“Budget” does not mean “low end” (or “less memorable”)

No doubt you’ve seen numerous articles lately about hosting a wedding a lower budget courtesy of the recession. And you may even be a bride who’s either considering delaying the Big Day, or seriously cutting back.

Before biting the bullet and asking friends and family who may have already booked travel to postpone the trip until the economy turns around, get creative and find ways to carry off your dream day without all the frills.This article from Globe Investor is a good start.

At the Silverthorne Pavilion, we pride ourselves on being one of Summit County’s most affordable event venues. Because we’re owned and operated by the Town of Silverthorne, we’re able to keep our site fees considerably lower than our privately owned and resort neighbors. We also have numerous ways to help you save on the details:

Spare the cost of a DJ. Program your MP3 player or computer with playlists for the ceremony, cocktail reception and dancing and we’ll plug it in to our house sound system – for free. Designate one of the more out-going groomsmen to make logistical announcements and to keep the party movin’, and save anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars.

Downsize your centerpieces. At the Pavilion, we have a closet stuffed with materials to construct centerpieces…floating bowls, bud vases, cylanders in three sizes, rustic chargers, mirrors, river rocks, glass beads and much more.  All are yours to use free of charge. Make a run to Whole Foods or some such grocer with a robust floral department, pick up gerber daisies in your colors, and put some volunteers to work snipping flowers into the floating bowls, or assembling simple arrangements. Cost savings over using a florist: several hundred dollars.

centerpiece _county garden
An example of centerpieces done using some of our vase collection.
A more rustic approach to centerpieces using our chargers and river rocks.
A more rustic approach to centerpieces using our chargers and river rocks.

Use ribbons, not linens, for color. Linens in the exact shade of your brides maids’ dresses cost more to rent than white or cream (we discovered this tidbit while renting linens for one of our comedy nights). Go for the cream, and then visit your local party store to pick up ribbon in your colors to wrap around chairs and the bases of cabaret tables. Trust us – it’ll work, and it’ll cut your linen costs in half.

Skip the chair covers. And, speaking of linens, skip the chair covers. Every time we assist with chair covers, we stand back after the last sash is tied and admire how wonderful the room looks. Then we open the doors to guests…Men throw their jackets over the backs of the chairs, purses get slung either on the chairs or set on the table, and the effect is ruined. Remember that your guests are there to celebrate this life moment with you…No one’s going to remember tomorrow that you had chair covers, much less that the sashes matched the flowers and were finished with a cute little pin. Go simple, and save roughly $3 per chair.

Establish a firm budget for food and beverages. We see more and more weddings these days hosting either a cash bar, or selecting a certain time frame to host alcoholic beverages (say, during cocktail hour only). Establish what you’re comfortable spending on food and beverages, and work with your caterer and bar – let them help you! And if it turns out that you run short for tray-passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour, pick up some cheese / cracker / fruit trays from the local grocer. At the Silverthorne Pavilion you’re welcome to use the caterer of your choice, or self-cater, so there’s a wide range of options available to help stay within the budget you’ve allocated for food.

We’ve seen weddings of all sizes and all scopes. But we have yet to see one done on a conservative budget that can’t rival its higher-spending counterparts. So go through your check list and find the ways you can save without sacrificing the memory. Want more ideas for ways to save with the Silverthorne Pavilion? Call us! 970-262-7396.

~Christine

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