Post # 1
I have waited my whole life to have a nice, classy wedding and although I’m not an extremely traditional person, I do love the thought of walking down the aisle with my dad and having my close friends and family together for my special day. However, now that my wedding is less than a year away and we are making deposits and financially planning for it, I’m starting to freak out. My Fiance and I are getting some help from our parents, but are paying for most of the wedding on our own. We are having a normal sized wedding (100 people) in a beautiful hotel in Yosemite National Park for a pretty good deal, but when I add up all the vendors and hidden expenses, we’re going to pay about $20,000.
I always said I’d never blow that much money on one day but there’s no way around it. It’s the vendors that are killing us more than anything — I never budgeted $5k for a photographer, but that’s how much most of them cost for everything. I’m starting to seriously consider a blowout bash in Las Vegas, one where anyone can come if they want and we hit up a buffet the night of and then go out on the strip. I don’t want to regret my wedding since it’s a once in a lifetime event, but I am finding it very difficult to justify spending so much money. The last thing I want is to regret not having a wedding though.
Any tips? This is so difficult! I’m finally engaged and in wedding planning bliss but the $$ signs just won’t go away.
Post # 3
I actually felt the same way as you once I started looking at the cost of vendors and adding everything up. I thought it was crazy people spent even 15k on one day, and now I understand exactly how that happens.
I wanted to go to Vegas, and still would consider it, but Fiance wouldn’t do it since he used to live there. At the beginning, I was determined to have a destination wedding so that I wouldn’t have to spend much. When I added up the costs of a destination wedding versus a local one, it was about 10k (DW) versus 15-20k for a local one. For me, the savings wasn’t enough to justify not having things/people at my wedding that I knew wanted.
What it came down to for me, (after thinking long and hard about what I wanted and even went to some bridal shows) was that I realized I did want to have the cake, the dancing, everything that goes along with a reception and that I wanted to have everyone be able to come so that I could celebrate with them. It’s also the only wedding I’ll ever have.
I say, think long and hard about what you want before, during, and after your wedding ceremony/reception. Also, who do you want to come? If you have a destination wedding you have to be okay with the fact that some people you want to be there won’t be able to come.
Also, can you rank your vendors in terms of priority for you? Personally, I am willing to spend more $ on a photographer, but I would rather make my centerpieces than pay someone to do them. Then look for ways to save in the areas that are not as important to you.
Also, look for some bridal shows. I caught a bouquet for $500 worth of free flowers (one of 3 thrown out) and someone else got $1000 worth. I also ended up getting $250 off my dress and $200 veil credit + $100 gift card because I went to a show that was giving out scratch-off coupons if you booked an appointment and went to it. I bought two $17 for $70 worth of vistaprint, so I will be using those to have invitations/cards/etc printed out. I think you could find lots of little savings that could help to reduce the cost.
Post # 4
@kes18: I really appreciate your response, thank you! I know in my heart that I will experience regret if I don’t have a special wedding day. You’re totally right and thank you again for sharing your experience with me! Happy planning to you. 🙂
Post # 5
@mrsplanner: Good luck!! I think 30 years down the road I will be more happy that I had the wedding I truly wanted, even if it means foregoing a vacation or two now and spending less over the next year.