Post # 1
The question I have for all of you today is- are weddings a waste of money? Read my story below, but I would love to hear your thoughts.
My mother is glad I am getting married. She likes my fiance and definately sees the benefits of being married. Her and my father have been together for 35 years total, and eloped 30 years ago because both of their families were having financial hardships. They didn’t want to burden everyone with the cost of a wedding.
When it comes to planning my wedding, she is less than thrilled. Everytime I bring up wedding planning she changes the subject or doesn’t want to talk about it. Her favorite line is “whatever will make you happy” to close the conversation. It is such an odd situation for me to be in, because she loves shopping and if it were anything BUT a wedding she would be excited about it. For example, for prom in high school she spent hours helping me pick out my dress, hair, make-up- and she was the one driving the whole thing. When it comes to wedding dress shopping, no way, she has no interest. She would rather just write the check and show up. This is generous and in some ways I’m glad she is not taking over like some moms do, but it is so unlike her to behave this way.
This has been puzzling me since December, and today if finally came out. We were talking about my friends who are from another country and eloped to help with their citizenship status. I made a comment about how they treated their marriage like a business transaction (which I don’t disagree with as it partially is that), and my mom said that’s how it should be. “Weddings are a waste of money”. So I started to ask more questions and she would rather we elope and not bother wasting money on the wedding planning. I explained that we had considered that option, but the reason we decided to get married in Michigan was so all of our friends and family could come together at the same time. BTW- our budget is just $5,000 and everything we are doing is low-key, simple.
Given that we all come to these boards to discuss wedding planning, I don’t think many of us see weddings as a waste of money. I’m wondering if everyone else has a similar family situation?
Post # 3
I do not think that they are waste of money. I hope that this does not sound harsh and it is not ment to be in any way but maybe your mother feels jealous because she always wanted to have a wedding and didn’t.
Post # 4
As long as you’re not going into debt in order to have a huge, over the top wedding, then no, I don’t think they’re a waste of money at all. A wedding should be about the ceremony, getting married and celebrating with your closest friends and family, that can be done with or without a huge budget. Just because that’s your mom’s opinion, doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. Try to make her see that you’re using your money wisely and not doing things just because you feel like you have to. In addition, don’t feel like you have to elope simply because that’s your mom’s idea of a perfect wedding. You’ll be living with the memories of your wedding for the rest of your life, and you don’t want to look back on that day and regret it just because you tried to make your mom happy.
Anyway, that’s just my two cents. =)
Post # 5
I think weddings become wasted money, when you’ve got the rich people who think, “hey I can afford it! Why not get a 17foot tall cake?! Or give every guest a baggy with 500$ of knick knacks in it!?”
But I do agree maybe your mom is a little jealous that you will have a wedding and she didn’t.
Post # 6
Do you think your mom might be jealous that you are having a wedding and she never did? Whatever the reason, she is being unfair to you and selfish. Has she been to many (or any?) weddings? Maybe if you let her know how much it would mean to you to have her involved with your planning, she will become more excited about the idea of a wedding.
Post # 7
This sounds like your mom’s issues, not your own. Try to not internalize it. Make the day what you want it to be for YOU. Plan it for YOU. Then you will be satisfied. Taking on her issues as your own will not help!
Post # 8
My parents think big expensive weddings are a waste of money and they did have a nice wedding. They just think spending 18K to feed other people is not ideal and would rather we have spent our money on ‘us’ not ‘them’ but oh well. It is what it is. I don’t necessarily agree (i think money is wasted all the time in all aspects of our lives! ha!) but i can see their point….they don’t believe a wedding is necessarily a “requirement” for a marriage and in some families that IS the case.
Post # 9
It depends on the wedding. If the wedding is all about showing off how rich you are, how much you spend, or for instance the traveller weddings(my gosh i could NOT believe my eyes) then yes, its a good example of a waste. If its a celebration of love, family gathering and they day of your dreams, then no absolutly not a waste. I dont get why she would be like this with only weddings. Did she get divorced or something…maybe had to sacrafice her dream wedding for something she didnt want??? just seems weird to me, like its not even about money. just my opinion.
Post # 10
i think it’s a personal choice. for me, it wasn’t worth it to spend a lot of money, i’d rather have it for the future. but if you want a big wedding, than you should be able to have one with no guilt.
Post # 11
Yes, she might be jealous that I have opportunities she did not have. Not jealous about being the center of attention or anything like that. She also made a comment about how she doesn’t want to make a speech in front of everyone and I assured her I would never ask her to do that. We are both shy and do not like to talk in front of people, even if it is mostly friends and family.
@mrsawesome09 I thought about submitting my excel spreadsheet budget to her a few months ago, but I decided that was overkill since she didn’t care too much about the planning. I might reconsider…haha…she knows how very thorough I am and it would leave no questions about how money is being spent.
Post # 12
I planned and payed for the wedding myself. It admittedly was not your typical wedding but I wasn’t your typical bride – I turned 50 years old the day after the wedding! But I needed to celebrate after years of depression after the unexpected death of my only child AND being dumped by my sig other of 20+ years. It was truly a miracle finding love again, especially since I wasn’t even looking for a relationship!
What is weird is that I HATE shopping. Just about everything for the wedding, the simple reception afterwards and the pig roast the following day were purchased online! I HATED all the stress of planning the damn thing, especially since I did 99% all by myself. All that time, all the worry, all the little snafus. In the end, was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! One of the very best days of my life! I felt like a princess and was in a total state of bliss! So IMO, yes, the hassle can definitely be worth it!
Post # 13
Okay, after reading your story & your budget, you might think I’m an extravagant bride…we’re spending near $30K on our wedding. Please allow me the caveat that FI & I are paying every penny of that $30K…it does not include the only expenses made by our sets of parents, who both wanted to contribute more, but we restricted them to the Rehearsal Dinners, in part because we wanted the wedding WE wanted & in part because we philosophically believe that budgeting & paying for out wedding is good marriage practice. Neither set of parents knows how much we’re spending on our wedding…as it should be, since it’s our money & we’re grown adults who have made adult financial decisions since we’ve been on our own (11 years).
Okay, given all that…I think weddings MIGHT be a waste of money. The money FI & I are spending is all money we have saved during the engagement…no loans taken out, no savings dipped into (if you don’t count the fact that we are not adding to our savings during the engagement). That near $30K is quite a chunk of change to be throwing at a single weekend (2 ceremonies, 1 welcome party, 1 reception, & 68 Disneyland tickets as favors)…it could have been a NICE addition to a house fund or future college fund.
On the flip side, there is the concept that there are TWO days/events at which EVERYONE who loves you & who knows you gathers together to celebrate you: your funeral & your wedding. And you’re only conscious at ONE of those events…put in that perspective, would you want everyone you know & love to enjoy those two events…especially the one that you’re conscious at & is based on joy rather than sorrow? We keep that in mind whenever we look at our budget & how we’re spending/meeting it.
So…Maybe…and maybe not.
Post # 14
They definitely can be a waste of money. I wouldn’t spend 30k on a wedding but then again everything is expensive even if you cut corners etc etc. If you can afford it, have worked for it, or don’t go into debt then spend whatever you want just don’t think other people are in the position to give tons of gifts etc. In your situation..no offense please but you’re mother is maybe not jealous but saddened that she couldn’t spend on having a “decent size” wedding her only alternative was to elope so maybe she feels that her and your father were cheated out of the great experience you will have.
Post # 15
The way you are doing it? No, absolutely not a waste of money. I think that wanting to have A wedding, in some form, to bring together family and friends to celebrate your love… that is not at all a waste of money. But some things can be. Honestly we’re going to spend 13k on the day of the wedding stuff and I do feel its a bit wasteful because I don’t REALLY need a kick-ass photographer or a unique venue or decorations. Love isn’t about that. So yea I guess I think it can be kind of a waste of money… but I think you should do what you want to do and what will make you happy. My wedding will make me happy and we can afford it so to me, its worth it. Your wedding is extremely reasonably priced so I think you should be happy and do what you want.
Post # 16
@ms.pascua YES- that is exactly how I feel. It is so funny that you say that, as I was talking to my mom today I thought of exactly what you just mentioned. You are correct- there are only 2 times in your life when all of your loved ones gather together at once- wedding & funeral.
I have moved around the country so much, when else will my best friend from college get to meet my best friend from childhood and all of our friends that we have made as adults here in Arizona? Plus my fiance’s friends and family will be there, some of who I talk to but never get to see. It is a great opportunity.
And on the budget, no judgement here! $5k, $30k, doesn’t really matter we all have to make budget choices large and small. I would love to be able to provide our guests with Disney tickets as a favor, what a nice gesture that I am sure everyone will appreciate.