When Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck tied the knot in front of family and friends in Georgia, their theme ignited the Hollywood glamour renaissance. The event boasted crystal chandeliers, lush flower arrangements, glowing candles, lavish tablescapes, and of course, fireworks! Once photos from the nuptials were released, couples around the world started adding them to their inspiration boards to plan their own glamorous affair.
But most clients don’t have Jennifer-type funds to pull this off, so how can wedding and event pros make their wedding dreams come true without breaking the bank? We asked Aisle Planner pros to share their tips on bringing glamour to a wedding regardless of budget.
Take a Close Look at the Guest Count
It might be hard for couples to get ruthless with their guest list, but as Skylar Caitlin of Chancey Charm Weddings points out, it has the largest impact on your wedding budget. After all, more family and friends in attendance means more food and beverage, as well as more paper goods, more rentals, more centerpieces, and so on. “Cutting down on the number of guests will allow more opportunity to create the glamorous wedding of your clients’ dreams,” explains Caitlin.
Book an Off-Peak Date
Naturally picking an off-peak date is going to save the couple money. Wednesday vs. Saturday are two very different price points. This—and possibly finding a newly launched venue trying to attract business and fill their first year or two—can be a great way to make big budget cuts, says Jacqueline Vizcaino of Tinted Events.
Consider an all-inclusive destination wedding, which can be much more affordable than a traditional wedding in the states. Not only are all meals, drinks, and entertainment included in your accommodations package, but everything needed for the big day will be bundled into one affordable price, notes Jen Avey of Destination Weddings Travel Group.
Make a Priority List
Sit down with your couples and figure out what their non-negotiables are when it comes to the wedding, says Avey. For example, if elaborate floral arrangements are a top priority for them, but they’re willing to have a basic photo package, that will help plan the budget accordingly. Be sure to revisit the list and rearrange things based on how things are going.
Focus on the Lighting
Don’t underestimate the power of lighting to transform any space into something spectacular—and it gives a huge bang for your buck, says Mariah McKenchie of Northland Special Events. If couples want glamour, you can guarantee that beautiful hanging lights and a plethora of candles will make for the most up-scale and romantic experience.
Choose a Few “Wow” Moments
Instead of trying to go over the top in all categories, focus on three areas as focal points where your couples can splurge. “Some of my favorite places to make a glamorous statement are the head table (or sweetheart table), the cake display, and the dance floor,” explains Caitlin. “Choosing focal points will help you maximize visual impact, as well as your budget.”
Pay Attention to the Details
A true mark of an over-the-top wedding is detail. McKenchie suggests creating a monogram in a graphic design program like Canva and putting it everywhere! “The cohesion and consistency of the monogram will bring a sense of elegance and thoughtfulness to the wedding in many areas,” she explains.
Don’t Forget About the Guest Experience
An A-list experience is a great way to bring the "Hollywood glamour" to any wedding day, says Caitlin. Make the dress code black-tie and think about entertainment ideas that will delight guests and make them feel like stars, such as dynamic 360 video booths and fashion illustrators who capture guests' looks in real-time. Don't forget that a live band that is dressed in their best black-tie attire will immerse your guests and be a perfect finishing touch!
Hero photo courtesy of Esther Griffin Photography