- 8 years ago
- Wedding: April 2011
Growing up, I used to have this arbitrary idea that weddings cost about $30,000. I never even thought about it that hard, but that was the number I chose.
I perused all kinds of sources of wedding inspiration before getting engaged (like many of us!) and was, well, inspired. Many of my browser bookmarks were wedding-related. I was fascinated by the culture of weddings in the US.
It wasn’t until I got engaged this past July and really started looking for inspiration-to-manifestation for the wedding that I actually looked at numbers–estimates, counts and prices.
We set our budget at $10,000. That seemed all fine and dandy and before I even found my first price quote on anything, I got a big head thinking that we would be bucking the wedding industry.
Well, we are avoiding many budget and inspiration ditches that the industry has but since you really don’t know the costs of a wedding until you plan one, it’s actually hard to start with a relevant budget. It was for me anyway. Of course you think of the big costs–venue, catering, clothes, photography. Well, you know they are the bigger costs even if you don’t know price points for them when you first get engaged.
We have tried to limit costs through the guest list which works for us anyways since we want an intimate wedding (can it be intimate with potentially 150 people?). I have forgotten that Chiavari chairs exist and I don’t even understand why someone would pay more for satin napkins (I’d feel weird wiping my mouth on that).
I feel like I sound like a cheapskate when I talk to friends about my cost-cutting measures. Maybe I get their reactions that make me feel that way because they aren’t aware of how much things can cost for a wedding. Maybe I should reframe my exciting news about choosing non-floral centerpieces to save HUNDREDS of dollars.
Well, when I heard from a rental company that renting a floor-length round tablecloth was $20 a piece, I had a double take.
Now I know why weddings cost what they do. Tablecloths, chair covers, favors, cake that people won’t eat, wedding photography packages.
I don’t want to sound like a downer. Luckily, the things that tend to cost the most aren’t priorities in my wedding planning–either I don’t have them or I have an alternative that I like style-wise and budget-wise.
What wedding prices surprised you?