I love to be thrifty but I also splurge at times! I'll do my best to share a balance for those of you that do the same.
I'll start with my wedding!
I got married last May in Roswell, Georgia and my husband and I kept things INEXPENSIVE because wouldn't you rather spend the money elsewhere??
I know we did!
So, much to our family's and friend's dismay, we kept our ceremony to a minimal and had just immediate family present. We threw a reception with friends and other family members later that evening.
Our ceremony: The Chattahoochee River
Outdoor locations are beautiful and what's more beautiful than free?
Our reception: Martin's Landing River Lodge
How is it so cheap you ask? This is actually a clubhouse owned by a neighborhood but is open to the public for rental. It is also located across from the neighborhood on the river off by itself so it didn't feel like you were in anyone's backyard. It felt like we were at a venue for a fraction of what "wedding venues" cost. It also held our guest list of 150+ people.
My dress: Revolve clothing
This was not a wedding dress at all actually! However, it was a designer dress so it did come with a designer price tag. Still not the price of "wedding" style dress, though! You add that word on there and boom $$$!
Consider searching for "white dresses" if you don't want the real traditional style dresses.
I had a vision of having a Free People dress after seeing so many girls get so lucky with the bohemian style and fair price for a wedding dress, but there weren't any that tickled my fancy last year when I was looking. I lucked out majorly with this beauty.
Unfortunately, it's not available anymore but Revolve did come out with a "Wedding Line" last year after I purchased my dress and there are other beautiful options. A lot of the dresses are around the price I paid, some being a bit more, though.
Also, just do what I did and Scour the Internet! I hate trying on clothing, always! I definitely didn't want to try on dozens of wedding dresses that cost 3x what I wanted to pay.
Another great place to look is ETSY
You can have a dress truly unique while feeling great about supporting an artist working hard for those dollars, and still pay less than you would at a Wedding dress shop.
My flower crown: BohemianBouquets on Etsy:
I splurged on this one even though I REALLY wanted to make my own. I ordered succulent trimmings from "SanPedroCactus" off Etsy (months before to practice) and tried to make my own but just couldn't figure it out without stressing over it and the little time I would have to make it before the wedding with all the traveling (I also have only made crowns with fake flowers) so I thought I would treat myself on this. I kept the trimmings, though, and planted them and now have the best looking succulents from them.
Gina, who made my crown, did a beautiful job and she has SO MANY more beautiful options in her shop online. She does bouquets and boutonnieres, also, that are gorgeous.
My best friend, Sharlyn, was gracious enough to let me borrow her veil from her wedding reception! (my Something Borrowed) and it was a match made in heaven with the flower crown.
Sharlyn saved me the money and did a professional job of her own for
cost: cheap (I don't have an exact price butttt.....)
My mom and my Aunt Carolyn and Aunt Emily decorated the reception with their amazing floral talents.
The greenery on the mantle actually came from my Aunt's backyard in Alabama and she brought heaps of it. They wrapped it around the fence beyond the brick with lights. It was gorgeous lit up at night.
The candles and lanterns my mom picked up here and there.
My sister-in-law, Megan, made my bouquet. (She flew in late the night before and my mom gave her the task about 2 hours before my ceremony. Bless her heart.) She made the bouquet with fake succulents (from Hobby Lobby that she already owned) and real flowers my mom picked up from Sam's Club. I'll get to that in a minute... She did a beautiful job.
Yes, Sam's. Shoot me, Martha Stewart, but they are cheap! And, if you have magicians in your family to take apart bouquets and rework them with their own flair then heck ya!
Side note, I actually walked down the "aisle" without my beautiful bouquet. (Hands covering eyes.) Amongst all the excitement of rushing through the woods to the ceremony site after our "first look" photos and the fact that I was hollering to my brother to turn up the music because my Dad and I couldn't hear it to start walking.. I completely forgot about my bouquet and STILL didn't remember until I saw my brother rushing off all arms and legs. Once I saw the bouquet I was like ah, riiight. That. What a good brother. Maybe I SHOULD HAVE had those bridesmaids or coordinator to remind me. ;)
I read a story identical on a wedding post off of "Green Wedding Shoes" and it made me feel much better. There will be screw ups on your wedding day but, perfection is overrated.
My mom and I also bought moss in packets from JoAnns and used them mixed with real moss, lichen and sticks (all from her backyard) to create table decor.
My best friend, Stephanie, who married us! (We did include one friend at the ceremony), helped me use some of this moss to display a photo from our SAVE THE DATES at the entrance of the venue. It was made using a hot glue gun on a plain wooden frame I picked up from JoAnn's
On that subject, (going back in time a little)
For Our Save The Dates:
My mother-in-law went to a photo shop, asked them if they could use a photo of us but add "Save The Date: May 9 to it? Guess what? They could and it cost about $25 (I think) to print off over 200..
They didn't look as professional as most but guess what? They get thrown away by everyone that's not your best friend, sorry! I also had them right away and didn't have to wait weeks for them to come in the mail.
For Our Invitations:
I used a watercolor succulent image I found on Google and copied and pasted the heck out of it to make a ring around the Wedding Details that I typed up using Microsoft Office 2010. (That's how outdated I am, no joke.) Then, I emailed it to Office Depot and they printed off over 200 copies. $50 later I had my invitations to mail out as soon as I wanted. I spent as much buying a roll of stamps! Sad, but true!
OK, back to wedding day details: I used a long branch, twine and very expensive computer paper and ink (joke) to display seating charts on my mom's much newer Microsoft Office. (Thanks to Stephanie, most likely, for that update. My mom calls her for everything computer related.)
I had lots of craft paper at home and came up with the idea to cut them up and hang them on twine in a rustic wooden frame with mini clothes pins for guests to pick from and write messages for us.
(Steph helped with this one too and we did it the night before the wedding.)
I didn't have too much time to help prepare prior to the wedding and couldn't haul all this stuff with me all the way from Utah so we worked with the time we were allowed.
I later put them in a scrapbook and the pages look like little quilts.
$15 frame- Hobby Lobby
$5 mini clothes pins
My Aunt Emily and my cousin Amanda made the greatest-Groom's-cake-that-was-ever-made-while- still-being-edible:
Steel Magnolias " you know where this inspiration came from. If not, you just think we are redneck as hell. We opted for a possum over an armadillo since we see them a lot more often. It was red velvet cake so it really looked like Roadkill once cut open.
My mom made the vanilla cupcakes (I am not a fan of wedding cakes. So much of it goes to waste.)
She ordered the beautiful edible butterflies off Etsy.
We also had a chocolate frosted bundt cake from Sam's (yep that wholesale place again) that I am obsessed with.
My sister-in-law made an awesome sign to hang at the front reception door using her Silhouette machine and crafty skills:
I am still blown away by how talented she is.
She also made our favours: scented candles.
She handmade the candles in 3 different scents, designed the labels, and made all the ties for the tins. All 150+
Scott's suit: Utah Woolen Mills . Salt Lake City:
We splurged. A lot.....
We went in saying we didn't want to spend more than $750 I think it was. And then we did. By a lot... It's hard to find a good quality suit for that little and Scott didn't want to do the khaki and button down deal. He wanted a nice suit he would get to keep. He tried on a few options but we fell in love with this one. The blue satin trim on the inside and the back of the vest made it super unique. We also felt great buying from this company because it's third generation owned and the owner made us feel like we knew him for forever. (Also, his name is also BJ and this is Scott's best friends name, so it was kind of meant to be.)
We had Low Country Boil (A southern staple)
and sides from a local catering company in Roswell.
I wish I had the name of them (my mother does) and they were superrr reasonably priced.
Photography: Nathan Westerfield Photography based out of Nashville, TN
We splurged on this because it is so worth it. Its the one way to look back on this special day and have it captured so beautifully. Nathan was a trooper about the ever changing wedding dates and locations. We lived in Tennessee when I first booked him and when we found out we were moving to Utah, the plans changed a few times. We ended up doing everything in Georgia where my parents lived, and where I went to school most years of my life. This made planning much easier for my mom, with me being so far away.
Scott and I wouldn't have been able to have this beautiful day without so many amazing family members and friends there to help and celebrate everything. I owe them so much!
I do hope this proves that you don't have to spend at least $20,000 on a wedding. You shouldn't have to feel the pressure of doing so either, based on what weddings have become these days. After all, it's all about the love for each other, not the show.
We might not have done ours the traditional way but we wouldn't change a thing!