We’ve said it before; a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to break the bank. All it takes is some creativity and a little hard work and you can save a lot of money on your wedding expenses. We recently had the pleasure of attending the wedding of Alex and Emily, a young couple who was able to throw a picturesque country wedding on a modest budget. Their smart decisions and creative touches made this event beautiful, memorable, and affordable. Here’s how they saved on their big day without sacrificing their vision.
Located on a hillside in rural Virginia, the venue was scenic with beautiful mountain views that made guests feel like they were someplace special. Yet the location was only an hour away from a major city and was easily accessible for out of town guests. The couple chose a November wedding date, which is late in the season and saved them a lot of money on the venue rental. The venue charges higher rates during the summer and early fall.
The venue made it easy on the happy couple by bundling the space rental, catering, and house staff into a package deal, but also offered flexibility if the couple had wanted to bring in their own vendors. Alex and Emily had already priced out the cost of the services they would need, and realized that the venue’s deal was actually quite economical. (Note: often wedding venues will require you to use their in-house catering and staff, so make sure to ask about this before you book. Sometimes it can be more affordable to book your vendors separately.)
Our couple got creative with the decorations for the wedding reception. The reception was held in a large outbuilding on the vineyard property (think upscale barn setting) which was nice, but didn’t offer a lot of built-in charm. The venue allowed our couple into the space early on the day of the wedding to decorate, and they had their work cut out for them. Armed with a trailer-load of decorations, they arrived at the venue on the morning of the wedding and got to work.
They draped the rafters and support posts with simple rolls of burlap landscaping fabric. Burlap is very inexpensive, but the effect instantly made the room feel more like a reception hall and less like a barn. Japanese lanterns were hung from the ceiling and they wrapped the rafters with Christmas lights, which gave the room a soft, warm ambiance.
The venue supplied the tables, chairs, and linens, but the bride and groom took care of the center pieces. They used slices of logs as a base, and added vases of seasonal flowers and fresh peaches, a part of their theme. In mason jars filled with water, they floated tealight candles. Each center piece was topped with a photo of the couple holding a large cut-out of the table number.
The bride’s mother—an avid baker—made a simple, but beautiful wedding cake.
Throughout the space, homemade wooden signs were hung to indicate where guests should leave presents, and where they could dance. The couple also taped photos to old wooden doors to showcase memories from childhood through their courtship and engagement.
While it involved a lot of hard work and planning, the bride and groom threw a creative country wedding, and most importantly, stuck to their budget.