Posted by Ashley Robustelli on

I got married back in 2015, and we planned the day on a serious budget! Our guest list included over 400 people, but our budget could not accommodate that many. That meant we did a lot of DIY for the decor! I often get a lot of questions about what we did and how we did it, so here is a list. I love how everything turned out and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with having a fancy wedding and a large budget! But we focused on creating a memorable & unique experience rather than spending thousands on fancy decor and uplighting and flowers. Because here’s the thing – guests may ‘ooo’ & ‘awe’ at your wedding when they arrive, but the experience is what they will take away from the evening. They will remember if your reception was boring or if they had a good time, not if the centerpieces were sub-par. And if they had a good time, they’ll talk about it for years to come. That is the case for our wedding. We get compliments about how memorable and fun our wedding was, and it’s been 4 years since we got married. This is just my two cents on the matter!

Faux Florals

I attended a wedding and watched the coordinator and families throw away gorgeous centerpieces of fresh flowers after the reception ended. It was heartbreaking to see them being thrown away and knowing they cost so much! At that moment I decided I did not want to waste money at my own wedding on something that will be simply thrown in the trash at the end of the night. So my mom & I created faux floral centerpieces for wedding, and we kept the arrangements to use in our homes afterwards (see one of them in the pic below)! I still use them in my home decor today, and we saved a ton of money doing this. Simply purchase floral stems from Hobby Lobby and Michael’s when they are on sale, and buy glass vases from Walmart or the Dollar Tree. You’d be surprised how pretty they can turn out to be! We went with all white flowers and they turned out great. (Note: while we used faux florals for the reception, my bouquet and my bridesmaids’ bouquets were real, fresh flowers)

To create an arrangement, select a focal point flower – this will typically be a large bloom (like a peony). Surround the focal point with smaller blooms of a different floral species (example: ranunculus). Next, add in greenery and foliage. And finally, add small textured and skinny stems to draw the eye and add contrast. Stick to your wedding color palette! You can find a video tutorial here on my Instagram profile. Look for ‘DIY Bouquet’ in my story highlights.

Framed Engagement Pics

To add to our DIY centerpieces, we bought metallic frames from the Dollar Store. Yep, they were only $1 each! We had some of our engagement photos printed and placed them on various tables. Such an easy and cheap addition!

Wooden Trays

My grandfather made DIY trays from reclaimed wood for the tables. He simply glued 2 pieces together that were the same length, and followed my gluing 2 skinnier pieces on the ends. Finally, he added handles that we purchased from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off. Easy, cheap, rustic, and perfect for our tables! The floral arrangements and photos sat on these trays. You can find a video tutorial here on my Instagram profile. Look for ‘DIY Tray’ in my story highlights.

Entrance Tables

We decorated our entry tables using decor I was gifted at my bridal shower and other pieces that we put together ourselves. We purchased wooden crates from Michael’s (with a coupon, of course) and stained them to create display focal points. The lanterns in the photos are from the dollar store, the tray is from TJ Maxx, and also some of the dollar store frames that I mentioned above.

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