How to Save Money on Wedding Decorations
Once you really get into the particulars of planning for your big day, you might start to realize that there are a lot of little details that go into the wedding decorations (for both the ceremony and the reception) and each of them has a cost that quickly adds up to major dollar signs.
Since you’ve already bought the dress, put down payments on the venues, and picked the catering company and professional photographer, you’re going to need to find ways to stick to your budget for the decorations, which means cutting back in some areas. But don’t fret; there are still plenty of ways to have the beautiful and timeless wedding you’ll remember fondly for the rest of your life, even if you have to save money on the decorations.
Unfortunately, there is no really good way to save on fresh-cut flowers and arrangements unless you grow, cut, and arrange them yourself (a definite possibility if you have a green thumb and a summer wedding date). You definitely don’t want to order online since any mistakes will be beyond repair by the time your blooms arrive. However, you can save some money and go green at the same time by opting for a virtual garden of recycled paper flowers. This chic look can be achieved by using colored tissue paper, all white copy paper, or even black and white magazine pages (attached to pipe cleaner or other wire stalks). Check out the amazing stems at Teddy Manuel or search “paper floral arrangements” on Etsy to get some ideas.
You may be tempted to pay the catering company to provide tablecloths, cloth napkins, plates, glasses, silverware, and so on. But if you take on this task yourself, you stand to save a lot. You can opt for paper tablecloths and napkins (some of which are made to look like fabric). If you’re having a buffet-style service, you can get heavy duty plastic plates, cups, and cutlery in your wedding colors on the cheap. But if you want to go fancier, consider checking out local thrift stores and garage sales to assemble an eclectic mix of plates, mugs, and silverware sets to use at your wedding. You’ll save a ton of money on the setting, but you can also package them up as wedding favors for your guests (making them do double duty).
Votive candles are extremely inexpensive and they provide a wonderful, romantic ambiance for your reception. Nestle them in pebbles on saucers (which you may also be able to find while thrift shopping) or have your friends and relatives help you collect glass bottles (left over from pasta sauce, jelly, etc.), scrub off the labels, and use decoupage glue to adhere multicolored tissue paper to the outside. Then drop the votives in to create a colorful glow on every table.
Many people opt for floral or candle centerpieces and this is certainly an option worth looking into now that you know how to save in these areas. If you want something different, consider fruit bowls with a selection from the local farmers market. They’re both beautiful and tasty!
You can get pretty elaborate in this area, but if you want to save you should keep it simple. A couple yards of tulle, a spool of ribbon, a pair of scissors, and a few bags of single-color M&Ms (found at party stores) will give you all you need to create wedding favors for less.