Today is our one month wedding anniversary! We got married on a Friday the 13th, and I couldn’t be luckier. We had a simple courthouse wedding with only my family, my cousin (who is my best friend), and one of Cassie’s close friends. My parents had a small courthouse wedding and they’ll be celebrating their 30th anniversary later this year, so courthouse weddings seem to be the way to go, at least in our family.
The average wedding in the US costs $29,858, and in our region of Florida the average cost is even higher at $42,038. So, in honor of my one month-iversary, I thought I’d do a breakdown of what we spent. (Hint: It’s way less than $42,038.)
Our Courthouse Wedding Budget Breakdown
Cassie’s engagement ring is vintage from an estate collection, and it’s made from diamonds and white gold. I found it through a local jeweler; it was already a good deal because it was part of an estate collection, and then the salesperson gave me 25% off without me even asking. This ring accounts for about 70% of our total ring costs.
Cassie’s wedding band is just an inexpensive platinum plated band. She ordered my wedding band from Etsy; it’s wood with a rose gold inlay. The band she originally ordered was slightly too big, so on top of the cost of the ring itself, she paid a $59 resizing fee.
My outfit: $629.19
I always said that when I got married, I would buy myself a custom suit. I did, and I love it.
As someone who has a hard time finding masculine clothes that fit well (without shopping in the kid’s department) I could never find a suit that fit right. Kids’ suits have tiny little baby lapels and I’m always drowning in men’s suits.
I sent in my measurements to Oliver Wicks and ordered a custom three-piece suit. It comes with $100 of tailoring credit during the first year if it’s not a perfect fit when it arrives, but mine fit great right out of the bag. I chose a navy suit so that I can get plenty more use out of it over the years.
I also ordered a new tie.
Since it was just a short courthouse wedding (and we had gone to school with the photographer) he only charged us for an engagement shoot. We love our photos and highly recommend Next Best Men Wedding Photographers.
Cassie’s Outfit: $175.39
Cassie originally bought a short white dress that was more of a typical courthouse wedding style. Then, she found the dress she ended up wearing online through the designer’s website. It only cost $106.92 after shipping and taxes. Her shoes were from DSW and came to $68.47.
Marriage Certificate & Ceremony Fee: $116
We got a piece of paper with a fancy gold seal for $86. Plus, $30 paid for them to actually perform the ceremony.
We made all of our wedding decorations ourselves, and because we got married close to Christmas, our house (and the courthouse) were already decorated. This cost factors in a wooden cake stand, a cut of velvet fabric for our counter, a brown paper pennant sign, wine bottle LED lights, and a few other supplies. Cassie also got crafty and made a beautiful sign using window markers, ribbon, flowers, acrylic paint, and an old picture frame that our neighbor found out on the curb.
We bought most of our flowers by the stem from a local florist, and bought a few extra stems from Trader Joe’s. Cassie used the flowers to make her own bouquet and flower crown, then we used the extra flowers and greenery as decorations for around the house. Floral tape, wire, and ribbon costs are included in the miscellaneous decorations cost.
We turned on the crockpot and made salsa verde chicken tacos for our friends and family on the night of the wedding. We also made a full brunch for my family the next morning.
Our Dog Carob’s Outfit: $31.80
Yeah, we were those people. Cassie ordered a bowtie from Etsy.
There were a few costs that we didn’t pay for ourselves that aren’t included in that number. My parents brought a cake from the grocery store ($25), a couple bottles of champagne and wine (around $75), and paid for the drinks at the brewery (around $120).
We spent less than 6% of what the typical wedding in our area costs, and we could have easily spent even less. But it was exactly what we wanted; an absolutely beautiful day, full of love, joy, and laughter. And zero stress. I honestly wouldn’t change anything about it.
We started the day off walking a dog together (so I guess we actually earned some money too, haha). Afterwards, we grabbed some coffee downtown, walked to Bayfront Park, and sat on a bench and talked for a while. During our bachelorette days, my cousin had facilitated a cute couples’ quiz with each of us, and so we got to go over the answers together.
It was nice starting the day with a quiet moment, just the two of us.
We came home and started prepping the food for that evening and getting the house ready. Cassie made her bouquet and flower crown from flowers we had picked up earlier in the week.
My family arrived and we all got ready before leaving for the courthouse. We got married in a quick ceremony, took photos, then went back to the house for a champagne toast and tiny cupcakes. After that, we went to our favorite brewery to meet up with a few friends we had invited to celebrate with us. There was live music, yard games, and we got to bring our dog, Carob.
After the brewery, we all went back to our place for dinner and cake. We ate, drank, and danced some more. My brother made a speech that made everyone cry, and then we kicked everyone out (in a nice way).
We got married only 3 weeks after getting engaged (Cassie needed affordable health insurance as soon as possible now that she’s working for herself), so we plan on having another slightly larger wedding celebration and vow renewal in two years with Cassie’s family as well as some extended family and friends.
Even so, we wanted to make sure that our courthouse wedding still felt special. And it did. Funnily enough, I think it will be hard to beat. “Second Wedding”, as we keep calling it when we talk about it, will be low-key too.
It will probably be a backyard wedding, and since we already have the rings, suit, and dress, it will probably cost less than this one — even with entertaining more people.