|Yes, I wore a tux...|
In 44 years as a Jesus-follower and pastor I have officially performed one bazillion weddings. That is a lot of rehearsal dinners and wedding reception dinners.
1. I have done one bazillion weddings.
2. Therefore, I am overweight.
When I think of these weddings what I remember is not the food, but the people. The most beautiful weddings I have seen have to do with the marital couple, and who they are. All the money in the world cannot cover over two clueless people. But a groom and bride who submit their lives to God and then to the serving of the other shine like stars in the materialistic darkness. I am thinking of some of them now. They loved, and still do. Their love influenced others, without trying to.
It's really about preparing for marriage and life together, not the wedding day. The more the former happens, the greater is that special day.
I present to you a wedding plan. Here are the costs, in my Monroe community.
Wedding planner - $0. (I charge nothing for this advice.)
Officiant - $0. (I charge nothing to officiate your wedding.)
Building rental - $0. (We can have your wedding outdoors. We've had weddings in our backyard, on the river.)
Groom's tuxedo - $0. (The groom wears nice clothing that can be worn again.)
Bridal gown - $0. (The bride wears nice clothing that can be worn again.)
Flowers - $0. (From your mother's garden.)
Photographer - $0. (Because all your friends have smart phones.)
Food - cost per plate - $0. (Your friends bring finger foods. That's what Linda and I did, and we had 350 people at our wedding.)
Miscellaneous costs - $0.
Marriage license in Monroe County - $20.
Pen to sign marriage license - $0. (I will lend you mine.)
Total costs - $20
Stress - less.
Relationship - more.
I have done some weddings like this. I remember them for the inner beauty of the couple and the presence of God.
(See, e.g., "Is Simplicity the Newest Wedding Trend?")