Wedding decorations on a budget

Decorations and centerpieces for a wedding can get really expensive, but they really make a difference. I think decorations spice up a room. Most venues are a little plain. Sometimes there are no windows and the carpeting is dark. Decorations and bright centerpieces will add some pizzaz, and you can do it without breaking the bank.

Our venue had windows overlooking tennis courts and open rafters. To make the room sparkle without paying for colored table cloths and chair coverings, we added color to the rafters and bright colored candles to the tables. Candles are a great idea because they add sparkle at night.

The key to saving on decorations is to start early. Look for ideas constantly. We have a great locally owned craft store in town, Pat Catan’s Craft Center, that often has great discounts. At most big box craft stores, you need coupons to save money on name brand items and even then it’s typically 40% off one item. When you’re not in a rush to purchase, you have time to browse for ideas and discounts. Check often because you never know what’s going to be on those discount racks.

You can see the Pom Poms hanging from the rafters – not the best picture but the only one I have.

I was at Pat Catan’s a lot because we made our own save the date cards, wedding invitations, and programs. I was always looking for ideas. I always checked the clearance section for money-saving inspiration. One day, I found Martha Stewart Paper Pom Poms. They retail for about $18 at most places; Walmart sells them for $15. I got them for about $8. It was a huge savings. Plus, they had my color. That’s the key. You might be able to find them on a site like Overstock for cheap, but you may not find your color. Overstock sells some for $10, but they were blue. I needed pink.

At such a discount price, I bought a few packages so I had enough pom poms to cover the rafters. The day before the wedding, the moms and their friends got together and put them together. They had a blast doing it. Then the guys hung them from the rafters. The total cost: $25-30 to brighten the room.

Centerpieces
We had a destination wedding, so I knew our centerpieces would be wasted money because nobody could enjoy them and take one home. I wanted to add elegance to the evening without breaking the bank.

Every florist I called wanted to sell me flowers for our centerpiece. This can get costly really fast. Instead, we made our own table decorations. We had our wedding on the beach and reception inside, so we focused on a beach theme.

We focused on color and candles to bring a bright glow in our reception area. We spent a little extra to buy candles that were within our color scheme. You can mix this up anyway you want and probably even shave some costs off if you’re not as picky. Our candle and beach themed centerpieces cost us about $15 each.

Playing around with different designs

We bought vases at TJ Maxx for around $6-8.  They didn’t match, but we didn’t care. We thought the various designs and shapes added a unique feature without being sloppy. The glistening light from the candles united the theme and made the room sparkle.

We bought a big bag of different sized seashells at Walmart. We took the sand from the beach. Can’t beat FREE! Then, we bought large centerpiece candles for $4 at TJ Maxx. We could have gotten cheaper candles at Walmart or another discount store, but we wanted to keep the color scheme consistent since our vases were oddly shaped. At Walmart, you’ll find deep red, blue, or white candles. We needed green, pink, or aqua marine. So, we spent a few bucks more on candles. At least someone could tuck that in their suitcase if they really wanted.

We added four small floating candles around the big vase side to accent the centerpiece. At Old Time Pottery, the vases were 50-cents each. The floating candles were the hardest thing to find. You can find white ones, but we wanted to add a splash of color. We had to order them online from  Yummi candles. We paid $8.99 for 20 floaters. With shipping it was about 50-cents a candle.

Vase for centerpiece – $6
Large centerpiece candle – $4
4 Floating candle vases – $2
4 Floating candles – $2
Seashells – $1

We looked online for inspiration in creating our beach themed centerpiece. A simple Google search will yield dozens of ideas. We also looked on Etsy, the world’s handmade marketplace, for inspriation.There are very creative people on that site, and can offer you great ideas. Find one you like? Support the local artist. I did that with my mom’s wedding gift and earrings for my wedding. Two products that created a lot of wow factor because they were so unique.

Pinterest is another great idea generator. I didn’t use this site too much, but a lot of people grab ideas from this site. I focused on the non-traditional wedding sites rather than the traditional ones to jumpstart my creative juices.

If you want something special and can’t find it at a retail store, ask the employees. They are full of inspiration. Give them an idea of what you are looking for, and they’ll probably know a better way to do it. The craft store employees are experts at their trade, and help you avoid trial and error.

Look beyond the traditional craft retailers. Old Time Pottery and Pat Catan’s were great inspiration for us. Old Time Pottery is a warehouse full of all things imaginable. We spent hours in there working on different designs, colors, and shapes and sizes for our centerpiece.

If you still can’t find what you are looking for, check online sites like Yummi Candles and Save-on-Crafts. You can’t beat the prices on these sites.

There are lots of ways to hold an elegant wedding on a budget. Tap into the inspiration of the millions who have wed before you and you’re sure to come up with a combination that will make your day one to remember.

Did you have a great idea? Share it with others. 

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2 responses to “Wedding decorations on a budget

  1. Pingback: Planning a wedding on a budget | Jenn Strathman

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