Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE details and making events beautiful, but I also LOVE to save money, getting a bargain, and making beautiful things from nothing or for really inexpensive. I am a firm believer that you can make a wedding beautiful and reflect your style on any budget! My favorite touches at our wedding were ones that didnt cost us anything! Our Vintage Furniture Lounges, our wooden wall backdrop and the amazing garden-y greenery strewn throughout the entire wedding were details that brought my vision to life without eating up our wedding budget. We were able to keep our decor costs low by making tons of stuff ourselves, borrowing from amazing family and friends, and then reselling alot of decorations after (checkout out websites like this to help you sell). I have laid out many of the details behind our homemade decor and hope you enjoy :)
Our guest sign in table was one of my favorite details on our wedding day and one of our cheapest. The long white table is borrowed from a family friend. A majority of the frames and lanterns we either already owned or borrowed from friends. The large gold oval frame was originally white. I purchased it from Ikea for about 25 bucks and used a can of metallic spray paint from home depot to make it gold. The easel it is on was an art easel from Michaels sprayed with the same gold paint. We created the "Mr. and Mrs. Stefani" using some scrap drop clothe we had, traced our wedding font (Bombshell Pro) onto the drop clothe and painted over with black paint. After it dried we stapled the clothe to a thick foam and then hot glued it to the back of the frame! The "guest book" frame and mat were both 50% off at Hobby Lobby! And all the greenery: FREE! All trimmings from trees around our property!
We saved on our invitations by doing a majority of the work ourselves. Off Etsy, I ordered a pdf file of the Invitation, RSVP card, and the Info card. The Etsy seller worked with me to get the right font and look. I then took the file to a local printing shop (we tried to shop local businesses as much as possible). They printed them on a pearl paper and cut them for us. We assembled and bundled them up. They were a ton of work but a quarter of the price of the pre-made invites I had my eyes on!
Our arch was another labor of love. I had seen a picture on pinterest of this whimisical, branch-y arch that I fell in love with and felt would complete our garnden-y theme. We showed the idea to our florist who informed us to get the look we wanted, we were looking at close to 500 bucks. So we contacted a family friend who has property in the hills of Gilroy to see if they could spare some branches off one of their many trees. They were so gracious and gave us the go ahead! It look two trips of pruning but we got the branches we needed...for free! and purchased this flimsy little arch off amazon for 25 bucks to use as our base and began wiring the branches we trimmed onto the arch (only after we pulled every little leaf of every little branch...it was TIME consuming! but worth it) To give it a complete garden-y look we had the florist add some flowers!
These gold tables were borrowed from another family friend and spray painted gold, the pots: given to us by my mother in law who was getting rid of them, and our florist threw in the two flower arrangements for free (she used scraps from other arrangements! we totally were blessed by so many people! Thank you)
The Seating Chart! My dad designed and whipped this bad boy up two days before the wedding and it was such a hit! (My dad builds custom cabinetry for a living so he has all the material in his workshop already, we just bought the chalkboard paint!) This was ALL him!
The Wall. Oh the Wall. This truly was my favorite detail of the day and our biggest project. Best part....this wall was 100% FREE. Ill, explain.... We found some old fence boards for sale close by and then found another load of fence boards that someone was giving away for free! My dad created the walls and the shelves from the fence boards we had both purchased and been given for free. To paint the Mr. and Mrs. Stefani onto the wall, I designed my wording in Photoshop and then had a transparency printed at Staples with the wording for .99 cents. We borrowed our churches ancient overhead projector (thanks New Hope!) and waited until night to project the image onto our giant wall and traced with chalk. My mom then filled in all the words with maybe $2.00 worth of white paint and wala! We then raided another family friend’s home and barn and borrowed all sorts of fun lanterns, vintage clocks, frames, etc to decorate our wall for free! I wanted the wall to again have a whimsical garden-y feel so it needed lots of green. We used trimmings from the trees around our property to give it this “dripping” look without paying more for flowers! Once our wedding was over, we had several people interested in purchasing panels of the wall. We ended up selling all of our panels for enough to completely cancel out all that we had spent on the lumber and hardware to build the wall which is what made the wall totally free! Seriously such a blessing!
Our gold sequin tablecloth: this was a huge part of my vision for the day but we were having hard time finding a tablebloth that would be long enough for our giant 30 foot Head Table that wouldn't cost us an arm and a leg! We found this fabric on a whole sale website and my mom sewed a drop clothe backing onto the fabric that was hidden behind the head table the whole time!
Our centerpieces! Our log vases were free but sooooo much work. We cut down our own trees off my grandparents property, cut them down to the size we wanted, let them sit out and dry for months, and then spent so many hours drilling out the centers. All we paid for were the flowers that went inside them!
We made our favors. Purchased the bottles off a wholesale website, bought all our olive oil at Costco, I designed the label and the ribbon is from Michaels. Super cheap!
Table numbers, we of course used the free fence boards, antiqued the fresh cut edges with apple cider vinegar and steel wool to give it a warn look again and then painted the numbers on with gold paint! Doilies are all from second hand stores or family members.
Gold chargers: FREE! I wanted these to give our tables a garden party feel but they were sooo expensive to rent so we bought them from the Dollar Tree’s Christmas collection and then after the wedding I sold them on Ruffled Blog’s “Recycle Your Wedding” for exactly what we paid! Also, to add more greener-y to the table without increasing our florist costs, we trimmed leaves in sets of two off a plant in our backyard and tucked it in to each place setting. Didn't cost us a thing but added so much!
5 Dollar frame sprayed gold with a piece of wood sprayed in chalkboard paint for our drink menu!
I designed our program fans and our menus in Photoshop and had them printed at Staples (which I think after paper and ink is cheaper than printing at home for large quantities). We borrowed this drawer cabinet that the programs are displayed in from a family friend and it turned out so cute but didn't cost a thing! Bridesmaids, family, and friends helped us cut, glue, and assemble the programs! Popsicle sticks from Michaels and ribbon from a wholesale website!
My grandma had these two doors she found at a garage sale a while back so I painted them peach-y pink and spray painted the hardware with the gold metallic spray paint. Bought some chicken wire at home depot, sprayed it gold and stapled it to the back of the door! Bought the wood letters at Hobby Lobby, a sheet of moss at JoAnn's and hot glued it to the letters. Stapled some lace ribbon and and there you go!
Chalkboard Signs: We cut down pieces of the free fence boards and then spray painted a piece of wood with chalkboard paint and stapled it in our little homemade easel. Again we traced our wedding font and filled in with chalk! Only paid for chalkboard paint and chalk!
Our Vintage Furniture Lounges: FREE! We either borrowed or had almost all the pieces in our lounges (trunks, tables, chairs, pillows) with the exception of the white couch, loveseat and chair. We bought these on craigslist but sold them immediately after the wedding for the exact price we paid for the furniture! The pillows were made with the scraps of our tablecloth fabric and again the greenery was trimmed from our trees in the yard!
Signs made with scraps of the free fence board, paint, and a couple screws!
Our dessert bar! I wanted to have a hutch as the centerpiece of our dessert display so we found an older, ugly brown hutch on craigslist for 75 bucks. A repaired crack, sanding, and some peachy/pink paint and the hutch was exactly what we were looking for! The “Love is Sweet” sign was made from one of our free fence boards that we again traced our wedding font onto. The greenery dripping out of the drawers and around the hutch is all trimmings from around our yard (free) and the thick green garland draped across the two dessert tables is the garland from our florist that lined the ceremony aisle. We repurposed the remaining garland atop the two cabinets that held all of the coffee mugs for dessert coffee. The tall white cabinets and white table used for the coffee bar were all borrowed and all free! Milk jugs for creamer were borrowed but can be purchased at Hobby Lobby. The lamps were borrowed from a family friend and all the cake plates, canisters and platters were ours or borrowed! We used my grandmas antique lace tablecloths. Chalkboard tags and little chalkboards stands to label desserts under a dollar at Michaels. Our cake was made by an amazing baker who makes GORGEOUS cakes, Megan Dequine, and the rest of our desserts were made by family and friends and were so so delicious!
Cake succulents from my mother in laws garden!
Thank you to ALL who worked so hard to make this day happen and create all these details!!