Happy Friday Everyone! I am almost a week married :) I hope you are enjoying the guest post. I leave you with Danie, her wedding was not only beautiful but she managed to keep it under 5,000 (waaaaa?). I know! But I’ll let you read the rest. See you Monday :)
Hi there! I'm Danie, and I'm the writer and designer over at Pasadya. In honor of Daisy getting MARRIED (yay!), I thought it would great to share some ideas on how to create a gorgeous wedding without breaking your bank. I have a little experience in this, since I'm an avid saver, and I also just got married to my high school sweetheart in May 2011 in Abilene, Texas.
Let me tell you: it was tons of hard work, but I will always look back on that day as one of the most special days of my entire life. So, who's ready for tons of love and money-saving tips?
Before I dive into this, finding great photographers will save you a huge headache. We hit the jackpot with Meredith and Jeremiah, our close friends with jaw-dropping talent over at Chic Shot Studio. Without their photography, this post would have been pretty sad.
And with that...here we go!
1. Material on waist created and sewn by my mom
2. Bow inspired by another gown (again, made by mama)
Let's start with the item that most girls beeline for: that dress, of course. I've had some friends spend close
to $3000 on a gown. That's all good and fine, but my goal for this Texas wedding was to stay under $5000. Sooo, reality check. I CANNOT spend over half my budget on the dress. That just won't cut it for this little girl.
If you're in the midst of wading through swarms of dresses and are beside yourself, I know how you feel. For a while (actually, only a few weeks, but it felt like eternity) I thought I'd never find dress. EVER. However, after a quick trip to David's Bridal with one of my best friends, I was able to snatch up this little number. It used to have string shoulder straps and glittery jewels around the waistline. I actually realized I wore the same dress that Pam wore when she married Jim on The Office. Kinda funny.
If you know of a friend/family member that is gifted at sewing, see if you can work out a deal with them to add or delete elements on your gown. This dress ended up costing me only $99. My mom had the fabric lying in her gigantic heap of fabrics in the sewing room, and she completely transformed the look.
1. Cut the tulle fabric to your desired length (I was going to do a medium length at first, but ended up doing a more traditional, longer veil). Psst: you don't even have to sew the ends!
2. If you want, you can add lace to the end of the veil (just glue the lace onto the ends of the tulle with clear fabric glue)
PLEASE don't spend 12874973 dollars on your pretty little veil! Did you know that tulle (the fabric usually made to make veils) only costs about $2 per yard at fabric stores? We found this ivory tulle for my veil from Hancock Fabrics. To make the type of veil that I did, you can just cut it as described in number 1, and then simply poke bobby pins 1/3 of the way down the veil to make it stay in place in your hair.
When I was walking down the aisle, we just flipped the veil over my head so that it covered my face (it was like a big blanket over me...my front and back were covered with the veil). I love it when the boys lift their girls' veils to kiss as husband and wife. Do you?
If you like it a little more funky/blingy, you can just cut the veil to be super short or medium length, and just pin it in place. Also, some people love sparkly things...you can easily glue little gems on the veil so that it glitters in the sunlight.
1. We made the bridesmaids' bouquets
2. The guys wore black tuxes (we just rented them from a local shop). Oh, and FYI, if you rent more than five suits/tuxedos, the rental stores will generally make the sixth tux free.
3. We made my bouquet
4. The groom wore an ivory tie so that people could tell him apart from the groomsmen
5. The Maid of Honor's dress had a blush top so that people could tell that she was my MOH (by the way, she is my big sis) :)
6. All the bridesmaids were able to choose their own dresses to wear, as long as they were black and somewhere around knee length (the dresses ranged in price from $14 to $80)
7. The boutonnieres were handmade by my mom, aunt, and cousin (boutonnieres are a bit harder to create than bouquets). If you want to make your own boutonniere, use wire to poke through the stem of the rose (or whatever flower you're using), put your greenery behind the flower, and then wrap both the greenery and the flower stem with green tape. Then, wrap the stem with ribbon (we used ribbon that was about half an inch wide).
You will probably feel dorky picking up branches on your walks, but I tell you, the nerdiness is worth it! We used branches, roses from Sam's Club (you can order about 100ish roses for around $100 and have them shipped to your house), ribbon on sale for 50% off from Hobby Lobby, and palm leaves on sale for 50% off from Hobby Lobby to create bridesmaids' bouquets, the wedding bouquet, and the boutonnieres.
1. Fake roses and twigs used as wedding cake toppers
2. Multiple chocolate fudge cakes from Walmart
3. We added chocolate covered strawberries to the tops of the fudge cakes
4. My uncle made the cake stand out of wood, and my mom covered it in white scrap fabric
5. My mom tied thick ivory ribbon into a bow and hot-glued it to the ribbon around the stand
Being that I'm probably Miss Piggy from a former life, I didn't' want to shirk on the edible goodies. Our cake was definitely one of the biggest costs in the wedding ($500 for the cake + $50 delivery). It was pricey, but it was THE BEST CAKE I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE.
We did, however, manage to add our custom elements such as the roses and branches. These roses and branches are fake, but they could have fooled me (just look in the floral section at Hobby Lobby and try to find flowers that feel real to the touch). Chances are, if it feels real, it will be closer to looking real. I'm sure your bakery will tell you this, but just in case you're making your own cake yourself, be sure to steam whatever you put on the cake. Bacteria can get around, you know. Also, if you choose to use real flowers, check to see which flowers are okay to put on cakes. Some flowers are actually poisonous, and others can be injected with something to make them clean enough to put on food.
That yummy little guy pictured at the top was a member of the grooms cake. I actually bought around 4 of small fudge cakes (6" diameter for $6 each) and maybe 4 of the medium fudge cakes (8" diameter for $8 each) at Walmart. We just added chocolate covered strawberries on the tops of all the cakes to snaz it up a bit. The separation of the grooms cake made the tables look fun and modern; plus, people were able to access cake more easily, which is always a plus in my book. These cakes are heavenly. Even if you don't use these for your wedding, you HAVE to get yourself one of these! I believe it's worth every calorie.
Oh, and it isn't pictured, but my mom (who is Filipino) and members of my sweet family made a million egg rolls and some Filipino side dishes for the entrees. It was so much hard work, but it. was. delicious. In hindsight, I would have looked into some type of catering so that someone else could deal with getting the food out to the reception location and watching over everything. Some dear friends of ours were so amazing to help with this, but they missed the ceremony, which was a major bummer. The reception would not have happened without their help.
We had little pastries and drinks as well, but just the kind that can be made in the masses, such as tea and lemonade. If you're up to it, cutting out alcohol all together during your reception will literally save you thousands. We decided to do this, and I was afraid people would feel awkward or not want to dance, but everyone just acted like their normal selves, and we all danced the night away with our glow sticks and pop music. We were able to spend the money saved from the omission of alcohol on our honeymoon. No regrets there!
If you're like me and want to save money on decorations so that you can eat more food, how about making some the decorations on your own (i.e. centerpieces)? During the event, the centerpieces had fresh, peach colored roses in the vases alongside the branches and palm leaves, but I just recreated the look and reshot it so that it's easy to see.
Here's the centerpiece elements:
1. Branches (I picked them up on my walks like a crazy lady, remember)
2. Palm leaves (on sale for 50% off from Hobby Lobby)
3. Rectangular glass vases (on sale for 50% off from Hobby Lobby)
4. Peach roses ordered from Sam's Club
*Be sure to include your announcement and dates, hotel accommodates (if any), locations of wedding ceremony, reception, etc., and an RSVP card.
2. Elements from the invitations were repeated in our programs (hemp, white card stock, and ivory paper)
If you make your own invitations/programs/thank you cards, you can save a lot of cash, but it will be a big task. When I was designing my paper goods, I wanted a look that was uniform, but cost effective. Sooo, I decided to find crafty ways of manipulating my paper and reusing papers for different items.
I also made thank you notes that were just mailed in those long, skinny envelopes that you can find at Walmart. To save paper, I wrote my thank-yous on the backs of the cards (it was like a postcard).
1. Lucky catch
2. Our getaway car (my mom's old Datsun 280 Z)
3. A small representation of downtown Abilene, Texas (with a buffalo, of course)
Whew!! How are you doing on reading? Are your eyes crossing yet?
I wanted to add a few side notes:
*I didn't mention this earlier, but if items aren't on sale at Hobby Lobby, go online and search for "Hobby Lobby coupons," and you'll find a weekly coupon (which is usually 40% off one regular priced item).
*The location of you events are key. We were able to save a lot of money by getting married at the church I grew up at, having the rehearsal dinner at Rosa's (a colorful and casual setting), and negotiating the price of the reception at Frontier Texas.
*If you and your fiancé do marriage counseling, the cost of your marriage license will significantly decrease (that's how it was for us in Texas, anyway)
As you can see, I'm telling you to have fun on your awesome day! That means we're almost at the end of this discussion! No, but seriously, remember that amidst all the stress and headaches, this day is for you and the love of your life, and some of the most important people in your life want to celebrate with you. Now that's amazing, isn't it? :)