The offbeat bride: Raina, Graphic Designer

Her offbeat groom: Mike, freelance photographer and TV production guy


Location & date of wedding: The Clayville town library in Clayville, NY

What made our wedding offbeat: We really wanted to save a lot of money and keep it simple, simple, SIMPLE! We only had seven people at the ceremony besides the two of us.


We did it at the tiny library in the town I grew up in. It was perfect because it was so small on the inside, and it happed to be a church at one point which lent itself to the layout of the ceremony well.

We didn't have a religious ceremony but it was kind of cute to be in an old church-turned-library (and my job involves designing book jackets, so it was extra special!).


We spent the tiniest fraction of money you can on a wedding — we did this because we live in Brooklyn (high rent!) and our parents didn't have money to give us so we knew we just had to be creative. The first step was to cut out guests and the whole idea of a reception.


I wore my mother's wedding dress from 1979 which just so happened to be exactly what I was looking for in a dress!


The only expense there was to have it taken in slightly and cleaned up a bit. Mike wore his grandfather's wedding band, my mom and I did the flowers ourselves, and we had one of our good friends take all of the photos. Add in the cost of dinner for nine people and we spent literally under 600 dollars on EVERYTHING!

It was small, intimate, and the day was so memorable because of it. Everyone involved had a part — my brother was my “man of honor”! I just couldn't have hoped for anything better.


Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was dealing with all of the family drama that came along with not inviting my grandmother, and our aunts and uncles and cousins. We had to hear a lot of snide remarks, and people being hurt that we didn't invite them! Our friends all understood — it's so hard to be young and live in such an expensive city, so they were just happy that we were doing it OUR way. Family, however, just didn't understand why we weren't doing this huge, 200 guest shindig. I just have NEVER wanted that, or the stress that comes with it.

We had to politely explain, again and again and AGAIN (people just didn't get it) that this was OUR DAY! And we can do what WE want! It's a hard concept for family to grasp.

We had a hard time keeping our cool having to tell them over and over, but in the end, we really didn't want to offend anyone.


My favorite moment: My favorite moment of the day was right before my dad walked me down the aisle. While everyone was inside of the library waiting for us, we had a few minutes for a nervous chat and a few laughs, out in the lobby and just the look on my dad's face as we got ready to walk down the aisle (which was actually a row of bookshelves!) was wonderful and priceless. I always knew how much my dad loved me, but this was a moment that only happens once in a lifetime, and I'll never forget it. It sounds awfully cheesy, but I was loving it.

My offbeat advice for anyone else planning a library wedding: Do what YOU want!!! I feel like I always read this advice on offbeat bride, but it's so, so important.

If you want a small wedding, find a way! If you want a huge one, find a way! Make a budget, too. If it's 500 dollars, trust me, you can do it.

If you want a huge wedding, that's fine, just plan out exactly what your vision is before you go forward. You can do it!


Meet your new BFF wedding vendor

Trending with our readers

Comments on Behold this $500 library wedding

  1. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I love the library aisle!

    I particularly enjoyed reading about you having your father walk you down the aisle. I don’t agree with the whole ‘giving my daughter away’ thing either… I’m my own woman, but I am looking forward to that walk as I know my Dad really, really is too.

  2. This is beautiful, beautiful! I am a librarian, and would love to get married in a library! Congratulations on keeping to your vision, and on a lovely day!

  3. I am giddy with envy (if that’s possible!). What a beautiful, unique, amazing setting. Congratulations on a beautiful wedding and your marriage.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! My mum worked in a library when I was younger so I love hanging out in libraries. Plus, how adorable are you and your dad? Bravo!

  5. Thank you all for your comments and compliments! I’m so glad you all enjoyed the photos!!

  6. Absolutely amazing. I love the simplicity and the love that is evident between the two. The fall scenery is breath-taking. I love everything about it.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.