The cost of getting married

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I was reading an article in Unlimited, a new Canadian business magazine aimed at young people. The article was about a young, engaged businesswoman who was in the business of buying a wedding dress. She claims the average wedding in Canada costs $25,800.

That seemed a little high to me. But then our wedding cost hardly anything in comparison. I thought I’d post our experience here, so others out the might realize that they don’t have to go into debt to get married. After all, we had enough debt already coming into our marriage. The last thing we needed was to grow it exponentially.

* Mary’s wedding ring: free (from her aunt’s first marriage)
* My wedding ring: $50 at the pawn shop (Mary’s pocket)
* My tux: $120 (my pocket)
* Mary’s dress: $300 for material (paid by Mary’s uncle, sewn by Mary’s aunt)
* Location: free (at the church/temple)
* Officiator: free (provided by the temple)
* Food: uncatered (made by Mary and her mum; paid for by both sets of parents)
* Cake: free (made and donated by Mary’s aunt)
* Decorations: free (donated by a friend of Mary’s family)
* Music: free (donated by friend of Mary’s family)
* Invitations: printed by Mary’s dad on his computer
* Photography: free (donated by a friend)

Having 300 people show up helped make it a success. So did having part of the local band “Zero Avenue” play for us.

29 thoughts on “The cost of getting married

  1. Ward RS members helped out with the food too. And we were really blessed to have kind friends donate their talent and time for things. I didn’t expect it and it was so generous.

  2. Well it looks like you two worked hard to average out the people who drop 100 grande on a wedding – ever hear of flying the wedding party to Hawaii? I have.

  3. Holy cow! I thought my wedding was inexpensive. :)

    We spent around $1500. However, that did not include my engagment ring. But people are floored when I tell them that our cake was fake, the flowers were silk (made by Grandma), the dress was a gift (we paid for material), the refreshments were a gift (other Grandma), the photogrpaher was around for the entire day and gave us all the negatives and prints and he only asked for $150!

    That’s what I love about Temple weddings and find ironic about some civil ones. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to say “till death”, but Mormons spend hardly anything and say “for all eternity.” Oh, the irony.

  4. Mormons spend hardly anything and say “for all eternity.”

    I take it you don’t tithe? ;)

  5. Rick: That reminds me of a comment from a friend of mine. She said, “My husband and I go to date night at the temple. It’s so cheap! It’s movie plus a cheap dinner in the cafeteria. It doesn’t get more economical than that.” And, to which I replied, “How much does it cost you to get that temple recommend? At 10% tithes plus other donations, that’s the most expensive date night on the planet, I think.” She didn’t have a comeback.

  6. Kim, what I meant was it cost 10 percent of their incomes to get those recommends. All things considered, it may be quite expensive to have a ‘simple’ temple ceremony. Your mileage may vary…

  7. I have a friend that when he married, they used the same wedding rings his new wife used (his & hers) from one of her previous marriages. She had a matching set that one of her ex-husbands had purchased.

    I have another friend that would give his dates flowers. I asked him where he got them and he said he went to the funeral home and bought used flowers from them on the cheap.

    Now the secret is out. Buy used.

  8. I do not consider the tithes and offerings I pay as part of the cost of anything. I had a testimony of tithing before I was a member of the LDS church. I am only giving back to the Lord a part of what is His. That the paying of tithing is a partial measure of our commitment and readiness for the temple is incidental to me. I would not consider it part of the cost of my wedding. It is part of my serving the Lord.

  9. Tithing is only part of the cost of a wedding or a date night if you wouldn’t pay tithing if it weren’t part of the temple recommend requirements. I have had a testimony of tithing for longer than I have been LDS. If I were not LDS, I would still be paying tithing.

  10. …if you wouldn’t pay tithing if it weren’t part of the temple recommend requirements.

    As I believe most people would not.

  11. As I believe most people would not.

    I don’t know this is absolute, rick. For example, I paid tithing before I was ever eligible to attend the temple. I know others who did the same. In those cases, most if not all pay because they feel it is the right thing to do and not because it;s the only way to get to the temple.

    Thus, I don’t know we could say most people — or rather most Mormons — wouldn’t pay tithing of it wasn’t part of the temple recommend process.

  12. ‘or rather most Mormons ‘
    That being the obvious exception – I see your point.

    My most was directed at people in general, not just members, so I guess we’re in agreement.

  13. Sort of.

    Except for the fact that some Mormons don’t pay tithing as a means for temple access. One could argue that any donation given by adherents of other Christian religions could be considered a cost of a wedding if they get married in the building where they meet for Sunday services.

    Likewise, one could argue that municipal taxes could be written into wedding costs if one gets married in a municipal park.

  14. hey!! We helped pay for some of your wedding :( And I agree with the comments in regards to paying tithes not part of the temple recommend. I paid for 4 plus years before I ever got to the temple and when I used to be a Catholic I paid tithe offerings every Sunday. Adding it as part of the wedding costs would be like saying I am only paying daycare for my children so I can get a tax deduction. One has nothing to do with the other. Tithes are not part of the costs. There are also a lot of members who get married in the church but NOT at the temple (we have 3 sons that did that)and they may never get to the temple if they married a non-member so it can’t count as a cost.

  15. “One has nothing to do with the other. “

    Only that payment of tithing is a requirement to get the recommend, while putting your kids in daycare is not a requirement in order to get a tax deduction.

  16. Mum

    Oh that’s right! Ok, I knew that (well remember it now, actually some of the little specifics I don’t recall, except for some weird reason my wedding dress fit perfectly the week before we were married and then was way loose the day we got married! what’s that all about??? lol), Kim wrote the post he didn’t know all the specifics :)

    I too have a testimony of tithing and would pay it regardless of going to the temple. Tithing is something that requires a testimony and certainly isn’t payment for a temple recommend.

  17. Tithing is also 10%, it’s not like it’s 50%. And the blessings I get from the Lord way outweigh anything I have to pay in tithing.

  18. “And the blessings I get from the Lord way outweigh anything I have to pay in tithing.”

    You’ve got a balance sheet for that, I take it? =)

  19. If that’s true then why would you say, “Tithing is also 10%, it’s not like it’s 50%.”

    If it’s all His anyway, why don’t you pay 20% tithing?

  20. rick-
    Even if I’m tithed on everything I’ve earned over the course of my life, it still would not add up to the ridiculous amount of money some people spend on their wedding day. My whole point (which obviously sparked this controversy that you seem to be obsessed with) was about the money spent on the wedding day, not a lifetime of service to one’s church. If we’re going to get into that tiniest bit of semantics and detail, then I guess we need to translate time spent in callings into money that could have been earned. Sheesh! It was just an observation. Please, get over it.

  21. “It was just an observation. Please, get over it.”

    I just wanted to point out that you may have overlooked some of the expenses.

    When someone posts something like, “They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to say ’till death’, but Mormons spend hardly anything and say ‘for all eternity.’ Oh, the irony.” it comes off to me as a bit sanctimonious – and I thought you could use the correction.

    Ok, now I’m over it.

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