5 Ways to Save on Wedding Decor

August 4, 2011

in DIY Crafts, Reception

Wedding Table

Wedding Table

Everyone out there has tips about how to not spend a fortune on your big day, but I find that no one really gives you any other advice rather than “have your wedding off-season”, “bargain with your vendors”, “hold your wedding on a Friday or Sunday (which is a great tip though)” or “Serve finger-foods”.  I’ve seen those tips a million times.  They are a great place to start, but what if you still want all the glam of a big wedding, but don’t know what else you can do?

This post was inspired by one of my amazing brides.  She and her fiancee were talking to me one day, and she sounded sad because she felt like she was disappointing me because I had all of these great ideas but they didn’t have the funds to execute them.  I told them that I wouldn’t be the frugal person that I am if I didn’t make their wedding look absolutely stunning with a small budget!  So I have compiled the following list to help stretch your wedding dollar, and provide literal bang for your buck.

1- Paper is really inexpensive.

Paper Wedding

Paper Decorations

You can buy paper in a million and one patterns, and paper is like fashion, the styles are updated constantly so there is always something out there to fit your style. Anything made with paper will stretch your dollar.  For instance, a paper banner made with good quality paper (like the birthday banner shown below would run you about $5 to make {paper and ribbon} if you have all the crafting supplies, and $35 to make if you had to buy all the materials {circle cutter, glue, etc.} for the first time. Paper can go on ANYTHING.  If you are cutting costs on your invitations.  Print your own invitations on heavy card stock (at least 110 lbs. from an office supply store) then cut colorful or patterned paper to go behind it.  To attach the two, I like to use 2 pieces of double sided tape at the top so the paper doesn’t wrinkle. To save even more money use a standard envelope size, like A-10 (a letter sized, business envelope) and size the invitation to fit the envelope.

2- Michael’s crafts ALWAYS has coupons out.  Before a trip to Michael’s (which is a home away from home for me) I search the internet and find printable coupons for the store.  About 20% of the time there is a 20-40% off coupon floating around somewhere on the internet, and 100% of the time there is a printable 40% off one item coupon available.  If you are planning on buying a big vase, or one larger item this can come in handy.  If you are neurotic like me, you can print several of them and buy one item a day for several visits as well {I haven’t ACTUALLY done this…. yet}.  But plan your trip and it can save you money.  Every once in a blue moon Michael’s will have a sale, and a coupon out at the same time that can save you a percentage off even sale items (bingo!).  I just used mine in last week!

Candle Wedding Decor

DIY with ribbon

3- Ribbon can dress up the most simple of decorations.  Buy ribbon in shades of your wedding colors and throw in one print in a coordinating color and wrap those around a vase {see below}, bowl or pillar candle {away from the flame of course}.  You immediately make your decorations personalized, and if you stock up on ribbon when it’s half off at the craft store (Michael’s has sales on this a lot) then you can get 4 yards for $1.50-$2.00.

Examples:  If you are planning on using simple hurricane lamps with pillar candles inside, consider wrapping 1.5″ or 2″ ribbon around the base, and it will bring some color to your tables. If you are planning on using a vase with strait sides, wrap ribbon around the top or bottom of these with wedding color-themed candles inside.

4- Fabric is also very inexpensive.  The venue my bride is using that I referenced earlier provides tablecloths, but they are not my number 1 choice.  To dress up the tables and bring some personality to the venue I am using the provided linens but we are making runners for every table in a black and white damask print.  Using fusible tape and an iron, I can cut the time of having to sew the runners in half, and I am spending half of what linen rentals would normally cost.  Normally I would sew these to be able to use them again later, but for a 200 person wedding, this is not going to happen. {I once sewed 60 linen napkins for a baby shower, and I’ll never do that again, but they were really gorgeous!}

5 – Go shopping on Craigslist.  You may not find exactly the shape of vase that you were hoping for, but with a little ingenuity and maybe using some of the tips above, you can really make a statement with your newfound items.   The beauty is that once you are done with your items, you can try to re-sell them on Craigslist, and you end up breaking even, making a profit, or paying a nominal rental cost, whichever way you look at it!  If you keep looking months before your big day you are bound to find a great deal.  I use this trick all the time for my clients!

There is no foolproof way to throw a wedding for pennies, in fact it is impossible.  But with planning and some creative inspiration you can really stretch the money that you can spend to make a beautiful event.  But remember not to stress yourself out- you can always hire a professional money saver like me!

Honeydew Events Honey

Honeylyn Armstrong is a Wedding and Event Planner in Richmond, VA.  She owns Honeydew Events LLC.  and believes you should enjoy your event as much as your guests will.  She loves to make and look at beautiful spaces.  

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie P August 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

These are all fabulous tips! I’d also add recycle things you use day-to-day, like jars, cans and bottles! Things like wine bottles are soooo versatile and you can definitely dress them up with any of the above tips!


Heidi August 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Thanks! Recycling is a great idea, especially wine bottles – there is a lot you can do with those for a wedding.


les April 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm

What a great article, weddings can be so expensive, so any tips to save money are always very well received, and recycling is a really good way to achieve savings.


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