Thrifty Couple's Ridiculous $1.50 Wedding Is Nothing to Brag About

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cash and wedding bandsI'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?

 

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bills... billsfan1104

I think it is wonderful!! They made it truly about them!!

Valerie Metzger

Sounds like they really made it about getting married and not the wedding experience. Good for them. They're not bragging, just stating what THEY found to be of importance, just like you did.

nonmember avatar Mamd1214

Hubby and I only spent around 200 all together including JP, on our June wedding two years ago, I too found my gown on cl for free and hubby wore a nice button Down shirt with cargo shorts, my sister offered to be our picture taker and we just thru a back yard reception it was well worth it neither of us regret its not about money it's about spending the rest of ur life with the man or woman u love and having family and friends to spend it with!!

nonmember avatar Gretta

I love them, but was there booze at the wedding? Because a wedding without alcohol.... Kinda sucks.

nonmember avatar Anna

I would just point out that the wedding cost more than $1.50. They were already paying for electricity and water for their backyard barn and house. The food their guests brought cost money as did the gas they used to get to the event. The vendors also spent money on the products and services they provided--even though they waived the fees for the couple. Clearly, the cost was shared among everyone, which is okay if that's what everyone agreed to. However, to say the wedding only cost $1.50 is a bit deceptive. Also, why are they not counting the marriage license as part of the wedding expenses? That's the crucial legal part of the whole shebang.

nonmember avatar ago

Hope they didn't expect gifts from their guests too.

nonmember avatar Lala

I agree w Anna 100%! It should include what everybody else brought to the event. Technically the cost is higher than they give off.

Nelli... NellieAthome

We had a handfasting ceremony 14 years ago that cost us ........ ummm..... about $50 for the food we served at the party


We held it at at event we annually attend so no extra expense there for space. Venue was a function room the event let us use free after a big event was done


Our friends were already mostly attending the event, the few who came specifically for the event cost them and us nothing.


A friend performed the ceremony


The hotel provided champagne for us for free


I did the food, a friend baked the cake.


It is not even remotely necessary, nor necessarily smart, to start a life together with overwhelming debt for an event that lasts a few hours. The important part is the people and the commitment they make to each other.


 

KacieLu KacieLu

We paid $75. $25 for the marriage license, and $50 for the officiant in the courthouse. I suppose we technically paid for the clothes we were wearing (jeans and a sweater, yay!) and the gas to get to the courthouse twice, but I am comfortable saying we spent $75. It worked for me.



I would say the added cost was dealing with both mothers that were upset with us, but no amount of money could make up for that.

Rebec... Rebecca7708

So basically, they passed the cost of their wedding onto their friends and family.....

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