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Weddings are expensive. Seriously, incredibly and unnecessarily expensive. If you fail to closely manage your wants, needs and budget, you will start your happily ever after with some massive credit card debt.

Wedding decor is one of the most effective areas to search for potential cost savings. I had to get creative with several aspects of my wedding decor in order to keep our costs down. There is a wealth of DIY projects out there for anyone with the slightest creative inclination. Arts and crafts aren’t your thing? What about introducing some personality to your venue by decorating the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling.

We hosted the dinner portion of our wedding in the Carriage House at our venue, Rosemont Manor. The space had wooden floors, dark brown wood walls and the most beautiful white rafters. The open space was perfect for our wedding, but I knew I needed to add something to soften the space and jazz it up a bit.

The Carriage House at Rosemont Manor. Photo courtesy of Rosemont Manor.

Since I didn’t have a wedding planner, coordinating any type of draping or additional lighting would be a huge hassle – and more than likely cost a fortune. So, armed with a $200 budget, I invested in an assortment of white and off-white lanterns in 3 different sizes from online decor site Luna Bazaar and some clear fishing wire, and with the help of my in-laws, MOH and mom, created this:

Photo courtesy of Paul Morse

I purchased 100 lanterns in varying size and used the fishing wire to string the lights through the rafters. It took a few hours, but was well worth it considering the end result and the cost-effectiveness! Luna Bazaar offers all sizes, types and colors of lanterns, paper, plastic and metal. I stuck with the neutral colors since I chose colored linens and flowers.

Last week, I came across this gorgeous picture on Style Me Pretty which used paper poms instead of lanterns, which are another cost-effective decor option.

Image from Style Me Pretty by Jon Schaaf Photography

These colored paper poms add some warmth to an otherwise stark, white space. They add just enough color, depth and femininity to create a perfectly romantic ambiance and are significantly cheaper than some other decor alternatives. It is amazing to see how much simple, tasteful decorations can add to a wedding. Budget-friendly doesn’t have to mean cheap!

This is just one idea to save yourself some cash without sacrificing on your wedding style. I’ll be posting more of my “DIY” wedding projects in the future, so check back soon or if you have questions, comment below!