How to Have a Beautiful, Inexpensive Wedding

My friend and supervisor was the best man in a wedding this past weekend – which was one of three weddings that happened in one ceremony.  Yup, a triple wedding:  three sisters and each of their fiances got married at one time.  And they did it in one hour.

The three sisters got engaged at around the same time.  They knew their family couldn’t afford three separate weddings.  So they rolled their three weddings into one.  Apparently it was beautiful; each couple was honored equally; and Dad hustled up and down the aisle to walk each of his daughters down.

I wonder how much Christian character it took for the three couples to plan the wedding?  Sometimes, it’s hard for just the bride and groom to agree on their wedding plans.  But for three brides and three grooms to plan one wedding?  Wow.  In American culture today, weddings tend to be an expression of the “personality” of the couple, so I admire anyone who gives that up for a larger goal.  It reminds me that the foundation of effective giving is faith and Christian character.  I wonder how much money they saved?

Until I heard this story, I thought I was just going to blog about my wife and I having a beautiful, inexpensive wedding.  All told, our wedding cost $5,000.  Of course, the tuxes and wedding dress cost $$.  For our ceremony, we rented a church building for $100.  We hired a photographer for $1000.  We paid $100 for a YWCA building right around the corner.  We rented coffee shop style tables and chairs.  We bought the reception food and asked friends to help us cook almost all of it.  That was the big money saver.  We had 250 people at the ceremony and reception.   Anyone else think of ways to express the value of simplicity through a wedding?


4 thoughts on “How to Have a Beautiful, Inexpensive Wedding

  1. Wow, three weddings in one?? That’s impressive. One very small thing we did to express the value of simplicity was to cut out all of the elements of a wedding that are considered “traditional” but to us had very little meaning. We didn’t have a wedding cake, but instead had a delicious brownies a la mode bar. We didn’t have a ringbearer or flowergirl (though I love kids!) and saved money on their attire. We also made our own save-the-dates and invitations and had them printed at Kinko’s. We could’ve done a whole lot more, I’m sure, but it was so hard not to have our dream wedding!

    I’m really interested to hear about what other readers did, too!

  2. Don’t buy a ring! If you can, use one that’s already in the family. More sentimental, and no blood diamonds.
    My wife prides herself on pulling off what she calls the “poor man’s Martha Stewart wedding”. It sounds similar to Mako’s, and Ina’s, in a lot of ways, with a couple exceptions: although we had friends do the flowers, photos and video as their gift to us, we chose to bless our friends by NOT asking them to do all the work for the food, and paying for it. But we were lucky to be a able to sweet-talk our reception place to get the whole thing for 50% off.

  3. This website allows you to buy used wedding items and resell practically everything that you might have purchased for a wedding:

    I recently sold my wedding dress to someone who was planning a small wedding in Pittsburgh. I hated the idea of wearing something once and then never again. I also didn’t like the idea of paying additional money to preserve it. I wish I would have known about the website sooner because I would have bought a used dress myself! Wedding gowns are so expensive and the sellers usually make it sound like you need to find the “perfect” match, regardless of the budget. Don’t get entangled by the notion that you need to something new in order to be a spotless bride.

    The truth is, my husband Matt would have found me beautiful if I came down the aisle in a white sweatsuit. I only wish he would have reminded me about this truth while I was doing my shopping.

  4. We also had “home-cooked” food at our reception… lucky for us that some of the members of T’s home church own restaurants!

    Our “after party” (which was really the equivalent of a reception) was held in the backyard of another member’s home. It was beautiful.

    We did have rings, but we bought them on Tungsten carbide is a wonderful invention… fairly inexpensive, and one of the most beautiful (and scratch resistant!) materials for rings!

    For us, the big thing was that we essentially refused to take any gifts. Of course a few people snuck them in, but we strongly encouraged folks to donate to a charity of our choice (The Global Fund for Children) instead. That, plus the money we stuck in of our own (haha to the people who gave us money despite being asked not to) allowed us to give away over $15,000! I was pretty happy about that.

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