Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ode to a budget bride

What can you get for $5,000? Today, not very much. When the bulk of your budget goes to the wedding gown and the venue, there's really no room for anything else. In some cultures it's a tradition to have family members and close friends sponsor certain wedding items such as the champagne flutes, the bible and the dance hall. But personally I think it's kind of tacky. Plus you might also get stuck with accessories that aren't really your taste.
If you can book a venue that provides tables, tableware, linens and a kitchen, this is the best way to go, you can save thousand of dollars just by shopping around.
Don't think that your local floral shop is the only place to get your arrangements. Grocery stores and Costco have high quality flowers at unbeatable prices. Personally I love the look of curly willow branches. It gives you regal height, and NO COST. Depending on your area, SOME ONE you know has a willow tree or in southern states a manzanilla tree or bush. I will be posting a few pics of affordable arrangements that your friends can help you put together a day before the wedding.
While on a tight budget you really need to prioritize. What is the most important aspect of your wedding? Having amazing flowers, or having a sit down dinner? In most cases you're going to have to sacrifice in some areas.
As far as wedding favors for the guests, this can become quite outrageous depending on your imagination. Unless it is edible, it will eventually make it's way to someone's trash can along the way. One great idea is to put a small treat into pillow pouches. That way when the guests are making their exit, they can just stop at the favor table and take one pouch. Now tradition says it's one item per guest, not per couple, so make not of this, you don't want to end up short on favors.

These are a few of my favorite things that guests actually like to receive. PLANTABLES. A bulb, or if you're going for an eco friendly theme, a plantable heart with seeds embedded into the paper. This looks great hanging from a tree and they just pluck off their favor. The bulbs can be in affordable paper packaging helping to tie in your color scheme.
EDIBLES. As I've mentioned before, this is a guest favorite. Chocolate dipped oreos that are drizzled with your coordinating color and are on a stick and wrapped like a lollipop. Custom fortune cookies. These are available with or without the take out boxes and the paper boxes can also tie in your color scheme as well. A bag of toasted peanuts in a paper bon bon pouch or once again the take out box with the tag that says We're just NUTS that you joined us on your wedding day! Or we're just NUTS about each other, etc... Get creative here ladies! :) All of these can be done for a dollar or less per guest and that's about as affordable as you're going to get on a budget where you still want quality to rein.