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How to get Married for Under $500

Updated on April 8, 2013
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At the tender age of 23 I decided to get married. My fiancé and I were excited at the idea of finally being together, but soon got discouraged as we looked into how much money would have to be spent. While we were well off financially, we did not have thousands of dollars laying around to spend. We quickly began to look into cheaper options for a wedding. We wanted an affordable wedding that was still beautiful and memoriable. After a lot of research and phone calls we planned out wedding. Here are the four tips that I found for planning a budget friendly wedding.

Getting married in court is easy and affordable
Getting married in court is easy and affordable | Source

1. Have a Court Marriage

Court weddings are not only cheap and affordable marriages, but they are also very simple! Getting married in court will save you a lot of money, since you only pay for the ceremony itself, the liscence, and any fees. Contact the civil court in your area to learn about any fees, restrictions, or requirements to get married in court. Then, make an appointment for your wedding, in some states there is a waiting period between getting your liscence and having the wedding. With civil court marriages you can't just walk in and expect to be married on the spot. Wedding usually take place during normal business hours M-F, some places have weekend appointments available as well for an extra cost. Some states require you to have witnesses. Also look into saving some additional cash by taking a premarital class. these classes can also knock off the waiting period and help save some time. Having a court wedding wont hurt your pocket book as badly as a wedding in a venue or church, and you can always have a reception afterwards with friends and family to celebrate the event.

2. Find an Affordable Dress

While its fun and exciting to go to dress shops and try on wedding dresses. The dresses there can also be very expensive. Even the "discounted" dresses can be a bit much. If you really want to save money on your wedding and get married cheap, I suggest finding a simple white dress. How you do this is up to you, you can check discount racks at your favorite retailer, or even look online. Or you can do like I did and find a cute white dress at a loveable price. I found plenty of options online by searching for affordable white dresses. i ended up finding my beautiful dress at Express and bought the dress and jewelry for $100.

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Buy Rings at Pawn Shop

Rings are expensive! When my fiancé and I went ring shopping, looking for an affordable ring, we left every store feeling like in order to get the perfect ring we would have to get into debt. Jewellry stores are quick to offer you credit and payment plans, but if you really want to keep your wedding within a good budget I suggest finding a used ring in Pawn Shop. There are many beautiful rings there that you can easily buy without sinking yourself into debt. Plus shopping at Pawn Shops can be fun and excitin. You can find some real treasures! Buying your ring at a pawn Shop will help you to stay within your budget when planning for your wedding.

Take a Minimoon or Honeymoon at Home

Your honeymoon should be all about relaxing and enjoying each other as a newly wed couple. But high prices of travel and lodging can make planning one very stressful. It can be hard to plan out a budget friendly honeymoon but fear not, it is possible. There is a new trend of taking minimoons. A minimoon is a small honeymoon. A couple could take a short trip to a beautiful place and spend just a few nights there. The other option is to Honeymoon at home. With this option you can either literally stay at home, and plan romantic things to do there, or you can plan to stay somewhere close to home like a Cabin. Focus on keeping it simple and beautiful, save the extravagant things for later in life when you can enjoy and afford them. For my honeymoon, my husband and I stayed at his grandparents second home on a lake. We spent a few days there spending much needed quality time together.

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