I also got married at a a nature center amphitheater in a local state park

It didn’t cost anything to reserve it and it had an overlook where you had the most beautiful picturesque view of a valley in bloom with the incredibly beautiful fall foliage. We were married during peak leaf weekend in October so we needed little decoration outside except for some mums that we also brought to the reception hall (at the state park park lodge immediately following the ceremony) and later planted in our yard as a wonderful souvenir.

I wore the dress my two sisters wore before me so I only had alterations as an expense and the added benefit of following a wonderful tradition. I scoured magazines (Brides, JCPenney bridal issue etc) for bridesmaid dresses and found the perfect dress. Unfortunately it was over a hundred dollars. My sister convinced me to look at this outlet store in her neighborhood and the had the exact same dress, in the sizes I need for under 20 bucks a piece! I was very lucky but I do suggest looking everywhere once you have an idea of what you are looking for because you never know.

We ordered our invitations from a discount catalog and also ordered treat boxes imprinted with our names and the wedding date. We filled these ourselves with nuts and mints and used these at each place setting. We also made the rice/birdseed bags from netting and ribbon.

We asked the lodge where we had the reception about possibilities for the cake and they gave us the name of a local woman. We went to her house and saw pictures of incredible cakes she had baked so we went with her. Her price was about 50 percent less than a bakery.

I made the unity candle myself and it was just as nice as the 30 and 40 dollar ones but mine cost less than 6 or 7. I bought a large white candle and some pretty white flower and bead pins. I took my invitation and used the pins to secure it to the candle. I then hot glued beads around the edge for a border and added a few white silk flowers here and there.

I still have it and it is still beautiful.

my biggest recommendation is to scour every magazine adn bridal shop you can find to get a general idea of what type of wedding you want and then leave no stone unturned to find what you want as cheap as you can!

Well this is already getting to long so good luck!!

Theresa in IN

When my dh and I got married several years ago

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.

I had a frugal wedding almost 12 years ago

The wedding and reception total was around $1200/ I bought my dress at Penneys for $200. Borrowed the veil from my mothers friend. The flowers were silk made by some one out of her home and she did all the table decorations too that was around$250, the cake was $250. We were married at a small town’s civic center, they hadtwo beautiful bridges in the park, one was covered and that is where we stood and walked “down the aisle from” to the foot bridge that we had the ceremony on and then held the reception inside, rental for the day $50. We didn’t serve anything fancy, had platters of ham and turkey for sandwiches, from the local grocery store, can’t remember the price but I think around $100.

We made our own veggie trays and friends made cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans and punch, we also served coffee and got a couple of kegs of beer. We also bought balloons and streamers in our wedding colors and decorated with them. The invitations I ordered from a store in the mall called The Rolling Pin, 250 for $65. We had a DJ instead of a band and he was $65 for the night.. There were a few more things that were purchased ring pillow, aprons for the helpers, small gifts for the bridesmaid, champagne glasses that we had engraved with our wedding date and names, I love those and am so glad that I purchased those we use them on special occasions and every anniversary.

They were glasses that I found on clearance at a Hallmark store that already had little ceramic flowers attached to them and also a cake serving set, all on clearance, I took the glasses to a glass carver( I know that isnt what they called but can’t think right now) and he engraved them for $15 for both of them. Ok duh he would be an engraver LOL>>>>> : ) Anyway, there is not one thing I would have changed about the way we did our wedding every one enjoyed themselves and we all had a blast..