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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Does an At-Home Wedding Save Money?

Birds filled the trees above the gazebo in the back yard, their melody accompanying the bride’s cousin as she sang a lilting rendition of the wedding song. A brilliant blue sky provided a breath-taking ceiling and bright sunshine warmed the early spring day. Eighty-two guests sat in rows of chairs under several hundred-year-old maple trees. The perfect setting for a wedding on a perfect day in May.

The bridesmaids, followed by the bride, made their way past smiling friends and relatives to the gazebo where the minister, groom, and groomsmen waited. The backdrop on the gazebo was constructed by the groom and his brothers for this special day. A friend had adorned it with a handmade ivy wreath dotted with white roses. Huge bouquets of turquoise and white balloons lined the path to the gazebo. It didn't matter a bit that the balloons were purchased at the dollar store or that the bride's and bridesmaids’ bouquets came from the super market. It didn't matter that a friend of the bride made the wedding cake as her gift to the happy couple. And it mattered even less that the brunch following the ceremony was catered by a friend of the groom's sister and included muffins baked by the bride's mother.

Two of our six children opted for at-home weddings. Three were married in traditional church/reception hall ceremonies. I’ve since compared the costs of the at-home weddings to the cost of the weddings chosen by our other children –– well, I should say by their brides. The total cost of both weddings at our home was less than what our youngest son's father-in-law paid to rent the hall for his daughter's wedding!

Add in dinners for two hundred and the cost of a band, Daddy paid a pretty penny for that wedding. Whoops, forgot the flowers at the church and the limo rented to get the bride and groom to the hall. Oh, and the cake. My daughter-in-law laughed as she said her dad was amazed that the cake cost more than her wedding dress! As the groom's parents, we picked up the bar bill for that wedding and gave up a big chunk of the savings we'd socked away for our retirement.

So, if you ask me whether an at-home wedding saves you money I have to answer, "You bet your bippy it does!" Not only is it a huge savings, it is more personal and more appreciated by the bride and groom. The comments after our son's outdoor wedding ranged from, "This was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended," to "Having the wedding in this lovely tree-shaded area with the blue sky overhead was better than being inside a church. God created the great outdoors for us to enjoy, what better place to get married?"

So, whether you plan an outdoor wedding or a smaller, more intimate wedding in your home –– which we did for our youngest daughter –– it can be more personal and cost a lot less than a wedding held in a church and reception hall. And you won't need a limo and procession of cars –– and all that gas -- to get from the church to the hall!



Blogger Ellen said...

I have attended several weddings that were held outside and they were beautiful and a lot more fun for all involved in the wedding. And the money saved by having a simple outdoor wedding could be given to the bride and groom to start life on. Of course weather does matter so planning must be done carefully.

August 12, 2008 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

An outdoor wedding at home sounds lovely. And probably meant way more the the brides and grooms that if held anywhere else.

August 12, 2008 at 1:49 PM  

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