Edit: These amazing pictures were taken by Rachel Barkman photography.
My husband is a pastor and one of the best parts of his job is that he gets to marry couples. Usually when he marries a couple we get to have dinner with the lovebirds a number of times before the big day. Recently he married a fantastic couple named Gialdo and Erin Bonilla. Before the wedding Erin attended a fundraiser dinner that I decorated. Afterwards she came to me and told me that she liked it and would like something similar for her wedding. I offered to help and she was willing to let me. So after spending some time together she gave me her budget for decorating. She wanted to spend maximum $250.00! I also found out that she wanted a casual feel to the wedding but that she did want it to be pretty. I also found out that she loved to read and had thought about decorating with books in some way. She also had wine bottles that she wanted to use as table numbers. With all of the information, I started thinking of how I could make a big impact with a little budget. Books and twinkle lights were on my mind. First I found 1600 lights from a place in the states for $50.00, and then I started hunting books at garage sales. Lots of books. Like a lot! Hardcovers for 25 cents and paper backs for 10 cents!
Every room needs a focal point, even a ballroom. They had such a large wedding party that they opted for a sweetheart table at the head of the ballroom. This was a perfect opportunity to make them and their table the focal point, since they were the focal point of the entire day. The backdrop of their table was a piece of our church's stable wall. We covered it with branches, twinkle lights, and a book page garland. Their sweetheart table's centrepiece was a smaller version of the other tables, with an added garland and extra candles.
For the rest of the hall I strung book page garlands that were wrapped around twinkle lights. It helped to make the room feel cozy.
For the table seating Erin was able to borrow some birch tree decorations from a friend's wedding. I added clothespins with greenery glued on as a simple touch.
At the ceremony Erin needed some signs for the pews that said "Reserved" for her family. I own some chalkboard signs. I added book pages and some greenery and we had signs!
Lastly, the centrepieces! Erin had wine bottles for table numbers that her bridesmaids cleaned and painted. I added a book page layer, hardcover books, candles, and flowers in a mason jar. We wrapped the napkins in book page leaves with twine and greenery.
It was so fun to work with Erin. She will go down as the most chill bride in history. The total cost of the decorating was under $200.00. It goes to show when you are willing to do some work, and use some reclaimed materials you can achieve a beautiful look that looks like you for not a lot of money. Happy marriage, Gialdo and Erin!