Happy weekend lovelies! In my brain it’s been Friday for the past three days… Lots of good stuff on the web this week – here are some of my favorites!


Whimsical invitation illustrations, via Oh So Beautiful Paper.

So much cooler than the portrait studio at the mall.

Would you rather be a bridesmaid, or a candy bartender?

Darling baby shower thrown by talented Jenna for sweet Erica.

Luxury for your out-of-town guests.

Embellish everything with organza flowers, via Elizabeth Anne Designs.

An inspiring, carefree and laid-back wedding.

I love these love notes!

Take wedding planning to a whole new level.

Keep things short and sweet with a wedding haiku.

There’s more than one way to have a wedding reception.

Sweet little porcelain jewelry, via Katy Elliott.

Gorgeous ring pillows, via Love Notes.

Raising the bar for DIY invitations.

And thank you to Nancy Liu Chin and Janie for your sweet posts!

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If your style is more playful and modern than fussy and traditional, then a city hall ceremony followed by a restaurant reception might be the wedding for you. Holding your ceremony at city hall not only imbues a certain low-key mood to your wedding, but it is also a way to stay within your budget – there are no ceremony decorations to buy, no programs to print out, and no attendant flowers to pay for. Asking guests to celebrate with you at a favorite restaurant also has its advantages: many restaurants won’t charge you a site fee; you won’t have to rent tables, chairs and linens; and it’s a great place to return to for anniversaries! For this budget wedding board, I imagined a quirky, playful couple with minimalist sensibilities…

Mood: playfully minimalist
Palette: blackboard, concrete, chalk

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Top row from left: photo by 5ive15ifteen, chalkboard from Martha Stewart Weddings, jacket and tie from Nordstrom
Row 2: invitation by Mr. Boddington’s Studio from Minted, chalkboard candle via EmilyStyle, city hall ceremony via {frolic!}
Row 3: shoes photo by Michelle Armas, dress by Thread, restaurant photo from Modern Restaurant Seating, white sparkling jasmine Golden Star Tea
Row 4: chocolate lemon tart from Cannelle et Vanille, save-the-date by Justin Pocta, cymbidium nosegays from Martha Stewart Weddings

The Paper: Get clever with your save-the-dates and take a photo of yourselves – no professional necessary. You can turn them into cards on Shutterfly for as little as 45-cents apiece. If you’ve always dreamed of letterpress invitations, but feel constrained by a budget, design your own with a unique font and have Mercurio Brothers print them up for as little as $1.50 each when you order 150.

The Fashion: Some designers are now offering what they call “bridal alternatives,” which can be great budget-friendly options – this dress by Thread is only $375. With some tulle or netting for as little as $2 a yard, you can save by making your own veil. Vintage ribbon, clip on earrings, or silk flowers are all great ways to dress-up and personalize plain shoes without overspending. For the groom, this jacket and tie are a bit of a splurge, but if they fit his personality and are something he will wear again, then they’re worth the extra expense.

The Decor: Cover candle holders with chalkboard paint, and write table numbers on them. Not only is it a clever way to let guests know where to sit, but candles are a great way to warm up a modern space without breaking the bank. You could also paint flower pots (filled with live paperwhites or orchids) and write guests’ names on them.

The Flowers: If you’d prefer floral centerpieces to candles, consider a single potted orchid on each table. You can find them for under $20, and give them as gifts after the wedding. Or, in winter, grow your own paperwhites from bulbs for even less. For the bride’s bouquet, a nosegay of cymbidium orchids is a way to carry a bit of luxury down the aisle for less than a large bouquet would cost.

The Food: Many restaurants will set a minimum that you have to spend on food, so instead of adding another vendor by ordering a traditional wedding cake, serve one of the restaurant’s desserts to your guests instead. If you’re not a fan of champagne, or not a fan of the cost, but you still want to have a celebratory toast, sparkling Golden Star Tea is a delicious non-alcoholic option (and it’s way more grown-up than sparkling cider), and will only set you back about $12 a bottle.

Other Details: Instead of a traditional guestbook, continue the chalkboard motif by setting up a photo station with a chalkboard backdrop. Ask guests to write notes and take photos standing with their notes – if you set up a Polaroid, they can put those right into a book for you.

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Mood: vintage garden charm
Palette: butter yellow, milk glass, garden green

A morning ceremony followed by an outdoor brunch is a wonderful way to throw a beautiful, budget-friendly wedding. By holding your wedding earlier in the day, or on a Sunday, some vendors might be willing to bargain. Incorporate vintage elements to add a sweet touch, as well as to help save money, and stick with a simple color palette (I chose buttery yellow and soft white) to create a cohesive look.

The Paper: Take a cue from Linda & Harriett, and create your own invitations with rubber stamps – they create a look that is both low-key and whimsical. You can use that same rubber stamp to continue your motif throughout the wedding, on cocktail napkins, thank you notes, you name it.

The Fashion: Choose a beautiful skirt and top for your bridesmaids, and they’ll appreciate having separates that they might actually wear again. How about a charming bow tie for the groom, and maybe as gifts for the groomsmen? This one by xo elle is only $36, and is made from vintage materials. You can save with a vintage wedding dress, too – the one in this inspiration board is only $275. Vintageous and Cherished Online are two places to look. Pair it with a gorgeous, wide-brimmed sun hat – it might be a splurge, but it will certainly get more wear than a veil!

The Decor: Instead of one sheet of fabric for a photobooth backdrop, hang several panels of fabric from a large tree – either for photos, or just for visual interest. Rent simple white linens – they’re often the cheapest option, and will work with the simple yellow and white color scheme. Other than that, an outdoor venue shouldn’t require much other decorating.

The Flowers: If you have a wholesale flower market nearby, pick up a variety of flowers in the same pale yellow. Arrange them in mismatched milk glass containers – you can find these for as little as $1 from flea markets, antique stores, and eBay. Have a floral designer create a small bouquet for you – cutting down the size can cut the cost in half, and allow you to include pricier blooms.

The Food: A brunch buffet may or may not be cheaper than dinner, but you’ll certainly save on alcohol. Guests will drink less earlier in the day, and you can get by with only two alcoholic options – mimosas and bloody Mary’s. Ask friends or family to contribute their baking skills – if someone is up to the challenge, they might even make a traditional tiered wedding cake for you.

Other Details: Vintage cream-colored rose earrings are the perfect accessory for the bride, and at only $8 they would make a great gift for your bridesmaids, too. Embellish your bouquet with vintage ribbon – a yard of pricier ribbon won’t break the bank, and Etsy is a great place to look for cheaper options. Place a customized crossword puzzle and pencil at each seat – a perfect detail for Sunday brunch, and something you can easily print off your own computer at home.

Row 1: stamped gift tags from Linda & Harriett / dahlias in milk glass from Martha Stewart Weddings / dress from Vintage Dress / hanging fabric photo by Adrienne Page  //  Row 2:  bridesmaid via {frolic!} / rose earrings from Out of the Blue / mimosas from Martha Stewart / custom bow tie by xo elle via Casando Ideias  //  Row 3:  scones from Martha Stewart / garden gate via Peach & Pearl / bouquet and horsehair hat both from Martha Stewart Weddings  //  Row 4:  roses in milk glass photo by Punam Bean / crossword puzzlecoconut cake, and ribbons all from Martha Stewart Weddings
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If you’re trying to include a large number of guests without breaking the bank, take a cue from Donia and David and hire your favorite local taco truck to cater – they were able to host a wedding with 300 guests for under $8000! I used that as the jumping off point for this fiesta-inspired wedding board, but there are other cost-effective ways to feed your guests: a crawfish boil, barbecue, or even a soup and bread bowl buffet are all delicious options.

Mood: casually festive
Palette: watermelon pink, citrus yellow, lime green, white

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Top row from left: papeles picados from Brides, bouquet photo by Lisa Lefkowitz, Mexican wedding cookies from Martha Stewart Weddings, taco truck
Row 2: fans photo by Elizabeth Messina, tacos from Beth Helmstetter, mariachi band from Brides, sandals from J.Crew
Row 3: Kay Unger dress from Neiman Marcus, Mexican lotería cards, watermelon from Martha Stewart, fruit skewers from Martha Stewart
Row 4: ring dishes by Paloma’s Nest, watermelon margaritas from Domino, invitation by Hello! Lucky

The Paper: Even if you’re working with a smaller budget, beautiful invitations are still an option. Hello! Lucky has recently started offering a number of their designs in a digital print option (the one I’ve included in this board is only $2.21 when you order 150), Milkmaid Press has just launched a more affordable line, Pearl Press, and Wedding Paper Divas offers affordable styles by some of my favorite designers.

The Fashion: If you’re considering a non-white dress for your wedding, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous designer options for far less than you’d pay for a designer wedding gown (why do they do that!?). This coral number by Kay Unger is $480, and fits perfectly with the bright, festive mood of this inspiration board. Pair it with some gold sandals (starting at $39.50 from J.Crew) and you’re all set!

The Decor: At just $12.50 for 18 feet, traditional Mexican papel picado banners are a budget-friendly way to decorate an outdoor venue. In lieu of table numbers, how about lotería cards? You can find a set of 54 on Amazon for $8, or online here for free.

The Flowers: Supplement a few pitchers of flowers with seasonal fruit – and let guests know they should feel free to help themselves! For just the cost of some tissue paper, you might also make some Mexican tissue paper flowers in keeping with the fiesta theme. And if you’re going to splurge on any flowers, splurge on a lovely bouquet – it will make for some gorgeous photos!

The Food: Paying less for food doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose out on quality – especially if you hire a favorite local taco truck to cater the wedding! Fruit skewers that you’ve made a day ahead (with the help of friends and family of course) and baskets of tortilla chips round out this casual meal. Offer bottles of Mexican soda (Jarritos is my favorite) and beer, and maybe one signature drink such as a margarita in your favorite flavor. Skip the wedding cake in favor of Mexican wedding cookies that you (or someone who loves you very much) can bake in advance and freeze if need be.

Other Details: A custom ring dish by Paloma’s Nest will only set you back $28, and it is a lovely reminder of your wedding day – after the wedding day, use it as a bedside jewelry dish or maybe a Christmas ornament. And who knows – maybe it will become a new heirloom. If you’re holding your wedding in the middle of summer, place hand fans in each guest’s seat – at $1.25 they can double as a favor.

See the rest of Snippet & Ink’s budget-friendly inspiration boards here. What are you doing to keep your budget low?

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