13 Standout Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Your wedding doesn’t have to be a financial burden. We’ve rounded up the best cost-saving ideas from professional wedding planners that will still make your big day super-special

Dobrina Zhekova
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Go Wild

Save money on your floral arrangements by opting for seasonal and local wildflowers. “Not only are wildflowers budget-friendly to begin with, but they usually have multiple blooms per stem so they fill up a lot of space! Wax flowers, limonium, solidago, and chrysanthemums are all rustic flowers that pair beautifully together,” says Danielle Gonzalez of Blooms by the Box.

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Have Fun with Foliage

“Already having your reception in a lush space but still want to decorate with flowers and greens? Keep it simple by stringing greenery above your guests for a romantic touch and fill a few bud vases or bottles with one or two stems to spread across your table,” Gonzalez suggests.

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Ditch the Matchy-Matchy Look

“Who says you have to use the same containers or even the same flowers for your centerpieces? Mix it up with vases, bottles, and jars in different sizes and colors, then fill them with flowers that have big blooms, little blooms, and multiple blooms per stem for an eclectic look,” she adds.

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Use Down-to-Earth Florals

“Spruce up a plain space and turn it into a photo op with lush, overflowing greenery and bright blooms,” Gonzalez says. Sunflowers are so beautiful and always add a pop of color to any venue. They are usually in bloom in the summer and early fall, when they are also the cheapest.

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Think Outside of the Cake Box

“If you’re looking to deviate from pricey desserts but still want to maintain that “cool factor,” try springing for pie. Generally, pies are more budget-friendly and you’ll be able to display multiple flavors to please all of your guests,” suggests Kylie Carlson of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning.

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Light the Way

“If balloons aren’t your style and you’re looking to save on decorations, paper lanterns are perfect for a pop of color. Another plus—they’re easily assembled,” he says.

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Craft Your Own Signage

“DIY chalkboard signs are tried and true for a reason,” adds Carlson. “They’re versatile, they’re great as a decor element, and you can throw them in a chic frame to match the style of your wedding.” Instead of printing individual programs and menus, which can be costly, place a couple of chalkboard signs throughout your wedding venue.

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Arrange a Chic Buffet

Carlson also suggests nixing the passed food option, which will save you money on waitstaff; display it on tables instead. “It is an easy way to save, and you’ll be able to customize things like table decor or cutlery to your liking.”

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Go Thrifting

“Industrial decor elements are amazing on both style and cost. The majority of your finds can be from antique thrift stores or craft stores, and they’re perfect for rustic DIY centerpieces,” says Carlson.

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Keep Things Classic

“You can save on the cost of your wedding cake by going for a simple, clean style. Arranging some flowers around the cake itself will ensure that it's photo-ready for your wedding photographer,” he suggests.

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Add Personal Touches

You don’t need to invest in a flower wall to end up with an eye-catching spot for wedding photos. “Adding personalization through initials or lanterns is a great way to save money while making it your own. You can purchase inexpensive lettering at craft or home decor stores. And then something as simple as a pallet wall can be transformed and personalized,” says Kim Sayatovic of Belladuex Event Design.

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Simplify Your Palette

Sometimes less is indeed more. “Choose a monochromatic wedding color scheme for a chic, on-trend look,” suggests Liza Roeser Atwood, CEO of FiftyFlowers.com. “Within the selected color palette, pick a variety of flowers in different heights, textures, and fullness. Because you are working within one color, the focus becomes more on the texture and less about the specific flower types. Carnations, daisies, mums, alstroemeria, and stock are all affordable options with great texture.”

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Reconsider Scale

“Large centerpieces are very beautiful, but can also be expensive. Consider using a mix of bud vases or smaller arrangements instead. This budget-friendly option accentuates the beauty of each flower effortlessly,” Atwood adds.