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

{click image to enlarge}

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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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
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If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you already know of my love for Laura Hooper‘s gorgeous calligraphy – she’s the talent behind my lovely Snippet & Ink header! With over 25 classic and modern styles available, she also offers custom scripts. And her work isn’t limited to invitations and envelopes – she’ll also create signs, maps, welcome totes, sand dollar place cards… If you can imagine it, she can make it happen.

These images are just the beginning – check out Laura’s website and blog to learn even more about what she can create for your special day.

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It has finally warmed up and the snow is melting and Spring is just around the corner! I don’t really do bicycles (much to my honey’s chagrin), but this is exactly how it feels to know that winter is on the way out. Here are some of my favorite things from around the web this week…


Make an impression with your invites

The groom wore a vest

…and the bride wore galoshes, part one, two and three.

Cold-weather wedding? How about soup in a bread bowl!

Sweet hearts for you and your sweetheart, via Rifle Design.

Grab bags from Wiley Valentine.

Another gorgeous wedding at Serenbe!

Celebrate with romantic paper crowns, via Grey Likes Weddings.

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