This is what we started with. A pretty small and plain room, but we had grand ideas.
We started with creating a false roof using palm leaves from my garden and tying them with string and using tape to stick them to the roof here and there.
Next we hung fabric around the room.
Then it was just a matter of tables, chair covers and room decorations.
These are the centre pieces. The baskets were $22.95. We lined them with a bird of paradise leaf, sprinkled with white rocks and a few river pebbles, added the balls, then flowers. Total cost for the 3 tables and the bridal table was $155.
Behind the bridal table we set up a garden arch, covered it with organza and satin. Tied some frangipani's on, then taped on the bird of paradise flowers. It was more effective in the room than this picture.
Around the room in various places we put these vases with lilies and various greenery from my mother in laws garden. The vases were a bargain, marked down to clear, then I managed to buy them when all vases in store were 25% off, so they were reduced even more.
The tablecloths were borrowed from our church. The cutlery and crockery were bought on sale, as well as the glasses. We actually got given some plain glasses from my mother in law, so alternated these with the green ones I got on sale, so my sister would have 2 different sets of glasses.
The fabric hanging behind was bought from Spotlight, and worked out cheaper than we thought.
Behind the food table we placed bamboo fencing from the hardware store. The table cloths for the food tables were given to us from my sister in law.
As you can see, once set up the room looked VERY different. The chair covers were hired, but you can buy them pretty cheap on eBay. If you happen to buy them, you have the option of re-selling or hiring them out to others. Either way, it works out cheap, as you can recoup some of the costs.
The reception break-down worked like this...
Palm leaves - Free from my garden
String - $2
Chair over hire - $175
Centre pieces - $155
Plates - $95 (actually they were white dinner sets, enough to seat 24 people.)
Glasses - $54.32 for the green ones, the clear ones were free.
Bamboo Fencing - $40
Arch - $6
Fake flowers - $46
Fabric - $178
White vases - $92
Cutlery - $75
Serving platters - $40
So we did it for under $1,000. We could have hired instead of buying, we could have bought cheaper glasses, but I knew my sister would really love the ones we got. But this goes to show you don't need to spend a fortune to have a great reception.