Testimony from Akaya
My husband and I got married in September of 2014. He proposed in June, so we had just three months to plan and pay for our wedding.
My husband bought me a gorgeous engagement ring, we had a wedding with around 300 guests, and then we flew out the next morning to embark upon an exotic honeymoon adventure.
And… we managed to do it all without borrowing money! How did we do it?
1. We set aside our tax refund.
My husband allocated the majority of his unusually large income tax refund in order to pay for my engagement ring and wedding band.
2. We embraced DIY
For our wedding, I browsed Etsy.com to look for ideas that I liked. Then I showed those ideas to some of my creative friends, and they re-created them for me.
One dear friend handmade all of the bouquets for my bridesmaids and me! I also decided to personally hand-make all of the party favors for our guests.
3. We shopped sales.
I purchased my wedding gown for $100 at a wedding dress clearance sale. Some stores have these bi-annually, so I took advantage of it (just days after my husband proposed!)
4. We accepted help.
Even though we didn’t expect our parents to pay for our wedding, they certainly chipped in and helped us in a big way. We received just over $2,000 from our parents.
We had other friends jump in and help in huge ways, too. One friend made our wedding cakes, one made and served punch, and yet another planned out the details of our wedding for us.
We even had one family member pay for our hotel stay for our honeymoon. We initially planned to take a short domestic trip, in order to stay out of debt, but ended up going on an exotic honeymoon adventure to the Riviera Maya, and only had to pay for our flights and food!
5. Skipped what wasn’t necessary
We identified some wedding planning traditions that weren’t necessary for us. One of those was formal invitations. We had what I called an “open invitation wedding”. If you knew us and wanted to be there, you were welcome!
We invited friends on Facebook, and printed 4” x 6” photo invitations through Shutterfly to hand out to friends at church.
6. We remembered what was most important.
The most important things we wanted to remember were that we were joining in holy matrimony, and that our friends and family wanted to celebrate with us. So we took time to intentionally be thankful to the Lord and to our friends and family for this occasion.
Akaya is happily married to her husband, Lee, and the couple resides in Little Rock, Arkansas with their dog Joy. Akaya enjoys public speaking, writing, and hiking, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in communication.
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