Friday, April 14, 2006

Our Wedding: What We Wore

(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!


Kayla said...

After you posted the first pic of the 2 of you kneeling at the altar, I have been planning on posting our frugal wedding. Our budget was $2000 and we came in well under that. I will let you know when I do, as I will definitely post about that now! THNX for sharing yours!

Mom2fur said...

Your wedding gown is gorgeous! In a million years I'd never guess you hadn't paid a fortune for it.

I was skinnier 25 years ago, so I was lucky enough to be able to buy a clearance dress--a $325 gown cost me $125.

Anonymous said...

My husband wore a black suit for our wedding, it actually cost us more than a rental but it fits his broad shouldered but short frame perfectly, and he has since worn it for funerals, job interviews, etc. etc.

My wedding dress was an ivory cocktail/evening dress from Macy's, sleeveless with a long straight skirt and a matching overjacket, about $150 so definitely less than a "wedding gown." It also saved on the dry cleaning afterward, I took it to my regular $1.75 (but that was 6 years ago so now it is $2.50) prepaid cleaner.

We skipped attendants entirely and had a variety of friends take pictures. Our location situation was a little unusual--we picked it because my company had a vacation house there that we got free for a week. But the house occupancy was Saturday afternoon to Saturday morning so there was not time to prepare it for a ceremony there. Plus it was January in Bend, OR with feet of snow on the ground. So we had the Sunday morning ceremony and breakfast reception at a hotel, the total bill was about $1000 because I declined things like upcharges for fancier tablecloths or dishes. We followed that by a "house party" catered by my dad and step-mom at the vacation house with music (on cds) and drinks. My dad also rented a couple other condos for the weekend for extended family to stay in.

After everyone went home we had the vacation house to ourselves for the rest of the week. However all this frugality only helped balance out that we paid for the airline tickets for all out of state siblings to attend--we picked our wedding date only two months in advance so they didn't have time to save, and most of them were at points in their lives where they would have had to decline coming. So the total was more like $5,000--including things like cds and winter clothes that we have had the use of for years since--which was more than I wanted but less than many.

Mama Squirrel said...

Oh, we did that with the suits too! Mr. Fixit hates suits and ties anyway, so just getting him to buy a suit for the wedding was a major coup. We asked all his guys to just wear dark suits, and we provided ties (and a mini matching tie for our furry squirrel. But that's another story.). The only drawback was that June day turned out to be a scorcher, and those dark suits were HOT! Oh well...

Anonymous said...

It's exciting to see someone else's wedding frugality! Sad to say, we never really put together a budget, persay, when planning our wedding, so I have no idea what our total cost was or if we were really as frugal as we thought we were, but I think we did pretty well.

My dress was a bargain dream - ivory VELVET with pearl trimmings for under $200. I'd always wanted a velvet wedding dress - can you believe I found an affordable one?!?! - and I then found shoes at Payless for prob. $10. The BM's dresses were each handmade by someone they knew - I bought 3 patterns in JoAnn's on sale $.99 each and the fabric (forest green crushed velvet) for each ended up around $10-15 each!

Flowers - I used all silks and bargain shopped the whole year previous. It was an October wedding, so I went with an elegant autumn theme, mixing fall leaves with ivory roses and pearl garlands. It's amazing what you can find Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Meijer clearancing at odd times of the year! We purchased invitations from a mail-order company, because we fell in love with one design, but I designed and printed the programs and most other paper goodies, buying the paper I wanted when Hobby Lobby had it half-off.

It was a lot of fun trying to pull off a Martha Stewart wedding on a real-world budget!