The Non-Consumer Advocate Wedding

by Katy on March 17, 2009 · 27 comments


Wedding Cake

A few of my readers have asked for me to write about weddings and specifically about my own wedding. Although my husband and I married almost 16 years ago, the choices we made created a meaningful and inexpensive wedding would work well to this day.

Let me take you back to the year 1993.

My husband and I were both in college. He was getting his BFA in photography, and I was mid nursing school. We’d been in a terrible car accident the year before and had just received an insurance settlement totaling $15,000 between the two of us. We were spending the summer in Portland, Oregon working for our respective parents. (He was scraping paint off his parent’s new fixer upper and I was working as a receptionist in my step-father’s law office.) 

We were aimlessly driving around town together one afternoon when we decided that this was the perfect time to get married. We had time, we had money, we were in love and we’d been living together for five years. Why shouldn’t we get married?

There were no rose petal strewn bedrooms, no engagement rings hidden in a glass of bubbly. Just two adults making an important decision together. 

It was June and we decided to marry in August. I considered two months to be plenty of time to pull together a wedding. Others felt differently.

I had never given a single thought to my dream wedding. I was simply not that kind of girl. I wasn’t a tom-boy, but I wasn’t a girly-girl either. This made the planning of the wedding kind of difficult because there were 10,000 tiny decisions to make. Many of which I could care less about. 

First stop was the downtown Powell’s City of Books to look through wedding magazines with my mother. We scooped up a few magazines and brought them into the in-house coffee shop. The owner was a friend of my mother’s, and she got all excited when she spied our reading material.

wedding-house“Have you found a place to get married yet?” 

“Um, no . . . we’re just getting started on the wedding planning.”

“You should get married at my house! I live in a huge gorgeous house and you can use it for free.”

Okay, cool. We just found a place to get married for free.

The magazines got put back.

After that, most everything fell into place.

My father’s next door neighbor offered to do the flowers for free. (Many of the flowers were hydrangeas from my father’s garden.)

We bought blank invitations at an office supply store, and my artist sister designed the border and script.

A cursory look into the price of wedding photographers made us decide to provide film to certain wedding guests who were known to be excellent photographers. All happily agreed to bring their cameras. I am not a fan of the formal style of traditional wedding photographs, so I was really happy with the results. The photographers all had very distinct styles and our pictures are truly unique. One guest even brought her 3-D View-Master camera, which means we have three actual View-Master discs of wedding pictures which are super fun to look at. 

I didn’t want to register for gifts. I like a gift that reflects the giver, and I feel that registries sap all meaning from a gift. (Who was this pepper grinder from?) But certain family members insisted that I provide this option, so I compromised and gave to my mother a list of things we wanted. This way, registry insistent guests could choose a gift, and could even decide where to buy it. Most people chose not to use my mom-registry. Because I did a non-registry wedding I received wonderful gifts that I would not have known to choose for  myself.

For food we hired a caterer to put together a couple of huge platters of poached salmon. We fleshedwedding-food  this out with large wheels of brie, homemade bread, an enormous fruit salad, a couple of homemade cheesecakes, and a few unremembered miscellaneous extras. The cake was made by a friend who has made wedding cakes professionally. I paid for her ticket to fly up from New Mexico. The cake was her gift to us.

We rented the dishes and silver wear, which gave the table a very formal look. People fed themselves buffet-style. The napkins were nice paper. (I would rent or make cloth napkins if I were to do it now.)

My dress was made by my mother. It cost a few hundred dollars for the fabric, plus we hired a last minute seamstress to fine tune the fitting of the bodice. It was gorgeous! The veil was from a thrift store and cost a couple dollars.

wedding-rings The rings were simple since we both just wanted gold bands. The store we went to was having a 50% off sale, which meant that my ring was $40, and my husband’s was $30. We were both stunned how cheap the rings were, but happy to spend so little.

For booze, we bought a keg of local micro-brew and bought a few cases of local wine. We had an enormous amount of leftover wine and drank it for at least a year afterwards. (Waste no wine challenge!)

A judge who was a friend-of-the-family performed the ceremony. Which was short. (I can’t sit still for long weddings)

For music, my sister’s then-boyfriend made a mix tape for during the reception. My cousin played the flute while we walked to the altar. 

Katy and an attendant or twoI hate bridesmaid dresses, and told my attendants to just wear a short sleeve floral dress. The dresses looked fabulous all together, almost as if the they’d been chosen to coordinate, even though they hadn’t. 

My husband wore a suit. He invested in a high quality suit jacket and dress slacks which he still wears for formal occasions to this day. The groomsmen also wore suits. Not only did this save money for us, but also for our friends and family. Renting a tuxedo is a waste of time and money.

No one is happy to spend money on clothing for a wedding that’s never to be worn again.

wedding-pix The hit of the wedding was most definitely our limo-service. Our friend Chuck has a wacky art car, which sports thousands of tiny toys, bowling trophies and odds and ends glued here, there and pretty much everywhere. He drove us from the wedding to the hotel.

We did splurge on a night at the historic Heathman Hotel, which was a treat. The best part of this was that the one-and-only Johnny Cash was standing in the lobby when we entered the hotel. I was still wearing my wedding dress, and he walked over to congratulate us. And don’t you know, we had no camera on us, so this was a wholly non-documented aspect of our wedding day. (Grrr . . . . )

For our honeymoon, we went to the beach the next day with some dear out-of-town guests. We did fly to New York to visit my sister a few months later, and referred to it as our “honeymoon.”

Guest after guest came up to us to tell us that it was one of the most beautiful weddings they’d ever been to. Most people assumed the grand home was a rental, and everyone raved about the food. 

The wedding was a hit.

The only regret I have is not hiring someone to do dishes. A few guests ended up spending a fair amount of time in the kitchen, which to this day still makes me cringe. 

Total cost for our wedding?

About $2000. (This includes flying my friend up to do the cake.)

We could have afforded more, but neither of us had any interest in have a big overblown wedding. 

One thing I did notice is that every wedding has about the same number of decisions to make, whether you’re having a small or large event. This is true whether you’re getting married in your parent’s backyard or The Plaza Hotel. It’s what you do with those choices that matter.

Are you planning a wedding, or have you married recently? Would you change your wedding to match up with current frugal and green living leanings? Did you hang out with Johnny Cash on your wedding day? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

lala2074 March 17, 2009 at 3:04 am

Your wedding sounds very similar to mine.

My husband wanted a low key wedding.

We already had a beautiful home, much nicer and warmer than any reception venue. Nice greenery, lovely 110 year old bluestone cottage, very classic surrounds….

We had Tasmanian oysters brought in on platters, French champagne, lovely platters of exotic cheeses and dips, lovely breads.

We had classic music playing in the background.

I had my dress made by a dressmaker. I provided the pattern and the fabric.

I went to the markets the day before and purchase all of the flowers fresh and arranged them myself.

The splurge was a night at a beachside 5 star penthouse room in a hotel, with spa bath, and all the trimmings.

The downside, was that my best girlfriend ( a photographer) had offered to do all of the photos as a wedding present. Unfortunately, she chose the wrong film, and the photos all turned out grainy and dark. I wish that I hadn’t let her take full responsibility for the photos of our special day…

We hired a celebrant, had our rings made, wrote our own vows. I went to my local hairdresser on the morning of the wedding, I wore my Great Grandmothers gold locket as a bracelet ( something old). I did my own makeup.

It is still the most memorable wedding I have ever been too…..

And then we had the most memorable holiday in Noosa!

BTW note to self-Don’t tell those Americans about Noosa, Australia’s well kept secret! Lets just keep it to ourselves!


Stitchyphish March 17, 2009 at 6:17 am

Nice! Although my wedding cost a bit more than yours, it sounds like we had similar thoughts. My husband and I didn’t have a formal engagement (no ring) and we eloped to Las Vegas. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. There was zero stress planning the wedding and we were able to spend the day focusing on important things – each other, and the meaning of the day.

I made my wedding dress, and our ‘honeymoon’ essentially *was* the trip, with a scenic plane trip and overnight stay at the Grand Canyon. We splurged on getting a DVD of the ceremony and lots of the photos (it was at a hotel – no drive-through chapel for us!) because no one was in attendance.

Just about everyone we know who has ever planned a wedding admits that we did it the ‘right way’. I always smile and say “I know.”


Tam March 17, 2009 at 6:26 am

We eloped at San Francisco City Hall in January. It was an amazing, beautiful space!
Becuase we are in our late 30s and had been married before, we thought it was best (and most frugal) to elope. Besides, our families are on two different continents and it would have been difficult (and expensive) to get everyone together — my husband’s family is in Italy, and as much as we wanted to get married on the Amalfi Coast, we couldn’t justify the expense.
We ended up spending about $2,500 for the wedding and honeymoon. It included:
– Plane tickets from Miami to San Francisco ($400 for two people, which $25 included a coupon from Expedia)
– 3-nights of hotel in the city (not the best hotel, but centrally located and cheap)
– Simple dress for me (new), shoes (vintage, ebay) and a wrap (again, ebay)
– License and ceremony at city hall
– Photographer off craigslist
– Dinner at expensive Nob Hill restaurant on wedding night (Too tired to drink lots, so we only had one glass of champagne!)
– Drinks at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental
– All food during six-day trip
– Bike rental for ride across golden gate bridge
– Some wine tasting.
– Car rental (priceline) for three days
Here’s how we did it in a frugal manner: we used hotel points from my business travel to stay in Sonoma for three nights after we married (Free!). We also ate frugally (baguettes, cheese) for lunch and went to smaller wineries where the tastings were free. We bought mid-week airline tickets that were less expensive.
We had an incredible time. Even the weather cooperated. It was both a perfect wedding and a perfect honeymoon.


Jeanine March 17, 2009 at 8:13 am

Katy, I think this may be the only thing that I have or ever will beat you on in terms of frugality.

My DH and I got married at the J.P. to the tune of

We drove to his families’ country home in Northern AL, two full tanks of gas…however that much cost nine years ago.

His entire family went there too, (for reasons other than the wedding…but he planned it that way…sort of….long story) They drove themselves…Free.

My dress and shoes were something from the clearance racks at J.C. Penny’s. I think it was an Easter reduced type thing….it was about 75.00.

We stayed the week in the family home, free.

I don’t remember what we ate, but I know we gave 150.00 towards groceries.

Once his family found out we had married, they went to a local bakery and bought a plain cake and icing, and one of his sisters decorated it. I can only guess as to the cost…maybe $40?

His dad and sisters gave us the option to pick out several furniture items from the country home for ourselves. Since it was their mothers childhood home, and she had passed away…(that was the reason the rest of the family was up there, to handle those type things) it meant more to him than any set of Waterford crystal ever could.

Those that were in attendence, but had no say in the giving of furniture, went to Walmart and bought all manner of housewares.

Total cost to us: Less than 500.00.

The catch? If I would have known there was to be so much involvement from others, (no matter how honarable their intentions) I would have passed.
I didn’t NOT enjoy my time, but it’s not what I had envisioned.


Di March 17, 2009 at 8:22 am

We spent a bit more than you but ours included the honeymoon 🙂 We had an overseas marriage, flew to San Francisco spent a few days there, down to LA to see friends, then to Vegas for our wedding. We got married in a hot air balloon over vegas at dawn. Beautiful. I got a cheap dress which cost about $150 DH got a suit (which he’s worn again) which cost about $100. Can’t remember the cost of the whole vacation/honeymoon/wedding but it was in the region of $2500. When we went back home we had a simple reception for family. Rented a local community hall, Mum and I did the catering, we hired a DJ ($100). I’d do it again in heartbeat, though this time I’d skip the reception back home! That was more stressful than the whole honeymoon/wedding!


Jannet March 17, 2009 at 9:46 am

omg 2000 for all that sounds so cheap!


Angela March 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Johnny Cash!! That’s the best wedding gift/honeymoon I could imagine. And so nice to hear he was a real gentleman. My husband and I were fortunate to see him during his last concert tour (not billed that way, just that he died a year or two later) in my favorite venue- the outdoor theater in Los Angeles in Griffith Park called the Greek Theater. He did a fantastic concert, really put his heart into it and gave it his all. I’ll never forget it.
Our wedding cost: the license fee (don’t remember) plus lunch afterward for our good friend and her mom, the witnesses. We got married by a guy called The Marrying Man that we found on the Internet. It was far from fancy, but at the moment we stood and repeated the vows, I’d never been so happy. Then my parents gave us a catered party at our house a few weeks later, which was great fun. I loved not having to do any cooking or clean up while all my friends were at our house! And though I know a lot of people love doing all that planning, I was happy not to.


blackgirlinmaine March 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I love it. I thought we were the only folks who asked guests to take pictures. My wedding in 97 was not as inexpensive as yours but it by wedding standards it was pretty cheap.

Sounds like it was a lovely day and more importantly you are still together and I am going to assume happy.


Kim March 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Lala2074—The only time I saw wild koalas was when I was hiking in the beautiful Noosa headlands. I understand why most Australians would want to keep it a secret from the rest of the world.

We had a slightly different take on the frugal wedding. We were married at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. I taught yoga classes twice a day in exchange for our stay. Luckily, I didn’t have to teach yoga on my wedding day. We had a barefoot beach wedding, and I wore a white 2-piece sarong ($50).

One of our good friends is a wedding photographer and an exercise instructor. She worked as the fitness instructor at the same resort in exchange for her stay, and she photographed our wedding. She and her husband were our only wedding guests.

Six months later we had a reception at a local community center. A friend made cupcakes for dessert (her gift to us), and a friend of my husband’s family catered the event with delicious Mexican food (another gift). We paid for the DJ, a bartender, the hall rental and bought more than enough alcohol from our local Costco. My husband is also a photographer, so we raided his props to decorate the hall.

We set up a camera and a beach background for our guests to have their photos taken in lieu of signing a guest book. The photos were a hit. Everyone wanted to get in on the action. We now have a collection of cute, fun and goofy photos starring our friends and family.

We weren’t quite as frugal as the others who have posted on this thread, but the whole thing was very inexpensive considering that we had the wedding of our dreams.

The total cost for our Jamaica wedding/honeymoon and the local reception was about $4k. (Our flights to Jamaica were about 20% of the cost.) And I would do it all over again.


Christy March 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm

My husband and I were married in 1994. We didn’t want a huge wedding either. My dress was $50 from Mervyn’s (it was a little pricey for what it was) and my husband wore a suit which he wore many times again for interviews and other special occasions. Our best man wore a suit as well and I also told my bridesmaid to wear a floral dress. We did have a photographer but also had disposable cameras on every table for guests to take pictures for us. The guest pictures are my favorite due to the variety of pictures we received. My Dad was so pleased by the modesty of our wedding that he paid for our honeymoon as well. We had a blast in Disneyworld and a small cruise. I wish I had done what you had done Katy about the wedding registry. Most of the gifts that I use or still have today are ones that people picked out themselves. All the dishes that my guests spent a fortune on from my registry list are still in my garage. I should Craiglist them for a family vacation!


Gerard kiernan March 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I remember your great wedding, and that it was the first time I met you. The thing I remember best was you introducing me to Dale: “this is my first husband, Dale”.
Then I remember making smalltalk with a renowned author because I had nothing of meaning to say.


Julie March 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm

We got married in 1995 at a temple in Seattle and had our reception at an old-style athletic/social club downtown because a relative was a member there. (We did get a discount also for having it on a Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday night.) That was way fancier than I normally would have chosen, but I partially fell victim to that “princess for a day” mentality. But not completely, though—the girl in the catering department kept pushing us to order more food, more expensive food, more food, she was relentless. I kept telling her we were happy with the amount and type of hors d’oeuvres (forgive me if misspelled) we had already chosen. Finally, she said “what will all your friends think if you run out of food during the reception?” and I said “they’ll figure out the party is over”. I was so mad about her trying to make me keep up with the Joneses, I wrote to her boss after the wedding and got about half of the cost of the food refunded. Also, my dad at that time had an older diesel Mercedes so he was our chauffeur. I did spend too much on my dress, though. I actually freecycled it just a few months ago, I was tired of moving the big-skirted thing from place to place over the years and have no daughter to pass it on to! Wish I’d known enough to get a cheaper one back then. I did have the veil made to order and that was cheaper and fortunately not one of those humongous awful poofy monstrosities that were popular then. We did not go into debt for the wedding and took a short cruise (using my travel agent’s discount) and a day at Disneyland (free for me, again because I worked in travel) for our honeymoon. If I could go back in time, I’d definitely elope. It was too stressful and the whole reception process was too annoying, I don’t like to be the center of attention and it was difficult.


Ashley March 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm

I am getting married in October of this year. It is a small wedding, nothing fancy. So far I have gotten the best prices by shopping around and not being afraid to ask. The first choice of reception site was $800/ 4hours but when I found out that was taken I looked at another site (which was more beautiful than the first) and booked it when I was told it was $400 for all day. Includes tables, linens, chairs, servers, clean up, music, planner, etc. I have also received coupons from various shows and websites. The most useful so far was for the dress. Original price $499, discounted to $349, coupon for $50 off so I got the dress for $299.
I will do the invitations myself, my friend’s mother has offered to do the ceremony music for free, and my aunt is a florist so her gift is the flowers. I still need to figure out photography and catering.


BohoBelle March 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Hi Katy,

Thank you so much for the post. You look stunning in your beautiful dress! I love the tenderness of the photo of you both holding hands with your new rings. (sigh)

I’ll keep in touch with how the plans are going. Its great to read Julie’s comment about her dress;
“Wish I’d known enough to get a cheaper one back then.” As I feel I’m about to get sucked into an expensive world of lace and silk….


thenonconsumeradvocate March 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Boho Belle,

It’s okay to get secondhand dress. After all, it’s only been worn once!


Dale is till my first husband! And yes, the wedding was chock full of famous writers. They are the big fish in the pond of Portland.


Honey Wedding Limousine March 18, 2009 at 2:39 am

Wow, looks beautiful!! Sounds like it was a lovely day , I love the photo of you both holding hands with your new rings.


rachel March 18, 2009 at 3:22 am

My wedding was in 1981 in the uk and cost about £500. I bought the dress in a sale, my (now ex husband) bought his suit off the peg in a sale. My fathers wedding present to us was to hire a room off the town hall and pay for dinner for family and close friends – the most expensive part of the wedding that was about £300 in all. We had a list of things we would like and people chose them of did their own thing for presents – this way we ended up with lots of lovely things to start our home with.

I hand wrote the invitations and place settings. Both mothers made buffet food for the evening disco and a friend provided the music and lights. My husband to be was motor biked to the church and I went in my fathers car. Flowers were done by a local florist in a cut price offer.

The pastor was a friend of my mothers and ‘pimped’ the ceremony to be quite individual to us – I was a drama student so he added a theatrical element too. We had bought a house so rather than have a honeymoon we had a week off work to ‘play’ and waited till next year for a holiday.

It was still inexpensive in relation to other weddings at this time and had a mix of frugality and a little expense. Even though the marriage didnt last (it did for 17 years and produced 2 lovely children though) I still remember the wedding as a special day.


Kristin @ klingtocash March 18, 2009 at 7:10 am

My husband and I went to Vegas after a huge blowout with my family. The wedding package in Vegas cost us $300, for the limo, ceremony, pictures, video and we even had the tallest Elvis impersonator (my husband’s only request) that I have ever seen. We had a blast and even went to NYC for the weekend after five days in Vegas. Total cost with meals, travel and everything: less than $2500 including the three days in NYC.


Amy March 18, 2009 at 7:53 am

What fun! A beautiful and memorable day for so little….Thanks for sharing! And I just love Chuck’s Art Car, does he hire out his “limo” services?


karen March 18, 2009 at 8:50 am

I am soooooo jealous! Johnny Cash! sigh…..
I also got married in my early 30’s & had just immediate family (small) & close friends. Dress was on clearance, small cake, flowers only for myself & attendants and parents. We were able to scale back on alot of things because of the number of people that attended but it did not look cheap in any way. We simply made practical & frugal choices about what was important and also accepted gift of service. We delayed our ‘honeymoon’ for a year & went off season to spend a week in London on a shoestring budget,lol. The thing that made my wedding even more special was that my grandmother of age 102 attended. She passed away 2 months later.


Stacey March 18, 2009 at 9:21 am

My husband and I got married last July at our church. Since we were church members, we got to use the building for free, the pastor officiated for free, the church provided all the food, and women from the church made the cakes and put together flower arrangements for free. One of the women at our church photographed the wedding as her gift to us. My aunt and mother designed the wedding invitations and assembled them.

I wore my great-grandmother’s wedding dress from 1915, which my grandmother adjusted to fit me, and her wedding ring made into a necklace. I put my hair in rag-rollers the night before, so that I had lovely cascading curls for the ceremony, and I did my makeup and my bridesmaids’ makeup. I didn’t carry any flowers, and my husband and I didn’t have rings. (I’m too fidgety, and if I had to wear a ring every day, I’d play with it all the time, and probably lose it!)

For our honeymoon we drove two hours to the beach and stayed at my family’s beach house. Both my parents and my sister-in-law sent “honeymoon baskets” along with us, so we didn’t even have to buy any food while we were there.

All my husband and I had to pay for was our marriage license and a tank of gas for the drive to the beach!


Linda March 18, 2009 at 1:16 pm

When my husband & I got married 16 1/2 yrs ago, neither of us wanted to spend a bunch of money. I took my own paper to a local printer for the invitations. Bought similar shorts & shirts at the thrift store then dyed them to match “our colors”. The maid of honor & best man wore their own clothes, keeping in mind what we were wearing. Streamers & balloons were used to decorate a friends backyard where the ceremony was held. We did have to rent chairs. My cousin performed the service (I paid his air fare to come from the midwest). Family members took photos & videos. A friend made a music mix on a cassette tape. We did spend money on flowers for my bouquet & my maid of honor, my husbands & best mans boutonnieres, corsages for the moms. Our reception was immediately following in the park at my families annual family reunion which is a potluck so that took care of the food. We did get a cake made at a local bakery. I can’t remember what the total was for what we spent but I think it was less than $500! One thing we didn’t do was go on a honeymoon. If I was doing it today, I would make my own invitations on the computer, I’d probably skip the matching outfits, & I think I’d arrange for at least a weekend getaway. Other than that, I don’t think I’d do anything differently.


Julie March 18, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I forgot to mention two things to warn anyone planning a wedding about:
1. you don’t need the number of invitations to equal the number of guests attending. We got ripped off by a “wedding consultant” who had us order one for every person, conveniently not pointing out that many of the people are couples who only need one invitation! We felt like such idiots when we figured it out.
2. our photographer was supposed to shoot only a certain number of rolls of film (yes, I’m dating myself, I supposed no one uses actual film any more, but just in case)—and then 2/3 of the way through the reception, before we had even cut the cake or anything, she announced she had used up her allotment and needed our permission to use more film, which we of course agreed to. This cost us more than we had planned.
I feel the wedding industry is full of predatory individuals, so probably the best and most frugal thing you can do is be aware and do as much as you can on your own. Good luck to those of you planning your wedding.


Pennie March 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Such an inspiring wedding story! *Sigh* 🙂


Jen March 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

We got married on January 4. We talked our church into leaving up the beautiful Christmas decorations an extra few days. I rented my dress, which came with the alterations. Bonus: I didn’t have to store a wedding gown forever. My mother made my veil. We did have tuxes and bridesmaid dresses, because I liked that matching look. I tried to make the dresses not too pricey and something that could be worn again to a special occasion. The cake was a gift from one set of parents. I had silk flowers, beautifully done by a friend. We hired a great, but relatively inexpensive, photographer. We had a cake and punch reception only, with plastic plates that looked like glass. We had the programs and invitations printed at the Copymax store. Total cost: about $1500 in 1997, including the overnight stay at a nice bed & breakfast. If I were doing this now, I would worry a lot less about details and take a tropical honeymoon trip. I see so many young people going into debt on a wedding for silly things that nobody will remember anyway.


Naomi July 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Stories like yours (and A Practical Wedding, and my amazing sister) are helping me keep my sanity during this whole thing. And I’m so glad you got to meet Johnny Cash.

My sister had a beautiful frugal wedding, and I loved what she said yesterday on Facebook:

“My wedding:
Dress: $170 off-the-rack Calvin Klein
Husband’s tux: $50 on ebay plus $100 in alterations
Flowers: $500 for everything
Reception: about $2,500 plus booze
Anyone who doesn’t feel my wedding was decadent enough: Classless.”

The biggest cost of her entire wedding was completely selfless: She paid for our rooms at the B&B where she and Jason got married.

I’m totally biased, of course, but she rocked that $170 dress:


greenstrivings October 8, 2012 at 10:33 am

We got married at my inlaws’ house (free!) by a minister ($100). I wore a dress I got at the mall ($70, a knee-length sleeveless sheath that I’ve worn since) with shoes I made a salesman at Nordstrom find for me (“here’s the dress I’m wearing. I won’t spend more than $80 on shoes. Go!”). I told the bridesmaid to pick out anything she wanted to wear, so she got a cute pink dress from a consignment store and returned it after the ceremony — I love my sister. Husband and his best man rented tuxes because they wanted to. Freaks.

Music was provided by a mariachi band ($600 — a splurge that was very much worth it, they were loads of fun). My MIL paid for the catering (sandwich trays, fresh fruit, two cakes) and she and my FIL had a good time making vats of sangria. We did get a wedding photographer but that was a waste of money. Also a waste of money was ordering invitations, I should have just printed some up. Plain white gold wedding bands. No honeymoon because I left the country for work three days after the ceremony!


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