Tips for a less stressful Christian wedding


Our diocese now has made available a very nice booklet with tips for a less stressful Christian wedding.

Thought I would it share it with you that are preparing to be married.:wink:


good tips. Thanks…but somehow I’ve started to feel stressful just to think about all this. :smiley:


I’m two weeks away from my wedding, and reading that little pamphlet was helpful. Thanks for posting!


We’re 3 weeks from dd’s wedding.

As long as we have the priest and the church, everything else is icing on the cake :thumbsup: .


any tips on how to spend a wedding without going broke?


Ha, that thought was exactly what got me through my wedding (coming up on two weeks ago now)! The priest, the church, the rings, the license, and my dear darling now-husband…that’s all I really HAD to have. :smiley:

Good pamphlet by the way. I hope it will remind all the brides and grooms to keep it simple and focused on the Lord! I liked the part about worshipping God, not the bride. That is probably my least favorite part of the wedding mentality. People would tell me, “it’s all about you!” I’d smile and say, “It’s about US!”

Water - there is a good little book called Bridal Bargains with lots of useful hints.


I agree, I can’t stand watching those Bridal shows on TV-especially Bridezillas when they start talking about “It’s MY day, it has to be MY way.” SO selfish and egocentric!


Have a Saturday morning wedding and luncheon buffet reception. Halls rent for much cheaper on Saturday afternoon than they do for the same Saturday at night- supply and demand (this is also true of Friday evenings but less convenient for your guests). Buffets are less expensive than plated meals and people drink a LOT less early in the day (have the bartender run a tab that you can pay at the end rather than paying a flat rate for so many hours of bar service) . If people are in town, they’ll show up because they don’t have to hire a sitter for the little ones. Plus, no one expects to be doing much dancing at lunchtime so you don’t have to spring for a DJ. (Can you tell that this is what DH and I did? We ended up paying a bar tab of just over $300 for 150 people and I think the golf club hall plus food was about $3000 for everything. :slight_smile: )

Instead of having a photographer at the event, see if you and your new spouse can head to the photography studio in your finery to have official photos taken, and make sure that a couple of trusted friends/family take lots of photos at the wedding. Under no circumstances should you skimp on the cake. If you don’t have a trusted bakery, try different ones. If you’re lucky, the best cake will be from one of the inexpensive bakeries, but if not, don’t buy it just because it’s cheap. I’ve been to weddings where the cake was NOT good and believe me, people remember it. We made sure our spice cake with bavarian creme filling was perfect. 5 years later, people still tell us how good our cake was. :thumbsup:

Um…flowers. Keep them simple but pretty. You can do small vases on tables with flowers that match the bridesmaid’s bouquets (or you can skip floral centerpieces and have candles). Get married during the Christmas or Easter season and then the church is already decorated. Don’t fuss too much with favors- everyone likes the little tulle bags of candy.

Oh, and David’s Bridal has a lot of relatively inexpensive bridesmaid gowns in lots of styles and colors. I took my bridesmaids there, gave them a couple of possible colors, and told them to choose a dress that they all liked in one of those colors along with dressy silver sandals (I didn’t care if they all had the same sandals, and I think they all went to Payless). Everyone was happy and they all looked beautiful.


I didn’t spend a lot of money on my wedding. I had my dress made for just under $300 (it was only suppose to be $250, but I ended up picking a slightly more expensive fabric than originally intended). I only had a maid of honor and one other bridesmaid, which I told them what color dress I wanted them to have and they were allowed to picked the rest. They each spent $40 on dresses in JC penny’s clearance section, which were very nice. We had a very small wedding (less than 60 people, we actually invited less than 50, but some family decided they should have been invited and came anyway). Out motto was, if we haven’t seen or heard from you in a over a year, we not inviting. We had our reception in an older adult community center’s activity hall for $250, which was returned after the date as long as we picked up after the party. We hired a small, local cater to do a small, but good buffet (no servers needed). We had no band, just a good size stereo. No DJ, my brother announced us and gave a little speech and introduce us for our dance and my dance with my father. We had no bar, as we didn’t want any alcohol served (although, some family members brought their own). I had a friend of the family do a beautiful cake and all I had to do was pay for the ingredients. Mostly I relied on my wonderful family, who set up the hall with a few, but elegant decorations. The place really looked nice, and everyone said they had a nice time and how much fun it was, because it had a more casual feel to it. The only place where I did spend a lot of money (just over $500) was on flowers (because I love flowers!!). We had no photographer, but everyone was taking pictures (I have 2 full albums filled with very nice photos), and we didn’t have to waste any time to stop and take them, we just took them outside of the church and the hall, which was next to a lake with flowers).

I also went to my best friend’s sister’s wedding where it was a pot luck dinner, everyone brought a dish. The reception was held in the church’s hall and her family (including me) helped put all the food out as a buffet and and decorate. Everyone (even me, despite having to do some “work”) had a good time.

My sister spent quiet a bit more on her wedding than I did, having a formal reception in a hotel with servers. However, she did a lot of planning and did a lot of little things that made it very special without having to spend a lot of money. She had wedding pictures of parents, grandparents, and brothers/sisters in antique-like frames on the table with the wedding cake. She named each table after a location that meant something to her and her husband and wrote what it meant (places they had been, met, proposed, etc). She made up cards of people sitting at each table and who they were, so that when you sat down you know who everyone was at your table and how they were related to her or her husband. She also made up her own wedding programs, describing everyone in the wedding party. And the biggest hit of the wedding, was a penny candy table. She bought inexpensive old fashion candy holders and put all kinds of candy (several dozen kinds) and people were allowed to take what they wanted. The wedding favors were glass jars to fill up with the candy. There was more, but the point is, there are dozens of wedding magazines and books out there. You can leaf through them and if you are handy (or have family or friends who are) you can do some of those projects, or modify them into something you can do, or do cheaper.

I think, especially in the USA, we get so caught up with having to find the right dress, right hall, perfect flowers, best cake, the best dj/band, etc etc, we forget what the actually wedding is all about. For my husband and I, it was all about the church. We didn’t want to have any reception, yet we did want to give a celebratory meal to thank everyone for sharing this wonderful sacrament with us. My family kept saying, at least get a dj, at least do this, at least do that, but in the end, everyone agreed that it was very nice and perfect for us.


I had the best wedding and reception in the world and it cost less than $5000 including everything (wedding, reception and honeymoon)!!! Bought my dress on ebay for $45 (and $20 shipping) then paid $10 in alterations… did my own bouquets and boutonnieres… Did the church flowers myself… all flowers and supplies came to under $150…bridesmaid dresses were matching tops and skirts at Kohl half price… $70 for both bridesmaids, reception was at a local tourist attraction… son is a DJ and volunteered his services…shoes were on clearance…

But the best part… DH ans I did it exactly the way we wanted because we had his sister and my sister running interference with our mom’s… and my sis stayed in town an extra day just to spend time with us. The wedding was spectacular… totally traditional and beautiful Nuptial Mass. The reception was totally awesome because the kids really had a good time outside while adults were mostly inside. Oh… and the two people we feared meeting didn’t show (my oldest sister and his brother).

Worst part… had to change honeymoon plans at the last minute because of Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans right when we would have arrived.


Our money saving tips-

Our dd bought her dress on e-bay for $75. It was a $500 - $700 dress new. Alterations are ~$100, but it’s still a great deal.

We bought a veil kit and tiara at Michael’s craft store for ~$30.

The bride chose a color and her attendants picked their own dress in that color. Younger daughter’s bridesmaid dress was $69. (

The cake will be somewhere near $300. I want to patronize a mom w/ a home business, so I don’t mind. Plus, I love a good cake :thumbsup: .

For invitations, we used a printer we knew from our days working on a homeschool conference. The RSVP is a post card rather than a card and envelope.

The reception is at a K of C Hall that has an in house caterer. The per person meal cost includes beer and wine. Since there will be kids, we asked for a reduced rate for the younger ones. They agreed.

The bride chose silk flowers, which we bought on line. For the church we’ll get a nice basket of daisies for in front of that altar. Daisies are in season, fairly inexpensive and look stunning w/ the tiffany blue dresses.

IMO, the whole wedding industry is a racket and I did not want to patronize it, if at all possible. I’d rather use local and/ or family businesses.


We spent less than 3K on our entire wedding :slight_smile: We didn’t do dinner, but at night we had a pitch - in at my husbands fathers barn with a bonfire :slight_smile:

Lessee: Dress was bought at a small shop, but ended up being 1/2 off because they were going out of business :thumbsup: I was the last dress they were doing alterations on, and that was pretty cheap. Honestly my dress was the most expensive part :smiley: And with alterations it cost about $500. It was also the most elaborate part :blush: Everything else was quite simple.
Cake was over a fountain, there were mints and nuts and punch.
Table decorations were “presents”. WE had a table full of real presents, then the guest tables had “Packages” decorating them. It was really cool :slight_smile: Come to find out, his aunt (who did this) had wrap things we would need to get started (like food and supplies no one thinks of), then those were on the tables.
We had 3 people on each side stand up for us. Had about 100 people show up. It was very nice.


I hate .pdf files.


We paid around $7000 for our daughter’s wedding (a month ago), but the bulk of that cost was the photographer (around $3000). We hired the best and we’re glad we did. My husband and I spent an exorbitant amount on photography 30 years ago when we got married and we have never regretted it. Photography lasts.

We also spent a lot on hotel lodging for the various attendants and the pastor and his wife (around $1000). If you have a big house or lots of space for guests, you can save bucks.

Our daughter did a morning wedding and luncheon buffet reception–that saved us around $2000.

We did NOT have an open bar. We did an open soda bar at 75 cents a person. That saved a fortune, too, although I agree with the poster that usually people don’t drink so much for a luncheon.

Flowers were $400 total–very cheap. The wedding was outdoors in a State Park “wedding canyon,” so we didn’t need any decorations.

She asked the ladies at the skating rink where she coaches to make the table decorations instead of giving her a gift, and they did a beautiful job!

Dresses from David’s Bridal–very cheap ($200 for the bride’s dress) and very pretty.

All the musicians (she had 5) donated their music to her as their gift.

We have no regrets, and once again, I encourage you to re-think “budget” photography. The photography will last a lifetime, and the professionals know how to do weddings and not miss anything.


What faith is your daughter?


The groom’s father is a former photographer and one of his photographer friends offered to shoot everything at no charge. He will burn photo CD’s and give them to us before we leave the reception.

He offered to do an album at cost, but dd is talented in that area and can make her own album if she wants. Or we can take this guy up on his offer.

One of dd’s film school friends will do video at no charge.


You’re lucky that you have such connections…I don’t have any talented friends/acquaintances who would be able to do the photography and such for us.

Anyways, on the money-saving topic…

Since most of our guests will be coming in from out of town, we wanted to make it “worth their while” by hosting a dinner reception. We’re saving money by having it on a Friday, rather than a Saturday. It will be at a hotel which provides the catering package and includes all table linens, centerpieces, etc., along with an on-site coordinator.

We ordered simple invitations online, rather than going with elaborate pocketfolds and layers (which require tons more postage, anyway!). We did the addressing ourselves, rather than hiring a calligrapher.

We searched online and booked with a great photographer when she was running a 25% off special for paying in full at booking. So we got 2 more hours of coverage plus an extra hour (for engagement photos or pre-wedding meetings) for the price of a smaller package, and we’ll get all the photo rights ourselves.

We met with many different florists and got quotes from each for similar packages. Instead of floral arrangements for centerpieces like many people have, we’re just using white rose petals to dress it up a little more.

We got the bridesmaids’ dresses on clearance from Ann Taylor during one of their big 70% off sales. My aunt is knitting shrugs to cover their shoulders for Mass, rather than buying wraps.

I’ve been able to sale-hunt for many of the other reception details. Packs of 20 thank you notes are $1.79 at Target. We got a set of 4 crystal toasting flutes at Tuesday Morning for $20–66% off the original price. The signature photo mat we will be using for a ‘guestbook’ we got for $13 at Michael’s during a 50% off sale.

My dress wasn’t as expensive or cheap as some ($700 + alterations), but I just couldn’t find one that suited me for anything less. (Had an awful experience at David’s Bridal). But everything else we got at discount online–veil from an online retailer cost $40 as opposed to $175+, shoes were $8 on a deep sale at, hair pins came from a costume jewelry shop and were $2 each.

Saving money on the details that weren’t as important to us let us spend a little more on significant purchases. We got custom-made prayer cards to be included with our Nuptial Mass programs from an online printer for around $60. And we were able to pay for a fun sunset dinner cruise on our honeymoon!


I forgot to add, our invitations were brought at a crafts store (but Staples and other office supply stores also carry them). It is a package of paper and envolopes that we used with the computer and printer. Very cheap and they looked very nice. They also came with a tissue paper and ribbon to tie the see-through tissue paper over the printed letter. And the kit included the RSVP letters too. Everything came out very professional, even through it was done on our home computer and we tied the ribbons ourselves.

My sister had someone she knew from her work make hers with stamps. She ended up paying more than she thought (she was originally told it was to be free, but when she insisted on paying something, the woman asked for a lot), but it was something that she could have easily done herself, or anyone who is relatively crafty can and all the supplies can be brought at any craft store.


Thanks so much for all the great tips and the time you all spent writing your posts. I save this on my computer.


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