(Left) my grandfather in a navy suit prepares to walk me down the aisle.
Perhaps our biggest area of savings was in wedding clothes.
I did not fit into the family heirloom gown. At size 14, I could not try on the bridal salon sample gowns. No one in my family could sew.
This was a subject of many tears until I stopped at a consignment store in Franklin. There, on the sale rack, was a full length ivory silk suit that cost only $100 and needed no alteration!
The flattering style suited an afternoon wedding perfectly. I was able to wear the family's silk veil. I even found identical ivory poly-silk pumps at Walmart for $14. I did my own hair and makeup.
One day I found two gorgeous bridesmaid's dresses at a local charity shop. They were the exact blue of June hydrangeas.
I bought them for $15--one for my sister, one for the junior bridesmaid. My mom also bought her peach silk day dress secondhand. It had come from the most expensive dress shop in Nashville. Both mothers declined corsages.
The best decision we made was skipping tuxedo rental. No shop had a well-fitting jacket for my broad-shouldered groom.
Then I spotted a wedding photo in Town and Country--where, surprisingly, many of the society couples have informal, tux-less weddings. He bought a navy suit for the cost of a rental.
We asked all the ushers to wear their own navy suits and white shirts. If they had to buy one, at least they could keep it after the wedding.
TJ Maxx had a tie clearance, where we picked up $7 silver ties for each. I think they looked every bit as dapper as any wedding party. The biggest blessing was that no one had to gather and return the clothes the next day!