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  • Merida

WIC Drama, Chapter 2: How to Adapt Your Dream Wedding to Your Budget

I know I've been on a tear about Pinterest lately, but I'd like to think I'm educating about the moderate use of the app. It's easy to fall into the "I need it" trap when you're looking at beautiful pictures of either staged or extremely expensive weddings.

So what're you to do when your tastes are 100K, but your budget's not?

I get this look a lot on Budget Day when couples think I can't see them.

My best analogy for this is the engagement ring trend of circling a center stone with a halo of small diamonds. It makes the center stone seem larger, without the accompanying price tag.

If you're looking to wow people, show off your personality. You don't need to have $20,000 worth of flowers to make people pause and say, "wow, that's the coolest thing I've ever seen!"

Here are my favorite ways to make an event pop without a big time budget:

- Pick a statement piece. Depending on your budget, pick something unique to you, or from your culture, and work with your planner/friends/family to create something nifty. This cuts back on all of the other decorations, because no one will focus on anything else. Steampunk and Victorian styles are always a good go-to for style on the cheap, just because decorations can be found in every thrift shop.

- Select a gorgeous venue. Rather than spending 10K to bring in a lot of decoration, why not pick a venue that might be slightly above your original venue/catering budget, and let the opulence of the place take over? I can think of at least five places in Philadelphia area alone that fit this ticket.

- Develop an inexpensive alternative to the big budget wants- If you want a wall of white roses, consider making a wall of baby's breath. Instead of crystal waterfalls, rent lighting that mimics the shimmer. After all, you're not building a house- and anything that gets put up, inexpensive or pricey, is only an illusion. It all comes down.

But it's pretty when it's up! Photo by Brae Howard Photography.

- Go for sentimental things. A couple I worked with recently made a smart move with a lot of their wedding signage and turned them into keepsakes, as opposed to disposable items. It'll be great decorations for your home, especially if you're just starting out together. Two birds, one stone.

- Create a cool food item. This one's probably the easiest. Even if it's just a s'mores bar, people always remember the food. They're absolutely not going to care if your cake floats if it's bland. Give people milk and cookie shots, or a to-go mashed potato bar (it doubles as a hangover preventative).

Puppies might not be a hangover cure, but they do entertain during a hangover.

Happy Brainstorming! I'd love to see some inspiration photos- tag them in the comments!

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