're looking for a way to add light to your cozy lounge area, consider a vintage lantern. This light featured colorful stained glass that added a subtle pop of color to an otherwise neutral setup by Ro & Co. Events.

12 of 18


Stained Glass statement tier wedding cake
Jessica Maida Photography

A stained-glass motif makes a statement on a wedding cake, whether you choose to incorporate the design on one or all of your confection's tiers. The roses on the middle section of this Sweet Fix treat gave off romantic vibes and looked like something straight out of Beauty and the Beast.

13 of 18

Colorful Cups

stained glass Colorful Cups
The Ganeys

While stained glass is generally associated with a window, you can draw inspiration from the idea in other ways. Colorful glassware is a nice way to do just that. Ever After Vintage Weddings placed different colored cups down the length of your table. Because all of the attention will be on the rainbow array, feel free to keep your centerpieces minimal; use a simple greenery garland to finish off the vibrant look.

14 of 18

Stained-Glass Escort Cards

sea glass escort cards seating arrangement
Katherine Ann Rose

With a little help from your calligrapher (in this case, Debbie Bean), transforming stained-glass shapes into escort cards is a breeze. These iterations also served dual purpose—they made great favors.

15 of 18

Geometric Invitations

Geometric stained glass wedding Invitations
Kaitie Bryant Photography

Need more proof that this classic design feature can feel distinctly modern? When used in a geometric pattern, like on these invitations by Estudio RoJo, illustrated stained glass suddenly gives off a contemporary vibe.

16 of 18

Colorful Windows

Colorful Windows wedding venue
The Nichols

When your venue is filled with stained-glass windows, like these at Mercury Hall, they don't have to take center stage to stand out. The colorful tiles on these arched windows could still be seen through the vintage door ceremony backdrop created by Spool + Ink Handcrafted and Loot Rentals.

17 of 18

Stained-Glass Hanging

Stained Glass Hanging decor
The Nichols

At your outdoor wedding, you might need something to help guide attendees to your guest book that doesn't take away from the beauty of your natural surroundings. That's why Viridian Design Studio tapped Revive Vintage for this small stained-glass window. If you look closely, you'll notice how it referenced the three repurposed church windows in the background.

18 of 18

Stained-Glass Seating Chart

Stained Glass Seating Chart
Alexandria Monette Photography

Turning repurposed, stained-glass windows into a seating chart is simple and yields gorgeous results. Wild Heart Events used only white marker to finish off this colorful iteration.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles