Unique ideas for a wedding

My soon to be fiance and I were talking about what kind of wedding we would want to have. I guess more of what kind of wedding reception we would do. Obviously we would get married in the Catholic church, but what frustrates me is the amount of money that weddings cost. There are so many of, what seem to be, trivial things that go into a wedding: dress, flowers, reception venue, decorations, cake, food…

What are some unique ideas to have a cheaper, more intimate wedding. I’m not sure how big the wedding would be, we have not gotten that far yet. I know some people just go get dinner and then go to the court house, which is cute, but I want to be married in the church (have to).

We won’t have a lot of money, and I know my parents would help out, but I don’t feel right spending a lot of money. It is kind of against a lifestyle I already live.

Do we have to wear “fancy,” “traditional” wedding clothes?
Do we have to have catered food?
I know those issues are Catholic related, really, but does getting married in the church cost a lot of money?


There is no requirement to spend a ton of money on your wedding.
There are no requirements for fancy clothes or food.

Do what works for you.

We had a morning nuptial mass (10 am) and then had a family-style brunch afterwards in the back room at a local diner. We did not have a band - we had a friend of the family who played accordion. We had a photographer at the church but not the reception. My best friend took pics at the reception for us. We had an old classic car instead of a limo, and limited our bridal party to the best man and the matron of honor. The church choir (which was exceptionally talented!) sang at mass and the music was beautiful. I printed all the programs on my old lexmark printer. And, they looked pretty good!

Of course, we were both “older” (36 and 36) and therefore wanted a smaller soiree.

You can have any kind of wedding reception you want. If hot dogs and s’mores on the beach sounds good then go for it!

While wearing traditional wedding clothes is usually associated with Catholic weddings, at least in the present day US, and to a slightly lessor degree a catered reception, these things are in no way required or even recommended by the Church. Clothes appropriate for Mass would be expected but as was pointed out above, your reception could be as eleaborate or as simple or even as non-existent as you choose.

We got married at a regularly scheduled Sat. Evening Mass. My husband’s suit was from Goodwill, I wore a pink lace dress from the clearance rack at JC Penney. I baked our cake myself and we had our reception in the parish hall. Total cost was under $500. We were both 18 and broke so to us that was a fortune! That was 17 years and 8 kids ago. We are still happily married and it seems like we just keep growing closer and happier. We never took a honeymoon. Our first was born about 11 months after we got married. But as a family we’ve traveled all over the world thanks to the Army! I’ve seen a lot if couples spend several thousands on their weddings and receptions but most seem miserable together or have divorced. They forget that the wedding is only one day and the marriage is the important investment. As long as you focus on the life long marriage, what happens at the wedding or reception really don’t matter so much.

My daughter just got married at the end of August and money was a big issue for them too. She didn’t want the traditional white gown and found a beautiful dress at the local thrift shop (original store tags still attached - bonus!) Her groom bought a suit that can be worn for different occasions. We had several decoration-making parties with friends and family and designs from Pinterest – lots of fun! Her cousin was the official photographer – a lucky break since she is actually a photographer. They had an evening wedding so nobody was expecting a meal, instead we had finger foods. My daughter works in the bakery section of a grocery store and the store manager contributed some food trays and we bought more. A friend made a beautifully decorated slab cake rather than a tiered one. Music was provided by their own MP3 player and the sound system at the venue. All in all less than $1000 and everyone had a wonderful time!

It’s not necessary to spend thousands of dollars. The actual wedding ceremony sn’t expensive. You would be expected to give the celebrant a stipend. You can ask the parish secretary what’s customary but it wouldn’t be much. Any musicians during the wedding itself will charge their own fees, or friends might perform free as a wedding present.

None of those material things are “Catholic related.” Many of the current US wedding fashions come from British Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.

I have been to several very tasteful weddings done very inexpensively. It just requires some creativity. Enlist your friends and family and fellow parishioners.

Amen! A cousin made a nice off-white skirt/blouse outfit for me that could be used for other dress-up occasions. We had an inexpensive sheet cake instead of a pricey “tower.” Mom made the food for lunch and we decorated with home-grown flowers.

Everything was simple, pretty…and cheap. :smiley:

Our honeymoon consisted of enjoying the company of my new out-of-state in-laws. It just didn’t seem right for them to travel 2000 miles only to ditch them to go on a honeymoon.

And that’s what worked for us. :slight_smile:

One of the nice things about a Church wedding is that it is, for some Protestant family & friends, the first time they’ve been to a Catholic Mass. It was the first Mass for my father. I was braced for some anti-Catholic comment but needn’t have worried. He just said it was interesting that the priest “did the dishes” after Communion. :slight_smile:

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