Five Tips to Create Elegance on Any Budget

Drinks, flowers and a jazz music.
Colin Miller

Fewer funds don’t have to equal a less elegant wedding. By making thoughtful choices on key aspects of your wedding, you'll find bliss on any budget.

Here are our top five tips:

1. Instead of skimping on 10 items, splurge on five. Make a list of everything you want at your wedding. Then, figure out what's most important to you and toss out the rest.

Instead of having a formally seated dinner reception with a live band and dance floor, for example, you could opt for a chic cocktail party with a jazz trio and tasty hors d'oeuvres.

2. Keep the guest list small and have a small bridal party. It may be tough to whittle down the list, but do you really need to invite your childhood babysitter?

3. There's no law that invitations must be engraved or professionally printed. If you have artistic talent (or an artistic friend), design and print them yourself.

Experiment with combining an unexpected computer font with distinctive textured or colored paper you've found in a stationery store or art supply shop.

You could even think beyond the traditional invitation and experiment with vintage post cards or mimic a fine art piece (à la American Gothic).

4. When shopping for your wedding or bridesmaid dresses, don't limit yourself to bridal salons. A great alternative could be waiting at your favorite department store or vintage clothing shop.

To create a more personal look that will truly feel like you, add special touches like a chiffon or velvet wrap, a veil, jewelry or gloves.

5. Feel free to avoid big "wedding" bands to save on entertainment costs. They tend to be pricey and play old standards your guests will have heard at 20 other weddings.

Consider a smaller, more unusual group based on your musical tastes (like a swing band or R&B group). You could also ask a music-loving friend to act as your DJ instead of giving a traditional present, or make your own playlists using all your favorite songs.

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