Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for placement of sponsored products or services and this may affect our decision about who to promote and where to promote them. We make every effort to be authentic and accurate with every article we write.


I was totally frugal that one time

Dude, what is up with all the wedding posts lately? I know June is huge for weddings, but geez Louise! On that note, here’s a wedding post. The best one, obviously, because I wrote it and I’m awesome.

I’ve made a lot of money mistakes. Like a lot. I took out the maximum amount of loans in school when I didn’t need to. I ran up my credit cards more times than I would like to admit. I financed a car with an 11.67% interest rate. I over-drafted my checking account like twenty times freshman year. You get the picture. But there was this one time when I was totally frugal. One day* that I can look back on and say, I did something right financially. That day is November 6, 2009. Also known as my wedding day.

November 6, 2009: Fifteen people filed into the courthouse (one was wearing white and wondering if anyone was buying it). Emotion filled the air! There was joy, there was anger, there was confusion, there was a LOT of awkwardness – but that’s what happens when a twenty-year-old gets married to her boyfriend of six months. Ah, memories…

As a total spendthrift, one would probably expect me to charge up those credit cards and have a schmancy soiree. In actuality, the whole thing cost around $800 (plus another $500ish for rings). Why? A) I hate weddings and B) I wasn’t concerned with the wedding, I just wanted to be married to my bestest friend. So if you are more concerned with marriage than a party and/or you really freaking hate weddings, check out these three steps for getting married on the cheap.


Step 1: Realize that you don’t need half the shit people say you do. Dress, tux, marriage license, rings, witnesses. That’s pretty much all you need – and technically, the dress, tux, and rings aren’t required. Throw in food for good measure. If you want to throw a huge party, go for it! I’m just saying it isn’t actually necessary.

Step 2: Plan absolutely nothing. Seriously, don’t do anything. Nothing. (Anyone else just read that in Paul Rudd’s voice? If not you haven’t watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall enough times.) It freaks out the people around you and they start taking care of things. Case in point, my mother picked out and paid for my wedding dress and a friend of mine came up THE DAY BEFORE and made my hair and nail appointments and dinner reservations. I find that if you don’t do anything, someone else will take care of it.

Note: I don’t recommend leaving most things up to others. Your finances, for example, should not be left up to other people to control. My wedding was highly irrelevant to me. What I cared about was the marriage. And once again, the friendly disclaimer, I am not saying that people who have big weddings don’t care about the actual marriage. Retract your claws, please.

Step 3: Live happily ever after. Do you know what happens when your wedding is cheap and simple? You don’t stress about it. Seriously, I am the most neurotic person in the world and November 6, 2009 was the most relaxed and simple day in my life.

I know people say that your wedding is the most important day of your life. It’s not. It’s not even the most important day in your marriage. It may actually be the LEAST important day in your marriage. If your wedding is the greatest day of your life, you aren’t doing marriage right. Plain and simple. It’s all show, the substance comes afterwards.

I’m not hating on people who throw big weddings. That’s your prerogative. If that’s what makes you happy, by all means, go for it. Just consider that maybe it’s not necessary to have heart ice sculptures (how do those not melt?!) and crab cakes for 400 of your closest friends. Maybe you can save money and still have a happy marriage. Maybe, just maybe you can make the decision to spend less on a glorified party and more on building a financially stable life. Doesn’t that sound romantic?

So onward, young lovers! Feel free to make “frugally” eyes at each other as you ride off into the sunset.

Are you guys in the cheap or pricey or midrange wedding camp? How much was your wedding? What young marriage statistics would you like to scold me with?

*I lied. There is totally a second time I made a good financial decision. March 23, 2012 – opened my first retirement account. Because I’m a baller. Holla.

[Image from Buzzfeed]

Photo of author

Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
Want to Say in the Loop?

Get the latest updates we offer about all things "Money" by signing up for the CashBlog newsletter.

As Seen on

The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.