Marry On The Cheap

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The most memorable wedding I ever attended was by far the cheapest. The bride and groom were moving from a small apartment to a three acre homestead they could barely afford. They wanted to start their life on the land without another cent of debt. So they invited everyone they knew to celebrate with them at a Wedding Potluck & MusicFest.

They reserved space (free at the time) at a park pavilion in an out-of-the-way nature preserve. Everything they purchased could be reused on their homestead. Tables were made from sawhorses and planks, covered with fabric they intended to make into curtains and couch covers. Daisies in mason jars made up the centerpieces and jelly jars were used as eco-friendly drinking cups—all to be used for years to come in home canning. More daisies were strung together into daisy chain garlands worn in the bride’s hair. Drinks were kept cold in galvanized stock tanks (brand new, but planned for their eventual livestock) filled with ice.

The couple requested no gifts. They simply asked that friends make the celebration possible by bringing offerings of food, drink, and music to share. The bounty was overwhelming. Tables were heaped with a wonderful array of dishes. After the ceremony itself, performed under fragrant flowering locust trees, guests enjoyed a banquet with a greater variety than any pricey caterer could have provided. The wedding cake (made by the bride’s aunt) made an entrance in a new bright red wheelbarrow.

Then the evening’s entertainment began. Guests who chose to participate offered all sorts of music. There were saxophone and guitar jazz pieces, clever skits, lively bluegrass numbers, humorous duets, and impromptu sing alongs. By the end of the evening everyone was playing an instrument, singing, or dancing. I’ve never been to a wedding filled with so much laughter and love. Such happiness is a wonderful way to inaugurate the married life of people dear to us.

And it was cheap.

For more inexpensive and creative wedding ideas check out the following resources.

Off Beat Bride

Wedding Traditions Unique Ideas

Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides

The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way

The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget


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