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Top 5 Ways to Posh Up Your Wedding on a Budget

Are you planning a wedding on a budget? You aren’t alone. According to The Wedding Report, although the average wedding cost was nearly $25,000 in 2018, 44% of those cost less than $10,000.

And just because you plan your wedding on the cheap, it doesn’t have to look cheap. Happily, there are ways to have a luxury-looking wedding on a small budget.

The surroundings provide a good foundation for the ideas below. So take a bit to look at the non-traditional wedding venue ideas post for location inspiration. Then continue reading.

Now is also a good time to pin this post to your wedding board. So you can easily find it later. 

Wedding on a Budget Decor and Aesthetics

In general, the repetition of common elements is critical. A theme of some sort pulls your wedding together into a cohesive look. As well as gives you ample opportunity to let your uniqueness shine.

If you know from the start, you can do this throughout the entire wedding, starting with the save the dates. Or focus on the events only. It’s your choice.

To get organized from the beginning, use my detailed wedding planning checklist.

These are the areas to consider adding your common elements:

  • wedding invitations
  • other printed items (menus, programs, etc.)
  • ceremony decorations
  • reception decorations
  • favors
  • the wedding party’s outfits

Here are five ideas for doing just that when planning your posh wedding on a budget.

1. Cohesive Color & Patterns

Color is the most common way to pull a ceremony or reception together. Choosing a color scheme is also the most effective technique to begin planning your wedding on a budget without affecting the budget.

You can take it up a notch by including two contrasting colors. Use the darker for table clothes, backgrounds, and other vast expanses.

The lighter hue becomes an accent color to pop against the other visually. Extend the cohesion by using one of the colors as your ink color on the printed material.
A wedding monogram at the head table can make your budget wedding look more upscale and posh.

A pattern or monogram can also pull together your wedding look as well.

In addition to the usual placements (invitations, decorations, place settings, and wedding party ensembles), these elements can make an appearance on the aisle runner, incorporated into food, drink, or desserts; or within the lighting.

2. Voluminous Flowers

As you scroll through wedding inspiration sites, you may notice nearly all the most luxurious weddings feature large floral arrangements. You will not be able to afford 6-foot crystal vases filled with 4-foot spreads of exclusive roses.

But the volume is often the show-stopper. So, there *are* ways you can emulate opulence without breaking the budget.

Relative scale matters. A centerpiece on a small guestbook table in a corner across from the entrance will appear larger and more luxurious than the same arrangement on a 6-foot round banquet table, for example. Strategically place your best pieces of decor for maximum impact.

Your choice of flowers can also have a HUGE effect on costs. Right now:

  • 2″-3″ white Tibet roses cost $2.55 per stem.
  • 2″ white carnations, at $1.20, are less than half the cost.

You can save by choosing flowers with larger per-stem blooms as well. Hydrangeas are a great example. White hydrangeas are more expensive per stem ($3.74). BUT they are 5″-6″ across, double the size. Plus, make a more than double impact visually.

Baby’s breathe, also called gypsophila, is even more economical. You will need about 1 1/2 bunches for a typical 10″- 12″ bridal bouquet.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Which means gets a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click and buy.

To give you an idea of each flower’s volume, let’s compare the cost for a blooms-only globe-type bouquet (no fillers or added greenery).

As you consider which flowers to use in your centerpieces and wedding decor, think about volume. Would you rather have a few roses for understated and minimal decorations? Or go with triple the number of lush blooms for the same price?

3. Awesome Lighting

Lighting can make all the difference. Especially to the wedding-on-a-budget ambiance.

  • Strategically placed colored spotlights can add an upscale look.
  • Vertical light strands hung from trees or rafters can contribute toward a posh ambiance as well.
  • Candlelight is another way to create an atmosphere.

Lighting is one way to make your budget wedding look like your spent more.

4. Decorative Tulle

Tulle is inexpensive and can work wonders when decorating.

  • Drape bunches across the ceiling, secured at the edges and center light, for dramatic elegance.
  • Instead of renting chair covers, drape the material over chair backs and tie with a colorful tulle bow or attach a flower.
  • Tulle table skirts are also attractive.
  • Finally, the material is suitable for hiding ugly or bare walls: Use it like curtains to create a backdrop or block off parts of the room.

(Note: You can buy tulle by the bolt online inexpensively here.)

5. Tablescape Details

Finishing touches to tablescapes create visual interest.

Merely adding a colorful napkin ring or ribbon around a folded napkin, then tucking the menu or a sprig of greenery inside, can add a more upscale look to a table. Even inexpensive finger towels tied with rings made from a roll of ribbon or paper look good this way. Add home-printed menus, and your posh place setting is complete.

Other finishing touches include:

  • A runner on top of the tablecloth.
  • Favor boxes placed at the center of each plate setting
  • Decorative bows around the wine glass stems.
  • Preset tables.
  • Stacked plates–salad atop dinner, for example–also add ambiance.

Even with a buffet, you can preset water and drink glasses, silverware, and plates.

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Sarita Gupta

Monday 24th of April 2023

Loved thy style

rachel frampton

Tuesday 14th of July 2020

I'm glad you shared these tips because I like your idea of using lighter colors for the event. I also agree with you that it would be best to choose flowers with larger per-stem blooms so they'll appear larger.

Margaret R. Prowse.

Saturday 6th of February 2016

I had my wedding from dollar stores n home made crafts. I really had a great time. I get lots of ideals fr use wedding catalog's. Bridal magazines. My neice is getting married. I could have some fun ideas n comment to help her. Thank you all for your comments.