Thursday, December 15, 2011

Inexpensive Wedding + ? = Gorgeous Reception

NOTE: I wrote this a while back, when I thought my wedding was going to be in the winter. The exact details have changed, but I wanted to post this anyway for an insight into the planning process. And I reiterate: don't let anyone tell you that you absolutely need someone to design your centerpieces for you. That's hooey. If you want to design them, go for it!

I admit it: I want a gorgeous reception. I really mean gorgeous. I mean "everyone walks into the room and goes, 'Ohhhhhh....'" - that kind of gorgeous.

Except, wait - I want an inexpensive wedding. Oh, dear.

But I will admit that, from the get-go, my attitude has been, "I get to make things!" I love making things! I love designing things, and creating things, and crafting things (there's something very relaxing and satisfying about making something with one's hands). And I've looked at several very classy, very elegant wedding centerpieces and gone, "I could do that."

So, let's look at a (hopefully) gorgeous table design that I can make fairly easily and inexpensively, and how that can be done. We assume 25 tables, oblong.

The look I want to evoke is the softness of falling snow, with gently-glowing light, and an edge - just a touch - of the sharp-and-still coldness of a midwinter night.

How to go about it?

  • First, the white of the snow - white tablecloths with a layer of white gauze/tulle and piled tulle along the center of the table (snowdrift)

  • Second, soft-and-glowing - white paper lanterns at the center of the table, nestled into the "snowdrift," and two clusters of frosted-glass votive holders to either side, also nestled into the tulle

  • Third, sharp-and-still coldness - what comes to mind when I think of this is a deep midwinter night, sky like blue velvet, a few stars flickering, the black of bare branches and the red of winterberries, all above glittering snow. Well, the snow we've taken care of. But I think accents such as cut-crystal votive holders and wreaths of hollyberries would really add the sharp aspect of winter.

And ... how much would this cost?

For the first item: white tablecloths, white tulle. Unfortunately it looks like the tablecloths will be around $10 apiece at best (this is from a buy vs. rent search in my area). A google search shows tulle at $40 for 50 yards. Say 3 bolts. So:

  • 10x25 + 3x40 = $370

For the second item, we're on better ground. You can get an assortment of votive holders at any Goodwill, and combing one through gave me 12, averaging $0.75 apiece. If we assume clusters of 3-4, so 7 per table, we'll need 175, which gives us $132.25. Frosting spray is about $15. Paper lanterns can be bought for about $1 apiece, so $25.

  • .75(175) + 15 + 1(25) = 172.25

For the third item, well ... Clear votive holders are fine (see above - we can just NOT frost some of them and mix those in, so there's no extra cost), but winterberry wreaths may be difficult. I found 16" sprigs of faux winterberries online for $3.75 apiece, though, and I'm betting that I'll be able to work those in, maybe in amongst the tulle snowdrift or in one of the clear votive holders. Say one per 5 tables, in that case, and thus:

  • 3.75(5) = 18.75

What does it all come to?

  • 370+172.25+18.75 = $561

Clearly, there's some planning still to go! But we'll work on that. Nothing is set in stone yet!

Thoughts? Objections? Advice? Leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. The whole first part of the post (gorgeous reception + inexpensive + love to make things = exactly how I feel about it!)