Wedding Budget Wendsday: Use What You Love

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

This blackberry gin fizz recipe from Martha Stewart Weddings was what first gave me the idea to incorporate blackberries into our wedding. Basically my thinking went like this. “Blackberries… yummmmm. Mint… yummmm. You know where you can get the best blackberries and mint? August in the Bay Area. Hey! That’s handy!” Now we are probably not going to serve this drink, because no one needs gin in the morning (not for any good reason). But we will incorporate blackberries and mint in other ways.

I’ve been thinking lately that the best way to make a wedding budget friendly, and ecologically friendly to boot, is to have your wedding in a place that you love. Whether your venue is a park, a cathedral, or someones home, you shouldn’t have to do a ton of decorating, since you don’t want to cover up why you like it in the first place. (Much like your partner, right? But that’s another post.) We really love the Bay Area, so we are working to incorporate in-season fruits, vegetables, and flowers into the wedding. There is no real point in having lilies shipped across the world, when we can use pink jasmine, and then every summer, when the jasmine blooms, it will remind us of our wedding day.

I know this is a bit easier for us, since we are having our wedding in California in the summer. What isn’t in season? But I think you can apply this rule in very different situations. My parents got married in a Cathedral in San Francisco in the middle of the winter. They didn’t decorate the Cathedral much, since it was stunning on its own, and my Mom had holly and ivy in her bouquet, in-season winter plants.

How are you going to use your weddings location to inspire the decor (and save you money)?

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit #NASTY

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  • I found that arrangement with blackberries! I think I have another one cut out somewhere too –

  • Are you having a morning wedding, too? One nice thing about blackberries and mint is that they smell amazing! You could save some money by doing a small cake (or none at all) and serving blackberry pie/cobbler and mint gelato/ice cream/sorbet for dessert. Plus the deep plum and green would be gorgeous colors. I think Kathryn at S&I; should do a board on this!

  • I disagree with your comment about morning gin. Apparently your job isn’t working you hard enough.

  • Ha!! I too would totally serve the gin fizz at the reception…. you know the saying, “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” ;-)

    That is such a lovely thought about the jasmine – that whenever you smell it, it will remind you of your wedding! That’s beautiful! Unfortunately, we are getting married in the fall, so we are using lots of candles. I guess we could use a few scented ones at the ceremony…. but I wouldn’t want to gag people. But our location is historic and beautiful, so that’s why we’re going with candles. It doesn’t need a bunch of decoration – it has beautiful details already. That,and candles are less expensive!

  • p.s. I f’n love the mason jar. Would cocktails AND candles in mason jars be too much? I think I have to choose. (Damn you Martha!) I don’t want anyone to drink a candle by accident :O

  • I used this bb gin fizz in the jam jars last summer for my camp wedding. I greeted the guests with strawberry lemonade, ice tea and the bb gin fiz. It was yummy. I found the jam jars at big lots for a really good price and now I have jam jars for a long time. I did also used the quart mason size for my dahlia arrangements. We had long cafeteria tables and decorated them with cream cloths, a bright table runner, a candleabra in the middle and two dahlia arrangements on each side of the candleabra. My mom spent almost two years buying the shabby chic candleabra’s on ebay and the whole thing looked so good. I also had tealights on the table. I don’t know if tealights in the jam jars would be too much. They do make the tiny jam jars that would be so cute for tealights. The tiny jars would also make cute favors filled with blackberry jam or what ever summer fruit jam you like. I like what you said about not doing so much decorating that you cover up what was special about the place you chose. I also turned the whole day upside down. We had drinks, dinner, desert, ceremony, cupcakes, dancing and s’mores. It just worked for us. Happy planning.

  • nwmom, thanks for the advice. (It sounds like your wedding was gorgeous!)

  • We had an outdoor wedding (at the end of May in VT) on my favorite rocky beach, in a park we both love, with the backdrop of the town and lake we both love. It saved us so much money, and suited us perfectly.

    • meg

      Reading the archives this Saturday, lady? Love this trail of comments from the way way back.