I finally got around to writing my wedding post! It’s been a really tough year for me primarily because it was jammed and crammed with so much my head was spinning. So here it is! I DIY’d my entire wedding with exception to a few items I bought off Etsy. It was Great Gatsby/Roaring 20’s theme. We had beautiful colors of ivory, gold, black, and an eggplant purple. It was the most gorgeous day sunny and 78 degrees. Our ceremony was outdoors with a tented reception.
Our theme came from my love for the era. The glam, the glitz, the “Speakeasy” bars and simply having something fun and different. This is both of our second marriages and we wanted a party over the formality of a wedding. We had jazz, a speakeasy bar outside, a black and white photo booth, pearls, boas, feathers, champagne, and my darling new husband had cigars and whiskey with his boys by the fire too!
The Centerpieces were simple. I wanted purple to make the room appear a little darker because speakeasies were very dimly lit. They had to be hidden. I took cylinder vases that I got on discount at Hobby Lobby. They were just clear glass and I painted them using antique gold spray paint. Then the vases were wrapped in pearls. I took deep purple hydrangea and peony faux flowers also from Hobby lobby and made a floral arrangement with floral styro foam from Dollar Tree and a glue gun. Just cut the flowers close to the stem, pop a dab of glue on the end, and shove them tight into the foam base. I had to go with faux flowers over real ones primarily because of cost but also the fact that the tables were being set up in a tent in almost 80 degree weather. To finish the centerpieces, I bought two ivory ostrich feathers, cut them into pieces, and set a piece of feather sporadically between flower petals so it gave a contrast in color and some whispyness to the whole arrangement. I had to cut them in pieces because these bad boys were $3.99 each feather! All I had to do was set the foam on top of the vase and I had my centerpieces. This made them easy to transport. I needed 6 so these cost me about $25 each to make.
To complete my centerpieces I got 25 wine bottles for free from a friend, painted them gold, spritzed them with gold glitter, and wrapped 2″ black and gold art deco ribbon on the bottom of each then lined the edge of the ribbon with a strand of pearls. These became my candlestick holders! They cost me just a can of spray paint and ribbon about $12 and leftover pearls.
I had many paper pieces that I also designed. Our invites were art deco and we chose a black invitation with gold foil. I got these printed from Paper Affair and asked if I could eliminate the Thank You Cards, seating cards, and map cards to save money. This saved me more than $80. I figured I could find some cute thank you cards elsewhere and I didn’t even need the other two. I designed my menu cards and ceremony programs using Vista Print. I paid about $50 to have 75 of each printed. My signs were lawn signs and such a hit using promo codes online. They look absolutely fantastic! My signage used quotes from the movie to make them my own. They were around $8.99 each with promo code.
My bridesmaids had beautiful black lace dresses with a keyhole back with an eggplant purple satin underneath. I made their hair pieces to adorn side swept chignon ponies. I simply took apart a really full ivory rose. This ivory rose was $3.99 each and with my Hobby Lobby app I got 40% off. I needed a hair piece that laid flat so it didn’t look cheap. I cut the stem just under the petals, then peeled off each petal sheet from the stem. This gave me sheets of petals (off stem) which are pretty much fabric with a petal cutout. Then I re-assembled my petals without the stem gluing each layer of fabric creating a flat flower. I put a brooch in the center and some black skinny feathers to tie in the theme. Then glued them on a hair clip.
The boutonnieres and corsages were using purple and ivory in season flowers from the florist. We incorporated some feathers and gave the corsages pearl wrist band bracelets.
The bridesmaid bouquets and my bouquet were semi-handmade. I ordered bouquets from A Brides Bouquet website. Mine had 2 dozen purple roses and the girls had ivory rose throw bouquets. I then ordered brooches off Etsy in bulk in tones of purple and silver and wired each one individually to give them strength so they wouldn’t become flimsy when held. I wired them all to the bouquet and added a small bunch of feathers off one side. I did the same with my bouquet. They were stunning especially in the sunlight! All together my 4 brooch bouquets cost $150 to make, but best of all….they’ll last a lifetime.
The gifts for the bridal party were pearl necklace/earring sets for the girls and antique gold pocket watches for the boys. I bargain shopped the pearl sets because they can get quite pricey! But I went with faux pearls and held out until I found some with weight to them. I found cute black velvet jewelry boxes to display them in. The pocket watches I found from a seller in Canada on Etsy called the Pocket Watch Surveyor. It took a week to arrive and they were stunning! I got 6 watches for $160. This lot was enough for the groomsman, my husband, my dad, and my grandfather as a keepsake. The girls with their pearl sets, a black lace fan, and hair pieces were around $75. The moms were given the cutest bracelets made from vintage spoon collections. I chose all the spoons they had for around the 1920’s. They each came in a velvet bag with a card explaining what collection they were made from and the year.
My accessories for my dress were all bought off Etsy. My bridal sash around my waist is a recreation of the one tried on in the bridal shop. They wanted $260 for the sash which was nothing more than a very long 3″ ribbon with a rhinestone decal glued to the front. Ummm I can make that! Are they crazy? I got ribbon for $3 at Hobby Lobby and the decal from Etsy for $20. $30 and voila! My pearl jewelry babydoll bought me at the mall for $40 and my rhinestone jewelry came from Etsy for $50. (what I did was wear pearls for ceremony and bling with my ivory boa for reception for two looks with one dress. I think today’s trend of buying a completely second dress for reception is absurd.)
I found some party sites to order a few props from. I got silly speakeasy signs to display on the outdoor bar. Fedora hats from Dollar Tree and pearl necklaces from Party City.
It was a wonderful time and absolutely beautiful. It all came together in the end and truly captured the fun Gatsby era. Dinner was full of jazz and the party started with Fergie’s “A little party never killed nobody” song from the Gatsby soundtrack. Even our pastor wore a black suit with slicked hair and a fedora.
A wedding can be done on ANY budget. I saved where I could, used coupons, friends, and out of the norm places to obtain a lot of my decor and accessories. I often used pinterest pictures or pictures online for inspiration. Go to the craft store and play around. Many of what I incorporated I copied from a picture or design. But with my own twist. I used 72 votives, 25 wine bottles, 100 brooches, 435ft of strung pearls, 10,000 faux diamonds, and a ton of patience lol. You’d be surprised just how easy it is to create something for let’s say $20-$30 versus buying it made for $100. I went with non-traditional aspects mixed with a few traditional to make it all my own and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Best part is….we have zero debt from our wedding. None! Everything was paid in cash or free. HAPPINESS 😊