Broke-Ass Tag: Pink and Aqua Wedding


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

  • 7/6

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewThere is no question that bridesmaid dresses have come a long way. Hello, 1980s: you were cruel and unusual Even so, choosing the right dress for your girls can be daunting. Everyone has their own style, their own body type and their own budget. The more ladies in your wedding party, the more difficult it is to find something that works for every girl — so naturally I¬†decided to have seven bridesmaids. Turns out I actually caught a break, because my little sister/maid of honor isn’t a dress kind of gal. I suppose I could have insisted she wear one, and it probably would have been hilarious, but I’m not that mean. You’re welcome, Caty! Anyway, I digress. I had six girls who needed to look fabulous on my wedding day,¬†so I started looking for options that I thought would work for everyone.

    Planning a wedding makes you acutely aware of money, and how precious it is. I knew I didn’t want my girls to drop a lot of cash on something they may never wear again, so that was my main requirement when it came to looking for dresses. I’ve actually lucked out in every single wedding I have been in when it comes to buying a dress: My friends have either picked a very affordable option, chipped in or outright purchased the dresses I’ve worn, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Let’s face it — being in a wedding can be very expensive, so I love that my friends and I share the same views on the whole thing.¬†We see bridesmaid dresses that are hundreds of dollars, and we’re like um, no. More often than not, you’re never gonna wear the thing again, so why break the bank?

    Style-wise, I knew I wanted something fairly casual. No ballgowns, sequins, crystals or the like. September in Ohio is tricky. It could be 50 degrees, or it could be 90, so long or short would have been fine. Short just seemed more cute and casual, so that’s what I focused on when I searched. I was fine with either pink or aqua to go with our colors and theme, but I had a feeling pink would be easier to find.

    Having purchased three dresses at David’s Bridal in the past, I was fairly confident that they didn’t have what I was looking for, but it would have been silly not to at least look. They are popular for a reason — they have tons of styles and colors, and it’s easy for people to find a store near them to order from. After browsing their website, I didn’t find anything I loved, so I decided to move on.

    I looked at local bridal shops to see what designers they carried, but most of them were out of the price range I had set, so that was out. I looked on Storenvy, department store websites and at local boutiques. I found shops on Instagram and while browsing on Pinterest, but nothing jumped out at me.

    Throughout all this, I searched on Etsy a few times a week. There are soooo many shops and so many sellers that it’s easy to spend hours at a time browsing, and you still won’t get through them all. A few weeks into the process, I came across a dress I really liked. It fit the budget — $78! The style complemented the fun, casual wedding carnival we’re planning and the color seemed just right. Plus, it had pockets! Every girl loves a dress with pockets.



    Dress available from Etsy seller ShopApricity

    After checking the shop reviews (they are fantastic), I messaged the seller to get all of the details. Since we’d be ordering without trying on, I wanted to check on the return policy, the sizing and the options for ordering a large quantity. Once I had the particulars, I emailed my ladies and asked them their thoughts.

    They had some very understandable reservations. It’s tough ordering something without trying it on first, but¬†there was a detailed size chart, plus the material is stretchy and forgiving. Add in that the seller accepts returns and exchanges, and I thought it was worth the risk. My bridesmaid Adrienne (who is also my roommate), volunteered to order one first so we could see how it looked in person. She placed her order that day and the dress was at our house a few short days later. We both agreed that we loved it even more in person. The material is high-quality and it’s super well-made, plus it’s a style that is flattering for almost any shape. Once¬†we had her dress in hand, we made arrangements for my other girls to try it on if they wanted to, and then it was as easy as pie ordering the rest of them. The seller even made sure to send us the longest medium dress she had in stock since one of my girls is a tall, long-legged beauty. A+ for customer service.

    All in all, I am completely thrilled with the end result. We love the dress, and it was affordable for everyone. I can’t wait to see all of my best gals looking fabulous on our wedding day … like for real I can’t stop imagining the amazing pictures I’ll have for the rest of my life. Yay!

    How did you end up finding the right attire for your crew?