Our Frugal Family Wedding Attire

My family with my brother Dan, the groom. Funny expression, I know- we were trying to make the girls smile.
A week ago, my little brother Dan got married to a wonderful woman named Margaret, and it was great fun, such a happy wedding! The thing about weddings is they can get very pricey- not just for the ones paying for the wedding, but for the wedding party as well.

When my brother Josh got married last February, I was really proud of how frugally and nicely I dressed the family for the event. All the clothing was from either Aliexpress.com or NextDirect.com, and for what we got, it was pretty cheap. However, even cheap clothing and accessories add up when you're buying for a family of six.

Having moved recently into a new house and doing construction, things were going a little haywire over here, and I missed my window to order clothing online for the wedding. In a way I was happy about that, because it forced me to look for other options, maybe that would save me money.

I posted in a local group asking if anyone had a dress I could borrow for my brother's wedding, and someone loaned me this beautiful black dress with gold accents, that fit me so perfectly it was as if it were custom made.

For my girls, at first I thought of making their own dresses- buying tulle and satin like fabric from fabric shops and making them simple and beautiful sleeveless dresses (since I am not a pro at sewing sleeves), but with the move and everything, it was obvious that that wasn't a possibility. Instead, I resigned myself to paying more money and buy dresses locally, but I couldn't find a single thing for them, and I walked into so many stores.
Eventually, giving up, I posted in a local whatsapp group asking if anyone had dresses my daughters could borrow, and I got these matching dresses for them.

As for the boys and my husband, they all wore formal pants they already had, and we bought new shirts and ties for them from discount clothing stores. Total for 3 shirts and 3 ties was approximately $25.

Me, Anneliese, my sister Lizzy, brother Josh, and their significant others.

I appreciate the fact that the bride and groom didn't make demands about what colors the wedding party had to wear, so we were free to wear what suited our budget and what we had available. We tried to coordinate by discussing with each other what we were wearing first, and in the end each family matched each other, and as a group, overall we were wearing bold, solid colors, which ended up photographing nicely together. My family wore black, bright blue, and white. My sister and her family wore black, white, red, and purple. And other family members wore various bold shades of blue, maroon and black. So despite the fact that we weren't all matching, the pictures still looked good.

I bought everyone but my husband formal shoes (he already had), all from cheap shoe stores, yet despite the fact that I bought this right before the wedding, I don't really consider it a wedding expense since we needed them for a while already, and just didn't get around to it, and this gave me the push. The kids shoes cost $14 each, so $56 for that, and my shoes (unfortunately I'm a large size so cheap stores don't carry my size- almost no shoe stores locally have my size) ended up being $50. These were a much needed expense- before that, none of us had any shoes other than sneakers, so it was money well spent, especially since they are all really nice shoes.

I styled Anneliese's hair myself (here's how I did it), and my sister Lizzy did Rose's hair. For myself, I kept it simply brushed, but wore a fascinator that I bought from 6 months ago from Aliexpress, not with the wedding in mind, but just because I thought it was cool, and it was cheap.
I did my own makeup, and bought the girls hair accessories for $1 per girl, and lastly, I bought myself these fake gold earrings for $4.25. I also bought myself a black and gold headband for $3 to wear for the wedding just in case I didn't have the guts to wear something as bold as a fascinator.

Me with my little sister Lizzy.

My family got lots of compliments at the wedding about how nice they looked and everyone wanted to know where we got our outfits. Despite the fact that most of my family was still sick with a stomach bug at the wedding, we all had a great time.

Congrats Dan and Margaret! Wishing you many happy years together!

When you've had family weddings, do you usually end up spending a lot of money on clothing, makeup, hair styling and accessories, or do you manage to keep down costs, and if so, how? Would you borrow clothing for an occasion, or would you want to buy it and own it?

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Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. You all look fantastic, but you look especially glamerous and pretty!

  2. You look lovely and so trim! I always say, wow 4 kids must be so hard to manage then I remember I have 4 too! Lol. You have a beautiful family.

    1. Awww thank you! Don't get me wrong- 4 kids definitely is very hard to manage!

  3. Your dress fits so perfect and I cant believe you didn't need a single alteration!
    I think Lizzy's necklace is so pretty!

  4. thank you so much for sharing with us! you all looked so beautiful1!

  5. I remember going to a family wedding when our kids were young, and we each just wore something dressy we already had in our wardrobe. I don't remember thinking that it was much different than dressing for church. However, I realize that customs are different in every locality as well as every country. You all looked very festive and happy. What a beautiful family ou have!

  6. I always shop on eBay when I need something specific for an event... and how nice that the couple were not demanding about colors! That makes everything easier.

  7. I am a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding and both my girls will be flower girls. Can you guess how much I will have to spend for that? A crap load of $$! At least 400$ just for the dress+shoes. It's ridiculous! When I am a simple guest at a wedding I usually just wear something I already own. Last wedding I went to, I wore my Christmas dress that I got on sale for 15$ and sandals I bought for 25$. That's it. No special makeup, jewelry or hairstyle. And I got my girls dresses from Goodwill for 10$/each. And we have another wedding next summer : will wear the same clothes.

  8. Well...last time I was at a family wedding, I was IN the wedding as a Bridesmaid. My dress was paid for out of my mother's inheritance from her mother, who'd passed away the year earlier. My son was also in the wedding. Ring Bearer tuxes are usually free I just had to pay for the vest rental so like $15? My shoes were $35 as the bride wanted everyone to wear the same shoes even though you couldn't see them in our floor length gowns. Once we got to the reception those things came right off and I've never worn them again

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