I’m here to tell you something you probably already know:
Weddings are expensive.
According to Fortune, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 was over $35,000. THIRTY. FIVE. THOUSAND.
Thirty-five thousand dollars could cover the cost of the next car I want to buy, plus a massive shopping spree and a few student loan payments.
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Needless to say, couples are (understandably) seeking out ways to save money here and there. For some things, such as the photographer and the food, you won’t want to cut corners. After all, at the end of the day, your photos are all you’ve got left so you want a good photographer. And who doesn’t love a good meal?!
But there are definitely places where you can shave off some dollars. Getting married on an off day for example, like a Thursday or a Sunday instead of a Saturday. But the place where you can probably save the most cash:
Decorations at any wedding are usually unique to the couple’s style and the theme of the wedding. I know when my fiancé and I finally get around to planning our wedding that we will be choosing a travel theme. We both enjoy seeing the world, we’ve both lived abroad, and he even proposed atop a bluff in Portugal so it makes sense for us.
But we know that planning a wedding is going to be super expensive (although our budget will be nowhere near $35,000) so we’ve already started brainstorming ways to decorate on the cheap. If you need some inspiration as well, here are some ways to decorate your wedding on a budget!
Nope, we’re not doing graffiti at your wedding (unless you’re into that). You can, however, transform practically any object by spray-painting it. Wine bottles, mason jars, silk flowers, tree branches, leaves, figurines, picture frames….the list goes on and on. I would suggest hitting up a resell store or antique markets to find things that fit into your theme. Don’t worry if the color or pattern is ugly or faded. You’re just going to be covering it up!
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Then just spray paint your little heart out! I swear spray paint turns even the most janky of knick knacks into something awesome. You can even buy glitter spray paint which transforms anything into a sparkly wonderland. When everything is one uniform color, your army of bizarre trinkets turns into a beautiful array of decorations that will look great on your tables. Try buying varying shades of the same color (lilac, plum, and royal purple, for example) for a little variation. A word to the wise, though: do multiple light coats instead of one thick, gloppy coat. It will look so much smoother and cover better.
Don’t worry about matching
Some brides get caught up in the idea that everything needs to match, especially the table decorations. But I promise it really doesn’t all need to match! In fact, I actually love the idea that each individual table will have their own decoration. For our travel-themed wedding, I am thinking that each table will represent a different country. The great part about that is that countries are all vastly different so the decorations will be different as well.
When you’re not worried about matching, you’re free to (once again) shop at vintage stores or flea markets. If you find a one-of-a-kind vintage globe, you don’t need to stress about finding 14 more that match because you’re not caught up in all of that madness! You can save loads of cash by not buying things in bulk brand-new in order to get a matching set.
If you are into matching, though, revert back to the spray painting section. You can always buy things of similar shape but different colors or patterns and then spray paint to make them match.
Use nature to your advantage
Don’t forget to literally look outside when you’re planning your wedding. What’s in season? Are there going to be beautiful brightly-colored fall leaves? Sunflowers? You can use all of that stuff to your advantage.
Now please don’t just go wandering onto people’s private property and stealing their plants but don’t be afraid to use what nature provides as a way to decorate your wedding on a budget. My parents are Kansas wheat farmers so I plan on incorporating wheat stalks into a lot of my wedding decorations as well (travel + wheat….why not?). They will make great filler in center pieces and will cost me exactly $0. You could use bundles of fall leaves for bouquets or your flower girl’s flowers. Maybe some slices of wood will serve as center piece bases. Pinecones placed strategically on tables will give a super rustic, outdoorsy feel. Granted, you have to be willing to DIY a lot of stuff but it will save you boatloads of moolah to use what mother nature provides.
Please do not stack up beef jerky on your tables and call it a day. Or hamburgers. Or chicken strips.
But please do consider using fresh fruit or even veggies as adorable decorations. This would be especially cute at an outdoor summer or spring wedding. You can take it in any direction you want! Apples stacked up or piled in a bowl, bunches of carrots laid out, or slices of lemon lining some mason jars with floating tea lights? It would be so cute!
The best part about these kinds of decorations is that you could head to Sam’s or Costco and grab copious amounts of them on the cheap. And if you want, some of the food could even serve as snacks for the guests. Think Edible Arrangements but DIY.
Just because the average bride spends a small fortune on her wedding doesn’t mean you need to do the same. Snoop around on Pinterest for other alternative ways to decorate your wedding on a budget and always keep an open mind as to what could serve as décor. There are also plenty of online tools that can help you with decorations and invitations, so make sure to take advantage of those! If it’s never been done before, maybe you’ll be the bride to make it an internet sensation! At the end of the day, your wedding is all about you and the love of your life, not how much money you’ve dropped. Enjoy it!
Did you decorate your wedding on a budget? What did you use? Leave us your best tips and tricks in the comments below!