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Finances & Money

How to plan a FREE wedding and reception!

My friend Chris (aka “realist” here on Clever Dude) provided a perfect plan for a totally free wedding:

1. Find people who are the same size as you and ask to borrow their clothes. No one would think its tacky.

2. Have the wedding and reception in a public park. Therefore you would pay nothing at all for the place.

3. Have a “Picnic Reception“, where everyone brings their own food (aka “Potluck”).

4. Make sure the water fountains work, along with the outhouses.

5. Tell the local street preacher that he can have some ‘tater salad if he marries you for free.

6. Rings…well, robbing graves is only illegal if you get caught.

7. Honeymoon…that is what free weekends that show off timeshares are all about.

8. Music…ask all your guests to leave their cars tuned to the same radio station and leave the doors open.

These tasks shall not only impress everyone, but make you seem like the smartest person ever!

As a side note, I have no doubt that Chris would actually do all 8 for his own wedding! Anyone else have some frugal wedding tips?

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Clever Dude


  • It’s actually pretty easy to have a free wedding and a free reception…

    At our small church, you can simply ask the minister to perform a brief ceremony (for friends and families) and then gather in the fellowship hall (aka social hall) for finger foods… people in the church bring simple snacks, wedding takes like 10 minutes, maybe sing a congregational hymn, eat a few snacks, it’s over…

  • You forgot about the flowers!!! Pick dandelions in the park or borrow flowers from your neighbor’s garden. You could actually make a cute little halo (headpiece?) from several dandelions.

  • My husband and I actually did have a very-nearly-free wedding. Here’s how:

    Ceremony — JP at the courthouse $10 (+$20 for the license)
    Rings — we used our parents’ rings (they are divorced so they don’t wear them anymore) ($90 to resize 2 rings)
    Reception — Restaurant lunch (my father in law took care of the bill, but alternatively we could have had the guests pay their own)
    Clothes — our own closets (free)
    Flowers — a gift from my grandparents, but we could have done without

    We did, however, have to pay $40 to order a copy of my husband’s birth certificate — ouch!

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