What’s the second most important part of a wedding? First, it’s the food. What’s next?
Wedding decor. And because wedding decor is so important, it’s often very expensive. Thankfully, this is one area of your wedding budget that is easy to cut back on.
You can still have a beautiful wedding without spending a fortune to get it. Here’s how:
Borrow everything possible
This one is a given. Try to borrow as many wedding decorations as you possibly can. Ask friends, family, neighbours – there are even some nice people on Freecycle that will actually lend you items.
Ask to borrow flower vases, candles, table linens, picture frames, lighting, fabric for hanging, glass jars, signs, buckets, silk flowers, candle holders, and anything else that you need.
Most people that have been married will be happy to help you out and lend you some wedding decor pieces, because they know from experience just how expensive a wedding can be.
Remember to return all borrowed items promptly after the wedding.
Purchase items second hand
For everything that you are unable to borrow, your next task should be to try and purchase them second hand. Check out thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, online classifieds (such as Craigslist and Kijiji), in the newspaper, and seek out everything you need.
Of course, you may not find everything that you are looking for, but even if you can pick up a few things at a second hand price, as opposed to full price, you are certain to save some money.
Remember that when you are shopping second hand, you can always negotiate prices. Yes, even at thrift stores. Start with a low number and see if the seller will accept. Most times, they will, because they want to sell. If not, ask for the best price they can do and offer just a bit below that (if they ask $20, you offer $18) and they will likely accept it.
Check out the dollar store
You also want to check out your local dollar store for cheap wedding decor. You are probably not going to be able to find larger items there, but you can certainly pick up cheap flower vases, candles and candle holders, glass jars, buckets, and picture frames.
The dollar store is also a great place to purchase craft supplies. Use those craft supplies to make your own wedding decor! Pick up large letters (your first initial, your future husband’s, and the first initial of your NEW last name) and paint them. These make great decor pieces.
Other wedding decorations you can make from dollar store supplies would be table numbers, money box, cake stand, and table decorations (candles in candle holders with ribbon tied around them, glass jars with shiny beads inside).
A few of my favourite cheap wedding decor items:
The best thing about mason jars is that they are incredibly versatile. You can use them as drinking glasses, flower vases, candle holders, to store food, as storage for small items and even just as decorations on their own (especially if you paint them, or purchase coloured mason jars).
If you really want to have real flowers at your wedding, one of the best ways to cut costs on them is to purchase flower petals instead of (or in addition to) full flowers.
Flower petals spruce up a wedding real fast and they are not that expensive. Sprinkle them down the aisle, on the tables and you can even put them in jars with candles on top (LED light candles, of course).
They make a big statement for little cash.
I know that many people think balloons are tacky at a wedding, but I don’t. Done right, they can actually be very pretty and work very well as wedding decor. Balloons ad pops of colour and whimsy to a wedding, and are, of course, extremely inexpensive. Especially compared to more “traditional” wedding decorations.
They key is to keep it fun, but also sophisticated. It’s possible! Check out these great ideas for balloons at a wedding:
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, nature is going to be your best friend. Take advantage of everything around you. Trees, plants, flowers, a lake, a sunset.
Put twigs and a single flower in glass jars. Pick flowers (if possible – get permission if necessary) and use them as bouquets, in vases, and to decorate the tables and chairs. Use pine cones as place settings.
Even just having your wedding at a location with a ton of greenery is beautiful.
Using string lights as lighting for your wedding is a simple, inexpensive way to add some sparkle. You can hang these in trees if you’re having an outdoor wedding, and they also work well hung on walls or up near the ceiling.
Want a more romantic look? Try using a transparent fabric in front of the lights. This will help to diffuse the light a bit (and will also work to hide the cords!).
You don’t have to be crafty to make these signs for your wedding! Take a piece (or two, or three) of scrap wood and paint some words on it/them. Your wedding date would be nice, too. Stick them where your guests will see them and watch them ooh and ahh over your easy and very inexpensive wedding decor.
You can use these signs on tables, on walls, on trees – you can even put a stake into them and stick them in the ground near your ceremony or reception site.
Wooden signs are extremely easy to make and cost next to nothing. Plus, they are very rustic and add a lot of charm to any wedding.
What can’t you do with a picture frame? The best place to purchase frames is from thrift stores and dollar stores. You can always find a wide assortment of different shapes, sizes, styles and colours at both of these stores and they will cost you a fraction of what they cost anywhere else.
You can use picture frames for so many different things in your wedding. Use them as decor on tables and walls, as table numbers, to create funny photos with your guests, to display the menu, and to hold place card settings. Even empty photo frames look nice when displayed right!
There you have it – wedding decor that is fun and frugal. As you can see, you can spend an arm & a leg on decor items for your wedding – or, you can be a bit creative and spend less on decor pieces that are just as nice as the expensive stuff, but cost much less.
The most important thing is to be different. Think outside the box. What wedding decor pieces do you want, but cost too much? How can you incorporate a cheaper version of those items into your wedding?