Mood: romantic, whimsical
Palette: pale apricot, rose gold, cream

It’s been awhile since I posted some budget-friendly inspiration boards, but I imagine that these days, everyone is looking for ways to save. If you are willing to be flexible, to employ your own talents as well as those of your nearest and dearest, and to focus on what’s most important, there is no reason that a lovely, meaningful wedding has to cost an arm and a leg. As with all of my inspiration boards, these are not meant to be exact blueprints for your wedding, but rather to inspire and to serve as guides during the planning process.

Not only are dessert buffets one of my favorite reception options, but they’re also a great way to save money without sacrificing glamour and elegance. Hold your reception at tea time or after dinner, choose a beautiful and unique venue, dress it up with whimsical handmade paper details, set up a buffet of gorgeous and (most importantly) delicious desserts, and your guests will never miss the meal.

The Paper: Design your own save-the-dates with the help of vintage clipart. Choose a simple bell or bird and scroll motif that can be repeated on your invitations and programs. Thermography is a great way to add some texture to your printed materials without the cost of engraving.

The Fashion: Allow your bridesmaids to wear a skirt and sweater, something they actually will wear again. And if you can break free from the fantasy of a white, strapless wedding gown, consider wearing separates, too. Not only will a floor-length, silk skirt cost less than many dresses (this one from J.Crew is $575), but it really is the sort of thing you might actually wear again. Skip a veil and tie a pretty ribbon in your hair. The groom can save by skipping the jacket and going instead with a vest ($98 from J.Crew, rather than $248 for the matching jacket). And I know I’ve said it before, but buying the groom a nice suit he’ll wear again is such a better investment than renting a tux!

The Decor: One of the biggest ways to save on decor is by choosing a venue that is already impressive. Dress it up with whimsical and inexpensive details – trim the dessert table with ruffled crepe paper ($7.99 for 6 feet from Birds of a Feather) and mark the bride and groom’s chairs with garlands of small tissue bells, about 75-cents apiece.

The Flowers: A single large bloom is a beautiful alternative to a bridal bouquet, and doesn’t require professional arrangement. The same goes for individual flowers in bud vases or floating in bowls. These bud vases from IKEA will only set you back $1.99 each, and you can take a cue from Michelle and later give them as gifts like she did with her candlesticks (with a flower in them of course!).

The Food: Save by serving a variety of beautiful and delicious desserts. Amy Atlas, the empress of dessert buffets, offers her tips for creating something appealing to both the tastebuds and the eyes in this Food & Wine article. Also, in addition to several non-alcoholic options, serve just one type of champagne or sparkling wine that you can buy in bulk.

Other Details: Often, the wedding planning (and expenses) begins with a ring, but there’s no rule that says that ring has to include a diamond. How about an antique cameo or cocktail ring instead? This one featured in Brides was $650 from Doyle & Doyle. Don’t underestimate how lovely crepe paper and glitter can be. Using vintage paper, tinsel, and other ephemera, create your own crowns and medallions for your guests – they might be time consuming, but they’re a sweet detail that can act as both place card and favor.

You can see all of Snippet & Ink’s previous budget-friendly inspiration boards here.

Row 1:  photo by Victoria Pearson / Cheree Berry invitation from Martha Stewart Weddings / vest from J.Crew / dessert and champagne buffet from In Style Weddings  //  Row 2:  China Cabin / chocolate champagne truffles from Martha Stewart Weddings / ruffled crepe paper garland from Birds of a Feather / large peony from Martha Stewart Weddings  //  Row 3:  skirt and sweater set from J.Crew / floating dahlias by Artfool / pink ribbon headbands and cameo ring both from Brides  //  Row 4:  paper crown by Bethany Lowe / tissue bell garland from Martha Stewart Weddings / silk skirt and sweater from J.Crew / roses from Martha Stewart Weddings
9 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Budget Friendly, Inspiration Boards
  1. elaina

    i love this one, beautiful colors! and good idea to bring back the budget friendly boards, they are great and the timing couldn’t be better. thanks for all the lovely inspiration!

    / Reply
  2. Courtney

    What a beautiful board. You make some great points about simply changing the time of your reception; the savings in doing so are quite something.

    / Reply
  3. Anna

    We seriously considered China Cabin for the venue for our wedding – it’s so beautiful! Lovely board.

    / Reply
  4. Shana

    I am the MOH for my cousin who is on an extremely tight budget ($2000), so we could use all the help we can get! Thanks Kathryn!So far, we’ve decided:- Family members are going to bake a selection of different cakes and desserts (which are also going to serve as centerpieces!).- Her finance is going to wear his Army uniform.- Her fiance’s dad is a DJ and is going to do the music.- Her fiance’s dad lives on a beautiful, rustic farm where the ceremony will take place.- Her mom is really talented at making cards and other stationary, so they’re going to hand-make all the invites.So, so good! :)

    / Reply
  5. Amanda

    Our budget is $4000 ($2000 for the reception) and we’re doing a dessert buffet. :) All the moms, grandmothers, my bridesmaids, and I will spend the night before the wedding baking. I can’t wait! We’re doing a red and white striped theme, though. The bold colors really help to make the few decorative purchases we make really POP!

    / Reply
  6. Heather

    A beautiful wedding can definitely happen on a tight budget, thanks for the inspiration.

    / Reply
  7. Sherrlyn Borkgren Photography

    http://www.lovesimplyhappens.com says.. Beautiful Board! Help spread the love. Being inspired by Brandon Heath’s song, Give Me Your Eyes, I decided to give a way a free day of wedding photography. This includes unlimited shooting on the wedding day and online gallery etc. I tried to email you but the email is bouncing back. Details are on my blog and deadline is April 1!

    / Reply
  8. Jessica Bennett

    I had my hair done with ribbons like this for my brothers wedding, but they were red! It was a vintage christmas theme in mid-December, instead of flowers for the groomsmen they used pieces of Christmas tree and mini candy canes, so fun!

    / Reply
  9. love

    oh some of my favorite colors. i love all your boards! thanks for making budget friendly ones for people like me=)

    / Reply

Leave a Comment