As we continue our series about wedding flowers and decorations, today let's discuss wedding decorations on a budget. The price of hosting a wedding can really add up and everyone is looking to cut costs these days. And though brides don't want to sacrifice style, they do want to save some money. Here are 12 simple ways you can cut costs on wedding decorations and flowers.
Artificial flowers are a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers. Plus, you can use them for years to come in your home. If you want the look (and scent) of real flowers, you can reserve them for just your bouquet.
Discount craft shops and dollar stores are terrific places to get candles, vases, ribbon, fabric and a multitude of other small items to make your own decorations and centerpieces. Look for closeout sales and discounts for buying in bulk.
Decorate the reception tables with photographs of the bride and groom, from childhood through their engagement. You will already have the photos, so there's no cost except simple frames.
Instead of buying floral centerpieces, make your own simple centerpieces by filling shallow glass bowls with floating candles, fruits and other inexpensive items. I attended a wedding where goldfish bowls (with live goldfish) were used as centerpieces and then given to the children at the reception when the event was over.
We cannot stress enough the importance of buying your wedding flowers in season. Flowers are oftentimes triple the price (or more) when they are out of season or need to be dyed. Also choose locally grown or domestic varieties rather than exotic blooms.
Instead of having your ceremony and reception at two separate locations, get married and celebrate at one place. This will not only cut down on transportation, but decorating costs too. If this is simply impossible to do, re-use your decorations. Bring the flower arrangements and decorations from the church and use them on the tables at the reception venue.
If you get married at the beach, in a garden, or another outdoor location, you can cut down on the number of decorations. Trees, bushes, flowering plants and the landscape are beautiful enough that you don't need to add anything elaborate. (editor's note: or try the latest idea - wedding in a greenhouse!)
Your wedding favours can do double duty as the centerpieces on your reception tables. Place wedding favours in a cluster in the center of the table, marked with each guest's name. Use colorful boxes or bags to match your wedding colors or theme. Guests can take their favours from the table when they leave.
Instead of floral arrangements, get blooming potted plants or miniature rose bushes. They come in terracotta pots, which can be painted with acrylics to match your wedding decor. After the wedding, you can use the plants in your home
When planning your wedding, don't think in terms of specific wedding decorations or types of flowers. Instead keep an open mind and look for good buys, rather than particular items. Flexibility is the key to savings -- think outside the box.
With centerpieces, less is more. A cluster of three or four fresh cut flowers in a simple vase is a modern look that is stylish too. Your centerpieces shouldn't be very large; your guests should be able to see across the table with ease.
Believe it or not, you can negotiate with your wedding vendors. In rough economic times, competition is steep. Use it to your advantage by negotiating a cheaper price for your flowers, decorations and other wedding services.
Story by Kori Ellis