52 Weeks: Frugal Wedding

Getting married can be vastly expensive. On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be.

Marriage, weddings, and receptions are separate things. The marriage part is a legal contract and sometimes a religious one as well. The wedding is ceremonial, a display that people watch. The reception is a party with a fancy name.

If a couple just wants to be legally married, all it takes is a trip to the county office. Everything else is personal, cultural, and optional. Right now in my county, a marriage license costs $93.50. That’s as low as the cost of getting married here can possibly go.

If you want more than that, there are many choices:

My first wedding was at a wedding chapel, just the two of us. The officiant read a suitable service, recorded music played. His wife took a full set of pictures and signed as the second witness. They tape-recorded the whole thing for us to keep. I don’t recall the price now, but it was very affordable and plenty romantic and memorable. I heartily recommend a wedding chapel to anyone who wants to spend very little but still have the feeling and memories of a full-scale wedding. We could have had up to twenty-five guests, but I was a bit shy back then.

If a church ceremony is what you want, and you are a member of a church, costs for the ceremony may be limited to a fee for the musicians and maybe for the pastor. If you aren’t a member, there probably will be a fee for using the building, too. If you choose a church that also has a space for a reception, then that saves paying for another space.

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One comment

  1. Great ideas ! We had friends who had their wedding after the regular church service. Friends already there dressed in church clothes, thought it was amazing idea to limit the fuss of an expensive wedding.

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