(Closed) So I can't afford a wedding at all! What do I do?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 16
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Sedona Golf Resort

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Jennavigland:  I agree with what most bees have alreadry stated. If I were you, I’d go to the Justice of the Peace and have a civil ceremony- save up for 1-year and have a nice vow renewal with reception for your anniversary. I would ask both families to contribute as much as they can-they have a year to save too or ask them to “gift” you portions of the reception-food, cake, dj, facility.

It not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage but I completely understand feeling dissapointed in not having something beautiful that honors your marriage and provides you with a sense of pride. 

Decide on a budget now and plan how long it will take you to save up for it. I dont believe in living with regrets or accpeting that you can’t have something-plan for it and make it happen.

Best of luck!

Post # 17
1547 posts
Bumble bee

Plan your wedding for a a year or two. My Fiance and I got engaged in summer and are planning for a wedding late 2016- gives you much more time to save up and plan. Lots of people have long engagements now. On the other hand if you want a wedding now you could get married with a cheap ceremony outside in summer or courthouse then everyone can go to a restaurant for dinner and pay for themselves. You dont need to advertise it as a wedding just invite people to the ceremony and then tell people if they want to celebrate with you at the restaurant they can. You could alternatively do a cake only reception outside. Potlucks are also a good idea if you wanted people to have food, and you could hold it at someones house or ask a local church if you can use their hall. 

Post # 18
3184 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Have a friend become an officiant. I think that is like $20 or so depending on where you live. Ask them to pay for it as a wedding gift. Then, find a really nice backyard if anyone has it. After that see if people will loan you their tables. Make it pot luck. Use fairy lights as a way to light up the back yard. See if anyone has speakers that connect to an ipod and make your wedding playlist yourself. Do you have that one friend whose make up game is so on point you want to learn her skills ask her to to do your make up. Look for a white prom dress that can be a wedding dress they are much cheaper. go to a local florist and buy the bouquets the day before and do not mention it’s for a weding. Cupcakes are cheaper than a full cake. ANd you can usually get them for pretty decent price. Or you can wait a couple of year and have a longer engagment and save up for it 🙂

Post # 19
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Cottage on the Creek

I second the idea for an at home reception! I think that sounds personal and lovely. 

Post # 20
351 posts
Helper bee

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Jennavigland:  Just go to the courthouse, and go out to dinner with friends. You can probably have a nice sitdown dinner with your close family and friends at a resturant with that amount. You can even call ahead and reserve a room for a large party. have the wedding you can afford. In the end a wedding day is just that– one day. A marriage is a lifetime, and that is what is the most important.

You can also have a backyard reception.. that is also a good idea. You could even make it a BBQ/Potluck and have families bring dishes to pass.

Either that- or what to have the wedding ceremony of your dreams when it is within your budget.

Post # 21
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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Jennavigland:  what is your fairytale wedding? 


Post # 22
3584 posts
Sugar bee

Tons of great advice in the PP. You can save up money and have a big wedding later on with a vow renewal.  Have a small court house ceremony and a backyard wedding. I am sure your family will support and you can have a pot luck reception. Have a wedding you can afford and make it meaningful.  You don’t need fancy stuff to have a good time and celebrate. 

Post # 23
8683 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m going to go against the grain. while I never dreamed of some big fairytale wedding I know that many women have. However, you already have a baby and if things are that tight that you sometimes eat noodles for dinner then I won’t encourage you to put money towards something when you have much bigger priorities you need to work on….

I say go to the courthouse and then do something years later when you are in a much better financial position OR if the courthouse is that horrible to you then just completely wait. For me, if I already gave someone a child I would not turn my nose up at the courthouse. You would be just as married as anyone else!

Post # 24
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Google, google and more google. I wasn’t financially ready when i got engaged either. It took us three months to find a spot that worked with our budget. Options are out there, you just have to think outside the box.

Post # 25
34 posts

I agree with previous posters, you can have an absolutely beautiful amazing wedding for less than a few hundred easily. I know how tight money can be, we have a 4 month old and sometimes making our house payment and keeping the lights on is hard enough let alone saving for the wedding. 

The only things you really NEED for a wedding are: Bride(free), Groom(free), Marriage License($45 here, might be more by you), EVERYTHING else is absolutely extra. 

If you have a family friends house that you can have a reception at afterwards  what will lend you their yard for free then you are all set. Some Appartment buildings have roof tops you can rent for free too if you live there.  Like previous posters said you don’t need a wedding dress. Find a cute white dress (after prom and after homecomming are good times to shop clearence racks) or try thriftstores for a dress you can alter. Get your Fiance a nice shirt and tie, have your friends bring a dish pot luck style and borrow some nice speakers for an ipod play list. Yard games like croccet and bocci ball are tons of fun at back yard wedding around here (again if you have a yard)  

It doesn’t have to cost $$$ just becuase it is a wedding, the real purpose of weddings is to celebrate your union, your friends and family can celebrate just as easily over lemonade and cupcakes as they can over $50/plate dinners and a 5 tier cake. 

Post # 26
436 posts
Helper bee

Go to the courthouse. Invite your immediate family over afterwards for a homemade dinner. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that avenue.

Your family understands your situation. They probably don’t expect a lavish wedding. Nobody needs a lavish wedding… they want it. In no way, shape, or form would I ask family for financial help.

Edited to add: If I had a family member in this position and they insisted on blowing money (their own or contributons from their family) on a lavish wedding, I would assume they are ok financially and might not need help with diapers every now and then. Which is better: (1) having a family member help pay for overpriced flowers or (2) having a family member bring over a carton of milk every now and then. I choose two.

Post # 27
3277 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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We had very little money when we married because my husband lost his job to the recession. My husband and I felt that being spouses was more important than having a large wedding to make everyone else happy. We decided to have a weddingmoon; we eloped to a resort and had our honeymoon there. It was very romantic in a picturesque setting. 

My family was very upset because they wanted me to have traditional wedding with over 150 guests. We were planning a vow renewal until we realized that it made more sense to use the vow renewal money for a home instead. We know that we can’t replace our wedding as well. 

You can always wait a few years to get married and save up. It sounds like having a certain type of wedding is important to you and that’s okay. Couples often need to take time to save money for milestone events. 

Post # 28
7367 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Court house. Pot luck dinner after. Done. 

Post # 29
7892 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Simple weddings can be beautiful too. To save money on food, you could have a potluck or BBQ or something. Don’t feel pressured to spend loads of money on a wedding. It’s your commitment to each other that’s most important.

Post # 30
8574 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I agree with others.. do what you can afford. If you really want a big wedding, find ways to save for it. Me and my husband set our date far enough in advance so we knew we would have enough time to save. It took us almost 2 years to pay off our 17,000 wedding but it was so worth it.

I know it’s hard when money is tight, but I’m guessing there are quite a few things you could do to save money. Turning off faucets while you shampoo/condition, buying cheaper store brand groceries, skipping morning coffee, drinking more water and less coffee/juice/soda, not eating out, getting rid of phones [keep 1], internet, cable, ect, sell clothing/shoes/acessories or really anything else you don’t use anymore and only purhase new things you actually need, take up a side job, if you are crafty you could start an etsy shop, or even babysitting or house cleaning.

There are LOTS of options, you just have to want to do it! If you feel you can’t do it, then you really only have two choices : go to the courthouse for the less than $50 it costs, or wait until you can afford it.

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