The Funeral Handbook; A Guide to Frugal Funerals

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Focus on what the day is really about, and enjoy it. Mom made my dress. No flowers. No cake. Friends were photographers. Ceremony at church. Beer and wine only, buffet style dinner. Sister did my hair and makeup. Plain bands for rings, no diamonds. Went to Yosemite for honeymoon, stayed at bed n breakfast and went hiking. No gift registry. Picked out our favorite charities to accept donations in lieu of gifts. Ten years going strong! In order to DIY a lot of it, we limited the guest list to about 60 people. I also rented a dance floor, tables, chairs, and dishes.

This was surprisingly affordable. I went with loose flowers and made my own arrangements as that was the cheapest option and I enjoy flower arranging. Supplemented with a few bouquets of sunflowers from the grocery store. A local florist quoted us five times that much for lower quality flowers. Plenty of tutorials online on how to assemble bouquets and store them overnight. Costco provides info on when to schedule delivery for an event.

The quality was great. We had a brunch reception, one benefit of which is that a lot of the food could be served cold. Fruits, cheese, veggies with hummus, an assortment of pastries purchased from a bakery. We supplemented that with a roast beef, a ham, and roasted potatoes that my mom made. We served pie purchased from bakery instead of a fancy cake for dessert. For other decorations and party favors, spray paint and a hot glue gun were my friends.

I took a bunch of old, cheap vases from floral bouquets past and used mirror spray paint to make them look like mercury glass. I did the same with cheap votive candle holders my MIL had a huge box of them but a thrift shop would be a good source otherwise some of which I further decorated with bits of lace and ribbon, some I left plain. Dollar store picture frames were spray painted gold and held printed out table numbers.

I did splurge on lanterns for each table but I picked ones I like and I still use them around the house today. For a sign at the road to direct guests to the wedding, I spray painted a piece of scrap plywood with chalkboard paint and had my artistic sister write on it with regular school chalk. It was so beautiful that we preserved it hairspray! We rented a tent and were able to have it Friday — Monday, which allowed us to have a welcome reception on Friday, party on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.

Many of our guests had traveled a long way, so it was wonderful to be able to help bring down some of their costs as well. We DIYed nearly everything. A friend put together arrangements from Costco flowers. I bought a lot of things on sale and with coupons from JoAnn fabric. We used bamboo disposables to make cleanup easier and eco friendly-ish even though it was slightly more expensive than regular disposables. My dress was purchased online during a sale and with coupons and my husband wore clothing he already owned.

We splurged on a good photographer and I paid someone to do my hair and makeup. If you do decide to DIY, be sure to give yourself about twice the amount of time that you think it will take and be ok with things not going exactly as planned. I have never felt more beautiful or loved as I did on this day even though so many things went hilariously wrong.

I made everything except the cake, even the centerpieces, my bouquet, and corsages etc. We held ours in the middle of the day in the early spring off season here in Canada. My favourite part of the day, besides marrying my husband, was an hour before the ceremony. Everyone jumped in to help, and it was so much fun. No bridal party. Both our rings were from Amazon; mine was moissanite cheaper, more fire, and harder than a diamond!

We did hire a photographer, but we chose a single shooter much cheaper , and only hired her for a number of hours end of getting ready through the first dance , rather than through the entire reception. We also had a send-off brunch at a town meeting room, and I brought all the food from Costco and grocery store deli trays. Since it was a destination wedding, we invited everyone to each of the three events. Cheap throw-away plastic tablecloth in blue gingham to match our Colorado mountain wedding. Costco for my flowers, no wedding party, just our close family was invited, used a friend photographer for about a hour and a half: 2 at most to get our ceremony and after pictures.

And my last boss from work made my cake. I also encouraged guests to take pictures as well. City hall provided decorations and music. We then held a lunch at our house with chicken and hamburgers. We borrowed white Christmas lights from all our friends and my father-in-law strung them up all over the yard and barn.

We bargained with local fishermen to get a good deal on lobster, borrowed two BBQs to add to our own and served lobster, burgers, sausages, hot dogs, baked beans, and a whack of other sides, and had pies for dessert, from a local bakery. The alcohol was homemade wine from one of our friends, and store-bought beer that we picked up a couple days before the wedding.

We had purchased tents for the event, and rented a portapotty. The tents ended up being recalled weeks later so we were reimbursed they worked fine for our event! Buy flowers at a warehouse and have someone you know made the centerpieces. Had a taco man cater our reception. Big spend was on our photographer who captured every bit of glamour and joy in the day. We were married at the base of the mountain and had the reception inside.

I bought my wedding dress on Black Friday. I think back now and we could have even made it cheaper. Friends of ours were married at city hall and had dinner with good friends and family at a local restaurant. So beautiful! You heard that right. The low numbers allowed us to self-cater which saved us a lot of money. It worked perfectly for an outdoor wedding and I fully recommend that as a non-traditional venue option. We rented the cabin for four days which meant we got to spend real time with our guests and that was by far the best part.

Guest list was under 30 friends and family. I did my own hair and makeup, my brother took photos, a friend preformed the ceremony. We were married in a park and did not need flowers or decorations. We went to a BBQ joint after for food and dancing sharing the venue with patrons.

Things we did included:. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen wore black, clothes they either owned or thrifted.


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We had a ceremony at our church and a potluck reception in the gym. My brother played piano, a friend took the photos, and we all danced to an iPod shuffle playlist and ate homemade cake. Incidentally, with the money we saved, we were able to take a six-month backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail a year later! My brother in law married us. My dress was borrowed. We made our wedding bands from coins.

All of flowers were artificial. Reception was potluck. My niece was the photographer for free. We had a guest total. Because it was Friday the 13th we were the only couple to marry that day at the registry office and got as much time as we wanted in the gardens afterwards. Our wedding was not about a party, gifts or celebration. My best friend officiated. Made bouquets using assorted fake flowers from Hobby Lobby.

Used cash received as gifts to spend a night away from home and a gift card we received for dinner. We had about 30 guests. And here we are, nearly 50 years later, happily married and recently returned to the city where it all began for retirement. Plenty of those acquaintances of ours who spent fortunes on fancy weddings with long lines of bridesmaids, many-tiered cakes, dancing, etc. They are all joyous events. Like a six figure wedding! Then I photographed simple backyard weddings on a small budget and the couples seemed genuinely happy and enjoying themselves.

We scheduled our wedding in the off season and on a Monday for a deep discount. Since it was on a Monday the people who really wanted to support us made the effort to be there on a weekday. We enjoyed our day with 48 people so we were actually able to visit with everyone, give them a nice dinner, and host an open bar.

I would also add, though, to beware of cost shifting i. No photographer; a couple of friends and family took pictures. I made all of the favors and table covers. A friend did our invitations with calligraphy on paper from Staples. We did have nice flowers. You may share the photo. Here are a few things off the top of my head:.

Also we bought our booze from Costco. And we had a very casual rehearsal dinner with about 70 people and served them the finest Costco pizza, salad, cake, beer, and wine. Also, we did Costco pies and ice cream instead of cake. Highly recommend. For us that was: food, drinks, and hospitality. We wanted people to have a good time, be comfortable, and be well fed. That meant we paid extra to have a tent in case of rain, for everyone to have chairs, and to have plenty of food that none of the guests had to prepare.

We did not have a professional photographer though, or favors, or bridesmaids bouquets, or a cake, or a DJ. We considered skipping the wedding, but decided it felt important to have our union recognized publicly, formally, with all of our families and friends, and that we wanted to throw a great party. Of course we could have used the money for other things, but it felt more important than those other things. We have no regrets about prioritizing it. Everyone having a great time was key, so we decided that location, food and drinks held the highest value.

We managed to save thousands on ways similar to what everyone else has said. Our general frugality in life meant we were willing and able to spend money on what we valued. On reflection this really highlighted the value v. We firmly belief that frugality is not simply spending as little as possible but spending on the things that are most important to us.

We loved our day, it was worth every penny and we owe our frugality in other aspects of our lives for being able to spend money on the things we care about without having to worry about finances. We catered some of the food but decided to make much of it ourselves with the help of family. We kept the decorations to a minimum and made many of them ourselves because we knew that we had picked a venue that was perfectly scenic. I chose not to buy any flowers because it seemed unnecessary.

The list of things that we chose not to do or include was enormous and we walked away from our wedding thinking that it was a perfect representation of our values. Bless someone with it, and anything else accumulated for the wedding. Select a small keepsake box and what does not fit in box, donate. This was a whopper of a post, but I just had to include all of these wonderfully frugal ideas and fabulous photos!

I am deeply grateful to everyone who shared their advice and invited us into their lives with their photos. Thank you. And finally, the theme we so often come back to in our conversations about crafting a thoughtful, frugal lifestyle: spend on what matters most to you. Prioritize what you want on your wedding day and only spend in service of those priorities.

All great tips! My mom took my two bridesmaids and I to one of the makeup counters at a department store to get our makeup done on the morning of my very-frugal wedding. Much cheaper than hiring a makeup artist and much better than I could have done myself. I think at the end of the day, marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with is the important thing to keep in mind. I did this too! You get a few new bits of makeup and have your makeup beautifully done for a fraction of the cost of what it would be to have it done on site.

One thing to note that I highly, highly recommend is to coordinate with the makeup artist ahead of time and do a trial run. I did this and was SO very glad that I did because the first gal was terrible. Crooked liquid liner and lip pencil outside my lip line. Not cool. Went to a different high end store and did a trial with a different beauty brand Tom Ford- not frugal but super gorgeous and ended up looking waaaaay better than I expected.

They treated me really well and I really felt like a bride. So many great ideas!! For me, the photos were SO important. So I found a photographer who agreed to do 2 hours of shooting — the most important shots of me and my husband, us and our families, and the ceremony, and charged us only the amount of an engagement shoot. We did a couple of things to really cut the cost of our wedding — which were also fabulous and made it much more personal at the end of the day.

The biggest thing was that we had a ceremony with only our closest family parents, siblings, grandparents and wedding party followed by a brunch for this crew of about 25 people. After brunch though, we opened up the party outdoor yard party at my in-laws to everyone else — aunts, uncles, cousins, friends etc. Lastly — one of our close friends is a photographer who agreed to do some pre-wedding and ceremony photos for us instead of a gift.

For the afterparty, we just set up a camera in front of a great backdrop and let out family take their own selfies. I was so happy to see this blog post! Twenty-seven years ago, my late husband and I had a formal church wedding followed by a country club reception that my parents paid for. Now my daughter is engaged. I would like to give her a lovely wedding, but I am on a tight budget. These tips are invaluable. Some things my family did to save money: We called the local university and asked if they could recommend a photography student for the photographer.

She was wonderful, very professional, and I am so grateful for all the photos. The florist was a member of our church. We paid her the going rate for her labor, but she charged as the wholesale price for the flowers. We were married just before Christmas, so the church was already decorated with beautiful poinsettias and evergreens. My husband and groomsmen rented their formal cutaway suits from a rental company. I found out they also rented bridesmaid dresses, so we rented those too!

I got my dress there. But if I were purchasing it myself, I could have gotten something just a gorgeous for about half the price. They were super nice and did not push me on accessories or alterations. I ordered a veil off of Ebay. Thank you for featuring my tips on your blog! PS: My wooden bouquet still looks almost as good as new!

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We got married on their 62nd anniversary! The cost of everything was so much cheaper than it would have been had we married in Boston. This kept our guest list at We got married in a country club that included linens, chairs, etc with the venue. The biggest expense was our photographer. She was worth every penny. My friend married us. My mom made our cake since she was a retired cake decorator. My in laws were generous with paying for the rehearsal dinner and gifting us a check that we saved.

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Sounds absolutely divine!! I know, Mr. Because the laws around same-sex marriage kept changing before , my wife and I got married three times — to each other! We have no idea how we would even go about getting a divorce. The first time, we had a ceremony in our kitchen with a justice of the peace and our immediate family. The second time, we had the ceremony and party in the field behind our house. The third time, we drove to MA and met a justice of the peace in a beautiful botanical garden where he declared us married… which seemed a bit redundant but was lovely none the less.

Happy weddings!!! Sounds wonderful! Love is love and everyone should be able to marry the person they love. There is a great website called TheFreeWedding. Definitely worth checking out. One of my favorite reader suggestions so far! We live in the D. Metro area, and you can officiate your own wedding in the District! You pay for the license nominal and can get married anywhere, anytime.

No need to rent a space or hire an officiant. We took our own pictures with our cell phones, either ourselves or by kind strangers who offered. Some even took pictures for themselves! We had pizza delivery and a Whole Foods cake for dinner at home. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect for us and super frugal.

It set the tone for how we wanted to live our life together. It will be our 40th Wedding Anniversary in November. We married at the Parish Church and paid for the bells to be rung and the choir. The lovely flowers were from the earlier wedding. Mum made my dress and the two bridesmaid dresses and the cake. My friends made fondant icing roses to decorate it before we went out for a drink together. Mum and my aunt and sisters made sponge cakes and sandwiches and sausage rolls for the wedding tea at home.

There was a toast but no speeches. It was lovely. That weekend we hosted a big reception. Plus, our memories of the goofy judge with a toupee who married us, plus the walk from city hall to the bar in the Hancock building, and then talking by the lake afterwards with our two best friends in the city where we fell in love are so much more meaningful than all the pricey party nonsense. We got married in Boston for around 10k for 80 people. Not the cheapest but for in the city we thought we did pretty well and managed to have an open bar included in that cost and of course everything was paid for upfront.

No need to go into debt for a wedding. We cut out a few things to save money. No DJ. I had a friend MC and literally just press play on my ipod. I used spotify and created a playlist. It worked out fine.

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Since we got married in a restaurant we decided to not do centerpieces at the tables. The restaurant provided candles and all the table cloths which we thought looked nice on its own. I ordered my flowers on the internet eep!!! My flowers arrived exactly on time and were beautiful and most of all not crazy expensive. We skipped a videographer but did hire a professional for photos. I ubered to the venue uber black. No limo or anything like that.

I had two bridesmaids and I let them pick their own dresses as long as it was purple. They were thrilled because they both already had dresses that worked. What people remember the most was the food. No regrets going with a restaurant wedding. We spent very little on our wedding. Tbh, I let my parents do a lot, but my dad is a minister and my mother is active in the church, so they knew a lot of people that helped out. We held the wedding in our community park and paid for the pavillion with a deposit that we got back.

My dad did the ceremony, the church loaned us chairs, family friends did the music for the ceremony, the pictures and the cake. Our flowers were painted daisies from the grocery store and I made my own playlist for the reception. My parents did decide to order invitations from a local place and they brought in food from Walmart, but tbh we spent next to nothing on our wedding. Horrible, it crumbled when she picked it up and most of it had turned brown!

Both of our married daughters purchased their beautiful wedding dresses over ebay from China. We made sure and found ebay vendors with very good reviews and good, prompt communication when answering our questions. Both dresses were gorgeous. The veils were also purchased from ebay as well along with beautiful hair clips. Our second daughter to marry, her groom chose beautiful black suits from J. He wore a silver grey suit he already owned. He purchased matching ties and handkerchief squares from ebay for the groomsmen. It looked great and no one had to deal with the over priced tuxedo rentals and ill fitting tuxes at the last minute plus having to return them the next day.

The party food for one of the weddings was done by a friend who enjoys doing things like that. Dried cranberry covered goat cheese logs, things like that with crackers. Just make sure the friend has utmost integrity and a good track record. The wedding cakes were done by a lady who makes delicious cakes but works out of her home.

The guests complimented that the cake was the best they had ever had. No save the dates were sent, we sent the wedding invitations out in time for the guests to receive them several weeks before the wedding and many people are invited to a shower and have a good understanding of the wedding date just through word of mouth.

The invitations were purchased and printed online and we made sure to buy a one stamp invitation. The florist was from a nearby smalltown where the cost of living is much lower. She even used some of the vases we had on hand and is a pleasure to work with. We did not do wedding favors, we used little bells to send our first daughter off and our second daughter to marry used little bottles of bubbles and that was that! My husband and I have been married for almost 39 years and I see so many things that are just not necessary for these weddings such as food being expected, favors, save the dates and more.

No sense enriching those industrial complexes if much of what they offer is not important to you. I had a friend in college who was one of four daughters in her family. Her dad was a farmer and so was her fiance. She eloped to the small chapel at our university wearing a regular dress with one friend each to stand up for them, he told his family he was going to the feed and seed store and she was already at college and used the money towards a down payment on a house.

A year later they had a reception at their house that she and her husband did all the work for. I never did hear if her sisters took their dad up on the plan though. I had a destination wedding where the original plan was just to have a couple of witnesses.

We got married in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a resort town in the Smoky Mountains with a lot of wedding chapels; the chapel we chose offered packages with decorations, fake flowers and photography, including video. The ceremony was at eleven a. The next day, we and the guests still in town went to Dollywood local amusement park owned by Dolly Parton for the day, then out to dinner.

Thanks for the wedding post! We wanted to be on the same page since our cultural wedding ceremonies mean so much. This really helped. Needless to say, it was touching, and lovely.


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  • It also helped my husband who is of a different ethnic background to feel connected to my culture. We chose to accommodate them even though we were paying for this part of the wedding, because it was important to us to honour them. We talked to a friend who had a ranch out in Texas country, and asked if we could use it in exchange for cleaning up around the place and some manual labour. This was the most expensive bit of our wedding, but it was necessary. We needed to have a tent because we married in the middle of December and it was freezing. Little did we know that we had the most gorgeous day in all of December, but there was a cold front that blew over some of our things that evening during our first dance , so the tent was a good investment.

    Perhaps I would have done something cheaper if I had to do it again, but I really loved my dress, so I was okay with this. They delivered. I also rented tables after checking several different places, and looking for the best deal. I think this is what made me proudest. At the end of the night, we gave away the machines to those who wanted it, and it was fabulous. He also did a resizing for my husband for free. We went with a barbecue buffet since catering was super expensive, and just asked a local company to do it. Spoiler, they loved the Nigerian food more.

    People still ask me about it to this day. It was amazing. It goes a long way! How wonderful they pitched in and saved the day with food for the English traditional wedding! I am one of the people who pestered Mrs. Frugalwoods for this! So thank you very much for all the thoughtful advice and tips. We did have to buy my fella a suit.

    We had three hundred folks there. This was well over 40 years ago; the hubby and I are still chugging along, with wonderful memories of a funny, wonderful, snowy sleety New England wedding. I did my own makeup and nails and did have my hair professionally done. My shoes were slightly more expensive since I bought them to not alter the dress. It did rain before my wedding and I had to rent a tent for close to dollars…most expensive part but the next day it was a welcome relief from the sun. We were married in our back yard and the set up was on hay bales and old doors.

    Hay bales that still live at our house for our composting pile. We bought our house two years before the wedding when we were engaged and grew all the vegetables and some of the fruit for the wedding. Family brought food ie local grass feed cattle for hamburgers, salads, etc. We made our own sangria and beer was donated by some other family friends.

    I had a cupcake party instead of a bridal shower and we made close to cupcakes for the wedding instead of a formal cake. I did hire a local organizer with some local students who helped run the event. In the end, my husband and I had the best gift of all…a home to live in with a beautiful urban farm that continues to feed us. I was also able to thank so many people that helped us in our less forunate times by bringing them into my home and feeding their families amazing food.

    We purchased a vintage ring together. We will likely go vintage for wedding bands as well…. We prioritized a fun party with lots of food and beverages for our friends. But we both agreed that this food will be amazing and that was important to us. The caterer will be bringing compost-able plates made of palm fond drops and wooden sporks. My fiancee really wanted a specific type of cake which is not cheap. This did save, mostly on having to pay someone to cut the cake or for one of us to do it. When we broke down the cost, it was about the same as rental, without the hassle of worrying about breakage on the concrete floor and returning them the next day.

    Getting him down to 75 was a battle, but I think we settled on the right compromise for both of us. Could we have done it ourselves? I want to relax after about 11 and enjoy getting ready. One person mentioned asking a photographer for an hourly rate. Let people know your budget and tell them your limitations. It is Facebook after all!! But there are also some great ideas. Ditto for A Practical wedding and Offbeat Bride web sites. I love looking at what other people have done and getting great ideas. Ties are coming from eBay!

    Greater Boston is an expensive place to get married. Well timed! To me, a big wedding would just drag up a lot of anxiety and guilt and perfectionism, so the mutual decision to go small worked perfectly for us. Whatever is at the brewery we hold the reception at. Whatever is playing. Let people take pictures with their cell phones and upload it to a group album. No trying to control what the bridesmaids wear. Just focusing on family, friends, good food, good drink, and each other.

    I used to work weddings and always felt they were all the same boring, cookie cutter event, so I LOVED reading all these ideas. I seriously think this DIY, no frills wedding will be the best one I ever attend. So looking forward to it! I have grown to be pretty frugal over the years so reading all the great tips really hits home! Just a few of my proud planning moments so far! The key to a frugal wedding experience is: 1. Be open to alternative ideas. If you are set in exactly what you will have, then you will pay alot more for…this concept works in every facet of the wedding from dress to decor.

    It is much cheaper to just have a common thread to tie it all together. It is just a day. The marriage, on the other hand, is what really matters. We had help, and were very grateful for it, but here is how it went down: Our venue was at an arboretum that my father runs, so we were able to use that area and the building associated with it to get ready and store the food, etc. This was a huge cost savings. My mother grows her own flowers and sells them at a farmers market, and therefore was able to do our wedding flowers for us.

    They were perfect, beautiful, and so meaningful. My husband sold pumpkins at the farmers market, so since we got married on a Saturday, he brought the left over pumpkins to decorate with, and then was able to sell them the next week! My bridesmaids were told to pick a dress they liked that was a shade of coral and came to around their knees. That was the only requirement, and they looked so good! It was fantastic. My mother, sister, and grandmother made the rest of the food. We had a homemade cheesecake for dessert. This worked out so well, mostly because it was cheesecake YUM and secondly because my husband does not eat regular cake.

    We had a live band for our wedding, which was led by my cousins father, so we got a discount and had wonderful music. Our photographer was a friend from high school who was starting out building her business, and she did a wonderful job! For our honeymoon, we took a tent and went camping near the beach in Tybee Island, GA for 9 days. It was wonderful. All in all, it was the most amazing day, not only because I got to marry the love of my life, but also because I could feel the love that my friends and family put into the wedding.

    It made it very special. We are so thankful for all of the help that we had, and we definitely tried to keep the costs down for everyone that chipped in. Unfortunately, another family member is getting married in a little bit, and we have already spent more to be in their wedding as we spent on our whole wedding. And its not something we can gracefully bow out of, since it is a wedding, and we are both in it. So we are just biting our tongues, thankful that our wedding memories will be shrouded in a cloud of love and togetherness, not a painful memory of all that we cost ourselves and our family.

    It never ceases to amaze me how similar our backgrounds are! My bridesmaids and flower girls were all told to wear shades of purple and maroon and we did mismatched dresses that went with the flowers. The venues, catering, DJ, and photographer were our big expenses, and we did go all out! Like you we are privileged and eternally grateful for our magical wedding and gorgeous photos! Hoo boy, does this post ever strike close to home! The more traditional wedding 1 involved open bar, Saturday, summertime, good food, etc.

    How much could that possibly cost? And since we had a lot of people that would be travelling already to attend, it made sense for us. And we do so frugally — hostels, street food, etc. Our wedding was one of our first frugal acts. Largely thanks to my mom, who is very active in the local community and worked in a local college alongside a lot of highly skilled folks. The flower-arranging class did the flowers as there terms project! My best friend sister made the bridesmaids dresses and myself and the other bridesmaids stayed at her house to help with them; so that doubled as a hen-weekend away.

    I made my own invitations, veil, favours and table plan. The groom and groomsmen just wore their own suits. My mum made and iced the cake and did a booze-cruise to France with one of her good friends as tax on alcohol is a lot lower across the water. Our big expenses were hiring a BYOB venue which doubled as accommodation for many of the guests and the catering as we really wanted a sit down meal.

    And the evening before the wedding we took everyone who was about to a beach cafe for fish n chips. We were just finishing grad-school when we got married and were flat broke, so my parents kindly paid for most of it and I am so glad now that no one spent too much on it. But I take no credit for that at all. It was all down to my mums good sense! I love this line up. Made me nostalgic for our wedding. We had a destination wedding in Vegas, with few guests.

    We were paying for it ourselves, so we had to stick to a budget. A few ways this can be done are: embrace simple bands instead of pricey center stones, choose alternative stones to diamonds moissanite, colored stones, etc. I even know couples who each wear an alternative engagement band or ring that they choose together — very egalitarian and lovely, in my opinion! I seriously think this is my favorite post!

    Mass of Christian Burial of Fr. Murray Farwell

    I can honestly say it was the FIRE community that inspired my wedding day. No flowers and a local pastor friend officiated. We kept the guest list to immediate family only and one friend who took our photos. Also got a haircut that morning so my hair was already styled. Dinner was at a nice restaurant where I pre-ordered all the food- appetizers and entrees shared family style.

    No cake or favors. Just super simple evening with both sides of the family together at one table. It was super special and it felt very luxe and ultimately very us-simple and filled with family and good food. We had 12 people total and it was perfect. We also had an open house style reception about 2 months after our wedding, which was lovely and we could take our time seeing and talking to each of our friends without the pressures of time constraints or not getting to enjoy our first day being married!

    We were very blessed to have parents that paid for our wedding and who donated points for us to use for our honeymoon at a resort. However, if you have less money, there is always room to cut back expense-wise. You are so right in saying that weddings are about the promise you make to each other than any sort of party or celebration.

    But I went to 5 weddings in was in 2 and 4 in was in 1. I went to a wedding years ago where the couple did it in a state park and brought everything in. Most of the families, and the groomsmen, spent the morning of the wedding setting up the reception space outside in 95 degree weather. I barely had enough time to shower and get dressed and get back for the actual wedding. My sister just got married in October, and the wedding was at a hotel that came with an event planner.

    We dropped off a ton of stuff the day before all DIY centerpieces, etc. At the end of the night, we could just leave. All I had to do was take the card box, and let them but the luggage cart full of all the rest of the stuff in my hotel room. They cut costs in other ways, like having a morning wedding and afternoon reception, limiting flower, DIY centerpieces, etc. My thoughts exactly. I ordered the bridal party bouquets and centerpiece flowers from Whole Foods.

    I provided them some upcycled vases and ribbon, and they did the rest, including free delivery and set up because the venue was in the same city! For the cake, we asked 8 or 9 of our local friends to bake a simple cake with white plain frosting. Upon arrival, I plopped flowers on top of their cakes, and voila, a cake buffet! This is great! We still spent a heap of money on our wedding. I also bought my wedding dress from a bridal outlet. We did pay for everything in cash, which was awesome. We had zero debt from the wedding, which was great.

    It was a fun day, but I really do wish I could have just had a city hall wedding. So much less fuss! It was so fun reading through all of the great suggestions and seeing a few of my photos. I really hope that this climbs to the top of the google because I think it would have been so nice to have this resource out there when we were trying to plan our celebration a few years back.

    Have you done a reader suggestion for attending college frugally? Your photos are beyond gorgeous :! Thank you so much for contributing your wisdom to this post! We marched down the aisle in my hometown church and held the reception at the hometown country club teeny tiny little place that smelled like antiques and old perfume and had a scenic pool with green water, all conveniently located within all the sights and sounds of I Probably the most fun was riding in the elevator with all the prisoners heading to their court dates.

    They all wished us happy nuptials.

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