What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
One of my favorite events to plan and an option that I suggest to clients who are on a tight budget is to host a Brunch event.
One of my favorite events to plan and an option that I suggest to clients who are on a tight budget is to host a Brunch event instead of an evening party. This way, you can really enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, the alcohol costs are less, you can put out a delicious buffet spread rather than doing a multi-course dinner, and you can do away with the expensive band and dance floor to be replaced with some cool background music and a chill atmosphere.
Lighting is always the biggest bang for your buck.
The most memorable events are not necessarily the most expensive ones. Lighting is always the biggest bang for your buck. Most ballrooms are a neutral palette and as well as colored linens, lighting is another amazing way to create warmth. Any space can come to life with a splash of color on the walls!
Another way to make your event pop is to really dig deep into the theme (if there is one) and bring in little touches to represent. It may be something as simple as a candy bracelet as a napkin treatment for a candy theme. Guests notice the small touches and appreciate authenticity. We also always decorate the restrooms with nice liquid soaps, lotion, themed nail files, hairspray, etc. In a four hour event, usually everyone takes a trip there, and guests always are surprised to see the restrooms themed to match the event! Love IS in the details!
Instead of over the top flower installations, you can go with greenery or single-stemmed centerpieces.
It is definitely possible to create an elegant and memorable wedding on a tight budget. One of the biggest trends for 2019 that is still popular in 2020 is minimalist weddings. These are great for small budgets because it takes a “less is more” approach. Instead of over the top flower installations, you can go with greenery or single-stemmed centerpieces. Instead of getting married in an expensive ballroom, you can get married in a meadow or forest, or in an industrial space. Instead of an intricate wedding cake, you could opt for a naked cake or a marbled fondant cake. Wedding gowns also come in minimalist styles as well.
And you can make the wedding memorable at little to no additional cost as well. Doing something unexpected makes your wedding stand out. You could change the order of the events of your wedding to something less traditional to keep your guests guessing about what is coming next. A unique setup of the chairs during the ceremony is another good way. You could place the chairs in a circle around the altar so guests get a 360-degree view of your ceremony, instead of seeing it from one side. You could also select a special officiant for your ceremony. Instead of hiring a professional, you could choose the person who introduced you or a person central to your story to officiate the ceremony.
Start your budget first and determine what is most important to you.
Start your budget first and determine what is most important to you. Then determine what you feel makes an event elegant, as it’s such a relative concept. For some, a clean white linen table with simple votives might be enough – for others, elegance lies in hints of gold. Once you determine what that means to you, it’s much easier to figure out how to distribute your budget in ways that hit the most impact. If you can swing it, hiring an event planner or designer can help you figure out how to do this more efficiently.
Ask venues about their Friday, Sunday + weekday availability.
Quite frequently, our couples ask us for wedding venues in San Diego that won’t break the bank. They are searching for places that are affordable, unique, and just plain awesome. We all know the search for the perfect venue can be overwhelming. TIP: Ask venues about their Friday, Sunday + weekday availability. Many offer reduced rental fees that will get you even closer to your ideal budget!
Anytime something is personalized, it makes a guest feel special.
Anytime something is personalized, it makes a guest feel special. It is a thoughtful touch and it shows your guests you made an effort. If you are on a tight budget, I would focus on only one moment or item. For example, having your seat assignments hand calligraphed with your guests’ first & last name is a nice touch. You can find talented artists who charge between $1.75 and $2.50 per card which is a small amount, but makes an impact when your guests take their seats.
Lighting is your biggest bang for your buck.
Lighting is your biggest bang for your buck. A few uplights can turn any social hall or ballroom space from a blank room to a PARTY! It’s like paint, it will instantly transform your room.
I like to have multiple centerpieces in the room as well. Some with height, some lower, some more expensive than others. That way you can give the room a unique look with lots of visual interest, without having to do an expensive piece on every table.
Use what you have in terms of decorations. If the venue comes with linens, use them! Ask the venue if they have charger plates, votive candles, table number stands, etc. Use what they have and then enhance with a few pieces you have to rent or buy.
Limit your guest count and shop around for venues.
Limit your guest count and shop around for venues. Maybe have the wedding on a Friday or a Sunday and look for off-season dates. That way you can have additional funds for the special items you would like to have.
Always know that there are amazing event vendors and pros for every budget!
My best advice for pulling off an elegant and memorable event with a smaller price range is simple; prioritize!!
I always have every client, no matter the budget, prioritize what factors of their event are most important to them. Once that is done, we can start budget planning and make sure to focus on top priorities. Every event and every client is different so I can’t give many specific details that would work for everyone. One person might focus the budget towards the venue or decor where another might focus on entertainment or food.
Always know that there are amazing event vendors and pros for every budget! Just because a client may be on a tight budget doesn’t mean that every aspect has to be “cheap” or that it has to look low cost.
My first piece of advice for couples working with a tighter budget is to make a list of your priorities for your wedding.
There are so many ways to get creative with your budget when it comes to wedding planning. My first piece of advice for couples working with a tighter budget is to make a list of your priorities for your wedding. Rank those that are “non-negotiable” and those that are “nice to have”.
One area that varies greatly and is an easy place to cut back costs is flowers. From doing super small arrangements with bud vases to using less expensive flowers like carnations, you can still have an absolutely beautiful tablescape without breaking the bank.
Another area you can easily save is on food and beverage. Speak with your caterer about the different service options for your size group. Perhaps a heavy passed hors d’oeuvres party would be better suited to your budget, rather than a full coursed seated dinner.
Anything en masse looks luxe and elegant, and will elevate a space and a design.
This is one area where I am not an expert! I don’t specialize in budget weddings, and I really strive to guide my clients through a process where we make decisions based on what is right, and not based on financials.
That said, anything en masse looks luxe and elegant, and will elevate a space and a design. Whether you are using flowers or paper or stone – just use a lot of it together and it will be impactful.
First, I would tell people to be flexible with your date!
First, I would tell people to be flexible with your date! Some venues offer discounted rates on certain days of the week or lower prices as well if the event is held in the industry’s offseason.
Second, I would recommend looking for new and upcoming vendors in the industry. They might be willing to negotiate and provide services more affordably in order to gain the exposure and experience for their business. Just make sure to meet with them first and understand what level of service and product they are going to provide your attendees. They are a very important part of your event so you want to make sure they are going to be 100% reliable.
We would, first and foremost, advise them to be realistic and be open to substitutions.
Being on a tight budget is not an easy feat but we have all the respect and understanding of making it all work. We would, first and foremost, advise them to be realistic and be open to substitutions.
Second, prioritize what truly is the most important factor they would like to have for their wedding. Once that is figured out, allocate the remaining budget funds to the rest of the vendors.
Just because a client has a tight budget, doesn’t mean that they can’t have an elegant and memorable event.
Just because a client has a tight budget, doesn’t mean that they can’t have an elegant and memorable event. What it does need is someone that is creative, has great connections, and can determine exactly what the definition of elegant and memorable is to each client. It may be something as simple as wishing to evoke a feeling for the guests or it may be more along the lines of unique entertainment or a specific look.
Once I understand what element we are needing to work on, it’s time to get creative (and re-shuffle the budget). This works best with clients that appreciate a creative outlook, that are adventurous and open to a unique perspective, and that are good with shifting money from one bucket to another.
The best tip is to hire a planner who can help you with your goals in the long run.
When clients have a tight budget the key thing to keep in mind is – what is the goal of the event and what are the expectations after the event? Depending on the type of event there are several tricks – if it’s a wedding you could have signature drinks instead of a full bar and save a significant amount of money yet making it fun!
If it’s a networking meeting before dinner consider shortening the length of time the space is needed, as there is no reason to prolong the event, and save some money.
The best tip is to hire a planner who can help you with your goals in the long run. 😉
Put your own personality and style into the event.
A lot of items can usually be found cheaper or substituted with other options that are similar to stay on track with cost. Do research and homework on cost comparisons to know what is the average cost and what’s normal.
Put your own personality and style into the event. Just because you want something to look glamorous doesn’t mean you have to spend a crazy amount.
Lighting can be a great add on for events.
Lighting can be a great add on for events. It carries through the event and changes the atmosphere during the event. It’s worth it and goes a long way!
If you are on a budget, please start with your guest list and pare down where you can.
Budget = Guest count…. If you are on a budget, please start with your guest list and pare down where you can. Having an event that you are proud of and with all of the details you have dreamed of is doable as long as your guest list is equal to your budget.
Definitely cut your guest list as much as possible.
Definitely cut your guest list as much as possible. Focus on a few statement pieces such as food or a floral display and save where you can.
Instead of packing in many items into a budget, focus on one or two main concepts and spend the budget there.
The best advice that I can offer someone trying to create an elegant event on a tight budget is to focus on what is important to you or the client and then spend the budget on those items. Instead of packing in many items into a budget, focus on one or two main concepts and spend the budget there.
For example, if the look of the event is the biggest element for you, you dedicate 60% of your budget to that. That can include decor items, lighting, table settings, and venue selection. The balance of the budget is dedicated to other items that are essential but not the most important to the event.
Any event can be special and memorable by adding personal touches.
In terms of design, it’s all in the details. Any event can be special and memorable by adding personal touches. Details, details, details.
We also design with multiple scenarios for tablescapes, both for receptions and seated events so ½ of the setups can be more intricate with florals while the second ½ can be an accent from the first half – votives in the same coloration with a single bud vase of florals that tie into the aesthetic of the rest of the event. It’s a cost-effective, yet interesting way to design and save money too.
Creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget is possible with the right planner.
Creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget is possible with the right planner. If you are on a tight budget and are thinking about making your event memorable and do not have a large floral budget, I would think about creating a focal point in your reception space that will wow your guests. It could be a mesmerizing floral wall made with live florals or a ceiling installation over the head table. If you can, encourage your planner to design a floor plan that will use less floral centerpieces, so that the ones you do have are as impressive as you would see with a 6-figure budget event.
DIY it or if you aren’t the creative type or don’t have time to DIY then go for minimalist decor.
DIY it or if you aren’t the creative type or don’t have time to DIY then go for minimalist decor. It’s trendy, classy, and way cheaper. Personally, for a dinner party, I love simple white linen with some greenery with a pop of color.
For a kid’s party, less is more. Cut the goodie bags and do an activity that the kids can take home. Such as a themed craft or cooking lesson where they
all get to take home some of the baked goods. WE EVENTS is all about the experience.
For fundraisers, cut the swag bag and instead have an onsite illustrator or fun experience where you can charge for it to raise money but the attendee also gets to take home a memento from the event.
I look for activities and experiences that cost little or no money.
I am a single mom, with 3 girls of high school/college age, so I am very aware that everyone has a budget. Even the most elaborate and expensive party I have orchestrated ($250K) needed creative ways to not go overboard (I know…I know…how can a $250K party not be out of control). I came from a family with very little means, and I worked very hard to get where I am.
In the beginning, especially as I was learning about the Jewish culture and throwing mitzvahs, I worked with a lot of DIY moms that just needed a hand. I am currently planning a wedding with a $10K budget (after my fee). It is amazing what you can create with little money. I have searched the ends of the internet for the best deals…and this wedding will not look DIY!
I also look for activities and experiences that cost little or no money. Guests will remember the comedy roast of their husband-to-be more than they will expensive floral arrangements on the table. It also helps that I have very good relationships with my vendors. Several of them are substantially discounting their services to help me make my client’s wedding dreams come true.
Prioritize what’s most important to you and your fiance and we will breakdown the budget accordingly.
Overall, prioritize what’s most important to you and your fiance and we will breakdown the budget accordingly. We tend to be more design and floral focused, so with the decor and design, we always try to have at least one main focal area that draws the eyes and is a statement piece. This allows you to have the wow factor but then can scale down in other areas rather than splurge on everything.
Prioritizing from the first stage of planning is the best strategy for executing an event on a budget.
Prioritizing from the first stage of planning is the best strategy for executing an event on a budget. I discuss with my clients their true priorities and spend money on the priorities and cut where they don’t find as much value.
I currently have a destination wedding whose top priority is music, so we spent the largest portion of the budget on flying in a band, providing a gospel choir, and strings for the ceremony, but spent much less on invitations and flowers. This made sense to their needs and kept the bottom line where they were comfortable.
Small details can make a big impact, it doesn’t have to be an over the top statement piece.
For any couple with a tight budget, I think it’s really important to get your priorities outlined from the very beginning. Just because you have a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on things that matter, it just means you have to be mindful of where the budget is being spent. Small details can make a big impact, it doesn’t have to be an over the top statement piece.
Be creative and think outside the box.
Be creative and think outside the box. If your budget does not allow flowers, think about plants or lots of candles. You do not have to forgo a vision, you just have to find a creative way to make it a reality.