When we heard rumors about how fun, beautiful, “green” and THRIFTY Ashley Owen’s wedding was, we knew we needed to track her down to give StyleBlueprint the low-down. As the Brand Manager/Creative Design Assistant at Judith Bright, it’s clear she has a flair for design, the environment and endless amounts of creative energy:
I met Zane during our sophomore year of high school and immediately fell in love with him. I met him across the lunchroom table and pretty much stalked him for 2 years in the hallways, using any chance I could find to say hi to him and hoping that he would remember me.
Ashley and Zane
Second semester of senior year came around and I realized: if I don’t do something now, I might never get to see what could be. I mustered up all my courage to ask him to prom — of all things! He accepted, and ever since that day we’ve been together. After 4 years of a long distance relationship, while in college, Zane moved back home to Nashville. We dated for another 2 years before he asked me to marry him on Valentines Day of 2010, at a spot in Percy Warner Park where we had spent an entire day together back in high school. After 6 looooong years of dating, we were finally going to get married!
The wedding of my dreams was totally different from the norm. I wanted the most eclectic table setting with the vibe of Anthropologie, but without the price tag! Being “green” and thrifty was the way I wanted to go. I decided to have my wedding on Earth Day weekend, Saturday, April 23rd (Earth Day is always April 22nd).
An eclectic table setting was a big desire
The wedding invitations were handmade by a girl I found on Etsy. She makes wedding invitations out of post-consumer recycled materials and soy ink. I chose to be as eco-friendly as I possibly could and went with the self-mailing invite which was also compostable! At only $3 each, the handmade invites had a total cost of only $225. (click here)
This wedding invitation is compostable!
Our rings were even “green.” We found his band and my engagement ring (see picture above) at a pawn shop! His ring was $90 and my ring was only $85! Of course, I wear Judith Bright bands as my wedding bands. I actually wear six for the six years we dated, and I wear the engagement ring in the middle of them for the year we were engaged.
My wedding dress was from a local designer named Van Hoang
. The whole thing cost only $275! That’s a steal for a handmade one-of-a-kind dress (actually its a corset and a skirt, but it looks like a dress). My bridesmaid’s dresses were lent to me by my good friend who owns the vintage company Closet Case Vintage
. The guys just wore what they had in their closet, including Zane! He did spiff it up a bit with a vintage Oscar de la Renta tie. The attire for the wedding was fun casual and colorful… and not black!
The food for the wedding was provided by a local food truck called Pizza Buds
. They make pizzas with local produce that will blow your mind! It was such a hit! Can you believe we fed a party of 75 for $250! We also had Bota box wine, which is the eco-friendliest wine you can find, and Trader Joe’s Simpler Times beer. The total cost for the all the booze was under $100!
The wedding cake was actually wedding cupcakes
from The Cupcake Collection
which totaled $150. The cupcake stands were made from objects I purchased at Goodwill. All you do is take a big plate and a glass candlestick, super glue those bad boys together and voila! We also served a $40 tub of locally made Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream from Mikes Ice Cream
. Other table munchies consisted of a $50 trip to Big Lots were we got organic snacks and chips. Yes, there is organic food at Big Lots!
We were very lucky that Zane’s mother has an amazing front yard and driveway that was the perfect setting for our wedding. This made our location free of cost (but a good alternative is a park — all you need to do is get a permit for that day, which is about $50.) We lined the driveway with tables and chairs which were rented by from Art Pancakes
by Zane’s mother as a gift to us. She did this mainly for me so I wouldn’t have to figure out a thrifty way to collect chairs, too!
The music was provided by none other than…my iPod. I walked down to aisle to Zero7′s “Destiny,” and we had our first dance to Everly Brothers “All I Have To Do Is Dream.” Our wedding photographer was a sweet girl who was still in photography school named Cristina Viscu. She had such an different and artistic eye, and that’s exactly what I wanted. Since she was still in school, she didn’t have a set fee, so I gave her $300 for giving me the best pictures I could have ever imagined!
Now onto the good stuff. I handpicked every single plate, fork, spoon, cup, wine glass, cloth napkin, linen, bird cage, and flower for the tables. I went to Goodwill on their 50% off days and racked up on all of my decorations. Everything was different, and all of these pieces were less than $1 and lots were just $.25. I had a three-plate place setting per person. I picked each plate based on what looked best together and who they were for. I insanely went one step further and actually picked place settings also based on where they were sitting — I wanted it all to look good together! Needless to say, there was A LOT of planning involved. It was so much fun because I felt like I was designing the set for the happiest day of my life. It was all worth the work. I spent around $200 for all of the Goodwill stuff, which I donated back after the wedding.
Ashley and Zane setting the table for their wedding!
I made all of my bouquets out of flowers from Import Flowers
, a wholesaler. Let me tell you, there were bunches of flowers and they cost less than $230. The flower vases were carafes I found at Goodwill. I also made the guestbook out of old scrapbook pages that I cut into flags and clipped onto a hemp cord that was wrapped around a big tree. The seating chart was written on old vintage books labeled by the different parties (i.e. Groom’s Family, Bride’s Family).
The guest book
Vintage books make the seating chart
The total amount spent ended up being a little over $2800, and I loved every minute of it.
Ready for more thrifty thoughts? Check out our High-End Women’s Consignment Sale THIS WEEK! For more details, click here
And, find out details on our up-to-$6,000 orthodontic care giveaway from Dr. Robert Sims! click here.