Board #555 | Diner and Dancing (Budget Friendly #27)

Mood: jitterbug and soda pop
Palette: cherry red, whipped cream

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Top row from left: retro-inspired invitation by Ello There, cherry cocktail from Tartelette, vintage paper honeycomb bells, soda fountain kiss photo by Megan W
Row 2: cherry cupcakes by La Ciliegina Sulla Torta, simple white bouquet with red striped ribbon photo by Angela and Evan via Delightfully Engaged, lemon meringue pie from Martha Stewart, In-N-Out burger photo by Jonathan Canlas
Row 3: red dahlia centerpieces from Martha Stewart Weddings, vintage Coca-Cola bottles photo by 1313 Photography via Southern Weddings, bride and groom at jukebox photo by Megan W


The Idea:  With a fifties  theme, it makes sense to wear a short dress, serve burgers, and decorate with paper bells… just so happens those are all budget-friendly ideas!

The Paper:  Etsy is an amazing resource for all kinds of things, including charming and affordable wedding invitations. One of my favorite vendors is Ello There, and their vintage record sleeve invite would be perfect for this wedding theme (at $6.50, it costs a little more than the one pictured in this inspiration board, but for such a custom look I’d say it’s a steal!).

The Fashion:  Go retro and save! Scour vintage shops (Meg found her dress for $250 at the last minute!), sites like Posh Girl Vintage and Mill Crest Vintage, or Etsy shops like The Vintage Studio and Salvage Life. Or you could go vintage-inspired with a new dress from Dolly Couture or, if you’re splurging, Stephanie James Couture. And how about a sassy ponytail that you can DIY?

The Decor:  If you can find a fifties-style diner for your retro reception, then you’re all set! If not, dress up the space with inexpensive honeycomb bells, paper garlands, and tissue fans for a perfectly vintage look.

The Flowers:  Monochromatic arrangements deliver a visual punch, and can be created with any number of less expensive flowers. Find cylinder vases or drinking glasses on the cheap at Jamali Garden Supply or IKEA. For your bouquet, the same trick applies: bunch lots of inexpensive flowers of one color, and tie them when a bold striped ribbon.

The Food:  Burgers and fries are a great way to keep costs down, and they’re a perfect fit for this fifties-themed wedding reception. Find out if local burger joints will cater – they may even have a cute food truck to bring to your venue! Soda in glass bottles adds a touch of nostalgia, and diner-inspired desserts (like lemon meringue pie and chocolate layer cake) will be cheaper than a traditional wedding cake.

Other Details:  Small details like striped paper straws add a fun retro touch, and are only $6 for a box of 144 from Sur La Table. Something to consider is a vintage jukebox rental. In addition to a DJ or band, it’s a fun detail that your guests will love, and in place of other music, it’s a budget-friendly way to play some golden oldies.

It might not be the most formal wedding, but I do love this playful vintage look. What do you think? Want more budget-friendly ideas? Click right here!


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

Board #356: Fiesta Means Party
Board #186: Casual Dinner
Board #274: Playful!


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