Just wondering if anyone had some creative ideas for favors, centerpieces, or some great catering recipes that I could use? My budget isn't very big and I'd like to do a lot myself.
You could just use the attendents' bouquets as the centerpieces. I had silk flowers at my wedding, and that's what I did. For favors, I just had a single stem tulip. We had ribbon printed with our names and date and tied it to the tulip (it was a spring wedding- barely). I also used silk flowers for the wedding cake- my mom decorated a nice but simple cake with the flowers, which I still have (it's been 14 years). Since we were buying so much silk flowers, we went to a wholesale place and got them for relatively inexpensive. Then my aunt, who used to be a floral designer, showed us how to make the bouquets and boutineers for the men. We also made the pew decorations for the church. We had appointed someone to take all the flowers out of the church and tranport them to the reception site. Then all they had to do was place the flowers in the center of each table.
I don't have any recipes for you. We used the American Legion hall and they took care of all the food. It was nice, not very expensive, and gave us one less thing to do.
It is great to do as much as you can yourself, just don't try to do anything on the wedding day. You will be so involved with what you need to do as the bride that you won't have time to spend in the kitchen or doing the decorating. If you have dependable family and friends to help, that is great. Otherwise, you may need to hire some services. When the day ends, you will be glad you did.
Pop over to the cooking forum. There are folks who have catered, and also have a collection of tried and true recipes for large groups. They are very friendly and will give you all sorts of help. Just give a basic outline of what you are looking for. There are old threads about nibbles, heavy or light, how much wine needed for different size groups -- lots of information.
Something I saw the other day at TJMaxx, was some lovely cake plates. They were white and offwhite in the same design. Very delicate loopy trim on the edge of the plate, for $16 each. I have seen and heard about brides having table cakes and using those for decorations. I also thought, with a hurricane sleeve and pillar candle with some flowers around the base of the hurricane sleeve and a few scattered at the base of the cake plate, they would look great for a centerpiece.
Save money, time, and effort by skipping party favors altogether. You really don't need them -- this is a wedding, not a child's birthday party, after all. I rarely see them at weddings in my community.
Centerpieces don't have to be flowers. I think you can probably get perfectly nice but inexpensive pillar candles and put them on doilies, colored fabric scraps, or greenery for a pretty effect. Bowls of fruit, like oranges, perhaps with a few flowers or leaves tucked in, look pretty, and you can use or donate the fruit later. I do like meghane's suggestion of bridesmaids' bouquets, if you have enough. susan_in_nc's suggestion of dessert plates as centerpieces is smart, too. If you have a pretty plate of cookies or little cakes or something in the middle, that lets you use the same money for dessert and for centerpiece.
I saw some great and affordable favor ideas on this website http://www.2-be-unique.com
Check it out, I am sure you will find something interesting.
Here is a link that might be useful: 2-be-unique Bridal Jewelry and Accessories