Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Wedding Cost $303.50

I am now Mrs. Moore.

Tim and I had discussed wedding possibilities since we got engaged in September. Neither of us were real jazzed about having a conventional ceremony and reception.

So we went to the Pinellas County Courthouse in Florida, where we both now live, last Thursday. (That's why I've been absent from blogging the past few days) It was all that we could hope for.

Instead of spending close to $30,000 on a wedding, we spent $303.50: $111 for the license and six official notarized copies, $30 to have a Deputy Clerk perform the two-minute ceremony, and $12.50 for a commemorative paper framed portrait with the county logo on it. Awesome.

I swear, this sign really was on the door to the ceremony room.

You could say this is a bit hokey, but I'm glad we got married this way. It was simple and just the two of us.

The wedding day is supposed to celebrate the love of two people. I think we did just that.

Afterwards, we ate lunch at the beach and spent the night at a resort. (That was another $150 for both of those bringing the total to just over $300)

The next day we both moved into a rented condo that I was originally going to live in alone.

That was our honeymoon. =)

I did not realize how popular this option really is. At least three of my coworkers wed at the courthouse. Another one wants to do that with her boyfriend. (One guy said he and his now-wife were working as aerial photographers. They met at the courthouse in their flight suits, got married, went through a McDonald's drive thru, and then went back to work)

It was a little strange having a wedding without friends or family present, but since I'm a rather private person about this sort of thing, it was more comfortable for me. (Writing, not so much since it feels more anonymous somehow)

If you are engaged or comtemplating marriage, it's a route I highly recommend. No stressful planning, high costs, or complications.


that guy said...



Jennifer said...

Thanks Matt! This is kind of random, but I recently had a dream with you and Brandon Rockwell in it. Weird, huh?

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I married in our lunch hour one Monday, went to McDonalds for lunch and then both went back to work that same day. We also didn't tell anyone for six weeks. It was a wonderful and frugal way to get married.

A year later, we did the big shindig with the white dress etc, but you know - looking back, I wish i hadn't done that and just saved the money instead. I feel guilty about how much my parents had to pay in the end.

However, 23 years later and just as much (if not more) in love, we are still married and enjoying each other's company.

Congratulations on your marriage. May you have many happy years ahead of you. Marriage is a good institution to be in! :-)

thesciencegirl said...

WOW! Congratulations!

Sarah said...

Holy. Shit.

Congratulations, Jen!!!

Anonymous said...


When I was engaged (and 17.. so I was broke), I tossed around the idea of getting married by a justice of a peace, but the ex was having none of it. He came from an old monied family that had a tradition of elaborate weddings. That's when I knew it would never work :)

Marianne said...

are you kidding me??? JEN!? AMAZING! Congratulation to both of you. Jen, my dear friend, I'm so happy for you.

Donna Freedman said...

Congratulations, Jennifer. I hope your happpiness will continue to grow.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It may help convince some people who were ambivalent about a big ceremony to follow their gut instinct and do it the way you did.
You're just as married as anyone else -- and you're NOT IN DEBT.
Blessings to you both.

Jennifer said...

Thank you Donna! I'm a huge fan of yours and your well wishing means a lot to me!

Jennifer said...

To add... I loved all the posts you wrote about your daughter's wedding. It was so creative and if we were to have more of a traditional nuptial, I'd hope it could be like the one you helped to plan!

solteros said...

now you can make your anniversary celebrations something really to look forward to! i'm so happy for you!

Shari said...

Congratulations. I sure hope that my daughters won't want to waste a lot of money on wedding stuff. My sister had a very small wedding and spent money on a honeymoon cruise.

Donna Freedman said...

Thanks for your kind words, Jennifer.
One question about that math. You said you spent $233.50: $111 for the license and six official notarized copies, $30 to have a Deputy Clerk perform the two-minute ceremony, and $12.50 for a commemorative paper framed portrait with the county logo on it.
That comes to $153.50. Where'd the extra $80 come from?

Jennifer said...

Donna you're right! Oops! Although, we did spend about $90 on a hotel, and about $60 on meals. I will change the title of the post! Haha.

Donna_Freedman@hotmail.com said...

Hi Jennifer,
Nobody likes a math geek, I know. ;-)
I just wrote a Smart Spending blog post about your experiences. Here's hoping it encourages others to do what works for them rather than overspending on something they may not actually want.
Here's the link:
Again, congratulations.
Best regards,
Donna Freedman

Jennifer said...

Wow! Did you really??? That's crazy! Haha!

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

Congratulations! I love that you did it on a dime!

Sarah said...

oh my gosh, Jen, I didn't even know you got married and then I just randomly found your blog today and was like, "What? Your husband?"


Andrew.flanagan@gmail.com said...

Jen -- Congratulations! That's really awesome. :-)