The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources

Going to a Wedding without Breaking the Bank


Note: I’m still working my way through the books on discipline. Maybe by next week I’ll have a report. We’re relocating in a couple months, and this relocation business is time-consuming.

We went to a good friend’s wedding a couple weeks ago. One of the things this friend is known for is his frugality. So in his honor, I tried to save as much money as possible when going to his wedding. haha! This one’s for you, Mark! (Here he is with his new wife.)


I am all for buying gifts off of someone’s registry, and especially teaming up with people to get big things off their registry, but sometimes your budget says you can afford one serving spoon. Which feels lame. When this happens, I try to make something personal.

I decided to make this friend some throw pillows. In my opinion, most people do not have enough cool throw pillows. Not saying it’s not possible, but definitely not a common problem. On websites like red envelope, these run from $40-$70. I was able to make some for about $3 apiece, since I already had some stuffing on hand.

To do applique (or stick a design onto the pillow) you iron Wonder-under interfacing on the fabric you want to decorate with, cut out the shape you want, and iron it on to the actual pillow front. It will look a bit rough around the edges. Literally.


Then stitch around the decor using a blanket stitch, and voila! Here you can see the blanket stitch on the back side of the fabric.

IMG_5858Now sew the back panels on.

I made the pillow envelopes the same way I showed in this post. Since I had stuffing on hand, I actually made my own pillow forms (a plain white pillow that goes inside the pillow envelope) just by sewing two squares I cut from an old white sheet together, leaving a space, and flipping them inside out. TSH stuffed them for me.

Here are the final products:

IMG_6002 IMG_5999  IMG_5997IMG_6000

The Ohio and “T” pillow match their living room. The other one is just because Mark is a neurologist. TSH found the idea for it here on Etsy. To be honest, I actually wanted to make him a pillow shaped like a 3D brain. However, I’m not skilled enough at sewing, and I wasn’t sure his wife would go for that. Alas.

For a couple other gift ideas for gifts, check out these which were given to us at our wedding (actually by the friend we were making these pillows for and another groomsman at our and this wedding).



The other ways we were able to save was by staying with some friends of friends, who actually watched our daughter for us during the rehearsal dinner and wedding. I’m not opposed to hotels, but I do prefer to stay with friends or fellow Christians if it’s not a private getaway for me and TSH. Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture of us with this family, because they were really fun and encouraging. They run this hunting ministry for youth. We did get them a small gift, but it wasn’t close to the amount that 2 nights in a hotel plus 10 hours of babysitting would have cost us. That stay was a huge blessing to us in multiple ways!

And finally, the bride and groom saved us a wad of money by letting TSH wear his own suit and shoes in the wedding, and providing the shirt and tie. Here are the long-time friends.


and the bride and groom again:


Congratulations, Mark and Alyssa!


6 thoughts on “Going to a Wedding without Breaking the Bank

  1. There’s no doubt that weddings can be quite expensive–and not just for the couple getting married! We attend several weddings a year and each time – as much as I’m happy about the celebration – I get nervous over the expense of travel, hotel, gifts and anything else that comes up! I’ve recently started making personalized gifts as well, which are not only unique, but also save the bank. Great idea with the pillows!

  2. sad that we missed this! thankful that we at least live in the same city as M&A. 🙂

    i LOVE the ohio and brain pillow!!

  3. I am sure they loves the pillows!! They look profesh!!

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