Wedding planning is largely a game of prioritisation. Everyone has a budget (however big or small) so the challenge is how to spread it. Toria from Arrow and Twine shares her top tips on how to make the most of your budget for the bits that matter most to you…
“As a rule of thumb, you will most likely want to dedicate the largest sums to those elements that are more important to you.
“For example, perhaps photography is really important to you and your partner, but having various musical acts for entertainment throughout the day is not.
“What couples often do not realise, is that their décor also has a sub-list of items that require prioritisation. From lighting, to floristry, stationery, and furniture hire; all of these items can fall under décor, and all of them need prioritising too. Even more so if your venue is one that needs a lot of decorative support.
“So, what do you do if you want certain luxury touches, but you haven’t budgeted for them in your décor? What happens when you have the perfect idea for some amazing decor, but it means diverting funds from another wedding element?
“To help bring a little luxe to your wedding when the coffers are running low, we’ve listed a few decor ideas that are simple upgrades you can make when you are unsure what to prioritise in terms of budget allocation.
“Whilst tealights are economical and will last between 3-6 hours once lit, votive candles are a step up both aesthetically and in how long they will burn for. They will require holders so as not to burn the surface you place them on (and so they do not melt everywhere), but it is easy to find online suppliers who will provide votives with candles to fit at very reasonable prices.
“For candlesticks, a luxury feel can easily be achieved by upgrading your dinner candles to tapered candles. And when there are so many colour options for tapered candles, they offer the further benefit of adding to the cohesion of your styling and colour palette.
“If you decide that luxe stationery is a priority for you, only to later realise that all the bells and whistles are adding up to substantially more than you had bargained for, focus your pennies on the invite alone.
“For the other items, such as save the dates, escort cards, place names, or menus, there are various easy-to-use online platforms that will allow you to ‘design’ these yourself. Think PicMonkey or Canva for starters. Once you have created your suite, these can be uploaded to an online printing company. This means you can still have the full spectrum of stationery (which adds a little luxury), but with a slightly smaller price tag.
“One of the easiest ways to up level your wedding décor is through your place settings. Adding a sprig of foliage to each of your guests’ plates or napkins looks both thoughtful and beautiful. However, flowers can be one of the most expensive items on the décor checklist. To ease the burden on the foliage budget, consider foraging in your garden (or your friends or family’s gardens) to collect the amount of sprigs or cuttings you would need. As long as you have permission, and you have the time, this is an easy way to tick this particular décor lust box. And when foliage and floristry can make or break your décor styling, it’s worth the extra time.
“If your venue is providing your linen (tablecloths, napkins), ask if they have any alternative colours in addition to white. If they don’t, consider hiring these to bring a different dimension to your tablescapes. If the budget will not quite stretch to hiring both tablecloths and napkins, opting for one or the other will bring both colour and luxury to your dining experience.
“Alternatively, ask your venue or caterers to style your napkins a little differently to how they usually would. There are plenty of different options that cater to both traditional or relaxed table designs, so finding something to suit your day and give your place settings that extra special vibe is really easy. If you would like a simple design to work with, have a look at our mini DIY post on folding a napkin for effortless style:
“Dining is one of the priciest elements of a wedding, and adding another course to take it to the luxe category is just not an option for most. However, there is one embellishment that can give any of your dishes an instant upgrade: edible flowers. Despite being relatively inexpensive, these delicacies give an air of exotic luxury to any serving, and will delight your guests whilst adding some pretty to your tables.
“Luxury does not have to come with a large price tag, but it you have any budget left at the end of your prioritising, these ideas will help you upgrade what you already have to the next level. Think luxury without having to re-mortgage your house.”
We completely agree with the rule of prioritisation. We say everyone deserves a little bit of luxury somewhere in their wedding. Alie x
Wedding stylist Toria Clarke-Adair runs Arrow and Twine from her home in Aberdeenshire, and loves nothing more than helping couples create an individual, personal style for their day. From sourcing off-beat props from salvage yards to helping brides who have reached peak wedmin burnout, she loves everything about planning a wedding.