Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Anti Bridezilla Wedding

Is it possible to plan and hold a wedding in 3 weeks - for under $4000?  Amazingly, yes.  But you need to have a bride that is very laid back!  No Bridezillas allowed!

I know I don't usually blog about weddings, but since this was such a huge part of our lives for the last month, I thought I'd share our plans and strategies for a low cost home wedding.

Labor Day weekend, our daughter and her boyfriend let us know they'd decided to get married.  And since they'd been living together for 6 years, they didn't want a long engagement.  They wanted to do it quickly.  City Hall was the plan.  No muss, no fuss.  They just wanted to tie the knot.

Hmmmm......well....... her sister and I thought at a minimum they should have some sort of celebration.  After all, you don't get married every day!  And after some discussion, the bride and groom agreed.  But they didn't want to be bothered with the planning - essentially they wanted a turn key wedding.  There were just a couple of 'must haves'.
  -  Their 5 dogs had to be able to participate
  -  They wanted a country-farm theme
  -  They knew we were giving them a budget to work with - and they could save whatever they didn't spend.  So they wanted it to be as economical as possible.

So Katie and I  got to work - long distance, since neither one of us lives in Atlanta.  The first challenge, where to hold it?  With so little time to book a venue (and the dog participation challenge!), we quickly realized that it would make the most sense to have the reception in their backyard.  We ordered a tent, table and linens from a local rental company.

But we wanted to play up the country theme.  We did lots of web and Pinterest searching and came up with a plan.

1)  Vintage China & Flatware - We found The Vintage Chicks online.  They have a new business that rents vintage china & silver-plate flatware to give the table an old fashioned look.  Sandee and Patty were so great to work with - and had lots of helpful ideas.
Love the vintage china!  

They also had something that was the talk of the party - a rough sawn tree trunk cake stand.  So fun!

                                                                                                                                  We used mason jars for drinks - with brightly colored ribbons to help people remember which was theirs!  And with the couples names and wedding date on the jar, it was a great little take home remembrance for the guests.

2)  Chalkboard Menu Board - I sent the groom a picture of a giant, six foot tall chalkboard menu, which he made up and had his mom (a very talented graphic designer!) draw up the menu.  She did a perfect rendition of their backyard chicken coop.  So clever!
The real coop!

3) Guest Book - Instead of the usual guest book, we asked each guest to make out their 'key' to a happy marriage.  We hung them up on this trellis I found at HomeGoods.

My favorite quote came from the bride's cousin and her husband - who had just celebrated their first anniversary the week before.

4)  Tent Decor - A tent liner would be beautiful, but pricey.  So instead, I found these Martha Stewart balls in the clearance aisle at the local craft store - $6.99 for a set of 6 (so I bought 3 boxes!)  We also wanted some color on the table.  Since the bride & groom raise their own chickens, we though vintage style chicken calico would be the perfect print for table runners.  It also gave us a nice burst of color.

5)  Pictures - We strung twine across a big window and used wooden clothespins to hang pictures of the bride and groom.  We had their whole lives photos all the way up to recent couple photos.  It was a lot of fun for everyone to see!

6)  Country Bouquets - We went to the local farmers market and bought a shopping cart full of flowers.  Daisies, mums, liaitrus, ranunculus, baby's breath, gerber daisies, statice and more.  For $60, we were able to make up 20 vases of casual flowers.  Perfect for centerpieces!

7) Food! - In keeping with the country theme, we ordered BBQ from the Community Q - a fabulous BBQ place in Atlanta.  We had mountains of pulled pork, mac 'n cheese, baked beans and salad.  It was a huge hit!  We served it buffet style and let everyone pick their own table to sit at....savings us lots of anxiety on figuring out who should sit where.  We also found these cool silverware servers at HomeGoods ($6.99), that played right into our country theme.

I'm not sure we could be objective about a wedding in our own family.  But everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and we created some wonderful memories!!!

Many thanks to Maddie Calsbeek from Called to Wander for these fabulous photos!

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  1. Gorgeous! I love how the dogs were involved! :)

  2. How many hours are there in your day lol? Between the house and this fabulous wedding.....
    Congrats on both,

    1. Ha ha......we got by with very little sleep for a few weeks! And we were exhausted when the wedding was over! But it was worth every bit of the effort :-)

  3. Looks like it was an amazing wedding and family time. Just what it's supposed to be..... Thanks for sharing. Congratulations, Norma

  4. Lovely, delightful and filled with meaning. You get an A++++ from me, a wedding coordinator. I love all of the fun details, especially the dogs. You captured the true meaning of a wedding- the celebration of two individuals and their life together.

    1. That means so much coming from an expert like you!!!! Thanks so much Sarah!!!!

  5. We haven't done a wedding yet in our family, just hosted the rehearsal dinner for our son's wedding. I love your idea - simple, tasteful, and fun.

  6. The dogs...BBQ on mismatched china....meadow flowers in jars? Paa-leeeze.....fabulous! Gorgeous. And who wouldn't like attending a wedding where you can sit wherever you want to? Absolutely charming. Well done!


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