This is a 3-part series to demonstrate that you can get married 3 times for less than the Canadian national average of $31,685.
In our 1st wedding, or our actual wedding, Mrs. T and I got married in a local park by a wedding commissioner. My family and a photographer friend of mine attended this small wedding. The wedding itself was simple but perfect. That night the family went out for dinner together by using a Groupon deal. The entire wedding cost was only $764 or 1.9% of the average wedding spending in 2014.
Our 2nd wedding took place a month after our 1st wedding. We wanted to have a small reception to celebrate our marriage with our friends and families. We invited about 50 guests and had a fabulous time. The total of the 2nd wedding was $4,798.
After two elaborate weddings (in our opinions), we had spent a total of $5,562.
Our third wedding took place a year later. Because Mrs. T’s family do not live not in Canada, we decided to have a wedding celebration with her side of family and her close friends. Since we didn’t have our honeymoon yet, we decided to fly to her home country in Europe for a week, have a wedding celebration, then hop over to Italy for a two week honeymoon. This was our way to fully utilize the cost of our plane tickets and take advantage of the paid vacation I have with my work.
Frugal ways to get married – How to plan a frugal wedding
Just like the first two weddings, we wanted to keep the wedding cost to as low as possible. We kept things easy and simple and did a lot of DIY.
Home-made item #1 – Macaroons for afternoon hygge dessert
For the wedding venue, we were able to rent a local school in Mrs. T’s hometown. We started the wedding celebration at 2 PM in the afternoon with a nice afternoon hygge with our guests. We enjoyed great conversations (mind you half of the time I just smiled and nod because I didn’t understand what people were saying) and played many different games while we relaxed in the summer sunshine. For the afternoon hygge, Mrs. T made chocolate and strawberry flavoured macaroons for dessert. They were delicious and looked fabulous. All of our guests were shocked to learn that Mrs. T made these macaroons herself. They looked like they were made by a professional!
Unlike the first two weddings, we decided to not have a cake.
We spent the entire afternoon basking in the sun and start the dinner reception at 6 PM. We roasted a whole goat and a lot of delicious dishes to go with it. For the evening entertainment, Mrs. T and I had to answer a lot of questions to prove that we were right for each other. We even had a crazy dance off at end of the night. The celebration didn’t end until 3 AM the next morning. These Europeans sure know how to party!
Home-made item #2 – Flower Bouquets
Keeping the tradition strong, we purchased flowers at a local store a few days prior. Mrs. T then made our flower bouquets and also the flower bouquets for the bridesmaids (her sisters). Instead of buying pre-made bouquets, this move saved us a lot of money.
As you can see, I was sporting a pink dress shirt with a pink tie. Mrs. T believes that to be a true gentleman you need to be able to wear pink.
Home-made item #3 – Decorations
While buying roses for the bouquets, we purchased extra roses to place them at each dining table. Although the dinner reception was at school’s cafeteria, we had transformed it to something else. To make the cafeteria look inviting, we went to the venue the day prior to set up everything. We nicely folded napkins, laid out plates, glasses, and utensils nicely, and had tea light candles to set the mood. The decorations were simple yet elegant, exactly the way Mrs. T and I envisioned.
Home-made item #4 – Alcohol
Mrs. T’s family had purchased alcohol in bulk prior to us arriving. Because they purchased everything in bulk, they were able to get some pretty awesome deals. Both of us had A LOT to drink that night. 🙂
Home-made item #5 – Wedding Invitation
Just like the 2nd wedding, we made the wedding invitation as a PDF file and sent it to all the guests via email. We invited 80 people and about 60 people were able to join us to celebrate with us. We really liked electronic wedding invitation because it was environmental friendly.
Frugal Wedding #3 – Cost Breakdown
School Rental & decorations – $100
Flowers – $50
Food & Catering – $2900
Alcohol & drinks – $200
Total Cost: $3,250
Grant total break down
Wedding #1 – $764
Wedding #2 – $4,798
Wedding #3 -$3,250
Total cost of 3 weddings… $8,812 plus a lifetime of stories that we can tell our families and friends.
Wedding can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. For three weddings we spent less than $3,000 per wedding. Food and catering were expensive for wedding #2 and #3 but we had a lot of leftovers and ended up eating them for a few days afterward. Not to mention the foods were so mouth watering good! The total cost of all three wedding was 27.8% of the Canadian national average wedding cost. I think we did very well when it comes to wedding cost.
It’s quite silly to hear people that spend $15K on the wedding venue and catering and that don’t even include alcohol, decorations and other things. I always find it ridiculous to hear people needing to take out a loan to cover their wedding cost. Money is the number one argument topic between many married couples, why do you want to start your married life together already in debt? This will only increase tensions between you and your spouse. Isn’t it better to spend as little as possible for your wedding and save the rest for a better future?
If you didn’t check out the other weddings yet, you can read about Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
22 thoughts on “Frugal ways to get married – Part 3”
My feelings about wedding day loans line up with Dave’s summary perfectly: https://www.marriedwithmoney.com/wedding-day-loans-suck/
Looks like you guys planned well and had a perfect trio of weddings! This is basically what we did as well, with one small destination “real” wedding, and two receptions in each of our home states. Wishing you a lifetime of money-smart happiness!
Love this! We also had 3 wedding celebrations, first was just us actually getting married in Las Vegas, then my family threw us a party to celebrate when we got back, and then 6 months later my in-laws hosted a reception for us in Bulgaria (husband’s home country). Your European celebration sounds great- they sure do know how to party over there!
Hey Tawcan good information there but can you do a section on how to get divorced cheap as my last one cost me a fortune.
It’s crazy how wedding budgets have been hyped up nowadays, good job to sticking in with the essentials only!
Congrats Taw! That sweet of you, marring thrice. Wow! The cost you spent is really unbelievably cheap.
We got engaged quickly, so I insisted on a long engagement. It allowed us to be sure we wouldn’t get sick of each other and give us time to buy for the wedding slowly.
I got silver platters from estate sales for a couple bucks each, which made the buffet option look nice. It was just meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit and rolls, plus some sides like potato salad. (Those and the silverware were purchased with rewards program GCs.) People loved the ability to make sandwiches (we were startled just how much), and the presentation was nice.
We got tablecloths at a pre-Thanksgiving sale, since people tend to buy those for the big dinner. We lucked into glass plates for 25 cents each because they were being clearanced.
My cousin had worked in a florist shop before, so she made bouquets out of grocery store flowers. We had my aunt get ordained online, since we’re not very religious. Got some cloth napkins off Craigslist. A bridesmaid made my veil. Oh, and our honeymoon plane tickets were paid for by opening airline credit cards. My in-laws trailer park had a community center, which was free to use.
Not including jewelry (which did up the price), I’d say we paid under $1,500. And it’s only that high because of my $500 dress.
I surprised Mrs. T by asking her to marry me on her birthday celebration in front of all of our friends. We ended up getting married a month later and having the 2nd wedding a month after. We knew we were right for each other because we’ve been living together… but in your case I guess it makes sense to have a long engagement to make sure you’re right for each other.
A $1,500 wedding is super awesome. Way to find awesome deals. 🙂
A lot of people should follow your example, well financially managed and at the end what count is that YOU are happy about your wedding and I am sure that all your families, friends were very happy also.
We didn’t have the same problem having no family available and very few friend after our expatriation we did not have many friends around, so except the simple cake and champagne, all the canapés were done by us. so very very lost cost wedding.
Low cost weddings are the best. I’m all for spending the money elsewhere like a traveling experience.
This sounded like an Asian wedding. Ceremony and reception at the wife village, then ceremony and reception at husband village, and ceremony and reception union where guests from both side rejoice, rejoin.
It’s a happy event, prolong the ceremony, and being recognized by both side of the family keep the relationship intact. 🙂
I’m amazed how talented mrs T is, the macranoonie looks delish…
It’s more to do with Mrs. T’s family not in Canada but I suppose it’s a little like an Asian wedding in that way. 🙂
You truly don’t need to spend tons of money to have a memorable wedding. Congratulations to you guys!
I mean weddings 🙂
Totally right? A life time of memories are better than being in debt. 🙂
Weddings are the ultimate “Keeping up with Jones” issue. We’re in a largely higher income circle of friends and there’s definitely a bit of pressure to have a wedding as nice as your peers where everything is perfect. It’s a bit strange actually, since I don’t feel that way at all about my car or most other conspicuous consumption items.
Great job on the savings guys.
I’m glad that our close friends all had simple weddings. Even if our friends have elaborate weddings, we wouldn’t want to keep up with them. We’re so out of that.
I’m sad to report that I spent more than average on my wedding =(
No shame, as long as you didn’t take out a loan I think it’s all good.
Still can’t beat the price of a Vegas wedding. But wow, way to cut cost. Great job!
Unfortunately Vegas weddings have a high divorce rate as far as I know. 😉
Good job, guys! Huge, expensive weddings are such a waste anyway. You can easily have a meaningful service without letting the costs creep up to the national average.
I’m always amazed when I hear people forking out $20K or plus for their weddings. Does it really make sense to spend that much money on one day of your life?