Board #185 | Garden Brunch (Budget Friendly #2)

I had so much fun with last week’s brunch wedding board, so I was excited to put another one together for this week’s budget-friendly series. This one is a little more classic, both in color and in style, and I imagine it in a garden or backyard. If no one you know has a place like that for you to “borrow” for the day, a botanical garden is a beautiful choice, or consider Meg’s advice from yesterday and rent a public venue like a park. Remember, a beautiful venue means less money spent on decorations. Are any of you planning a brunch reception for your wedding? What tips can you share?

The Plan: Garden Brunch
Mood: sweet, sophisticated
Palette: pale pink, peach, green, white

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: butterfly lanterns and Bundt charm cake both from Martha Stewart Weddings, bud vases, apricot place card from Rebecca Thuss
Row 2: dress by Simple Silhouettes, shoe photo from La Fleur, dahlia blooms from Martha Stewart Weddings, rose petals photo by Little White Dress
Row 3: blood orange mimosa from Martha Stewart Weddings, tissue paper dahlias from Krislyn Design, invitation by Enfin, La Voila!
Row 4: floating dahlias, bouquet by Modern Day Design, photo from J.Crew, pearls photo by Becky Hill

10 Ways to Save:
1. Paper lanterns are one cheap way to decorate, and they’re even better with the added touch of butterflies. Tissue paper poms are another affordable decoration that add lots of color to your venue (remember Amanda’s tissue pomanders?).
2. Instead of hiring someone to make an elaborate tiered cake, commission the bakers in your life to make enough Bundt cakes to serve your guests (each cake should serve eight).
3. Use individual blooms in bud vases, or floating in small glasses. You can cluster several together in the middle of a round table, or run them in a row down a long table. Have them do double-duty and let each guest take one home as favors.
4. In-season fruit is significantly cheaper than many flowers, and makes sense at a brunch reception. Here, an apricot acts as a place card, but many of them in a nice container would work for a centerpiece.
5. Simple Silhouettes offers some beautiful dresses for under $1000. This pretty one called “Tulip” is only $750.
6. Ballet flats are just more comfortable! There’s really no need to spend a fortune on shoes for your wedding day, and you save even more if you buy a pair that you can wear again and again.
7. Paper cones are an easy do-it-yourself project, and having guests toss rose or bougainvillea petals is not only pretty, it’s cost-conscious (about $1 per cup of petals).
8. At a brunch wedding, there’s no need to have an open bar. All you need are a twist on the classic mimosa (grapefruit, blood orange, tangerine, or passion fruit are some ideas) and Bloody Mary’s. You’ll save not only by offering fewer alcoholic choices, but also because people tend to drink less earlier in the day.
9. Marijke of Enfin, La Voila! makes the most whimsical invitations, perfect for a garden wedding, and some for as little as $3 apiece.
10. Instead of buying new jewelry for your wedding, wear the string of pearls you already own with matching stud earrings. And if you don’t already own a set, borrow several strands from the women in your life (something borrowed!), and clasp them together with shorteners.

Bonus Tip: Brunch receptions are usually shorter than evening receptions, so you’ll pay vendors like your photographer and your band for fewer hours.


  • Amanda says:

    Enfim La Voila has the most beautiful (and affordable) invitations I’ve ever seen. Why didn’t you show me 2 months ago? :)

    These series of budget friendly boards are great! Keep them coming!

  • rebekah @ elizabeth anne designs says:

    Great advice! Definitely keep it coming…

  • deanna says:

    yay! two posts in two weeks that are perfect for my summer brunch wedding! and we’re also on a tiny budget and using single dahlias in vintage bottles as centerpieces. are you reading my mind, woman?

    p.s. – our invites were super cheap: we designed and printed the invites and rsvps on color, double sided postcards. added a diy designed, printed and bound information booklet. rounded the corners and wrapped everything in a thin, printed vellum bellyband. we even made our own envelopes out of card stock and i hand calligraphed everything. the total for all that (including our earlier std postcard and all of our postage for both) was $60. We did make them for only 70 guests (around 35 invites), though, so all of the DIY wasn’t so tedious. images of them here:

  • Kathryn says:

    If you all haven’t checked out Deanna’s incredible DIY invitations, you must. WOW!

  • Rebekah says:

    I love this inspiration board and I really love the budget-friendly tips that you’re doing right now. Bring on some more!

  • Meg says:

    I felt so famous when I pulled this up today. Other ways to save at a brunch wedding: the food is less expensive (less meat). You can negotate rate cuts with vendors if you let them off in time to book a second wedding that day or if it’s a time they wouldn’t otherwise book. You don’t need to pay for the party going on into the wee hours (when you probably are not around to enjoy it anyway). You don’t need a DJ if you don’t want one (we’re doing a ipod, but we love our dancing). You can probably avoid renting special lighting… and you can have nature as your backdrop… the sun is out! Also, we are doing it on Sunday (more price reductions, and we can hang out with people on Saturday)

    I’m so glad you are making me feel more exicted about brunch.

  • Kirs10LA says:

    When the Today’s Show did their Mathra Stewart Breakfast at Tiffany’s wedding I feel in LOVE with this idea.

    This is definitely the BEST budget friendly option (way better than cocktails, cake, etc.)

    And you can sooo chic with a brunch without spending a ton money. I always recommend this idea to my friends getting married, but no one ever seems to do it. Odd. I guess people have a vision of a nighttime affair.

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