Wedding on a budget — With a little help from my friends

In 2009, our daughter decided to travel to Belize to visit us and to have her wedding here. After paying for airline tickets and other expenses, she could not afford a large wedding. All she wanted was to exchange vows with the love of her life on the beach. We wanted her to have a nice wedding but of course on a missionary budget, we couldn’t afford an expensive wedding.

I had never planned a wedding before but it became my mission to give my baby girl a nice beach wedding with just one little catch… it had to be done on a very small budget. Two things that made it all possible was that I (mother of the bride), also served as the wedding planner, the wedding director, the  caterer, and the photographer. The other thing that made it possible was that I recruited friends to help. My hubby of course was in charge of a lot of the heavy work, such as loading and unloading the van, moving chairs and tables, and he also helped with much of the decorating. Oh and most importantly, my hubby performed the ceremony.

My sister back in Alabama did all the flowers for the wedding, packed them up and shipped them to my daughter, who then brought them all to Belize in her suitcases.

We have talented friends here in Belize as well. One friend made the cake and another missionary couple provided both live and recorded music for the wedding.

Even with all the help, there was still many things that this mother of the bride had to learn how to do in a short time. I did Internet searches to learn how to make flowers from tissue paper and how to decorate the tables for the reception. I didn’t have the convenience of Pinterest back then. After learning a few decorating tips, I still needed to buy serving dishes, table clothes, plates, napkins, forks, cups and all the food.

I was able to find most of the things I needed at discount stores such as the Dollar Tree, and online at Oriental Trader. We bought the colored sand for the unity ceremony at Hobby Lobby.

Like I said, I was also the caterer so I made chicken tenders and served them with different sauces. I made mini quiche (bacon, veggie and cheese), I made chicken salad sandwiches in the shape of sea shells and star fish (I used cookie cutters to cut the bread). I made a bowl of mixed fruit served in a watermelon basket (I watched a youtube video to learn how to make the basket). I served mixed nuts and made a simple punch and served everything on the trays and plastic serving dishes that I bought from discount stores.

Since my daughter could not afford to have a full bridal party fly out to Belize, I wanted her to still have a wedding party so our god children served as ring bearer and flower girl and some of our dearest friends served as groomsmen and bridesmaids. My son-in-law’s grandfather and sister flew in from Puerto Rico to serve as Best man and Maid of Honor. Now we had a wedding party so we needed clothes for everyone.

I found my dress and the flower girl’s dress on Ebay. I paid $80 for the two dresses. The colors that my daughter chose for the wedding was blue and yellow so I bought yellow material locally and found a photo of the style dress we wanted and then had someone make the dresses. The dresses ended up costing me only $12 each. We ordered blue shirts for all the guys.

I know that a simple wedding such as this one is not for everyone but as you can see all you really need to have a pretty wedding is a pretty setting, such as the beach  or backyard garden; supplies from craft and discount stores; a little luck in finding bargains on bridal clothing; a few skills and A LOT of help from friends and family….. and of course one happy couple blessed by God.