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Submitted by Jordan Godfrey and Daniel Rock (Fayetteville, AR)

My fiance, Daniel, and I are attempting to raise and give away the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. ($27K!).

As of March 2012, the average cost of a wedding in the United States exceeded $27,000, according to Patricia Reaney of New York, where the average cost of a wedding is $65,824, is the most expensive city in the United States to get married but many couples will spend about $27,000 to tie the knot and that doesn’t include the cost of the honeymoon, Reaney said.

“For the first time since 2008, wedding budgets are on the rise,” said Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot. “In 2011, one in five U.S. couples spent more than $30,000, and 11 percent spent more than $40,000 on their weddings,” she said.

On average, couples that live in Washington County, AR spend between $16,100 and $26, 833 on their wedding. You should expect to pay 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. The amount you pay may also be affected by the number of guests you invite.



When we began discussing our intentions to get married, we knew we didn’t want to spend an unnecessary amount of money on a wedding. We figured the average wedding cost was probably higher than we’d like it to be, but upon doing this research, we were pretty taken aback.

Please don’t misunderstand us—we stand firmly behind the importance and significance of a wedding celebration. It is an incredibly exciting time of honoring a very large commitment to God and one another, witnessed by the most precious people in the bride’s and groom’s lives. But, we don’t believe it means people won’t be hungry or cold that day just miles from where we’re kissing and dancing, either.

So, through several months of bouncing ideas off of one another, we’ve drawn up a proposal to spend that average wedding cost of $27,000 on our wedding day, but not on ourselves. We’ve created a personal budget of $2,000 for our actual wedding costs, and we’d like to ask you to help us raise the remaining $25,000 to donate to a handful of projects through Pure Charity to see how far that money can really go in helping people. For those of you who are invited to our wedding (we wish that could be everyone, but if we’re going to stick to a $2,000 plan, this has to be a pretty intimate little affair), we are more than okay with you using our gift money as a donation instead—we’ll manage just fine without a new toaster. But, if you insist on purchasing a gift, please do so through one of the stores registered here on Pure Charity so a portion of your purchase can be given to one of these projects. Just make sure to create an account and link your card first! We really believe we can come together as people who have more than plenty and make a big impact here!

However, this does not mean we’re planning on hosting a trashy wedding for the sake of proving a point. The other purpose in this plan is to bring our attention back to the love and community aspects of a wedding—we plan to involve friends and family members who would like to gift their time and talents for pieces of the celebration. Aside from saving money, we both think it will be much more meaningful to look back and remember a close photographer friend taking our pictures or the best baker in the family making our cake. It’s an opportunity for us to acknowledge the gifts God has given to people we already know, and to allow our loved ones to really do life with us in this exciting time.

We’ll be adding new projects as current ones become funded, so keep checking back for causes you might be interested in! We’ll also be updating our blog on our wedding website as we plan, so feel free to follow us and stay updated on the whole journey. We are so excited!