Someone’s getting married! With the excitement of the occasion, you start to put the plans you have made into action. Gorgeous event dress? Check! Awesome party music? Check! Delicious food and drink? Check! Then you run into something that many don’t think to plan in advance: the decorations. What colors will you be using for your wedding? Which flowers do you want? What else are you putting on the tables besides food?
These and other decor questions can be a bit overwhelming—both to you and your budget! Don’t lose hope! Instead of eloping, consider these tips for reducing your wedding decor cost while maintaining the beauty of your surroundings for your wedding ceremony.
Getting married in a place that is already charming—whether it is a woodsy glen or a historic cathedral—makes it a lot easier to decorate. Instead of having to rely on flowers or bringing in other decorations to embellish the space, you just need to accent what is already there.
Flowers tend to take up the largest part of the decorating cost. Should you abandon those florals? No! But there are some choices you can make that will help you financially.
Buy Local: Most can understand why driving in local flowers would be cheaper than importing flowers. Find florists near you to see if they can get a bulk order from their floral sources on your wedding date.
Buy In-Season: Very few plants bloom all year-round. Those flowers take a lot of energy to make! When choosing the flowers you would like for your wedding, consider what will be in season at that time. Flowers that are growing in abundance will be less expensive than those that are normally dormant.
Buy Similar: Some flowers are more expensive than others! Whether this is due to the comparative difficulty of growing, the specialized soil needs, or some other factor, not all flowers cost the same. The good news is that many flowers have look-alikes. Rose of Sharon and hibiscus are similar. Marigolds and carnations are quite close to peonies. Ranunculus and begonias can pass for roses. If you can get the style and the color from a cheaper flower, go for it!
Buy Bigger: Flowers with large blooms take up space. That means you need fewer of them to make up a bouquet or a centerpiece. Using smaller flowers to accent one large focal point can go a long way toward helping your budget.
Buy Green: While being sustainable is a good thing, we are talking about greenery. Plants and greenery like eucalyptus, vines, and ferns can make up a larger part of an arrangement than you would think! With a couple of large flowers here and there, your bouquet is stunning and economical.
Buy One: One big one, that is! Choosing one or two larger arrangements to draw the eye with smaller groupings—even simple, single-stem blooms in a mason jar can help you save on your budget while still giving your guests a stylish experience.
There are other less expensive decorating options than flowers. Some you can find in bulk, others you can make yourself. Consider using lights as a mainstay of your decor. Fairy lights are very romantic, especially at night. Alternatively, candles come in all sizes and are relatively cheap. You can use them alone, in mason jars, or in lanterns.
If you have a beach theme, try using seashells, netting, and even sand in your decor. Old bottles and seagrass baskets could also add to your wedding setting. Piled rock arrangements, stacks of old books, or photos in spray-painted metallic frames might also be what you are looking for. If you already have too much stuff, use signs. Print out romantic quotes and use a cutting machine to scallop or otherwise pattern the edges. Make a collage of pictures and celebratory wishes that your guests can add to.
Weddings have color schemes. It’s part of what unifies a setting. Generally, a color scheme is a pleasing combination of neutral colors and bright colors. As it happens, the more colors, usually the more expensive. Instead of trying to fit the color wheel into your bouquet, consider having one bright color to focus and draw the eye.
Choose one brightly colored bloom to add interest to your bouquet. Use the same color for your bridesmaid dresses and in the men’s tie for the groomsmen, that way it’s already all around the guests so you can just lightly reference it as an accent in your napkins and in your runners. Think about spreading the color around the room using decorative ribbons or lace. When you only have a single color to worry about—and to pay for—it simplifies both your choices and your expenses.
Very few of us have the budget to back up every single wedding dream we have. However, staying within your budget doesn’t mean you won’t have a beautiful wedding. List out what you hope your wedding site will look like, then put the elements in order of importance.
Find what isn’t as necessary as you thought or what can be substituted to the same effect. Then remember that ultimately, the real beauty of your wedding is in your commitment to your new spouse; that won’t change no matter what your venue ends up looking like. Let what’s most important give you peace of mind so you can walk down the aisle and into your new life with confidence and joy.