Budget Tips for Planning A Hill Country Wedding

We all work on a budget when planning a wedding. Whether the budget is huge or small, if you spend a dollar on flowers that is one less dollar you can spend on cake. We all must be budget conscious. If you are looking to save some cash, here are a couple of really reasonable budget tips for planning a Hill Country wedding.

– Consider getting married on an off day (example Thursday, Friday or Sunday) or in an off season. Off-season will vary depending on location, but for a Texas Hill Country Wedding this is likely going to be December-February, or July-August. This can save you up to $1000 in some cases, and if you have a lot of family or friends flying in for the weekend anyway, this typically doesn’t extend their travel plans, just changes them. This can also save on lodging and flights, since you won’t be traveling at peak times.

-Cater buffet style. Plated style incurs more staffing, serving pieces, and china then buffet style. Buffet style is also a lot less work. There are no extra time or money costs of collecting menu selections from your guests and guests can choose their own portions. Station and Family style will likely fall between the buffet and plated menu prices as there is more setup required, usually a specialized menu, and sometimes extra serving pieces and staff.

-Stick to beer and wine, and maybe a signature drink. Open bar weddings are awesome, but rarely do the guests remember them, because they had one too many of their favorite cocktails. Feature unique beers and wines (maybe local or sentimental) or consider a signature drink that shows your style. This is plenty of alcohol for your guests to have a good time.

-Re-use flowers, as much as possible. If you are getting bouquets for all of your bridesmaids, plan to use them as floral centerpieces for the head table, gift or cake tables. After photos and the ceremony they are going to set them down on a table somewhere, where they aren’t in water and they aren’t being displayed. Make good use of them! This will save you the cost of arrangements for those tables. If you have aisle arrangements they can double as flowers for a fireplace mantle or staircase you want to decorate.

-Re-use, really as much as possible. For example, buy mason jars for guest favors, but have them use it through the evening as their glass! If you are using baby succulents for décor on the tables, have the guest take them at the end of the night as favors (provide care and travel instructions).

-Consider using high-end plastics instead of china. Clear plastic plates and silver plastic flatware are perfectly acceptable for casual weddings. If you are having a buffet the plates and flatware will likely be stacked at the end of the buffet tables. This obviously isn’t okay if you are serving quail, but if you’re menu is an eclectic Mexican buffet or a southern bbq, it fits perfectly. In this case put your favors on your place settings for each guest, request a 3D napkin fold, or print up menu cards, where the plate would be, to make the table look full and beautiful! This isn’t the most “green” option, so consider getting recycled bamboo plates like these and recycle them after the wedding!

-Get a wedding planner! Believe it or not, wedding planners can save you tons of money. Let a planner know up front what you are looking to save money on and they can usually make it happen. Often, planners have vendor discounts they can pass on to you and will know who the best and most affordable vendors to work with are. They also know tricks of the trade that you can’t find on Pinterest!

These are just a few of the most basic tips for saving a buck on your Hill Country wedding. I hope some of you can buy a couple more margaritas on that honeymoon to Cabo!

D.I.Y. Monogrammed Table Runners-Hill Country Wedding Planner

diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-2

lyellphotography.com

Today I am going to teach you how to stencil these lovely runners for your wedding or your home! Being from the south, I can’t really get enough of monograms, especially at weddings. What better way to debut your new last name then at your wedding reception with a monogram! These runners are perfect for your wedding tables (banquet only please, maybe sometime in the future we will chat about why you should never put a runner on a round table). You can put them on just a few tables, like the head table or family tables, on just decorative tables like cake or buffet or all of your tables if it works with the rest of your décor. It can be a great way to decorate buffet tables without being cheesy (I wouldn’t recommend doing all the tables, plus buffet, pick and choose what fits best). Plus, after the wedding you’ll have a wedding keepsake to put on your own dining table at home. If you have several extra give them away to your new family for their homes, or sell them to brides about to inherit your same letter (I recommend selling on Ruffled’s recycle your wedding page).

Supplies
1. Burlap Runners ($5-$11 each on Etsy, or make your own for less than $4.00 each)
2. Black acrylic paint (or a different color if you choose) ($0.50)
3. Spongy paint brush ($1.79)
4. Hobby Knife ($2.50 after 40% off coupon at Michael’s**see note below)
4. Stencil Kit ($4.00 after 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby**see note below)
3. Cardboard you can throw away (free)

Your total cost for one runner is going to be around $14 (or $13 if you make one). If you make multiples, say 6 runners, you would be at around $6.50 per runner (or homemade for $5.50 each). These go on Etsy for $26-$40 each. Convinced yet?diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-3

Get the Runners. The first step is to get the runners. You can buy them on Etsy or at several hobby stores. I made this one. I’ll do another blog in the coming weeks about how to make this runner yourself (sew and no-sew version). Making them yourself is handy if your picky about the color of burlap, need a specific size for tables, or are making several. For now, let’s assume you have the runners.

Pick out a stencil. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell pre-made stencils in all patterns. I sadly couldn’t find a “B” that I was super happy with. So, I bought this handy dandy kit that allows you to cut your own stencil.  You can search on google fonts or just look through your Microsoft Word fonts to see if there is one there that you like. If you are super artsy, just search on Pinterest for ideas and hand draw your letter (that is what I did). If you find a stencil at one of these two stores that you love, great! Don’t you dare buy that stencil without a coupon, girl (see note below). Congrats, move two spaces past go and you can keep the 40% you just saved with the coupon!

Cutting the stencil. diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-5If you found a stencil you liked, you can skip this section. If you are cutting the stencil yourself, keep reading. I traced the letter onto the stencil plastic. I also bought a handy little hobby knife to cut the plastic with. I had to cut two separate pieces to get the outline of my “B” and to keep the center without paint.
I considered (as you may be also) just cutting cardboard or something sturdy to make the stencil. The reason I opted out of this option was for several reasons 1) if you are tracing your letter, not hand drawing it, it is so much easier to do through the semi see through stencil plastic 2) you can keep the stencil for future use (I have done pillows with that same stencil) 3) the plastic wipes clean super easy to make clean up a cinch 4) the thin material helps you to get really close to fabric so the edges of your letter are clean and crisp.

diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-6Attaching the Stencil. Next, you place your stencil on the runner in the placement that you desire.  Make sure to put cardboard (not newspaper, it will glue to the back of the fabric when drying) under your burlap, paint will definitely leak through the fabric. I used masking tape to tape down the stencil to keep me from accidentally scooching it. It also helps to irondiy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-17 your burlap with a good steam, you don’t want the wrinkly fabric to cause you to smudge. Jonah my kitty decided she would help…

 

Painting it. Choose a permanent paint, like acrylic paint. I prefer not to use fabric paint as it seems to get a little gunky with the fibers on the burlap. I recommend using a spongy paintbrush. It helps to blot the paint instead of stroking it to keep the stencil in place. Go for the method of multiple blots with the spongy brush instead of large amounts of paint on each blot. Too much runny paint on your sponge will cause it to bleed under the stencil onto the fabric outside of your letter. I recommend doing a practice run on a spare piece of burlap to get the hang of it.

diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-13

 

Allow the paint to dry before removing the stencil or it will smear. Same with the card board, make sure it is totally dry before removing the burlap, or it will smear on the back side.

 

 

 

 

You have your beautifully stenciled runner!diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-15 Plus extra paint and a perfectly good stencil to use on other items that need monogramming! This technique will work on other fabrics and with other paint colors as well. Feel free to change it to whatever fits your theme best.

 diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-16

**DON’T YOU BUY THAT STENCIL WITHOUT A COUPON. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby ALWAYS have a coupon. If you are planning a wedding or are into craft projects at all, just download the Michael’s app and the Hobby Lobby app on your phone. Then you will have access the coupon anytime you need to pick up something. I went to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby at least 40 times in the 9 months I was planning my wedding and never bought a darn thing without a coupon. They usually have a 40% off one item, or 20% off your purchase. It adds up, trust me. Even if you aren’t that worried about $2.50 here and there, if you go half as much as I did you will have save $50. That 10 extra gin and tonic’s, or 5 really strong margaritas on your honeymoon. See what I mean? Mmm… Margaritas….