Plan a budget friendly wedding


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Mason jars provide an inexpensive options for table decorations, flower vases or drinking glasses at weddings. Other affordable decorations include painting used glass beer or wine bottles, which can be used as centerpieces or table number identifiers. 

Leah Gage

The proposal has been made and now the wedding planning begins. Purchasing flowers, decorations and rings can make this special day expensive.

During her years as a wedding planner, Lori Evans, owner of BLiSS events and staffing, worked with 10 to 12 brides each year. While some brides came in with a budget already decided, most did not.

“Once the budget is set, all of the decisions can be made and I can guide them to their number one goal,” Evans said. “It’s not a fun thing to discuss, but the budget steers every decision in planning a wedding.”

Some brides, however, will do the opposite and come in with an image in mind looking for answers about what kind of budget is needed to make it happen.

“Most young brides today will find an idea on Pinterest without realizing the expense behind it,” Evans said. “A good example of this would be wanting to have orchids in the winter.”

There are some popular trends that are affordable and can be utilized all year long.

Mason jars can act as table decorations, flower vases or as drinking glasses, which guests can take home as a wedding favor. They can also be dressed up with ribbon, glitter or canvas with a tea light inside to light the aisle for the wedding party to walk down.

Other affordable “do-it-yourself” decorations include painting used glass wine and beer bottles. They can be decorated specifically for the big day and used as vases, centerpieces and even as table number identifiers.

Celebrations Wedding and Party Store in Ames sees an average of four brides each day, during wedding season, who are looking for guidance about what they are able to accomplish with their budgets.

“If they have a set budget in mind, we can tell them where their money can be best utilized,” said Patty Tucker, manager at Celebrations Wedding and Party Store.

For an additional purchasing and creation charge, some stores will offer to make decorations if they don’t have exactly what a person is looking for in their store.

“If a person asks us to put together centerpieces for example, we recommend they bring the materials in to us,” Tucker said. “If we have to go out and buy the materials, we will charge more than it would cost for them to get it themselves and bring it in.”

While Celebrations Wedding and Party Store does not provide the ability for brides to purchase items for their wedding, they offer a variety of rental options to make the bride’s special day possible.

“We provide backdrops, tablecloths, sashes, lights and fabric for the ceiling and tables and chairs,” Tucker said.

Before signing any papers, the couple should check for any rules or restrictions a venue might have.

Restrictions can include limitations on caterers, DJ’s and wedding-assistance companies. Large amounts of money can be lost in security deposits if these fees aren’t checked or purchases were already made.

“We offer setup and do as much or as little as they want us to do. We can do just rental or we can do the decorating for their whole ceremony,” Tucker said.