There’s nothing wrong with being one of the brides on a budget when you plan your wedding. Having an unlimited budget is not a fantasy many brides and grooms get to live, especially if they are hoping to put a down payment on a house or make other necessary purchases after the wedding and honeymoon are over. Even just saving a little bit of money on the wedding can mean a little bit of extra cash for planning the honeymoon!
Whether you’re on a very strict budget or are just trying to free up some money for other important purchases that go along with being married, here are a few ideas to help you create a beautiful, classy wedding venue, without breaking the bank:
Even if you are not getting married near Christmas, decorating with white twinkle lights is a great way to add a touch of elegance and romance to your venue. Best of all, they’re very inexpensive. You can buy a set of high quality, durable white lights for around $8 at our party supply store. They add necessary light to your space and can be used in a variety of different ways for a variety of different effects.
When my brother got married, they wanted to hold their reception in the gym at our church. It was free, so it was a great bargain—but it was also an ugly gym in a church that was built in the 1970s. We draped strings of white lights from wall to wall, tacking them to the ceiling to create a canopy of lights; it really made the place feel special.
Another idea that could add some whimsy and charm to the space would be to make centerpieces out of the Christmas lights, by stuffing an entire string into a Mason jar. You could also hang these from trees for an outdoor reception in the spring or summer.
Make Food a Decoration
Food might not always be decorative, but it can be, with the right plates and platters. Instead of just sticking the food out in whatever pan it was cooked in, invest in a few nice serving dishes and then arrange the food on the buffet tables. You probably won’t have to add any other accents to the table.
When it comes to plates and cups, you can get a range of “fancy” plastic plates and cups that will not only look beautiful stacked or lined up next to the food and drink, but will also make cleanup a breeze at the end of the night.
Candles are a great way to make a space look special and you can buy sets of candles extremely cheaply, so putting two or three on each table will not put a big dent in your decorating budget. If you can find some inexpensive votive holders, you can add another dash of whimsy to each table.
And don’t just put candles on the tables! Put them on the serving table, on the drink table, and on the favor table! Because small votive candles don’t really putt off that much heat, you can easily light up a room with them, without overheating your guests. Just make sure that if children are invited to your event, that the candles are out of their reach. Alternatively, look for flameless, real wax candles that give the appearance of a lighted candle, without the dangerous flame.
Cover Everything with Fabric
If you don’t love the texture of the walls at your venue, you can always try to break up or cover the color or texture with long drapes of fabric. Tablecloths can make even the most mundane plastic tables look fancy and expensive, even if the tablecloth itself isn’t that fancy or expensive. You can buy table cloths in any color from every party supply store, and cheap fabric from your favorite local fabric store.
Using fabric will make your venue feel warmer and more intimate, no matter how large it is. If you picked a venue because of its price and not because of its décor or aesthetic, don’t be afraid to cover up the features or wall colors you don’t like them.
Don’t Forget Flowers
Flowers are customary at every wedding, and they can also be one of the biggest expenses. Instead of trying to find a florist to make all of your centerpieces and other flower displays, invest a little bit of time in making your own. A beautiful, but easy to make flower display can be crafted just out of a Styrofoam ball and some silk flowers that, again, can be purchased from any party supply store. Just clip the stems and stick the stems into the Styrofoam ball. These can then be hung from trees or set on tables.
Dress Up Rented Chairs
If you’ve rented chairs for your wedding or reception or are using the venue’s chairs, but you aren’t crazy about how they look, any chair can be easily dressed up with some tulle or ribbon. Tying ribbon or tulle around the seat or around the back can transform even the most mundane chairs into something unique and beautiful.
This is always a good way to make generic chairs look like they are supposed to be a part of your wedding, especially if you use ribbon, fabric, or tulle that matches your wedding colors. In order to get all the chairs decorated, you might need a little extra help, but just enlist your bridesmaids or your family to cut ribbon and affix it to the chairs.