3 years ago when I got married the average wedding budget was $27,000 (but my husband would beg to differ since ours tripled within minutes of booking our venue. Fast forward to 2016 and I'd say people are upwards of $40-$50,000 for the average wedding. oh my gosh right! You could elope in the Rockies and book a trip to Bali for a month! Well...maybe. But you get the point. Weddings have become monstrous events that everyone wants to be bigger, better than everyone else's, more elegant, fireworks, walking food stations, midnight food trucks, the list goes on and on and on. It doesn't have to be that way. Really... I swear even though our wedding was a gigantic cash sucking monster and I fit the term bridezilla to a T, there are things I would definitely scale down if I had the chance to go back and do it all over again. First off, I wouldn't have let my husband pay for a wooden dance floor that really wasn't any better than the concrete one that was already there. But it was a pleasant surprise at the time. Looking back though, would anyone really remember that anyway? No, probably not. Now that I am a little more knowledgeable in weddings, I'm here to tell you that having a super intimate and elegant wedding doesn't have to take your money ransom and put you in a hole for the next 50 years. Whether you have a wedding planner or not, researching and being super negotiable can work wonders for your pocket book. (But I'm bias to hiring a wedding planner wink wink)
Tip # 1
Don't be afraid to use the linens that your venue provides. I am all for gorgeous imported hand dyed silk and I know some fabulous linen decor suppliers but if it's not in the budget, don't get too upset about it. You can really fancy up the simple white linens wonderfully. My husbands friends did this for their wedding and it made every single thing in the room stand out beautifully. No one will remember if you had a pattern, bows, ruffles or any of that 3 years later. Simple white can go a long way once you follow the rest of this list.
Tip # 2
Go big on the little details. It doesn't take a ton of cash flow to set a romantic mood especially when Michaels has 40-50% deals all the time. Stock up on those mercury glass votives you've been eying for months and fill your tables with them. It adds a warm welcoming feeling and is super pretty once the lights are dimmed or the sun goes down.
Tip # 3
Take advantage of Minted sales. You can add special touches like menu's, escort cards, favour tags, for a lot less than you'd think. Theres thousands of designers and styles to choose from and they often have sales so you're bound to find something that compliments the rest of the wedding decor well. Blooms and Bowties is now affiliated with Minted so check our Facebook page often for awesome discounts.
Tip # 4
When I got married I had mason jar centrepieces with all white hydrangeas which I loved and fit the vintage vibe but looking back I wish I would have allocated a bigger budget towards the flowers. My bouquet was stellar but my ceremony and reception had just hydrangeas because we spent a lot of our budget on our venue. (those sneaky gratuities and taxes... ask up front what they are because they'll surprise the heck out of you!) I would have also had our reception inside, it was the hottest day of the year and we spent 15+ hours outside. AHHH talk about wilted everything. But back on course here... FLOWERS. If they are important to you, I promise you won't regret getting exactly what you want. Skip the $700 dance floor with the one mismatched tile, skip the backdrop that isn't even what you wanted and breaks your head table glass decor when it falls over, skip the extra hour of liquor service that doesn't even get used. TRUST ME, if flowers are important to you budget them in. You will never regret it. The three things people regret the most after they have their weddings are not having an amazing photographer, settling on something less than their dream dress and the amount or type of flowers. Flowers compete the entire aesthetic, tone and mood of your wedding. You can have extremely simple tables, chairs, even a lack luster tent and your centrepieces will make all of that better!
Tip # 5
Charger plates! Take full advantage of your venues package and use the charger plates. They can make pure white plates pop and add texture and are visually appealing. They are usually pretty cheap when you get them on sale or clearance, or you can rent them from a wedding design company. I use charger plates at home for small dinner parties, it tells your guests you took that extra step in making their experience special. This charger was from Michaels and I loaded up on them when they went on clearance. they were usually $5 each but I got them for $2. You can usually get more traditional ones for less too and sometimes your wedding planner or linen company will have chargers that you can rent from them for less than it would be to buy them yourself.