Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Beautiful Shoestring Wedding

Church friends were getting married on a shoestring budget and I couldn't resist. My parameters were: we were on vacation until a week before, and the budget was teeny-tiny.

My gallant mother came the day before to lend her eye and good sense to everything that needed to be beautiful. Thank you, Mother! And my best friend Carol was right there too, of course. And Maureen came to help with flowers.

Want to see?

The Ingredients


We had four enormous buckets of flowers purchased for a total of $40 (thank you my adored Kroger florist!!).


We had an enormous fig tree with fruit coming on in great quantities, and a groom who loves figs. I decided to make them a decorative keynote. Free, interesting, beloved by many, and beautiful.


And a bride who could tie nice bows.

The Cake

My beautiful and best friend Carol made the cake, a classic white wedding cake filled with orange marmalade.


She iced it in plain buttercream and then turned it over to my mother,


who created an incredible work of art, using figs and fig leaves, and tiny flowers scavenged from our supplies.


Well done, ladies!



The Food Tables


These were set up under what is familiarly known as the "Pie Shack", after it played an important role in our last wedding. The bare pie shack skeleton was strung with fairy lights and tiny Chinese lanterns.


The tables were draped in soft-colored quilts and lace tablecloths. Different friends brought plates of dainty sandwiches, and of course we had nuts and mints.


The teenaged girls served punch at the end of the line,


and everything was festooned with flowers. We made sure to loosen up the bouquets with some wilderness--whether it was thistles or uncontrolled fronds of wisteria freshly clipped off the arbor.


The Party


The guest tables were each set with layered quilts and an enormous bouquet in wild colors, and milk glass dishes full of figs.


Carol and the bride.


Almost dusk.


She was radiant.












Lovely last light.

32 comments:

Alicia said...

Gorgeous,Anna! Who needs more than a shoestring budget when they have you for a friend? You are amazing (and so are your friends and mother :)!

Eileen said...

I was hoping for pictures! Beautiful, tasteful, elegant, the perfect wedding!

Cheryl said...

Oh my goodness. Beautiful indeed! Who could ask for more?

Donna said...

Beautiful bride, everything looked so pretty,perfect! Very touching!

Lilian said...

That's so lovely Anna - thank you for sharing it with us. I always enjoy the simplicity of the lives you live. Coming from the hustle and bustle of the city, it's a breath of fresh air to see how special occasions are celebrated with our country cousins.

Karen said...

It looks like it was a wedding to remember! You serve others so beautifully! What a blessing you are to your church family!

Kate said...

Every wedding should be put together like this. *blissful sigh*

Erin said...

This is so beautiful!!

Lisa said...

Well done! The Cake! A co-worker of mine also has that talent for decorating cakes with leaves, etc. - it's wonderful.
Nice to see a shot of Carol.
Good thing you have so many quilts!

Lisateresa

Polly said...

I love this! Of course my daughter can make her own choices, but I'd love to see a wedding reception like this one--simple, beautiful, and at home (if not my home...someone's home!). I had the typical church wedding and large hotel reception, and it was wonderful, but there's something missing from that. My grandmother's reception was at the ancestral house down the lane from us (where uncle/aunt live now) and I love the photos...the cake table set up on the dining room, the rice-throwing as they left the front porch where my children still play....

Jane said...

What a nice thing to do! You've created memories to last a lifetime.

The Hobbit said...

No better way to start your life as husband and wife then being surrounding by loving family and friends. The bride was indeed glowing and you and your family put together a perfect party to get them on their way. Well done and kudos to all involved.The twilight picture was a great ending.

Katie said...

Lovely, just lovely!

Margo said...

thank you so much for sharing your photos! It is beautiful. I think you have a real talent for arranging parties!

Laura said...

What a lovely gift to give. My husband and I were the recipients of gifts of this kind, and our wedding was so beautiful. It's priceless to give that to them.

Anonymous said...

Anna, that is the sort of loving, simple and lovely reception I would love for our daughters to have. No matter what our budget is, that is the *best*. What a great gift you give to those around you. The oldest daughter's wedding in "Little Women" really takes my breath away....that is one of the things I most wanted to share if I had a girl...Mary Brooke

Sew Blessed Maw said...

How lovely.. YOu all did an excellent job .. Beautiful bride too. thankyou so much for sharing the photos..

seashoreknits said...

Such lovely photos - thank you for sharing the joy of this day with us. I love weddings! The bride is indeed so beautiful and the happiness is just shining from her eyes. The flowers, the tables, the cake - all gorgeous. You, Carol, your Mom and all the helpers did a marvelous job. Love to see Love in action!

Xenia Kathryn said...

After watching "Say Yes to the Dress" for a few weeks (guilty pleasure!), it is so refreshing to see a shoestring wedding done so incredibly well, so full of meaning and love. Very inspiring! I see way too many people stress over inordinately expensive weddings... it's too bad.

May you be blessed for your hospitality and generosity!

Linden Townhouse said...

The very best kind of wedding--friends all helping, simple flowers and cake, the radiant bride. It looked perfect.

Kimmie said...

what a beautiful wedding and what a beautiful generous heart you have.

It is simple and lovely, what a gift.

xoxo
Kimmie
mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

Anonymous said...

i saw this yesterday and found myself still thinking about it this morning. for some reason it really stuck a cord with me. it feels like the focus is more on the wedding itself and celebratign with friends and family than on an extragant event. well done; i really love this. Linda (phila burbs)

Farrah said...

Such beautiful simple elegance. The bride is lovely! I especially liked Carol's cake and the lights on the pie shack. Thanks for sharing these tidbits.

Anonymous said...

Elegant and beautiful! I agree with all the others sentiments. You all did a wonderful job!

Thank you for sharing!

Maria Ricci

Kate said...

This post brightened my day! What a beautiful house you have, and your heart for hospitality is inspiring!
-Kate

Angela said...

Beautiful work! I especially love that last photo.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful - just what a wedding should be.

Sarah said...

This is absolutely beautiful, and exactly as a wedding should be. What a blessing for all involved.

Anonymous said...

Were they in a hurry to marry? Oh to be young and in love!

Jodes said...

what precious memories you've given them! A wedding crafted in love.

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

This is the style of wedding everyone can enjoy. No rush, no fuss just love.

Deirdre said...

Wow!! I was rapt reading this post. Beautifully done!

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