My Story: A Cinderella Wedding
contributed by Sherri
Buying an Inexpensive Wedding Dress
Spend Less on Your Wedding Dress
26 Ways to Cut Your Wedding Bill
Wedding Dress - We made the wedding dress, using four different patterns to get the Cinderella style that she wanted. The cost was about $163, which included the veil, tiara, and shoes. We bought a cut crystal necklace and earrings from eBay for about $10.
Bridesmaids' Dresses - We saved money for the bridesmaids by making their dresses, too. We bought a bolt of fabric from fabricdirect.com and notions from Wal-Mart. The bridesmaids ended up paying $27.88 per dress. We picked out patterns and then waited until they went on sale for 99 cents. This was only cheaper because I can sew. To have them made, it would have cost an additional $225 per dress.
Invitations - We made them from computer invitation kits that were found at a yardsale for $5 each. They were missing some RSVP cards, so we bought them separately with a 40%-off coupon. My daughter wanted hearts on the top in her wedding colors, so she sent the design to her future brother-in-law who sent them back the way she wanted them.
Rental Equipment for Outdoor Wedding - We found a place that charged less, and they came for free to our yard and made suggestions. We ended up renting fewer tables than originally anticipated.
Food - We ordered some sandwich platters from www.winn-dixie.com. We also made some fruit, vegetable and cheese trays ourselves. We made Hershey Kiss mice as an additional sweet. A person from our church made the wedding cake for $50. I strongly recommend the book Cater Your Own Wedding by Michael Flowers and Donna Bankhead. We bought crystal platters after Christmas on sale.
Alcohol - The Groom's family insisted on paying for a keg of beer, which was hidden under the tablecloth of the drink table. We rented a champagne fountain and put wine cooler in it. Made by the Bride's Dad, the wine cooler was Sprite mixed with wine.
Backyard Decorations - We built an arbor for $171 and made white planters out of wooden packing crates. We will add height to some plants by planting in cement birdbaths. We are going for a classic look and are starting nearly from scratch. Since the garden is behind the arbor, we are planting a row of zinnias backed by a row of white, yellow and red sunflowers to hide the rest of it. We replaced the swings on swing set with a white painted porch swing. We bought three white wrought iron benches for $59 each. We borrowed three umbrella stands and umbrellas for over the benches. We dug up plants from my mom's yard, bought seeds, and found a few flats of flowers from a discount nursery. We put up three white trellises for the "illusion" of privacy. We made aisle markers from six terra cotta pots with dowels in them, and weighted them with rocks, flowers or cement. I painted them white and tied them together with a length of tulle. I put a miniature bouquet on each one from flowers grown in the garden.
Flowers - Shop around. It's amazing the price difference in flowers. I found a florist to make the flowers for about $335.
Reception Decorations - I used the bridesmaids' bouquets to decorate the tables. I bought framed square mirrors to decorate the tables from Dollar General for $3 each, and I bought vases from a yard sale for 50 cents each. I decorated with a lot of crystal, clear floral marbles, and navy satin squares leftover from the Bridesmaids' dresses. I eliminated the flowers to decorate the reception tables as we put the cake table in the middle to use the cake as the centerpiece.
Napkins - We bought napkins in the wedding colors from Big Lots. Why would you want to get napkins printed that people will use to wipe their mouths on anyway? Where did that start?
Cake Cutter - We bought the cake cutter from eBay and had it engraved locally.
Toasting Glasses - These were bought from a yard sale for 25 cents each and decorated with navy ribbon and pink flowers.
Bubbles for Leaving - Each bottle was decorated with a circle of tulle, ribbon and silk flowers. It was much cheaper to cut our own tulle circles. Since the fabric was so thin, we could cut out about six at a time, which made it quick. We bought decorated white baskets from a yard sale for $1 each. These included some empty bubble bottles that I refilled with a dollar's worth of clear shampoo bought at the Dollar Tree. It made better bubbles, and since adults were going to blow them, I was not worried.
Rings - We happen to have a jeweler in the family who bought them as a wedding gift.
Gifts for Guests - Since it was an outdoor wedding, we bought 75 umbrellas from the Dollar Tree and wrapped half in navy blue and half in pink with opposite color ribbons. That way, they could shield themselves from sun or rain. We invited the bridesmaids over to help us wrap.
Pictures - We downloaded a list of typical wedding pictures and had them taken in double by two amateur photographers in the family.
Video - The bride and groom got a video camera for Christmas. We bought a tri-pod from a yard sale for $3. The video was taken by an uncle.
Sound - Some friends from church set the backyard up for sound for free and ran the stereo through the sound equipment.
Entertainment - We borrowed a set of horseshoes to set up in the side yard, bought a croquet set from a yard sale, and borrowed a set of bocce balls for backyard fun after the wedding.
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor. Just Click Here and tell us what's on your mind.
We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!
More Money-Saving Tips for Families
- Snap up these 9 deals in August
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- Choosing a guardian for your child
- 3 fun party ideas your nearly teen will love
- How much do kids need to know about the family budget?
- This week's Readers' Tips