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

My honey doesn’t have to work today, and I think we’re going to look at puppies! I’m not sure if we’ll come home with one just yet, but we’ve been talking about getting a dog for the longest time. I really want a French bulldog (have you seen my cuteness pins lately?), but I’m not sure that’s in the stars for us, so we figured it would be a good idea to start by visiting some local shelters. I’ll keep you posted!

Luna via Desire to Inspire


If the crown fits, via Duet Letterpress.

I want this clutch in dots and stripes, via The Daily Spark.

This lipstick duo is just perfect.

Love this ribbon-tied bedding.

How happy is this yellow flower wedding invitation!

Magical thread installations, via papertastebuds.

Crepes are my fave, too.

Magnetic wallpaper are you serious?! via decor8

Easter in a box for grown ups and for kids.

Deviled eggs four ways.

MUD Australia’s pebble bowls want to come home with me.

Oh beautiful Grace.


Have a happy weekend, lovelies!

19 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Weekend Round-Ups

Mood: spring sweets
Palette: robin’s egg blue, daffodil yellow, eggshell white

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Top row from left: currant scones from Martha Stewart, daffodil and egg centerpiece from Everyday Occasions, flower girl and pearl earrings both from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 2: personalized crossword puzzle from Martha Stewart Weddings, blue gingham invitation from Minted, mini shortbread cookie wedding cakes from Julia M. Usher, simple daffodil bouquet by Ez Pudewa
Row 3: daffodils from Better Homes & Gardens, After Six lace wedding dress from Dessy, silver basket with strawberries from Heather Bullard, chocolate eggs from Martha Stewart


The Idea:  Take a cue from the season with an Easter-inspired spring brunch (easily done without the holiday accents, too).

The Paper:  There are so many great online sources for invitations and other wedding stationery, like MintedWedding Paper Divas, and Hello!Lucky, who all offer great designs and customization at affordable prices, with tons of options under $5 per invite. For even bigger savings, some companies, like A Printable Press and Love vs. Design, offer designs in PDF form that you can download and print yourself.

The Fashion:  If you look in the right places, lovely wedding dresses can be found for reasonable prices, like this pretty lace dress by After Six sold through Dessy for only $660. J.Crew‘s designs are available for under $1000, and if you just have to have a designer gown, White by Vera Wang is a beautiful collection that ranges from $500 to $1500. For a quick, inexpensive DIY, embellish a simple flower girl dress and shoes with pretty ribbon.

The Decor:  This entire board was inspired by Jenny Steffens’s sweet Easter centerpiece of daffodils and eggs, which cost under $25 for the materials. You can grow your own daffodils from bulbs, or purchase them already blooming, depending on how much DIY you want to do. Heirloom eggs add a beautifully rustic touch, but if you can’t find pale blue eggs, you can dye white eggs the right hue.

The Flowers:  Live daffodils are lovely as centerpieces; why not use them cut for budget-friendly bouquets? I’ve seen them recently at Trader Joe’s for just $2 a bunch! The bouquet pictured here was put together for under $4 – not bad for such a pretty detail. They come in all shapes and sizes, so explore your options. Stick with smaller blooms for boutonnieres.

The Food:  People tend to eat and drink less earlier in the day, so brunch is a smart choice if you want to serve a full meal on a budget. Mimosas are the perfect signature cocktail for a morning wedding, but you could also opt not to serve alcohol at all. If you want to DIY the food, borrow pretty serving bowls and platters from friends and family for a buffet of baked goods, fruit, and other breakfast items. Brunch receptions are also shorter than dinner and dancing, so you might be able to strike a deal with musicians or your photographer if they’re working fewer hours.

Other Details:  Instead of a traditional wedding cake, how about miniature versions? You could either serve them for dessert, or let guests take them home as favors. The mini cakes pictured here are stacks of sugar cookies, or you could make “cakelets” with a pan like this one from Williams-Sonoma. Play up the brunch theme with a customized crossword puzzle and maybe even a personalized pencil at each place setting.

Have you ever attended a brunch wedding? Would you consider it for yourself? Since brunch is my favorite meal ever, I know I’d love to be invited to one! See lots more budget-friendly inspiration boards right here, and check back next week for even more.


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

Board #185: Garden Brunch
Board #285: Sunrise on the Beach
Board #357: Good Morning Love


Minted, Wedding Paper Divas, Hello!Lucky, A Printable Press, Love vs. Design, and Dessy are sponsors of Snippet & Ink.

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Mood: chic sophistication
Palette: lime green, crisp white, pale gray

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Top row from left: centerpiece with fruit and ivy from Martha Stewart Weddings, invitation by Cheree Berry, photo of green K.Rose cake by Elizabeth Messina, fluttery petal dress from Bloomingdale’s
Row 2: cheese selection from Martha Stewart Weddings, vintage marquise aquamarine ring from Doyle & Doyle, photo of signature cocktail bar by Anouschka Rokebrand via Camille Styles via Style Me Pretty
Row 3: lady slipper bouquet photo by Anna Kuperberg, photo of Twigs & Honey veil by Elizabeth Messina, lemon madeleine cookies from Martha Stewart, tree in zinc pot from Homes and Gardens via This is Glamorous


Yesterday’s budget friendly inspiration board was for an informal cake and ice cream wedding, which I think sounds like a fun time, but which I know isn’t for everyone. Which is why I have six more budget-friendly inspiration boards lined up, including this one in white and green, full of DIY projects perfect for the craft-averse…


The Idea:  Easy DIY for a budget-friendly yet elegant outcome.

The Paper:  DIY invitations can look quite sophisticated with the right font, and can be as simple as typing out the text and hitting print. Choose an elegant script like Belluccia or Nelly, and have invitations and response cards flat printed on lovely cotton paper by a local printer. Use the same font for DIY place cards, menus, and other day-of details – even for addressing envelopes! See 50 of my favorite fonts right here (some are free!).

The Fashion:  Scope out high-end department stores for designer dresses in white – this pretty petal dress from Bloomingdale’s sells for $995, leaving room in the budget for alterations and accessories. Pair it with a romantic veil like this little number from Twigs & Honey – for $110, it adds a lot to your wedding day look without breaking the bank.

The Decor:  Sophisticated details don’t have to cost a fortune. Elevate inexpensive elements by sticking with all white linens and natural green accents. For a dramatic centerpiece at a reasonable price, fill a beautiful bowl with monochromatic fruit, accented with ivy tendrils – these can be done ahead of time as DIY projects, or by a floral designer. To frame the altar at your ceremony, splurge on a pair of potted trees that you can use to decorate your home after the wedding.

The Flowers:  In love with lily-of-the-valley, lady slipper orchids, or another pricey bloom? There’s no reason you can’t have the flower you adore if you carry a sweet little nosegay instead of a large bouquet. Bridesmaids can carry similarly sized nosegays made of less expensive flowers in coordinating colors.

The Food:  Signature cocktails are one of my favorite budget-saving ideas, because it feels like adding something rather than taking away. Offering one signature cocktail can save money on alcohol, allowing you to buy in bulk. If you like, offer it alongside wine and beer. A selection of cheeses is a delicious way to DIY your hors d’oeuvres, and you can often find great deals on yummy cheeses at Trader Joe’s or Costco. If a cheese tasting isn’t the main event, plan on at least two ounces of cheese per person, and serve with a variety of breads, crackers, fruit and nuts (Real Simple has a great article on The Perfect Cheese Platter). Finally, save by having two cakes instead of one: a small display cake for cutting, and a large sheet cake (in the same flavor) for serving.

Other Details:  Though it’s often not included in the wedding budget, the engagement ring can still be a place to save. There’s no rule that says you have to have a diamond solitaire – consider alternative gemstones and vintage cuts, and end up with a ring that’s utterly unique. The ring in this board is actually a vintage aquamarine from Doyle & Doyle – 1.5 carats for only $785. One last DIY-ish item? Store-bought madeleine cookies for wedding favors! Donsuemor are my favorites, and can be purchased for as little as 50-cents each. Package them in simple cello bags with a monogram sticker and place them at each guests’ seat.

Are you DIY-phobic? As much as I enjoy crafting, I also really appreciate super easy DIY projects that don’t involve too much tedious work – so hopefully you’ll find these ideas inspiring if you feel that way too. See previous budget-friendly inspiration boards right here, and check back through next week for more!


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

Board #276: Keep it Simple
Board #358: Playful Minimalism
Board #281: Something Unexpected

3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Budget Friendly, Inspiration Boards