Yes, you read that right, our wedding was $500. Was it grand and specular? Nope, but we did not care.
“The marriage lasts forever, not the wedding.” Were the words my late Grandmama told me when I vented to her about how on earth were we going to pay for a wedding. My Grandmama and Granddaddy got married on their third date at the courthouse on Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. Their marriage went through hell and high water but they made it through until their last days on this earth.
That was the love story I wanted, not the fairy tale wedding.
Trust me, I would have loved to have a big Catholic wedding with all our family and friends present but truthfully, we did not have the money to pay for it. We would have had to take out a loan to afford the wedding the size we needed. We wanted to go to the courthouse but some family members freaked out about that so we scratch that idea.
I remember sitting at my desk at work in tears because all I wanted to do was marry my Prince Charming. I did not care if it was while standing in the bed of his pickup truck wearing a brown paper sack, I just wanted to be the Mrs. to his Mr..
Thankfully, my mama’s wedding present to me was my wedding gown and veil. Pat’s suit was one that we had purchased many months before when he had to be a pallbearer at a funeral (he hates wearing black to funerals). My wonderful co-worker, Sharon made my bouquet that still sits on my dresser to this day. (She really knew how to pull out the southern charm with my bouquet!)
Once those details were figured out, I scoured Google for wedding venues endlessly. I finally came upon one in Helen, Georgia that offered either the chapel or gazebo ceremony with photos for $500. The catch was that there could be no more than 15 people in attendance. Y’all know what happened next, right? Everyone and their mama freaked out that we were not inviting our mother’s brother’s wife’s second cousin twice removed.
Yep, all those folks were upset but we did not care, it was all we could afford and we were not letting anyone take it from us. Sound harsh? Maybe, but the truth is my Grandmama’s words have never been truer. That day was just a day. We had the ceremony, no traditional reception (we went to a nice restaurant in town and everyone had to pay for their own meals), had a party at the hotel afterward, and then in the morning got on a plane and went on our amazing honeymoon.
He smashed the cupcake in my face….
The key to staying on budget with a wedding is to figure out what you really want and what is important to you. Still to this day, my hubs and I talk about our wedding and how happy we are that we did not take out a loan to pay for it.
How did you stay on budget with your wedding?