I’ve been reading A Practical Wedding for just about as long as it has existed. Meg Keene is the kind of person you want to sit by at a dinner party. She is funny and whip smart. She tells hilarious stories and in the next breath will tell you something deep and life-changing. She is one of my favorite people and she recently published her second book, just for people planning a wedding called A Practical Wedding Planner. It’s filled with brilliant and (ahem) practical advice on planning a wedding. I bought several copies and sent them to my friends who are engaged. It’s extremely well written and I highly recommend it! Today I asked Meg to share some ideas for Affordable Wedding Decor. See more after the jump!
10 Everyday Items That Make for Awesome Affordable Decor
By the A Practical Wedding Team
When you start planning decor for your wedding, it can be come obvious quick that what seems affordable at first glance, can get real expensive real quick when you start doing the math for a one-hundred person guest list. Which is why it should be no surprise that wedding designers are pros at turning nothing much into something awesome. Because when faced with a big space, and a small budget, that’s the time to get creative. So for the #APWPlanner, Meg polled some of her favorite design pros to ask for their best suggestions for affordable materials that you can make look awesome a little bit of elbow grease and creativity. Some of these items will surprise you (and make you run and look them up); some of them will simply remind you not to forget old standbys.
ANYTHING PAPER: People usually ignore party shops when it comes to weddings, but paper pom-poms, crepe paper, paper wedding bells, and paper lanterns can look modern and classy when done up right. Raid your local party supply store for ideas! (The Oh Happy Day Party Shop has a bunch of great options!)
LOTS OF CANDLES: If you’re not into lots of crafting, you can make a huge impact in your space by just piling on the candles. The soft glow makes for beautiful photos, and you don’t need any special skills to make them look good (cluster a few different sizes together and go.) If you want to make big impact while using smaller candles (because pillars can get expensive), try our hack and cover simple cylinder vases with vellum paper. Pop in some small votives for a beautiful soft glow at your tables.
PAPER AND GLUE: Paper is one of the most versatile decorating tools when you want quantity, because it’s cheap and can be made into a million different things. Think: glitter paper, butcher paper, tissues paper, wrapping paper, and just add creativity. For our most affordable and impactful paper project, check out this paper flower backdrop which you can download for free right here.)
STRING OR RUBBER BANDS: When combined with wood and nails, you can make incredible geometric designs out of colorful string or rubber bands.
BALLOONS: Balloons are another one of those oft-ignored party store items that can make a huge impact when you buy lots of them and fill up a room (or pool).
FLAGGING TAPE: Ribbon is super expensive when you try to do anything large scale with it. But there’s this magical stuff called flagging tape (which is basically plastic caution tape, but in a variety of colors and patterns) that costs literal pennies on the dollar, and has essentially the same impact.
COLORED NAPKINS: If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your tables, swap out white napkins for bright colorful napkins. They make a huge difference, without making a huge dent in your budget. If you want to make your own, check out our DIY neon edged napkin tutorial here.
FABRIC, MUSLIN AND DROPCLOTHS: Some of the cheapest fabric you can get is the standard painter’s dropcloth. Add paint for an easy, affordable, show-stopping backdrop.
METALLIC PAINT: When all else fails, spray paint (or regular paint for cleaner lines if you’re so inclined). You can paint anything metallic to make anything look appropriately festive. Think: Plastic animals, figurines, or other small affordable items.
FRUIT: Speaking of things you can paint for festiveness, pick up a bag of fruit at your local Costco and make a modern, organic centerpiece.