Many of my friends got married the same summer I did. It was fun to compare notes during the wedding planning process. During one conversation, a dear friend said, “Yeah, our wedding isn’t too expensive either. Aside from the food at the reception, everything is pretty reasonable.”
I reminded her, “Aren’t you having your dress custom designed? How expensive is that?”
“Oh, that. I forgot. The dress costs about $2,000.”
That was our entire budget!
I could spend $2,000 on my dress, as long as we didn’t need food, alcohol, cake, flowers, decorations, invitations, etc.
Needless to say, I decided not to spend our entire budget on my dress.
I wanted something comfortable. I wanted to be able to dance and walk around and hug without limitation. I didn’t want to have to change into a more comfortable dress for the reception. I also didn’t want something that was dragging on the ground.
And there it was. On Target clearance. A perfectly suitable white sundress for a mere $15.
I say “perfectly suitable” rather than “perfect” because it had its flaws. Number One: there was so much extra fabric it made my waist look bigger than it is. Number Two: it was a little plain.
I decided to remedy both these problems with a little DIY, handmade action.
I fixed the first problem by creating a simple sash. Because I was trying to be friendly to the environment and my budget, I simply used fabric from an old piece of clothing. The clothing had significance to me because I purchased it while traveling through India right after I met Matt. I used some thick interfacing to prevent any crinkling, and I sewed on some buttons.
In terms of the second problem, I decided to do some customized embroidery along the bottom. First, Matt and I designed the story of our life together. Since our first date involved a frolic in the sprinklers, for example, we depicted two birds splashing around in a bird bath.
In order to save even more money, I used the same fabric to fashion a tie for Matt. Even though I had never undertaken such a feat before, I knew I could turn to the internet for help. After a Google search and an online tutorial, the tie was complete. Voila!
For the final touch, I used the fabric to make flower pins for our wedding party (thanks to another internet tutorial!) and a matching bandanna for our dog, Hoss.
As fun as it was to spend time hand-making items for our wedding, I had to pull myself away to focus on more significant undertakings: writing our own ceremony.