Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Faves-Tips for a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget-part 3

Welcome to Friday Favs and my third installment of Tips for a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget!  Our youngest daughter and her husband have been married for three weeks this Saturday.  All of the fun and all of the work and planning is still fresh in my mind.  I'm hoping that as I write down some of the things that we did to stay within a reasonable budget while still having a beautiful wedding that it will be a big help to some future bride and the parents of the bride as well.

In my first post of this series I wrote about the budget.  You can read that post here.  The second post was about choosing the wedding venue.  That post is here.  Today I'd like to write about wedding decor and flowers.

All three of our daughters had lovely weddings, done on a budget.  When our oldest daughter got married, seventeen years ago, she got married in our church. Her wedding and wedding decor were more formal than her youngest sister's.   To decorate the front of the church sanctuary, we rented tall grecian type columns, two taller columns for the center, and two shorter columns on either side of those with faux ferns and greens spilling down from the top of the tall columns and brass vases filled with cream colored roses on the shorter columns. There were candles glowing from rented candelabras, and a rented arch at the beginning of the aisle when the bride entered.  Remember, however, that the church was free for us to use, so all of those rental fees didn't blow our wedding budget.

When our second born was married, fourteen years ago, she chose a Christmas time wedding.  We were still pastoring at the church with the large sanctuary, so, once again, we were able to use the church for free.  For her wedding,  we put white lattice against the front wall of the sanctuary, then had  several artificial Christmas trees decorated with white lights, silver ribbon and snowflakes.  Faux evergreen wreaths decorated with silver ribbon adorned the aisle.  For her reception centerpieces, clay pots were spray painted silver, and each pot held a silver spray painted branch,  (held upright by filling the pot with plaster of paris), and from the branches snowflakes hung from clear fishing line.  Very economical! Christmas time weddings can be easy and inexpensive to decorate for, if you are willing to tolerate the hectic holiday season and a wedding at the same time!

As I explained in part two of this series, for our youngest daughter's wedding, our current church building wasn't ideal, so we had the added expense of renting a venue.  But we saved money by either thrifting or making almost all of the decor!  

Things we thrifted or borrowed:
vintage suitcases
milk glass vases for centerpieces
vintage postcards
vintage view masters and travel slides

Things we made:
wooden arrow
heart garlands (hearts made from atlas pages)
ribbon dowels to wave instead of throwing rice or blowing bubbles
printed sayings on old atlas pages

Things we bought:
frames for printed sayings
chipboard letters
lots of ribbon
"Oh The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Suess to use as the guest book
unity candle

Things we rented:
floor length tablecloths for the reception
The groom and his dad made the arch for the outdoor ceremony.

Because the bride and groom both love to travel and love to do overseas missions outreaches,
my daughter chose a travel theme for the wedding.
With that in mind, we started gathering ideas and pinning them to a secret board
 on my daughter's Pinterest page.
This wooden arrow that my handyman son-in-law made, and that I painted,
 greeted the guests as they walked up to the lodge.

As the guests walked off the the sidewalk onto the lawn where the ceremony was held,
there was a guest book area and a chalkboard on which was written the names of all the wedding party.
On top of a vintage trunk with a vintage suitcase stacked on it, 
we placed a large cream colored doily that my mother-in-law, the bride's grandmother, made years ago.
On top of that was the guest book, Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Suess.
A vintage globe and a framed print of "what the world needs now is love sweet love" on an old atlas page completed the guest book area.

(These framed atlas pages with printed sayings that we made and the happy couple's initials now hang in their home.)

Inside the lodge the fireplace mantle was decorated with the bride and groom's initials.
These were made with inexpensive chipboard letters.
The large H was spray painted gold.
The smaller Z and K were painted turqoise, then I decoupaged atlas pages on the front.
When dry, some dark wax was rubbed over the map decoupaged letters to make them look aged.
A pennant banner with the bride and groom's names was made from atlas pages and coral ribbon
with a touch of gold glitter used for sparkle.

Down the aisle we hung heart garland, made with a  heart shaped hole punch on atlas pages and strung on coral colored ribbon.
Baby's breath wrapped in gold ribbon was attached to the chairs.

The arch was decorated with more of the map heart garland and coral and gold ribbon.
Stacked vintage suitcases held the unity candle and communion elements. 

The wedding reception was held inside the lodge, 
with the doors open so guests could overflow out to the covered deck overlooking the lake.
Round tables for the guests had full length champagne covered tablecloths that we rented.
Atlas pages were used for the centerpieces, with milk glass vases filled with tulips placed on top of them.
Vintage travel postcards or vintage view masters with travel slides completed the centerpieces.

The front of the gift table was decorated with the same type of pennant banner as on the mantel 
spelling out G-I-F-T-S.

On one end of the gift table my mama's old suitcase made a cute container for cards.

The other end of the gift table held a vintage globe and some vintage travel brochures.

The cake table held the bride and groom's cake, decorated in the "naked style" that is popular now.
(Sheet cakes were kept in the kitchen, to be cut and served for guests.)
Milk glass and clear glass cake stands held homemade pies of assorted types.
A banner of vintage travel postcards hung above the cake/pie table.

Over all, the wedding decor was very reasonable.
The largest expense was the rental of the linens,
costing almost $400.
But to have beautiful linens that you don't have to launder yourself,

My daughter's favorite flower is tulips.
When she set her wedding date for May, we began calling florists in the Portland area.
We called Costco, wholesale florists, and many other local florists.
We were told repeatedly that the wedding was too late in the season for tulips.
Then, my daughter's future mother-in-law called the florist in her little town in the country.
The florist there was able to get us tulips for $1 a stem!
So, we bought 12 dozen tulips in a variety of colors and several large bunches of baby's breath.
The bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of baby's breath wrapped with gold ribbon,
just like the ones used to decorate the aisle.
Again, another pretty, but economical, choice!
The groom's parents bought the bride's bouquet, made of soft pink colored tulips and baby's breath,
and the boutonnieres, made with white tulips, for the groom, groomsmen, ushers and fathers.

That's it for this week's installment of Tips for a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget.
Next week, let's talk about the wedding attire, including the wedding dress!

Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday, friends
a safe and BLESSED weekend!


TidyMomShabby Art Boutique


  1. Where did you find the suitcases? We are looking for a smallish one (to turn into a drum!)

    1. I love the baby's breath. It is simple but elegant. When our daughter got married there were mostly church weddings and her granddaddy and her husband's granddaddy along with their pastor did the wedding. The reception was done by family and friends. It was done at a pond house. The dock was decorated with tulle. Buckets of daisies lined both sides of the steps to the entrance. Daisy wreathes were on each door and on a wall inside with a bird bath with floating daisies and candles. The mantle and fire place were filled with birdhouses that I collected and candles. A trellis was adorned with silk daisies that I had punched lights. They make those now, but then they didn't. The back deck and tables were centered with old bottles with daisies. It was so much fun. I didn't feel stressed at all because we took our time for months getting it all just like we wanted.

    2. I LOVE your ideas, it sounds like your daughter's wedding was completely lovely!

  2. Beautiful and oh so creative! Can you come out and help me plan my vow renewal? :)

  3. Absolutely love everything! I can appreciate it an extra measure having had an outdoor wedding a few weeks after your!

    1. I wish I could see more photos of your girl's wedding! From what I have seen, it looked so lovely!

  4. Perfect! Exactly like you planned from the beginning - and everything a bride and groom could hope for. I can't wait to see more!

  5. Beautifully done, Elizabeth!! Your daughters are so lucky to have your fabulous decorating style! Catherine


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