Wedding Wednesday- Mama Tweedle's
Thousand Dollar Wedding

September 05, 2012

It isn’t necessary to have an elaborate, expensive wedding. My wedding day on January 1st, 1993 was perfect in every detail, and it cost less than $1,000 (about $3,000 in today’s dollars). 
Here’s how we did it.

We didn’t send invitations, but invited everyone by telephone. We enjoyed the personal contact. Today you can follow up with an email so guests will have a reminder of the date.
We hosted the marriage ceremony and reception in our own home. If yours isn’t suitable, you may have a family friend who will lend their house for such a happy event. We chose New Year’s Day 1993 for the birth of our blended family. I had one daughter Katie, while my husband Heinz had three children: Daniel, Janine and Melinda.

Make your own wedding dress, or have it made. In my case, my mother sewed my dress. Since it wasn’t my first marriage, I wanted a simple white sheath with long sleeves, which she adapted from this pattern. The sleeves look so puffy now – but remember it was 1993!

My dress fit perfectly and I loved it. Here’s a shot of Katie (aka Miss Tweedle) and me.

If your friends can sew, make use of their skills. My daughter Katie and my stepdaughter Janine, both aged nine, wore black velvet jumpers which I sewed myself. My cousin Marilyn, an expert seamstress, sewed their pretty white blouses – Katie’s had pearl trim and Janine’s had rhinestone trim. 

My flower girl, my four-year-old step-daughter Melinda, wore a recycled party dress of Katie’s that was sewn originally by my sister Mary Margaret. My sister was also a bridesmaid, and she wore a recycled black dress of her own. 

The biggest splurge was a $50 rented tuxedo for my stepson Daniel, and a new suit for my husband. (That wasn’t really a wedding expense, as he has worn the suit for many important occasions including Miss Tweedle’s wedding a few months ago!)

Keep the guest list small and intimate. We invited about sixty of our friends, family members and neighbours. That was as many as our house could hold. By having an open house event, not everyone was present at the same time. Here’s a picture of everyone’s favourite gathering room – the kitchen. My Auntie Peggy is on the left, my mother on the right.

Have a daytime reception. Our family-only ceremony took place in the living room at 11 a.m. and the guests were invited to our reception from 1 to 5 p.m. Of course, our closest circle ended up staying for the whole evening anyway, which was fine. Here’s a shot of my sister Mary Margaret and my Aunt Sunny. Note the Christmas cards were still on display.

Make your own food. This was the biggest effort. My husband-to-be and his mother prepared almost everything in advance and kept it in the garage overnight. At the last minute, they whipped out platters of food: cold cuts, salads, cheese, bread and plenty of wonderful desserts.

Bake your own cake. Homemade cake usually tastes better, and someone in your circle of friends will probably offer to decorate it. My mother-in-law made this one. The wedding trolls, which the kids loved, made another appearance at Miss Tweedle’s wedding on December 31st, 2012.

Keep the liquor options simple. We served red and white wine, and homemade punch in a beautiful borrowed silver punch bowl. Everyone else drank coffee, tea or juice.

Keep the flowers to a minimum. Our wedding was in winter, or I would have picked flowers from the garden. We spent about $100 on a few bouquets to decorate the house, and wreaths for the girls’ hair.

Don’t hire a photographer. Our friends took photos of the wedding party and guests. With today’s technology, your photos will be sharper than these twenty-year-old snapshots. We easily had enough photos to make a beautiful wedding album. That’s all the reminder we needed of what was surely the happiest day of my life!

Tweedle Tip: Don't let your wedding budget hold you back when coming up with your wedding vision. There are always people ready and willing to help you bring your perfect wedding to life. Look at Mama Tweedle! She had a beautiful, tasteful, but inexpensive wedding! 


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