January 15, 2015

Getting creative with your wedding budget

Stretching your wedding budgetFor many couples, the venue is the first major decision in their wedding planning process.

So, what do you do if you absolutely fall in love with a venue, but you aren’t sure your budget will cover it? The answer is to cut back on areas that aren’t as much of a priority to make up the difference. That’s what my clients did to create a truly magical wedding in the venue of their dreams, San Francisco’s historic Bently Reserve.

One of the benefits of a venue with stately architecture, like the Bently Reserve, is that décor can be kept to a minimum without sacrificing an elegant and impressive environment. A gorgeous blush colored drape hung behind the couple as they said their vows and, aside from the table décor, was the only addition to the room. The venue has built-in lighting options, so the couple could choose from many colors and intensities for uplighting. They chose a soft yellow during the ceremony and a more energizing purple for the reception.

Azalea trees in brushed gold pots topped with moss were placed behind the ceremony seating among flameless votive candles. Each tree cost about $12 and they set a romantic scene, as well as making the ceremony space smaller and more intimate within the vast room. The trees and votives were moved to each table as centerpieces for the reception. Another option would be to rent topiaries.

As a reference to the groom’s profession as a chef at one of San Francisco’s top restaurants, each table was named after a different herb – Sage, Thyme, etc. Next to each table name was a small vase holding sprigs of that very herb. Also fitting were the favors set on each place setting, a small bottle of olive oil.

Given that the groom is a chef, great food was another top priority. The first course was a soup prepared by caterer, Elaine Bell, according to a recipe from the groom’s grandmother. Guests were treated to cupcakes prepared by the pastry chef at the groom’s restaurant.

Especially because of the gorgeous architecture, the bride and groom wanted to keep flowers simple and limited to bouquets and boutonnieres. They didn’t want to spend a lot on a high-end florist and opted, instead, to order them through their local grocery store’s floral department. Let’s just say we were all very impressed with the simple, classic and professional job when the flowers arrived!

The take away from this wedding is that you can save quite a bit on your wedding décor with a little creativity, research and flexibility when it comes to the end result.

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