Post # 1
I know I am inviting disagreement here, but I wanted to have an honest discussion on the wedding industry and its consumerism.My grandparents got married at their local church and went to lunch with 10 of their nearest and dearest. This was the usualy wedding of my grandparents generation.
My parents had a slightly larger wedding, but still modest and sensible.
Today however, wedding shows, decor vendors, banquet halls etc…now add up to at least $15,000 if your lucky for your special day. Why has this become the new standard? When beginning to plan my wedding, the only options that seemed to be available was either go into debt to get married or elope.
Now I know there are other options like restaurant receptions, 30 person weddings, brunch weddings etc….but when discussed with our families they these actually weren’t options for us in their minds.
It seems like expectations of weddings have taken over what the actual meaning of a wedding should be. And it feels like if I choose to have a very small and intimate weddings we will be disappointing alot of people, who have grand expectations from the shows they see and the options now available.
So why have weddings blown up into these large affairs that focus on the details of the wedding instead of the purpose of the wedding?
Post # 3
I am going to have about 10 people at my wedding… and yes, I do agree with you, nowadays they are so darn big (100 +) and costs thousands of dollars! But, a lot of them are sooooooo extravagant and pretty, something I can’t do on my tiny budget!
Post # 4
Big weddings are pretty normal on my mum’s side of the family. Everyone in the family was always invited to family parties and (in a family where there were 13 siblings on my grandpa’s side, almost all of whom had at least 3 children…) it was a big family. So general family summer parties stretched to 100 people or more and family occasions (weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and significant birthdays) could stretch to 200.
It all started in 1945 with a simple gathering in a family home to celebrate the fact that no one had died in our family in WWII.
Post # 5
I totally agree…I’m having 51 people including us and its costing us around $13,000, not including the $3500 for our honeymoon. Then I still have people saying “thats cheap” Umm, no it isn’t…I would like to spend that on our marriage, not just a wedding! To think what others spend on the humungous weddings of 100+ people you hardly speak to in your daily lives just boggles my mind.
Post # 6
@missjewels: The problems come with trying to pare down the guest list. It is very difficult. I had originally planned for a $7500 wedding with 85 people and now it looks more like 125 at 12,000. Neither of us have large or close families but it is hard to choose between your friends.
Post # 7
well our wedding is currently at a 100 person guest list – all except about 8 of those being family, not extended family – second cousins etc, but close family – aunts, uncles, first cousins – most of whom are FI’s family.
it would be about $37,000 including honeymoon.
i think it is slightly odd that cash bars are out of the question for most brides on here but apparently weddings are too expensive, cash bars are a HUGE money saver!
Post # 8
I completely agree. Blows my mind.
Post # 9
Our 50 guest wedding is costing us just over $8,000 and to me that is alot of money, especially when your paying for it yourself. I’ve been working on the budget this weekend, and we might be at $10,00 when it’s all said and done. I couldn’t imagine having a 100+ person wedding because it would be just be so costly!!
Post # 10
In some cultures, the earlier generations would never see or meetbtheir distant relatives if there wasn’t a wedding involved. It was too difficult to travel even to the next village over. Many weddings were arranged between families to create strong alliances for politics, trade, or mutual defense, so the entire family would be expected to turn out. Traces of these traditions still run strong, but the advancement of the Internet and reality TV (at least in the US) make many people think this is the norm. If the only weddings you’ve ever seen are the over-the-top 500-guest affairs on tv, you think that’s normal. It’s just like how “sweet 16” parties were relatively uncommon, at least among the American middle class, till they were all over MTV, then all of a sudden every teenage girl “needs” to have an outrageously decadent and expensive affair for her birthday.
Post # 11
I’m going to respectfully disagree and say that, while there are plenty of people who are all about having an elaborate wedding just for the sake of having one…not everyone who has a large wedding has misplaced priorities. Our guest list is pushing 300 right now, and every single person on that guest list is someone we love and have a relationship with. We want these individuals, who have supported and loved us for years, to be with us to witness and celebrate our marriage.
Additionally, between my Fiance and I, well over half our guest list is immediate family members. Like a PP said, regular family events can be easily 100-200 people. Our large guest list isn’t about grandeur and overspending–it just reflects the size of our family and social circles. Also, for what it’s worth, it’s happening for $10,000 and we will not be going into debt to pay for it.
I do agree with you that there is a tendency to blow things out of proportion, but I would point out that this can happen with a wedding of any size.
Post # 12
Because everybody’s idea of a perfect wedding is different. People’s circumstances and finances are also very varied. We would prefer something medium sized, if that makes sense.
Post # 13
My grandmother got married in Italy in the 1950s with over 300 people there. My great grandfather spent around 5k (which is around 50K in 2012 money). It’s cultural. I am expected to either elope or have a wedding with everyone. Having a more expensive wedding is my choice because I can afford it. I love throwing parties so it is a priority of mine to have an affair to remember. Sure, it’s consumerism. Sure, it may be overblown to some people, but at the end of the day, it’s what I am doing.
Post # 14
we will not be going into debt, both sets of parents have offered to contribute to the cost of the wedding, but we will definitely try to cut the guest list to cut costs, most places i have looked at cost over $100 per head JUST for food (includes room hire)
Post # 15
PS just because people have huge 20k+ weddings doesn’t mean theirs has lost the meaning, they are just able to have a big busy wedding. It’s just personal choice. I’m sure there would be people that don’t understand small weddings too.
Post # 16
@avocado12: My point was the expectations. If you wanted a large weddings with 300 people there then all the power to you. My problem is the societal expectation that is expected of a wedding. My grandparents were never expected to have a large, expensive wedding. I feel my generation there is a vision of weddings and that there are certain things that must be present in order to make it a proper wedding.