Stretch Your Décor Dollars
“You can save a lot by doing things yourself or having friends help you,” says Melissa Paul, a wedding planner with Evantine Design in Philadelphia.
If you choose to decorate your own reception venue, ask if you can have access to the room the day before, she suggests. Trying to do everything on your wedding day will be too stressful.
“Do one thing in abundance and it will make a big impact,” says Paul. “Gather tons of branches—you can even get them from your backyard—and place them in large vases.”
Use plants as décor. You’ll get more bang for your buck because you or your guests can take them home after the wedding, says Barness.
Save money by buying flowers wholesale and then paying a florist to do simple arrangements.
“Using fruits and vegetables is a big trend right now,” says Barness. “You’ll need fewer flowers to fill out your arrangements. Plus, it’s a lot less expensive to buy an apple than an orchid!”
Study up on flowers. Once you know what’s in season, make your selections from those and see how much further your floral budget goes.
Go green! “Greenery can create a modern look that’s beautiful on its own at a fraction of what you’d pay for flowers,” says Catherine Chu, co-owner of Three Petals, an event-design company in Costa Mesa, California.
Keep an eye on the calendar. “Due to higher demand, flowers are generally 15% to 30% more expensive on Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and in prom season,” notes Chu.
Personalize your reception space with artistic photographs. One couple Paul worked with had huge pictures of a favorite outdoor spot printed at the copy shop. At the reception, the photos were hung and lit from behind for a dramatic look.
Stay simple. “Most of the florist’s fee goes to the cost of labor, so the more elaborate your arrangements, the more expensive,” explains Chu. A few roses, tulips or even orchids submerged in water look simple but elegant, she says.
Try groupings of the same flower in different hues for an affordably stylish look. Cluster vases in different configurations on each table.
Candles are inexpensive but when done in abundance they create a romantic ambience.
Marrying around a holiday? No need to spend a fortune on flowers or décor when your reception spot is already decked out.
Find out if your reception site has in-house décor you can use. You might be able to score things like plants and votives to dress up your space.
Create your own artwork, monogram or motif on your computer, suggests Paul. Use it on elements throughout your wedding—on menus, programs or candleholders—for a chic, cohesive look.