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Our Happy Garden Picnic Wedding!


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How am I going to save money on my wedding?

My fiance and I are both students, and we’re footing most of the bill for our own wedding. Our major source of income right now is student loans and scholarships, so our goal is to spend less than (gasp!) $1000 for everything

How are we doing this?

  1. We’re having a guest list of around 35 people, plus their kids. This is big enough to include all of our immediate family and grandparents, as well as those friends who are closest to us

  2. Since we’re only having 35 guests, we didn’t think it necessary to have wedding parties—The only exception will be my fiance’s 25-year-old friend, who will serve as ring-bearer. I made him a crocheted ring-bearer pillow (total cost~ 50 cents). While I was at it, I crocheted myself a nubbly bouquet wrap.      

  3. We live in Dallas, which is a very expensive place to have a wedding if using traditional wedding vendors. We looked around at different locations and found a great one right under our noses; we’re using a public park with a beautiful gazebo located less than a mile away from our house that we can rent at a reduced rate since we live within the same town! We will then rent tables, chairs, linens, and place settings for our guests.

  4. We are going to do all of the flowers, including my own bouquet and my groom’s boutonierre, using flowers from Costco. I have been collecting cobalt blue glassware for $0.50 to $2.50 a piece from Salvation Army to use in centerpieces, and plan to buy out all cream, light pink, and peachy roses that Costco has in the day or two before the wedding. 

  5. We will be making all of the food ourselves, or buying pre-made simple but delicious things that can be easily served (honey-baked ham, smoked turkey, caprese salad, hummus, and a selection of cheeses amongst other things).  It will be placed on white and cream-colored stoneware that I’ve been buying at Salvation Army for no more than $2.50 per piece.

  6. In Lieu of a wedding cake, we're making brownies, cookies, and cupcakes; as our reception will be outdoors and we're not hiring waitstaff, we wished the dessert to be as self-service as possible, and it will be easier for people to grab a cookie or cupcake than for them to wait in line or get their fingers in the middle of a big cake!

  7. My wedding dress was purchased before I had ever met my fiance—I got it at a consignment store because I thought it was pretty, but I’d never had anyplace to wear it because it looked too “wedding-y”. My own garden-fancy picnic wedding seemed the perfect place for its debut.  It fits me perfectly and is extremely comfortable. My flower headband was purchased at Urban Outfitters for $18.00. I’m wearing jewelry that I already owned. I'm doing my own makeup and hair because I do every other day, and thus know my face better than anyone else would.

  8. My invitations will be based off of a picture that I made (by cutting an image out on dark paper and laying it over light paper, then taking a photo of the finished product), and printed out by Vistaprint; we’re taking advantage of one of their many email offers and getting 30 invitations for around $20.                                          

  9. Since Vistaprint doesn't have cute envelopes, we bought some shiny brown ones at paper souce and lined them with a graphic print in aqua, brown, and olive green (pictured above).

  10. A friend (who is a professional photographer) has graciously offered to do our wedding photography for only the cost of his renting a lens. If he had not, I was planning to open an account on Snapfish and tell all our guests to upload their digital photos to the website after the wedding (in fact, we'll probably still do that so we can get some fun candids).

  11. We are including things only if they are important to US, not just for the sake of tradition or because we're afraid that people might disapprove. We aren't trying to outdo anyone; we're not trying to impress anybody (another reason why inviting only our relatives and closest friends was such an appealing idea). Throwing the traditional "wedding list" out the window has saved both money and anxiety. We're not really doing a strict theme or color scheme because I found them both limiting and uneccessarily expensive. We're going to use my car (which I love, and already own) rather than renting a car. When the wedding is over, we'll go back to our shared apartment rather than staying in a hotel. We'll sleep in late as man and wife and hopefully eat some leftover wedding cupcakes in bed.


Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 1:27 am
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