Frugal, Fairy Tale Weddings, Part 1

Whether you are currently planning your own wedding or will help a family member, friend, child, or grandchild with their special day at some point in the future, this series is for you! Stick around as I share my wedding planning experience with you, which proves that a fairy tale wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

My mother, sister and I have joined forces to write this mini-series, which I have entitled Frugal Fairy Tale Weddings. These ideas stem mainly from our wedding 5 1/2 years ago, but two of my siblings have also wed since then, so a few of the ideas come from their special days.

My husband and I were married in March of 2006. To this day, we continue to receive compliments about reverence and beauty of our ceremony and the loveliness of our afternoon tea reception. What makes these comments particularly enjoyable to me is thinking about how we were able to pull off what we did at a fraction of what it would normally cost. Granted, we did all of the preparations ourselves with the help of family and friends, but, we figure that we pulled off a $20,000 wedding for about $5,000.

The festivities began early in the week with out-of-town guests, a tea party with some close friends, a rehearsal and dinner, a coffee time with the out-of-towners the night before the big day, a large, beautiful ceremony, and an English afternoon tea reception. It was a dreamy day: one which my husband and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.

$5,000. What did this include? Here’s a partial list:

  • wedding invitations
  • my wedding dress
  • several tuxedo rentals
  • dresses for the mother of the bride and flower girl
  • decorations for the sanctuary and reception hall
  • fresh flowers
  • professional pictures
  • food for the reception
  • church, reception hall, and chair rentals
  • honorariums for musicians and ministers
  • gifts for helpers

Our family’s philosophy is that a wedding should be a beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime event, but should not deplete the gift-giving of the couple’s families. Often the money that parents have to give is spent on the festivities surrounding the wedding. How wonderful would it be if some of that money could be saved through wise wedding planning, and then given to the couple to invest in a home or for their future?

Take a look at some pictures from our wedding day, and then join me as the series continues later this week.

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  1. Andria,

    Great topic! We so often hear about people spending tens of thousands of dollars for their wedding and then regretting it in the long run. Can’t wait to read the rest of your series!


  2. Lovely! I love the tea idea and look forward to this series…..and as you know, I hope we will need it one day :-).


  1. […] back to Frugal Fairy Tale Weddings! As I mentioned in Part One, my husband and I enjoyed a beautiful wedding day with a price tag of about $5,000. In this series, […]

  2. […] you’re just joining us, don’t forget to read Part One (an inside peek at the cost of our wedding), and Part Two (ideas for keeping the cost down on the […]

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