Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Wedding - Frugal and SOOO Fun!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, FMF, and saw this post.  All of the comments were interesting, but the ones specifically about the cost of the engagement ring and wedding brought me to this post.

I met my hubby during our freshman year of college.  I was bored during a midnight shift on the 24 hour help desk at our dorm and he kept walking past.  By his third pass, I asked him to keep me company and didn't find out for years that he was hoping I'd want company...that still makes me smile!

He proposed less than a year later with the ring I picked out (with him of course) - white gold with a diamond chip for $125.  I love that ring.  We got married 3 years later on a gorgeous early-summer day.  It was an awesome day!  Even though the ceremony had to start a little late, my hubby was waiting patiently at the end of the aisle with a huge grin on his face.  I happily cried through at least half of the thing, we had a great reception, and then we hung out in our miniature apartment with our closest friends until 3am.  We opened gifts, wrote down the info for thank you cards, laughed alot, and just generally hung out.  Ahhh...memories.  :-)

Best of all (to the cheap side of me), the whole thing cost about $3000.  Here's how it worked out:
  • Apparel: $300 ($125 gorgeous David’s Bridal special, a $150 tux with tails and accessories rental, and my mom spent $25 on all the materials to make my 5 foot long veil…it was amazing and decorated with shinies and fake pearls…the patterns were awesome against the back of my dress and went great with the train)
  • Rings: $250 ($250 for hubby’s band and my bands are from his mother)
  • Music: $0 (my mother set up a sound system with CD’s)
  • Miscellaneous: $500 (reception decorations and the fake flowers used for bouquets and decorations)
  • Ceremony Site and Officiant: $250 ($150 for chapel and organist and $100 for the preacher)
  • Flowers: $50 (the roses that my youngest sister handed out as the flower girl were from Sam's Club)
  • Cake: $125 (3 tier Kroger's cake decorated with our light blue wedding color)
  • Reception/Catering: $500-$800 (reception hall for 60 guests and linens were $125, my mother bought trays from Sam’s Club of shrimp, vegetables, meat, and fruit, my MIL baked and decorated an awesome groom’s cake, and my aunt-in-law and my MIL decorated the tables with glitter and little reception souvenirs)
  • Photography: $500 (he was fantastic, stayed until we left, and took over 400 photos)
  • Videography: $0 (But please get one…this is my only regret)
  • Invitations: $100
If we could do it all over again, it would be exactly the same except we'd hire a videographer and I'd try not to cry through the whole last darn part.  What can I say, I'm a girly girl when it comes to emotional stuff...

Do you have any wedding tips?  Any great deals we missed?  Come on people, someday a soon-to-be-married person is going to be looking this over and wishing everybody had replied (I know that's how I feel when I find an interesting old blog).  :-)  Thanks!


  1. I'm not going to talk about how much we spent on ours. It was before my frugal days. I will say everyone who attended loved the wedding and we still hear people talking about it. Not sure if I would do everything exactly the same, but I would certainly try and negotiate more or perhaps have the wedding at a different time (ours was a Sat night wedding, which is the most expensive time). The best advice I can give, is make sure that you'll be able to look back on what you did without regrets. Don't sacrifice memories for money. You can always make more money.

  2. Great post, Crystal! I like your writing style: to the point, and always interesting.

    We were married March 3 (not going to say how many years ago!) on a Friday night. $$$-SAVING TIP: winter weddings on a Fri. night will save you almost 50%! It was a beautiful day, 53 degrees, and flurried at night; many people told me that when it flurries on your wedding day that means you will be rich! Well, not so much of that yet, but I am always optimistic!

    My husband's sister was married a few months before we were. It was a 'tradition' for his siblings to hire/pay the videographer as a gift, and her wedding was no exception. But for some reason, when it was our turn, they did not offer that to us, and I wound up asking my step-father to videotape it. Well, I never got to see the tape because one day my Mom accidentally taped a 'Sweatin' to the Oldies' program over it! So, Crystal, I feel your pain!

    Keep the great material coming--I look forward to the inspiration...

  3. MikeS,
    No judgements here about an expensive wedding. My hubby and I were broke right-out-of-college kids. A frugal wedding was a necessity, not a choice. I'm just super happy it turned out so well.

    As you said, the best weddings are the ones with no regrets. Sounds like yours was fantastic!

  4. Oh, Holly, I'm so sorry! I'd be more ticked off that I was skipped in the "tradition" than about the actual demise of your video...that just really sucks overall. :-(

    Since you've been married long enough to not "date" it, I'm glad it turned out so well!

    I told my hubby about this post today and he was surprised that I wished we had a videographer. He said that all he remembers is that I was happy enough to cry through our vows, which is the only thing that mattered to him. He has no regrets...guess I'll work on that too.

    PS Thanks for the Friday tip! I'll be sure to tell the few people I know who are about to tie the knot. :-)

  5. Wedding? People still do that stuff? Just kidding!

    It's cool to hear that everything worked out for you guys and that you made the best out of the situation.

    Once again I wish you all the best with your new personal finance blog and welcome to the club!

    P.S I better see this blog around next year at this time.

  6. Well we have no real plans yet for our wedding, but I'm sure it'll be frugal and very beautiful. My gf and I love our simple life without much technology in it... no TV, no stereo, just laptops. We try to hide as much as we can from all getting so caught up in it all. I'm sure the wedding will be very simple as well. Although that snowing in March sounds very picturesque.

  7. JOBS's, your wedding will turn out great!

    Here's some non-financial advice, try not to stress or overreact about stuff. In the end, you'll only really remember how happy you were and how beautiful your bride was that day anyway...

  8. I posted a comment a while back, but I guess it's one of the ones that didnt go through. Anyway, I remember I was commenting about how you met your husband and how it was so interesting because it brought me memories of how I met my wife. It's funny because we both worked at a 24 hour help desk in our dorms also... that's not where we met, but there are definitely some good memories from that job :)

    We just got married (finally!) in January, five years later. And the wedding was awesome... more than anything I could have imagined. We had a ton of help from our friends and family. Our bridal party even gave us gas money for our honeymoon (we went to NC). I wont say it was cheap..the whole thing was somewhere between 7-10k. I wish it woulda been done for less.. but also considering we didn't pay for that much of it, my father in law wanted certain things, it was ok. My mother made the cake... it turned out awesome! She is really good. She's kinda been doing cakes on the side for about a year now. Ill see if I can send you a pic of it..

  9. J in FL, I actually enjoyed the help desk a lot too! I met a bunch of people there and really did help a few too.

    Congratulations on the nuptials!!! As long as you two were happy, it was indeed a fantastic wedding!