Throughout your wedding planning, you’ve probably flipped through a magazine or two (or 12) and seen the stunning photos and gorgeous centerpieces of your dreams. But not everyone can afford a celebrity-style wedding day.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank. We’ve put together some tips for creating a stunning ceremony and reception to reflect you and your fiancé’s love.
Choose a gorgeous venue
If you want to plan a wedding that will make your guests’ jaws drop, book a venue that will shine in photos and in person. An already lovely venue will require less décor and will make for a beautiful background in your wedding photos.
When touring venues, pay attention to the architectural details, lighting, ceiling, and even floors—these seemingly unimportant details will show up in every image of your big day. And if you’re planning an outside wedding, look for a venue with great natural views, like a flowering garden, a field with a mountain view, or a park on a lake.
Be thrifty—and thrift your décor
Regularly stop in to your local thrift store to look for secondhand items you could use for your reception. Be sure to keep an open mind and think about ways you could repurpose items into unique centerpieces or signage.
You can also ask family and friends if they have any slightly used—or even unused—wedding décor that you could borrow or buy at a discount. If you know anyone who recently got married, chances are they have boxes of wedding décor sitting around that they’d love to pass on to you.
Make sure your colors pop
All-white may be in style but keeping everything monochrome can be costly and make for dull photos. Add pops of color on simple items to brighten up your décor. Consider colorful placemats, ribbons tied around vases or napkins, or even bright dessert plates to add a little fun and visual interest.
Create a signature drink
Everyone loves an open bar, but they can be incredibly expensive. As an alternative, consider making a signature cocktail that fits you and your fiancé’s personalities. You can serve your drink in a fun glass and give your guests something to talk about. Be sure to create both an alcoholic and a non-alcohol version to be considerate of guests who don’t drink.
The more open you are to changing some aspects of your day, the more you can find ways to cut back on costs. Ask your venue about rates for weeknight or even Sunday weddings and be open to changing your date to get a better price.
Invest in an awesome photographer
The best photographer can make even the simplest wedding look amazing. Choose a professional who’s a master of lighting and setting up shots and talk to them about what you want from your wedding photos. After all, your photos are the one thing that will remain to remind you of your wedding for years to come.
This is one area of your big day where you definitely don’t want to look for the cheapest option. A talented photographer can capture the emotion and joy of the day and freeze those moments in time.
With a little thought and planning, you can create the wedding day of your dreams, and with the right photographer, you’ll have gorgeous photos to remind you of that day for the rest of your life.