I’ve planned every kind of wedding you can imagine: big, small, destination and backyard. I’ve also worked with every kind of couple there is from the budget-conscious to the “what is a budget?” couple. What I’ve learned through my experience is that a little creativity can stretch your budget a long way! Here’s how to make those dollars count and elevate your wedding on any budget!
1. Choose a Budget-Friendly Bloom With High Impact
One of my favorite affordable flowers is the carnation. It looks lavish and elegant when used en masse on its own in a centerpiece. Carnations can also take on a sculptural element when used correctly.
I also love mixing different materials in my arrangements. Consider augmenting your décor or creating an entire look based on non-floral elements, such as fruit. The color and size of the fruits you select need to work in harmony with your overall theme. You can also paint them gold or silver leaf and sprinkle them with some sparkle to add dimension.
2. Incorporate DIY projects that are meaningful
Featuring handmade items close to your heart is one of the best ways to create a truly personal event on a budget. Design your own gorgeous centerpiece with items from a craft store, taking inspiration from a glamorous wedding and tailoring it to the theme of your event. Create your own invitation and find a creative way to reduce the cost, such as making it into a postcard. Print menus for each place setting that is personalized with the name of your guests, so that each one doubles as a place card.
3. Pick three wedding elements and do them well
Focus your energy (and budget) where you think it will matter most, rather than attempting five things on the skinny. Spend your money on the parts of the wedding that guests will notice and appreciate: offer a better cut of meat and top-notch wine instead of party favors; serve a delicious three-course meal (including dessert) instead of an elaborate multi-course menu; rather than hiring a band, book a DJ who understands how to work the energy in the room, so when it’s time to party, everyone is on the dance floor!
4. Prevent Beverages From Sucking down your money — literally (and quickly!)
You’ve invited friends and family, and part of being a host is to provide excellent food and drink. Instead of a full bar, offer a signature drink — alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Delicious sangria, bellinis made with Prosecco, trays of pre-poured martinis, wine spritzers: It’s your call. Make a selection ahead of time and negotiate the price with the caterer or banquet hall. No need for them to stock the bar with every type of alcohol ready to satisfy every whim.
5. Don’t Forget The Golden Rule of Wedding Style
True style isn’t about what you wear or how much money you spend—it’s about how you treat your guests. Your wedding is your first joint statement as a couple and an opportunity for you and your fiancé to function as the quintessential host and hostess. How you treat your guests and make them welcome is more important than any other element of your wedding!