Love is something we can’t buy or sell, yet it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give and receive. Getting married is an affirmation that two people love each other so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. There is a lot of meaning behind a wedding, but there can also be massive expenses. I’m lucky to be married to my best friend, and we share many of the same values. For both of us, a huge wedding wasn’t what we wanted. In fact we only spent $20 getting married, and Mrs. CK wanted to share the story of our simple ceremony.

Picture of bride carrying groom.Strong woman!

Hi everyone, Mrs. Crazy Kicks here to tell you all about our $20 wedding. The marriage license at city hall was $20, but Mr. CK reminds me, we did spend about $200 on flowers and rings. You should’ve seen the looks on the jewelers’ faces when we told them we were getting married the next day. What a couple of rookies – we could have ordered the rings online (affiliate link) for a tenth of the price.

A simple ceremony is a stress free ceremony

It was a sunny, breezy day in July. The ladies at city hall remarked that it was nice we dressed up and had flowers. Mr. CK got a bouquet and a boutonniere all on his own. It still amazes me that he thought to do that. The little ol’ judge suggested we go outside since it was such a beautiful day. A kind passerby offered to take pictures of the ceremony – he even got a video of us tearing up during our vows. We took more photos at the park while calling family to break the news. The day was lovely, easy, happy, and all ours. It was perfect.

Picture of wedding rings.Our simple wedding ceremony was stress free

What if my fiance doesn’t want a simple ceremony?

Everyone has their own reasons for being with who they’re with, and for wanting/needing a big wedding. I can only speak for us. I’m a pianist turned engineer turned corporate overlord turned professor. My preferred mode of personal interaction is admiration from afar. I don’t like to fuss. When I’m not overly overachieving, I have an uncanny inclination for laziness. Mr. CK, being cheaper than me and almost as lazy, also was in favor of a simple ceremony. I probably wouldn’t have fallen in love with him if he was a grand-gesture-needing kind of person whose great aspiration was spending a lot of money on one really fancy party.

What will family and friends say about missing our wedding?

Our simple ceremony was one of the most selfish things we’ve ever done. I gave my mom a heads up that she wasn’t getting a wedding. She was remarkably OK with her only child robbing her of an over-the-top, multi-continent spectacle. My dad passed away the year before. He always cheered me doing things my way. (While I was in grad school aging and over-educating myself out of the marriage market, he famously declared to the family, “She doesn’t need a husband” and put the topic to bed for good.) Later, the only observation my mom made of the event was, “I was so surprise she want to get married. She doesn’t even… even… like any people!” My mom loves Mr. CK. He’s the easygoing kid she never had.

Mr. CK has three siblings and a pretty laid back family. They all would have been happy to participate in our wedding, but were just super thrilled that we got married. When we called them after the wedding, they were too busy being excited for us to have any commentary on not having been included.

My best friend was upset for awhile. Like way more and longer than I expected. It took her by surprise that I would even get married. Also, I texted her the news. (I know – she puts up with a lot.) She got over it eventually, after everyone to whom she groused explained to her what a huge favor I did by not making her organize a bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc.

So all is well in CK-land. All of our loved ones still love us.

Picture of wedding rings.

What about the honeymoon?

Having been spared a colossal expense, my mom gave us money to go on a honeymoon. At first we investigated one big trip to Fiji, then reconsidered our strategy. Instead of doing one expensive honeymoon, we managed to go on five cheaper ones: an already-scheduled vacation to Newport right after the wedding, then to Jamaica, Hawaii, the Florida Keys and back to Jamaica, all within a year. It was, as Mr. CK would say, fuckin’ awesome.

Picture of florida keys vacation.

Still going strong after a decade

We’ve been married for almost nine years, which is like 10 years, which is a decade, which is a long time. We are very different people, but we align on the fundamentals. I love school, he still bristles at the thought. He likes people, I’d rather be left alone. I’m not as smart as I think I am, he’s smarter than he thinks he is. I’m a risk taker, he’s cautious.

We’re both pretty funny – we laugh a lot. We enjoy being outside and getting our hands in the dirt. We love snorkeling amongst sea-creatures, hiking mountains and streams, finding a shady spot on a sunny beach, and playing in the surf. We agree on what is worth our money, time, and effort, because we agree on what is fundamentally important. We’re cheap, yet generous; lazy, yet energetic; nerdy, yet cool(?). Since quitting our jobs, we are even more in tune with living a good life together, and we are having the time of our lives.