Throw the wedding of the year on a shoestring budget with these pro tips.
Most couples want an unforgettable wedding without breaking the bank. Hosting your special day on a budget, without the guests realising it, is the challenge. Thanks to these clever tips, you can make your thrifty occasion a truly magical one. I promise you wouldn’t have this much fun with limitless cash!
Keep in mind that as a couple you’re the focus of this celebration. There’s no better way to express this than to have your taste in styling define your wedding. Consider the décor and invites (foil stamped invitiations, yes please!), through to the food you serve and wedding favours your guests take home.
A well thought out wedding theme that carries across all elements will have your big day looking professionally executed, without the price tag.
Decide on this before you send out your Save the Date’s and continue to carry it through every aspect of the event. This will unify the look and feel of your wedding with professional polish. You could choose a favorite pattern or paper colour and use this for your save the date cards, invitations, programs, signage, favours, and thank you cards. Alternatively, DIY craft your place cards and signage using manila tags, chalkboard paint and liquid chalk to add a unique touch at a fraction of the cost of having them professionally printed. Let your creativity soar! You can personalise your stationery further by learning calligraphy in advance and writing your own stunning invitations.
A trip to the 99-cent store will get you décor accessories like candle holders, scented candles, and vases. A $50 budget will be enough to decorate the tables for a 100-guest-seating. Cluster décor items of different heights along your tables, instead of in a row, to give the effect that the tables are full.
When choosing your flowers for the occasion, you may opt to stick to one type of flower that works with your theme. Flowers are sold in bulk at wholesale markets so having more than one type can increase cost. A bouquet of lavender is chic and simple and can continue your theme. Reuse the blooms from the ceremony on your reception tables. If the budget is too tight for flowers, opt for greenery. It’s not only cheaper, but very stylish. A greenery theme could include a leaf pattern on your menus, a leaf centered on each place setting, and tree seeds as the wedding favours.
When setting a tone for your wedding’s atmosphere, start with the venue’s décor colour. Deep hues of violet, gold or blue suggest an elegant atmosphere. These suit a more traditional occasion. For a free-spirited festival of love choose green, copper and white.
Maintain your chosen colour theme throughout the event for a polished wedding design.
The wedding venue often eats a chunk out of the budget, but with some creative thinking it doesn’t have to. Renting a private estate or vacation home is less costly than hiring a professional reception venue. Distant relatives often don’t make the wedding invite list, but would love to tend the bar for you. Alternatively, make the occasion more intimate by hosting it in your own backyard or ask family that have enough space.
If you plan your styling well you can turn a yard into a lavish wedding venue. Fun tip: have your wait staff wear white gloves (you guessed it, 99-cent store), and be creative with the food you serve.
If you’re not having fun yet, this is where it begins. Your food choices for the party spell the difference between casual eating and stylish dining. Here are some DIY wedding reception options:
Have a cocktail reception with wait staff passing around hors d’oeuvres. Ask around if there are food service students or trainees who would do the task for a lesser fee. Even if the cost matches a buffet table, the effect is twice as classy.
Hiring a wood burning pizza truck that makes gourmet pizza is a fresh idea that will leave your guests’ bellies satisfied.
Pair this with simple homemade appetizers and you have a relaxed, fun reception. It’s all about being inventive and conscious of your budget.
Wedding cakes are expensive. Consider a high quality single tiered cake over multi-tiered. A fun alternative is a cake made of cheese wheels and decorated with flowers, dried fruit and nuts. These double as a tasty wedding favour that guests can take home. If your heart is set on a traditional cake have a friend or relative who is a baking pro contribute this one for you. When the wedding cake is not a priority, a store-bought cake or tart will save the day.
Alternatively, go for a fake cake if you prefer the traditional multi-tiered option but the budget is tight. Your friendly neighborhood wedding cake baker knows this trick.
If you plan on having a dance party at your wedding, you don’t need to spend hundreds or even thousands hiring a DJ or a band. You just need good quality speakers, a playlist on your ipod or laptop, and a mixing deck (if you can borrow one). Ask a friend or colleague who isn’t invited to the wedding to be your DJ for the night. At this stage your focus should be on letting loose and having a great time with your guests.
You can absolutely achieve a magical wedding on a tight budget. Simply focus your funds on what is most important to you and spend less on lower priorities. Create an unforgettable day that is uniquely yours by thinking creatively and letting DIY projects, friends and family fill the gaps.
Header Photography: Austin Prock