Tips on how to decorate your wedding (with class) on a tight budget
Cheap wedding decoration ideas
Planning for that dream wedding can be an expensive process. When you add up the costs for the dress, the caterer, the venue, the minister, and the invitations, you could be looking at expenses that rival the national debt. Weddings are expensive and if you’re planning on having one outside of a courthouse or the city of Las Vegas, you’re going to spend a nice chunk of change by the time you’re whisked away on your honeymoon.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on decorations for your special day. You’ll find that by following a few frugal tips, you can have a lovely (and classy) wedding for under a thousand dollars (WAY under, if you play your cards right).
Do not doubt the power of dollar stores.
When most people think of dollar store merchandise, the last thing that comes to mind is class. But you will find that with a little imagination, you can turn that obviously cheap looking item, into an expensive looking piece of art.
For example; when Jane Q. from Detroit, MI went to plan her wedding, she took a completely frugal approach. Having little money in the first place, she had to rely on her father’s limited income along with her own, just to pay for the venue expenses.
“We hadn’t even started on decorations,” she said. “I didn’t know what we were going to do.”
While doing a little grocery shopping on weekend, Jane decided to stop into the local dollar store on a whim. With the intention of looking for decorative ribbons, she was shocked to find a virtual treasure of things to use as decorations.
“I found helium balloons,” she goes on, “tiny vases for flowers, confetti and tiny velvet bags to give to the guests. There was just so much there that I could put together and make beautiful and fun things for my wedding.”
The trick to using dollar store items is not to look for ready made party items. You can find plenty of things, of course, (paper ribbons, balloons, etc.), but if you really want to hit the jackpot, you’ve got to open your mind to what you can make with what you have at hand.
Vases and containers
Dollar stores have tons of miniature vases of all sorts. You’ll find plenty of gaudy items to choose from, but try to stick with simplicity. Because of the price, many stores have many of the same kinds of vases all in one spot. You’ll want to look for a simple glass vase with one solid color or one with a single simple flower design on it. If you’ve chosen a uniform color for your wedding, try to find that color. If you can’t find it, go with white, off white, or a light beige so not to draw attention from your color of choice.
What will you need these vases for? Flowers, of course. By setting small vases filled with flowers along the aisle, you not only create lovely floral walkway for the bride, but a nice floral feeling to the entire area where plan to be married.
If you have a typical wedding color (such as blue or white or pink) then finding party ribbons will be easy in a dollar store. If you have a lesser used color, then finding your color might be nearly impossible. Instead of looking for the ribbons, look for craft scissors and the dye of your choice instead.
Craft scissors are special scissors with particularly shaped blades. These scissors are sold in crafts stores for the most part, but nine times out of ten, you can find these same scissors in just about any dollar store.
What you’ll need to do is find a white fabric. Use an old piece of clothing of your desired texture, so long as it’s white, it doesn’t matter what kind of clothing. Take the fabric and the dye of your choosing and dye the clothing to your chosen color. Keep in mind, different types of material will mean a longer soak time in the dye. Instructions for dying your fabric should be on the box (or bottle) that you use, but a good thing to remember is the hotter the water, the deeper the color.
Once you’ve dyed your cloth, take the scissors and carefully cut ribbons of various lengths out of it. Use these ribbons to tie floral arrangements, around your vases, around chairs if your wedding is out doors, or even to decorate the pews of a church wedding. Use fancy ribbon tying to create lovely arrangement that can be used to hang on various locations throughout your venue. If you don’t know how to tie a fancy ribbon, fret not, the internet is full of sites where you can learn.
Ideally, real flowers are better than fake, but in many places, real flowers are expensive. Try limiting the real flower usage to the smaller locations (such as the vases and light decorating around your venue), but in places where you want to include a centerpiece, such as the altar, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a nice bouquet found at the dollar store.
For this one, you’ll need to do a little searching. Try more than one dollar store for the best set. Ideally, you want fabric flowers. Once you’ve found it, take it home and wash the fabric of the flowers to give it a newer look. Hand washing is best, but if you must use the washing machine, use the delicate cycle. If your fake flowers are plastic, use Endust or something designed to leave a little bit of a shine to them to clean them. Doing this will bring out the color in your flowers.
To further create the illusion of real flowers, you’ll need a glue gun. Use the gun to apply tiny droplets of glue to the leaves, and the flowers themselves. Allow 24 hours (or more depending on the size of the droplets). When dried, the droplets will create the illusion of dew covering your brilliant looking flowers.
If you must have real flowers, stay away from commercial florists. The best way to get lots of flowers cheap is to go to discount flea market type places. Many cities have weekend markets that specialize in the selling of vegetables, flowers and other plants. If you don’t know of any place like this in your area, look in your local newspaper for advertisements of these places. Keep in mind that you may have to buy your flowers as soon as a week before your wedding to ensure a fresh bouquet when you walk down the aisle.
Unity candles are popular accessories to weddings these days. Purchasing the right candle and cost more money than you might be willing to spend. Try the following instead:
Find your local dollar store and locate the largest candle you can find. If not in your color, go with white or beige. Pillar candles are best since they provide enough space to work and many of them have more than one wick to burn, but if the largest one you find has only one wick, then fret not. This will do too.
Get a large sheet of wax paper; large enough to completely encircle the candle. Lay it out, dull side up, in front of you on a flat surface, then, using a pencil, outline whatever designs that you’d like to see. Then, using the tempera paint of your choice of color, fill in the outlines to create the decoration of your choice.
When the paint dries, carefully apply a light coating of clear glue to the edges of the paper and place it around your candle. Allow 24 hours to dry and voila!
You can use this technique with smaller candles as well, or if you have a steady hand and an artist’s touch, try carving designs into the candles themselves.
Finally, free your mind
Most important to decorating with class and little money is to open your mind to the possibilities. No one has to know you decorated from the bargain basement if you take the time and effort to create beautiful designs. A little imagination will go a long way when it comes to making your wedding the perfect expression of your love. So, save your pennies and get to work. It’s your day.