Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

High-end Wedding

Looks for Less

Think a designer high-end wedding isnít in your budget?
Think again.

With some careful planning and product selection, you can get a high-end look for less.


aisle coordinate

Wedding costs add up quickly so you may only be able to splurge on a few items. Do you go for the Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier gown, gourmet five-tier wedding cake with clusters of sugar flowers, ten-piece orchestra, or over-the-top reception dťcor? Only you can decide which items to splurge on, but remember, just because youíre not paying designer prices for everything, doesnít mean you canít get designer style.

David Tutera, party planner to the stars, creates one-of-a-kind affairs for his clients but budget conscious brides without a wedding planner can also create an indulgent designer look for their wedding affordably by focusing on creating one distinct high-end look; replicate a lavish tabletop you discovered in your favorite bridal magazine or create grandeur and drama copying a celebrity destination wedding like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmesí Italian castle wedding or a star-studded breezy beach theme reception.

Here are a few tips for creating tabletops and theme weddings that look expensive but donít break the bank.

Simply Stunning Tabletops
Tabletops for weddings this year are going glamorous. And nothing says glamour more than a tabletop covered in colorful dupioni silk, set with Lenox china, Waterford crystal stemware with Veuve Clicquot champagne, Tiffany picture frame favors, beaded or embroidered fabrics for chair covers or napkins and pricey floral arrangements with orchids, calla lilies, and gardenias.

But you donít have to spend big bucks to get big bang for your buck. A neutral table with colorful accent pieces in silver and white conveys a richly elegant and expensive looking table that will impress all your guests. You can create a glamorous tabletop for a fraction of the cost of the high-end wedding tabletop by selecting sparkling, glittery fabrics like fancy linens in shimmery hues, dress up the backs of chairs with monogrammed satin chair covers or metallic pull bows, use silver accents on the tables from a large frame to house the eveningís menu to small frames with a photo of the bride and groom as a take home favor. If crystal toasting glasses at each table are not possible, try trumpet toasting flutes accented with platinum finished rims for the bridal party only. Instead of an expensive centerpiece, try using carnations, roses, and greenery in centerpieces or use flowers that are in season or try a cluster of elegant tea candles surrounded by a sprinkling of rose petals as an alternative to a traditional centerpiece.

Fancy a Theme Wedding?
If youíre dreaming of an Italian or beach wedding but arenít reaching for your passport, you can create the style and feeling of a destination or theme wedding without traveling far from your own neighborhood by selecting accessories, food, flowers and colors reminiscent of the locale you love.

Instead of a reception in a medieval Italian town and castle, you can hold your reception in a mansion or historical home. Select a menu with Italian favorites like antipasto, pasta or pizza station, desserts like cannolis or tiramisu and a selection of wines. Italy is known for its beautiful landscape so play up that feature with Italian floral vine accents on the wedding accessories. Fill the room with the scents and sights of Italy using fresh flowers like sunflowers and climbing plants like bougainvillea with votive candles for a romantic glow. And if Italian singer Andrea Bocelli canít perform live at your wedding reception, donít worry, a few of his songs played by your wedding DJ helps conjure up images of the love and romance associated with Italy. All these details help to create the mood of an expensive Italian wedding without a big price tag.

Beach theme weddings also can be accomplished affordably with or without actually heading to the shore. Whether youíre traveling to the Caribbean or Fiji Islands for a seaside wedding or holding the wedding at a local marina or lakefront restaurant, you can create a professional look by having tents on the beach or a ballroom with a tented ceiling of neutral muslin, fabric draped on the walls and aqua accessories for a cool ocean inspired feel. Instead of expensive tropical centerpieces with anthuriums, orchids and gingers, seashell flower baskets filled with sand and shells or large banana leaves and a single exotic flower like a bird of paradise are a cost effective and similarly dramatic alternative. A simple shell and ribbon trimmed pillar candle is another fun centerpiece for a beach or tropical wedding. Using shell and sand accented accessories for an organic, high-end look are just a few of the designer inspired details you can do yourself that turn an ordinary wedding into an extraordinary one.

Donít let a limited budget limit you from designing the high-end wedding of your dreams. Focus on recreating one particular high-end element of a wedding for a show-stopping statement of your savvy style.

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