1. Choose a dress in a simple, elegant style. An over-fussy dress with lots of frills, ruffles or lace, etc. tends to look "cheaper" than a more elegant, less expensive one. Less is more!
2. Instead of purchasing larger floral and greenery items to decorate the reception, rent them from your local nursery.
3. Use different centerpieces throughout the reception. Vary the heights and sizes of each one but stick to similar colors to tie the room together.
4. Candles create a very romantic atmosphere and are much cheaper than full floral centerpieces.
5. Summer is the peak wedding season for bridal professionals in the US. Consider having your wedding at a different time of year.
6. Choose a small, but elaborate, cake for your cake cutting and supplement it with plain sheet cakes behind the scenes.
7. Morning and afternoon weddings are less expensive then evening affairs. Consider a morning brunch reception or an afternoon tea.
8. Take flowers used in the ceremony and move them to the reception. Place your wedding party's hand-tied bouquets in vases for instant centerpieces.
9. Stay simple when decorating the tables. Use white linens, plates, and napkins for an expensive and understated look. White also lets the food, favors and table decorations really stand out.
10. Consider a pre-recorded music playlist for dinner and dancing rather than a more expensive DJ or band.
11. Have a buffet-style reception instead of a sit-down affair. Buffets save on the cost of place cards and a waiting staff.
12. Save on cost and hassle by having your wedding ceremony at the same location or even in the same room as the reception.
INCORPORATING YOUR PERSONAL STYLE INTO YOUR WEDDING
Here are some fun ideas on how to add personal touches to your event:
- Include your heritage in a special way. Areas might include the food, clothing, colors, music, customs, etc.
- Choose wedding favors that say something about you as a couple or use a favorite cookie recipe or hobby as a starting place.
- Name your tables rather than use numbers. Consider cities or mountain names or something that relates to a favorite hobby or theme. Place the names in 5x7 inch frames at each table.
- Choose a wedding location with a special meaning or historical significance.
- For a guest book alternative, consider a tree skirt for a Christmas wedding, a signing scroll for a medieval wedding, a decorative plate, or the matting of a framed picture of the two of you.
- Scenting your reception and ceremony areas creates a lasting impression and really sets the mood. Use scented candles, fragrant flowers, scented sachet favors, or lightly-scented air fresheners tucked into centerpieces or plugged into electrical outlets.
- Add instant drama (the good kind!) to your event with richly-colored bouquets and decorations in red or purple. Jewel tones are far more exciting then pastels and look wonderful in photographs!
- Create a picture board of the two of you for your guests to look at during the reception. Include photos taken before you met and after you met. Include captions and dates.
- Make an unusual exit from the reception with a motorcycle, speed boat, horse and carriage, etc.