Has anyone regretted spending so much money on a wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
  • poll: Overall, how do you feel about the money you spent on your wedding?
    I don't regret it at all, ever : (27 votes)
    23 %
    I sometimes think that we could have done other things with the money : (43 votes)
    36 %
    We opted for a very affordable wedding and are content with our choice : (50 votes)
    42 %
  • Post # 16
    63 posts
    Worker bee

    I’m in a similar situation. I’m the process of planning and i debated for weeks having a small budget wedding vs more expensive one. 

    I had a woman tell me not make sacrifices for my wedding. She said I’ll have to sacrifice more than i know being a wife, I should this moment. She said I deserve it

    She went on to mention she regrets her budget friendly wedding (court house) even though she’s no longer in that marriage.

    I feel the same way about you. You deserve this moment. Find balance, save where you can, but do this for yourself. 

    Post # 17
    145 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2017

    Also there is Nothing wrong with an old school church ceremony and cake and punch reception in the church reception  hall. If I REALLLy had to have all family witness my vows that’s what I would have done. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to spend lots of money to have a “traditional church wedding” you could easily do this for $0-$1000. You just have to be willing to stick to basics maybe just an isle runner and some simple diy pew decorations, some simple diy table centerpieces, cloth table cloths, nice but plastic clear plates or borrow white plates and silver wear from family depending on how many guests you have, pot luck DIY style lunch spread (sandwiches, fruit trays, veggie trays, desserts and tea). And for wedding dresses check out online sights like Eric wedding dresses or look into getting a prom dress or bridesmaid dress in ivory/white that can keep you in the $80-300 range for a wedding dress. Make your own one or two tier wedding cake and add fresh flowers and a topper to jazz it up and make your own boquettes from store bought flowers. Amazon is a good place to get little nick backs o. The cheap like a flower girl basket, pretty plastic plates, isle runner etc.  People who truly love you don’t mind you keeping it simple they just want to see your day and be fed after lol. 

    Post # 18
    390 posts
    Helper bee

    No regrets but we were very careful with our budget and didn’t spend more money than what we intended. 

    I do regret not spending more money on a better photographer – I’m not too happy with the pictures and that’s one area we should have invested a bit more money. Otherwise I’m happy with the choices we made and especially where we decided to save on costs (My dress was $600, we didn’t use any flowers for decorations, no wedding party…). 

    I think you should think of an amount you would be comfortable spending and perhaps just budget accordingly. 


    Post # 19
    86 posts
    Worker bee

    Reading your post it sounds like you would rather have a civil ceremony.  You can go to dinner with family and a few friends to celebrate.  That’s OK and I think it’s a super smart way to do it!  We had a big wedding and it was great but it was expensive.   If a big wedding isn’t imporant to either one of you — don’t do it!  Put your money where your priorities are, and it sounds like that’s building a business and a life together. 

    Post # 20
    1056 posts
    Bumble bee

    claire345 :  Ignoring your question for a moment, do you or your Fiance have any particularly strong feelings about what type of marriage celebration you want? Are there any elements to a traditional wedding that are really important to you? A fancy dress, his outfit, flowers, hair and make up, photography, cake, catered reception, dancing, DJ, a bridal party, et cet?

    Or do neither of you care about those details?

    If those details don’t matter, why not go to the courthouse and go to a fancy restaurant afterwards? You can invite your parents and siblings if you want. Or don’t invite them and have a beautiful, intimate dinner for two. Or you could elope locally, or go to a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

    Personally I’d rather travel and see more of the world than host and pay for a big party. Because I hate parties. And traveling is awesome. 😀

    Post # 21
    3580 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

    claire345 :  Are you able to enter any bridal expo contests or local contests? A local jeweler in my area does a wedding giveaway contest every year. It may seem like a long shot, but my husband and I had our wedding paid in full when we got married on Good Morning America. Just like you and your Fiance, we just wanted to be married, but in our case, we didn’t have as much money due to just buying a home and having a surprise repair that wiped out our small budget. We planned to keep it simple and just have immediate family only. We were very fortunate to have an amazing wedding experience, but I would have also been content with the simple ceremony and reception that we had originally planned. Or eloping. I was SO ready to elope after a certain point when nothing seemed to go my way lol 

    A lot of our friends and family members kept telling us how lucky we were, and that if they could go back, they wouldn’t have spent so much money (or have gone into debt) for just one day. All of our friends who did elope or had intimate weddings and didn’t spend a fortune had no regrets. Your gut is telling you that the money could be better spent elsewhere. You can still have an amazing wedding day on a reasonable budget! Your wedding doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. Best of luck!

    Post # 22
    44 posts
    • Wedding: July 2017

    I have several friends who splurged on wedding dresses and told me afterwards that they regretted spending so much for a garment they can only wear once. I kept that in mind when choosing my dress. While the dress I ended up wearing was far from my dream dress, I looked good in it and I did not spend thousands on it. (I did deal with dress regret before the wedding. But now that all is said and done, I don’t think I would change anything.)


    What is your wedding budget?


    Post # 23
    3167 posts
    Sugar bee

    We had a choice to get a house or have a fancy wedding. We chose the house. I’ve never regretted it.

    We’ve put off getting married for now, but when I’m ready, I‘d like us to elope and spend money mainly on an awesome honeymoon. But these things are more important to me. It depends on what’s important to YOU, and if that’s having a nice wedding and a 5k dress, that’s okay too. I would caution you to perhaps find a happy medium between the two. I think you can have a lovely wedding on a budget, it just takes some planning and inventiveness.

    Post # 24
    1291 posts
    Bumble bee

    his dad gave us 3k, my mom gave us 2k, and we spent around 5K of our own money including rings. i would have been happy to skip the whole thing, but my husband wanted the party. he’s so accomodating in everyday life that i was happy to make this financial (and social) sacrifice for him. 

    Post # 25
    497 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: Greenspot Farms

    We did everything DIY at an outdoor rustic venue that let us do it our way. It kept costs down but my Darling Husband has such a large family and circle of family friends that the number of guests climed quickly. Plus, I spulrged on pictures.

    Looking back at the day we spent 15k but we were able to get back around 2k selling off our misc wedding items. I felt sick over the final number… but I did LOVE our wedding. Best and most fun night of my life… everything was exactly the way we wanted it and was so “us”.

    So, yes and no. The number makes me sick but I wouldn’t give up my wedding day the way it was.

    Post # 26
    32 posts

    It looks like you have a lot of good answers already but I will throw in my 2 cents since I have done it both ways.

    First wedding/marriage was beautiful. Dream dress, dream location, dream decor, etc. etc. it was A BLAST. My friends still say it was the best wedding they had ever attended even though our marriage only lasted a year (young and in love…tend to make dumb decisions). Anyhow…I would say it was a “modest” wedding. Including honeymoon I would say we spent about 15k and that is on everything from dress, suit, flowers, reception, food, beverage, etc. We had about 170 people attend. It was AWESOME!

    Like I said the marriage didn’t last (which was for the best in all accounts) and October of 2017 I married the man of my dreams on a beautiful Maui beach, just the 2 of us, in a $500 dress, photographer, wedding planner and officent, $800, and then an intimate meal at one of the best resturants on the island. It was an absolute dream.

    Did I regret my first wedding afterward, no. Did I think “wow, that is a lot of money to spend on 1 day”-yes. But we did have everything paid off 9 months after getting married. The regret set in when I realized the marriage was doomed but that is another story.

    I just have to say having done it both ways there is something to be said about it being just you and Darling Husband on that day. You don’t have to worry about anyone but yourselves. A wedding is like a show. The bride and groom are kind of like performers. You will feel like you have to look perfect, act perfect, worry about if you talked to this person enough or said hello to every single person that attended. Really it is not about the bride and groom that day. You are entertaining your guests. 

    Eloping makes it about the two of you. You can focus on eachother. Now, my Darling Husband and I have a million times more chemistry, love, and passion for one another than my ex and I did but we didn’t know that at the time! That does make a huge difference but I still stand by saying a wedding in front of a bunch of people isn’t about the bride and groom at all. To be quite honest I feel like it is just another way to show off. 

    From your original post it sounds like you know what you should do. You just want to marry your FI! And it sounds like he just wants to be married to you. And that is all that matters. You can still get a beautiful dress, one that you know he will think you are beautiful in because he is the only one whose opinion matters. 

    I cannot stress the comfortability in it just being an intimate ocassion between two people and you will start off your marriage without the heavyness of debt and can move onto the next chapter without much worry.

    Just make sure you take a kick butt honeymoon…or maybe do it in one big swoop! Our marriage, and 2 weeks in Maui cost us about 6k. But it was full of adventures, memories, great food, sun and sand and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Best of luck, bee! Please keep us updated on what you decide!

    Post # 27
    1946 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

    Our wedding was very important to us so we went all out and have no regrets.

    Post # 28
    1969 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I debated about this for months. Darling Husband and I wanted to elope. That was our plan. Our families were not on board with this (though they said they were initially). So, I gave in. My parents funded $10k for our wedding, and I paid anything over that amount (dress alterations, little knick knacks, gifts for bridesmaid, little extras). My contribution probably amounted to about $500 over time.

    I don’t regret the wedding I had. But I do regret all of the money my parents had to spend on it. I think they regret it too. I regret being a financial burden on them, even though they volunteered the money and set the amount. I regret the disagreements that my mom and I had over wedding planning, as I tried to cut costs, but she wanted something more elaborate.

    If you want to elope, and if the thought of spending all that money on one day upsets you, then you should definitely have a small wedding or elope.

    Part of the reason I gave in and hosted a wedding were some of the people who were so insistent they’d be sad if we didn’t have one. Guess what? Some of the most vocal guests didn’t even come. The other guests, especially from out of town, I barely even saw.

    Post # 29
    1631 posts
    Bumble bee

    Have you read up on the history of weddings? Because this whole “traditional” expensive shindig is actually historically rather new, just like diamond engagement rings. 

    There’s an episode of Adam Ruins Everything on it that I recommend watching, but here’s the summary:

    A few generations ago, most people did simple and cheap celebrations. Think backyard bbq, or some snacks and punch.  The wealthy had extravagant affairs. They wore white as a display of *wealth* due to the context of the time . They had white wedding cakes because the ingredients were expensive at the time. Almost all of these “traditons” were born out of a display of wealth as two children of wealthy or powerful families joined together. Some of these have gotten more affordable, but in general this way of celebrating “trickled down” to the masses. 

    So now even girls from families that are not particularly wealthy nor powerful dream of hosting an overpriced party when they get married, because we have socialized women to expect it and see it as an important life right, rather than for what it originally was: a luxury done by those who exclusively lived in luxury. 


    Post # 30
    5038 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2017

    I couldn’t fathom dropping a ton of money on a wedding.  We eloped but I also didn’t struggle with thoughts of will I regret eloping

    Whatever kind of event you choose to have just make sure you are realistic with your budget.  Consider other financial goals you may have for near and distant future and consider how spending X number of dollars on a event will affect that.

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