I was really blessed by your recent post on Peaceful Single Girl about weddings. I thought I would share with you my experience. After knowing each other for almost 10 years, and after a long courtship and short engagment, hubby and I got married last year at the beginning of February.
I borrowed your categories to help keep me organized in telling about our wedding…
My dad is a rural pastor with 8 children, so it was a stretch for them to pay for my wedding. My budget was $1500.
One of my aunts gave me $100 dollars for my birthday, saying it was so I could get a dress I really wanted. I bought a wonderful dress from Craigslist (The way God worked that out is a whole story in and of itself!) for about $210, if I’m remembering correctly. It was already clean and the woman I bought it from had exactly the same measurements as me, so it didn’t require any alterations other than length. A local friend who is an excellent seamstress shortened the hem for me as a gift.
Our friend, the wedding coordinator, had a veil she loaned to me.
Two of my sisters and one of hubby’s were the bridesmaids. I made their green satin outfits, spending about $60 on supplies. I asked them to wear black formal shoes, but the skirts were long enough they didn’t need to match or be overly amazing. One of my younger sisters and hubby’s youngest sister were our flower girls. We found inexpensive dresses for them on eBay.
My original plan had been to make all my flowers (I make pretty realistic-looking roses), but in the end, we decided to go with white roses for the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnières since my friend, the wedding coordinator, already had tons of white silk roses to use for decorations. Her supplies and creativity were truly an amazing asset–her help was such a gift to us! I believe we bought 50 white roses from Costco at a good price and picked up a little bit of greenery at the grocery store floral section. I went to a friend’s house the day before the wedding and we worked on making the four bouquets, the corsages, and the boutonnières.
We had two different friends who play harp and they were so gracious to provide background music beforehand. We used favorite CD tracks for the processional and recessional, and had two friends accompany on piano and violin during the worship time we incorporated into the ceremony. My hubby put together selections from our favorite CDs to be played in the background during the reception.
The venue was the biggest cost for us, but it was marvelous. Like I’ve mentioned, we have a friend who is a wedding coordinator at a lovely historic church nearby. She offered her services free as a gift, and that knocked the price down to $600, I believe. We were extremely blessed to have her help, expertise, and amazing decorating skills.
When planning, we realized we both prefer brownies over cake any day, so that’s what we did! Some dear friends baked a bunch of brownies that my family then cut into heart shapes and drizzled with white icing. My mom also made a small cutter cake to satisfy any traditionalists. 😉
When talking about reception food, we realized we both wanted taco salad. Unorthodox, perhaps, but we both truly love Mexican-style food! My family (with help from some ladies at church, I think), prepared all the components, and we did it build-your-own style. I think this is where we might have gone over the stated budget, but that was because my dad generously bought a few extra toppings like guacamole. 🙂 Hubby’s family contributed some yummy side dishes.
THE GUEST LIST
We tried to somewhat limit our guest list since our venue (not to mention our budget) could only handle about 150 people. We invited more than were actually able to make it, but we’re thinking we had about 125 people. It’s hard to remember exact numbers because everything was such a blur! 🙂
Some sweet friends (who protested that they weren’t professionals) agreed to do our pictures. We did pay them, though I’m not quite sure how much because it was after the ceremony and my dad sort of slipped the money to me and I just slipped it to them.
Hubby’s dad actually owns his own videography business and had done weddings at the venue before, so he had two of his guys shoot our wedding. What a blessing! It was something that we would have done without otherwise because video is so expensive!
DECORATIONS AT THE RECEPTION
Praise God for that wedding coordinator all over again! Since she regularly did weddings there, she already had all the supplies, and she and her assistant came up with some really sweet Celtic touches that were very “us.”
Something we kept reminding ourselves and one another was that the point was we were going to marry each other and there would be people we love there to celebrate with us. It really comes down to that, and when you realize that, I think it makes it much easier to do without some of what is traditional, but expensive and not really necessary.
If you’d like to see just how lovely this all turned out, thanks to God’s blessing, and the hard work of many people, you can see some of our pictures here:http://www.farmersfamily.com/2012/Tyler_Perry_love_story/index.html. The trailer for our wedding video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-jAgC2vOTk
Thank you so much for your ministry both to married and unmarried ladies! I have been very blessed reading your blogs!