Several months ago, my cousin required my assistance in planning her wedding. I, of course, immediately said yes, albeit unbeknownst to me, the planning came with several challenges. First off, the wedding had to happen in three weeks as this was the only time her husband can get off work-related commitments. Secondly, she wanted to stick to a budget of $20,000, which is pretty tight but not entirely impossible. Third, she want to be pretty and presentable.
Lastly, she wanted a cozy garden wedding and a reception of around 40 people. I had to point out, however, that a garden wedding in the middle of February might be a bit difficult to pull off as this was smack in the middle of the wet season. She mentioned a friend’s wedding held in one of those huge dome-like container sheds she saw in Australia. It had wisteria and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling, giving off that woodsy, whimsical vibe.
With only 3 weeks to pull it off, we set to work and ended up spending way less than her target budget. Here are a couple of tricks to successfully pull off a budget-friendly yet Pinterest-worthy wedding.
On venue: Think outside the box
When planning a garden wedding with only 40 or so in attendance, consider choosing a small venue similar to a pocket garden. Not only will it give you that intimate feel you are going for, but it also keeps your decoration expenses to a minimum. A well-maintained and beautifully kept garden could already serve as a gorgeous backdrop, so there will be no need to splurge on flowers.
Scout to see if you and your significant other know anyone in the family who owns a garden you can rent for a small fee. Perhaps you could also look around for typical options such as village halls, holiday homes, or a local farm. Imagine how adorable those animals could look in your wedding photos.
On decorations: Less is more
Decorations play an essential role in setting the mood, whatever the occasion may be. For couples looking to stick to a budget, the use of foliage provides just the same lushness as expensive flowers. However, if you really want to incorporate flowers, opt for wild, seasonal ones that you can arrange in repurposed tin cans, wine bottles, or mason jars.
A piece of driftwood could also make a nice centerpiece for these arrangements and would further lend a touch of rustic appeal to your whole setup. You can stack up and nail together wooden palettes to use as a nuptial table backdrop. To complete the look, decorate this with fairy lights and hang a hula hoop flower wreath with your names cut out in acrylic to announce your nuptials.
On food: Let your guests pitch in
Food and drinks can easily eat a huge chunk of your wedding budget. To bring down the cost, save up on your wedding cake by employing the help of a family member who’s a baking connoisseur. More often than not, people love being part of weddings. This would also be a great avenue for this aspiring baker to show off his or her skills and creativity to potential clients who will be in attendance.
Instead of spending for a dessert table, ask guests to bring pastries and desserts in lieu of presents. You can easily add on a well-curated cheese platter to go with it. Drinks, may it be beers or bottles of chilled Moscato, can be stored in old galvanized bathtubs filled with ice or wheelbarrows to achieve your rustic industrial theme.
Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be intimidating. It is possible to keep costs to a minimum if you’re ready to use the available resources around you.