Local weddings: Ideas you can use in your own wedding

A fabulous wedding for less than $5,000

Story by Denise Scammon, Special Sections Editor

Photos by Eric Eisele and Katie Houghton

Local bride Sarah Buswell married Brian Labrecque in an outdoor wedding which took place in late August last year at their home, “Freckle Farm,” in Turner. Buswell stated that it was a second marriage for both herself and her husband, and that the wedding was “very original and eclectic and our friends and family are still talking about it, saying it was the best wedding ever.” Instead of the typical wedding ceremony, Buswell’s good friend, Jennifer O’Brion, an ordained minister, read a story to the 120 guests about how the bride and groom met. Buswell said, “Our guests laughed and cried” while listening to the story as they sat on “hay bales covered with ‘handkerchief’ material purchased from Wal-Mart in Auburn.”

The bride purchased her wedding gown for $30 at Mexicali Blues in Freeport, but, she said, that the tea length dress was “not long enough, so I purchased another white dress of similar material and cut it apart and added it to the first.” The bride’s son, Sam Buswell, picked out his own outfit of jeans, shirt, vest, bow tie and straw fedora. Sam acted as “Lord of the Rings” and, said the bride, “We had our rings nestled in a bird’s nest set in a hydrangea tree that was planted in honor of my father, Dana Coburn.”

The groomsmen wore jeans, blue button-down shirts, fedoras, sunglasses and red Chuck Taylor sneakers. “You should have heard people laugh when [the groomsmen] walked out.” The bride explained that the bridesmaids wore dark gray, strapless, embroidered sun dresses from the Gap, discovered by the bride’s daughter and junior bridesmaid, Abby Buswell, while “on an impromptu shopping trip [and the dresses were] on clearance no less. All the girls wore flip-flops and sunglasses and were responsible for their own jewelry.”

Wedding flowers can be a big expense, but not for this bride and groom. Buswell explained that the flowers were “picked the morning of the wedding by my daughter, Abby, and friends Jackie Maillet and Rachel Firth. They drove around Turner and Wayne and picked [flowers growing along] the roadside. My mom, Jackie, and I threw them together into bouquets as the girls were getting their hair done.”

The bride’s sister, Ellen Sanborn, designed the wedding invitations which were printed by Evergreen Printing in Auburn. The envelopes and labels were handmade. The wedding programs were styled as paper fans and the guest book was composed of quilt squares signed by the guests and which will be stitched into a quilt. “We asked for song requests on the RSVP postcard, added the songs to our wedding playlist and then played them on our iPod from large surround sound speakers in the barn,” said Buswell. “And, just to make things interesting, our sheep, Annabelle, escaped through her fence, delightedly running through a crowd of guests sitting down to eat.”

The bride and groom took a chance when planning the wedding dinner. “Instead of a caterer, we asked all guests to bring their favorite dish – we had quite an assortment of food,” said Buswell of the successful wedding dinner. The bride’s mother, Donna Coburn, made the wedding cakes which were placed on pedestals created from cut trees. After the ceremony, the newly married couple exited while the Monkees’ song, “I’m a Believer,” played.

For a wedding that was planned in six weeks, the bride said that her wedding was a memorable event. “Long after the guests had left, Brian and I sat under the twinkle lights in the barn and marveled at the blessing of having created such a lovely event that was filled with such energy,” said Buswell. “We truly have the best friends and family in the world. Brian calls it our ‘rock star’ wedding.”

Ideas from Freckle Farm:

  • Outdoor wedding at home
  • Ask relative or friend to perform ceremony
  • Replace part of all of traditional vows with a story of how bride and groom met
  • Wear non-traditional wedding clothes and/or shoes
  • Cut your own wedding flowers
  • Design wedding invitations yourself
  • Be creative with the guestbook – use quilt squares
  • Create a playlist for the wedding from guests’ favorites
  • Ask guests to bring casseroles for the meal
  • Ask relative or friend to make the wedding cake.

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