52 Weeks: Frugal Invitations and Thank You Notes

With better quality home printers and software available now, more couples are designing and printing their own wedding invitations. If you buy enough of the same kind of paper, you can make matching thank you notes as well. One enterprising poster on even made her own paper by re-pulping junk mail. Instructions for this are common on the Internet, including on To find it, type “make paper from junk mail” into the search box. Some are attractive and original.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on in both Kindle and paperback versions.


52 Weeks: Frugal Wedding Garments

People have gotten married in a nice suit and dress and lived happily. It doesn’t make the marriage any stronger to spend thousands on a specific gown for weddings only, and buy or rent a tux. For my first wedding, I wore my nicest dress, and he wore his best suit. For my second, the groom and his two best men bought matching suits that were also suitable to wear to the office, or to someone else’s wedding or funeral. Or to court, which is where I last saw that husband and recognized the suit.

My soon to be mother-in-law made my dress. The materials cost less than half as much as the fancy wedding hat I just had to have. A dress advertised for bridesmaids or for prom might be perfect and cost less. We bought good quality silk flowers and reused them for other things after the wedding. We were married around graduation time, and all the professional photographers were booked up. Our brother-in-law took the pictures and did an excellent job.

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.

Wonderful review

I am so moved by this review. “Tightwad Gazette of the 21st Century” is exactly what I wanted people to think about it:

“Great book!, February 18, 2014

By Lita McRiley “Sorlina”See all my reviews

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This review is from: Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely (Kindle Edition)

This book is jam-packed with tips, ideas, and strategies for saving money. It’s the Tightwad Gazette of the 21st century… internet addresses for DIY help, encouragement for readers, personal anecdotes, this book has it all. To top it off, it’s delivered in a light, easy to read style that isn’t preachy or judgmental. A very helpful, and enjoyable, read!”

The Tightwad Gazette has been the “bible” of thrifty living. My hope was to make it the ‘old testament’ and mine the ‘new testament’, and it seems I have succeeded.