/////{Budget Friendly} Vintage Outdoor Wedding

{Budget Friendly} Vintage Outdoor Wedding

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budget friendly vintage wedding

Hi there! It’s HWTM Contributor Amber, of Amber Lay Events, here! Today I am so honored to be  sharing one of my favorite weddings! Not only does it reflect my personal style aesthetically, but this wedding was truly focused on the most important thing: Marinda and Jesse’s love and commitment to one another. They are not only a drop dead gorgeous couple on the outside, but also on the inside, so it was such a pleasure to work on their wedding!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • A surprise flash dance mob (by all the guests) for bride and groom
  • Lace wrapped, upcycled wine bottles holding pastel pink roses
  • Endless dessert station with homemade pies, cake, candies, and baked treats
  • Paper doily placemats and handmade place cards at each place setting and vintage dish ware at the head table

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding

budget friendly vintage wedding


PARTY DETAILS, as told by Amber

When Marinda, the bride, approached us with a guest list of 250 and a budget of $5,000 I knew we would be facing one of our biggest challenges yet! Luckily we were able to stick to the budget and even came in under and still made it a very personalized event for the bride and groom and their families.

Guests were greeted with a handmade upcycled, wooden sign pointing them to the direction of the ceremony site.  An antique trunk was placed in the ceremony area for them to place gifts in. On a table next to the trunk we had a decorative bike with a  basket that had blank note cards for guests to write notes to the bride and groom on. The table was also adorned with old hat boxes.

We braided fabric strips and connected them to mason jars using twine to create handles. We hung the “handles” on vintage mini shepherds hooks that lined the aisle. Each mason jar was filled with moss and had a big tulip bloom inside. In between the shepherd hooks lay a simple white aisle runner.

To frame the couple during the ceremony we borrowed a friends iron archway that they had in their garden. To soften it we draped with a blush pink chiffon over it that we attached with unseen zip ties. The beautiful lake backdrop didn’t need much more.

To keep the cost down we upcycled wine and soda bottles by using them as bloom vases.  By adding simple embellishments like strands of pearls, lace, and blush ribbons we created a vintage, eclectic and romantic feel. Since the openings of wine and soda bottles are so narrow you can really only fit a couple of blooms in each vase which really cut the cost of our fresh floral product down. We used a couple vases on each table in addition to antique books stacked and vintage tea cups and saucers.

I got fabric from a local discount fabric store to use as overlays on the white linens we borrowed from family and friends. The park came with great picnic tables so we saved a lot of money on rentals and it gave the reception a great “family-like” and casual feeling.

For the reserved place settings we used paper doilies as chargers and then made handmade place cards out of scrapbook paper and glued them to the center of the doilies. Each placesetting had the utensils wrapped in a pink napkin and tied with either a lace ribbon or a burlap tie. The head table had vintage dishes and drink ware that we borrowed from a family friend. We also hung vintage windows behind the bride and groom’s seats and put fun extras on their table like a decorative ceramic bird, a wire vessel, and metal teapot. All of these items added to eclectic look that the bride loved.

Feeding 250 guests on a tight budget is quite a task not only because the cost of food is high but also because the labor to prep and serve the food adds up. With that said, we did a huge run to Costco and got pre-made lasagnas, rolls, and salad ingredients along with a variety of cheeses, breads, and dips for appetizers. We also got about 10 volunteers who knew the bride to help with food prep and serve at the buffet line. We coordinated with family in the neighborhood to use their ovens so that all of the food would be hot and ready for all the guests to eat at the same time. We had a lot of fun decorating the buffet lines with antique cameras, wine crates, baskets and even old telephones.

The drink station also had wine crates which we used to elevate water, tea, and lemonade dispensers. Specific family members helped poor the beer from the kegs and also open and serve the wine. We made cute drink stirrers our of bamboo skewers that we cut in half and tied a blush pink ribbon to. It’s all about the small details! We also put out cylinder vases that had moss and bark filler inside and a candle. A handmade sign that read “Quench Your Thirst” was stuck in the ground right by the table.

The groom’s family was nice enough contribute all of the goodies for our sweets table which was placed between two big trees. We ran a wire between the trees and hung lantern-like containers which we placed little battery operated lights inside of. Placed in front of the table were rustic frames that not only held the table cloth from blowing up but added to our vintage theme. We used antique cigar boxes to put the cellophane bags in which the guests used to make goodie bags with. The bags were adorned with hand stamped birdcages. By borrowing dishes from friends and family we were able to display all the candy, pies, cupcakes, cookies, etc. beautifully. The cake definitely took center stage and was embellished with not only fresh florals but with a handmade birdie cake topper.

The bride’s side of the family is big into games so they decided to send out a mass email to all the guests with a video link of 2 dances to learn. In the middle of the reception when the guests heard their cue they made their way to the dance floor and did a traditional flash dance mob. The bride and groom were pleasantly surprised and jumped right into the fun! For all of the guests who didn’t know the dance, we had a TV monitor that showed the moves!

We decorated the designated dance floor area with lights strung above that the groom’s dad so graciously helped with the engineering of. We also made a garland out of twine and strips of fabric that was hung under the covered portion of the dance floor. Those two elements combined with the stars and the reflective lake set such a romantic setting for the night.

When all the dancing had come to an end the bride and groom escaped into the night on a golf cart that decorated with a handmade wooden sign reading, “Just Married” and of course a string of cans trailing behind them.

Vendor Credit
  • Venue: Lake Wildwood Park
  • Coordination, Design, Styling, Florals, Stationery, & Catering: Amber Lay Events
  • Photography: Jodie Szablowski Photography
  • Cake: Bride’s Aunt, Michelle Durbin
  • Service Volunteer Staff: Friends & Family of the Bride & Groom
  • Bistro Lighting: The Groom’s Family, The Ettlins
  • Handmade Wooden Signs: Bride’s Cousin, Ben Milner
  • Rentals (some tables and chairs): SRC Party Center
By |2017-02-02T10:29:40+00:00March 20th, 2013|Weddings|

About the Author:

AMBER LAY is the founder of Amber Lay Events , a coordinating and custom floral design company that specializes in weddings. She got an early start in the industry by interning with one of LA’s most sought after wedding coordinators. Since then she has built many connections in the industry as she continued to work for other top wedding coordinators and event florists in the Southern California area. 

After completing her degree at San Diego State University in Art and Design, she was brought on full time as the Editorial & Styling Assistant at Hostess with the Mostess®, which opened her eyes to a whole new side of the party industry. Her new knowledge from HWTM, paired with her experience in the wedding industry, prepared her to step out on her own and open ALE full time.

Amber resides in San Diego, California. She absolutely loves the water and being active outdoors, which is why she calls the beach her home!


  1. @clubwedd March 20, 2013 at 8:03 am

    {Budget Friendly} Vintage Outdoor Wedding: Hostess with the Mostess®Hi there! It’s HWTM Contributor Amber, of … http://t.co/JqpCvjZ6cM

  2. @PartyBlowout March 20, 2013 at 8:19 am

    {Budget Friendly} Vintage Outdoor Wedding http://t.co/V7niDHXMe0

  3. Wendy March 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Lovely wedding! And it looks like they had so much fun!

  4. @AmberLayEvents March 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    {Budget Friendly} Vintage Outdoor Wedding http://www.hwtm.com/2013/03/budget-friendly-vintage-outdoor-wedding/ via @AmberLayEvents

  5. Michelle Alfaro March 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Inspired By This Blog March 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Loving this sweet wedding with all of its handmade touches! :]]

  7. sheila March 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Love the pictures, great couple.

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  9. Jen March 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Love this wedding! So sweet and personal. Any idea the designer of her dress? It’s everything I’m looking for!

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    Such a beautiful wedding!

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