I promised that I would reveal just how much we had to pay for my daughter’s cheap fairy tale wedding.  Check out the photos below and see if you can guess how inexpensively we were able to pull it off. . .

The dress is from David’s Bridal and was the fifth dress that Natalie tried on.  I knew my budget of $400 was blown when her face lit up as she saw herself in the mirror.  This was her dream dress, and at $749 it was actually a great deal.  Of course, after we added the long-line push-up bra, petticoat, alterations, and preservation kit, it came to well over $1000!  Get ready, future mother-of-the-brides!  

I purchased the roses and baby’s breath from a local florist for only $99.  With some floral tape and ribbon I fashioned two bouquets and four boutonnieres!  I added my grandmother’s blue brooch to the bridal bouquet for something old, borrowed, and blue.  There was enough baby’s breath to fill galvanized buckets for the aisle and part of a five-gallon bucket used in photos.

I purchased Natalie’s hat on Ebay and added some birdcage netting and gears to it to make it more steampunk wedding appropriate.  She chose not to wear the birdcage veil over her face.  The goblets were borrowed from my mother’s crystal collection and tied with the same ribbon I used on the bouquets.

The steampunk-themed cake was purchased from The Luscious Crumb, a local bakery, for a little over $400, which was over my budget of about $200.  I couldn’t say no after the taste test, and we thought the baker did a wonderful job.  The bottom layer was made to look like a giant gear.  Natalie made the robot cake topper herself out of clay!

A photo of the bride’s happy family shows that we chose to clothe the father of the bride and best man (the bride’s brother) in plain black shirts and slacks of their own.  They had to rent only the vests and bow ties.  My daughter-in-law as the matron of honor was asked to wear a black dress of her choice, and I picked out a casual outfit I can wear anywhere after the wedding.  No one in the wedding party had to spend very much.

This is an example of the outdoor wedding decor.  Thrift store purchases and home crafts such as the vintage suitcase, silver-plated chalkboard tray, Goodwill guest book, homemade flower pens, and homemade rag garland sit on top a simple desk from a thrift store. Much of the decor came from my own home. 

So. . .have you guessed?  Yes, we did rent a tent, an arch, and 50 white folding chairs, which set us back about $600.  Yes, we had a dee jay, but we got him for free as a bridal show door prize Natalie won!  Otherwise, I would have corralled one of my nephews to run a boom box or laptop with speakers.

Give up?  Our grand total, including gifts and food supplies, came to under $4700!  I had hoped to pull off the wedding for around $3000, and I could have if I had stuck to my original dress and cake budget, and had done without a tent.  As it was, everything turned out perfect, and the bride left happy, with memories of a wedding day she won’t soon forget.  I have only one daughter, and I told her I will do this for her only one time.  Lord willing, she and her husband Bryan will be happy for many years to come. . .




No more hunting for wedding stuff, that is!  Ha!  Had you going, didn’t I?  Actually, hubby and I did sit in our deer blind for four hours this morning but got nothing but a sore back and lack of sleep.  Those deer just are not cooperating so far this year! But no matter.  That gives me opportunity to show you one of the results of my hunt for cheap wedding decor items.

Remember this photo from October?

I had begun spray painting a piece of an old dresser or vanity, the part that holds the mirror.  At $4.99 it was a steal at Goodwill, and I envisioned it as a vintage-looking chalkboard welcome sign for the wedding.  I think it turned out pretty well, don’t you?

More ivory spray paint, a couple of layers of chalkboard paint, and a welcome message in chalk, and it made a perfect welcome to the wedding.  I tucked it under the low-hanging branches of a pine tree and anchored the base in a small galvanized bucket.  So easy, so cheap, so vintage.

Here is another little vignette I made for the hors d’oeuvres table from an antique clock lamp, some vintage cake toppers, a framed photo, and an old book.  I also added a milk glass compote dish, a wire votive holder with crystals, and a few steampunk gears and keys.  A vintage wedding cake topper perches on the top of the lamp base, which has the time of the wedding on the clock:  3:00.  The green lamp I spray painted black.

Stay tuned for the cost reveal of our cheap DIY wedding, hopefully tomorrow!



CHEAP WEDDING WEDNESDAY: More mysteries solved. . .

I still have a few wedding secrets to reveal.  
Remember this photo?

If you looked closely at this picture you would notice the product labels on the surface of the object, and if you guessed it was an ironing board, you would be correct!  This is a vintage wooden top ironing board I nabbed at Goodwill for $4.99!  It has metal legs and still folds flat!  It served as a perfect beverage table next to the punch dispenser 
and looked nice with a lace tablecloth.  
We wanted guests to be able to tell 
what it was underneath.

This next one may be a little confusing.  
It is actually the seat of an old 
folding chair where I spray painted 
some picture frames white.  
I *HEART* spray paint!

What you are seeing is the outline of the different frames.  I printed some photos of the bride and groom in sepia and scattered them around in little frames.  Here is one.  
I love how the gold peeked through.

The last one for today is this one, which reminds me of a butterfly in a weird kind of way.  To decorate a couple of top hats, Natalie made some gears out of cardboard and we spray painted them gold.  Hubby has an old piece of metal he uses for his kickstand when he parks his motorcycle in the yard, so we laid the cardboard gears on the metal.  This was the result of several coats of paint.  It’s a cool piece of art in its own way, 
don’t you think?
And here is one of the hats with the gears on it.  Natalie also used “designer” duck tape to cover one gear.  So cute!

So that’s it for today’s reveal.  
Stay tuned for more!



AT HOME MONDAY: Wedding Clutter?

It’s the Monday post-wedding and I am still alive and well and here to tell you about it! I was alive but very tired yesterday but still I spent the entire day gathering all the decor and gifts from the tent between the rain showers that politely waited until the day after the wedding to make their appearance.  As for the wedding day itself?  Saturday, November 10, 2012 in East Texas was the perfect day for an outdoor wedding. The blustery cold front with its severe thunderstorms and wind waited one day to hit.  Thank you, Lord!

I also spent a chunk of the day-after resting my poor feet and muscles.  They had worked overtime two straight days decorating and coordinating the wedding!  The effort was well worth it.  Just look at the happy couple. . .

I actually made the bouquets and boutonnieres from roses and baby’s breath that I ordered from a local florist.  I was able to buy the materials for the bridal bouquet, the matron of honor bouquet, and four boutonnieres for under $100!  Bryan and Natalie decided against tossing a bouquet and garter, which also saved money.

Both bouquets in a vase the day after.

Don’t you just love the little steampunk gear accents?

So, how much did the wedding end up costing?  Stay tuned for the great reveal, which may be Wednesday, or I might wait until Friday!  For today’s “At Home Monday” post, I will stick to what I have been doing here at home.

Yesterday all the wedding decor was transferred from the site in our field to my house in about three trips in my SUV and hubby’s pickup.  He helped so much with the furniture and heavier items!  But now my house and front porch are loaded with miscellaneous furniture and decor items, boxes of photos, white tulle, sheets, books, etc.  I have been going through boxes and piles of stuff trying to sort and put it away, either back in its original place as part of my home’s decor or in storage or to resell as vintage.

I used a lot of vintage and handmade items in the wedding decor.  Below is a photo of the guest book table.  I printed several photos of the couple in sepia and scattered them in vintage-y frames around the site.  I made the cards banner using stencils, scrapbook paper, and burlap, and I painted the Goodwill silver-plated tray with chalkboard paint.  I also wrapped two ballpoint pens with floral tape and silk flowers.  The rag garland was put together by tying strips of old sheets, tulle, and burlap onto jute twine.  The vintage Bibles (which belonged to family members), suitcase, and cake topper are part of my own collection. I covered the table with an old burlap coffee bean bag I purchased for two dollars in Canton.  The brass pointing hand I found at an antique store for five bucks. I ordered the mustaches on sticks from Etsy, then realized they are only made of balsa wood sticks and construction paper!  

In this next photo you can see the entire guest book table, which was set up on a small desk I found at Goodwill for less than $10.  Underneath the table is my antique typewriter–not quite a steal for $45 at my favorite antique shop, but better than a lot of places.  I got the cement Victorian boot for half price at Hobby Lobby because it had some chipped places, but those increased its value for me! The wishing tree is just a few pieces of branches that fell from our trees in the backyard.  I stuck them into an old antique store bucket and filled it with some pea gravel my mother had.  I added some small framed photos of the couple and another cake topper.  An old string of fake pearls finished it off.  The tree sat on a burlap-covered wrought iron plant stand.  Behind that was an iron wall gate with an antique wedding veil, another Goodwill find.  The gate was a gift from a friend.  Charming vignette!
Hopefully these few photos have peaked your interest in what other things we may have done with the decor.  Stay tuned all week for much, much more!





It has been a crazy week trying to get last minute details done, including calls to the dee jay (free win from a bridal show!), tent rental place, florist, bakery, photographer, and tux rental place.  Today we started making the chocolates for the guest favors, and I finished spray painting some chairs.  I also finished painting some signs and made some envelopes for tips.  

There are so many little details to finish, but I think it will be completely worth it!  Here is the bride-to-be hard at work on the chocolates. . .

Preparation time will soon be over, and then I will be able to post photos of all of our little projects as well as photos of the wedding and happy couple.  This blog is supposed to be about cheap weddings, and I can’t wait to reveal how we accomplished our goal.  Stay tuned. . .