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Planning a Wedding on a Budget: Don't Forget the Details
When planning your wedding, don't forget that it's the details that can make an average wedding look spectacular. The reception is the most important since this will be the area that your guests will spend the most time in. You spend hours picking out flowers and décor for this part of your wedding, but most people forget about the perimeter around the reception area. If you're having a wedding planner decorate your reception area, ask them about the areas around the outside and interior of your reception.
If you want your wedding to be handsomely decorated without breaking the bank, consider doing these three things:
- Avoid Balloons: They look inherently cheap and typically don't have that "wow" factor.
- Use Plants, Flowers, and Trees: If you can spring for real-live greenery, do it. I recognize that living flora can get expensive, so if that's not within your means, there's a wonderful alternative! If live vegetation isn't within your budget, silk items are a great substitute (and more economically friendly) for the real thing.
- Have Fun With Fabric: Fabric is a great, inexpensive way to cover large portions of spaces that need to be decorated. Throwing some twinkling lights behind them can make a sheer fabric really pop.
1. Try to Stay Away From Balloons
The first rule to making your wedding reception area elegant and expensive-looking is to never, and I mean never, use balloons in your décor. Balloons will make your reception look "cheap," and people know that they are easy and inexpensive. I know if you're on a budget, it may make sense; however, there are other ways to stay within your budget without using balloons to fill a space.
2. Use Live Foliage or Silk Substitutes
One way to avoid using balloons is to use flowers, plants, and trees to decorate your space. This will give your reception a look that is unique, and you can match the colors of the flowers to the theme. Now, some of you might think, "but I don't have the budget for this," and that is understandable. The best way to save money on décor like this is to use silk flowers and artificial trees decorated with twinkle lights. Starting with the silk trees, you can strategically place them around the outside area of the reception and decorate them with lights. This will give the area an elegant look and will help establish a romantic mood.
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Silk flowers can be used as centerpieces on the tables, set in some inexpensive glass vases filled with a vase filler and submersible lights in order to make an elegant centerpiece without the cost of having a designer arrange real flowers. You can purchase pre-made floral arrangements without vases, and all you'll need to do is pop them in. You can use greenery on top of a column stand for each side of the head table to give it a dramatic look. A large fern in an inexpensive container is a good choice for the most dramatic effect, and it will likely set you back about half of what a live one would cost.
3. Fabric Is Your Friend
Another way to make your reception elegant is the use of fabric. Usually, white is the best for the most dramatic look. Drape fabric on the wall behind the main table or from the ceiling. Start in one spot, and drape it evenly back toward the rear of the table, attaching it to the wall periodically. This will make it look like you've spent thousands on a wedding planner when, in reality, all you had to do was climb a ladder and hang some inexpensive fabric from the ceiling. Use some inexpensive fabric that is transparent (such as tulle), and hang it from ceiling to floor over the entrance to your reception. Then add some inexpensive, low voltage, white LED lights behind them for a dramatic look like you see in the picture above. Very easy to do, and yet very easy on your budget.
As you can see, if you just take a look around the internet and have a little creativity, you can create a look that will awe your guests without breaking your budget. After all, you don't want to start off your marriage in debt. Save that money for your honeymoon and your future.
Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 27, 2014:
Thanks for the advice! We were actually considering balloons! I'll scratch that one! We had planned on the twinkle lights, greenery, and fabric, so it looks like we are on the right track!
Chad Young (author) from Corona, CA on August 20, 2012:
Thank you JC...I'm glad you enjoyed it.
jc on August 20, 2012: