We paid for it all ourselves, so we went for a very natural and inexpensive wedding too! I will *try* to boil it down, and hopefully some of these ideas will help!
~I bought my dress at some place on the mall…don’t remember what store, but just a regular little clothing shot. It cost about $78 and was probably the most expensive thing in the store! LOL I added just a little bit of lace-pearl trim and I was set. Got my shoes at Wal Mart for about $12, I think.
~Flowers: If you don’t do them yourself, this will save you a ton of money. Find a Kroger or Marsh store near you (even if you have to drive a little) and find out if their flower dept will do the flowers. I had the most beautiful live bouquets I could ever imagine. I went with a mixture of roses and other types of flowers, wanted it to look like I picked them from the roadside, lol. All in all, I got my very large bouquet, two bridesmaids (very nice size too), boutteniers (sp) for dh and 7 others, and mom-corsages, all for less than $150. If your DD decides to go with a single-flower bouquet, it would be considerably less.
~We had an outdoor wedding, don’t know if this is feasible in your daughter’s case or not. We reserved a nature center ampitheatre in a local State Forest. It was free, and the most beautiful setting. Later we had pictures taken in the butterfly garden nearby. 🙂
~Reception. All those people that say, “Just let me know if I can do something,” or “What would you like for a gift?”? Hahahah! Ask them to bring their famous fruit salad. ;> or something else that you can add to the table, and that can be their “gift”. We just did cold cuts and salads, as we had an outdoor reception and wanted a picnic type atmosphere.
~Decoration. For the wedding….we just went with the “God’ green earth” kind of theme. LOL For the reception, I visited one of those party supply stores where they sell birthday cards for 39 cents. I found a very pretty gift wrap that I loved because of the vibrant colors, so…I bought a few rolls of that, a LOT of white paper, then I cut the patterned paper in 1/2, put white down on each table, and then topped it with the 1/2 strips of colored (kind of like a table runner). It added just enough color to the table that I really didn’t *need* anything else. But, since I LOVE flowers, I also put small vases (mostly tea and juice cups that I bought at goodwill) of flowers (from Kroger again) along the center of each table. It was really cute, and with the small vases, it only took a few flowers to fill each one.
~I also bought all my plates and napkins at the party store, in colors to match the flowers on the patterned paper I found. Used those same colors in my wedding cake, which was only frugal because I had a friend make it. Still, if you can find a person (rather than a store) to make the cake for you, that will save too. If I couldn’t have found someone to do it, I would have gone to the bakery aisle of Kroger, and just gotten a couple of nice sheet cakes. People love cake, they don’t really care how tall it is!
~Invites! I almost forgot, and I was so terribly proud!! I went to the Hallmark store and found these adorable little notepads, I guess they were about 6X6 inches, with decorative bee and flower design by Marjolein Bastin. I fiddled with the computer to get the placement right, and then tore them off and printed them with our invite. I couldn’t find envelopes to fit, so I bought leftover yellow ones from the same store (think for 5 or 10 cents each). So the invitations cost about $5 for 50 or 75, can’t remember how many was in a pad, plus the cost of the envelopes. For anyone close enough, I scrolled it, tied it with raffia, and hand-delivered it. I still have some of these if you would like to see one, I’ll be happy to send it to you.
Hope these ideas might help you or someone else out a little. We spent less than $2000 on our wedding, and probably half that was on rings. 🙂 Not the most frugal, but I *had* to have an opal ring, plus my two boys both got to pick their own family rings. We had rings all around!
This was my second wedding, and the most important advice I can give anyone is also the most overlooked, sometimes: Do what you WANT to do, and don’t do anything you DON’T want to do. 🙂 It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But it is so easy to get caught up in pleasing everyone that we start putting aside our own fondest wishes, when a wedding should be designed to fulfill the dreams of the bride and groom alone.
Congrats to your daughter.