Aren’t weddings super expensive? And when you’re done, you’ve got some really nice pictures, some great memories and a lot of debt! According to The Knot, the average wedding in 2016 (minus the honeymoon) costs $35,329! That is NOT a typo!
I don’t understand this trend. When I got married, it costs $3,000. And people said it was one of the best weddings they ever went to! So, when it came time for my daughters’ wedding, we had 40 people. Those who are the nearest and the dearest. And we did it for under $500! And again, not a typo. Here’s how!
This is the venue aka, my backyard! We borrowed my sister’s awning/tent/whatever it is and strung lights around the edges. The poles were covered in cornstalks.
Here’s another daylight shot while we were setting up. Don’t ya just love the 125-year-old stone barn? I’m lucky to have it in my backyard. It went up for sale and I had first dibs, but $12,000 was a bit pricey.
The “cake table” was an old wash tub from my mudroom. My sister Libby made the cake (for the price of the ingredients!) and it was beautiful! Weeds picked from a country road, flowers and a few pumpkins round out the look.
A hot dog bar made eating easy. No need for tables, linens, place settings etc. An old camp stove holds an enamel pot. This was used to keep the dogs warm after they were grilled. A lunch box holds utensils and a wood food box for the buns. I bought a tablecloth and cut it in two for both tables.
Walking tacos were the other food served. Again, easy to make and eat while sitting on hay bales. People had seconds and thirds! A funky 1970’s crockpot keeps the taco meat warm and chips were kept in a vintage tin picnic basket.
The photo booth was a last minute inspiration! While buying the booze for the rum punch, I saw some glasses with fake noses! We propped an old barn door (off the stone barn next door), grabbed an old picture frame, hats and old furs (you know, to dress up the noses!) and hung them from old crutches. There’s a suitcase with scarves and a chalkboard that reminds you to SMILE!
Straw bales covered with vintage camp blankets and quilts were perfect seating! And, guess what? They’re surprisingly comfy!
Vintage coolers, Adirondack chairs, and pennant pillows! The crock holds cute little blooms and the green McCoy bowl holds buckeyes! Let’s go Ohio State!!!
As the night wore on, people gathered around the fire for s’mores and hot chocolate! The cocoa was a huge hit! I was still knee deep in rum punch to have any!
We used a 1950’s enamel kitchen utility table for the s’mores. Easy and you don’t have to worry about messing it up. In fact, the food was also on vintage enamel top kitchen tables as well.
A vintage “drinks station”. The washtub held beer and sodas. The green enamel drinks dispenser contained the rum punch and the old wash basin iced the champagne and Lake Erie wines.
The “gift” table was stacked vintage picnic baskets. A lunch box for cards, thermos full of flowers and candies in vintage kitchen jars are used in the display.
Everyone had a great time! And the most important part of the night was the people who were there. We danced, drank and ate without worrying about our clothes or embarrassing ourselves in front of acquaintances. I know there are people who love the big splashy Pinterest-worthy wedding. But it doesn’t have to drive you into debt to do it. Here’s the breakdown on what we spent:
- Decor $64 (this includes pumpkins, flowers, tablecloth, The rest was from my house and my sisters’ houses.)
- Invites $32 (the mock-up from an Etsy shop was $8, envelopes from Staples and stamps. Thanks for printing Heather!)
- Cake $17 (thanks, Libby!)
- Booze $141
- Soda $20
- Food $117
- Wood $12
- Utensils $20
The tent was from my sister, Thanks, Nicki! Music was a custom playlist of Halloween and dance music (plus whatever Emersyn played!) Pictures were courtesy of everyone. Jello shots were a gift from my new daughter-in-laws’ co=worker (and they were delicious!!). She was also kind enough to let us go to her farm and cut down corn stalks. This brings the grand total t $423! Unbelievable, right?
Anyone can do this! If you don’t have things like I used, start collection. The great thing is, you can decorate your home and almost all of these items have an everyday use! Win win!