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Back in November 2017, something great happened. I finally tied the knot after over 5 years of living with Brandon. We’ve planned to marry for years and never got around to doing it.
I have a complicated history with an abusive ex-husband and really wasn’t in any hurry to remarry. My ex-husband wanting to sign off on his rights to my daughter to allow Brandon to adopt her was the kick in the pants we needed.
Originally, we planned on having a courthouse ceremony but my daughter had her heart set on being in a wedding. We managed to pull off a memorable ceremony with only a few weeks of planning. And the best part, it was super frugal.
Disclaimer: I am writing this post for those couples who either can’t afford an elaborate wedding or choose not.
I’m NOT judging anyone who decides to spend more on their wedding. It is a special day and I know that for many couples, the expense of a fancy wedding is worth it. And that is great, it just wasn’t what we wanted.
I never dreamed of having a fairy tale wedding and don’t particularly enjoy having a ton of people staring at me. Don’t worry, we spend money of other things some people might find’ ridiculous (way too many books and video games).
We only had a few close family members and friends in attendance, if you have a larger ceremony, I recommend budgeting more money for food for your guests.
I couldn’t find any way to save money on the marriage license. It was fairly inexpensive, under $50.
Food & Cake
We chose not to have a reception. Instead, we had family members over to our home for pizza and cake. It was very low key and low stress. Family chipped in on the cost of pizza so our expenses were very low.
We got married at a local church. They didn’t charge us a fee to use the facilities.
Our family did our photography. We have a couple budding photographers in our family.
Funny thing about my dress, I didn’t pick it out. Brandon did. I was looking at other dresses when he found the perfect one. It was in my size, the perfect style for me and the price was great. I bought it from Goodwill for $28. Yep. I went to Goodwill for my wedding dress. Zero regrets. I was really planning on purchasing a long casual dress but I started looking at their strongly good selection of wedding dresses and I was sold.
My daughter’s dress we had found (for free!) months prior.
I am not a jewelry person. Don’t worry, I’m plenty expensive in other areas (like technology!). My wedding band and Brandon’s cost us under $100 combined.
I didn’t carry a bouquet but my daughter did. She gave me away and walked down the aisle with me. She originally wanted to be a flower girl but didn’t want to throw her flowers, so, she got a bouquet.
This was our most expensive part of our wedding. The pastor provided us with marriage counseling prior to the ceremony and we felt it was important to prioritize this cost.
Final cost: $448
What did you do for your wedding or what do you plan on doing? What is/was your biggest money saving trick?