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

Bridal Bouquet Shapes

Hand-Tied BouquetIt’s time for you to choose your bridal bouquet but where do you begin?

Using a florist you trust is a good starting point and then having good communication with that florist increases the odds that you will be pleased with the final results.

Being able to clearly express your preferences will help your florist create your dream bouquet. Sharing photos of what you like and don’t like will go a long way in making it perfectly clear what you want your bouquet to look like.

Also, be sure to bring a picture of your wedding dress to the consultation with your florist so that your bouquet and dress are in harmony with each other. If you have a special hanky, brooch or other personal item you want included with your bouquet, be sure and bring it with you to your consultation.

In choosing your flowers, consider the time of the year that your wedding is taking place.  If you choose flowers that are in bloom during the season of your wedding, you will keep costs down.

In this blog post, I’ll focus on shape of the bouquet because the shape of the bouquet will influence flower choice and size. Other influences are the formality of the wedding, the style of  your wedding gown, and venue. It’s also important that your bouquet is in proportion to your size. If you are a petite bride, then a huge Cascade bouquet would not work just as a small Posy is not the best choice for a tall, full-figured bride.

I have found that there is not consistency among florists when it comes to the names of the bouquet shapes. So that you and your florist are on the same “page”, it’s best to show him/her a photo of the style you want to use.

There are quite a few bouquet shapes and I will focus on five of them here.

Round Bridal Bouquet: A Round bouquet typically uses one type of flower, although it can incorporate assorted blooms, as well. It can be hand-tied or created using a florist’s bouquet holder. When talking about the Round bridal bouquet, it is a natural progression to mention the Nosegay and Posy, since they are so much alike. The Nosegay and Posy have a similar appearance to the Round bouquet but are smaller in size and often more tightly arranged. A Posy’s small size means it can easily be held in one hand.Round Bouquets


Hand-Tied Bridal Bouquet:
A hand-tied bouquet has a casual appearance. It is made by simply gathering the flowers and tying with ribbon. It can be made using one type of flower or combining many.
Hand-Tied Bouquets


Cascade Bridal Bouquet:
Also, called Waterfall, the Cascade bouquet consists of flowers that drape downward in to a waterfall effect. This style is typically the most traditional and formal but as you can see from the bouquet in the last photo, it can also have a more modern appearance, as well.Cascade Bouquets


Composite Bridal Bouquet:
The Composite bouquet, also called a Glamelia, is made from hundreds of flower petals that are wired together to create one gigantic flower. Due to the labor involved to create the Composite, the price can be much higher than other styles.Composite Bouquets


Presentation Bridal Bouquet:
The Presentation bouquet, also called a Sheaf, Flat or Arm bouquet is made from long-stemmed flowers and is carried in the crook of the arm.
Presentation Bouquets

To see more bouquets, visit our Pinterest boards:
Colorful Wedding Bouquets
White Wedding Bouquets
Composite Wedding Bouquets

Photo Credits:
Collage 1: Petal and Bean, Bouquet Wedding Flower, Project Wedding, Project Wedding, Project Wedding, Ken Kato, My Inspired Wedding, Real Etsy Wedding – Collage 2: Southern Weddings, Floral Artistry, My Wedding Concierge, HiFi Weddings, 100 Layer Cake, Tim Duncan Events, Rachel Whiting – Collage 3: Floralisa.com (Project Wedding), Fiore Fresco, Project Wedding, Project Wedding, Rustic Wedding Chic, Heather’s Floral Designs, Vermont Country Flowers – Collage 4: Daniel Taylor Photography, Style Me Pretty, Nightingales, Wedding Planner, St. Jude’s CreationsCollage 5: Amina Michele, A Low Country Wed, Ruffled Blog

Fresh Ideas On Wedding Flowers

Never underestimate the beauty and charm of carefully chosen flowers. Even a single rose added to a place setting can guarantee a bit of magic and romance.

Here are some tips for adding nature’s touch to your special day:

  • Make your bouquet the “something blue” with a nosegay of sweet forget-me-nots.
  • Explore  locally grown flowers by visiting nearby gardens and nurseries.
  • Don’t overlook herbs as beautiful partners with your favorite cut flowers.
  • Have your attendants carry wreaths of flowers instead of traditional bouquets.
  • Savor the simplicity of a garland of greenery tied with colorful ribbon.
  • Consider more than just cut flowers for centerpieces, using lovely potted plants instead.
  • Planning a church ceremony in December? The church may be decorated for the holidays already, so simply add a few candles.
  • Create distinctive bouquets for attendants that reflect the flower symbolic of their birth month.
  • Make a large area a cozy setting by bordering it with large ferns or even a decorative screen.
  • Have fresh flowers delivered after the wedding to both of your parents’ homes.
  • Pansies are a symbolic way to say “thinking of you”.
  • Not marrying in a house of worship? Create an alter with fresh flowers atop white linen or damask cloth, or wrap a railing with greenery and ribbon.
  • Don’t forget t let your florist know of any specific flowers you don’t like.
  • Instead of the traditional mother’s corsage, consider a small floral bouquet held in a Victorian tussy mussy.