This article was written by a Frugal Fanatic reader: Tiffany from Jamestown, NY. Thanks for the great DIY Wedding ideas Tiffany! If you are interested in writing an article that would be helpful for Frugal Fanatic readers and getting paid for it go here. Check out this other article from Mala on Frugal Living Tips for Families!
Recently I took it upon myself to help a new neighbor with some ideas on her upcoming wedding. After an epic fail of her bridesmaid and maid-of-honor almost entirely blowing her off I ended up doing her DIY Money Saver wedding myself as well as being named as an honorary bridesmaid. There was much work to do than could be done in the 3 week s until the wedding – but I believed it turned out beautifully!
The couple’s wedding destination was already planned at our local state park. Their plans were to have an outside wedding with a small theatre in rows of wooden benches for their ceremony while walking across the park to the 3-way enclosed pavilion. The DJ was booked as well as two photographers – one photographer was the DJ and the photographer to save on money. After the reception the newlyweds and their children were to do a weeks worth of camping and anybody from the wedding party or guests were allowed to get a reservation and camp with them. The couple stated they wanted an orange/black theme wedding, and they were able to pick up the tux’s, bridal dress, bridesmaid dresses, and some misc. wedding necessities for a starter part; after that they were stumped.
I find that the internet has much to offer when it comes to great deals. I am a member of at least eight different local online community garage sales on Facebook where people are able to sell and buy used, handcrafted, and offer their services for a really good price. I suggested to the couple to have a “woodsy” theme to their wedding to coördinate with the outdoor wedding destination. On my Facebook groups I was able to find 2 white floral aisle runners that fit well over our needs for only $5.00. The couple was able to make their own ceremony cards by some wooden handles and paper for a fan to cool off the guests while the ceremony was taking place. For the tables the groom’s mother bought Family Dollar plastic tablecloth which we stapled down upon picnic tables we found at the park. I had some mason jars which I had left over from my canning days and we found a very creative use for them. I made Orange/Black/White/Yellow paper origami pinwheels that were glued to corresponding pipe cleaners (found at Walmart). The bride found Orange plant marbles and I found some rope like yarn lying around the house. So we wrapped the top of each Mason jar with the rope yarn, filled them with the Orange marbles, and stuck 2 pinwheels in each jar. Pinwheels were mobile, but they looked great! We needed something personalized from the couple to the wedding party so we went to the Dollar Store and purchased wine glasses of the same size as well as finding some old wine glasses in my parent’s basement. I hand painted all the wedding parties name and made glasses for each parent of the couple, including the steps. The wedding bouquet and boutonnieres was trickier. We found some great deals on clearance at Joanne’s and we created our own beautiful bouquet. With the left over flowers we made boutonnières for the men, parents, and grandparents of the couple which we wrapped in floral tape. The wedding well was borrowed from one of the bridal party; the guest book was hand made by a family friend, and the cake servers was borrowed by the brides’ parents. For an extra flair for the head wedding table we wrapped the chairs with white tulle tied with a bow, placed an orange silk fabric for the table runner, and placed each of the customized glasses on the corresponding seating arrangement.
The couple and I decided I would take on responsibility of making cupcakes for 100 plus guests while the groom’s brother was to make the cake cutting cake pieces. With the whole outdoor/woodsy theme I found a great recipe to make Smore’s cupcakes. These cupcakes with ingredients I found in bulk at our local suppliers consisted of chocolate cake, marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey syrup. For the cupcake wrapper I scored a great find on 100 orange grease-proof liners (they hold color better after the baking process then standard liners) on Amazon.com for less then $10.00. For the cupcake stand I was able to get the boxes I had from when my family and I moved a few months back and cut 6 circles of three different sizes. I bought orange silk wide ribbon for less then $1.20 at Wal-Mart and lined each tier with the orange ribbon. I also painted the top layer of each tier with black with acrylic paint, and glued Wal-Mart black bows with pearls along the ribbon. For the middle of each tier I just got three soup cans and wrapped them in corresponding color construction paper and hot glued more black bows on them. Finally I made a cake for the top with marshmallow fondant and found a great silhouette of a couple on a boat kissing. I printed this out along with a curved banner and used them as a stencil for the cake topper in which I personalized with their names. The reception’s foods were supplied with the meat by the couple and everyone else was to bring a dish to pass. Plus we used the leftover foods from the previous nights rehearsal dinner with some added on for the wedding reception.
From this wedding I found that borrowing from friends, finding great bargains online, and simple stuff from around your home, one can come up with many opportunities for a very beautiful DIY wedding. Coupon collecting and word of mouth referrals are also a great investment as well. I believe anybody can have a wedding they dreamed of with just some time and planning – at a fraction of the price!
Thanks Again Tiffany!