The Budget Bride

One bride shares the DIY and money-saving secrets that made her own wedding unforgettable

There was a traditional cake; the beautiful pink creation from Calico in Rhinebeck arrived in a refrigerated truck that very day. But everything else about the 2009 wedding of Marcy Chapman and Jeff Altman was a do-it-yourself affair. “Getting married at 47 for the first time is not like getting married at 27,” says Marcy, who also had to deal with being a Manhattan transplant unfamiliar with the region. “Originally I found it hard to find a place to buy an age-appropriate dress, and for a small place to have the ceremony. In addition, I was on a budget. The whole thing was tricky.”

But Chapman pulled off her own version of the dream do. She bought a bridesmaid’s dress instead of a traditional gown, crafted her own invitations on paper she bought at A.C. Moore, and even made fun favors using jelly beans and pretty boxes. Instead of tying the knot on a Saturday, she opted for a Sunday night affair at Hudson’s Ribs & Fish in Fishkill. “We got our own room, had an open bar, and offered our guests the whole menu,” says Marcy. “Everyone found it very intimate.” The flowers that hung on the huppah were removed right after the ceremony and then placed on each table to serve as centerpieces. “It was a lovely affair,” says Marcy, who noted that their 40 guests “were talking about it for a long time.”

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