Thursday, July 5, 2012

Those Nickles and Dimes Add Up...

I hate to put it like this, but weddings can be such a blood sucking, budget busting event.  And while I can appreciate the time put into some of the accoutrements of a well-put-together affair, my jaw has hit the floor a few times with the cost of some of the smallest items.

**Okay, all you Etsy artisans, no darning egg throwing, just hear me out.  I think it is wonderful you provide these items for those that are needle and thread challenged.  You are worth every penny! **

With that said, all the small items you don't necessarily think about can add more $$$ to the wedding spreadsheet (if you're even keeping track).

Item 1  - Purses for the bridal attendants, bride and moms:   I have seen these going for around $70 as the median price.  But let's just use $65.00 each as the cost (shipping 12.50);
Item 2 - Bridal hanger : $38 (shipping $6.50)  A nice thing to have for wedding pictures of the dress hanging before the bride gets dressed; and
Item 3 - Ring pillow: another cute item from Etsy $35 (shipping $5). The one on Etsy was only 6" square.

These three items add $484 to the budget (considering six purses are purchased).  Whew.

Thank goodness I have a daughter who allows me to fiddle around in the sewing room to come up with some economical solutions.

Let's start with the wedding ring pillow.  I believe this was less than 50 cents to make.  The big cost was for the coconut button that was on a card of two buttons on the discount rack at the store.  The fabric was muslin from an old sugar sack.  It measures 6" square like the pillow offered on Etsy.  I embroidered the bride and groom's name the way they have it on their stationery; a touch I thought was important to make it special.

A coconut button seems appropriate since the bride and groom are going to Hawaii for their honeymoon.

 This is the prototype for the attendant's clutch.  The grey is a Dear Stella cotton.  The purse frames were the biggest expense and they were ordered online at a fraction at what some of the craft stores are charging.  Purchase the frames well in advance of the event because these took almost 8 weeks to arrive.
The red polka dot lining fabric really packs a punch when you open up the clutch!

I found a padded hanger I had in my closet and covered it with an off-white cotton.  I made a ruffled tube and slipped it over the hanger.

I added some vintage mother of pearl pearl shank buttons to help hold the dress. 
The bow was made from scraps of tulle from the birdcage veil and I just incorporated some silk flowers.  I removed the plastic stamens and added vintage florist seeded centers.  I found some crystal bling and stuck that in the center with the seeded stamens.  Why not?  Just puts a little bit of sparkle.  The cost?  Well, I had these things already, so $0.
So the total cost?  I'm thinking less than $50 for everything.  The major expense was purchasing the purse frames.  That's approximately 1/10th of the cost of retail.  Not bad  for nickle and diming it!


  1. You and I are certainly on the same wavelength as far as these little details are concerned. Those little purses are absolutely adorable -- ditto the hanger and the pillow. Now you can use the little scraps from these projects to whip up a couple of garters.

    Your daughter is so lucky to have such a wonderfully talented mother.

    1. Thanks Martha. I am enjoying sewing and "crafting" for the wedding. I just hope more brides take the leap and realize they can make many of these items themselves.

  2. Well said Patricia. As soon as you mention the word wedding the price of everything doubles!
    Enjoy the happy event with more money for the reception etc.

    1. You're so right Chris; "Wedding" is associated with "ka-ching". My "ka-ching" are a few nickles hitting the side of the change jar.

  3. i love everything mom! you are the best :)

    1. You making sewing fun! You have put so much thought into everything you selected for the wedding; it is going to be amazing at the arboretum. Even the trees will be dressed for the event! Love you! xoxox