After attending a wonderful wedding this weekend, it made me remember my own wedding on June 26, 2010. I flipped through photos and remembered the hard, yet fun work I put into the budget friendly wedding. I just hate spending money, simply! Especially when the wedding industry is designed to empty your wallet. I’m sure other brides are looking for budget friendly ideas – so it is a good time to share these easy ideas!
I grew up in Chicagoland. Having a wedding in my hometown would cost A LOT. My husband grew up in a small town with 2 stop lights. Needless to say, we had the wedding in his hometown and saved a lot! The ceremony was in a historic church and the reception was at a pier banquet facility along the Illinois River in East Peoria.
My colors were aqua and red – playing off of the nautical inspiration and summertime spirit.
To sum up my wedding: simple, meaningful and joyful.
We were fortunate to take photos at the Best Man’s childhood home. It was a beautiful, old white farmhouse. It meant a lot to my husband & the Best Man that the photos were taken here. The boys also enjoyed taking photos on the trampoline! The beautiful white dining table on the porch made an excellent setting for photos.
Choose a location that has meaning. It may end up being right in your own back yard, literally. Talk about on the cheap!
Flower Girl Basket
I opted for fake flowers for our almost 3-year-old flower girl. Who knows what would happen to a real flower basket when you hand it to a young child!
I found the white basket at the Goodwill and flowers from Hobby Lobby. For whimsy, I wired aqua buttons into the arrangement. The wired ribbon polished off the look. Easy, lightweight, durable and so cheap!
I made my handsome Groom’s boutonniere, along with the Groomsmen boutonnieres. I got the fake roses from Hobby Lobby for $1 (wait until they’re 50% off). Have you ever seen what guys do with their jackets with fragile flowers pinned on? Fake flowers are much more durable!
Dress & Attire
In 2010, lace wedding dresses were unheard of. I went to every bridal shop and described my look, “All lace. No sequins. No beading. Just lace!” No one had it. Absolutely no one. Then, Kate Middleton happened and now lace is plentiful!
I ended up at a resale bridal boutique. There it was – an all lace dress! It had been worn once, but for a budget friendly, Goodwill-shopper gal like myself: it didn’t matter if it was worn even twice! I spent $550 on the designer lace gown. We had it altered by a local seamstress who did alterations from her home – $80.
The veil was $13 on eBay. I think it was shipped from China, or something. I didn’t care. There were other veils on eBay with more glitz and glamour – worth a check.
Hair & Makeup
My sister-in-law did my carefree hair style. She weaved a bit in the back and curled the rest. It cost me one big hug.
I did my own makeup. No need to go to a make-up artist to lather on foundation.
Not only do I appreciate budget friendly ideas, I also appreciate comfort! I wore Capparros shoes with a vintage look. I got these on eBay for $40. I wore these all day and felt great!
Bridesmaid Dress & Shoes
Not only did I choose budget friendly attire, I wanted my Bridesmaids to choose what they wanted, too. I told them red shoes and an aqua dress. Each showed their own personalities with their choices. I think one Bridesmaid borrowed the red shoes from her sister. No cost!
I collected an array of stemware from the Goodwill and other thrift stores. My rule of thumb was no more than $1 per glass (unless it was an incredible design!). We used 5 glasses per table – you do the math. It was a good deal! Then, I tied aqua ribbons on the stems, put a little sand in each glass and a votive candle (all from Michael’s – use coupons! It’ll take a lot of trips but it is worth the savings!).We didn’t keep much of the stemware. It went back to the Goodwill. I kept a few matching sets, which I now use.
Another meaningful idea: my mom sewed the square placements for the centerpieces. I’m currently in the process of taking these apart and using the red/white fabric for sewing a Christmas tree skirt. Reusing the fabric!
Our cake was homemade by a local woman. I told her my envision of a milk glass cake stand. She let me borrow her grandmother’s cake stand. SO kind! With a local baker using her home oven, our cake cost under $300 to serve 150-175 people.
The tablecloth was from my Grandmother, who couldn’t travel to our wedding location. It had a few stains, but it was bunched up on the small surface and you couldn’t tell. It was more important to have something from her at the wedding.
My husband and I made the big cake topper to remember the location where we became engaged: Indianapolis Museum of Art LOVE Sculpture. The cake area was full of meaning. Rather than buying table cloths, a cake pedestal or topper, I looked to people whom I could borrow or I used my own skills. It had so much more meaning. I bought the polymer clay from Michaels and baked it in my oven.
We had limitations on pew decor at the historic church. We did use white tulle bows, which I borrowed from a recent bride. I attached a splash of aqua tulle to coordinate with my colors. I probably spent $3 on the aqua tulle. After the wedding, I passed on the bows to my cousin, who was getting married the next month. Reuse & recycle! Free!
I truly believe wedding favors are a joke. Pardon my bluntness, but it is true. It is kind enough to provide a generous dinner, entertainment and company. Most wedding favors are not useful, anyway. To keep kids entertained, we did provide aqua blue rock candy (online candy wholesaler) and glow sticks ($1 for 10 glow sticks at Michael’s – they have them year round). It was quite a hit. Very inexpensive and easy. We did not provide any other favors to guests. I did promptly write thank you post cards to all guests. I would like to emphasize the promptly!
Invitations and Programs
I relied on my sister-in-law to create invitations and programs. She did a phenomenal job. Check out her Kindly Reply Etsy Shop – she would love to do custom work for you!
I would like to personally recommend Kaiti Bierdeman Photography. She’s based in Illinois. She was very budget friendly and such a joy to work with. All of the photos in this post were taken by her and we treasure each one!
What budget friendly ideas do you have?