I've heard my fair share of fellow brides (to-be and former) railing against the Wedding Industrial Complex, vowing that they won't fall into the trap of paying seriously inflated prices for ridiculous wedding bells and whistles. Less than a year ago, I myself was one of those brides, eyebrows knit into a deep scowl when I got my first quote for a basic chiffon-draped ceremony chuppah starting at $800. I swore up and down there was absolutely no need to spend money like that. Ha, what did I know!? I quickly learned that sometimes, you have no choice but to spend -- and on things you swore you wouldn't.
Still, there are couples who insist that spending on a wedding is not necessary. And then they gloat about how little they managed to spend. Like one U.K. bride and groom, Georgina Porteous and Sid Innes, who said they recently spent $1.50 on their wedding. HAHA!
Georgina told the Daily Mail:
There is nothing to gain from spending a huge amount of money. The day is supposed to be about marrying the person you love and for us all that mattered was that we were becoming husband and wife. We didn't want or need a big, fancy affair.
Georgina and Sid say they managed to spend pennies on their wedding by using found, recycled, or donated items and services from the 70 friends and family who attended. The rings were carved from antlers found in Porteous' garden, an aunt baked a three-tiered chocolate-orange cake, the bride's father played 1940s jazz on his saxophone for ambience, and guests were asked to bring food a la a potluck dinner. The reception took place in a barn behind the couple's residence, while the vicar and photographer both waived their fees in exchange for something else: guest donations to the local church and film editing services, respectively.
Besides the required marriage license fee of 70 pounds, Georgina says all they spent on their "I do"s was 1 pound ($1.50) on a handmade 1960s-style gown she found on freecycle.com, where users can swap unwanted, used items.
Good for them! But it's not like Georgina and Sid are necessarily more reasonable and responsible than other couples. It's fine that a small, frugal event worked for them -- that they had access to a barn in their backyard and their family and friends didn't mind handling the catering and they had other vendors willing to waive their fees -- but it doesn't for everyone. Depending on where you get married (some cities are pricier, no matter what), when, how many people you want/need to have, how many family requests/requirements you have that end up costing (like food allergies/preferences to accommodate or transportation), how many favors you're actually able to call in, etc., etc., you may simply have to spend more. Everyone's situation is unique.
That said, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wedding budget. Everyone has their own style, needs, guest list, and yes, budget. So one person's $1.50 wedding might be another couple's $20K affair ... In other words, what another couple might deem pricey was the least another could spend all things considered.
What are your thoughts on this couple's super-thrifty affair? Do you agree there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wedding budget?