(Closed) Spending a ton of money on a wedding…semi vent

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 47
1274 posts
Bumble bee

OP – I completely hear you on this post. Yes everyone has their own budget and their own style and wishlist for their wedding, but it does give me sticker shock when I start looking into prices for certain items. And sit there thinking, “Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to have extra money to have that, or the better version of that at our wedding.” Jealousy. It must happen to everyone at some point during the wedding planning process I think. Even those girls with 80 -100k budgets. There is always something you can’t have that you want, no matter what your budget.

When Fiance and I first started looking at halls and catering prices I almost panicked completely and think we would NEVER be able to afford any kind of wedding. Weddings are damn expensive! I am VERY lucky – my parents hopped right up and offered to help cover a lot of the wedding themselves. I never would have expected this and we are so grateful to be able to have a nicer wedding then we could have afforded on our own.

I think it’s important to just keep thinking that at the end of the day, you and your future husband will be married and your wedding day will and should be a reflection of you as a couple. 🙂 

Post # 48
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

It breaks my heart when I see blue collar families forking over 50k+ to their daughters for their weddings. It is the cultural norm here in NY.. but I am not from here and it makes no sense to me.

Post # 49
478 posts
Helper bee

Our budget, excluding honeymoon and rings, is about $12,000.  And I agree with you.  The wedding industrial complex is totally out of control, and it’s hard not to get sucked into it.  Even the amount we’re spending is excessive, if I really think about it.  Given when I’ve read of the average American couple’s income and their average savings, debt, retirement, etc., that average cost of a wedding just doesn’t make any sense.  Half of all Americans say they couldn’t handle a $2000 emergency!  But we are bombarded with these images and come to expect these things and view this level of spending as “normal.”  Shoot, I could pay off my car with that money, lol.  But, well, I just gave into it.

I understand that it’s hard to see people spending so much, knowing you can’t.  But if you take a broader view of your financial goals, and even just compare to some other places in the world, it may help your view.  Some people tend to compare themselves to those that have more than them, and not look at the many many people who have less.  This causes grief.

Post # 50
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@nikole.powell.np:  umm ppl that spend  that much aren’t draining their bank accounts (hopefully) 

I’m not jealous of people with bigger budgets because a huge lavish wedding isn’t important to me–I’m guessing that if it was super important to you, you could extend your planning period and put $ into an acct every  month and come up with a lot more $—but that would mean postponing, and maybe spending $ on a party that could be used for more practical things

Post # 51
396 posts
Helper bee

I agree with many others, I don’t see why you should be jealous because I’ve been to weddings that were created on a really tight budget and I had a blast at them! At the end it’s not about what was at the reception/ceremony but whether or not you had a good time.  I recently went to a wedding that cost an easy 70k – and honestly it was the worst wedding I have ever been too, boring, not fun people left super early etc.  Waste of money if you ask me!

We are going to be spending around 50K (please dont think I’m insane).  We are paying for the wedding ourselves and have been saving every single penny for the last few years.  I’m currently working two jobs and so is Fiance because the last thing I want to do is get into debt.. the only good thing we’ll get out of our wedding is that we should get 25k-30k back from our guests.  In my tradition and where we are from people tend to be generous – the minimum most guest give is $100 per person, some don’t give anything, some give more – so in reality we’ll be spending somewhere around 25k.. which I guess is still bad.. but we’re having 400 people at the reception.  So for a 400 person wedding 25k isn’t all that bad if you ask me.  We also recently bought a home together, so yes we’re just on a strict budget on a daily basis but it is what it is.

Post # 52
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ll be a little bit more direct and offer my honest opinion: I don’t really care who is paying for it – I think in the scheme of our world and the issues facing some people everyday I almost find it unethical to have a double to triple-digit budget for one day. 

But then, vegetarians would find me unethical, car-less bike-riders would find me unethical, numerous other camps for numerous other things… I don’t think it makes them rude and at the end of the day their opinion doesn’t govern what I do.  We all have to try to please ourselves.

And that’s what I’m circling to.  What I get from your post OP is this message: that it’s not the money issue, it’s not other brides and what they have monetarily or don’t – it’s that on your budget it’s going to be hard to please yourself.  That’s what I think is the sad thing.  And I sympathize.  I want to have a reasonable wedding (and my “reasonable” is extremely conservative) and I know that means really forgoing some things I find exceptionally beautiful.

It’s not about the money, you’re getting a pang of jealousy that you can’t really have what would please you most.  I get that.  People sort of turned it into this, “Don’t question my budget!” but, it’s not that.  Even if you had a million dollars and what would really please you would cost two million… We all want our wedding to be what we envision and it’s a crappy feeling when we think it won’t be.

But you can make it what you want to be and you can have a great time.  I’d wager that at the end of the day when you’re kissing after saying, “I do,” you won’t have any ill feelings.  But for now, I can tell you, I understand where you’re coming from.

Post # 53
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We are paying for our own wedding and have a budget of about 4k. We are having it at home for two reasons: 1: Price obviously and 2: I love our house.

We are having a BBQ style. We have told people it is more or less like a normal party but in better clothes. Obviously more effort is going into it than normal but its going to be very personal.

Each person is different but I personally couldn’t really justify spending much more even if I had it. We spent that on a deposit on our new house!

You can do great things with a small budget it’s just a bit more searching for the best price. It doesn’t have to look cheap because it is. Make it what you want. You might just have to put a bit more leg work and elbow grease in than normal!


Post # 54
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I personally could not spend over $6,000 on ONE day and go to sleep at night. The thought of someone spending over 10k on their wedding is disgusting. It literally makes me feel sick inside. I don’t mean to offend anyone, that’s just ME. It has nothing to do with how much I make or how much is in my bank account. These are just my convictions.

I think about people living off $60 a a month and all the other more fruitful things I could do with money. I think of what it feels like to not have a home, or to not be able to pay for medical treatment when you need it.

We often think we “need” something when we don’t have an understanding of what TRUE need is.

You should be proud of yourself for sticking to your budget! Not jealous.



Post # 56
38 posts
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am in Boston MA the queen of expensive and I refuse to pay the crazy prices these venues charge.  I looked & looked and found a dream place.  With serious seeking you can find anything.  $1k on a dress?  Personally that to me is waste.  I know every bride wants a gown that they love but you can get on craigslist and or recycled bride and find one for a fraction.  There are TONS of resources online to DIY.  

I am spending $8 to $9 k – and won’t go over.  

Post # 57
5427 posts
Bee Keeper

I am spending only $1000 That should be dinner for 30 and the ceremony. I am making my own cake, dress, etc… I can’t fathom spending thousands of dollars on one day… I cannot imagine that much money in the first place! LOL

Post # 58
835 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@DulcetMute:  +1

We all get jealous sometimes and I think its natural. Just make the best out of your situation! I’m sure you will have a lovely time!

Post # 59
3295 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat

I would love to keep our wedding to $5K. Plates are $29, the venue inclues staff, linens, silverware, etc… so I don’t have to rent anything. I hope we can do it!

Post # 60
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t think people are taking into account cost of living here at all. In my hometown a couple bringing in a combined $40k a year are living well- cost of living is insanely cheap. So would anyone around there spend, or even need to spend $40k for a wedding? No, because low cost of living= lower cost everything. I can’t imagine how that much could even be spent in my hometown unless you had a sit down plated dinner for 500 people.

On the flip side someone in NYC or Philly probably would be living in a tiny studio apartment eating Ramen on $40k a year. So obviously the high cost of living is going to affect the wedding cost, but you have to keep in mind someone in NYC/Philly/a big city is going to bring in a higher salary. So I wish people would quit getting riled up over dollar amounts because $40k means one thing in one city and a whole ‘nother story in a big city. 

Post # 61
914 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

OP I totally understand how you feel and actually felt the same. I look at these blogs and wedding websites and for some reason think I need that. But in all reality I don’t. I can’t afford it, I don’t want the stress of it, and it’s not me. And it’s taking a lot of internal thinking to realize that. The only things that anyone really needs to be married is two people, an officiant, and a wedding license. All that other stuff is 100% optional and up to each couple. You need to sit down with you Fiance and write down what is the most important parts of the wedding for YOU (not what everyone else says is important). Obviously your dress is important and there is NOTHING wrong with that.  For others having a big giant fancy venue is important. Nothing wrong with that either. You also need to figure out what things you don’t really need (but the industry/blogs/etc tell you that you do!) like favors, table cloths, fancy chairs, etc. And you can have a beautiful, amazing wedding if you spend $50k or if you spend $500, because in the end, you’re  married and that’s the only thing that really matters.

I suggest the book A Practical Wedding for anyone planning a wedding. It’s helped me realize I don’t need a bloggable (is that a word?) wedding. Who cares if I don’t have 4 tier $1000 wedding cake or bridesmaids with matching dresses. Those things are not me or my Fiance. Our wedding is about Fiance and myself and choosing to spend our lives together, not what the industry thinks it should be about. And my $4k wedding is going to be amazing, because I’m finally getting married!


ETA: And I also would never spend that much $$$ on one day, but if someone else chooses to do so, it’s their money, not mine 🙂

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