According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. in 2021 was $28,000. But one bride was determined to have her dream ceremony on a highly affordable budget. Kiara (nee Draper) and Joel Brokenbrough, married in February 2022, successfully carried out a beautiful wedding for just $500.
“Our goal was to just be as minimal as possible,” Kiara told “Good Morning America.” “And to spend the least amount of money as possible.”
Kiara, a social media manager and vlogger, shared everything on her YouTube channel and other social media platforms.
Instead of shelling out thousands for a dress, she purchased a gorgeous gown online for less than $50.
“The dress only cost $47 because I ordered it from SHEIN, a clothing website based in China,” she told Insider, adding that the $500 they spent on the wedding included the cost of her dress and Joel’s $100 tuxedo.
She shared some clips of the ceremony in this TikTok video.
In another TikTok post, she explained how they pulled off their affordable yet beautiful wedding. They had the ceremony in a public area, so the only costs for the “venue” were the chairs and the arch.
You can see the overlook in her wedding video on YouTube:
Family members gifted the aisle runner, the flowers and the cake. Rather than hosting a traditional reception, the newlyweds and their guests (immediate family and closest friends) met up at a hotel lounge.
“They had music, they had drinks, they had a bar, it was classy” Kiara shared in the TikTok video. “So we kind of just took a place that already had everything we wanted. We all migrated over there.”
Guests placed their own orders, paid for their own food and drinks, and spent the evening dancing and celebrating.
The bride and groom, who is a high school coach, didn’t want to go into their marriage in debt. They have no regrets about their decision and don’t feel that the amount they spent on the event overshadows the day’s significance.
“Overall, I’m happy that I decided to have a modest and intimate ceremony, and I’m really proud to have spread a message that it’s more important to invest in your marriage than your wedding day or your outfit,” Kiara told Insider.
Congrats to the happy — and on-budget — couple!