Real {Mustache} Wedding : from the bride behind Whisker Works

Today's wedding came to me from a reader who planned a DIY wedding for less than $3K with 110 guests in attendance. Amber's hubby, Alex, an Officer in the Army, was away for the 6 months leading up to their wedding and the bride made everything herself. From the centerpieces, to the ring bearer's pillow which was made out of left-over fabric from her wedding dress.

According to Amber, the most successful DIY element from her wedding was the mustaches on sticks that she handmade out of clay. And, as a result of the success of the mustaches on a stick, Amber is the gal behind the popular Whisker Works etsy shop. In this shop, Amber creates mustache props that brides just love to have at their weddings for both favors and a fun way to spice up their photo booths. {more on the Whisker Works shop after the wedding} I loved hearing the stoy behind the wedding creations, which you can see below.

The wedding dress cost a total of $120 and is 100% silk. From Amber, "I bought a damaged dress from a store that sells unsold dresses on eBay, then my mom (who also has an esty store) made most of the adjustments to it. She hemmed it, removed the two inner layers of skirting, parts of the train (that created the ring bearer's pillow) because I didn't want a poofy dress... then I adjusted a lot of the beading on my own. The final dress I would estimate to be about 60% of the original dress. Being able to make modifications on our own saved us a lot of money, of course." Amber's bouquet was handmade by Amber, two bridesmaids and her mom. Her mom bought flowers from the grocery store to keep costs down and the ribbon wrapping the stems is the same ribbon that was used on the invitations.

Alex proposed to Amber with a 1920's ring, so they used that as a common theme throughout the wedding which took place in a 1920's hotel {The Kenilworth Lodge in Sebring, FL}. Amber found a 1920's wedding band that matches her ring well and for her hubby's ring, Amber found an artist who makes bands out of old silver coins, so they had him custom create a ring from a 1920's coin. Amber also found 1920s cameo necklaces for each of her bridesmaids as gifts (which they wore on our wedding day), in addition to Amber wearing one herself {seen in the pic of the bouquet}. The necklace will now become a family heirloom that Amber will pass down. And, back to the hotel, The Kenilworth Lodge gave Amber and Alex 40% off their total rental (a smaller room for the ceremony and the large ballroom for the reception) because they had 40 rooms rented by themselves and wedding guests.

All of the save-the-date cards, invites, rsvp cards were printed on Amber's home printer. She made little black and white coloring pages from photos of herself and hubby to keep the kids occupied at the wedding. They placed the coloring pages at their seats along with custom kids menus. To create the table identifiers, Amber soaked off the labels from bottles of red wine and replaced them with hand-made numbered labels. Each bottle also had a fact about the couple around the neck. There was an open bar all night and Amber hired one of her sister's friends to be the bartender. But, Amber says, having a bottle of wine on the tables saved a couple trips to the bar.

One of the ways Amber and Alex saved on wedding costs was they had their photographer friends take shots for them as wedding gifts. {Amber's maid of honor and Alex's best man are both professional photographers} Above, Amber's family shows off her mustaches on a stick.

UPDATE: I received a question about what Amber and Alex did for food, so I emailed her. Here's Amber's reply - just goes to show you that it never hurts to ask. We're both vegetarian and since a wedding is about sharing our love and our style with our guests, we decided to go down that road. We had it catered (set-plate), but on an extreme budget. Our original quote came in at $30/head, but by discussing our budget with our catering, they reduced the price significantly by having us choose only one option, vegetarian of course, and eliminating the desert. We had wedding cupcakes and a candy buffet, so we didn't think a third desert was necessary anyway. Believe it or not, catering cost was reduced to $10 per plate and it was super-delicious. :) Our wedding cupcake baker also worked with our budget, doing large cupcakes for $1 each in three different flavors. The candy buffet was a total of $80 - dishes were donated by a friend and the candies came from Walgreens (even though their candy is more expensive there, it was cheaper in the long run because I didn't have to pay for refrigerated shipping).

Photo Credits: Kelly Borsheim (Amber's sister) and Trang Do (Amber's maid of honor)

And, if you are looking for your own mustaches on a stick or the latest addition, lipsticks on a stick {which I think are the cutest}, please visit Amber's shop at Whisker Works.