Guest Blogger Emily Cheramie Walz:
I take pride in being a budget bride. With a new house, and years of future plans, I wanted our wedding to be memorable and fabulous, but I didn’t want to break the bank (not mine, not my parents, nor my in-laws) with our celebration. I’m a DIY addict, and I looked at my budget as a challenge: How awesome can I make this day without anyone knowing how much I spent!
For me, the number one place to start saving was centerpieces. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE flowers. I look at wedding blogs enviously; I track down different blooms I covet; I fill my house with freshly cut spring flowers. But, when I started investigating what people typically spend on flowers for their wedding, I was shocked. Between personals, cocktail tables, and the reception décor it seriously mounts up! And think about how long you spend lovingly admiring your flowers—3 minutes? A quick sniff, a long gaze, a little brief gushing before moving on down the aisle. So, I came up with an alternative idea – Thank you Martha Stewart!
While time consuming and slightly tedious, the cocktail table arrangements turned out brilliantly. And all in all, I think I spent about $20. Amazing, right? Thanks to the Dollar Store and AC Moore, I purchased everything I needed at very low prices: two green tissues, three or four pink tissues, mini pearl wires, floral wire and floral tape. And I stole my husband’s wire cutters for free! You wouldn’t believe it now, but I actually miss sitting in front of the TV at night working on these delicate creations. Tedious, yes; but gorgeous and fulfilling, definitely!
For the vases I purchased simple water glasses from Marshalls and secured a thick brown grosgrain ribbon (from JMK ribbons – amazing store, get ALL of your wedding ribbon here: http://www.jkmribbon.com/) around the middle (hot glue!).
Visit here for the how-to article: http://www.marthastewart.com/article/crafted-bouquet
You can also buy a Martha kit online: http://www.marthastewartcrafts.com/detail.php?p=19787
These ended up being fabulous keepsakes for our mothers and family members. I made 10 in all, and I smile every day when I see my one remaining bouquet on our mantel each morning.
I would also strongly suggest that you choose seasonal flowers for your wedding if you’re trying to save money. I know all brides LOVE peonies and calla lilies, but they are the most expensive flowers. Peonies are only readily available in the spring; and calla lilies are typically $7/stem. Yes. A. STEM.
Here is a good resource for finding what flowers are available by month: http://www.freshroses.com/volume.html#seasonal
We went with roses (95% of roses are imported), dahlias and stock (a filler flower that comes in a number of different colors). And we saved a boatload! We added special touches like color coordinated ribbon to spice things up a bit.
Remember though that there are other options for creating incredible ambiance. Try hurricanes filled with flickering candles (www.cudge.net for long burning candles), bittersweet branches, Vases filled with dried blood oranges or coffee beans, or pots of herbs (great for guests to take home too).
In order to be budget you need to be creative and think outside the box. A budget wedding—that no one will know is budget—is TOTALLY do-able!