STYLING ON A BUDGET
Written by Jessica Alderton, Jessica Alderton Events
With so many gorgeous images of dream weddings flooding our socials, it’s not hard to want your own Instagram and Pinterest worthy wedding. But what if your budget won’t stretch this far? Firstly, let’s be honest, these elaborate weddings you’re seeing across your socials are either styled shoots or weddings with budgets big enough for a rather nice down payment on a home.
As a stylist I dream of those big budget weddings, where we can really showcase our skills and creativity, but that’s not the reality of our everyday couples. So, let’s discuss how to best to spend or save your décor budget. And while we are at it, let’s add in some extravagance should you want to go full tilt.
Let’s begin with the ceremony area. This is the first area that will have hundreds of photos taken in as the ceremony is of course the reason you are there.
To save in this area, just focus your budget on your backdrop or arch, this first kiss photo is the photo most couples get framed and hung on their wall. And it will be the photo most likely to appear on your parents’ wall and on your grandparents’ wall. Another great way to stretch your budget is to reuse the ceremony décor, but don’t rely heavily on this. I say this because where possible stylists will always endeavour to reuse the entire, or as much of the ceremony arch or backdrop as possible. However, wind, sun and rain all play a huge part in whether items like the florals are in a good enough condition to reuse inside the reception area.
For extravagance, you can’t go past floral aisle runners. Adding in rows of florals lining the aisle and appearing to have been planted there long ago will add a luxurious wow-factor to your big day. Adding a floral installation to your welcome sign is another splurge your guests are sure to talk about.
The next heavily photographed area of the wedding is where you and your new beau are sitting or standing for the speeches. Whether you shy away from attention or not, everyone’s focus and eyes are on you. So, while we would all love the budget to spend on florals and candles galore across all the tables, the best option when cutting back your décor budget is just to focus on your table. Guests are going to be turned facing you both anyway for a lot of the time they are seated and don’t need elaborate table centrepieces. Your photographer will get hundreds of photos of you and your partner laughing, and/or crying happy tears during the wedding speeches. Why not have these as some of the best photos of the night, especially because they are capturing you both at your most candid.
To get the perfect speech photo we like to frame the couple, not only in beautiful florals but also in flattering lighting. To do this we create an abundance of colourful florals in whatever your colour scheme not only in front of the couple but also behind them. They are then soft lit in candlelight from the front and either soft festoons or a neon behind. This creates a great focal point for your guests and a great area to spend your budget on.
Focal points are another great décor budget tool, are a way to draw your guests eyes and are fantastic for large and busy rooms. Rather than trying to spread a budget across a huge room and having styling elements everywhere, create focal points instead that draw the eye. A huge burst of colourful florals on the bar will hold your guests focus and eliminate the need to have something in every space.
For extravagance, you can’t go past quality linen. Tablecloths sweeping the ground and crisp linen or soft velvet napkins really bring the luxe factor. Bringing in texture with linen is a great way to add depth to a room. If you really want to spurge and add a feature your guests will be talking about for years to come, a floral installation is the way to go. A hanging mass of colour and texture, whether over the guest tables or the dance floor will have jaws dropping as they enter your reception space.
While we have added in extravagant options should your budget allow, don’t be worried that your guests will notice that these items are missing from your day. Items such as coloured cutlery, specialty linen, or custom wedding favours, won’t be missed. Sure, cutlery is a great way to add some extra colour to your big day, but will anyone notice if the cutlery is standard silver? No they won’t. A great example of if it’s there guests will notice it, but if it’s not, guests won’t.
The pressure of having a beautiful wedding is higher than ever due to social media but remember that everyone’s budget is different, and you need to feel comfortable that you haven’t over extended your budget to a place where it overshadows the day.
The best thing is to choose great suppliers, especially your stylist and/or florist. Be upfront and honest with them about your budget, wishes and expectations, they will then be able to help you focus on the best areas to spend, save or spurge. Give them some freedom with your overall look and feel of the day and they will create something beautiful no matter your budget.