Our frugal wedding: Reflections and photos :)
Aline asked about seeing a wedding photo that actually showed our faces. ;) Here we are at our reception. :) I can't remember who took this picture, but it's one of my favorites! :)
I thought that I'd also write a little bit about our wedding, for anyone interested. I've been meaning to write about our wedding ever since I read this post by my cousin Willa. So whether you're looking for frugal wedding ideas, or you just like reading about weddings, here you go! ;)
Joshua and I paid for our own wedding, so we naturally tried to find frugal ways of planning a wedding! :) We actually preferred planning and funding our own wedding, since it meant that we could make our own choices without feeling pressured to do things a certain way. :)
We had a church wedding, at my parents' Baptist church, but Joshua's pastor who is Messianic from the Seattle area flew here to Ohio to perform the ceremony.
We had a small wedding party -- just a best man and a maid of honor. We asked the best man to wear a black suit with a blue tie. My maid of honor lives in Washington state, so I mailed her a few shades of blue and asked her to find a nice dress in one of those colors. She found a lovely blue dress and her mom altered it to fit her perfectly! :)
I found a new wedding gown for $69 on the clearance rack at a bridal shop. It was one of the few modest choices there, but I loved it!! My mom altered it for me, and the bridal store steamed it (for free, since I had bought it there) right before the wedding.
I made my own veil from tulle. It wasn't difficult to make, and I added some silk roses at the top, and put white and blue ribbons in it. I think the veil cost less than $5! :)
We did hire a professional photographer, but were able to get an extremely good rate due to several factors.
First, we were married on a Tuesday evening in March -- a day when most photographers aren't booked. :) (But we didn't choose the date for this reason!)
Secondly, because we had such a small wedding party, there weren't nearly so many shots to take.
Thirdly, since Joshua and I didn't plan to do the traditional "don't see each other all day" on our wedding day, we were able to have all of our photos done before and during the wedding, with none afterwards (meaning that our photographer didn't stay afterwards at all). We had friends and relatives who took photos at the reception. :)
In the end, we got about 80 photos plus the negatives (I guess digital wasn't so popular back then?) for $300. That was a LOT cheaper than the other quotes I had found! :)
(As a side note, the pictures I'm posting were scanned and resized several times through the years -- I should have Joshua scan a couple of fresh ones! haha)
We also had a chuppah, which my grandfather built for us. We painted it white and then decorated it. It was huge. (It disassembled for transport.) It was surprisingly difficult to get it to look as nice as it did. More tulle and lots of cheap silk yellow roses... It was nice when it was finished, though! :)
Since I wanted to have as much wedding preparation done in advance as possible, we had silk flowers. A friend of mine who is a florist went with me to pick out flowers, and then I tried to describe how I wanted my bouquet to look. :) She did a great job! :)
We also did our own food! Okay, I guess you all expected that. But trust me, this was long before the idea of a cooking blog (or a blog at all!) had entered into my mind. ;)
We had the help of friends and family -- we served things like potato salad, broccoli and cauliflower salad, punch, cake, relish trays... oh, and hot roast beef sandwiches. I got the meat on sale and did it up myself and we froze it until the wedding day. Joshua was in charge of making several huge bowls of fruit salad on the day of our wedding! They were beautiful.
We made way too much food, though. There were lots of leftovers! And if I had to go it again, I'd definitely choose foods that could all be prepared at least a day or two (or more!) in advance. :)
One thing we didn't do "frugally" was our ketuvah. (Here is a link to the one we bought.) We ordered ours personalized with our names, location, etc. hand-written in calligraphy. Such an important covenant deserves to be beautifully documented! :)
Final thoughts? I think weddings should be how the couple desires... which may mean "splurging" in a few areas that are the most important to them, but doing things simply in other areas. Joshua and I wanted a nice ketuvah, some good photos, and lots of yummy food for our guests. :) We did a lot of things ourselves, with the help of our family and friends. We could never have done it all!!
I'm honestly not sure exactly how much our wedding cost in the end, since Joshua and I lived in different states while we were planning the wedding, and we each paid for different parts (for example, he ordered the ketuvah, and I located a photographer), but we certainly didn't go into debt, and minus the cost of the ketuvah and the plane ticket for our pastor, I'm pretty sure the rest was under $1K. :)
So, there you have it! :)