Mood: understated sophistication
Palette: muted pink, olive leaf, gray and white marble

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Top row from left: chic fascinator headband from Ruche, gray invitation by Martha Stewart for Crane & Co., feathered Sue Wong dress from Bloomingdale’s, photo of miniature chocolate cake by Elizabeth Messina
Row 2: olive leaf bouquet photo by Punam Bean via Style Me Pretty, photo of Lazzaroni amaretti by Katie Quinn Davies, custom chalkboard art by Custom Chalk
Row 3: my wedding photo by Elizabeth Messina, bistro tables via This is Glamorous, grissini breadsticks from Real Simple, olive branch arrangement by Saipua for Sunday Suppers


The Idea:  Focus on simple details that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The Paper:  Depending on how many you order, this beautiful invitation from Crane & Co.’s Martha Stewart Wedding Collection could cost you as little as $2.34 each. There are a number of elegant designs in the collection that I just love, and they’re a great way to have classic Crane stationery without going over budget.

The Fashion:  This sassy feathered dress by Sue Wong is gorgeous, and only $528. Top it off with a fascinator-style headband from Ruche for just $55 – not bad for such a bold accessory!

The Flowers:  Instead of flowers, carry a bouquet of foliage such as olive branches or oak leaves – they’re unexpected, lovely, and less expensive than many floral options. Use them in bulk to decorate the ceremony and reception.

The Food:  Hosting your wedding at a favorite restaurant is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Not only will you possibly avoid a site fee (many restaurants only charge a food and drink minimum), but you can also cross rentals off your list, since tables, chairs, dinnerware and linens are likely included in the cost.

The Decor:  Choose a restaurant that you love the look of, and half of your decorating is done for you! Centerpieces can be understated (line the table with votives) and edible (fill vases or jars with grissini which you can buy for less than $5 a box, and place bowls of olives in between). Add a little something extra to your wedding reception with a small splurge: a custom chalk sign for $120 that you can hang as art in your home after the party.

Other Details:  Even if you can’t afford your dream location, see if you can take your wedding photos there. Ryan and I love Cavallo Point but knew it was way outside our wedding budget – that didn’t stop us from taking our pre-ceremony photos there! Museums, parks, and hotels are all great ideas for wedding portraits, whether you’re renting the venue or not. For favors, choose something yummy that already comes in attractive packaging, like these amaretto cookies from Lazzaroni – you can either place one at each person’s seat, or have them in a bowl by the door.


Would you consider a restaurant wedding reception? This is what Ryan and I did, and in a city like San Francisco, it was by far the best way to stretch our budget. We got the space, rentals, and food and drink, all for the same amount many venues charge just to open the doors! Needless to say, I’m a fan.


If you like this budget-friendly inspiration board, you might also like:

Board #358: Playful Minimalism
Board #282: Intimate Dinner
Board #275: Champagne Friday


Elizabeth Messina is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Budget Friendly, Inspiration Boards
  1. Kate

    I’m loving these budget friendly boards! Love that custom chalk board art!

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  2. Tammy/FancieStrands

    I love everything on this budget friendly board.

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  3. Lauren @ Every Last Detail

    Oooo love these muted colors tones. Rustic yet sophisticated. :)

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  4. Calie Rose

    Very pretty muted color palette. Love the idea of an olive branch bouquet. There really is so much beauty in greenery.

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  5. Jewel

    Just wanted to say thanks for the budget inspiration boards! This one is my favorite because of all the rustic naturals and intimate dinner at a restauraunt budget idea that saves a LOT of dough. I’m totally inspired, great job!!!

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  6. Daryl Banks

    I love the headband in the first photo. Fantastic color palette overall!

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  7. CJ Hughes

    Thanks for the mention! CJ @

    / Reply

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