30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, Part 5

In 30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, Part 5, I will share three more money-saving ideas: One location for both the ceremony and reception, pom-poms for inexpensive pizzazz, and choosing a day other than Saturday for your wedding.

Tip 13. One Location for Both the Ceremony and Reception. Having both the ceremony and reception in one location can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to choose a venue where you can have your wedding outdoors and reception indoors or vice versa. Or you may want to have both the wedding and reception indoors or outdoors in separate areas of the venue. There are definite cost savings to using one location. Read more . . .

30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, Part 2

Continuing with the second post in the series, 30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, this post will cover ideas for the décor at your wedding reception, how to trim your wedding guest list and how a wedding planning system can help you save money (and help with stress, too)!

Tip 4.  Décor at Your Wedding Reception. Sometimes a little “trick of the eye” is all you need! By adding a “wow-factor” to your wedding place settings you can impress your guests so they will not even notice if you have cut corners in other areas of the reception. Read more …

Your Outdoor Wedding Reception – What’s Your Style?

Planning your wedding reception can be a daunting task. After all, most engaged couples have not had the experience of planning such a large and important party before.

To help with your planning process, I will cover some of the hallmarks of three popular types of outdoor receptions in this post.  At first glance all three may seem to be very similar to each other but there are definite differences in décor and style that really do help create a unique look and feel for each one.

The reception styles I’m including are Casual – Festive, Rustic and Garden.

Venue: Backyard, park, farm, and other outdoor venues.
Décor: Pom-poms, banners/bunting, paper décor and often decorations that hang from trees, fences, and the like. You can go with just “casual” or include more fun details for “casual-festive”.
Seating: Pillows, benches and simple chairs with or without pillows, sometimes decorated with ribbon streamers.
Tables:  Often long tables are used without tablecloths.  You can include place mats, table runners or tablecloths in simple fabrics such as burlap and cotton.
Centerpieces: Simple DIY incorporating candles and flowers in vases or in recycled jars and bottles.
Flowers: Simple in-season local cut flowers such as roses and daisies with baby’s breath and greenery added.

This informal style often includes colorful ribbons to decorate place settings, bottles, vases and chairs.

Hot Tip:  Even though  your reception may be casual, it is fun to add “designer” items such as vintage-style drinking straws, creative cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, styling tags, and other elements that tie together your color theme and help create a cohesive put-together look. The photos below help illustrate how this style can take shape.Casual - Festive Wedding Reception

Casual Wedding Reception

Casual Wedding Reception


Venue: Farm, park or backyard — sometimes in a large, rented tent or in a barn.
Décor: Burlap is often used, sometimes paired with lace. Mason jars are plentiful to hold flowers, candles, beverages and food.
Seating: Benches or simple chairs often decorated with burlap.
Tables: Picnic tables; round or rectangle tables without cloths or with burlap cloths.
Centerpieces: Simple DIY using Mason jars and recycled bottles and jars. Colorful marbles or stones are often used at the bottom of the vases.
Flowers: Lavender; sunflowers, daisies, dried flowers.  Dried wheat is often used in the decorations.

Bales of hay and hand-painted wedding signs can be incorporated in to the décor.

Hot Tip #1: If you love the rustic style but want your reception to be a little more formal, you can make the short jump from “rustic” to “country chic”. Country Chic combines rustic with more refined accessories, as shown below in the last two photos in the collage and the last single photo. In the last photo the burlap runners and yellow metal buckets are paired with white tablecloths and an elaborately decorated ceiling to create a unique and appealing country chic décor.

Hot Tip #2: If you want to make sure that your reception “screams” rustic, be sure to include Mason jars, lots of natural wood, burlap and informally arranged cut flowers.
Rustic Wedding Reception

Rustic Wedding Reception

Rustic – Country Chic:

Country Chic Wedding Reception


Venue: Public or private garden or most any outdoor space that will accommodate the reception
Décor: Lots of flowers, of course! The décor can be simple or elaborate but this style is usually refined in the accessories and décor used.
Seating: Simple, stylish chairs
Tables: Tables almost always include a tablecloth or elaborate runner
Centerpieces: Centerpieces are usually lush and include lots of flowers
Flowers: Flowers often include roses and other in-season local flowers and can be in formal arrangements.

While this style incorporates nature in its décor, its decorations
usually lean toward simple elegance.

Hot Tip: If you have the reception in a public garden/park you will have some of your decorations already taken care of from the lush surroundings and plantings that are already there.Garden Wedding Reception

Garden Wedding Reception

Garden Wedding Reception

Below is an example of all of the styles together so you can more easily see how they differ. Click the photo for a large version.Outdoor Wedding Reception Styles


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For more ideas see our Pinterest Boards:
Burlap Wedding Ideas
Mason Jars for Wedding Decor
Mason Jars for Beverages
Mason Jars for Food
Country Chic/Rustic Weddings
DIY Centerpieces
DIY Reception Ideas from Exclusively Weddings

Resources on This Blog:

How to Use Mason Jars at Your Wedding
Taylor and Andrew’s Rustic Wedding
Rustic Wedding

Photo Sources:
Casual-Festive Collage:  Etsy, Piccsy, Ariella Chezar, Troy Grover Photographers Photo 1: Holland Photo Arts Photo 2: Style Me Pretty Rustic Collage:  Lovely Little Details, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Ace Photography Photo 1: Southern Weddings Photo 2: Krista Fox Photography Garden Collage:  Moments of Magic, Vanilla and Cinnamon, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Jesse Leake Photography Photo 2: Belle the Magazine

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
Photo Source

DIY Centerpiece with 6 Bottles
Photo Source

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
Photo Source

DIY Centerpieces for Long Table
Photo Source

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
Photo Source

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How to Create the Perfect Wedding Reception Table Décor

Reception Ideas ThumbnailYour wedding reception is likely going to be the highlight of your wedding day. The ceremony is over and probably some of the stress is now gone and you and your guests are ready to party!

Planning your wedding reception is very much like planning a party . . . probably the most important party you’ll ever plan. Most of us want our guests to say “Wow” when they enter the reception venue and see the dinner tables decorated to show that you have thought of everything and that you obviously care about your guests.

Exclusively Weddings’ team recently did a photo shoot of a reception table to give brides some ideas on how various elements come together to create a welcoming and inviting table. The elements include candles, place card holders, flutes and favors.

(Click the images below for full-size versions.)

Candlelight is always a welcomed addition to a table setting. Here, our designers used our Damask Vellum Shades to create decorative lighting.

Damask Vellum Shades for Wedding Candles

Our Baroque picture frame, which comes in a choice of black or white, works perfectly for use as a place card holder, table card holder or as a favor. Black Baroque Frame and White Baroque Frame.

Baroque Wedding Place Card Holder and Photo Frame

And for your edible favors, Two-Piece Favor Boxes offer so much versatility. You can dress them up in a multitude of ways. They are perfect for holding candy or other goodies. A lot of brides mix and match them by buying two different colors and using the top of one and the bottom of another to create a custom look.

Two-Piece Wedding Favor Box

Personalized Ribbon
is an accent that never fails to make an impression! It can be personalized so that the name and date will appear on the streamer ends of the ribbon or it can be “continuous” and appear from one end of the ribbon to the other. In the bow below, the names and date look best when they appear on the ribbon streamers. The Organza Bag (available in 17 colors) is filled with our Premium Sugared Almonds.

Personalized Ribbon

One of my favorit
e items is this pair of Crystal Wrapped Flutes. An artist in Oregon designed the crystal wrap using the highest quality Austrian crystals just for EW.  She hand applies the crystal decoration on the flutes as well as a complementary knife and server set. They can be used solely for your first toast together or you can also include them for your head table guests/wedding party as an exceptional keepsake of the day. The flutes and Serving Set come in 8 crystal-color combinations and of course they can be used for many years to come to celebrate anniversaries in grand style. Oh, and they can be personalized, too!
Austrian Crystal Flutes

Voilà … the completed reception table! All of the elements have come together to create a welcoming and dazzling tablescape for your wedding guests. Our design team chose to create a black-and-white-themed table; however, it would be easy to add a third color and still keep the basic design. Red, pink, purple, lime, yellow, orange, turquoise, and royal blue are just some of the colors that look great with black and white. The Printed Menu wrapped in Ribbon (available in 23 colors) adds the final finishing touch. A flower arrangement that is of minimum height assures that the guests can see each other easily to talk and laugh and enjoy the festivities!
Reception Ideas - Exclusively Weddings


How to Use Mason Jars at Your Wedding

Mason Jar CandleAccording to the Ball Corporation, Jason L. Mason invented and patented Mason jars in 1858. Through all these years they have been used primarily for canning and preserving food, though other uses have evolved, as well. Made of soda-lime glass their variety of sizes ranging from cup to half-gallon makes them especially versatile for DIY projects.

They have become popular in our homes as vases, planters, pencil holders, and the like. But an unexpected use of the Mason jar has become a huge trend … Mason jars in wedding decorations. The popularity of rustic and country chic weddings has likely contributed to the Mason jar’s wedding appeal.

They make the perfect holder for wedding reception beverages. Choosing a colorful beverage and adding a coordinating straw makes for a tempting drink. They are especially useful for holding flowers for general décor, centerpieces and pew markers. For an evening wedding, you can create amazing ambience by using Mason jars to hold candles. Stringing and hanging them creates a magical scene. And your dinner and buffet tables will glow when filled with candles in Mason jars.

If you like the idea of using Mason jars in your wedding décor but need step-by-step instructions, here are three links that may be helpful. There is a tutorial on how to paint Mason jars and wire them to hang, as well as other creative projects for your wedding and for your home: Tatertots and Jello, HomeDIT, and Oh Lovely Day. Instructions for making the doily candles shown in the last collage can be found at Crafts by Amanda.

We have three Pinterest boards for Mason jars, too: Mason Jars for Wedding Decor, Mason Jars – Beverages, Mason Jars – Food.

I hope the photo collages below will inspire you to consider Mason jars for your own wedding décor.

Beverages in Mason Jars

Flowers in Mason Jars

Candles in Mason Jars

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Photo Credits: Etsy, Etsy-Treasure Again, blowoutparty.com, Crafts by Amanda, chickabug.com, iloveswmag.com, charlottegeary.com, and projectwedding.com