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Archive for the ‘Real Weddings’ Category

Everything about this charming wedding says “perfect,” from its adorable couple, Sharon and Casey, to its unbelievable budget and ingenious DIY elements. It’s amazing what this couple accomplished with only $2000 (minus the coordinator and photography, who were family friends). But instead of rambling on, I’ll get to the good stuff…the pictures! Enjoy!

The wedding was held in the couple's friend's backyard on the warmest day you can find in San Diego in January. Almost everything was borrowed or reused to give the wedding a charming, "homey" feel. Roses and hydrangeas were bought from a wholesale flower mart and fillers were picked the morning of the wedding from the side of the road in the neighborhood where the wedding was held. Mason jars acted as escort cards, favors, and drink holders for the evening. The couple collected wine bottles from friends to adorn the table with and the tablecloths were made from muslin ($1.99/yard!) and burlap coffee sacks. Rustic and oh-so-chic.

The bride and groom asked select friends and family to make desserts that were signature or special to them and the reception meal consisted of some major comfort foods: soup and homemade cornbread. Since Sharon had 9 bridesmaids, she broke up the monotony with 3 different dresses from Urban Outfitters. A family friends crafted a "photo booth" from scrap plywood, burlap, homemade pennants, and a recycled mirror, where guests could take their pictures with a chalkboard to write special messages to the couple. They had a friend take the photos.

Is anyone else hopelessly in love with this adorable wedding? sighh…….see more pictures at the photographer Sean Walker’s website.

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Now this is a couple going to extreme measures to pay for their wedding. Pete and Andrea of Spokane, WA are on a mission to collect and recycle 400,000 cans to pay for their modest $4000 wedding in July. Sound crazy? Maybe…but only until it hits you that they are going to accomplish their dream day and save the planet all at the same time. Andrea and Peter claim that after they recycle the planned five tons of aluminum, they will have offset five years of their own carbon footprints—in addition to the emissions from the wedding itself.

As their website says, “the whole ‘mission’ thing sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s the truth. Our relationship has been a bit off kilter from the beginning, and why should our wedding be any different? We don’t want anything huge or extravagant… really, we’re planning a potluck, DIY decorations, and getting the help from friends and family for flowers, pictures, the sword-fighting battle, home brew beer, even the cake.” But even after all the strategic planning and generous help from family and friends, this couple is still in need of cash for the wedding (a common feeling among brides, I’m sure).

Pete and Andrea have collected 328,424 cans so far in addition to cash contributions equivalent to 116,563 cans. The couple still has 71,576 cans to go! Wanna help? Visit their website and find out how!

While paying for your entire wedding this way may be too “out there” for you, Pete and Andrea are definitely onto something. Collect and recycle your own cans to pay for favors, invitations, a DJ, or any other smaller item in your budget. Sell your old “treasures” on Ebay or craigslist for someone else to love, while scoring you extra cash for your big day. There are plenty of unique ways to not only save big, but to save our lovely planet as well.

So what do you think? Are Pete and Andrea nuts or absolutely genius? Would you ever tackle such a cost-saving  project?

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Rustic, elegant, and understated describe this Greeneville, TN wedding for Tosha and Will. Featured on Style Me Pretty last month, this wedding is too cute not to share! From ring bearer pillows made out of their old love letters to their deliciously sweet dessert reception, this wedding has all the charm, and none of the fluff that usually runs up the bill. Take a look at some of their unique elements below!

Ring pillows out of love letters? Doesn't get much more romantic than that!

The couple saved gobs of money by tackling many DIY projects themselves, including this table assignment board, made out of plywood and painted with chalkboard paint.

The couple strung black and white photographs of all the couples in their lives, giving their decor a personal and sentimental touch.

Bouquets made out of garden roses (for Tosha) and baby's breath (for the bridesmaids) kept flower costs low. Flowers used on the tables were provided by Tosha's grandmother's garden. And how cute are those gray bridesmaids' dresses? They're even cuter knowing they snagged them for a deal at of all places, Target. 🙂

Tosha's gown was one of her biggest "splurges," though she found it through Bride Power, a company that searches for designer dress samples in stores across the country.

Opting for a dessert buffet instead of a fancy sit down dinner saved the couple tons of money. And who doesn't like dessert? The answer, no one. 🙂

For more pictures of this adorable wedding, head here.

Happy Planning! 🙂

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Ok, while searching for decorating ideas for my boyfriend’s new house, i stumbled upon an amazing site called Young House Love, where a young couple has documented everything about their 53 year old house, from remodeling every room to getting married in their own backyard for under $4000! Sherry and John have done an amazing job remodeling their home, which I highly encourage you check out. But since this is a wedding blog, I’ll try to stay focused.

You can read and see details from their entire planning process to the big day here, but I’ll share with you a few of my favorite details.

It helps that Sherry and John had an amazing backyard that worked perfectly with their vision for the day. If your backyard doesn’t look like this (mine sure doesn’t), I bet you know someone whose backyard does (or would with a little help from a weed whacker).


One of the biggest qualms about hosting a wedding at home is the rental cost- everything from tents, to tables and chairs, to serving ware. But John and Sherry only shelled out $350 for rentals. How? They actually purchased silverware and glassware (hail Ikea) for less than the cost of renting them ($250 spent) and were able to donate all of it to a local charity after the wedding…talk about philanthropy and a $250 tax write off!


Refreshments were served in recycled wine bottles (FREE from a local wine retailer) for a classy, glassy look on the tables.


The only real splurge the Petersik’s indulged in was a photo booth for $1200 that coordinated with their save the dates and favors. And for $1200, they and their guests received endless memories captured on adorable film strips and keepsakes they’ll treasure forever.


In lieu  of a traditional slide show, John and Sherry hung pictures on a “clothesline” depicting their life stories, from childhood to falling in love. With a project like this, you’ll not only save money (they spent $20 total), you’ll save so much time scanning and editing mountains of photos.

The menu could be a described as a classy BBQ, with entree options including blue cheese burgers with Parmesan Caesar dressing, sweet apple chicken sausage with honey dijon, and tomato and cheddar veggie burgers, sure to satisfy even the pickiest of tastes. Sides included shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit, lemon pepper potato chips, and other simple, yet classy fares.


With famous cupcakes from a local grocery store and s’mores around the fire for dessert, this garden wedding was nothing less than a picture-perfect event for this DIY couple.

See more pictures, get DIY tips, and check out the final cost breakdown here. This is what it’s all about. Beauty, fun, a whole lot of love, and a day they’ll never forget…with money leftover to put in savings, go on a lavish honeymoon…or to remodel their 53 year old house! Love it. 🙂

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