Let’s face it, weddings can be expensive. According to recent reports, the average couple spends more than $30,000 on a wedding, and that’s not including the honeymoon. If you're looking for ways to save on wedding decor, this post is for you. Depending on your venue, you can save a buck by letting your wedding décor do double-duty by taking it from the ceremony and placing it at the reception. Heck, it could even do triple–duty if, after the wedding, you use the décor to style your home, too! Now that's what I'd call budget-savvy!
The Ceremony and Reception Venue
When you want your décor budget to pull double-duty, it all comes down to the venue. Not all venues allow you to bring your own décor. NOAH’s Event Venue has locations all over the U.S. and is a great example of a wedding service that has choices for budget-minded brides. The décor options include a bring-your-own option, so you can bring your ceremony décor to the reception at no additional charge.
Moreover, you could opt to have your ceremony and reception in the same place, in which case it would be easier to get the décor from one location to the other. Again, the venue must allow for both events to take place there and should have a bring-your-own décor option. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the venue’s other décor packages, as many offer an array of color choices and centerpieces to choose from.
Consider the First Impression
When your guests enter either space, whether it be the ceremony or the reception, you want them to be taken aback by how beautiful and unique each space is. When your décor is pulling double-duty, you don’t want redundancy. Instead, you want to breathe new life into the ceremony’s décor by arranging it differently at the reception.
A great idea is to bundle flowers into larger arrangements during the ceremony. Place them at the tops and bottoms of the aisle. Then, at the reception, split them into small bundles and place them in vases for the centerpieces. Randomly ticket the bottom of a chair at each table, and during the reception announce that whoever received the ticket is welcome to take the flowers home as a thank-you gift. Or, take them home yourself and enjoy the aroma of fresh flowers filling your home, a sensory reminder of your wedding for the days following it.
Here’s some other items you can bring from the ceremony to the reception:
- Balloons – Choose balloons that spell out words, such as “LOVE” or your new last name
- Paper flowers – Use to decorate the aisle ways and then re-use as centerpieces for the reception
- Initial Letters + Monograms – The bride and groom can place this monogramed item on the altar while they exchange their vows and then use it on your cake table at the reception
- Paper lanterns – Use to decorate your ceremony space and then move them to the reception area around the dance floor
Décor that can Do Triple-Duty
Not all wedding décor has to wind up handed down, sold, or trashed. Some of it can be used at home long after the ceremony and reception have ended. Table linens are a great example of this as the fabric can easily be repurposed, or kept the same. When choosing table runners and tablecloths, select colors you’ll know you’ll love forever; then, you can use the fabrics for your dinner parties, holidays and anniversaries.
From bird cages used to house your wedding cards and then to house actual birds, to Mr. & Mrs. Signage you can hang above your bed after you’ve used it on a sweetheart table, you can basically repurpose anything you used in your wedding décor. When shopping, do your best to focus on décor that has strong personal meaning and long-lasting reusability. You’ll find you’ve stretched your décor budget, simply because you filled a need in more place than one!
Now go find some multi-purpose decor to help you stretch your wedding budget!
Need some help finding decorations for your wedding? Check out these resources for affordable wedding decor!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.