Before: The Bride's Parents' HouseCassie and Rob are a young couple who are very much in love. They recently bought a house and a dog and are now preparing for their fast-approaching wedding day. They don't have a big budget, so they've decided to have their wedding at Cassie's parents' house. Host Joan Steffend, designer Todd Pinzuti and a lot of Cassie and Rob's friends and family all pitch in to turn the ordinary house into a perfect setting for an unforgettable wedding — and they do it for less than $5,000.
After: Elegant CeremonyDesigner Todd Pinzuti chooses a rustic elegant theme, which will include birch branches, lots of candles and handmade invitations. This approach plays off the beautiful surroundings of the house, the autumn timeline and the bride's favorite color: pink.
They start by painting the large room where the wedding and reception will take place. The room is a new extension to the home, so the team has a clean slate with which to work. The plywood floor is painted a simple white color, and the walls are painted soft lavender. An arbor is built for the couple, and a small, secondhand table is painted pink and placed underneath it to serve as an alter. To continue the rustic, outdoor feel, the arbor is embellished with birch branches and a swag of fresh greenery. Handmade programs are hung with ribbon on the back of each chair.
Paint — $150
Arbor and swag — $150
Chair rental — $325
Reception RoomAfter the ceremony, the guests are ushered onto the outdoor deck for cocktails. In the meantime, the room is given a quick change and rearranged for the reception.
Table and linen rental — $375
Flowers — $500
Buffet TableThe table is layered in various types of burlap and a generous helping of autumn elegance. Tiny silver-framed photos of the bride and groom are tied onto the ends of the burlap table runner to hang down the sides of the table. The centerpiece adds height and more rich, seasonal color.
Catering service — $1,275
Head-Table ChairsA few trips to some secondhand furniture stores brings together the seating for the wedding party. Pinzuti purchases 10 different antique chairs and then paints them all pale lavender. A variety of fabrics are used to cover the seats, giving each its own personality.
Chairs — $350
Romantic WindowsSheer-white curtain panels are hung in the windows, and birch branches are used to cover the curtains rods. Ribbons are tied to the branches and then adorned with chandelier crystals and tiny mirrors. Clear-glass, candlelit wall sconces add to the sparkle and shimmer.
Window treatments — $225
Memory BoardTwo big sets of secondhand shutters are primed and painted white. Pink, upholstered bulletin boards are lined with ribbon and hung from the shutters. Instant cameras are placed on small tables near the shutters. When the guests arrive, they can take photos of one another and leave them on the memory boards for the couple to enjoy after the wedding.
Shutters and bulletin boards — $80
Cake and CupcakesA tiered cupcake stand is crafted by epoxying glass plates to clear glass vases. Fresh roses, petals and cheesecake cupcakes are then arranged on the stand.
Cupcake stand — $25
LanternsA heated tent is set up on the outdoor deck to serve as the bar area. Twenty-five metal candle lanterns are suspended with rope from birch branches to illuminate the tent when the sun goes down.
Lanterns — $40
Photo Candles and Party FavorsThe black-and-white photos are printed on vellum paper and then adhered onto the large votives. For less than $5 each, these candles create a lot of romantic atmosphere for little money.
Earthy party favors are made when tiny evergreen trees are tucked into burlap bags and cinched up with pretty raffia.
Vellum hurricanes — $80
Evergreen party favors — $300
Family PhotosThe plain French doors are dressed up with generations of family wedding photos that were printed on vellum paper.
Photos — $35