The idea of planning a wedding was overwhelming to say the least. I wanted it to be beautiful, but I knew that everything can get ridiculously expensive. According to theKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding was $29,858 in 2013. $29,858! That’s a (really nice) car! (I told my now-husband this stat while I was wedding planning. He looked at me with shock).
So, without $29,858 in cash lying around, I had to get creative. I started with looking around for what I already had:
I knew that I probably wouldn’t wear my wedding shoes again (a traipse through a muddy golf course for pictures proved I was correct). So I repurposed these I had used as bridesmaid shoes for a friend’s wedding and voila: nearly new wedding shoes for free! (And they were on sale to begin with, so the shoes plus dyeing them a nice shade of champagne cost only $25 total).
I didn’t know that jewelry stores give out coupons for freebies once you purchase your wedding ring(s) (but they do!) , but I redeemed my coupon and this free bracelet became part of my wedding jewelry:
The project below took a little time but I was so happy with how it turned out. I had a picture hanging in my bathroom that crashed off the wall; I took the now glass-less frame and repainted it silver. The paint didn’t stick super well, but that ended up giving it a nice shabby-chic look that I was fine with:
I bought foam board and cut it to fit the frame, and covered it with a burlap-type fabric before sandwiching it all together. I used card stock and stick-on pearls to make the table cards, then pinned them to the board with pearl-tipped straight pins and skinny blue ribbon. (Many thanks to the friends who took time to write all the names on the cards– you know who you are!) .
Unity candles are ridiculously expensive; the “unity candle” sets at the local craft store were upwards of 39.99 for cheap-looking main candles and two skinny candles to light it with. For less than that, I bought a bowl, sand, seashells, fake pearls, and a stick-on pattern of pearls for the unity candle pictured above. And now, to my favorite project:
This card box for the gift table was so cheap compared to the pre-made variety. The store versions I found were upwards of $35 and pretty tacky (in my opinion). The bird cage and roses were 70% off on clearance. I clipped the roses leaving only a quarter inch or so of stem and then wedged them into the cage. (A glue gun would have come in handy, but I didn’t have one). I took leftover shells and pearls from the unity candle project and added them to the bottom of the cage. I bought wide blue ribbon and attached the crystals in a swirl pattern with tweezers (tedious, but worth it!). I tied the ribbon around the “stem” on the top and then wove it in and out of the cage so that it would have a cascading effect. My mother added the two little birds, which clipped on easily. The whole thing was maybe $10.00!
One thing I would NOT do myself if I could go back and change anything is printing invitations at home. This was disastrous at first. I wasted 10-15 invitations because the alignment wasn’t centered once it printed, or because my printer would randomly smear some with black ink blots. Comparison shop between websites that do all this for you and then pick one. Trust me, it’s not worth the tears!
What were your favorite ways you saved money on your wedding? What was your favorite DIY project? Post a comment below!
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