Getting Married On a Shoestring Budget
Often I perform a wedding ceremony for young couples who have very little money. Their wedding is a special day for them, but they don’t have the money to make it extra special. Or so they think. The following are some tips on how to have a nice wedding on a very low budget. I am going to offer some specific examples for the local Columbia area. While the exact locations of course would not apply say in Charleston or elsewhere, it will give you the reader some idea of what to look for when planning your own low cost wedding.
- The officiant. Me. Lol. I normally charge $75. In SC notaries can marry couples. Anywhere on the state you can find notaries who are willing to marry you. Just call around or use websites like 123notary.com. Using a notary will save you hundreds of dollars over using a minister.
- The venue. Use a public place for basically free. In Columbia for instance there are several parks that have idyllic settings that would be the perfect back ground for a wedding. For instance Finlay Park in downtown Columbia has a beautiful waterfall and lake that makes a perfect backdrop for a wedding.
- Flowers. Yes, the bride should have a bouquet. You can get a nice fresh flower boquet at any grocery store for $12-15.
- Dress. Forget the formal wedding gown. They are just WAY to expensive. The bride probably already has a formal dress of some type and that should do fine. It doesn’t have to be white. If you want a white dress then got to a consignment store and see if there are some good used ones. If you want to spring for a new one, then just go to a department store. For instance as I write this Target has several very suitable white summer dresses for sale for only $25. The groom should wear a jacket but not necessarily a tie. If he doesn’t own a suit or sport coat then try to borrow one or visit a consignment store. For something new you can find decent sport coats for $40.
- Photographer. Just invite along a friend and make them the designated photographer.Any decent cellphone now can take great pictures. Just make sure you get several shots of the ceremony, the wedding party, and group shots after the ceremony. It might not seem important now to have pictures,but later on you are going to want to show friends, relatives, and co-workers your happy day.
- Reception. Have one but forget the catering. Even if you just go to a restaurant you can have afun time, celebrate your magical day, and save a lot of money. Most restaurants have private rooms you can use for free. For instance hu Hot here in Columbia has a private room you can use, no charge. If you want to pay for some appetizers for your guests, all well and good. Maybe you could just buy one round of cocktails. If not, then just have everyone order their own meal and drinks. Or, you can go to a parents home, your house, or that of a friend. Buy a bottle of champagne (or two) and toast your wedding. You could easily do this for $25.
There you have it. A plan for your wedding day that costs less than $200 but makes it a special day, and creates wonderful; memories for you to look back on.