Ceremony Items You Can Repurpose to Reception
We all know that weddings can be expensive. Every little things really starts to add up and I have a lot of brides who ask me to think of ways to cut back on costs. I always try to educate my brides on the areas in which they should be prepared to spend and give advice on budget planning, but one easy way to save money is taking some of your ceremony decor items and repurposing them at your reception.
This is the best of both worlds - you can invest in beautiful and high quality things, but instead of doing it twice for ceremony and reception, you just have your planner move it and utilize it again. Here are some things that work best for this:
Did you secure an amazing ceremony backdrop such as a flower wall, draping, arches, etc.? I love when couples invest in something amazing to get married in front of and I love it even more when they want to transition it to the reception. You could use this backdrop as a photo booth backdrop for guests to use for photos or a sweetheart table or dessert table backdrop to add another decor element to your reception. This is going to let you use that item for longer than your 20 minute ceremony and really help spread that cost out.
Guest Book Table:
If you have a guest book table at your ceremony, especially if it is unique and a conversation starter, have this moved over into your reception as well. Many guests won't have the opportunity to sign it before the ceremony so they get a second chance to do so, but it also gives them an "activity" during the reception. Guests will make their way over to the guest book and talk about the unique idea you had or sign it or bring other guests over to sign it. Keeps people up and moving and having something to do if they aren't big dancers. It seems like a small "activity" but you'd be surprised how many people like signing and documenting their presence. This also adds another decor element, so if there is a place that seems empty, place the guest book table there. Also, consider this being a good area to add a card box and gift table. & if your guest book is something unique you can use it as home decor. The picture to the right is actually my Guest Book from our wedding and it is hanging right by our front door!
This one I have different thoughts on and only suggest this in certain cases. If you are renting chairs for your ceremony and reception and those areas are close to each other, rather than rent 100 chairs for ceremony and 100 for reception, just rent 100 and have your planner and rental company move them during the cocktail hour. This can be a really big money saver. However, I don't suggest doing this if your ceremony and reception locations are not close by or there are major obstacles such as stairs or hills. If you decide to repurpose the chairs, you might have to pay a charge for the transition, but it will be a lower cost than renting double the chairs. Talk with your planner and rental company about this scenario and how it will work with your chosen venue.
I always encourage my couples to really make sure they are really valuing the affect of great flowers at their wedding. Florals can take a wedding to a different level - I truly mean that. Ask your florist to leave a few extra vases with just water and take your bouquet and bridesmaids bouquets and add them to your sweetheart table, seating chart table, dessert table, guest book table, etc. Have your florist make some amazing centerpieces for your guests dinner tables but then repurpose those bouquets in some other areas to spruce it up. Often times couples don't think about adding flowers to these extra tables, but if you use your bouquets there you are just adding that much more beauty to the table.