(Closed) What was your biggest wedding sticker shock?

posted 12 years ago in Money
  • poll:


    beauty (hair, makeup, trials)


    accesories (veil, hair pieces, shoes, etc)






  • Post # 47
    145 posts
    Blushing bee

    The single priciest thing was the food/drinks, but that didn’t shock me because I kind of knew what to expect.  The photographer is what really got me!  We had engagement portraits immediately (kind of a trial run by a photographer we liked).  Those were $150 for two hours plus the cost of whatever prints we chose.  So I was thinking $300-500 for four or five hours.  Um, no.  More like $2500.  

    As one of my friends says, the price of anything is double when the word "wedding" is attached to it.  

    Post # 48
    132 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    The wedding planner and the honeymoon got me the most! Wow… I’m paying an amount that put me over our budget for a wedding planner who is doing so little ahead of time that I could have saved money and just hired an overpriced DOC.  As for the honeymoon, when the fiance told me the budget he wanted to stick to I thought it was huge and we could go anywhere! Ha! Travel is so pricey, even with all the discounts going on right now.

    Post # 49
    3124 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    My venue won’t budge on their alcohol policy – they charge by the DRINK!  At 3.50 each beer, a case would cost $84.  Remind me to sneak some booze in under my white long dress!! 

    Post # 50
    2819 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    I voted "other", because for me EVERYTHING was a huge shock. Well, maybe not the dress. Everyone knows how much you can spend on a dress if you try, and the first time I actually seriously looked at them, I found a good number of dresses I LOVED for under $500. =)

    But everything else — food, venue rental, glassware/china/flatware, linens, bands/DJs — was a shock. Sure, I knew they could be expensive, but I had no idea that it couldn’t also be INEXPENSIVE (going through a vendor, at least; if you DIY it, then some things are less, for sure).

    I think my BIGGEST shock was the cost to have someone officiate. I live in Alberta, and they recently got rid of the temporary officiant license, and I DO NOT want a religious ceremony, so I would have to go with someone who already is licensed. And they charge $100 just to sign the marriage certificate! (Seriously, one of the commissioners charges $100 pre-tax to have you travel to his house, bring your license and certificate and witnesses with you, and then he says a couple legal things and signs the certificate. Talk about a rip-off!)

    Post # 51
    1041 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    My venue’s food and beverage minimum definitely carried sticker shock. They had provided us with an "average" of what to expect, but since their minimums vary greatly based on day of week and time of day, the average was not accurate at all. (It would have been way more helpful if they had broken it out into a day event vs an evening event and provided medians for both, but that’s the statician in me talking).

    Post # 52
    174 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Flights home for bachelorette weekend and wedding. I heard the number of flights were down in April over last year, but they don’t seem to encourage travel by lowering rates. And if you go into "select seats" more than 3/4 of the plane is still empty!

    Post # 53
    119 posts
    Blushing bee

    Photography is what really shocked us. In fact it shocked so much that we have decided to go without.

    Post # 54
    439 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    My biggest sticker shock was the officiant. I had a basic idea for most other things… but had no clue how much an officiant cost! I even looked into just going to city hall for the ‘making it legal part’ but it actually cost the same (which made the shock a little easier to take, though still shocking).

    Post # 55
    2143 posts
    Buzzing bee

    The officiant was also the sticker shock cost for me. The other stuff I expected to be pricey, but I didn’t think it would be more than around $100 or so for an officiant, maybe $150. Granted, this wasn’t the largest chunk of money we spent, but for someone who just has to fill in a few places here and there from a ceremony (come on, very few ceremonies are TOTALLY from scratch) and only had to devote maybe 2 hours to the whole wedding (getting the ceremony together, rehearsal, 20min ceremony), just blew me away! First person I talked to that was recommended to me was going to charge $250! And he said if he couldn’t do it, he knew other people who could, but they charge $300! Luckily I found someone for $150, but still, she’s just one of those life ministry people (those ordained online). She was great and helpful and it made things easier, but it’s still a huge cost. I almost feel like I should sign up with that website so I can do weddings!

    Post # 56
    365 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2009

    My venue charged by the drink also – and they don’t give you a discount for having a hosted bar vs. cash bar.  I thought they’d at least give a little discount.  The one exception was the wine – if they opened a bottle and only one glass was poured, we still had to pay for the whole bottle.  You better believe i made sure those bottles were finished! 

    Honestly though, the biggest sticker shock was my hair & makeup artist (same person) – I don’t know the exact cost because it was gifted to me by my very generous boss, but I know he charged at least $400-$500 for the hair & makeup trials, day of makeup and his travel fee for the trip from Denver to Estes Park (about 1 1/2 to 2 hr drive).  And what killed me is he kinda crashed my wedding. We had a couple of no-shows, so it wasn’t a problem – we had empty chairs & food that would have gone to waste.  Guess thats the problem with having a vendor that knows some of your guests. 

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