Post # 17
My wedding was $2,000 for a nice banquet room in a fancy restaurant, so I think you could have a wedding for WAY cheap!
Get married by a celebrant in your backyard/field/public park, then serve BBQ or pizza or burgers and hot dogs! Assuming you have a CD player, you can even have music!
Post # 18
@Weetzie: this is very similar to my situation. I know a lot of people would balk at the fact that we are charging about a quarter of our wedding costs (2-3K) but I got let go from my job recently, and have no health insurance, so we couldn’t really see pushing out the wedding. Plus we’ve been together over three years and are emotionally ready for marriage.
Post # 19
Courthouse and a restaurant would be my choice. It was my choice to begin with. Oh family and opinions…
Post # 20
If I couldn’t afford a wedding, there’d probably be a long list of “actual essentials” in life that I should be saving for instead (emergency fund, more for retirement, car/house troubles, etc). A wedding is a luxury imo, if it’s not affordable, it’s not worth doing to me.
Post # 21
None of the options fit, I wouldn’t go to the courthouse. I would do what I could afford, even if it is just Fiance and I, a few witnesses and the minister, I would still get married at the church, but the guests and reception would be smaller.
Post # 22
It depends on how much you think you can save over the course of your engagement.
Have you figured out a potential budget yet? Put the numbers down on paper and figure out exactly how much you could potentially save over the course of your engagement. Be conservative and brutal with your numbers. Once you have a budget then you’ll know what type of wedding you’ll be able to afford. No guesswork.
The other bees are right too, a low budget wedding can be beautiful! Inexpensive doesn’t mean courthouse.
Post # 23
Go to the courthouse….throw a small reception/party later down the line when you have the money – my friend had a quick marriage, got married in Dec, he’s having a reception in Jul. You don’t have to do everything in 1 day. Send out “Hey we eloped” cards and just say on the cards that a celebration party is to come.
Post # 24
I concur with wisher558. Do a small courthouse wedding now, and save your money for a larger more formal wedding later. That’s exactly what my fiance and I are doing!
Post # 25
You know what? I’ll be getting married by the end of the year, and it’s going to be as cheap as possible. I will have a nice dress, Fiance will wear something nice, and it will just be a select few people in attendance. I nearly lost my Fiance to illness mere weeks ago, so as long as we stop putting off the wedding and JFDI, at the end of the day we’ll be married and that’s all that matters.
If I have to go to the courthouse, I will. Courthouse or other small weddings can be fun too, and at the end of the day, a wedding is just a day at the beginning of a marriage.
Perhaps this is FI’s near-death experience talking, but if I had to stand on a bed of hot coals, butt nekkid so I could become his wife, I would. (Okay, well that might be a slight exaggeration… but you know what I mean!)
Post # 26
I say courthouse or try to have a very small informal ceremony.
We had a small ceremony just parents and siblings. We had a weekday ceremony at a lovely wedding venue. We paid about $2200 in total. that included attire, venue for 2hrs, cake, appetizer reception, flowers, rings, photag, DIY album and announcements.
We could’ve paid more but didn’t see why we would we had everything we really wanted…each other and our immediate family.
ETA if your interested I have a few favorite small weddings/elopements blog posts/website that I stalked ehile planning mine if you’re interested
Post # 27
@AxolotlFan: I would not put anything on credit regardless. I know that people always say they’ll pay it off, but statistically, most people don’t. Plus, you never know what could happen.. one of you could lose a job, you could get pregnant, someone could be in an accident or be diagnosed with a serious illness.. basically, life happens.
I would probably plan a very low-key ceremony and then figure out how much I could save per months and divide it out to see how many months in the future to make my date.
It is just my personal opinion, but people who have large extravagant weddings are not any happier or have better marriages than those who have courthouse weddings or BBQs in their backyard. The point is that you’re together for life… the wedding is just the celebration of that.
Post # 28
I’ve seen some photos of *gorgeous* courthouse weddings. (Go browse A Practical Wedding to see what I’m talking about.)
But as many of the PPs have said, cheap doesn’t have to mean courthouse. I live in a high-cost area and yet I could rent out space at a local park for cheap or free. Finding an officiant isn’t terribly expensive. Getting food from a BBQ place or having a potluck is cheap. And there are TONS of previously-worn wedding gowns being sold online at a fraction of the cost if what you want is a big, poofy, princess moment. It can be done!
Post # 29
I wouldn’t do a courthouse wedding but I would do a tiny 5k or less wedding.
Post # 30
@AxolotlFan: Anything normally city or state owned you can get a permit for few hundred dollars. If its mid weeks I know some places offer their locations free for engagement photos and see if they could offer the space for free just for a bit for a ceremony. A resturant reception is good so you can have a private dinning room and most already have floral arrangements in place for normal use. You can also find a friend to offer up a backyard and do one there and I know a few churches if you do it off peak that will allow off for free if you volunteer time cleaning the location or helping out with bake sales and good will efforts. You really can have both which is great you just have to think differently. Maybe art museum sculpture garden with picnic reception
Post # 31
I would have a small intimate wedding. Even if you wait for a year, which is pretty normal, you can put a little aside and have a nice, casual wedding for $2000.
That’s what we did, by choice.