Our wedding turned out absolutely wonderful. There were things we could have done better, but I wouldn’t change them for the world. We had 200 guests at our wedding, served a full meal, had unlimited drinks and beer, and a dance with a DJ — all for about $15,000. What was even better is that our vendors, friends and family were so great that we didn’t have to worry about a thing on the day of our wedding. We were able to enjoy every minute of it.
Planning the Wedding
I don’t consider myself a fashionable person, and I hate decorating. I’m not good at it. So when it came time to plan the wedding, I kept things simple. I started with the color fuchsia and from there we chose our invitation. We wanted an invitation that was simple, yet formal enough for a wedding. We chose Ann’s Filigree Perch invitation with black ink. Filigree Perch is a thermography invitation, which means the ink is raised. That made the invitation elegant yet simple. After choosing our invitation, we decided our colors would be fuchsia, black and white. I wanted my bouquet to be full of bright colors, including fuchsia to match the bridesmaids’ dresses and some greens to balance it out. We planned our reception decorations using the flowers from the bouquet and the filigree design from our invitations.
Planning the Reception Decorations
You might remember me mentioning above how much I hate decorating. Well, planning our reception décor was probably the most difficult thing for me. We were on a budget, but I didn’t want it to be so plain that it was boring.
We started out thinking we were going to have to buy or rent all of the pieces for the decorations, and then take the time to assemble them. We did a bit of shopping around and found the rental prices for vases, table cloths and lighting to be very expensive. Plus, we would be the ones decorating the reception venue before the wedding. My mother-in-law suggested we see how much it would cost for a decorator to do it.
We met with the decorator at her showroom and she had all kinds of centerpieces and other displays. I would never have been able to come up with these ideas on my own. She told us to pick items as if we were going to be able to afford everything we wanted. When she told us to dream big, we were a bit scared of the price tag. About a week later she sent us the estimate. It was too much, but not so much that we couldn’t handle it if we did some trimming. We met with her again to make some changes. She pointed out the more expensive items and gave us some alternatives that cost less. We ended up choosing four different centerpieces to have on the tables. Our initial estimate was $1,400. After adjusting our centerpieces and removing a few items that were not needed, our new estimate was $1,200. The estimates were based on 300 guests, but we ended up having only 200. In the end, we paid $1,050 for the decorations and decorating services. They set it all up, and they took it all down. It was stress free and gorgeous!
Suggestions for Decorating
A good rule of thumb when shopping for centerpieces is the higher the centerpiece the higher the price. Choose multiple styles of centerpieces that range in price. Use the expensive centerpieces less and the inexpensive ones more. This works out really well because taller, more expensive centerpieces can block the guest’s view of the people sitting across from them.
Another way to save a ton of money on wedding decorations is to use silk flowers instead of real flowers. If we had used real flowers in our centerpieces, we would have had an additional $500+ in costs. As you can see by the pictures, our centerpieces were beautiful and the overall look of the room was gorgeous.
Come back tomorrow for more pictures of the wedding and to find out how I saved money when choosing our venues and vendors. We’d love to hear what you think or answer questions if you have any. Just leave a comment on this post and we will respond.
Photos Courtesy of Kendra Elizabeth Photography.