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Jour 45: Getting married for $73.34 in 1972

It's nearly my parents' wedding anniversary (which is a few days after Valentine's, for a variety of reasons mostly including they're awesome and probably didn't even think of the proximity to Valentine's Day). So, this seemed like a good time to re-run one of my favourite posts ever:



My Mother and her $73.34 wedding


So, I'm still going through a bunch of personal finance blogs and all of these suggestions people had for how to have a frugal Valentine's Day. There are also a lot of articles out there about how to have a frugal wedding.

But I think that everybody must bow down in respect to the frugality of my amazing parents, and their $73.34 wedding.



Young Michael Caine. Easily mistaken for my father in 1972. Same glasses, same hair.


Picture it: Halifax, Nova Scotia. 1972. A handsome, young-Michael-Caine-ish man prepares to marry his lovely, young-Joan-Baez-ish girlfriend. One of the many things that had initially drawn them together was their shared obsession with writing down all of their daily expenses, and then balancing at the end of the day. This day would be the day of the Great Joining Of The Budget Notebooks.



Young Joan Baez. Again, my mother's 1970s doppelganger. The hair, the bralessness.


OK, first, my mother wants to remind you that this was still the post-hippie world. She says, "You must remember that this was in 1972, in the midst of a hippie-inspired back to the land culture. Weddings took place on beaches, in woodland groves.... I think the sentiment about our wedding was 'Well at least they did get married.' I don't think over the top fairy tale weddings were the norm. In fact, it seems to me that Margaret Trudeau made her wedding dress."

Margaret and Pierre Trudeau, 1971
(Note: yes, my mother is correct, Margaret Trudeau did make her wedding dress)

My mother also made her own wedding dress, a simple blue linen A-line, which she later altered to be a skirt. In my re-imagining of this story, I like to think that it eventually became dishcloths or dust rags, but I think I'm just exaggerating.

It is also useful to point out that they used leftover flowers from a previous ceremony (either another wedding or a funeral, Mom doesn't remember for sure). Frugality at its finest! Free wedding flowers!

Anyway, my mother obviously still has the ledger from the weekend of their wedding:

February 11      Priest, etc.                    $11
February 13      Wedding weekend      $19
February 14      Laundry, grocery         $5
February 15      Gas, cat food                $7
February 17      Chargex (rings)            $43.34

For the wedding "reception," they took everyone to the Henry House pub (note: my grandfather paid for everyone's dinner)

So, when I am wallowing in the despair of my new frugal lifestyle, I can always look to my mother as a Frugal Icon. (Note: my father is also a Frugal Icon, you can read about him here)


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