Engagement announcement

Perry and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last Wednesday, August 1.  Monday, July 30 was the 22 anniversary of the day we were engaged.

On Sunday, July 29, our oldest daughter Deanna was engaged to Tyler.  She is 19, the same age Perry and I were when we were married.  Tyler is 22.

No, this wasn’t the actual moment he popped the question.  She had to do some major sweet talking to get him on one knee for the camera.

But they’ve been friends for quite a while, so sweet talking worked and she got her way.

I think it may happen that way a lot.

Of course it helps that he really, really seems to like her.

I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

They waited a long time for permission to make it official, so now they’re understandably eager to tie the knot.  Our first experience in wedding planning should go down in a total of about 6 weeks, and we’ve already spent a week of that trying to nail down facilities.  I could easily panic, but I’m also relieved that I won’t have 6 months to sweat it out and plan the perfect wedding.  I’ll do the best I can in my 3rd trimester and everyone will make excuses for me.  In years to come, we’ll be amazed at how it all came together – I hope.  It helps that Deanna wants something fun, slightly quirky, and not overly formal.

So now we’re spending obsessive amounts of time on Pinterest garnering ideas, Kaitlyn has designed Deanna’s dream invitation in Photoshop, and by the end of the day I hope to have confirmation on the date & building so out-of-towners can start making their plans and reservations.  Tomorrow we go dress-hunting with the groom’s mother.  Deanna already found 2 that she loves online, but I want her to try some on in real life before she makes a decision.

If anyone knows how to plan a beautiful, quirky, and speedy wedding on a budget, I’m all ears.  Oh, and if anyone wants to loan us about 20 tablecloths in blue and/or white, you’ll be my new best friend.


  1. Okay, I just saw this post, thanks to your newsletter! Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you are old enough (not really:) to be marrying off one of your children, that is exciting! Congratulations!!

  2. Hey Kim….Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement! What a special and blessed time in her (and your) life!

    If she is having a morning wedding, might I suggest a different spin on cake?? Stack mini powdered donuts to look like a tiered wedding cake!! I absolutely LOVE this idea and had I gotten married in the morning, I would have done this. I think it would look beautiful, be inexpensive, and taste delicious! 🙂

    If you don’t have the wedding in the morning, you could use this same idea to have as a snack for the bridal party on the morning of the wedding. So FUN!

    Blessings on the wedding, but even more importantly, blessings on the marriage!


  3. i forgot to add… congratulations! I like short engagements. If you have been discerning and have approached the relationship from the start with the right attitude and marriage in mind, once you have decided to wed there really is no reason to wait.

  4. Freeze dried rose petals. they are pretty cheap and come in lots of lovely colours in sealed plastic packs. They are delivered by post and you can scatter them around and over the tables and up the aisles. I made the aisle petals into pretty patterns that were mixed together as I walked up the aisles. they cost way less than fresh flowers and were easily organised ahead. You can fill little baskets for all the flower girls I am sure you will have! I had them delivered a month early and then they took only a few minutes to scatter around and made everything feel very romantic.
    Used white bedsheets from a laundry service or hotel. they can be quite cheap and heavy fabric so make great tablecloths.
    I wanted to do this but our wedding was in winter: have a picnic wedding. with lots of balloons pegged to the ground with tent pegs. big picnic rugs for the guests and a basket of goodies each.

    • I’ll definitely look into the rose petals! We’re not planning anything outdoors for exactly the opposite reason to yours: weather here will probably still be in the 90’s, not very nice for those of us who are used to it and downright miserable for those who aren’t. 🙂

  5. I have about 20 90″ round chocolate brown tablecloths! Just pay for the shipping and they are yours!

    • Amanda, if the church we’re renting had round tables I would say yes in a heartbeat! Unfortunately they’re all 8′ long. Thank you for the offer. 🙂

  6. Hi!


    I had a five and a half week engagement myself. I have a couple of young friends hopefully soon to be married, probably with short engagements. So I’ve been thinking about the advice I’d give: you can have a GREAT wedding….but it’s not going too be the wedding you want. I can come up with a pageful of things that went wrong, but I suspect I’m the only one that knows about all of them. But who knows. My mother may have a list of her own that I don’t know about. Point is, everyone thinks out was great. (Including me.)

    But I suspect that attitude comes easier in large families :–)

    Practical advice: make decisions and stick with them. When one falls through, keep moving: make the next decision and don’t waste time regretting the first. When people offer their help, accept it. Then accept whatever it is they can do. Sometimes that’s less than expected, sometimes wildly more.

    Do what you can yourself, but seriously over estimate the time it’s going to take. Therefore don’t get too fancy/complicated.

    Good luck and God be with you!

  7. I could cry! What a beautiful announcement! Congratulations, Kim and Perry!

  8. Many congratulations to Deanna and Tyler.

    I used flowers that were in season and not too expensive. As my bridesmaid’s husband had worked in a florists when he was a teenager, he made the bouquets and buttonholes for us. We didn’t bother with decorating the venues with flowers as it would have made it too expensive and added complication.

    Favours – I saw a great idea on a blog. The happy couple made up favours of sweet pea seeds and instructions on how to grow them. If Deanna’s and Tyler’s favourite flowers can be grown from seeds then could do that. Or seeds of flowers in their favourite colour. Or chili seeds seeing as this will be a Texan wedding!

    Dresses. I bought a new dress, but I didn’t get married in white, getting married in a colour is probably a step too far for most brides but getting married in an evening gown saved about 75% compared to the price of the wedding dresses I was being encouraged to get.

  9. My hubby and I were 19 and 22 when we got married and we needed to keep the price on the lowest side possible as well. We went to a restaurant which closed just for us for a few hours and because my hubbys parents wanted an after party and we couldn’t afford to do it, his family got together with other friends and family to put money towards what would be considered a “proper” reception. I saved a lot of money on flowers by having wristlets for my bridesmaids rather than bouquets and I also got wristlets for the mums. It was a great idea to save money but still get real flowers. 🙂

  10. I just got married in May after a 4 week engagement! It can be done, although those were the craziest 4 weeks of my life! My bridesmaids flowers were super easy. We went to the local silk floral outlet and just happened to find white flowers that were already in a bunch and looked great! I just wrapped ribbon around the stem part. Sam’s was great when it came to food! Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby are where I got most of my votive candle holders and vases for tables. The day before the wedding we just went to the grocery store and got a bunch of mixed flowers and put a few in each of the 3 vases on the tables. We bought a blot of burlap and a bolt of tulle to decorate the reception area with. The auditorium was very simply decorated with tulle and ferns. These were my bridesmaid dresses :http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0022994/Banded-waist-poplin-dress I had them add a cap sleeve and the color was Coral (I no longer see that color on the website though). It was a little scary though, because of my bridesmaids didn’t get her dress until after the wedding (and she ordered her’s about a week before everyone else!). After some creative dress switching, we got it figured out and it looked beautiful in the end.

    All in all, it was a simple, elegant, no fuss wedding. I wanted people to remember how much fun they had, not what kind of show I could put on.

    And I 100% agree with Jenna Lee C’s advice above. Even if everything doesn’t work out exactly as planned, at the end of the day, you’re married! Enjoy it! If something goes wrong, try not to stress too badly over it. If possible, let someone other than the bride and mother of the bride take care of the problem.



  11. We got married years ago, but did it for less than $400. I got a white dress at Yaring’s (out of business now) and John bought a new suit. We had only my bouquet, my maid of honor flowers. and 4 lapel flowers. All for $62…red roses, white carnations. My friend made cakes and did ours for cost, $12. The biggest thing that we did was get married in the morning at 10:30 because we were driving to South Padre for our honeymoon, paid for by my father-in-law. We didn’t want to get there at midnight. We went to a small church, so we had our small reception in an adjoining room to the sanctuary. Just cake and punch, and then we took off.
    I’ve already been encouraging my kids to think simple, inexpensive.

    • BTW, I was looking over my pins the other day…I have a section for wedding ideas for the kids. For a morning wedding someone did a waffle bar! So smart and inexpensive! You could also have an omelet station. Are they getting married in the morning? :o)

  12. Jenna Lee C. says:

    We planned our wedding of 250 guests in 10 weeks. Looking back, my advice is to focus on relationships over flower arrangements and feelings over impressive aesthetic. It is not often in life we would say focus on feelings, but as a bride, you remember the emotion of the experience, not the logistics and execution of the day. Protecting the mother daughter relationship, the bride groom relationship, and the bride’s relationship with her self will make the “event” of the day much more enjoyable and worth remembering.

    I speak from hind’s sight and from (hopefully) doing a few things right.

  13. Wow! Time flies! I think she was 13 or 14 when I started reading your blog. Feel like I know you all. Congratulations to them!

  14. Congrats! We pulled off our wedding very inexpensively and I see lots of great ideas in the comments already! I have to say though, I am not a fan of potlucks for wedding receptions. I’m not a fancy girl and our reception certainly wasn’t a fancy catered-by-the-plate meal, but I have been to a potluck reception and it just seemed super tacky to me – bring a gift AND a casserole. It’s also a pain for guests that don’t live close. I would much rather attend a dessert only reception (really trendy around here) than bring a potluck dish. Call in favors from close friends to help put together the food, but don’t ask all the guests to bring food.

  15. Katie M. says:

    Congratulations! Although we had loads of time to plan a wedding, we still tried to do it on a budget (quite the challenge here in LA). My three favorite things about our wedding:
    1. Instead of favors, we let our guests know that we had made a donation to one of our favorite charities (Heifer International) to celebrate our marriage
    2. We printed our own programs for the ceremony. They aren’t essential, but we used them to recognize people who could only be there “in spirit” (like my grandparents) and share fun facts about our wedding day (e.g. who had traveled the farthest, what my “something old” was, why we picked a particular song for the ceremony)
    3. We didn’t have a wedding cake–we had a wedding pinata! It was shaped like a cake, and we filled it with cheap toys from the party store and candy. Instead of “cutting” the cake we held the stick together (blindfolded) and took whacks at it. Not easy, but lots of fun!

  16. As a violinist who has played at weddings I have one piece of advice. If you hire a musician, make sure and keep the number of songs to a minimum. We charge per song (not by the number of people playing as some believe) so many musicians will try to push extra songs. 3 is usually enough, one for bridesmaids and groomsmen, one for the brides entrance and one for the exit. Congratulations

  17. CONGRATULATIONS!! My sister did a very unexpensive wedding. Some things I remember (almost 7yrs. ago) are: she and I made really pretty candle holders our of mason jars and hung them with wire (i’m sure this is on pinterest), A friend made their main cake, then they did the big Costco cakes for guests, she bought all her flowers from Costco. They are cheaper, hold up longer, and we did the arrangements how she wanted them. Her sister-in-law did her bouquet out of the flowers, too. Both sides of the family made all the food. They bought a big canopy where most of the family sat during the ceremony. Oh, they had the wedding in the back yard of their new home.

  18. Congrats! You might try flat bed sheets for table cloths. They come in a wide variety and can be purchased for very little money. Anyone who’s handy with a sewing machine should be able to alter them to fit your tables. A childhood friend married quickly due to the failing health of her father-in-law. They threw together a wedding over a long weekend. (The bridesmaids wore black dresses they already owned.) Keep that in mind and six weeks will seem downright leisurely! 😉

    • I feel like I should clarify. The couple in question was already engaged, they just significantly pushed up the date, to be certain that the groom’s father would be in attendance. They didn’t decide to get married AND plan the wedding in a weekend. 🙂

  19. Congratulations!

    We planned our wedding in 7 weeks due to an international move. One of the biggest savings I found was having an afternoon reception rather than a time that would require a full sit-down meal. Plus we did not get our wedding parties outfits at the bridal shops…that helped tremendously too.

  20. When my older sister was married, the wedding plans came together in about 5 days. She and her fiance had been engaged for a few months, but no plans had been made… and then they learned that he would be deploying about 6 months sooner than anticipated. So she told me on Monday, “I’m getting married on Saturday…” and sure enough they were! So 6 weeks is plenty of time!

  21. People used to come to our house and ask for flowers. We lived next to what had been a (failed northern plantation). Huge amounts of naturalized flowers grew all along our property. My 11 year old self used to take the mother of the brides on guided tours of what was blooming now. Along with 5 gallon buckets to stuff full of free flowers.

    We moved before my wedding, but I decorated with in season wild flowers, and the venues (free to use) vases. One of my favorite memories is getting in the car at dawn on my wedding day and sneaking off to a country verge covered in sweet pea and queen Ann’s lace.

  22. I planned my wedding in 6 weeks and you really have to work to make it simple. The world and seemingly all who are in it will make you feel like you’re missing something really, really important. We did a dessert reception at the church after the ceremony which was on a Monday night. We invited only immediate family and aunts & uncles (and were about 100 people). 99% of friends were invited to an open house we had a month later.

    My best advice is that if it isn’t meaningful to you, don’t do it… and remember that what is meaningful to others (and they will tell you what you should do) isn’t necessarily what is meaningful to you.


  23. Kat Menard says:

    So excited for you all! Isn’t it funny how one can feel like you know people and they are old friends–even though we have never met? I had my own “quirky, vintage” wedding on a super cheap budget. Here are some of my thoughts…the rest just go with what you like–you can’t go wrong if YOU (or in this case DEANNA) like it.
    1. tablecloths– i would suggest that you look on the $1 per yard table at Walmart and the local fabric/hobby stores. Even if you have to go with two different fabrics, alternating them on the tables would look fab. No hemming, use the selvage as the side edges and then just cut off the right length with pinking shears. Then, you can use the fabric for something else later (newlywed draperies perhaps)
    2. The Dollar Tree (or other dollar store) can be your best friend for table decorations, favors, whatever. Little silver frames, candle holders, ivy bowls, serving ware, whatever. The key is to get alot of something to look intentional, not just a few scattered things–so if you love the little porcelain frames–buy 30 of them and put them on every table with copies of snapshots of the couple growing up-or an engagement photo.
    3. People appreciate having a kid-friendly event (which i am sure you are well-aware). I still get comments from people, 17 years later, about how much their child enjoyed our reception. I set up a few tables with paper table cloths and a banner that said “kids’ fun table” and provided each place setting with coloring books and sticker books from the dollar tree, markers, stamps/inkpads, etc.. I also made centerpieces that looked like a flower arrangement that was actually lollypops and candy.
    4. Go with what you love, and don’t be afraid to borrow. Love vintage linens? ask around and see what people have hiding in their linen closets. An old doily or two on each table with a pretty vase would look lovely. I have seen adorable modern arrangements of cheap glass vases, each with a goldfish inside. The tables had a “gift bag” of fish food with a card telling people to please take it home as a gift if they want. Super cheap, and fun as well.
    5. a seaside theme is very easy and cheap–if the couple loves the beach.
    Mostly i am super jealous since i have at least 6 more years before i will get to try out any ideas on my daughter!!
    cheers, Kat
    Mostly i am really jealous

  24. Yay for those 2!! I had a feeling that this was your announcement. 🙂 My husband and I own a catering business, so I have experience with weddings, along with my own. Here are my 2 cents worth:

    * Keep it simple. I know you said she already wants that, but sometimes even “simple” can become complex. Wright out a list of what she wants, how she wants it to look, and the order of things. Doing this will keep things tangible and you’ll have a better control on things when they get out of control. 🙂

    * For our wedding, we had a potluck. It’s not so glamours as a catered wedding may seem (ahem), but it really does help to keep costs down. You could also plan the menu and ask certain people to bring things. Another way to keep costs down (for the food is a HUGE part of the budget!) is to have the reception mid afternoon and serve cake/cupcakes with something to drink. If you decide to have a meal, you’re better off doing it buffet style and NOT family style. With family style, while it’s nice not to have people up and walking about trying to get their food (dismissing tables in groups helps with this, as opposed to letting them all go at once), you’ll have to make way more than you’ll need due to the filling of all those bowls/platters. Not to mention getting enough bowls/platter/serving utensils!

    * Have something snacky at the tables for your guests: chex mix, mn’m mix, trail mix, etc. . This really helps when there is a good amount of children. Or really hungry adults. 🙂 And serve water. It’s free and, if possible, you can always buy a new hose and pour water from that. Or get bottles from Sams Club/Costco. But then it’s not free….

    * Buy a dress that she’ll wear later. I know. Every girls dreams of their wedding dress and all that goes with it. But really? How many of us wear that dress again? I think it’s a much better use of money to buy/make a dress she really loves, but will/can also wear later.

    * We catered a wedding where the flowers used were the ones found on the side of the road. It gave a very simple, yet earthy feel to the decorations (I even decorated the cakes with them!). Plus, those flowers were free!

    * Make the table decorations something that can be given as favors to your guests. That way, you’re not stuck with 20 candle holders and 40 gold fish (or whatever). Maybe potted flowers.

    Hope these ideas help! Oh, and my husband and I planned our wedding in 3 weeks, while I was almost 2,000 miles away (no, it wasn’t a shot gun wedding, that’s just the way it turned out) with no to little money 12.5 years ago. It can be done!

  25. Congratulatioms to the happy couple!!! That’s so exciting!!! I love weddings!! I wish I could offer some advice or something, but my own wedding took almost a year to plan (living in a different city than my mom so we knew we needed time) and the whole time I just wanted to run off and elope. My mom paid for a destination wedding that came with a coordinator so I literally just had to show pictures of what I wanted and they got prices for us and then we made adjustments from there.

    The one area I have any advice is flowers. My bouquet was a giant baby’s breath bouquet. It is a lot cheaper and has a fun whimsical quality when tied up with ribbon. And baby’s breath is usually pretty cheap and very light. Hydrangeas are another great choice because the “balls” look so full. Oh and if you do prefer more expensive flower, Just make a smaller bouquet. That can usually cut down on the cost.

    Wishing you guys the best!! I’m sure the wedding will be amazing since the ony thing that really matters that day is the bride and groom making the commitment before God and their family and friends to spend their lives together. 🙂 oh just so exciting!!!

  26. I found this vimeo clip on FB awhile back. It’s such a sweet story! The beginning shows a very untraditional, yet memorable wedding service & reception. Outdoors!


    Julie G.

Don't just think it: say it!

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