I wasn't sure where exactly to put this, but I figured the Gifts & Flowers section would suffice, since I didn't see a Wedding section. It seems the cost of weddings and everything related to them has been steadily rising over the years, so I wanted to post about my neighbor's wedding. Both parties have been married before...she's actually been married several times, and he's been married at least one time before, and they have grown children. They're not looking to rack up a bunch of debt with their wedding, so they have decided to have a very simple ceremony down at our neighborhood beach. Since this is a small neighborhood, it wasn't hard for them to get permission for the celebration, and the area has been roped off to keep outsiders from setting up their blankets and other beach equipment. There is no cost involved for using the beach for the ceremony. Someone in the neighborhood is a pastor, and will be performing the service as his gift to the couple. Since it's a beach wedding, it's going to be a very laid back celebration, so there's no need for expensive attire on the part of the bride and groom or the guests. My neighbor's friends here in the neighborhood are 'catering' the event via barbecue, which they do for every such occasion here in our community, which is their contribution to the couple. Some of us are contributing desserts and side dishes, and a woman here in the area decorates cakes, so she's supplying the wedding cake, which will be more of a simple design than the typical multi-tiered wedding cake. We've also got a few hair stylists here in the area, and one of them is handling the bride's hair and makeup. As a result of these collaborative efforts and offerings, the cost of the ceremony will be negligible. I like the idea of having a simple ceremony and not going into debt, and it's nice to see so many who live here in our community pitching in to make the occasion festive. The groom and his friends all grew up here in this community, and for the most part, it's a tight group of multi-generational families, so they're more like an extended family than just neighbors.