Event Planning, Weddings

Cheap and Chic: Affordable Wedding Tips

March 9, 2016


It’s no secret that weddings can get pretty expensive. We feel that it is one of the most important days of your life so you should be able to have whatever your heart desires without breaking the bank. Of course, there are some things that you just have to go all the way with, such as the food and beverages, in order to have an amazing wedding day!  We’ve come up with a few ideas that we think will be super helpful and hopefully save you some money!

Double-duty dessert bar: I don’t know about you guys but when I attend a wedding the dessert is the only thing on my mind; okay… this may be after a few drinks but that’s beside the point. Since the dessert is typically at the end of the reception it is likely the last thing your guests will remember. Bet you never thought of that before, right? Wedding favors can get quite pricey so making the desserts a “double-duty station” will save some money! This way not only can guests get their sweet tooth on but they can also take some home in a really cute personalized favor bag or box.


Christin and Amanda’s Halloween themed Candy Bar at the Barn at Flying Hills

Free printables: Yes, most venues provide table numbers at no extra charge for you but they can be pretty generic. If you are a bride who likes to add special touches to everything, here are some free printable table numbers that your guests are sure to be impressed by. Another way to save some bucks is on the invitations. These can get pretty pricey too, so here are a whole bunch of very elegant printable invitations! Something you may have not even considered that can definitely add up is the “save the date” cards. These are the first thing about your wedding that your guests will see and will set the tone for the actual day. Therefore, you definitely might want to print your own on some thick stationary.

If you do choose to have a company print them for you choose a basic black ink for your invitations and other stationery. Prices go up if you choose colored inks or a deluxe foil-stamp process. Also, colored paper and unconventional shapes tend to be more expensive than white, ecru, or the standard square or rectangle. 


Andrea and Steve’s Cookie Favor from their 2015 summer wedding at the Green Valley Chateau and Tent

Choosing a unique venue: Venues like castles, private estates, and even museums can help you save because you don’t have to go overboard on décor. A unique venue sets the tone all on its own. It’s the “meat” in the wedding sandwich, if you will.


Reading Public Museum Art Galleries


Reading Country Club (Castle Style Venue)








Hold your reception and ceremony in the same place: Lately, there has been a noticeable rise in a certain trend within the wedding industry and that is holding the ceremony and the reception at the same venue. Couples are finding that it’s easier and more cost effective for everybody involved, from the bridal party to the guests, if everything is held within one central location. This is especially easy on guests who are travelling from either out of town or interstate. They can find accommodations close to the venue or at the venue, and they won’t have to try and navigate two separate locations. Cost and convenience are two important factors that you need to consider when you’re planning one of the most expensive and stressful days of your life.


Reading Country Club Ceremony on the Patio


Reading Public Museum Ceremony in the garden








Ask for wedding help instead of wedding gifts: Asking family and friends to offer help or services that align with their talents in lieu of a gift is a great way to keep your wedding on a budget. We are seeing this a lot now-a-days with our couples. Sometimes you can get lucky and have a family member or friend with some musical talent or an amateur photographer that has a pretty decent camera.

Reception flowers: The flowers can sometimes be the most expensive part of a wedding. Andrea Vinanskie, one our brides from August 2015 who was married in our Green Valley Chateau and Tent, had excellent advice for us:

“We did not use any flowers at the church for decoration because our church is beautiful inside and I wanted to focus on the reception and spend my money there instead.  We belong to Sam’s Club and they have a wonderful selection of bulk bouquets and bulk flowers online that you cannot purchase in-store.  (They also have bridal party bouquets but I did not purchase any of those.)  The cost for the bulk flowers was incredible!!  We had 12 guest tables and got all of the flowers for those tables for $209.84.  I chose the mixed bouquet that also included beautiful large daisies.  They were so bright and colorful.  I ordered 2 sets; each set had 10 bouquets.  They were shipped from Ecuador and arrived in absolute perfect condition.  In the 20 bouquets I received, there was only 1 flower we did not use. They were so gorgeous!  Flowers can cost so much money and buying bulk from Sam’s Club was an amazing deal.”


A close up of Andrea’s beautiful flowers

Searching for that perfect dress: Most brides believe that the only dress they are going to find that they will like is going to be super expensive. This is just not the case though as Andrea explained to us:

“I got my wedding dress at David’s Bridal for $99!  I went in January when they were having one of their special $99 sales.  I had decided ahead of time that I was not spending a fortune on my wedding dress.  I looked online before my appointment and picked out 3 dresses from the $99 price that I really liked.  I specifically picked out dresses that had no train.  When I got to the store they told me that they didn’t have any of them in stock. (Those big blowout sales are limited to what’s left in each store’s inventory.) I was disappointed.  I tried on a dress similar to the one I liked the best to see if that’s really the style I wanted; it definitely was so they checked the inventory of that dress at other stores and found a store in New York that still had the dress in my size.  I was able to pay for the dress right then and the New York store shipped it to my house.  It arrived a few days later:  I was absolutely in love with it!!!  They did tell me that if I got the dress and did not like it that I could return it to the store I originally went to and they would give me credit towards another dress since they didn’t have the one I wanted in stock.  I never had to worry about that because the dress was perfect for me! I did have alterations done, which is normal.  Not everyone would want to pick out there dress from a picture, but that worked for me and I have always loved the way the dress looked.  I bought the guava colored sash separately, as it did not come with the dress.”


Andrea’s gorgeous wedding dress in front of Green Valley Chateau

And finally…plan, plan, plan: When you’re trying to have a wedding on a budget, it’s important to plan ahead. List everything you can think of and walk through these items step by step.

The earlier you get started, and the more things you think about early on, the less “last-minute stress” you’ll have, and the more time you’ll have to find sales and discounts and research other good ideas. When you are looking for venues and caterers, hopefully you’ll also receive a wedding planner, like you do with us! Our wedding planners help our clients from day one. If you have a planner ask them for their opinions and don’t forget to update them with your latest details! Learn more about our amazing team!


Crystal Powell – Sales Director


Rachael Romig – Marketing Director


Sera Chabinec – Wedding Manager








Larry Byrd

Larry Byrd – Special Events Planner


A special THANK YOU! to the following websites for their awesome and affordable wedding ideas:
Invitations by Dawn

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