Budget venue decor is something many brides have to contend with. Of course, it would be wonderful if Cinderella’s fairy godmother was on standby – after all, she doesn’t have much to do nowadays, with Cinder married to her prince. Alternatively, a budget without limits would be very nice indeed…
Unfortunately, only a few of us are so lucky. Plus, not every bride gets married at a venue which has all the decor on stand-by. And, you probably already know what it feels like to look at fantasy weddings on Pinterest while sighing ‘I wish I could afford this’.
So, what do you do? You think outside the box. Think essentials and non-essentials – and read all about our budget venue decor suggestions below.
Visit the venue
You’ve probably already had a tour, but did you have enough time to take a good look around? It may have some beautiful features you haven’t noticed. Call the venue and ask if you can view it again, and this time really take a look at the best things your room has to offer. Maybe it’s a beautiful ceiling (you won’t have to cover it up!), unusual chairs, or vintage panelling on walls? Make note of the colours, and take a few pictures so you can remember it when you go home. While you’re there, ask if they already have decor you can use – like lights, candelabra, chair covers? Then, plan yours around that, and the room features you liked the most.
Cover the tables
Getting started couldn’t be easier – tablecloths. Even if you’re celebrating at a pub or the church hall, there’s a chance they may have their own already – but they’ll probably be the ever-reliable white. That’s perfect! All you need is a table runner, and they’re very inexpensive to buy or make – and are especially elegant in lace. Look on eBay, or visit your local fabric store and ask for their suggestions on what material will be best. And, check out 14 fantastic table runner ideas right here.
Blush chiffon table runner, photo by Michelle March Photography via The Knot
We’ve already mentioned some ideas in our 6 Creative Wedding Centrepieces article, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Basically, the simpler you keep it, the better – and it’s less expensive too. Vintage books in a variety of colours can be purchased for as little as €1 from second-hand stores. If you don’t want to buy so many vases, you can hire them – suppliers like All Affairs have wonderful glass jugs and wine carafes ideal for flowers, and totally affordable. Finally, which guests would be unhappy with their own cute cake centrepiece?
Old book centrepieces, photo by Caro Hutchings
All you need is an elegantly folded napkin, and a little sprig of lavender, rosemary, or a single carnation tucked into it. It not only smells wonderful, it looks sweet too.
Lavender napkin ring from Born To Be a Bride
Find your favourite printables
There are literally thousands out there, for signs, stationery, drink tickets, favours, Mr & Mrs signs, placemats… we could go on and on. We’ve gathered some of our favourite printables under this link, so you can see just how great they look. We suggest keeping it to just two or three things if you want to create an elegant ambience, or use as many as you like for a fun, carefree vibe.
Bride and groom printable signs via Evermine
Hide the walls
The simplest way is white fairy lights and lots of fabric. You’ll need to speak to the venue first about the draping options – you don’t want to be falling off ladders while using sticky tape to hold up the material, because it’ll all comically fall down at the most crucial point of the party. They will help you with the draping and the plugging-in. As for fabric, shop around for tulle, especially online. Chiffon is also a good alternative, but it tends to fray, so you’ll have to find a creative way to hide the edges.
Tulle wall covering photo by Brad Claypool Photography via Ruffled
Hire whatever you can
It’s much cheaper than you think, usually comes with insurance (ask the supplier, and check with your own wedding insurance company), and best of all – you won’t have to worry what to do with it after the big day, because the supplier will simply take it back. That means no clutter, and no selling on eBay for just a few cents. You can hire just about anything – from vintage china and ice buckets to marquees and lawn games. To make your choice simpler, we’ve put all the information together for you – click here for complete guide to wedding hire part one and part two.
Chair covers by Caterhire
Start collecting things
Jam jars, wine bottles, mismatched china from charity shops and car boot sales – all these things are either free, or cost next to nothing, but they can make all the difference to your decor. Wine bottles can be easily wrapped (see printables above), and used as vases or candle holders. Jam jars can be dipped in paint or glitter, filled with tealights or flowers. Mismatched china looks wonderful and full of character to simply styled tables – an easy tip is to try and group it by colour.
Wine bottle candle holders, photo by Sonya Khegay Photography via Ruffled
Balloons, pom poms and paper lanterns
One or two of these certainly makes a statement… but a room full makes for a total WOW! Balloons, pom poms and paper lanterns are inexpensive and can be used in so many ways – hanging from the ceiling, tied to backs of chairs, and embellishing key areas, like the top table. They’re also hugely photogenic, and make every place look beautifully festive. To see examples of amazing ways you can use balloons, take a look at our balloon article.
Balloons on a ceiling via Pinterest
Main image courtesy of WeddingTalk
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.