To deco a wedding can be easy or tricky, cheap or expensive. It all depends on your theme and budget. And you both, unless you are in charge, needs to agree on the theme.
There are always cheap ways - Ebay is one of them who have helped me to get decos cheaper.
Also various dollar stores around the world etc. And NO I did not travel the world to visit dollar/cheap stores, they just appeared as I traveled.
Some of them... Søstrerne Grene in Denmark, TGR and Lagerhaus in Sweden, 100 yen shops (Daiso/CanDo,Seria) and Tokyu hands in Japan were AMAZING!! And Korean online shopping mall Gmarket.
Honestly, breaking down items and costs I will take photo booth prop as an example, you will use them once, and that time only (at least me). On ebay you can find props for 1-2 USD and free shipping. Or you can go to a local store and pay 6-10 USD. They look the same, you can find a million of different kinds. You have months away until the actual day.
Where would you purchase them?
For us going over our budget and the different costs, when it came to decorations we felt wanted something simple and a bit old as our wedding is held at a mansion. Also, I didn't feel like spending thousands of dollars on the stuff I will NEVER reuse, I think we spend enough..lol
Things like that - balloons, photo booth prop, tissue paper pom poms. Instead we put money on a nice guestbook, nice clothes, shoes etc. But for every wedding it's up to each couple.
Wedding theme vs deco
You chosen theme - this theme can be simple or it can add to overall expenses.
photo booth, balloons, garlands, candy bar, flowers, invitation cards, thank you cards, guestbook, presents for quests, food, drinks, cake, live music.
You can go low or over the top. But unless you have the money, DO NOT go over top.
A loan for wedding deco or reception is not worth it. A loan for a house or car, YES.
Or even, spend extra to go on an expensive honeymoon.
I bet no matter what, you will have a great time with the ones you love. with an invitation card for 200 USD each or 3 USD each!!
Anyway stick to what fits you.
Do not compare with celebrities or your friends.
Do YOUR thing.
Way to keep a track of your expenses
Prioritize your costs, I made a excel spread sheet with all costs, also proposed cost.
This to easier calculate all expenses. And also get a feeling for what's worth it.
E.g. In the beginning I was like, let's print our own tissue napkins. But looking at EVERYTHING else needed, those napkins which people will just wipe and go, I decided not to.
Instead we decided to get presents to our guests. Not candy as many. I will have a small candy bar.
But not to give it out, I won't share before we have had the wedding.
Still for us, this was slightly more expensive than napkins, but I also cut cost on accessories. So in a way it was even and it felt really really good. To be able to give something to the guests that's not expected is fun and I hope people will like it ^^
Table deco, lighting
All in gold..?
Lots of candles
Paper tissue pom poms