Since Pinterest made it’s debut in 2010, I don’t know many couples who haven’t presented me with a vast Pinterest board bursting with beautifully styled images of unique and amazing over the top weddings. The number of requests I have received for unique and custom features that are considered “mandatory” by a couple is outrageous. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. We all want our wedding day to be the most spectacular day of our lives. And for most of us, it’s the biggest party we’ll ever throw so we want it to be perfect.

But, achieving what you see in most Pinterest images can be a little more difficult than you think. Often times, the images with the most re-pins are from big budget weddings or styled shoots making certain aspects of the inspiration image unachievable in the average setting.

**Side Note: For those who don’t know, styled shoots are typically produced by a team of wedding pros for promotional purposes only. They feature each participating vendor’s best offerings and are usually set to display as many products as possible in a editorial setting. Rarely is what you see in a styled shoot achievable in that exact way when you are dealing with a bunch of moving parts and 100+ guests.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use those images to inspire certain aspects of your wedding in a way that fits your theme, budget, and venue. Here’s my top 5 tips for bringing your Pinspiration to life without blowing your budget.

Tip #1: Rank Your Top Details: Review your favorite images and rank the details in order of most important to you. Is it more important that you have a bonfire with s’mores bar at your fall wedding or that you offer color coordinated plaid blankets to keep guests warm? Would you rather have custom hand written wood slices at every guests seat or tie burlap bows on every chair? Having these details ranked in order of importance will help you decide which items to cut after you start receiving quotes.

Tip #2: Do Your Research: Talk to your vendors and ask them what they would charge to create each detail. Don’t stop there though. Research online dealers who might be able to provide you with supplies at a lower cost or look to second-hand wedding sites where brides are selling wedding decor used at their own weddings for half the price. Additionally, you can always look to nature for things like wood slices for escort cards at a rustic wedding or palm fronds for centerpieces at a beachside affair. You’ll get the look without having to spend a ton of money.

Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to DIY: Evaluate the special touches you’re looking to add and see if you have the skill level to complete them. If so, practice a few times then give it a go. If you aren’t comfortable with your ability to DIY, ask a friend if they would be willing to help!

Tip #4: Be Patient: If you are looking for large statement pieces like mantles, arm chairs, lounge furniture or specialty tables try to get a quote from a rental company first. After that scour garage sales, Craigslist, and local Facebook sales sites to see what’s available. You may have to be patient and check daily, but you might be able to find pieces at less than the rental cost. They may need a little TLC and a coat of paint, but if you’re willing to do the work, you can achieve the look your after and not blow the budget.

Tip #5: Use Images as Inspiration Only: You may be in love with the images you have seen from a recent wedding but an exact replica may be out of budget. So, let the images you love simply serve as inspiration. For example, if you love cascading garland and flowers as a table runner on guest tables but it’s out of budget to do it on every table, consider doing on just your sweetheart table or see if your florist can create a hanging version to go on the front of your cake table. Or if you imagine customized wood chargers personalized at each guests seat to serve as an escort card, maybe use a round wood cutting board as your cake stand or under your centerpieces. Taking those images and translating them into something achievable within your budget will give you the overall look you are after.

Hopefully these tips will help you bring your dream vision to life and give you the wedding you’ve always wanted!