Something that wasn't quite so budget savvy … my flower girl dresses. We are going to call them my “splurge”, however, I was able to get them for a really really good deal through my friend Michelle who owns her own business – Tutu Goddess (www.facebook.com/TuTuGoddess).
I sent her an email, along with several others who custom make tutus, and we chatted about my vision … a romantic dress with a train, lace up back/corset style and BIG tulle … she sent me a photo of a prototype and I fell in love.
The photo above is Annabelle, one of my two flower girls, all dressed up in the tutu dress (there is a long train attached which you can't really see from this angle).
Doesn't it just make you squeal! Her prices vary based on size and what you're ordering but for two dresses like this, the price runs in the vicinity of about $175 (again, this was based on the amount for materials and work for my girls and varies depending on the size of the dress and the girl wearing it). When I received them … I was so giddy!! The girls fit them perfectly and, while one of the girls cried because it was a really big dress, once she was in it, we couldn't get her out!
But here's the thing – I bought these specifically for my wedding to match my dress but as a photographer, am keeping these dresses for my studio to use for photo shoots. This means that a) I don't want the girls to wear the dresses for very long and b) I needed them to change into something else for the reception. Enter the wardrobe change … and needing to buy a second dress … Not so budget savvy ….
UNTIL, I stumbled upon these cuties on Amazon and ordered them online (from china) for only $20 a piece with free shipping (thank you, Amazon Prime Membership). Plain but adorable and I knew that I could do my own alterations to make them stand out.
First, that BOW … oh I wanted to throw up when I saw it … it was pinned on and had a gross gold rhinestone on it .. not even pretty. The rest of the dress? Adorable!
So, I removed the bows (I covered the rhinestone center with white ribbon and actually re-used these on my basket that is holding our programs for the wedding – budget savvy tip: REUSE whatever you can!). I made more of my fabric flowers and then added my own yellow ribbon on by sewing it by hand across the white band and left it long enough to be tied up in the back. To cover up my sew-marks I sewed on white pearl threads that I used for the bouquets. I literally redid these with the leftover materials I already had on hand from my other projects and spend NO additional money to re-design these cuties …
So, while I splurged on my ceremony dresses for the girls (which aren't in the wedding budget, because they came out of my business account to pay for them since they are going to be used for my photography studio after the wedding), I only spent $40 for a set of two dresses and used leftover materials to jazz them up and make them my own customized versions to fit and match the bridesmaid dresses (which are pale yellow and Jr BM is in dark purple). ANd when one of the girls tried this dress on (pre-reconstruction) she LOVED it! As long as she's happy, I'm happy! Because there is NOTHING worse than an unhappy flower girl!!
I paid for these (which I felt was only proper etiquette, same with the ring bearer's rental) but mom's are providing their shoes … which because the tutu dress covers their feet, I told them whatever shoes they pick are fine by me!