wedding this and that

Why, hello!  It's been a few days of intense grading around these parts, but I thought I'd squeeze in one more post about wedding goodness before moving on to all of the wonderful fall things that are beginning to fill my days.  

Last week I shared a bit about our wedding (our wedding day) and a few of the things that I created myself (my wedding dress, wedding flowers) in order to save money and truly make it my own.  Today, I'd thought I'd share a few more of those things, in hopes that you'd be inspired to take a simpler approach to event planning and celebrations.  

In our world of Pinterest and DIY craziness, it's easy to get swept away in the excitement and creativity of it all.  However, a lot of the DIY ideas out there aren't really all that cost effective!  My goal, when planning our wedding, was to be able to make things myself for much less than I would have been able to buy them.  I love making and creating things, but if the final product is not cheaper and/or better quality than the store-bought version, I don't usually think it's worth it.  

Today I thought I'd highlight a few of the things that I really enjoyed making and ended up being super happy with the finished products, both in cost and quality.  

The decorations were by far my favorite.  While I don't have pictures of everything, I was beyond satisfied with what I created for our reception and ceremony.  My inspiration for these started with a few pieces of fabric that I found in our wedding colors and accents.  These accent fabrics were then used for our "bride" and "groom" signs for the head table, for decorative shoe clips for my ladies, as a hair clip for my 'lil lady, and as the background for some of our beer-bottle and glass bead magnets that we gave as favors.  Being the coordinated person that I am, I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating these fabrics into as many things as possible.  

One of my favorite decoration pieces were the tissue paper flowers that I made with some of my girlfriends.  We spent one lovely summer afternoon at my house making these wonderful flowers for just a few dollars and they added so much to the beauty of our day!  They were made from the tissue paper of old unwanted sewing patterns that I got at a textile sale for $0.10 a piece.  I purchased 30 patterns (for a whopping total of $3.00) and I think we only used about 10 of them!  We secured the flowers with floral wire that I got at a craft store for a few dollars and put them into vases that were made from bottles that I saved from my kitchen recyclables and wrapped in twine.  I absolutely loved the way they turned out!  And this project was SOOOOO affordable! 

The table runners were made from burlap coffee bags that we got for free from a local coffee roaster and they were covered with a layer of sheer fabric that matched the sheer overlay on my wedding dress.  Once again, I adored the coordination and the prices! 

For our ceremony, my dad built us a gorgeous arbor, which now stands at the entrance of our garden, and we filled the area around it with hanging baskets and potted plants from my dad's and grandma's houses.  Since the ceremony was right next to the reception tent, the plants added color and life to our reception as well.

A friend of ours (pictured below) graciously lent us the beautiful birdcage that our 'lil lady carried down the isle.  I wanted something different for her and the bird theme was perfect.  A similar borrowed bird cage was also used as a "card basket" near the dessert table.  While I loved the color and fun that these pretty bird cages added, I also loved how I was able to borrow them and not spend a dime! 

We loved everything about our wedding, but one of the things that I loved the most was the fact that we were able to celebrate our love together and begin our lives together without any debt or wedding bills to pay after it was all said and done.  Part of this was due to the generosity of our family and loved ones, but it was also due to the fact that I got creative with the things that I could control.  It can be hard to save much money when it comes to venues and food, but you can most definitely save money by finding creative ways to decorate.  Making all of these things I did also provided so many opportunities to spend time with those I love.  We crafted together and enjoyed each other's company.  It made our wedding much more of a communal affair.  In my opinion, being surrounded by community is one of the best ways to start a marriage.