$31,000 for a Wedding?! How About $1,694…

So you know that road trip we went on last week? Yeahhhhh….we got married and we had our honeymoon!

That escalated quickly…

The original plan was to get married in Costa Rica but I was supposed to do that “lucrative internship”  so all of our savings and planning went towards weathering our living expenses instead. Our wedding plans were going to be placed on hold for my “career” which was such a shitty feeling. We were bummed but it was what it was.

Or so we thought. Thankfully those internship plans fell through and we planned a road trip to Savannah and Charleston just to get away for a bit. We weren’t originally planning on getting married but it sucked to think “hey, we were supposed to get married in a month” with no real plan to get married anytime soon. It sucked to just wait for no reason in particular until we got to thinking….”what exactly are we waiting for?!”

Besides the money aspect, not much. According to this post I found on the Huffington Post, the cost of the average wedding in the United States was over $31,000. Holy. Shit.

But being the ballers on a budget that we are, we knew we could do it for a lot cheaper. We decided we wanted to elope to save money, save ourselves a bunch of stress, and actually enjoy the act of becoming married instead of trying to please everyone on “our” special day. Besides, the only dance I know is the “Bernie” and grandma wouldn’t have appreciated that as our first dance. Dodged that bullet!

My (now) wife got her wedding dress altered, we ordered rings, and did some research as to how the hell we’d actually get married. (Well, she did the research…)

She came across Elizabeth and her business, Elope to Savannah, and it was game over; we were all set to get married.

So how much exactly did we spend on the Wedding?

  • Her dress: $600
  • Alterations: $178
  • My suit: Free (thankfully I work at a place where I suit up from time to time)
  • Wedding bands: $310 (for both)
  • Her hair: $140
  • Flower bouquet: $20 (she made it herself from silk flowers)
  • Elopement package: $300 (officiant and photographer)
  • Marriage license: $66
  • Dinner afterwards: $80

Grand total for our Wedding: $1,694

So why did we decide to elope?

  • We wanted our wedding to be about us. I don’t mean to toot our own horn but we’re pretty selfless and put others first a lot of the time but we wanted to be selfish for once. We wanted our day to be about US. We didn’t want to have to accommodate everyone else.
  • We didn’t want to go into debt just to get married. All of our wedding expenses came out of pocket…no debt and no asking for gifts. We wanted to get our marriage off on the right foot and debt wasn’t a part of the plan.
  • We didn’t want to deal with all the planning that’s involved with a traditional wedding. (Finding a venue, sending out invitations, coordinating colors, planning a food menu, finding a dj, etc.) Ain’t no one got time for that!
  • We wanted to have a change of scenery and not have our wedding where we live. We wanted it to be special but not expensive. We wanted it to be meaningful but not materialistic. I’d say we accomplished that! It’s about the act of becoming married, not about how flashy or glamorous or expensive it is.
  • We wanted to actually have a honeymoon and not break the bank in the process. I know way too many couples that never had a honeymoon because life got in the way in one way or another. We wanted to have an adventure and we definitely did.

If you’re planning a wedding, I hope we’ve given you some food for thought. We told a couple family members including my parents of our plans beforehand because I’m an only child and didn’t want to get disowned. (Hi mom and dad!) If you need some help figuring out what to tell them, shoot me a message because I’d love to help.

If you’re married, did you elope? If you didn’t, do you wish you would have?

Added bonus: Gentlemen, there’s no real rule as to how much you should spend on an engagement ring. The idea that you should spend a month’s salary or whatever is some bullshit. If you go into debt for an engagement ring, you’re an idiot and you’re starting your marriage off on the wrong foot.

Ladies, if you want your future husband to get an engagement ring you’ll actually enjoy wearing for the rest of your life, make a secret board on Pinterest that only you and he can see and pin rings that you like. He’ll take the fuckin’ hint. If he doesn’t, he’s a loser and you’re better off without him.


  1. Congrats again, Marc! Eloping is definitely the best option and makes this huge moment in your life more significant when its shared between the two people getting married. A traditional wedding just seems like a production for the guests.


    • Thank you sir! A week later and we’re still happy with our decision and everyone we’ve told is so happy for us. We felt the same way about a traditional wedding and are so glad we didn’t go that route!


  2. I’m glad you showed this perspective. My (now) husband and I were engaged for a year and a half waiting for the right time when we could afford our dream wedding. Then one day there was the same epiphany of why are we waiting? We didn’t elope, but planned a small scale wedding and spent less than $1,500. We got the photos and our family got to see us but overall we didn’t put ourselves in a bad position financially. Sharing this!


    • We realized that the timing would never be right so we should just go for it! It didn’t matter how we got married but more so that we were married


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