Weddings and keeping up with the Joneses

posted 2 years ago in Beehive
Post # 2
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee

I think most things are about keeping up with the jones not just weddings. The houses welive in, the vehicles we drive , things we buy,clothes we wear. I will fully admit I am getting a bigger ring because it keeps up with the rings my friends have ( I also LOVE the ring) but if everyone else had a smaller rings I would probably never think to make it bigger.

 

Not everyone is like granted but I am sure I am not alone LOL

 

Post # 3
Member
4147 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My DH set a budget of $13,000.  I don’t know where he pulled that number from, but that was the budget, and we stuck to it.  And I know that many brides have amazing, fun weddings for even less!  IMO (and apparently countless others who told us!) it was better than some of the $40,000+ weddings we’ve been to.  One of my favourite weddings was held in someone’s backyard, overgrown with wildflowers, and a dancefloor built in the garage.  I honestly believe that the $ amount doesn’t equal the amount of fun and love that a couple will bring to a wedding.  It’s too bad that people think so though.

Post # 4
Member
432 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the idea of ‘I will only do this once, I want it to be the most amazing day of my life.’ I say this as someone who chose to cancel the large over the top wedding we were planning and elope instead. It’s so easy to add jsut one thing and then one other and soon it’s not the wedding you originally wanted at all. 

Post # 5
Member
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

6-figure bride here: Honestly we’re spending what we want to spend, we’re one of the first (first in mine, second in his) in our friend groups to get married (I’m 24 and FI is 25), so it has nothing to do with our friends (our families are also small, so no close relatives with weddings to compare to).  I would have been fine eloping but FI wanted a huge party (lasting a whole weekend), so that is what we’re doing.  We aren’t getting things just to get them, no photobooth for example because we just aren’t huge fans of those, but we aren’t skimping on what we do want either.  We also aren’t spending more just for the sake of spending more (for example, we went with thermography on invitations rather than engraving because they will be mounted to a pocketfold, so it will be hard to tell the difference anyway, and we’re serving salad rather than soup because it is $8 less per person).  

We’re paying for everything ourselves, which I love because it gives us the freedom to do and spend what we want without anyone (close family or guests) necessarily knowing how much we’re spending.  We also don’t have to feel bad about spending more on certain things becuase we aren’t using someone else’s money to do that.  

If we didn’t have the means to spend what we are we simply just wouldn’t, I feel bad for people who spend money just to do it or because they think people will judge them if they don’t.  People should spend what they choose to, whether that is something they can easily afford or something they need to save for as long as it makes them happy and doesn’t ruin their life financially.

I’ve heard that whatever you do make sure it makes you feel “married,” and for us that means having a huge party.  The amount we’re spending doesn’t necessarily play into that too much (we could very well have had a huge party for $3000 if we wanted to), it is just a reflection of what we wanted and were able to spend comfortably, just like any other wedding I’d imagine.    

Post # 6
Member
1176 posts
Bumble bee

I think social media has escalated the madness. Pinterest ( and others) makes you believe everything is a must have. 

Post # 7
Member
769 posts
Busy bee

MrsTywinLannister:  Agreed!!

While we are not spending 6 figures, we are close to spending $70k and that does not include honeymoon. We also want a three day event with all of our friends and family. We never get to hang out with ALL of them at once and we are having quite a few people coming from overseas as well (that we haven’t seen in years). In a way, it will be like a family reunion. 

We are funding this wedding on our own, and we already own our place, and don’t have any other debt. I know people in this area that spent over $100k for their wedding and started their marriage DEEP in debt. I am very thankful that we can have a three-day celebration event but if we did not have the means to, we would not go all out for sure.

Post # 8
Hostess
10856 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Aquaria: For me I just wanted to make it the best day and even the small details cost money. 

Post # 9
Member
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Our philosophy in anything is, “If you’re going to do it, do it right.” We like the best, so we get the best, whether that’s in our everyday life or in our wedding. We didn’t go into debt, still had the money left in our account for a 20% house down payment and a 6 month emergency fund, and could comfortably afford what we spent.

Post # 10
Member
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Aquaria:  I wanted a small wedding or even to elope. FI wants the big wedding. He’s Italian and its tradition. Plus, his 2 older sisters have had 3 elopements between them, so with his mother passing away recently, he wants his dad to see at least one kid get married in a huge to do. 

Its expensive, but I’m happy if he’s happy. I haven’t even minded the planning so far.

Post # 11
Member
1062 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Pressure from family. Also FI has a large family, so it would be unfair to FI and his family if we eloped, which was what I have always wanted.

I’m not bitter about it or anything because it is FI’s special day too, not just mine. I personally would rather put that money towards a honeymoon or house.

Post # 12
Member
9529 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I do think there is some aspect of knowing that you’re (hopefully) only going to do this once. For my husband and I, our top priority was getting to celebrate with our loved ones. Which is a rather large list, which obviously adds to the cost. And since many of our guests were traveling long distances, we wanted to have lots of time with them, so we had a full evening reception and also had a Welcome Dinner and Farewell Breakfast (though my dad cooked all the food for those, so they were cheap). I also really wanted to do an at-home, backyard wedding to contribute to the “family” feel of the wedding and let us enjoy the outdoors (my dad’s house backs up to a lovely little creek).  This meant that we spent a lot on rentals (tent, tables, chairs, port-a-pots, generator, dance floor). I also really, really wanted a day-of-coordinator so that I could relax and enjoy my wedding day. Beyond those things, we definitely cut lots of corners and got lots of cheap options. 

I don’t think we did a lot of “keeping up with the Joneses” through buying expensive stuff. Hell, we had port-a-pots and a home-made dessert buffet. I had to call our tent rental place twice to convince them that I really didn’t need pole covers because I didn’t care what they looked like.

However, I will totally admit that I got caught up in the DIY craze. I made all the flowers for bouquest, bouts and centerpieces from paper. We folded 1000 origami cranes. I made bathroom decor. It all looked great and people loved it, but it wasn’t really necessary. And all the crafting took a ton of time. Luckily, I enjoy crafting so it wasn’t bad. 

Overall, I have no regrets about what we spent on our wedding. It’s the only time in my life I’ve been surrounded by so many of my friends and family. The feelings of love and support where overwhelming. 

Post # 13
Member
3707 posts
Sugar bee

lovekiss:  +1  My mother always said “if you don’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” You have to offer sufficient hospitality and a certain level of comfort, to your guests.

 

Post # 14
Member
2151 posts
Buzzing bee

Aquaria:  Frugal bride here! The whole purpose of successful marketing is to sell something, and then have the person think they weren’t sold to and that they made their own choice. I once read that something like 95% of people think advertising and peer pressure has no effect on them, haha! 

I agree that keeping up with the joneses is pervasive in all areas of consumption, not just weddings. I think a lot of people spend because they can or they feel like it’s a once in a lifetime. But, I’m sure many more people spend without really knowing why, and I do think it’s because of marketing and peer pressure. 

I don’t want to spend a ton because it wouldn’t fit in with my values, and because I frankly don’t think most of the wedding spending actually translates to a better experience for the guests. Most people aren’t going to remember the color of the chargers, or the lighting, or how expensive the centerpieces are, or if you dress is designer.

I’m sure some people will come to my wedding (I’m from a fairly wealthy family) and think it’s not classy or formal enough. Every wedding in my family has been a six figure affair. That’s just not me. My parents are paying, but I just couldn’t justify spending that amount on a day no matter how much we have.

I just have lines that I draw personally. Like, I believe there are things that no one needs- I believe there is a level where enough is enough, I believe that there is a point where you are living a life of total excess. For me, maybe that point is lower than it is for most people. I don’t think anyone needs a 10,000 square foot house, or a brand new sports car, or a $30,000 (or more) wedding. I don’t think values should change based on how much you have.  I figure, if I can be happy with my wedding, and treat my guests well for much less- then why spend more? 

 

Post # 15
Member
237 posts
Helper bee

I believe it is marketing, advertisement and movies that influence me.  I spent more than I wanted to on a dress.  I wanted to feel beautiful in my dress.  But, I am sure my soon to be dh would have thought I was still so beautiful in a plain simple dress so I will admit I did allow the dress to get to me. Thankfully I do not need a petticoat, bra, sash or veil to go with the dress as it stands on its own.  I see all those romantic weddings and beautiful on television and wanted to be like the beautiful brides.

I have been to weddings that were extravagant and weddings that were simple living room weddings in regular clothing have and loved them both.  

Other than the dress, we are going very simple.  We are just having dinner with close friends after the ceremony and go to Sydney for photos.  We are just going to either pick up some cheesecake from a local bakery or just have dessert at the restaurant.  No dancing but hope to have really cool photographs.  The photographs are important to us since my soon to be dh will be leaving his country and the small wedding doubles as a farewell party.  We want memories of them to take with us.  But unfortunately, the round trip tickets from US to Australia are not cheap.  We had to push out the wedding from December to Feb where it will be cheaper.

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