When Aubrie Little got engaged to her fiancé Brad Blackmon she started thinking of ideas for her wedding. She knew the cost could be astronomical, but she wanted beautiful on a budget. She thought she knew the direction she was going in until a stop at Goodwill when she came upon a crystal wine decanter. "It looked just like this, I found it and I fell in love with it. And I think there were about four so we bought them all and then it began," she says referring to her vintage glamour wedding style.
Mom, Teresa Little, saw the decanters and light bulbs went off. "I knew what my daughter wanted and I wanted to do my best to provide that for her but like I said our budget was limited," Teresa told me. So every Monday and Wednesday, Teresa, along with Aubrie's grandmother, would stop by a local Goodwill store. They looked for inspiration, and kept finding it over and over. "Every time passed Goodwill if I had an extra 15 minutes I was turning in so I could go look for stuff," Teresa says.
And by ‘stuff' she means, candlesticks, bird houses, lace tablecloths, frames and other treasures she could transform. When I asked her if she'd ever done anything like this before she shook her head,
"Nope I just picked up a glue gun and a can of spray paint and started," she explained.
She and Aubrie enlisted the help of friends. Missy Hogan, Teresa's friend since childhood, helped with a lot of the painting. And they couldn't light any candles under the tent at The Ranson House in Huntersville; they wanted candelabras but used them as a way to hold silk flowers. "We deconstructed the flowers and pushed them into the balls that rested where candles would go," Missy told me. They look like they cost hundreds of dollars; the candelabras and flowers together were under ten bucks!
Teresa used decorative bird cages with battery operated candles inside to light the trees near the house and create a romantic ambiance. It was the first one she bought that became the inspiration for many more. "I would buy a bird cage and we would use the jewels from Christmas ornaments and just glue them on," she told me. They twinkled in the September moonlight.
When I asked if she added up all the money she spent at Goodwill to decorate the house and reception, Teresa didn't have a solid number, but she said she knows she saved thousands of dollars, and spent some wonderful time with her family.
This experience and the response to their work have been so positive; Teresa and Missy are going to help other families have a "gorgeous Goodwill" wedding. If you are interested you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The wedding was a huge success, and the feeling of putting money toward Goodwill makes everyone happy!
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