Happy Monday! I'm on vacation from cakes for one more week but this upcoming Sunday I'll start a series called "Mini Cakes" so check back on the Cat's Cakes Blog then! In the meantime I can still be planning fun parties!
One of the first questions a Bride is asked after "Did you set the Date?" is "What are your colors?". Now that has been something that has opened up a lot over the past three decades. You can go orange and teal or red, white and blue, or red and pink! All are very modern choices but if you are more of a traditional Bride and are longing for a truly White Wedding then I have some ideas for you today.
Let's start off with the invitations. These are from Wedding Paper Divas and average about $1.90 per invitation (based on 100 ordered). They are beautiful and elegant and sure to set the mood and expectations of your guests without breaking your budget.
If your budget is a little more modest then you could consider these by Invitations by Dawn which average only .87 cents per invitation. You still have the elegant look and flare but it's a bit more budget friendly.
Now I think most Brides would love to have an over the top wedding ceremony space such as this one. But keep in mind that this comes with a hefty price tag. There are ways to save money and yes, the rental places will even have the chandeliers for hanging, but it is in no way "budget friendly" unless you have a very large budget.
In fact, you can make this style even more budget friendly by using large blooms like hydrangeas tied with ribbons.
We love this idea of printing up a "Story of Us" booklet for each seat. This can also have your program details, such as the order of your ceremony and who is who when it comes to the wedding party. But what a cute idea for your guests to read while they are waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Speaking of using large blooms. Hand tied bouquets are gorgeous and you will be able to find many different styles from your florist, as elaborate or as simple as you desire. But if you are tying your bouquet yourself or having your planner do it then save a bit more and fill your bouquet with larger blooms like cabbage roses and hydrangeas and then accent with the smaller more delicate flowers.
One of the most fun ideas that we have come across this season has been The Photo Booth! Now you can rent one for about $1500 for your party but you do not need to go to such expense! Set up an interesting background (that can even be a flat sheet or length of fabric on the wall) and then stick out a bucket of props for your guests. Have a friend click the shutter and then give out the photos after your honeymoon! Too much fun!
If this is still out of the question or just not your cup of tea, remember that any frame can add a bit of personalization to your day. Print out any sayings or display your engagement photos, family wedding photos or even childhood photos for your guests to enjoy.
If you have a huge budget for decor and flowers then this is a stunning reception set up. You can save some of your budget by purchasing the tall glass cylinders in bulk and the flowers from a local flower market.
However if your budget is a bit tighter when it comes to the decor then maybe scale it down a bit with a few big blooms in different levels of glass vases and add candles to help set the ambiance.
Baby's Breath is a great cost cutter that can look absolutely gorgeous! You can make one of these large flower balls for almost no money and then accent the tables with smaller bunches in silver painted vases from the dollar store. You can even pick those candle holders up there too and just spray paint them and top with inexpensive pillars.
But if your budget is even tighter or you just don't like the look of flowers on the table then here is a "flowery" idea that will be very budget friendly while being gorgeous as your centerpiece. Get a case of mirror tiles at the hardware store, a couple of yards of lace from the fabric store and some plain containers. Cut out the lace patterns so you have several pieces or strips. Then use white glue to attach it to the outside of the containers. Drop in a tea lights or even battery powered "votives" for a beautiful look.
Paper lanterns can be purchased very inexpensively and battery powered lights can be inserted inside each one before hanging to give you a beautiful dance area. Just remember that a dozen lanterns won't give you the look you are hoping to achieve. There are at least 75 that were used to get this look along with twinkle lights. At an average of $2-$7 per lantern you will spend about $200 to $700 per set up but this is still fairly inexpensive compared to the "average" reception decoration set up of $4000.Fortunately places like Michael's have stepped up their game and items like these white letters are easy to buy for about $3 each! I love the photo idea but you could use these on the cake table, the guest table or even on the sweetheart table for the Bride and Groom.
Favors can average between .50 cents and $10 each. The rule of thumb is that if you can afford the more expensive favor then pick something you think your guest will really use in their homes. If you are on more of a budget then pick an edible favor that you think will appeal to most of your guests. These coasters from Beau-coup.com are about $2 each for 4 coasters per set.
An easy way to present an edible favor is to find pretty little gauze or tulle bags which can cost between a quarter to $1.25 each depending on the style. Fill with candy, cookies or other treats for your guests and keep your budget intact. ETIQUETTE NOTE: Don't skip the favors. Your guests have made time to come and celebrate with you. Some have come a long way to see you, most have dressed up and some have purchased new clothes for your event. Most will have brought you a card or gift. So take a few dollars from your budget to present your guests with a favor that says "Thank You So Much For Sharing In Our Special Day!"
A gorgeous wedding cake is usually part of the dream. Not every Bride will want a wedding cake but most of your guests will expect you to have one. There are three types of wedding cake. The over the top "we are going to make sure we can afford this amazing cake" Custom Cake design. For this cake you are paying for the personal attention and creation of the artist, a one of a kind cake design that you will never see at another event, the time and cost of all of that detailed piping, and the WOW factor for your guests when they walk into the room. A cake like this will cost between $4 and $20 per slice depending on the level of detail, the size of the cake (those with bases larger than 12 inches are more difficult to decorate and to deliver) and the reputation of the decorator. A cake this size feeds about 200 people so it would average between $800 and $4000.
You can save some of the cake budget by going with a more plain cake as your base and decorate it up with fresh flowers. However, talk to your cake designer to see if you could use sugar flowers for a lower cost. Even if it is the same cost, sugar flowers have a bigger WOW factor, so use those if you can. This cake would average between $3 and $6 per slice so you can see the way it's a lot more budget friendly. Because each tier is larger on this cake than the one above, it feeds about the same amount of people. So it doesn't matter if you have 5 smaller tiers or 4 larger ones, the cost of cake is "per slice". So while the second cake looks smaller it really isn't smaller. It has the same amount of slices in total. But because it's is much more plainly decorated it will cost much less.
The last option is a "grocery store" cake. Most of these cakes are just not good. However, we have come across some that are fairly good and they are definitely budget friendly. Make sure you taste test these cakes carefully before ordering.
Whichever option you choose, remember that you will have to pay a 50% deposit when you book your cake. Most designers are booked up months in advance and since wedding planning usually begins about a year in advance some are booked for summer weddings a full 12 months earlier so don't wait to book your cake.
A white on white wedding can be very elegant and romantic looking. It can be as extravagant or as budget conscious as you need or want it to be. Using a planner can help you to make your dreams come true simply because they usually save you more than their fees and they really can DIY things to save you money and yet give you the wedding of your dreams.
Next week we'll dive into color! Over the next few weeks we'll go from subtle to extremely bold for the wedding color palette and, hopefully, find the look of your dreams along the way!
In the meantime you can get daily tips and tricks on our Facebook Fan Site every day!