Since I had already booked this house...
I started on our attire. I went to David's Bridal and found the dress I loved among 12 others I tried on in my price range that I didn't love. So I came home, scoured the internet and found the exact same dress on Craigslist in California and had it shipped to me. I got the dress I wanted for $500.00 off retail and it fit like a glove and required no alterations!
I found Damon's suit at the Thrift Store. A Brooks Brothers suit that fit perfectly for $10.00. All I had to buy was his white dress shirt and the vest & tie (from Burlington for around $30.00 total).
Austin's suit very closely matched Damon's suit and it came from e-bay. A new 5 piece suit for $15.00.
After I had our attire covered, I began making food lists. Since we were expecting 75, I was trying to keep it relatively simple to keep the budget down. My mom made a wonderful pineapple chicken salad for me and my dad brought his famous pork tenderloin for me too. We served those on croissants purchased from Sam's Club. I also bought fruits and vegetables with dips, tons of different crackers and cheeses and a few other dips. To avoid spending a fortune on serving pieces, I pulled out my stash of Pampered Chef Simple Additions and a borrowed a few other matching pieces from other family and friend Pampered Chef addicts like myself. It worked perfectly. The home was so modern and clean lines that the crisp white squares were perfect.
I ordered a plain white 3 tiered wedding cake and added a cute ribbon and scroll work to dress it up a bit and added a monogram topper from Hobby Lobby. Luckily one of my friends I recruited to help me was experienced in cake making and was able to sack it for me. Damon is a lover of cheesecake so naturally we chose that for his grooms cake. Luckily for us, Sam's Club sells Cheesecake Factory Cheesecakes frozen for a fraction of the cost and all of the taste.
All along I knew I wanted a Candy Buffet. Candy is expensive though! Since we were planning a May wedding, I was able to buy clearanced Valentines Day candy in pink and white and Easter candy in green, pink and white to fill my jars with 30 pounds of candy! That in and of itself was a huge money saver because full price for all of that candy would have been through the roof. I picked up matching jars at the thrift store for months leading up to the wedding to have enough and found perfect sized tongs at Dollar Tree too. The candy buffet was my favorite and a crowd favorite too!
We had these...
on this table...
to be served in these little boxes from Dollar Tree & Labels from E-bay.
I think in total, I spent about $400.00 on food, not bad for serving 75 guests.
Then the flowers. Oh the flowers. I have never been one who was able to make an arrangement fit for anything, so I was really nervous about this part. I went to the Wholesale Flower Market and picked out tons of flowers, not knowing what I needed or how much it would take. I just went by what I liked and said a number. Luckily it all worked out with little waste. At about 2 am the morning before our wedding, my team and I were whipping out beautiful corsages, boutonnieres, a bouquet and table arrangements. They were perfect, especially considering we didn't have the foggiest idea what we were doing. Other than watching a few you tube videos online, I didn't have any idea what to do.
I made sure we didn't leave any stones uncovered to personalize the space and make someone's lake home warm an inviting for our guests. I hung a moss covered P monogram on the front door to welcome them in.
For the ceremony, we rented a few plant stands that we placed beautiful ferns in, an arch that we decorated the basin of, and my mom and I sewed our little fingers off making chair sashes to give it a little bit of color.
I was inside getting ready while everyone was setting up and when I walked out and saw this...
I was in complete aw. All our hard work had become great and grand right in front of my eyes.
We had a beautiful lakeside ceremony surrounded by our friends and family that love us most and it was really such a beautiful, special day.
After all that hard work, running on very little sleep from the night before, I needed a cool off so we decided to take a dip!
I couldn't have done it without the massive amount of help from so many people. When I think back now, it was exactly what I wanted and I am so thankful to have been able to get exactly what I wanted without breaking the bank. This just goes to show that great design, whether it be in your home or for a party or even a wedding doesn't have to cost a fortune. A little planning, thinking outside the box and using every resource possible can make anything great and grand.