When it comes down to it, weddings need lots of decorating! There’s the ceremony site, the cocktail area, and the reception space. And all of them need styling. But if you’re on a tight wedding budget (and who isn’t, these days?), then you’ll want to find ways to stretch your dollar. Think maximum impact for minimum moola! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do so–and we’ve incorporated them with some gorgeous inspo from beautiful weddings that did it right!
The Guestbook Table
The guestbook table is typically placed right outside the ceremony area. Here, guests can write their well wishes to you and your fiance prior to finding their seats. It’s a small, easy activity for them to do as they wait for you to head down the aisle. You can get creative by framing a welcome sign in leafy garlands and decorating your table by bringing in framed photos from your home! Place them on the table with a runner and your look is complete! We also love how this wedding featured painted wooden letters with the words LOVE and had their guests sign them with sharpies. You can do the same thing or have guests sign a favorite coffee table book or a photo mat that you can use to frame a wedding picture later on.
One way to keep your ceremony decor costs minimal while still leaving a big impression is to focus your budget on the aisle decor. It’s the centerpiece of the wedding and the literal pathway to your new life. Sprinkle yours with petals or line it with candles. You can purchase silk petals in bulk online to really give your aisle a romantic look. Put even more emphasis on this area by tying ribbons or flowers to the aisle chairs or placing bunches of candles by the end chairs. You can save by skipping every other chair–no one will notice and you’ll reduce this expense by half!
The cocktail hour.
Give a luxe feel to your cocktail hour but still save $$$ by renting only a few tall tables. Drape them in a dramatic linen (we are loving this sparkly tablecloth) and then focus the rest of your attention on seating. You can borrow mix matched furniture from friends and family and distribute the pieces around the tall tables and in small, conversation friendly groupings. Get some unifying throw pillows and your cocktail area will instantly feel like an expensive lounge. Finish it all off by stringing twinkle lights above the space and turning them on as dusk turns to night.
Put those bottles to work! Have your bartenders display the bottles on the edge of the table. Not only will your guests see firsthand what’s available, but it’ll fill out the area in an eye-enticing way. DIY a large chalkboard menu (you can purchase one from a craft store along with chalk pens) and set it up on an easel. We also adore how this wedding used a wooden sign reading BAR. You can find similar wooden laser cut signs on Etsy. You can also create floral monograms initials like the ones pictured here by cutting out cardboard in the shape of the letters and gluing silk flowers to it.
The dessert display.
Now THIS is the table everyone wants to be at! The cake table! Make it absolutely drool-worthy by using a variety of stands with different heights. If your cake and several of the desserts are white, try to avoid using a white table or linen. The contrast in color will make the yummies pop and if you have a natural wood table like this one, all you really need is a sparkly runner. You can also use metallic balloons for a dash of whimsy. Balloons cost only $7-$10 each! Since DESSERT is a bit long, you can spell out your initials, LOVE (as seen here), or even YUM, if you want to add a playful feel.
With these simple DIY ideas, your wedding will be styled from top to bottom!