Broke-Ass Category: DIY & Handmade Weddings

1/10

I mentioned a while ago that we planned to use fake flowers when it came time for bouquets, bouts, corsages and decor. So that’s what we did. Other than my bouquet, every other piece of flowery goodness was made with artificial flowers, and we were insanely happy with how they all turned out.

We had two separate seating areas since dinner was outdoors, and dancing and partying were in the barn. Because of that, we wanted to do two different centerpieces. Outside, we had three long rows of tables, which we covered in pink linens with cream doily runners and 30 centerpieces made with flowers and carousel horses.

Rachel's outdoor dinner tablescape

Rachel's carousel horse centerpieces

My mom found the bases on clearance and spray painted them aqua. She made all of the flower arrangements, including really cute fabric flowers with buttons in the center. The carousel horses were an eBay find, and while I don’t know the exact price, they weren’t super expensive. Once they were all put together, I was obsessed. They went perfectly with the linens, mismatched china and doilies. We also put boxes of Cracker Jacks and jars of gumballs out, too. My sister-in-law and bridesmaid, Rachel, hand-folded all of the napkins into pinwheels because she is the best ever, and we used homemade cream cheese mints as the centers. I made the actual batter (dough? I really don’t know what it is, lol), but my mom, SIL and a couple of other really awesome helpers made them into edible treats.

Real Bride Rachel's table settings

Listen, it was windy. Though not exactly how you set a table, the fork made sure those legit napkins didn’t blow away. After all the work of folding them, that would have been a travesty.

Inside the barn was our party area, so we decided to go with fun, whimsical centerpieces for the eight round tables we set up. We took some of the best parts of a carnival and rolled them all into one fun arrangement.

Rachel's centerpieces inside her venue

Rachel's centerpieces inside her barn venue

Icees? Popcorn? Rock candy? Lollipops? Cotton candy? Check. My mom made all of it — from the fake candy to the fabric suckers to the paper pinwheels. I mean, she didn’t go all Ghost on me and make the pots on a pottery wheel, but she did paint them. The little white LED lights were a great addition, too. We used cream linens for the tables, and we put peanuts out for everyone to munch on. Random aside, but my grandma was a HUGE fan. She was snacking all night. The centerpieces were the perfect fit.

Our bridesmaid bouquets were one of my favorite parts of them entire wedding. I LOVE them. They were one of the first things my mom and I brainstormed about back when Russel and I picked our colors and theme. It was hard to articulate what I wanted, because I really didn’t even know. I wanted different shades of pink, and I like roses, succulents, peonies and ranunculus. Aqua flowers aren’t a thing, so we knew that would have to come in in the ribbon. I remember seeing the first prototype and thinking, “Oh lord, this might not work.” But as always, my mom came through.

Bridesmaid bouquets made with artificial flowers

Rachel's artificial flower bridesmaid bouquets

They were so light and airy, and I loved all of the little pops of pink. We used aqua ribbon and finished them off with one little doily around the stems. I honestly have no idea how much they ended up costing, but I can tell you it was a fraction of what real flowers would have been.

The boutonnieres were single pink roses with aqua and white flags and aqua ribbon. I wish I had a close up, because they were super cute.

Rachel's artificial bridesmaid bouquet and bouttonierres

The bouts for the dads, grandpas, officiant and reader (AKA my brothers) were just simple pink flowers. The corsages for the special ladies in our lives were made with the same flowers as the bouquets. We also had some random floral arrangements throughout the fairgrounds as well. There were two large pieces attached to the gates as you walked in that had our initials in the center, plus arrangements on the guestbook table, cake table, etc. For a gal who can take or leave flowers in normal, every day life, we ended up having a lot of beautiful floral-y goodness all over the place.

If we had tried to make everything with fresh flowers, it would have cost us a fortune, and then we would have been out there the next day throwing them in the trash alongside bottles and peanut shells. How depressing. I’d rather sell them to a fellow Broke-Ass Bride and help her have a beautiful wedding while also putting some cash in our pockets, so that’s what we’re doing. We’ve already sold a few things, and are hoping to offload the rest in the next couple months. You never know, I may end up at one of those resale bridal shows I attended last year. We shall see!

 

All photos by Jenni Bella Photography

 

  • 1/9

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve planned to make my own wedding cake. I realize this is not an easy undertaking, and have been warned by multiple friends that this could add additional stress to my wedding day. DIYing is awesome, but making a cake is something you have to do basically the day before and can end in multiple disasters. However, I am a huge baking geek. I love coming up with new and exciting recipes. For me, baking is my “thing.” It’s my creative outlet. It relaxes me, so hopefully that will offset the additional stress. For me to make something beautiful and unique all on my own for my wedding day, something I can share with my husband and my closest loved ones … it’s just very meaningful.

    While my self-taught cake decorating skills are still a work in progress, I feel like by then I might be able to make something pretty damn good. My freehand buttercream isn’t too bad, as seen below in last year’s Easter cake:

    Holly's DIY easter cake

    And my creativity and punniness is on point, as seen in Evan’s last birthday cake (if you can’t tell, it’s supposed to be shaped like a pint):

    Holly's DIY birthday cake for her fiance

    I know it’s not on par with something a professional would do … yet. So, I did what any grown-ass woman would do with a goal: I took a class!

    Here’s the Disney-princess themed cupcakes I made after my first class (with fondant):

    Holly's disney princess cupcakes

    Not bad, right?

    Since then, I’ve been practicing and watching online tutorials as well and have invested in some good quality tools and gear such as a cake turntable. My plan will be to bake the layers a few days before the wedding, freeze them and then do the assembling and baking on-site the day before. I won’t put pressure on myself to do anything too crazy extravagant, but something I can be proud of. Plus, my fiance has eaten every baking success and disaster that has happened so far in our relationship and no matter how badly I fail, he insists it still tastes good. So long we can still shove it in each other’s mouths, I’m happy.

  • 12/20

    RR-31

    Our wedding was the best day ever, so naturally we wanted some really fun ways to remember it. I talked about my way too expensive Instax guestbook a while back, and while it did cost a pretty penny, I am SO glad we ended up doing it. I am obsessed. There was a time when we had no idea where the guestbook was going to…

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    9/13

    DIY or DIE arbor decoration

    We love a good paper project, especially when that project can easily, beautifully and affordably replace a more expensive floral decoration. We're huge fans of paper flowers as a broke-ass decor option, but that's far from the only paper decoration option. For this project, made with the Cricut Explore Air machine for Cricut’s Wedding Campaign, “It’s Your Story, Make It Personal,” I found a beautiful lacy doily design…

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    8/23

    agate geode DIY display

    If you're anything like me, you've been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that's why I'm hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod…

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  • 8/10

    Real Bride Lucinda married Chris under sunny skies and amidst a gorgeous northern Massachusetts backdrop in a classic wedding celebration. After DIYing some seriously huge aspects of her wedding -- including her wedding dress, veil, signage and paper flowers for decor -- the couple celebrated with family and friends while the talented Maria Burton Photography captured their day. In a typically super expensive wedding market (about $40K on…

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    7/27

    Credit: Maria Burton Photography We did it! On June 4, 2016, we tied the knot on a beautiful (and hot!) day outside of Boston, Mass. After over a year of planning, everything came together just like we wanted, including everything we DIY'd with all of our friends. The biggest DIY of them all was my wedding dress, which was probably the hardest and most time-consuming sewing project…

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    5/4

    Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.19.40 PM

    On top of making my wedding dress and flowers for my centerpieces, I came to the conclusion not that long ago to yes, DIY most of our printable materials for the wedding as well. This isn't because I'm a crazy-insane person that decided to take on even more to DIY during our wedding planning chaos, but resulted from not finding the exact kind of designs…

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  • 4/11

    Battball Wedding-90 (2)

    Name: Katie and Andrew Occupation: Attorney (K), Warehousing Associate (A) Wedding location: Chanhassen, MN Wedding Date: 10/10/15 Budget: $12k (fuzzy) Number of Guests: 100 How would you describe your wedding? For our wedding, we took a lot of traditional influences and added our own personal creative touches.   What was your favorite part of your wedding? Holding hands during our ceremony, feeling each other’s nervousness and excitement.…

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