THE MILLION DOLLAR LOOK FOR A BUCK ... FOX RIVER COTTAGE WEDDING DIY BUDGET


If you've followed along here for a while,
you know that thriftn' is my middle name ...
always has been ..
turning the forsaken, forlorn, and objects
of interest to lovely is what makes me tick.

Last fall I had an inkling our youngest daughter was on the threshold of engagement.

Thrust into the arena of wedding planner, I broke out in a cold sweat.
Like the cobbler who has no shoes for his children, MOB was about to wear the hat 
of
Hanz 
the wedding planner.
The chipper chicken and all that jazz.

No problehm-o planning and beautifying the life of others ...
sigh

but now expected to rise above and beyond the call of duty!
With Franc (parisienne farmgirl) at my side
AND tasteful suggestions and wishes from the bride ...
I set out on my quest
to
pull together
the million dollar look for a bucktm ...
~the dress~
~the details~
~the day~
~the dollar~

THE FOX RIVER COTTAGE WEDDINGtm


Mr. Savvy and I came up with what we thought was a reasonable
budget.
Reasonable, that is until we met with the 
tent folks ...  all the fixins' ... chairs, tables, linens, lights ... 
and so on and so forth.

Hanz and Franc dove in.
No life boat, no life jacket ... 
... a plunge into the deep, uncharted waters
of wedding planning.

FIRST THINGS FIRST ... 
the engagement was announced November 16 ...
we were off and running ...

THE DRESS
it's all about the dress


as Frey girls we shop at one store
and one store only ...
in Barrington, IL
Samples from New York suppliers ...
one of a kind
cash and carry
you like, you buy ... that day.
No holds, no layaways
no nothing.

Nothing except one on one attention
in the setting of an historic home ...
well trained motherly
women, the likes of which have worked for
the house of Givenchy and Oscar de la Renta
  they know about body types,
runway modeling,
and validating the bride to be.

At Wedding Belles,
taste trumps trend!

The motherly mavens interview
 the bride, and find out what she's seeing in her imagination ...
then swoop in with what they see her wearing according to their well trained eye ... they nail it every time.

We bought the third dress she tried on.

As was the case with my daughter in law
also, three years ago.


Think of it. Off the rack, designer copies ... 
most likely a couple of thousand dollars.
We left as happy as a clam ... knowing we would
make a few changes ... with our friend and expert
seamstress-tailor, Kay.
Is this not one of the most beautiful gowns?



It was now time to pick the wedding party.
sister
best friends
cousin
and lest we forget,
all the babies.


THE DETAILS
it's all in the details

Chels has ALWAYS loved Tiffany Blue.
We scoured the net, looking to and fro
for ideas and inspiration ...
and I must say,
we were very inspired ... but 
had quitely resolved not to copy.

Planning sessions flowed, fragile feelings were sometimes
frayed ... apologies were accepted
and on we trudged!

One day Chels asked,
"Mom can we use all the rusty iron
from around the house and garden"?

Trying not to act too excited
Hanz squealed ...

"why, yes of course"

with that lightening quick response
the whole event came together in my little pea
brain.
 ~romantic woodland ~
~riverside~
~one room cottage~
~bride and bridesmaids brought in by boat~


The bride and groom had already secured the summer
home-one room cottage
of good friends of ours.
the course was set ... 
no stopping Hanz and Franc  ...
FOX RIVER COTTAGE WEDDINGtm
was born.
We rowed ahead looking for the "chipper chicken"

fast forward to a month before
wedding day ...
out came the glue guns ...
We bought out our supplier of moss, glue sticks and white twigs ... we salvaged the white birch stumps
from the firepit,
loaded up the truck
with "all the rusty stuff from the yard"
and headed on down to the river.
(four miles away)
quite honestly,
we made everything with our 10 hands,
Ang, Victoria(sil), Chels, myself and Mr. Savvy ...
which included
the ring bearer pillow


bridesmaid bouquets


paper flowers strung all over the tent

baby girls headresses


bridal headress

shoe clips

centerpieces

altar flower arrangements
the money/card box
designed from a vintage Tiffany box

and champagne brunch on wedding day ...

 Hanz and Franc steered true to course ...
a vintage high chair from my dining
room
completed the mood at the parents' table ... 
how could we not??


hang on ... 
we're almost there ...




THE DAY
a fairy tale in every way

what can I say ...
We had believed all along for a sunny, windless day ... just one please!
From the moment the sun rose that morning
to the last candle blown out at 11 p.m.
the fairy tale
was perfect in every way.
I do believe
as MOB
that the bride's face tells all.

Would you look at that smile!!















THE DOLLAR
 purchases were made in this order
I kept a daily updated ledger ...
cash and carry, no credit cards



















85.00  4,000 white lights (half off after Christmas)


750.00 Chelsea's dress
27.00 save the date cards
70.00 postage
40.00 envelopes for save the date
175.00 dress alterations and  custom sash
78.00 hobby lobby supplies, rose petals etc
420.00 limo rental
170.00 invitations ordered on line
70.00 postage for invites
44.00 hobby lobby shower supplies
112.00 inserts for invitations
167.00 port a john
460.00 bridal bouquet and mother's flowers etc
185.00 Joann/ supplies for head table
500.00 DJ
43.00 sample bouquet
127.00 red wine /Aldi
1600.00  Monterey Pizza/food
3233.00 tent and all rentals
610.00 custom cupcakes and cake topper 
123.00 supplies/moss/twigs, gluesticks
68.00 wholesale/white bedding plants
309.00 champagne from Trader Joe's
19.00 Michaels glitter
50.00 centerpiece containers
35.00 bridesmaid roses, Costco
83.00 Michaels ... guest book, birds, candles
150.00 tux rental for DOB
507.00 wholesale flowers  for centerpieces and rusty tubs






was a gift from Aunt Julee and Uncle Mark

$10,331.00
grand total

each bridesmaid had their own expenses
however
we purchased their dresses and mine
off the rack at Carson's ... 85.00 each
MOB ... 69.00
Baby girls white dresses
15.00 sale rack at Target
flower girl ... 60.00 Nordstrom Rack!!

A good friend of mine
who catered for fifteen years in the Barrington neighborhoods 
commented to me right before the wedding ...
her comment ..."Joy, if you would've catered this wedding
with an open bar and delegated all of the projects you did
this would've cost you right around $40,000 ...

Thank you Hanz
and thank you Franc, Angela
(ficticious characters from Father of the Bride)
you understand the inside of my brain ...
thank you BIG DADDY, JOEL 
for the countless hours of role playing Mr. Mom


thank you Mom and Dad ... $
thank you Juls for all of your wedding wisdom
thank you Mr. Savvy for selflessly doing every task we requested
thank you Ruth, for hostess-ing the shower
thank you Uncle Dave for chauffering to Midway Int'l
thank you Victoria for working so hard off site
and powering thru the Saturday morning 6 hour setup
AND thank you 
Chelsea and Derek
  for entrusting us with your day ...


we accomplised what we set out to do ...
"the million dollar look for a buck" ( or two)
I wish I could experience the day just one more time
in slow motion ... tears now

I know this was longer than any post I've ever written, 
thank you for staying with me til the end.


THE END


THE BEGINNING