9 ways to make the most of your wedding décor

If you’re planning a wedding, you’ll know all too well how quickly costs add up! It’s important to invest wisely in your wedding décor so you can make the most of your purchases long after the big day.

Here are our top tips to help you save some money and think sustainably when buying those all-important wedding items:

1. Decide whether to hire or buy

Your venue might have most of the wedding essentials but, if you’re hiring out a ‘blank canvas’ space you will have to fill it with décor of your own. It’s up to you whether you decide to hire the items you need, buy them or DIY them.

Cost and convenience are two of the main things to consider. While it may be easier to hire certain items (such as glassware or table linen) you may find that buying items for your wedding actually gives you chance to bag a bargain.

For example, patio equipment for an outdoor wedding, electricals (such as a wine fridge) or furniture can be unexpectedly expensive to hire – particularly when you factor in delivery and collection costs. Though you may be hesitant to buy big-ticket items, you could find it's more cost-effective if they’re things you’ll use time and again in the future. Remember, you don’t always have to buy brand new. There are plenty of preloved options out there if you search online marketplaces or vintage shops.

2. Plan to reuse your décor throughout the day

Choosing wedding décor and floral arrangements for both the ceremony and reception can be a big job – not to mention expensive. You can cleverly repurpose items throughout the day to get the most bang for your buck.

A floral arch used in the ceremony could create the perfect backdrop for photographs or to frame your wedding cake, while ribbons used to decorate pews and aisles can be hung on the backs of chairs at the reception. There are loads of ways to make sure the items used to decorate your ceremony space don’t go to waste when you move on to the reception.

3. Choose wedding décor you can keep

Think about the usage you’ll get out of your décor once you’ve said ‘I do’. Things like candleholders and vases can be kept for years whereas a wedding archway is unlikely to come in handy again.

You may need to source bigger items such as tables and chairs to bring comfort and style to your wedding venue. While buying significant items can be more expensive than hiring, if you want a new armchair or a swanky bar for your garden, now’s the time to invest. You’ll be getting a head-start on any home improvement project and making the most of your purchase from the get-go.

4. Repurpose wedding items after the big day

Even decidedly ‘wedding-y’ items can be repurposed to enjoy a new lease of life. For example, preserve your wedding flowers by drying and framing them, dot any leftover candles around your home and don’t forget to bring home any glassware you’ve purchased.

Try to avoid buying single-use items, such as balloons, and always use recyclable paper for invitations, place cards and seating plans. Another top tip: if you’re opting for welcome signage, skip any ‘wedding’ wording so you can use it either as a quirky piece of home décor or for future events.

5. Ask for early wedding gifts

According to Bridebook, couples spend around £1,500 (excluding flowers) on wedding décor. That’s a lot of money to find and could quickly become even more expensive if you decide to buy décor rather than hire it.

Asking for early wedding presents could help to ease the financial burden. Relatives and close friends often spend around £100 on wedding gifts. They may be more than happy to contribute towards a ‘forever’ piece of décor or furniture in advance of the big day. This would help you to create the perfect wedding without going over budget.

6. Look beyond the wedding

You may have all good intentions of reusing your wedding items, but you simply won’t be able to do that if you choose things that can’t be repurposed.

Try to select items that will fit your general décor back at home. For example, if you have a rustic theme running throughout your home, then natural wedding décor such as wooden placeholders and fairy lights are likely to be put to good use again. You could also choose tableware that fits your interior style, so you can make the most of any leftover linen or napkins.

7. Get crafty

Every bride or groom looks for stunning, one-of-a-kind wedding décor. By making it yourself, you can save money and be more sustainable.

Many couples make their own table decorations, centrepieces and favours. But you could be even thriftier by buying big-ticket items such as ceremony seating online and upcycling to create a showstopping piece.

Once the wedding’s over, keen DIYers may wish to transform leftover wedding décor into an unforgettable memento too. For example, make stylish lanterns or candles out of leftover glassware or create a scrapbook or memory box out of little trinkets collected throughout the day such as your cake topper, sashes, ribbons or confetti.

8. Sell or donate things you won’t use again

While there’ll be lots of sentimental items you’ll want to keep forever, you can’t take every bit of wedding décor home with you.

Divide your décor into categories: keep, repurpose, give away or throw out. You should have these categories front of mind when buying your wedding items, too, as you’ll want to make sure you hardly purchase anything you’ll simply throw away after the wedding.

You have loads of options when it comes to giving away your used wedding décor. You could donate items to charity, save them for a friend’s future wedding or even sell them online to get a bit of cash back. Don’t just leave things gathering dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere – you’d be surprised how many people are on the lookout for good quality, preloved items for their wedding.

9. Invest in quality

You may have a smaller budget reserved for your décor compared to major purchases like your wedding outfits, venue and entertainment. As you get closer to the big day, you might find your budget gets squeezed.

It’s tempting to opt for cheap and cheerful decorations, but remember the old adage: buy cheap, pay twice.

It may be worth investing a little more money in quality items that will truly stand the test of time. You’ll get far more use out of products you genuinely need and will keep in the future, versus one-off purchases that’ll either break in no time or won’t see the light of day again.

Remember, if you’re looking to top up your budget, our low-cost wedding loans can help. You can borrow the money you need and spread the cost over fixed-rate monthly payments, giving you a bit more flexibility.

Tell us your top wedding tips

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Written by

Sophie Venner

Sophie Venner is a Yorkshire-based content writer specialising in crafting content for the financial services industry. She’s written over 300 articles on finance, but she’s covered everything from insurance to digital marketing trends. Her content has been featured in the likes of Semrush, Digital Marketing Magazine and Insurance Business. In her spare time, you won’t find Sophie far from a notepad and pen as she squirrels away trying to write a novel.

Wednesday 12th June 2024