The dress is from David's Bridal and was the fifth dress that Natalie tried on. I knew my budget of $400 was blown when her face lit up as she saw herself in the mirror. This was her dream dress, and at $749 it was actually a great deal. Of course, after we added the long-line push-up bra, petticoat, alterations, and preservation kit, it came to well over $1000! Get ready, future mother-of-the-brides!
I purchased the roses and baby's breath from a local florist for only $99. With some floral tape and ribbon I fashioned two bouquets and four boutonnieres! I added my grandmother's blue brooch to the bridal bouquet for something old, borrowed, and blue. There was enough baby's breath to fill galvanized buckets for the aisle and part of a five-gallon bucket used in photos.
I purchased Natalie's hat on Ebay and added some birdcage netting and gears to it to make it more steampunk wedding appropriate. She chose not to wear the birdcage veil over her face. The goblets were borrowed from my mother's crystal collection and tied with the same ribbon I used on the bouquets.
The steampunk-themed cake was purchased from The Luscious Crumb, a local bakery, for a little over $400, which was over my budget of about $200. I couldn't say no after the taste test, and we thought the baker did a wonderful job. The bottom layer was made to look like a giant gear. Natalie made the robot cake topper herself out of clay!
A photo of the bride's happy family shows that we chose to clothe the father of the bride and best man (the bride's brother) in plain black shirts and slacks of their own. They had to rent only the vests and bow ties. My daughter-in-law as the matron of honor was asked to wear a black dress of her choice, and I picked out a casual outfit I can wear anywhere after the wedding. No one in the wedding party had to spend very much.
This is an example of the outdoor wedding decor. Thrift store purchases and home crafts such as the vintage suitcase, silver-plated chalkboard tray, Goodwill guest book, homemade flower pens, and homemade rag garland sit on top a simple desk from a thrift store. Much of the decor came from my own home.
So. . .have you guessed? Yes, we did rent a tent, an arch, and 50 white folding chairs, which set us back about $600. Yes, we had a dee jay, but we got him for free as a bridal show door prize Natalie won! Otherwise, I would have corralled one of my nephews to run a boom box or laptop with speakers.
Give up? Our grand total, including gifts and food supplies, came to under $4700! I had hoped to pull off the wedding for around $3000, and I could have if I had stuck to my original dress and cake budget, and had done without a tent. As it was, everything turned out perfect, and the bride left happy, with memories of a wedding day she won't soon forget. I have only one daughter, and I told her I will do this for her only one time. Lord willing, she and her husband Bryan will be happy for many years to come. . .