I know every bride out there probably thinks her wedding was the prettiest wedding she has ever been to, and I am no exception to this. Here's how I did my wedding for less that $2,000 (including the dress!)
My wedding was a lot of homemade, but it didn't come across that way (at least not to me). It was located in the most gorgeous place in the world: Griffith Valley, Woolwine, Virginia. It doesn't take much to make a wedding there amazing.
We began by decorating the small cabin there with free white fabric we received from a local small business, making curtains and table clothes out of it. We also stalked Walmart waiting for their paper lanterns (found in the wedding section) to go on sale, which they do often. We bought roughly twenty boxes of those.
I then spent forever working on centerpieces...which accidentally were thrown away. Talk about wedding drama! I was going to use Corona bottles. Sounds sketchy, right? Well if you soak them in a metal tub full of warm water and Star San for a full day in the warm sun, then the labels will come right off! That leaves you with nice pretty clear bottles! The reason I chose Corona instead of something with a peel off label, like Smirnoff Ice, is because my mom drinks them quickly and there were plenty around for free. Free is my favorite word. However, because my mom was so used to hauling bottles off to recycling, she didn't think twice when she hauled off mine. Ah! What to do now? She made it up to me by buying me all new vases...vases that weren't old beer bottles either! They were gorgeous and matched our color scheme. I think she may have done it on purpose...
My idea for the centerpieces was something that many people were very skeptical of: sticks. Yes, sticks. Spray painted white sticks to be more specific. Free sticks. My grandma thought I was out of my mind! But, to be honest, they were my favorite decoration. I even cheated and bought some fake sticks with twinkling lights on the end. I would've made them, but after figuring up the price I decided it would be cheaper just to buy them. The centerpieces below are just an example, and the sticks hadn't been painted yet.
For some other centerpieces, my original idea was to break the necks off of my clean Corona bottles (using this technique). Then I would fill it with water, decorative rocks (bought on sale), and floating candles (bought in bulk, though you can make them too). When that plan fell through, I simply used the shallower vases or the vases that wouldn't hold the sticks right for my candles.
Even my bouquet was homemade! The best part about that was my husband to be made it! It made it so special! He used a styrofoam ball, fake white roses, and feathers for the main part of it. The handle on it was the stems off the fake roses and a purple ribbon. On the handle we put a broach from his great-grandmother, who passed shortly before the wedding. My maid-of-honor's bouquet was made in a similar fashion, except the main part of it was a white feather boa wrapped around a styrofoam ball with pops of purple feathers.
I painted signs made from wood of pallet boards. One for seating, one for the bride/groom table, one for parking, and one just to be cute!
Our cake was a gift from Jesse's (my husband's) aunt and her mother, Ann Jefferson (who is a cake decorator). It was amazing.
My dress wasn't even that big of a splurge. I hunted and hunted and hunted for the perfect dress. For awhile I thought I would never find it. And then I did! Sweetheart neckline. Empire waste. The whole nine yards! I was drooling! It was still early, however, so I decided to watch to see if it would go on sale (always the bargain hunter). Then, one day, I was playing around on the wedding section of Pinterest and THERE WAS MY DRESS! I clicked the link and it brought me to a different site than I had previously found it on for a cheaper price! I could hear angels singing. I didn't even break $200 after shipping. The best part: it has feathers! I redid the straps from the original thin-stringed halter to thick straps. I also redid the back of the dress (because I didn't shed my final pounds due to health issues) to be a corset (using the original halter strap) with purple accents. The back, however, can still be zipped up and you wouldn't even be able to see the corset.
Seen behind me in the picture above is the gorgeous alter, also made by my husband. The sides were trellises bought at Lowe's and the top was woven sticks. All of it was painted white with spray paint and presto! My dream alter! It even matched my centerpieces! The adorable rubber duck is sitting in it because I had a wedding nightmare that we hadn't made the arch in time (which we were working on it up until the night before) and as we put the sticks together they kept turning into rubber ducks!
I would have to say that my favorite purchase for the wedding was mine and my groom's shoes! We designed and ordered them from Converse.com.
The whole wedding party matched!
To finish off our night, we handed out sparklers! We bought them in bulk so they didn't set us back much at all. It was worth it to see how everyone, from children to adults, had such a great time with them!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me! I will be more than happy to answer!
If you would like to see more of my wedding inspiration, please check out my Pinterest wedding board!