Spruce Mountian Ranch

9 Tips for Weddings on a Budget

Spruce Mountain Ranch, Larkspur CO

Budgets are a must when it comes to wedding planning. At Spruce Mountain we keep this at the forefront of our mind. We are here to help our couples achieve the wedding of their dreams, while simultaneously respecting a couple’s budget. We have taken major steps to make sure that our venue is accessible for most price points.  Here are 9 of our top tips to make sure you stay on budget and still have your ideal wedding at Spruce Mountain.


Photo Credit: Elevate Photography

1.   Select an off-season day/date: Nothing says Colorado like a perfect winter wedding. Did you know that having your wedding during the off-season is a great way to save?  At Spruce Mountain, we offer discounted rates for weddings between the months of November and March. One of the most spectacular things about having a winter wedding at Spruce Mountain is our weather.  Spruce Mountain is located in Larkspur, Colorado, which receives an average of 247 days of sunshine per year. With all of this sunshine, the option of an outdoor winter wedding is a possibility. Also, in the event of inclement weather, our venue is able to accommodate an indoor wedding seamlessly.  If a winter wedding is not your first choice, but you still are looking to save money, you have some other options. If you have your wedding Monday thru Thursday, you can save thousands. The great thing about having a wedding during the week is that travel rates and accommodation options for your guests will also be reduced. Another benefit of picking an off-season date or a date during the week is that vendors offer discounted packages during these times. With discounts coming from Spruce Mountain, flights, hotels, and vendors, imagine how much money you could save just by picking an off-season date or weekday.


2.   Select the right caterer for your budget: One huge benefit of choosing to have your wedding at Spruce Mountain is the ability to choose between eight different caterers. Most venues will lock you into one caterer, which means you’re prevented from shopping caterers and searching for the best deal. Spruce Mountain gives you the ability to choose the best caterer for your budget. Once you find your caterer, you can even save more money by selecting the right food style. We suggest you do a buffet rather than a plated meal. Your guests will love the option of a buffet because it gives them the option to try different entrees. Typically your guests can eat more with a buffet - seconds anyone? If you are having a wedding that is a bit more casual we think a BBQ would be the perfect meal to serve at Spruce Mountain. We are a cattle ranch after all! Lastly, if you are really looking to keep your food budget low we suggest having your wedding earlier in the day. This gives you the ability to do a breakfast or a brunch. Breakfast food is the most cost effective. If you do decide to go with breakfast food you can get creative with your menu. Waffles, French Toast, Pancakes - your options are endless. You can also include a coffee or tea bar.


Photo Credit: Carrie King Photography

3.   Save money on rentals:  If you decide to pick a casual meal, you can swap out china for a high grade plastic. Ask your caterer to give you a few options to choose from. Another way to save money is by purchasing your own linens, and then resell them. You can buy your own linens for around $6, compared to the average rental price of $18-30 per linen. This cuts your cost at least in half! Plus, you can get back most of what you spent when you resell them.


Photo Credit: TH Entertainment 

4.   Select a DJ instead of a band: Rather than hiring a band to come play at your wedding, find a DJ that you love. Selecting a DJ is a great way to make sure that every one of your favorite songs is played throughout the night. A great DJ will also help get your guests up and out of their seats and dancing. If you like, you can also let your guests request songs, as well.


5.   Use Spruce Mountain’s vendor recommendations:  We are here to help you! We love seeing our couples’ wedding dreams come to life. We have helped plan numerous weddings at our venue, so we know which vendors are most familiar with Spruce Mountain, qualified, and are within your budget. Let us know what vendors you are looking for and what your budget is, and leave the rest to us! We will make sure we find the perfect match for you, so let us take some stress off your plate.


Photo Credit: Carrie King Photography

6.   Save money on your bar: At Spruce Mountain we are always looking for ways to make our venue more cost effective for our clients. This is the main reason Spruce Mountain has elected not to have a liquor license. All of our bars at Spruce Mountain are managed by Peak Beverage. We want our clients to have the most inexpensive option for purchasing and serving alcohol and not have to sacrifice a thing. That’s why we love Peak Beverage. Venues that have liquor licenses generally markup the costs of their alcohol 2-3 times compared to what Peak Beverage charges.  Here is an example to help illustrate how much you will save on your bar at Spruce Mountain:  A venue that has a liquor license will charge you roughly $7,200.00 plus a 20% service charge and 4% tax for a full bar for five hours. Their full bar would include 5 Spirits, 4 Beers, and 4 Wines. NO glassware is included. Glassware will need to be rented, and staffing is also not included. Essentially, you would have to pay an additional $1,480.00 for glassware and staffing.  At Spruce Mountain, our full bar for 5 hours will cost you $3,675.00 (plus 15% service fee, taxes built in). This price includes 7 choices of Spirits, 4 beers, 4 wines, Complimentary Champagne toast, ALL glassware included, and ALL staffing included. (Each example is for a guest count of 150.) If you choose to have your wedding at Spruce Mountain your savings on the bar cost alone could be $3,525.00! That is an incredible savings! You are not only saving money by choosing our venue, but you are also gaining more wine and beer options, as well as more customization options.


Photo Credit: Carrie King Photography

7.   Make your own flower arrangements: Flowers are a huge cost at a wedding, but you can save a ton of money if you opt to make your own flower arrangements. Head over to Pinterest and find a style of arrangement you absolutely love. Then, you can head to a store like Costco and buy your own flowers. You will be surprised by the cost of labor for making a floral arrangement! Another suggestion is to go heavy on the greenery. It’s a very inexpensive way to decorate your tables. A stunning way to elevate simple greenery is with a few flowers and candles. You can purchase extremely inexpensive candle holders on Amazon. If you have a crafty friend or two, you can even enlist their help creating your arrangements. We also encourage you to let people help when they ask. Often times, as the couple getting married, you both will want to be hands-on for most of your planning, but don’t forget that your family and friends will likely be happy to assist you on plenty of other wedding details. Take them up on it when they ask!


Photo Credit: Amy Caroline Photography

8.   The wedding cake: Instead of having a huge wedding cake (that sadly will not get eaten by most people), have a small cake for your cake cutting. Then, have multiple flavors of sheet cake in the kitchen that your caterers can pass out to your guests. This will give your guests a variety of different options to choose from as far as cake flavors go and you will have saved a great deal of money! Another option that we love is to have a beautiful decorated dessert table for your friends and family to contribute to. This is a great way to incorporate some of your favorite family recipes into your wedding. There’s nothing better than your grandma’s famous German Chocolate Cake. Our next option that we suggest is to go to a cupcake shop. A sundae bar would be great, as well. This is a creative way to get your guests up and out of their seats and mingling. Donuts are extremely popular and are inexpensive, as well. Displaying your donuts in a creative way will also add decor without spending a ton of money.


Photo Credit: All Digital Studios


9.   Don’t waste your money on décor: The amazing thing about Spruce Mountain is its natural beauty, perfectly manicured gardens/lawns, and picturesque surroundings. We take a great deal of care making our grounds absolutely perfect for all that come visit our venue. There’s no need to spend a lot of money covering up the natural beauty. Foregoing the decor will also take an unneeded stress off of you. Let your guests enjoy the natural splendor of our venue.


Beautiful weddings at Spruce Mountain don’t have to break the bank. If you have flexibility and creativity, your budget can go a long way. Picking a venue like Spruce Mountain, which is naturally beautiful and has the ability to accommodate off-season weddings, is a great way to stay on budget. If you haven’t already booked your wedding, we would love to give you a tour and help you plan the wedding of your dreams. 

Also, check out our blog The True Cost of a Colorado Wedding to help create your wedding budget!