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Who Knew Tulle Could Make Your Wedding Cheaper? Not Me.

04/16/2015 04:38 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2015

Can we talk? Since I lend a helping hand to personal finance bloggers and welcome their guest posts on my site, I typically get bombarded by submissions like how to lower the cost of trimming your nose hairs, how to hitchhike for less, or some other general bullshit article.

But this article by Kelli Clevenger really caught my attention because, to be honest, I had no fucking clue what tulle was. And now I do. I learned something and for me that's the mark of a great article. In fact I now know more about tulle than I probably need to.

So before you jump into the tulle pool below you need to know tulle is a decorative lace, mesh, or very fine netting which you can buy at most hobby stores. It comes in a variety of colors and various textures. And yes, it is inexpensive. Who knew?

12 Ways Tulle Can Reduce the Cost of Your Wedding

You're over budget. Your summer wedding is around the corner. Staying within a budget is stressful, and decorating is costly. What can you do? You need a helpful, economical plan. Curb the worries by incorporating tulle, a great decorating resource that's been around for years. DIY brides love its versatility and value. Even for the novice decorator, tulle is easy to find and use; it can even replace many other expensive items. A recent survey by The Knot reveals the typical cost of a wedding averages $30k. Ouch. Creative ideas can help lower your budget.

According to Merriam-Webster, tulle originated in France around 1818. It's popular for its versatility, low cost, and choice of sizes and colors. It's available in small spools or large bolts; the bolt gives you more bang for your buck. Tulle is thin fabric netting that's economical and beautiful; the versatility is only limited by your creativity. Try the following tips for decorating options:

  1. Decorate columns and lampposts with tulle. Tie tulle around each one and then place a flower in the top where it's tied. The flower adds a finishing touch and conceals the knot.
  2. Decorate church pews with tulle. Tie pieces around the top of each pew; allow it to graze the floor. Stuff the top with a small bouquet or single flower. If there are numerous pews, save by decorating only the family pews. For another look, tulle can be gracefully draped from one pew to the next.
  3. Tulle can be used to form an archway; it's easy to measure, cut, and design. This works well for entry areas and doors. You can even make a simple arch for an outdoor wedding.
  4. Adorn mantels and tabletops with tulle. Place candles or photos on top for a lovely look. Fold tulle to form a runner for the wedding party table; top it with candles or flower arrangements for a stunning look. Make sure to fold the edges under for a finished look and to prevent guests from tripping
  5. Cover unsightly tables with tulle. This hides items that don't match or are in need of repair.
  6. Cover small cocktail tables with tulle and secure with tulle or ribbon. Don't allow excess under the table; you don't want a guest to trip.
  7. Pergola and trellis structures are beautiful decorated with tulle.
  8. Use pieces of tulle to add color to flower arrangements; stuff a small piece around the top of the vase, at the base of the flowers. This is especially useful when trying to tie in an unusual color.
  9. Wrap bunches of tulle with battery-powered lights and then stuff into glass vases. Top them with a foam based flower design. This looks beautiful in large floor vases or smaller tabletop vases. Tip: Make sure to hide the battery pack in the tulle.
  10. Embellish ceilings by draping tulle from lights. If hooks are available, or allowed, tenting can be designed to get the look of "clouds." Just be careful when hanging tulle in high places; safety is top priority for you and your guests. Tip: Check with venue management to see what is permitted for hanging purposes; abide by management rules to prevent fines or eviction.
  11. Stair railings and handrails are easily adorned with tulle.
  12. Instead of buying/renting chair sashes, cut pieces of tulle to tie around reception chairs. You can knot it and let it gracefully touch the floor. If desired, add a flower at the knot for more elegance.

Since some decorating ideas require lots of tulle, do your research. It's easy to find great prices on bulk amounts. If you're uncertain about color, ask for a small sample before ordering massive amounts. This requires early planning to allow for ample shipping and return times.

When decorating with tulle, ideas are endless and easily achievable. With a little creativity, it can be thrifty and fun. With many decorating options, you can enjoy the beauty, versatility, and low-cost features of tulle without straining your budget. Your guests will only think you spent a fortune.

Kelli is a freelance writer who lives on a small horse farm in the North Carolina foothills. She lives with her husband, horses, dogs, and bossy cat. Her hobby is saving money. Visit TheDollarStretcher.com for 13 more ways to have a dream wedding for less.

This article by Kelli H. Clevenger first appeared on The Dollar Stretcher and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.