Instead they had a church family of whom I am a part who were willing to help them make their day special. The wedding did definitely turn into a group project. Though when the weekend came it did turn into a lot of work, it was also quite a lot of fun. I thought it would be fun to share some of the ways that we worked together to make things special on a pretty low budget.
It was interesting for me to watch the wedding come together - from the first announcing it at church and all the young people gathered around them full of ideas and advice for the wedding (and the wedding really did end up being a mixing of the ideas of many people - it made it special in its own way) and then later they visited with various ones of us that were a little "older" and we tried to help them out as we were able.
At the first discussion of the young people they decided to have a Sunset theme, they also wanted it rather rustic but then as things progressed it came out that Kristina also wanted some elegance (think pearls and lace and things like that). They wanted to have an outdoor wedding and they thought that a "potluck" meal afterwards would be nice. I ended up somewhat playing the role of wedding coordinator which was rather fun.
Here is the run down of how they did things economically and creatively:
~Invitations: They had my sister (a good friend of theirs and a good photographer) take engagement photos and then they had photo invitations printed.
Kristina originally found a dress for only $50 dollars at a second hand store that a lady in our church was going to alter for her. Later however a relative of Matt's offered her a dress that she liked better and didn't have to be altered.
Matt decided on Orange shirts and black pants for the guys. Matt found all the shirts and the guys provided their own pants.
They gave all of the bridesmaids a sunset color to find and a guideline for a basic dress style and the girls found their own dresses. The mother's of the flowergirls (all of them bridesmaids) also picked out their girl's dresses with the guideline of "pink". The flowergirl dresses ended up coordinating very well!
They decided to use the church building (free) but wanted to have the ceremony outdoors. Our church has a bit of property and so their was an area that would work to do that. We did have to have a brush fire and do some cleaning up including cutting down some dead trees or ones that had blown partly down but that was fun.
For a backdrop there were the trees and then we decided to set some logs on end to create a visual focal point. I set some of my lanterns on top of them.
For seating Matt was able to get some square hay bales from his parents and then my dad had some boards that he had sawn in his sawmill that they laid across the bales to make benches. I thought it looked pretty cool. Some of the boards went across logs instead of hay bales.
~Program: I just typed one up on the computer and printed it one some orange paper that I already had and then I found some stamps that I had to decorate them with. A friend kindly stepped in and helped with that as I was pretty busy.
~Photography: My Sister Keren is a very good photographer as are is Molly Bea (my sister-in-law) and Benjamin (a friend from church). All three of them took many of the pictures except for the fact that all three of them were in the wedding party so at that point they turned the cameras over to Molly Bea's brother Jordan and my niece Margaret. Some of the pictures in this post came from that group of photographers.
~Decorating: This was very much a joint effort. Matt brought some things that his sister had left from her wedding that he said we could use as we wanted. He also brought some cute old lanterns that he thought would be a fun addition. Kristina collected a bunch of pine cones and painted them silver to use for decoration. She also purchased some candles for us to use. Keren brought some white Christmas lights to hang up. I brought lanterns, lace, branches, and various other things and we also were able to use a few things that were already at the church building. Various ones of us (mostly Keren, Molly Bea, Emily, Kristina, Mara and I) worked at decorating.
At the back of the benches outside I put some stanchions with big lace bows and a cluster of wooden roses that Matt had brought.
~The Meal: It did up being a potluck. Matt's parents brought the main dish of BBQ sandwiches, the church ladies kind of organized what we would bring to make it all work together and then other of their friends and family just brought whatever. Many of the church ladies volunteered to set it all out and make it look nice (we tried to use nice serving dishes) and it ended up both looking nice and tasting very good.
I am sure I missed some details (they did plan to go away on a tractor but the tractor ended up not working so that didn't work out) but I probably shared most of them. I thought it was a neat and creative wedding and I enjoyed working together as a church family to help make it happen.
May you have many happy years Matt and Kristina!
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