“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, September 05, 2014

Trying Not To Be .....

NORMAL!
Today's standard of NORMAL usually includes massive DEBT!

How we saved  $$$ on a beautiful, very personal meaningful wedding.

After all, this blog is about thrifty living.

First and foremost, we are a very (old school) traditional family  (think ...Ma and Pa Walton).  Family is high on our agenda.  Right below our relationship with Christ.  Going into debt is foolish .. even more so when parents of bride are retired.  We saved beforehand.

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S.A. is about $30,000.  The average cost of a wedding in Idaho is just over $16,000.

How we pulled off a wedding for $2,500.
  1. Prayerfully
  2. Set a budgeted goal
  3. No credit card involved .. unless used on-line and the $ spent was deducted immediately from said budget
  4. Local resources.  Family and friends helped.  Such as having a friend as a retired florist, having a friend that is a wedding planner in training, family friend photographer
  5. Being organized
  6. Being reasonable
  7. Inviting only those that were important to the bride and groom.  (That meant my list of invitees was minimal) .... total in attendance 65.  We rented 60 chairs and had a few picnic table benches placed in the back row.
  8. Borrow items (such as tables from the church, table cloths, decorations)
  9. Rent items (such as a portable enclosed toilet, chairs, large capacity coffee maker, china plates)
  10. Keep it simple
Cost breakdown:
  • Mother of bride took engagement photos (free)

  • Wedding dress (off Etsy) $280 (custom fit .. ordered online .... staying out of a tempting big $$$ bridal shop saved TONS of $$) ... and paid for by the bride.
  • Veil (family heirloom.... and free)
  • Venue ~ our property (free)
Wedding alter ~ made from wood pallets, burlap, thrift store finds

  • Rentals (chairs, plates, 20x10 tent, etc.) $480


  • Flowers $150 (at cost .. labor was a wedding gift to bride and groom).  Table and isle flowers were grown in the garden .. (free).
  • Food $225 (juice punch, coffee, croissant sandwiches from Costco, salsa/bean dip/chips 'bar', fruit platter, veggie platter, nuts, mints, sparkling cider for toasting) NO ALCOHOL
  • paper goods/plastic toasting glasses/cute paper cake plates/forks/cocktail napkins from the dollar store $25
  • 3 homemade wedding cakes (bride and groom tiered cake, 1/4 sheet cake, Texas sheet cake) $25
  • Hay bales $63 (a country wedding must)
  • sound/music guys $300 (from church)
  • professional photographer $800 ... family friend
  • Wedding invites and postage $55 (designed by a graphic artist friend, printed and assembled at home)  If you were local, it got hand delivered.
  • Thank you favors $60 (small decorative boxes filled with pistachio nuts and a printed note of appreciation/thanks from bride and groom)
  • Misc.  $5  (incidentals ... from thrift stores, candles, lace, etc.)
The groom took care of the minister fee, wedding license fee and his purchased clothing.
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen paid for their clothing .. discounted on-line and at J.C. Penney's on sale.

The bride paid for her dress.

Rehearsal dinner was at a lakeside pizzeria ~ no host 

Without the pressure of cost and deadline to reserve a venue, the bride and groom were able to plan, strategize and orchestrate in a short four months.

Bride's engagement ring was set using a heirloom/family diamond for the center stone .. both meaningful (as it came from her grandmother) and cost effective as groom had to only purchase the 'empty' ring setting.  Groom's ring is made from tungsten .. which is durable and less expensive than traditional gold.

Not to say this was an 'easy to pull off' wedding .. it was a lot of work .. but work that was heartfelt and shared by those that love the bride and groom.

A thrifty wedding in the woods ... at a price 1/12th the average cost in the U.S.A.  A couple on the road to having a successful marriage not straddled with debt from the get-go.  Their wedding .. their way.  A good thing.



7 comments:

Sandy said...

Mrs. Mac,

Congratulations to you, your husband, your daughter, and son in-law.

Now that's what I call a wedding at a reasonable price. You saved all kinds of money. I can't get over how much weddings cost. Mine was $32.00.

Rebecca said...

Good for you. We had a similar goal & beautiful weddings for both of our daughters. It just makes NO sense to go into debt, pay the exorbitant amounts of $ for a dress a bride wears ONE time, etc. It's NUTS :)

Marie Gregg said...

I think this is AWESOME. Weddings don't need to be huge, spectacular, debt-inducing, keeping-up-with-and-surpassing-the-Jones' things. If I had to do mine over again, it would be much simpler. (And I'd only invite people I liked!)

JMD said...

A most lovely wedding and not one to be soon forgotten. Way to go!

Pamela said...

Beautiful! I should have read this a few months ago. My daughter is getting married Dec. 20. God has helped us find sales and plan with our budget in mind. I think the Christian weddings of our daughters have a special touch that those who don't know Jesus lose. It's more about the vows than the wows. ~Pamela

Mrs. Mac said...

Pamela .. I like your comment .. 'more about the vows than the wows :)

Happy upcoming wedding .. enjoy the time leading up the the day.

Thanks for the 'visit' .. :)

Mavis said...

I'm so glad to see a normal wedding. We attended a wedding last summer and the price tag was over $25,000 {the groom works with my husband and the bride's family paid for the whole thing}. It was nice, but stuffy and predictable. All I could think about was how the parents were essentially paying 25k for a 4 hour party. What a waste. The money could of been a down payment on a house. Your daughter's wedding looks like it was more fun. :)