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Glamour on a Budget

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2008

Whether you're angling for all-out extravagance or looking to add just a dash of drama, there's no reason you can't make your wedding into a swanky affair. We asked New York City wedding planner Michelle Rago for tips on turning up the glamour -- no matter your budget.

Tips for a Glamorous Wedding on a Budget
1. A monochromatic color scheme ups the glam quotient. Try a bold, bright hue like red to make a major statement.

2. Don't have the budget for full-on chair covers? Weave wide grosgrain ribbon through the backs of reception chairs for a softer, polished look.

3. All it takes is one standout glass to make a specialty cocktail, well, special. Ditto the glassware on the reception tables. Choose a rental company with lots of options, and add a colored glass to each place setting as an easy way to bring depth to your tablescape.

4. Give out-of-town guests a little goodnight treat by arranging for hotel staff to leave a small token on their pillows each night of their stay.

5. Take a cue from the silver screen with dramatic black-and-white photography. Black-and-white shots make everything -- and everyone -- appear more chic.

For even more inspiration, see the Spring 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, where the following ideas appeared.

6. Bring on the bubbly! After all, nothing says festive like Champagne. And it can serve a dual purpose, too: A vintage wine bucket with a bottle of the French fizz can make an inexpensive centerpiece, and a tower of coupe glasses lends drama.

7. Let balloons rise to the occasion as a simple yet stylish way to fill a big space. The secret to a grown-up look? A simple color palette. Attach them to ribbons to make garlands for the ceiling.

8. What could be sweeter than confections that sparkle? Dim the lights, then fire up the night by topping cakes and other desserts with sparklers.

9. If you have the budget, do away with the deejay and opt instead for a live band to give your party a spontaneity that can't be bought with canned music.

10. Bid farewell in style with a candlelit path leading from the reception site. It lends just the right amount of romance, and simple glass containers holding candles are affordable as well as safe.

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