Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pride and Prejudice: A Country Wedding

"Mr. Darcy's letter to Lady Catherine was in a different style; 
and still different from either was what Mr. Bennet sent to Mr. Collins . . .

'Dear Sir,
I must trouble you once more for congratulations. Elizabeth will soon be the wife of Mr. Darcy. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. But, if I were you, I would stand by the nephew. 
He has more to give. 

Yours sincerely, etc.'"

~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Chapter 60

A few weeks ago I was playing a trivia game with some women from my bookgroup.  One of the questions was, "How much money does the average wedding cost?"  Well, I knew what my barest-of-bones wedding cost, so I tripled that price tag in my head and came up with my answer: 

328 dollars.

Boy, was I off.  Apparently the average wedding costs $28,000 dollars to put on.  Ouch.

I've watched enough TLC shows and read enough bride magazines to know that there are people in this world who spend that and more on their wedding.  For example, Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding cost around $34 million.  But that is only a drop in the bucket when compared to Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding that came in at $48 million (or $110 million when adjusted for inflation).  Jiminy Cricket, folks!  No wonder they were storybook weddings.  ANYONE could have a storybook wedding with that kind of pocketbook.

But I'm the kind of gal that likes a budget challenge---the kind where you have a $12 budget to pull off something magical.  I guess that is why I fell in love with the sweet little country-themed wedding reception that I attended this week.

The bride was a friend of our family and she married a "country boy", so they went "a courtin'" with the decor.  They booked a reception room next to a golf course to take advantage of the green surroundings and open vistas.

An adorable potted signpost pointed the way to the reception's events.

They decked the indoor tables with fresh sunflowers, monogrammed wood, and mason jars wrapped in burlap and lace that were filled with old-fashioned candy sticks.

The chairs around the tables looked adorable in these burlap bows.

Even the cake had rustic touches of burlap and sunflowers.

Outside guests were invited to enjoy the s'more station.  LOVE this idea!  The bride and groom provided little s'more kits and skewers and miniature fire pits made of wooden boxes, gravel, and sterno set on outdoor tables for marshmallow roasting.

Inside the reception, guests were served gourmet cookies and cups full of strawberries and cream.  

 Some of my favorite touches were the burlap banners that decked each of the treats.  Adorable.

The bridesmaids looked sweet as could be with their blue dresses, brown boots, and sunflower bouquets.

And even though there isn't a smidge of "country" in me, I couldn't help but melt when I saw the vignette over the fireplace at the reception.

This reception reminded me of two things: 1) How grateful I am that I gave birth to boys (a move that I hope will spare me the stress of planning and finance wedding receptions); 2) A charming reception doesn't have to cost $28,000.  It just takes a little creativity and the perfect couple to make a storybook wedding come true . . .

Sharing at . . .


  1. Very sweet! I adore country weddings...where I live, they are all the $28,000+ cookie cutter weddings- glitzy~glammy country clubs, sequin dresses, carving stations, chocolate bars. This one is original, very nice!

  2. What is the most precious thing about this lovely wedding is how personal it is! Filled with country touches and love!

  3. Love this. I adore country weddings. If you get a chance, please share this on my linky party: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/05/sunday-link-party-7.html

  4. Love the personal touches to the wedding! The cake with the burlap, burlap bows on the chairs and the smores station are adorable. I agree $28,000.00 for a wedding, wow! That would be a big chunk to put down as a down payment for a home!

  5. Love the simple and pretty touches that make this wedding so meaningful. We have two daughters and their weddings were similar - lots of homemade things that were personal. Minimal bucks. We spent less than half of that $28,000 on BOTH weddings combined.

  6. Love this sweet wedding. The burlap and lace is such a pretty look. I have a small business decorating for weddings and parties - and I agree - it can be done on a very small budget - and sometimes for free! People can use greenery from their own yards, borrow mason jars & vases, use their own Christmas lights, and borrow from friends. I've done parties on a budget of zero - we just borrowed borrowed borrowed! And all the guests dined on china dishes! Catherine (new follower)

  7. what a precious wedding! As a mom of two married daughters, I'm in favor of a new concept; The groom's parents take more responsibility of the costs. Whew...and we cut corners wherever we could!

  8. Love this. I believe that a beautiful wedding can be pulled off for well under 28 thousand dollars, really who would even want to spend that much if it were not necessary.
    I say look to nature, and agree with Ornate Splendor, borrow, call your friends and family, visit yard and junk sales for those bargains, and look to the internet for inspiration.
    I would love to be asked to decorate for a wedding with a small budget, the hunt and task would be the fun part, don't you think?
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wonderful wedding photos! Thanks for sharing.

    Take Care,

  10. What a wonderful wedding...and I bet a lot less stressful than most are these days. I loved it all!

  11. Before you go out and look for banquet halls, first set a budget for the amount you want to spend on the venue.
    wedding venues in beverly hills

  12. You used exactly the correct word for this - "charming" and so full of personality!! My husband and I married immediately after church on a Sunday with no reception!! This was during spring break, during college days. Forty-five years later, we are still married and my dad really enjoyed his retirement with the money that he saved - hahaha!!

  13. That's really kind of you to share the post with us:).The "A Country Wedding " is really of my style.Looking forward to your next post! Yours plus size wedding dresses uk

  14. I love weddings, any weddings at all.....and I adore getting to peek behind the doors.
    Thanks for sharing such a sweet post. The entire reception looked welcoming and inviting, they did a great job.

  15. What a beautiful wedding! I paid for my own wedding six years ago and I spent $2,500. I call it my shabby chic country wedding. I'm very proud that I was able to do it all on my own and for not very much. I wish Pinterest had been around but at the same time I probably would have spent a small fortune just on Pinterest ideas. Here's a link in case you're interested. I adore looking at wedding photos! ~ Jamie http://domesticallyspeakingjamie.blogspot.com/2012/05/our-wedding.html

  16. You can discuss your wedding look with your designer. You can also tell him for the designs you like.
    santa monica venues

  17. It just takes a little creativity and the perfect couple to make a storybook wedding come true. - I totally agree! Fairytales do come true, especially when you’re already with the right person. Your happily ever will begin with a creative, fairytale wedding that weaves your story. Finally, don't forget the pictures! :D


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  19. This country wedding was truly fabulous. Everything is amazing right from the colorful decorations to wedding venue. Loved watching these photographs. Just attended a country wedding at one of Malibu wedding venues and it was also an equally brilliant experience for us. Enjoyed a lot there.

  20. The dresses are cute and I like the sunflower theme. But somehow I am not able to see one image. I hope that I am not missing something really interesting. Your blog will surely help me out to recreate something really beautiful out of it. Those who are probable bride may also take help from the plus size wedding dresses to look elegant even if they are bulkier on their body type.


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