To say that I haven’t posted in a while would be an understatement. Much has occurred since my last musing. The most exciting of which, I guess would be that I got married ;) Yup, we finally did it and I have to say that it was fabulous. Not just the whole getting married to the most amazingly perfect man (for me) but rather, the wedding itself. I don’t care if this  makes me sound like a pretentious elitist snob — Our wedding was the shit.

We decided early on that the wedding would be very DIY. We did this for two reasons — 1) If you & your partner are crafty then this is a very inexpensive wedding path to choose. 2) Japh and I are down to the core DIY’ers and are kinda control freaks and didn’t really trust people (vendors) to be able to pull off exactly what we envisions. Ok, ok…truth be told it was more about saving money. Our total wedding budget was $15k and $12k basically went to our venue. If you are playing along at home, that only left us $3k to take care of all of the details.

Oh. My. Goodness. So many details. There’s my dress, his suit, the bouquets, the centerpieces, the guest gifts, the escort cards, the save the dates, the invitations, the music, the officiant, the photographers, the venue, the food, the bridesmaids dresses, the boutineers, the first dance song, etc. It just goes on and on and on. Most of these things come with a price tag, and a hefty one at that if you aren’t careful. With approximately $3k we pulled off the following:

Centerpieces were a combo of tree branches, inexpensive copper(esque) French flower buckets, book page flowers, twine, ribbon, old books picked up at garage sales, already owned vintage mason jars, candles and Japh’s mother’s lace doilies that she had collected. Total approximate cost $105.00 (about $13.00 each).

Materials are inexpensive, but this bouquet was incredibly time consuming.

Holy mother of Christ are flowers expensive. Outside of the price (which, of course was a huge factor), we decided early on that the bouquets would be paper. After making countless book page flowers and attempting to put them together as a bouquet, we noticed that something was definitely missing. W e had a fair amount of burlap ribbon left over from the centerpieces and after a peruse on the internet I came across a moderately simple tutorial for burlap roses. Total approximate cost for the materials used in my bouquet $14.00.

UPDATE 9.04.13:  Though, I must admit that while the raw cost is relatively low – this bouquet takes quite a bit of time to put together. Which my husband and I have learned now that we have decided to make and sell custom bouquets similar to the ones pictured here.

I had three bridesmaids, and we created a toned down version of my bouquet for them (because as Japh pointed out — mine should be the most awesome). Total approximate cost for each bridesmaids bouquet $6.00.

This seems to be the best shot of the boutonnieres. I have to credit Japh on this one. I came home one day from work and he had designed and made all of them. Total approximate cost for six boutonnieres $4.00 .

I waited for what some would say was a long time before I purchased my wedding dress. I bought it EIGHT months prior to the wedding but most people that I encountered were appalled shortly after we announced that I hadn’t even put much thought into my dress. Those people are dum dums. It’s a god damn dress. Yes, sure it’s important but there was no way that I was going to let that rule my world until I found one. I knew that I didn’t want to look like a layer cake. No judgement if that’s what you want — ok, that’s a lie. I just knew that for me, as a 30 year old grown ass woman that I wasn’t going to squeeze this size 12 body into a mess of ruffles, tulle and beads. Enter Kimera Designs. I discovered this gem of a dress shop on Yelp and am eternally grateful because of it. Yvvone, the shop owner and designer custom made me the most affordable yet elegantly simple dress. Total cost of th edress $ 620.00. Crystal hair comb, Free (already owned). Shoes (not pictured) $35.00 gold Chinese Laundry ballet flats. Earrings, Free (a gift from my Aunt who owns an accessories shop in Midtown Manhattan). Under garments, technically $80.00 but I never ended up wearing them because that stuff makes it hard to breathe. Total approximate cost of outfit (including undergarments even though they weren’t worn) $735.00.

For our guestbook we used a typewriter from the 1930′s (borrowed from the Best Man because we didn’t have time to get ours oiled and serviced). Total cost $8.00 (for new ink ribbon).

Japh & I hadn’t really even considered escort cards until a week before the wedding. I feel as if these are the kind of things that only kinda matter. We didn’t want to spend much on something that would for the most part be thrown away, so we utilized our library card RSVP template and put together some make shift escort cards. Total approximate cost $2.00 (paper was leftover from our invites)

Japh’s suit was a bit of a stresser. We purchased a gorgeous one pretty early on in the planning stages for about $150.00. As we got dramatically closer to the wedding the suit didn’t fit all that well. We had bought it about a size too small off Ebay thinking that Japh would most likely loose a bit of weight. Never, ever, ever do that. So two weeks before the wedding we scrambled but luckily found this amazing 3-piece corduroy vintage dead stock suit on Ebay for $170.00. Shoes, Free (already owned). Tie, Free (was a lovely extra from the seller of the second suit). Shirt, $25.00. Total cost of outfit (including previously purchased suit) $345.00.

Hair and make-up. This is something that I hadn’t even considered until my mother gave me a heart attack about it when she found out that I hadn’t hired someone. It was two weeks before the wedding and there I am scrambling across Yelp when I find Margie. After some negotiations we find common ground and overall I was pretty pleased with the results. Total cost $325.00 (including trial dry run in which I’m quite certain she thought I was a crazy person because I kept asking her to stop putting so much god damn make-up on me).

Now we are at $1,562.00 with $1,438.00 left in our budget. Here is a breakdown of some of the remaining items:

  • Photographers: $600.00 (including tip)
  • Rings: $43.00 (mine was free, it was my mother’s, Japh purchased a titanium band on Etsy)
  • Save the Dates: $12.00 (for postage. Japh designed them & I printed them at work)
  • Invites: $47.00 (for stationary & postage)
  • Officiant: FREE (we paid him with veggies and herbs from our roof garden)

At this point we were left with $766.00 for misc emergency stuff, taxis, bridal party gifts, etc. Suffice to say, we stayed under budget.

I’m seriously a lucky gal. We had the most wonderful wedding and our guests were amazing. While I am a married lady now I don’t feel all that different. Perhaps time will change that but I kinda hope that it doesn’t. In any case — Cheers to not breaking the bank and still getting exactly what you want!