Post # 1
Another bee just posted this thread:
Average Cost of a Wedding in the US
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel a little sick reading that the average wedding is more than $28.000? I look at that number and it just makes me feel like we could all do so much more with that money (house, having a baby, travel… what ever gives you a kick)! Not to mention that almost a billion people in the world are classified as “hungry”… I’m not an activist fighting for polar bears and against pipelines and whatever, but this just sits wrong with me. It’s just this gut feeling that this is too skewed… that we’re owned by the wedding industry as soon as the ring is on our finger and that we lose all sense of what is reasonable.
Does anyone else feel the same, and if so – how do you deal with it? Are you just planning a courthouse wedding or eloping?
Post # 3
We’re going to have a small wedding… a very small wedding. Only our VVIPs. And we’re doing it “our way”. No magazine “must haves” must be had. No blog will ever get a chance to even consider whether this intimate, private day of ours is “blog worthy” (but for the record, it proudly won’t be.)
btw, I AM an activist, but that doesn’t mean I never like to splurge a bit of money. It’s just that a factory line wedding is definitely not what I want to spend on. I don’t even want it in the first place! The typical wedding to me is like a big, “sugar flavored” sheet cake to me (I do not buy or eat those, no matter how large or heavily frosted). My wedding is going to be a wee dark chocolate truffle instead.
Post # 4
my total cost to get married was under $10k. I had no theme, no colors, no DJ, no dancing, no cake, no nothing. Just 13 people including myself and Darling Husband, and a sit down reception after the destination wedding.
tHat’s how I avoided it. $28k is more than halfway to a new car, and I’d rather have a new car lol
Post # 5
It does too me too, but with that said I’m not getting married for 890 days to save enough (between full time college student @40 and taking care of my niece I have guardianship of) I can’t see it happening any sooner.
Personally, I want to hop a plane go to Vegas, find an Elvis that can marry us and be done with it. HE however wants the church, reception family thing.
Post # 6
YES! I’m a college student and my Fiance just started his innactive duty in the Corps so he started college too. He is getting paid by the VA and I don’t have time for a job with all of my homework and what not so we are super tight on money! We decided we wanted to spend more on the honeymoon and keep the wedding small and inexpensive…but it still seems expensive no matter what we do! My Mom keeps telling me to get married at the court house, but I really want the whole church experience! Seriously, the recycled bride has become my best friend!
Post # 7
Eh, I used to sort of feel that way, and then I read A Practical Wedding. I think as long as you are being true to your desires, the money part doesn’t really make me feel one way or the other. If your DESIRE is to use that money for something else, but you give in to pressure and use it on a wedding, then yeah – I feel sad for that situation. But if the wedding is what you really want and can afford it, then no, I don’t feel sad whether you spend $2k or $20k or $200k.
There are a few other points on this topic that I try to keep in mind:
– The money wouldn’t necessarily be used on that “higher cause.” In my case, my dad was willing to give me a certain amount of money, and it was only to be used on the wedding. It wasn’t an option to spend it on something else, and he wouldn’t have spent it on something “more noble” if he hadn’t spent it on this.
– We could extend this question to just about EVERYTHING. If you *could* buy a house for $80,000, but you opt to buy a larger, nicer house in a better area of town for $180,000, are you taken by the housing industry or wasting $100k that you could be spending to help the needy? Not really, it’s just what fits your life better. Buy clothes from Macy’s instead of Walmart? Same question.
Ultimately, I think each person has to be true to their own desires. I don’t buy into feeling guilty because I have a desire for something more than the bare minimum – I think that in and of itself is an unhealthy mindset and leads to a relatively unhappy life.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2013 - rolling hills of southern italy
i feel the same way… My dad even gave us money to spend on the wedding (it’s a set amount though, so whatever we dont spend we keep and do with as we like) and I don’t feel comfortable doing so. I don’t want to spend all that on a wedding! I want to keep it so I can buy a house!!!
however, I’m still having a wedding… It won’t be fancy, it will be mismatched, outside, and buffet. It will hopefully be fun. That’s my goal. fun and pretty. And cheap.
when talking to vendors I ask about prices per person for a buffet style “party”. I might be paranoid but I’m convinced they just inflate prices for weddings.
we are inviting everyone we could think of, and keeping the budget to 5,000 €… That’s nof a lot, so I only spent $350 on a dress and 20€ a person for food…the photographer will cost a bunch, but I’m making loads of simple decorations myself. And making the invitations. Everything I save is money we can keep for our new life together, so if I can cut corners, believe me.. I do.
Post # 9
Yes and No. I am someone who is spending well over double the national average, and while its a lot of money, its also my money to spend how I see fit. Sure, there are plenty of other things I could have spent it on – buying a bigger house, putting it into savings, giving it to charty – but I choose my wedding. I’m not having a huge over the top extravaganza, but that is what it costs for the wedding I want.
Post # 10
Yeah… I wouldn’t say it was a guilt thing for me. I just couldn’t justify spending that much. I actually regret spending as much as I did even though it was way less then the average. I would have rathered eloped and used the money for other things. We were pressured into having an actual wedding though. We also had a house payment, car payment, and other financial obligations to worry about. Don’t get me wrong, I am actually quite pleased with myself for pulling it off and it turned out amazing, but I could have easily done without.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I totally understand where you’re coming from. And I agree. There are so many things that you could do with $28,000. But, it was super important to my husband that we have a wedding wedding. For us, we found that even a small 20 person wedding would run us just about $10,000, and that was crazy. We bumped it up for 70 people in our absolute dream venue. I had my dream dress, and he had his dream cake. We had our dream photographer and DJ. To him, it was totally worth every penny (around $23,000- we didn’t strictly budget or keep track).
We actually talked about it a couple nights ago. He would have preferred to be engaged for years, until we could afford $20,000, instead of going to the Clerk of the Court. I would have gone to the Clerk, said, “Whee!” and been married. I guess, fortunately for us, we could afford it. Sure, we’re just now saving for our house, but that’s also because we just took an awesome trip abroad.
It’s about priorities. My husband wanted the fairy tale wedding. We had the means, so we did it. Next, travel. Now it’s our house.
The media and other outlets have influenced our expectations about everything. We’re sad when our weddings aren’t 100K with outlandish entertainment. We’re sad because we don’t have the idealized relationship that never, never has an argument. We’re sad because sex doesn’t happen every night or multiple times a day. It’s so difficult to stay grounded in reality when we’re surrounded by all of these unrealistic expectations. I’m not blaming the media for my desires, but unrealistic expectations are presented.
Post # 12
@eocenia: Yes. This is America and we get to choose where our money goes (well, after the govenment has confiscated a fair amount of it ) but honestly, I think the average Joe is foolish for putting out this kind of money.
This has always beeen my POV, not only was I raised that way but that idea carried into my young adulthood.
But as a mature person I am changing my mind a bit, I think that if one has excess money lying around, using it to fund a long weekend of partying and a family get together (such is a wedding) is an attractive idea. You can’t take it with you and if your retirement fund is fat and house paid for and etc, then why the hell not blow $28,000 on your daughter’s wedding? Except that I’d spend more like $7,000.
Post # 13
Yep it makes my head spin thinking about the numbers. We’re older, I’m 33 and Fiance is 42, so we have a house, baby and donate to organizations (mainly Kiva and BC Children’s Hospital). Our 10 person Destination Wedding on Maui will be about $45k total including rings, airfare and accommodation- my ring was a splurge. We got engaged almost 2 years ago, so the money has been kind of spread out. It is a crazy amount of money to spend, but Fiance works so hard and we are treating ourselves as we rarely spend money!
Post # 14
@joya_aspera: We’re having a small wedding too – as we just want our close family and friends to attend. However, part of me just wants to elope and use all the money on flight tickets. Then again, I am a sucker for anything pretty… so a courthouse wedding feels too bare bones to me…
@strawbs: Our wedding budget is currently on $21 – including a Destination Wedding, rings, honeymoon and a reception when we come back to Canada. I know that it’s “reasonable” for all of that… but it’s still daunting to see the actual number on the spreadsheet. Just makes me want to book a trip somewhere and not keep track of anything besides the flight tickets and hotel.
@waitingalongtime: Sometimes I dream about Vegas! 🙂 But then I think about how sad my grandmother would be if she couldn’t attend, so then we’re back to the church wedding.
@KT_Hime:it still seems expensive no matter what we do – amen to that. I’m doing a lot of DIY (loving it) but it still feels like the costs are excessively high.
@NAvery: I’m honestly a little surprised about my own feelings on this subject, because it’s not like I have a huge problem spending money in general. It’s just that it’s so much at the same point in time – for ONE event. I mean, in the end of the day – all I really want is to get married to my Fiance. As it is, we have the money for our wedding, but to see the amount on paper makes me go “NO, we have to elope and then go on a kick ass trip or whatever else but this!”. I also think it might be related to the fact that this is pretty much the first time I’ve actually made a super detailed budget for something – normally large costs are a little more diffuse and not so much of a kick in the face.
Post # 15
Yes, many time I get really ancy about it, and a bit guilty. It is a lot of money but what I’ve come to realize is that more often than not its not all about the newlyweds. Our costs have gone up because we have to accomodate family. Family and friends sadly have some amount of expecations and although we can’t please everyone we can’t cause to much drama either (especially when it comes to family IMO). So for me, as long as we don’t get in debt I consider it the cost of joining families and, truth be told, (hopefully) its a once in a lifetime thing. I do know if I ever have to get married again, I’m going to make sure its not going to be this big at all (and I will only have 60-75 ppl).
Post # 16
Yes. The amount of money we spent on our wedding makes us sick. The amount of money we spent on our honeymoon even made us sick. But we survived.
In all seriousness, for our area and our circle of friends and family our wedding was pretty average despite being double the average wedding cost. So we didn’t feel we were being extravagent. We also had the money to spend and were willing to spend it on a wedding and honeymoon. We have no debt and our house is paid off. And I also make donations (monetary as well as time and things) as often as I can.