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Married SFers: How much did your wedding cost?

post #1 of 312
Thread Starter 
Gents - I am about to go down this path and trying to forecast the budget realistically. GF wants to spend about $30K and I'm trying to talk her down to $20K ($25K max) as I would rather put the money on a downpayment for a home.

Is this a realistic cost for about 100-120 people?
post #2 of 312
Your Fiancees dad should be paying or does he not follow tradition?
post #3 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by URALLMORONS View Post
Your Fiancees dad should be paying or does he not follow tradition?

+1....
post #4 of 312
Spend far less, have a nice and simple wedding, and two things will be accomplished:

1. Your wedding day will be FAR less stressful; and

2. You'll have lots of money to invest in your future instead of blowing a wad on ONE GODDAM DAY.

Sincerely,

Guy who's been through all this
post #5 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher View Post
Spend far less, have a nice and simple wedding, and two things will be accomplished:

1. Your wedding day will be FAR less stressful; and

2. You'll have lots of money to invest in your future instead of blowing a wad on ONE GODDAM DAY.

Sincerely,

Guy who's been through all this

Unmarried but I wholly endorse this message. Invite your closest friends and keep it small, not everyone on your facebook page. Destination weddings are great b/c they can keep costs down and they probably make it really easy to explain to everyone why they weren't invited. Some chicks have to have the big wedding though... Good luck dude.

Oh and I don't know what you make, but 30k for a lot of middle income people is like 2 years' savings... Do the math on investing that over 40 years and see what your wedding really costs. :P
post #6 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher View Post
Spend far less, have a nice and simple wedding, and two things will be accomplished:

1. Your wedding day will be FAR less stressful; and

2. You'll have lots of money to invest in your future instead of blowing a wad on ONE GODDAM DAY.

Sincerely,

Guy who's been through all this

Agree 100%^^!
post #7 of 312
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher View Post
Spend far less, have a nice and simple wedding, and two things will be accomplished:

1. Your wedding day will be FAR less stressful; and

2. You'll have lots of money to invest in your future instead of blowing a wad on ONE GODDAM DAY.

Sincerely,

Guy who's been through all this

Dude...you're preaching to the choir here. That's what I've been trying to tell her.

I even told her "Imagine I gave you $4,000 to spend in 1 hour for shopping. Now imagine I gave you a whole week to do this."

She started to get it but went back to her old ways of wanting the 1 day party.
post #8 of 312
Put the foot down. This needs to be a compromise. Maybe you won't do it JOP style but if you don't want to spend $20,000 or $30,000 don't do it.

Don't get sucked into this bullshit about it being her magical day and whatnot. That fairytale shit is for kids. This is real fuckin' life, homie.

Seacrest. OUT.
post #9 of 312
Our families split the bill on our wedding...we just wanted a simple thing, maybe even a stupid BBQ...you know, free, so we can have money to put towards a home. Her family had none of it and hooked in my parents as well. The Wedding and following party cost around $75,000 with everything. We could have bought a fucking house with that as a down payment (plus our original $25k), but noooo, so we have two kids in a tiny 2 br apartment.

If you are paying for this yourself, you seriously need to do it as simple as possible, and if you are that far apart re: your thought about spending all that $$ in one day, think about what other basic philosophical differences you're gonna have, especially when it comes to your collective money. I'm not saying to dump the girl, but its something you should be taking more seriously if you're that far apart.
post #10 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkRanger View Post
If you are paying for this yourself, you seriously need to do it as simple as possible, and if you are that far apart re: your thought about spending all that $$ in one day, think about what other basic philosophical differences you're gonna have, especially when it comes to your collective money. I'm not saying to dump the girl, but its something you should be taking more seriously if you're that far apart.

Plus effen one
post #11 of 312
ok, here's the deal. you are going to get married, and it will be the way your fiance wants it. you can fight it all you want, but it will just cause a lot of grief.

the 10K difference isn't worth destroying your relationship.

I wanted to have a small wedding that I could pay for. my wife wanted a big wedding that her grandfather would pay for. I fought the whole way, and it became very ugly and stressful. this isn't where you want to fight. enjoy the wedding.
post #12 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
ok, here's the deal. you are going to get married, and it will be the way your fiance wants it. you can fight it all you want, but it will just cause a lot of grief.

the 10K difference isn't worth destroying your relationship.

I wanted to have a small wedding that I could pay for. my wife wanted a big wedding that her grandfather would pay for. I fought the whole way, and it became very ugly and stressful. this isn't where you want to fight. enjoy the wedding.

Your situation is different.

It sounds like yours was paid for by her fam and it was just your preference to do it smaller.

This one's coming out of the guy's own pocket so the difference between $30,000 and $15,000 could be huge for him. Totally different.
post #13 of 312
my wife and I secretly eloped to our respective families' horror. but the savings (and being cut off financially from the families for 5 years after our marriage) was the best thing ever for us.

she got into the work force immediately and I finished up med school/residency. the best part is that we didn't owe anything (tuition or any other college debt) so we just lived super simple but never actually had debt (especially from our parents).

now my wife makes even more than me, and I love that.

but here's what I've seen with all my other friends marriages:

you don't even know if a $75k marriage will be better than a $25k marriage!

I've seen some expensive disasters because the budget got so out of control the fiance couldn't handle the workload by herself and it ended up being something she didn't even really want (where a wedding planner basically just strong-armed everything). Or worst yet: you pay a boatload of money - then her family turns it into a tacky nightmare (thats the worst because you paid for a shitty wedding and only have her family to blame).

then i've seen/been part of the super simple streamlined weddings that were so beautiful - because it was all about the bride and groom.

if her family pays (and its in their culture to do so) then all bets are off, let them deal with the whole thing and even chip in if you want. BUT if you're paying for it you have to be cautious and stand ground. before you know it she may want a specific house/car/ect thats above budget (a very slippery slope).
post #14 of 312
A variety of thoughts come to mind:

The whole wedding planning process tends to take on a life of it's own and it is easy to 1) start adding more people and 2) more details that all add up to more $$$. Without tight controls it is very easy to go way over budget.

If you and your fiancee can agree to a absolute firm budget and stick to it, that in itself will be a major accomplishment.

However, if you are trying to save money, then consider a smaller scale, simple wedding. There is really no other way.

This happened with my step daughter two years ago. She ended up asking me to arrange it for her after she couldn't make the numbers work. We had it in Mexico, with 35 significant people, for less than half the price of having it at Bay Area wineries or resorts. Plus, had it been local, she would have felt "forced" to invite many more people. She loved it! Consider a destination wedding as a way to drop names off the guest list.

The best weddings I have attended have all been smaller gatherings.

If your fiancees family puts presure on you for a much bigger wedding then I suggest you ask them to contribute substantially.

If your future wife really wants and needs a big wedding and it is $5K more, that won't be very much in the overall scheme of things.
post #15 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Unmarried but I wholly endorse this message. Invite your closest friends and keep it small, not everyone on your facebook page. Destination weddings are great b/c they can keep costs down and they probably make it really easy to explain to everyone why they weren't invited. Some chicks have to have the big wedding though... Good luck dude.

Oh and I don't know what you make, but 30k for a lot of middle income people is like 2 years' savings... Do the math on investing that over 40 years and see what your wedding really costs. :P

I disagree strongly with the destination wedding idea. That's basically transferring the cost of the wedding onto the guests. Speaking generally, I'm not a fan of destination weddings, but I think it's particularly poor form to ask people to travel when one in 10 Americans doesn't have a job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
ok, here's the deal. you are going to get married, and it will be the way your fiance wants it. you can fight it all you want, but it will just cause a lot of grief.

the 10K difference isn't worth destroying your relationship.

I wanted to have a small wedding that I could pay for. my wife wanted a big wedding that her grandfather would pay for. I fought the whole way, and it became very ugly and stressful. this isn't where you want to fight. enjoy the wedding.

I (mostly) agree with this. I let MrsG pretty well do what she wanted, though her mother paid for most of it, and we weren't looking at $25k. Our wedding was expensive, but it wasn't that expensive.

It seems to me that there has to be some kind of middle ground for you guys - perhaps you can propose a comprmise that meets in the middle?

Either way, unless it's going to destroy you financially, you may be better off grinning and bearing most of it.
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