Board #275 | Champagne Friday (Budget Friendly #7)

Yesterday’s budget friendly board was playful and casual, and I think that is definitely a fun option for certain couples. But it’s also possible to have an elegant, more formal wedding on a budget! The plan for this champagne chic wedding board is to have a Friday evening champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception, following a city hall ceremony earlier in the day (or even in the week, month, year). Choosing to have a Friday reception, which is a less popular day than Saturday, will give you a little extra negotiating room with vendors. Though Friday is not always ideal for out-of-town guests, by holding an evening (say, 8:00) reception, you give guests a little extra time to make it to the party. So…

Who says…your wedding has to happen on a Saturday?

Mood: champagne chic
Palette: pink, black, white

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: anemone bouquet by Artfool, invitation flat by Ceci New York, cake by Masse’s, Sue Wong dress from Saks Fifth Avenue
Row 2: fig hors d’oeuvres, black brooch detail via Perfect Bound, necklace by Yanina Artisan Jewelry, floating peony by Artfool
Row 3: cameo bouquet detail from Brides, silhouette by Karl Johnson, city hall photo by Ann Hamilton via The Bride’s Cafe, champagne photo by M.Polss
Row 4: tulle hair combe by, cameo-adorned favor from Martha Stewart Weddings, ring pillow by Emici Bridal, shoes via A Beautiful Living

The Paper: Take your inspiration from a vintage poster, and save money by going with a flat, standard-sized invitation (and envelope) printed in one color. If your most of your guests won’t have to make travel plans, then skip on the save-the-date, and just make sure to get in touch with those out-of-town guests ahead of time via email or phone.

The Fashion: One of the quickest ways to save money on your wedding is to knock the word “wedding” off the front of certain elements, including the dress. This dress by Sue Wong is a beautiful example of a non-bridal gown in the form of embroidered tulle, and will only set you back $495. Another way to save is by embellishing simple pieces, from your shoes to your dress, with vintage brooches or clip-on earrings (check out flea markets, antique stores, and eBay – or even your grandmother’s vanity!). The tulle hair comb from is a lovely accessory for only $50. Either for yourself, or as a gift for your bridesmaids, this necklace by Yanina Artisan Jewelry is a nice option at $39 – Etsy is full of incredible vendors with reasonable prices!

The Decor: By having a simple city hall ceremony earlier in the day, you’ll save by not having to decorate a ceremony space. Also, so many city halls are beautiful historical buildings that will make for great photos without additional decorating. At an hors d’oeuvres reception, you don’t necessarily need to have a seat and table for absolutely every single guest; instead set up some low round tables, along with some tall bar tables. Fewer tables means fewer rentals and fewer centerpieces, and it opens up your options for venues a bit since you can fit more people into a smaller space.

The Flowers: Ranunculus aren’t the cheapest flower out there, but with their layers and layers of petals, they’re a sweet alternative outside of peony season (not to mention they come in tons of colors). Floating single blossoms in pretty bowls is an efficient way to get a lot of decor bang for your buck, especially when paired with low votive candles. With a low key city hall ceremony, you won’t have bridesmaids to outfit with bouquets, so splurge on the bridal bouquet! Anemones are a dramatic option, and fall somewhere in the middle as far as cost goes.

The Food: An hors d’oeuvres reception may or may not be a cheaper option than a sit down dinner – talk to your caterer about this. But go with passed hors d’oeuvres – it’s easier to control the amount that your guests eat when they aren’t helping themselves at stations. Since the theme here is Champagne Friday, let champagne be your signature drink, and save by buying in bulk (either by the case, or in a magnum). Limit dessert to a beautiful, delicious cake.

Other Details: Embellish simple favor boxes, and even your bouquet, with an acrylic cameo for as little as 40-cents. Though unnecessary at a city hall ceremony, ring pillows are a sweet DIY detail: dress up a simple black ring pillow with a vintage beaded or lace applique in a contrasting color.

Splurges: Why not let the cake take center stage, and splurge on one that’s both beautiful and delicious? A silhouette artist is a fun splurge that will send your guests home with a personal and unique favor.

For Free: By having a tiny ceremony, and only inviting the bulk of your guests to a later reception, you and your new spouse have plenty of time to enjoy being newly married before the party starts, as well as to take portraits without stressing about keeping your guests waiting.

Real Wedding Inspiration: Anna & Seth via The Bride’s Cafe, and Shimrit & Roni via Brooklyn Bride


  • maggieplans says:

    I love this board! It reminds me of a 30s-ish silk top I had in a cameo shade with jet beading. If I were having a city wedding instead of a beach one, I would definitely head in this direction.

  • AnnaLiza says:

    hi kathryn

    lovely! see the dress in the second row with the black broach? do you know where i can get that dress (that style and color)?


  • Karl Johnson says:

    The silhouettes were done by my husband Karl Johnson at I noticed your Martha Stewart Weddings link is not working.
    Thanks for posting this! One of your readers saw it on your blog and booked Karl do do silhouettes at her wedding!

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