1. Use candles instead of flowers for centerpieces. This will still add the touch of elegance you are looking for without breaking the bank.
2. Place candles in unexpected places: mantels, stairs, ledges…these really make a statement. Go for 20, 50, or more. (Remember to check with venue though!)
3. Use tealight holders to hold a single great flower, and have five or ten on a table.
4. Uplight the perimeter of the room and nearby trees to illuminate your space.
5. Use loose flowers on the hors d’oeuvre trays and anywhere else there’s space. This will add punch to your trays and pull your entire event together.
6. Upgrade linens on only the most visible tables: sign-in, head table, buffet, cake…wherever you want the focus.
7. Borrow décor from friends, family and other companies: bring in a great metal art piece for the buffet, or a large topiary for the entrance, or borrow an antique frame for the guest seating chart. Think BIG.
8. See what your caterer can rent to you at low cost. Some caterers have round mirrors, hurricanes, lily bowls, etc. that they will gladly provide for you.
9. Make a great, attractive menu card with cardstock and your own printer. A copy store can perfectly cut the menu cards for you. Your menu can be at each place setting or one can be framed and placed on each table. This helps guests anticipate and appreciate your menu.
10. Ask your venue and your caterer if there’s opportunity to “piggyback” with another party to share costs on great rentals, special lighting, etc. You never know, those beautiful gold chiavari chairs of your dreams could turn into a reality.