The average cost for a wedding in Alabama in 2020, according to ValuePenguin was $15,056 and in Georgia, a little higher at $19,142. A local minister and boutique owner wants to remove the financial burden.

Dr. Veranica Word-Haynes is throwing a wedding for 22 couples. All they have to bring are the rings, marriage licenses, and the love. Why? She says it began as a vision from God about unifying the family unit.

“And when I heard that I said ok God, give me the rest of vision and I’ll make it happen,” said Dr. Veranica Word-Haynes.

So for 22 brides and grooms, free means free indeed.

“Giving people the opportunity to get married without the financial burden or the barriers or the things that stop them from being able to get married in the first place so it kind of takes away the financial part of it,” said Dr. Word-Haynes.

So far, 12 brides and grooms have signed on. In addition to the mass wedding and reception, the couples also get marriage and credit counseling.

“So we want to make sure we cover them for a full year to get them off to a great start. So not only are we going to give them a free wedding, but we’re also going to give them an opportunity to have a great start,” says Dr. Word-Haynes.

The venue and date have yet to be chosen. Dr. Word-Haynes says the bridges can choose whomever they want to walk them down the aisle as their grooms await. 

“The grooms will come in first of course and take a position around the floor and then their wives-to-be will come down at that time and come and join them and face each other and we will take the vows and all the the things that come with the wedding and they’ll kiss the bride!”

To learn more, you can visit the Facebook page set up for the event by clicking here .

Dr. Word-Haynes says wedding gowns are pouring in and caterers, stylists, and photographers have signed on to help make the event a success.