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. . .



CHEAP WEDDING WEDNESDAY: And the countdown continues. . .

There are only two and a half weeks left until my daughter’s wedding!  I’m trying not to panic, but when I look at my to-do list, my heart beats faster anyway.  I have checked off several things so far this week, so if I can keep up the momentum we should have no problem having everything ready.  

My husband says, “What else do you have to do?”  As if.  He thinks if the preacher, location, and cake are lined up, then we are ready.  He doesn’t even notice the boxes and piles of junk lining our bedroom, that is, until he stubbed his toe the other night while walking to the bathroom in the dark.  Thank goodness the box was empty when he picked it up and tossed it.  I hate to think of the fireworks if there had been something fragile in it, ’cause this wedding planner mama ain’t playin’! “Keep that stuff out of the way,” he grumbled before shutting the bathroom door rather noisily.  At least he didn’t slam it or use profanity.

What is left to do?  Gee, where do I begin?  The things remaining are not event-cancelling things if I don’t get them done, but they will hopefully make the wedding atmosphere magical and memorable for the ones who matter the most–the bride and groom.

Here is my list, or at least part of it:

  • paint two old chairs white;
  • finish painting the chandelier;
  • make the bouquets and buttonnieres;
  • make the guest favors;
  • embellish bottles and top hats;
  • paint a couple more signs;
  • make rag curtains;
  • finish rag garland;
  • have prints made and put them in frames;
  • find the rest of my outfit;
  • buy more cups and napkins and white flowers;
  • check with the bakery, the rental company, DJ, and photographers;
  • PRAY for good weather and traveling mercies for all;
  • PRAY for God’s blessing on this marriage we are preparing for;
  • etc., etc., etc.!
And all that I need to do before the tent is set up.  A whole day of assembly and decoration will follow the day before the wedding itself!
So, this mother-of-the-bride still has a lot to do.  At least the groom, best man, and dad have ordered their tuxes, and the happy couple got their marriage license today, so I don’t have to be the M.O.B.zilla and keep nagging.
I can’t wait to post pictures of everything we do for the big day.  Stay tuned. . .