(Closed) A DIY "1950s" "Rockabilly" "Pinup" Wedding with a $1,500.00 budget

posted 5 years ago in Themes
Post # 77
1411 posts
Bumble bee

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sbaire:  I realize it’s your wedding day, but as soon as you invite guests, it’s no longer ‘your day’, it’s now about them too, and you have to host them properly, and that doesn’t include making them be your vendors/working for you.

All guests have to do at your wedding is show up to celebrate with you, nothing else. If you need guests to cook/clean/serve etc. you need to pay them as they are vendors.

The biggest issue is food safety.

Also, if it rains- where will the food be grilled? Not trying to be snarky, just pointing out as I did to a friend of mine who was planning an outdoor BBQ for a party. 


If you’re going to invite guests you need to host them properly. A seat and a meal (or snacks if not a meal time), and being sure they go out of pocket for nothing (read: no cash bar) and are not ‘working’ or being ‘voluntold’ to do anything.

Post # 78
3287 posts
Sugar bee

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sbaire:  I think a crock-pot wedding sounds like fun! Bing lots of extension cords. The most “fun” wedding I have even been to was my Aunts. She had pizza, sheet cake and a music. I danced all day. Best of luck.

Post # 81
1 posts


I love your theme! It’s so fun

I like the idea of a dinner inspired vibe, red fast food baskets, checked tablecloths or napkins maybe a napkin dispenser and a milkshake glass with red roses. I also liked the idea of the bandanas napkins raping the silverware, and some red and white striped straws with mini coca cola bottles as favors. The vinyl records cake stand and the milkshake inspired arrangement for the dessert table I just thought it would look super fun.As for the attire I think a more classic look for the bridesmaids would look good and maybe some 50’s inspired earrings as gifts?! I don’t know if you’re going to have flower girl or ring bearer but I just think that they look adorable

Post # 82
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Ceremony seating can be inexpensive using hat stacks 


1950’s Hat Box makes a great card Box


For added fun maybe have a Dicky Dee Circle the barn with popicles for dessert or late afternoon snack

Slowcooker Pulled Pork Sandwitches with a side of vinager coleslaw.

50’s style Ice cream bar for dessert 

Post # 83
87 posts
Worker bee

If I went to your reception and the food was diy in a bunch of crockpots, I wouldn’t eat anything and I’d leave as soon as I politely could. I’d be too nervous about food poisioning. 

You have 8-9 months to plan and save. Why not hire someone to cook and serve the food? I frankly find it selfish to be so unconcerned with food safety and the comfort of your guests. 

Post # 84
400 posts
Helper bee

I think how doable this is depends on the people involved, and only the OP knows how her friends and family will react. My sister was married on a very tight budget, and we all pitched in and basically “worked” the reception, but it was fun. A friend of ours prepped the ingredients for the cooked food, came to the ceremony, and then went back to the house (they lived close to the venue, a wolf preserve) and cooked the food while the bride and groom and their wedding party were doing photographs. Friends who are professional photographers did that, we made sure to get them a nice gift card as a thank you, even though they offered their services for free. 

We made liquor punches, served the food buffet style, and had music pre-set up and a dance area set aside. We wrapped all the silverware in doilies with twine the day before, covered wooden tables (all at the venue already) with raw calico material we got cheaply at a fabric store. The chairs were borrowed from the nearby Catholic church that a couple of our friends belong to. We also self-catered a BBQ for the rehearsal dinner the night before. Honestly, we all were running around all day, but we all managed to enjoy the food, dance, and I was also in the wedding party. We just took turns manning different things. I loved “working” the reception and wouldn’t have changed anything, it made it a really special family affair. But it’s not for everyone and largely depends on how the individuals involved would feel about it. I much preferred helping to do the event than just sitting back and being hosted, and so did the other friends and family who helped. There were also a lot of guests who just relaxed and enjoyed it.

The wedding was about 80 people total.

Post # 85
4233 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

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thepinkflamingo:  Their story was super helpful for me! I’m a budget bride and have no clue where to start, but I have a cousin who’s house/yard might work the way their backyard wedding did! 

Post # 86
1449 posts
Bumble bee
Post # 87
3436 posts
Sugar bee

I would do little bags of potato chips instead of fries. Much easier and still kind of diner-y?

For salads, I’d stick to leafy green salads or cole slaw with dressings that are vinegar and/or olive oil based. No mayo or dairy.

I’ve been to plenty of Super Bowl parties, Christmas parties,  neighborhood pot lucks, and eaten food from crock pots. Granted, those events were on a smaller scale. But I’m alive and typing this.

Lastly, as we were planning our wedding, I kept seeing Groupons for a local caterering company offering “party helpers” for something like 4 people for 2 hours for $200. My friend also hired a 2 people from Craiglist for super cheap to make sure all of the food was refilled and tidy for her baby shower. Something like that would be a cheap way to ease the burden of your guests.

Post # 88
1414 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

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sbaire:  Sorry to take so long to give you my response. I adore your theme. Anything rockabilly — those swing dance dresses rock and the music can be 50’s and even modern rockabilly punk (plus other favorites of yours and FI). I love birdcage veils too. I live in Chicago and the school of the art institute has a reception room with a black and white checkered floor though a barn will electricity and bathrooms will work too!!!

As other Bees have said, definitely no fries (and no burgers for 100 people yikes) and a big no to potato salad. Also keep in mind that some cupcake icing is very perishable such as cream cheese so avoid it. I’m not crazy about crockpot foods as the main foods for a wedding (sorry) but I’m not a spoiled princess πŸ™‚ I would go with ordering pizza, have you or your mom make big tossed lettuce salads or get them from the pizza placeand then I would order sheet cake with pretty icing decorations and a jukebox or rockabilly dancing couple as cake topper — and I would buy them from the bakery at Jewel grocery store. Nearly every body will eat that pizza, the salad and the cake. I am an excellent cook too but in a crowd of 100, not everyone will like my choices but the pizza is universal. Somehow it fits the fun casual vibe but doesn’t shout DIY and less can go wrong. Now if you are sure you have the trusted help from bakers as good as you are, baking your own cupcakes does not shout DIY on a budget and would taste even better than bought but only if the logistics of oven size really makes this easy to do. Homemade cake is a treat but a row of crockpots at a rockabilly dance party (no matter how delish the food and I’m sure it would be) just seems like an after thought in visual presentation, doesn’t fit the theme and is a lot of work.

I can tell you are very creative so use leftover time or money to decorate doing the yard sale/thrift shop thing which I also enjoy. 


I love that you have an accoustic guitarist for part of the time.

What are your beverages? Beer, soda, and maybe a spiked fruit punch. I hope I haven’t hurt your feelings. I attend a lot of events and assist on quite a few too so this is just how I would do your theme. I’m certain your wedding will rock!  

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  littlechickie.
Post # 89
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Regular lettuse Salad with onions, carrots tomatoes and radishes with Spagetti and meat balls as a main dish Dinner rolls. Ice cream dessert. To me this is very is very 50’s, and inexpensive. 

Spagetti sauce can be made in advance and frosen, precooked meat balls can be purchased and thrown in the sause morning of the wedding. If you keep the meatballs in a seperate it can also be a vegatarian dish.

Pasta can be pre cooked to al-dente the day before and oiled cooled and kept in fridge, then thrown in boiling hot boiled water minutes before service

Salads can be made in large bowls throw fresh tomatoes on top placed on tables, Spagetti can also be served family style in bowls on tables Dressing on the side or added in. 

Really this meal can be served buffet, family style or plated what ever works best for you.


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