Sunday, February 12, 2012

Multi-Tasking Wedding Decor - Getting More Bang for Your Budget & Your Time

My Grandmother in a homemade bikini (yes, really) on a date with my Grandfather

I would never go so far as to call my grandmother a hoarder, but a number of years ago when we moved her from Northern Virginia to Richmond, we found 144 table legs in one of her sheds.  Yes, I said one of her sheds, as in she had multiple outdoor storage units on her property.

Now, I unbashedly adore my grandmother and have her to thank in large part for my love of crafting - "Grandmother", as we call her, hosted me and my cousin for a crafts week in the summers at her house, learning to knit, crochet and paint.  She also kissed my husband on the mouth the first time she met him.  Needless to say she's awesome.

As the working mother of six children, Grandmother was the queen of reusing and recycling before it was "a thing" simply by necessity.  (I have to omit reduce because well, that wasn't really in her vocabulary.  You never know when twelve dozen table legs will come in handy.)   While I still have a lot more to learn from Grandmother (like how she managed to sport a 27 inch waist even after birthing six children), this is my rudimentary homage to her keen knack to squeeze nine lives out of more than just a house cat.

So in honor of Grandmother, this post is about reusing key elements of your wedding decor to simplify your efforts and your budget.


Favors are always a great way to double up your budget and decor efforts, simply by virtue of volume.  With 100 guests, having 100 favors of anything goes a long way.  Favors can be clustered in the center of the table as an alternative to one large centerpiece.  The first thing that comes to mind is individual potted succulents placed in a large square tray in the center of each table.

Using square wooden trays available at any crafts store, you can paint or spray paint the trays to match your decor or even add a lovely paper liner to add some visual interest, and then cluster your mini planters, like the ones below, in the box....

giving you an effect similar to this:

Not only do the succulents do double duty, but the boxes can be reused at home as wall-mounted open display boxes.  I did the same thing for the duckling's birthday, displaying some of his birthday tchotckes in the same tray i used on the food buffet.  Here's another great example:

Source: via Chrissann on Pinterest

More After The Jump...

Ceremony Decor
I've posted this photo below before as an idea for a takeaway centerpiece...

but how about using clusters of them as favors first as the aisle runners for your ceremony, similar to this photo here:

Recycling your Decor Into Cash

One of my most favorite examples of being penny and dollarwise when it comes to wedding planning is that of  One detail I really loved was their clever idea for tableware.  After discovering that buying IKEA's dinnerware was cheaper than renting, they bought all their plates, glasses and such from IKEA, and then afterwards donated their dinnerware to Goodwill for a tax writeoff.  Brilliant. Here's a link to read all about their under-$5,000 wedding.

There are also a number of used wedding marketplaces online where you can sell your wedding wares, such as old photo booth backrdrops, oversized chalkboards and the such.  Once Wed has a used wedding dress site, and 100 Layer Cake has a great marketplace for used wares, although the prices aren't always a steal.  You can find it here.

What's the most clever re-use you've seen lately? 

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