Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
However far along in your wedding planning process you are you will likely have been on Pinterest and been wowed by the amazing and beautiful ideas. It can get overwhelming and a bit disheartening thinking you can never replicate all those lovely pictures, especially if you're on a tight budget. Fear not it can be done.
Whether you want to go all-in on a theme (rustic, boho, festival, classic, Disney, Game of Thrones, etc) or just chose a colour you like, having this in mind will help you bring together things that match. The right bits next to each other are much more impactful than a mishmash of stuff, so have a plan.
What decoration do they supply? How does the room/s look without decoration? Some venues might be dramatic enough, in which case you can keep your additional elements fairly straight forward. A single flower in a tall skinny vase can look stunning. Strings of fairy lights draped across a ceiling create a beautiful atmosphere.
If you have the skill and the time, plan what you are prepared to DIY. Many of the table centres you see on Pinterest can be recreated at home with the right skill. If you don't want to spend a fortune on vases, then use what you have at home: bottles and jars can be painted, covered and filled in a variety of ways to suit whatever your theme might be. Charity shops are a great source for an eclectic mix of vases, tea cups and saucers, and other pottery, etc. Plus you might get lucky and find someone has donated their entire wedding. If you talk to your local volunteers they may even save you the best stuff as it comes in.
Decor hire companies will have done all the shopping around for you, so for the more unusual items (I'm thinking bell jars, old fashioned suitcases and full matching set of 3 different sized vases for 12 tables!) it's definitely worth talking to them. Also if you don't have lots of people to help you they can take a lot of the pressure off. Plus, they may not be as expensive as you think but as professionals, they have the expertise to make any style you have in mind.
Shops like Dunelm, The Range, Flying Tiger, Hobbycraft, The Works, even Wilko have some great wedding worthy bits and pieces available, such as fancy frames for table plans, MR & MRS bunting, bird cages, fake flowers, fish bowls but beware of their lack of quantity. Most larger items like the bird cages, fake trees, etc will only be on display in small quantities so if you need lots of something you may need to talk to them about ordering options or availability in other stores and holding items for you.
On-line sites such as www.sellmywedding.co.uk and www.preloved.co.uk are a great source for handed down items, often at a reduced price compared to buying new but beware, some items might not be in the most tiptop shape, and may need a bit of a clean or repair. Ebay and Amazon also have some great marketplace sellers for things like chair covers and bows/sashes, etc, even bulkier bits too.
If you're DIY'ing things like invites, favours, table centres, think about who you can recruit to help you. Make a hen 'teambuilding' evening of it, especially if your hens aren't all used to hanging out together, it's a great way to get to know each other. Also who do you know and what can they do? If you're really flexible on what you want, can anyone you know help you - a friend with a flair for floristry, a mum with a signature bake, a cousin with a passion for photography? If they're donating their services, you might not have quite as much control as you would like but why argue if it saves you £350+ on a cake or £500+ on flowers!
Fake flowers are now more realistic than ever and look just as lovely as the real thing in table displays. Or if you want real flowers, go with in-season blooms, which work out much cheaper than imported out-of-season flowers. Keep your displays simple. Florists can advise on what to go for and many will have a fake flower option for you to consider.
Instead of the expensive and restrictive traditional three course meal opt for a buffet. With a good mix of options those fussy eaters should be easily satisfied plus you can avoid all the hassle of trying to chase down dinner option responses or deal with who has decided to go veggie this week.
Naked cakes are all the rage right now and look lovely draped with fruit, plus they usually work out cheaper than iced cakes due to the amount of time saved by the baker on decoration. Plus your cake can be your dessert.
(my DJ friends are going to hate me for this one but…) If you don't fancy a disco, hire a juke box. You can set up your own playlist and take requests from guests in advance, plus they look fab in photos. It won't give you quite the same atmosphere and it can get a little out of control if you have guests requesting the same song over and over but there are ways to limit this.