Nothing says romance like spending half a year’s salary on a wedding … right?
In 2021, the average wedding cost $28,000, according to an annual survey by The Knot. That amount jumped to $34,000 if you include the engagement ring.
That’s a huge reason why popular Instagrammer Jessica Clifton (@impactforgood) is getting so much praise lately. In mid-September, Clifton shared how she saved over $20,000 on her wedding, thanks to simple cost-cutting and waste-reducing decisions.
“Western weddings are now very consumer-driven and you spend thousands of dollars on things you don’t need,” Clifton says in her viral video.
Clifton married her husband, Houston, in the spring of 2019. But her low-cost wedding — which featured natural decor, recycled flower vases, and thrifted dresses for bridesmaids — is just now getting attention thanks to a profile by Insider.
As Clifton said in her interview, and later in her Instagram Reel, she spent just $5,000 on her sustainable wedding. She and her then-fiance borrowed tables, tablecloths, and lights from their friends and families, and hosted the ceremony on a Christmas tree farm owned by a family member.
The natural setting provided a decorative space with little cost and effort. To match the aesthetic, they upcycled used wine bottles into vases and old yogurt jars into candle holders.
In her video, Clifton admitted she initially had no clue how to host a sustainable wedding, but she was ultimately fascinated by the idea of creating as little waste as possible.
“As it turns out, all you have to do is make one small decision at a time,” she says in the clip.
Instagram commenters loved Clifton’s advice and praised her for explaining it so simply.
“I love this! More brides need to know that a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to cost a car,” one user wrote.
“This is amazing!!! Taking notes,” another wrote.
Follow The Cool Down on Instagram and TikTok.