DIY wedding decorations
We’re all tightening our belts, but that doesn’t mean your wedding has to look cheap. To save money and put your personal touch on your big day, learn a bit about DIY wedding decorations.
In order to economise on your wedding budget, or maybe just because you love arts and craft, why not do the decorations for your wedding yourself? From little personal touches to the whole thing, make it special without breaking the bank.
Decorating the reception room and tables for the wedding yourself is totally possible. It just takes a bit of time, imagination and organisation. So, if you are planning a summer wedding, get your think-ing cap on now.
DIY wedding decorations on a budget
Before getting started, make a list of the different elements you want to incorporate in the decora-tion, and stick to a reasonably strict budget. If you let your emotions take over, the costs will quickly shoot up!
Phew, you’ve decided where to have the ceremony, the reception, and also the number of guests... A large part of the organisation of your wedding is already done and dusted. Finally, it’s just the details you need to be thinking about.
It’s your wedding, one of the most important days of your life, and you want everything to be absolutely perfect, beautiful and magical. This is totally normal! But in terms of decoration, you need stick to your initial budget. Be careful because when faced with all the gorgeousness in the shops, you might lose your cool and blow your budget on expensive decorations, which will defeat the whole purpose.
Perhaps you have decided to put a personal touch on the decoration of your chosen venues? “You can do many different things with wedding decorations,” explains Lelia Deshayes, decorator and co-author of the book “My Wedding Decoration”.
There are multitudes of ways to get fabulous decorations for your wedding without having to spend a fortune. If you are deft with your fingers, you can even put together your own wedding bouquet, a hair accessory or customise your shoes. Choose what to do according to what you are good at when it comes to crafts, and have fun!
From table decorations, accessories for flower girls and page boys, to sugared almonds and little gifts for the guests, you can add a little personal touch in lots of different ways, that don’t need to cost a fortune!
DIY wedding decorations planning and organisation
First tip: Focus on the little details, in large quantities, rather than a big element of the overall decoration. “I have often seen one or two highly styled shrubs housed in a big room, which no one even notices. Even if this seems like a big statement at home or in the shop, in a room of 300 people, this type of decoration will be invisible. It is much better to concentrate on 250 napkin rings, or 20 smaller table centrepieces which are easily achievable and affordable,” Lelia advises.
Second tip: Decide with your future husband on the timing and the budget you are prepared to allocate to the decoration. Are you going to leave the venues pretty much untouched or, on the contrary, do you dream of mountains of flowers everywhere? It won’t all just happen by itself.
Then, talk it over with those around you. A sister, mother-in-law, a friend who is more practical than you are might be delighted to help you and give advice. “Weddings are a family occasion. Make the most of it!” Be careful, however, of imposing your wedding organisation on others and you will avoid creating tension.
After this, establish a list of the key things you wish to have in your decoration: original table centrepieces, little bouquets of flowers dotted around everywhere, lighting, colour schemes, and wall deco... the possibilities are endless!
Third tip: Find out the opening hours of the reception venue. Will you be able to access the venue the night before to arrange the flowers and candles? Will you have enough time in order to put up your decorations? If your reception is going to be in your parent’s garden, all this will be a lot simpler!
DIY wedding stationery
Doing the invitations yourself means you can save a lot on your budget! For the brides (or grooms) out there who are good at graphic design, you can create your own stationery (invitations, menus and table plans) at home with your own computer and printer.
“Otherwise, there are many different websites, which offer great templates for wedding stationery at really reasonable prices,” Lelia Deshayes points out. And often, it’ll take you less time, and less money, than doing your own from scratch. “The printer might fail, you might end up with a lot of practice runs using good paper, and if there is a single typo you'll have to print them all out again... it can get really annoying!”
DIY wedding flowers
Find inexpensive flowers. Try to speak directly to producers or to a wholesaler – or get into early and serious negotiation with a local florist to order bulk cut flowers at a good rate. There is no need to buy vases for this one event; cut flowers gathered into bouquets on the pews in the church or stuck onto the walls of a reception room with glue will have a lovely overall effect. “If you are getting married in the countryside, consider using this as your theme inside too; think about using wild flowers which are pretty, simple and really not very expensive at all!”
Go for a seasonal feel. Getting married in summer? Use lavender or sunflowers. These won’t wilt in the middle of the afternoon. For a winter wedding, steal a few ideas from Christmas, like fir tree branches which are certainly a lot less expensive than cultivated roses.
For the table centrepieces: It’s pointless to spend a fortune, and often the simplest ideas are the most successful, excellent ice-breakers for the guests around the table. A funny photo of the newlyweds, a little anecdote about their life written on a little card, an unusual object which sums the couple up...
This is the moment to demonstrate your originality! Little accents which link to a detail on the wedding dress, panels of fabric on the walls, bouquets of net and cut branches as well...
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