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Thrifty Weddings: Decorations

You’ve seen the movies – those ones were the brides decks the church and reception area in so much tulle and flowers that it looks like she was getting married in a craft store.  Or how about those ones with cherubs hanging from the ceiling and doves released at the moment of “I do”.  I just have to ask – WHY? (falls to my knees, hands raised to the heavens)

I just don’t get it.  I understand the desire to have the perfect wedding but why on earth would any bride want to come in second to the decorations.  The bride, honestly, should be the centerpiece of the entire event.  It’s her day to shine.

I’m big on simplicity.  I’m also a fan of choosing a location that offers the decorations “naturally”.  That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to get married in a garden but a beautiful church or building offers their own appeal.  Getting married at a bed and breakfast, park, or some other location that means something to the couple getting married should not require decorations vomited all over.

Now if for one reason or another, you aren’t having the wedding or reception in your dream place, then decorations can add that personal touch.  Note that I said personal.  Every decoration should say something about the couple in one way or another.  That’s from the cake topper to the table touches.  Everything should remind the viewer of who’s day it is.

That doesn’t mean plastering pictures all around either (a few tastefully done are fine), it means that it should be reminiscent of something the bride and groom would use to decorate their house.  These don’t have to be expensive.

Because I don’t personally know the bride and groom I can’t offer specifics but here are some ideas that popped into mind.

Say the couple wanted to marry in Hawaii or just have a great love for the tropics.  Add some exotic lilies to the flower arrangements.  Paint glue on glass candleholders and roll in sand, tie a piece of raffia or thin rope on the outside.  Maybe add a small shell or two.  Or have a candle surrounded by sea glass and shells.  Add a few leis to the décor.  If they are not so serious, add some tiki torches or fun little luau decorations from the dollar store.

How about a tasteful “white trash” reception decorated with a few pink flamingos?

If they are fans of the gothic, pick up some Halloween decorations on clearance to add some touches to the reception.  If you missed that opportunity, then ask your friends if you can borrow their Halloween decorations.  Not only does it add to the character of the reception, it shows how their friends care.

We bought a bolt of muslin and dyed it to make custom made tablecloths.

Remember simple and personal is always best.

Shop early and be flexible.  I got my wedding cake topper about a month after my fiancé proposed because I found the one I wanted on ebay.  It actually took two auctions to get it for the price I wanted to pay.  I started early when I found what I wanted because I felt it was worth getting for the price I wanted instead of just taking the first one I could.

For “favors” I found custom made wedding birdseed decorations on ebay.  It was very affordable (something like 25 cents per favor).  Again I found it early and ordered so that I could get it about a month before the wedding.  I will tell you that if it won’t rot, get it early and store it.  You don’t want to be waiting at the last minute and find that there was an error (my maid of honor had a problem with her dress that ended up with her wearing the wrong color because the order came late).

I’m thinking that maybe I should extend this series to include some craft ideas.  Maybe next week, I’ll just share some ideas from other blogs so you can get a better idea of the options out there.  The great thing about getting married today, vs 10 years ago, is that there’s so much more information sharing.  There was no facebook or pinterest when I got married.  I actually resorted to books.