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Saving Money on Your GREEN Wedding
Have you ever considered having a GREEN wedding?
When we began planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted to be as thrifty and GREEN as possible. With this, we have had a great deal of experience. Here at home we regularly recycle, we visit thrift stores and garage sales on a regular basis for new books, extra sheets for our guest bedrooms, new casserole dishes, etc.
We participate in a regular charity program in the neighborhood where we get all of our fruits and vegetables all organic from local farmers, and we even have a vegetable garden in our backyard to supplement those items we use on a regular basis around our home, like fresh herbs.
This was also a great opportunity to maximize our resources and show brides how to be green and save a great deal of money at the same time! We wanted a very eclectic, vintage feel to our wedding with an all over outdoor vibe.
So a few ideas sprang up right away like having an outdoor wedding, using a great deal of natural materials in our décor and using what we had at hand rather than spending a great deal of money on something fancy. Here are a few of our GREEN ideas that you may gain some insight on!
One of the first things that I started to do was to visit all of the thrift stores in our area to gather dishes for our wedding. We wanted a variety of vintage dishes on our tables to bring in the eclectic vibe and give our wedding some of our personality. It took me a few months, but I went hunting for dinner plates, salad plates, dessert plates, silverware (dinner and dessert), and two nice wine glasses for water and tea.
You’ll never believe this, but I spent a total of $60 for all of our dishes. I found 50 sets of everything! At 25 cents and 10 cents a pop, keeping our expenditures low on china, flatware, and glassware was super easy and gave us the look we were going for!
Throughout the process of planning our wedding, we also ended up collecting platters and cool items for our trail mix bar, platters and big and small bowls for our catering, sheets, pillows and blankets for all of the airbeds we collected for our guests, salt and pepper shakers for all of our tables and even vases for flowers.
Many of the items we used for our wedding we made ourselves. This began with all of our stationary. I knew I wanted to make all of these items myself. Buying them from a professional would have been a great deal more expensive and not nearly as GREEN as we would have liked.
For $20 my Maid of Honor and I bought a book of scrapbook paper that really reflected the colors we wanted for our wedding. Buying a whole book cost us less than buying the paper individually and we were able to make ALL of our stationary with this one pad; invitations, programs, menus, table numbers, place cards, schedules, etc.
My Maid of Honor designed everything on the computer which we simply printed out, glued onto the scrapbook paper and then tore the edges for effect. With some flowers and leaves cut from some spare fabric, we even made them 3-dimensional. I then included a recipe card in each invitation for our wedding guests to bring us a recipe from their own collection to add to our recipe box at home as a wedding gift.
Man, stationary was just the beginning of our DIY adventure! Perusing Pinterest gave me tons of other ideas I wanted to use for our wedding! This may sound really strange, but we started collecting toilet paper rolls for our wall decorations (those were a blast to make!), my Maid of Honor made me a garter, and we all collectively, even my husband, helped to make yarn and doily balls to hang from the ceiling of the reception space.
The lace for the garter was on clearance at Joann’s Fabric, the yarn and doily were all bought at garage sales for less than $1.00 total, and everything else, we already had at home. We had tons of fun crafts!
For all of our other décor, we used our nature-theme to draw inspiration. Branches, dried reeds, logs, rocks, seed pods, and pinecones that we collected around our home, off the golf course, and at various parks created the natural ambiance we were looking for.
We had rocks we had collected from a hiking trip as our table numbers, the branches in the centerpieces came from our tree in the backyard, and we even had a branch from the tree as a chandelier in the middle of the room!
For our seating chart, I used a mirror I had in the garage that looked like a window and wrote the guests sitting at each table into each of the frames using metallic blue and green pens I bought for a couple bucks at Hobby Lobby. An old window for your own wedding could easily be found on Craigslist, eBay or at a garage sale or thrift store for very little moola.
We had signs up at both the ceremony and reception with cute messages for our guests that we made by simply painting over the cardboard in large frames we had out in the garage with chalkboard paint (once again, just a few bucks) and wrote on them with some simply chalk. It’s amazing what you can put together with the help of Pinterest, good friends and a little imagination!
When it comes time to getting married, each and every couple will have different ideas, dreams, desires for their big day. However, each and every couple does have to face one big issue like every other, being the budget.
While no budget will be exactly the same, what is the same is that each couple will have to make hard decisions throughout the planning process to stay within the budget they have created.
I'm hoping that by sharing my experiences and all of the ideas we used for our wedding, others will be able to benefit and can possibly use them for their event. If I can save you even a few dollars, or at least bring a smile to your face as you think about your wedding planning process, I've succeeded.
Check out my other articles on GREEN weddings and saving money on wedding planning for even more ideas!