30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less

30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for LessNew Blog Feature! For the next ten weeks I will share three money-saving ideas in each blog post for a total of 30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less. In addition to listing my tips, I will give you resources and photos so you can actually use the tips! I hope you will enjoy this addition to the blog!

In this first post in the series, I’ll cover money-saving ideas for your wedding cake, bouquet and reception tables.

Tip 1.  Wedding Cake. This week’s three money-saving wedding tips starts with the wedding cake. Choose an alternative to a large, elaborate wedding cake and go with a small cake instead. A small cake will require less work in making and transporting than a large one and will therefore cost you less; however, it will still be fine for your ceremonial cake cutting. You may be wondering what to serve your guests if you have a small wedding cake. Here are a couple options: Cupcakes. Cupcakes are less expensive and require less expertise than creating a wedding cake. And by serving your guests cupcakes, you will avoid a cake cutting fee from the venue, which can be around $1.50 per person. Sheet Cake.  Another option is to supplement your small cake with a sheet cake, which is cut “behind the scenes” and then served.  A simple sheet cake is less expensive to make and easier to cut than a multi-tiered wedding cake.

Our Cupcakes Pinterest board has lots of photos to help with ideas.

The photo below is  from Taylor and Andrew’s wedding and shows how a small cake with cupcakes can work wonderfully!
Wedding Cupcakes
Photo Source

Tip 2.  Bridal Bouquet. There are several ways to save on your bridal bouquet with varying degrees of savings. I’ll start with two very obvious points: A small bouquet will cost less than a large one and flowers sourced locally will cost less than flowers flown in from far away. If your budget is very small, I suggest that you pick up “cash and carry” flowers and tie them in to a hand-tied bouquet. I searched the Internet to find you a tutorial on how to make a hand-tied bouquet. The one I found has easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. My favorite tip from the site is “Practice beforehand. Don’t wait until the day before the wedding to give bouquet making a try”!
Hand-Tied Bouquets

If you work with a florist, be sure and let her know your budget and be willing to use flowers that are less expensive such as roses instead of orchids. Using fillers of greenery and/or baby’s breath in the bouquet is a way to stretch your budget, also. We have two Pinterest boards with lots of bouquets to help with ideas. Be sure to show your florist (if using one) photos of bouquets you like.
Colorful BouquetsWhite Bouquets

The bouquet below is a hand-tied rose bouquet with the addition of sprigs of rosemary.
Rose Bouquet with Rosemary
Photo Source – Click to Enlarge

And if you are getting married in early spring, you may want to consider a Daffodil bouquet. Daffodils are profuse in the spring in many areas of the U.S. and you might even be able to get them at no cost at all. If you have enough time, you could even plant bulbs yourself to harvest in time for the wedding. In the photo below, the addition of a decorative wrap and embellishment elevates the look.
How to Make a Daffodil Bouquet
Daffodil Wedding Bouquet
Photo Source – Click Photo to Enlarge

Tip 3.  Large Reception Tables. By using larger, and therefore fewer, tables you will need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths. Along those lines, I especially love the idea of long, rectangular tables because they create a “family-style”, friendly ambiance and therefore encourage conversation.

Sometimes when using round tables it can be difficult to get a “decorator” look with DIY centerpieces. But long tables are very forgiving! You can use plain bottles or bottles decorated with ribbon or twine and add cut flowers and your tables will look lovely. Empty wine bottles, beer bottles, and other glass bottles will work just fine. Check with local restaurants and see if they will give you their “empties”. Our DIY Centerpieces Pinterest board has lots of ideas as does our Wedding Reception Tablescapes board. Wedding Reception Tablescape
Photo Source – Click Photo to Enlarge

Additional Resources in My Other Blog Posts:
More photos from Taylor and Andrew’s wedding are in this blog post:
Taylor and Andrew’s Rustic Wedding

Wedding Bouquet Shapes
DIY Wedding Centerpieces
Wedding Cupcakes and Mini Cakes

Easy DIY Wedding Reception Centerpieces

DIY Wedding CenterpiecesIf you are planning your wedding you are probably seeing the total cost add up … and up! One way to stretch your wedding dollars is to use DIY wedding reception centerpieces.

In this post we’ll focus on the ways you can incorporate glass bottles in to your DIY centerpiece. There are lots of other DIY possibilities as well, which we will cover in future blog posts. In the meantime, check out our DIY Centerpiece Pinterest board which has over 100 photos of ideas and inspiration.  DIY Centerpieces on Pinterest

The price of the bottles can range from a couple dollars each to free! You can use soft drink bottles, beer bottles, wine bottles and “dress” them up to look great. We suggest mixing free bottles with a few purchased ones.

And you can mix cuttings from bushes in with your cut flowers to stretch their effect.

One way to create centerpieces with a square shape is to use small jars or bottles and tie them together with ribbon, twine, yarn, etc. and fill them with cut flowers in your wedding colors. DIY Centerpieces - Yellow
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DIY Centerpiece with 6 Bottles
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Another idea for a DIY centerpiece is to use a variety of bottles and fill  each with a single flower. This works especially well for long, rectangular-shaped tables.

You can use a variety of bottle colors or shades of a single color for impact.
DIY Centerpieces for Rectangular Table
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DIY Centerpieces for Long Table
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Another option, besides adding flowers to a simple bottle, is to decorate the bottles. You can use colored glass “pebbles” to add a pop of color in the water and/or add decorative paper, ribbon or yarn.
DIY Centerpieces - Using Colored Glass
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DIY Centerpieces - Decorate Mason Jars
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DIY Centerpieces - Bottle Decorated with Yarn
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The bottles can also be spray painted or dipped in paint to coordinate with weddings that are using either silver or gold as an accent.DIY Centerpieces - Bottles Dipped in Paint
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DIY Centerpieces - Painted Bottles
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And for winter weddings you can give the bottles a wintery look as shown below. See photo source below for instructions on how to accomplish this look. DIY Centerpieces - Winter
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