Just being nosy … wedding budgets/cultural differences!

posted 2 years ago in Money
Post # 46
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

summerrain123 :  Ask and you shall receive  wink

Post # 47
1104 posts
Bumble bee

Ours was $10,000 including honeymoon (niagara falls) and a friend’s weekend (we paid for our friends to party with us for a weekend at a lake house in upstate, rented boats, tons of booze, lots of BBQ). We live in NYC.

We are not typical though, most of our peers spent between $50,000 and $90,000. These peers make around what we make (some a little more, some a little less), they all still have student loan debt, pay more in rent than we do, and sometimes buy coffee, breakfast, work lunch, and dinner out.

Our actual wedding ceremony and reception were gorgeous but modest. We got married outside in someone’s back yard, there were flowers everywhere, I loved my dress. We had lunch at a chic french restaurant, three courses, lots of champagne. All the family was happy, we had about 30 people in attendance. 

Our wedding weekend was a fucking blast. We invited all our friends who we couldn’t afford to have at the family-only wedding, and had a total party for three days. It was fantastic. My friends from growing up ended up becoming close friends with my college pals and professional friends…they’re all still friends today and we’re actually all going on a vacation together this summer. We had dance parties, people took turns making breakfast (homemade waffles one day, eggs the next, etc.), we all had grilled burgers and hotdogs for lunch, and excellent seafood and BBQ for dinner. It. Was. Awesome. A friend of ours took video the entire weekend and edited it together (she’s a professional editor). 

We’re very frugal and our savings rate is over 50%. Their savings rate (we all talk about money openly) is generally around 3% to 15%. Just depends on what you want. 

Post # 48
665 posts
Busy bee

Souzie :  omg omg you look like a model!! you need to be on style me pretty. Did u send in your pics?

Post # 49
1715 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m in Toronto. Our wedding is about 200 people 

Including everything (rings and honeymoon) our total is $107K. 

Our venue is a historical site and so stunning in downtown Toronto. It’s costing approx. $45,000. 

Photography and videography is $5000.

Decor and florals is $10,000

Dress, veil, shoes, and jewellery is about $5000. 

Planner is $800.

Grooms stuff is $1000. 

Invitations and Save-The-Date Cards are about $750.

Honeymoon is $12000. We’re going to Mauritius for just over 2 weeks. 

Rings was $22000.

Beauty crap is $1000. 

Gifts and favours are $1500. 

I can’t remember what else we’re spending money on. I’m Guyanese so big weddings are a huge thing. My parents wouldn’t have none of the small wedding even though I tried. 

Post # 50
2760 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

hermionegranger :  Thank you!! As soon as I saw the venue online we booked it without even seeing it in person haha I was completely sold! Its called Cobble Beach, overlooking Georgian Bay (near Owen Sound) πŸ™‚ 

Post # 51
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

summerrain123 :  Oh my goodness…thank you so much! embarassed

Not Style Me Pretty but instead, we submitted to a Canadian luxury wedding magazine.

Post # 52
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’m in Australia. We are somewhere in between the UK and the US, with the result that you don’t really know what’s expected sometimes haha. E.g. I didn’t know whether it was ok for my BM’s to pay for their dresses, so I offered to pay but only 1 took me up on it. I think in general people do open bars, and we don’t do separate invites to the ceremony and reception like some tiered UK weddings seem to. But also we don’t usually have bridal showers or multi-day bachelorettes. My wedding:

Total Cost: $20k (Includes everything even honeymoon which was just 3 nights away on a nearby island) (Was going to be less but we were so lucky to get some unconditional contributions from our parents. Plus one less unconditional contribution from my grandmother lol…) 

Guest Count: 85

Time: 4pm – 11.30pm

Invites: $200

Ceremony Venue and hire of chairs, arch etc: $1,300

All-inclusive reception venue with 3 course meal: $10k

My dress and alterations: $2k

Cupcakes: $400

Officiant: Free – our minister

Makeup: $100

Flowers: $600

Centerpieces: Made by a friend!

Wedding rings: $900

Groom’s suit hire: $125

Music: Our own playlist (worked fabulously)

Photographer: $2,500

+other bits and pieces – self-drive car hire, speakers…


Post # 53
29 posts
  • Wedding: September 2017

Indian wedding, it will be at least 160K

henna party and Sangeet

venue+food- 10K


venue+food (breakfast, lunch, dinner) 80K

planner 10K

outfits, jewelry 15K

decor 20K

photo 7K

video 7K

dj 3K

makeup/hair 3K

invites, programs, etc 3K

+parents paying for out of country family to fly in and relatives to stay at the hotel for wedding weekend 

Post # 54
6 posts
  • Wedding: December 2017

avalily :  Such an interesting question! I’m from the US and I’ve been to a ton of weddings that vary from low key small budget to black tie huge budget weddings. My wedding is in around six months and our budget is about $40,000. We are having a 175 person formal wedding- Catholic mass with a traditional reception. Most of the budget is going towards venue, food and open bar (about $30,000) and the remaining ten is split between photography/videography, invitations, transportation, bridal party gifts etc. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the final number was closer to $45,000 because there’s a few details that haven’t been ironed out yet. I’ve seen beautiful weddings done anywhere from $5,000 to over 100k. 

Ive actually been a bridesmaid five times and will be one again in the fall so a total of six times. Plus, I’ve been to around 25 weddings. I’ve seen Jewish weddings, Catholic, Methodist, Non-denominational, Muslim, Celtic Handfasting and justice of the peace. I absolutely love going to weddings of a different culture because it’s such a cool experience. The next wedding I’m in is a Hindu wedding and I’m so excited to experience that!! I always joke that I should start a professional bridesmaid service because I actually enjoy being a bridesmaid, even with all the hassles that can be involved πŸ™‚ also, my friend told me that in Hindu weddings they usually buy the bridesmaids attire (although she also said they traditionally don’t have bridesmaids at all and having bridesmaid is a more modern thing) where in all the more “traditional American” weddings I’ve been in the bridesmaids buy their own dresses and then the bride gives them a thank you gift (which in my experience is usually jewelry and something else). 

another little side note: my fiancé is second generation Irish American (he was born here but then lived in Dublin for about six years from childhood into teen years) and still uses Irish slang like craic so I enjoyed reading your posts!! We talk about moving there for a couple years just for fun someday! πŸ™‚ 

Post # 56
94 posts
Worker bee

mandakay0021 :  A $7000-$8000 wedding is my goal. Can I ask how you did it? A $600 venue sounds like an awesome deal. What kind of venue was it, if you don’t mind me asking?

Post # 57
5917 posts
Bee Keeper

avalily :  Stag and Does are fairly new – I think maybe the last 15 years or so? Back in the 80s it used to be that the groom had a Bachelor party and the bride had a bridal shower which was typically sandwich trays and veggie platters and cake and punch in someone’s living room with rather modest shower gifts. Then (my guess at least) is that some women thought it was sexist that their fiance got a night out on the town with his buddies while she sat with the great aunts opening gifts of pot holders and cookie jars etc. So ‘Jack and Jill’ co-ed showers became the norm, which also made it more inclusive for same sex couples to have ‘Jack and Jack’ or ‘Jill and Jill’ showers- the idea being that household gifts were for both halves of the couple to use πŸ™‚  And then women started having Bachelorettes of their own.

The only thing is- I think these events were actually supposed to replace the more traditional versions but instead got added on and there seems to be more and more pre-wedding events. I think (again, I’m guessing) Stag & Doe fundraisers morphed out of ‘Jack and Jill’ showers- but both Jack and Jill showers and the traditional bridal shower are still common. And engagement parties are  now pretty standard here now too. And some Bachelor/ Bachelorette parties end up being multi-day destination events, even when members of the bridal party all live locally. The Stag and Does though are very popular here, often members of the wedding party sell tickets to co-workers/ teammates etc. People bring $$ for the cash bar, raffle tickets etc but don’t bring gifts.

Registries are common here, not so much when it’s a second wedding though (we didn’t register). A lot of people give cash even if there’s a registry. Registries are also used for bridal and baby showers. Engagement party gifts I’m finding are also increasingly common, though usually not very expensive- a bottle of wine, a silver picture frame etc.

And yes, love homemade wine and veggie food. I’m not a vegetarian myself but have family members and friends who are so I cook vegetarian frequently. And my sister teases me about marrying a guy who makes his own wine πŸ™‚ lol perfect for me.

Post # 59
140 posts
Blushing bee

tillymac :  I bought a house when I was single so I could pay off my school debts which are quite small but still debt(rent is nuts period). Only debt I have and I have since sold my house since me and SO do not need to own two. I also have bookoos of savings but that is all retirement/emergency I feel. Things work differently for different people.

Do I have enough money on my own to have a big wedding, yes. With SO combined even better. But I guess I still feel its not the best way to spend MY extra money/income right now. Instead I shell it out to my loans and savings. I think of savings as something that “its there but forget about it”. Takes too long to build that up and then blow it in a day. Why I am at loss as to whether or not I want parent(s) to put in the money or not since after all they raised me to be overly frugal to begin with. 


School debt is more of an investment anyways. So is it really debt? Mine is the equivalent of a basic new car.

Post # 60
787 posts
Busy bee

marypoppins :  I am by far the most frugal person I know and cannot stand to pay for something if there’s a cheaper way to get the same product.  All of it came down to having a budget & research!  I chose a venue in the great smoky mountains national park. The ceremony site was $200 & the reception site was $400. This was actually the most expensive venue I considered (the others were state parks & were $150-200). I saved by making my flowers work for bridesmaids bouquets and my centerpieces. Food was a huge money saver & also required the most research. I stumbled upon a lady that caters from her home so although her food is excellent, her cost is low. We had 2 meats, 3 veggies, cake, & lemonade, tea, & water for $12.50 pp + $180 for the cake (which was more than double the size we needed for our guest count). Despite that cost, people are still talking about the famous mashed potatoes at my wedding & that it was the best roast beef they’ve ever had at a wedding.  I fb/blog stalked all local brides that posted their vendors either in a local brides fb page or wedding blogs til I found my caterer. She only lives 20 minutes from me but had to travel 2 hours to our venue. I would have been extremely limited if I’d only looked at vendors in the area of my wedding location. Photography & videography were my 2 other huge savings. My photographer is one of the best & most expensive in my area, but she’s also one of my best friends. She did it for the cost of film. Otherwise it would have cost $4000 more for photography for her caliber. My videographer wasn’t new to video but was new to wedding videography (his primary job was boat commercials). I was his 3rd wedding. His price was a little higher than I could afford so I was honest with him- “you are by far my favorite I’ve seen but I can only afford $800”. As soon as I told him that he lowered his price down for me by renegotiating the package details.  Nine months later his video costs $2500!!!  If I was looking for both a photographer & videographer now (& I didn’t have my friend), I would’ve used the videographer as my photographer too. He has a super high quality video camera & he can turn anything in the video into a picture. So, there might be others out there that can do that as well. I also saved on decor. I did not buy one piece of decor new, instead I bought it all from other brides on my local brides fb page. I saved a ton & then resold it for profit after the wedding!  Good luck!

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