Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Married SFers: How much did your wedding cost?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Fraiche, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. OakCliff

    OakCliff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    If your future wife is super hot and is going to be high maintenance and you don't mind, then forget about a cheap wedding. Cave in on the 30k wedding, since it is a pretty ambitious budget for a nice wedding to begin with (especially if it includes the cost of a rehearsal dinner the night before). The big challenge will be to stay firm at the 30k cap. The costs could easily be double that for a nice wedding and it will be tough for you to hold the line, since there will be all sorts of compromises to keep the budget at 30k.

    If you want a nice wedding for < $5k (as described by many in this thread), then find someone else to marry who doesn't care about impressing people and just wants to have a good time and be married to you.
     


  2. i10casual

    i10casual Senior member

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    My wedding was about 13G with like about two hundred guests, just family really. I didn't but anything expensive for myself to wear, just rentals. The bride had everything she wanted. I got lucky because my sisterinlaw works at a jeweler so I got the wifey's ring at cost! [​IMG]
     


  3. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

    Messages:
    11,179
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    Sunny Saigon
    poor white guy Is there a way for you to skip these crazy weddings if your parents are vietnamese?
    no. youre doomed.
     


  4. thisfits

    thisfits Senior member

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Ahem.

    As I, one of the first to respond in this thread, have already indicated: I have already been through all of this. I know firsthand how things can get out of control. Just because the average cost of a wedding is $28,000 doesn't mean you have to spend even close to that. (In fact, I'd love to know where you got that figure.)

    My wedding was a fraction of that. We had a lovely time without alcohol (it was in the middle of the day). We didn't feel the need to spend $9,000 on flowers that would be tossed within 24 hours. There was no $12,000 catoring job. No $6,000 photographer showed up. Everybody saw a lovely ceremony, ate well, and visited for hours. There was lots of laughter and tons of memorable pictures.

    Quite frankly, I'd say that anybody who says a wedding must cost anywhere close to $28,000 has been sucked in by magazines and Oxygen network.


    Haha ... I think this is funny, because we're both actually on the same page on this.

    First things first: 2007 Wall Street Journal book review where that $28,000 number is based on the 2006 average. It's four years old, though, so it wouldn't surprise me if the cost has gone up. And if you review all of the final bills tallied in this thread, $28K seems about right.

    I actually found it through this very good post on how to handle the cost of a wedding. It kind of circumvents the standard thinking by *gasp* actually taking human behavior into account.

    I did see your response, and of course I was excepting your example. I also had a feeling you'd take issue with what I said. [​IMG]

    If you looked at my early response, my own wedding was well below the average, too -- probably one of the better $/head ratios at ~$15K for about 400 guests.

    What I didn't mention--because I think people have a hard time believing this--is that our out-of-pocket expense was closer to $12K, after some post-wedding adjustments, and that we actually aggressively saved enough in other areas (photographer, cake, invitations) to pay for a full sit-down reception (we'd told our guests on the invitation it was cake and punch only).

    So I'm right with you: I don't think a wedding must cost anywhere near $28,000. I think it's very sad that so many do.

    But I do take issue with people who haven't been married and who say "just have a small wedding" or who insist they will have a small wedding because I think the reality is, once it's your wedding, all that financial pragmatism doesn't stand a chance against the combined forces of the wedding-industrial complex and the minefield of perfect princess wedding dreams tens of millions of women have held since childhood. You and I got through; better men than us did not, no doubt.

    So what to do? For the OP and other guys who are going to get married soon: don't capitulate. Certainly not financially: I still think he's going about this wrong by asking her to think about the big number, the $10K, the potential down payment on the house. It's time for guerilla warfare: be tactical. There have been several good suggestions in this thread:

    • See if you can get away with cheap liquor, or like Teacher and I, NO ALCOHOL at all. Huge savings.
    • Aggressively seek discounts from service providers. We cut our photographer expenses in half by shopping around and developing a relationship with someone we clicked with before discussing cost. I liked the earlier idea about not mentioning you're getting quotes for a wedding. And someone else mentioned taking an objective friend along to keep everyone honest.
    • DIY where you can. Others have mentioned using a home printer for invitations. I did this; looked at other people's invitations, drafted something simply and classy in Photoshop, and then purchased clearance wedding paper from a local paper wholesaler I found on Google. Saved on stamps by making a website to handle the RSVPs (non-technical friends who liked that idea have RSVPs go to a wedding-specific Gmail address). We also saved a bundle on cake by having a smaller wedding cake for ceremonial purposes (cake cutting, best man's toast), and having the catering staff slice up sheet cakes from Costco in the kitchen. The Costco cake was cheap, delicious, and no one knew any better.
    • If you're religious, pray. My wife and I did, and we kept getting lucky. For example, the dress she fell in love with happened to be a display model from the previous season. Instant 50% discount. YMMV.
    • If you're religious, be generous. We had a bridesmaid who was eager to be in the wedding party, but was paying her way through school and was struggling with the cost of the bridesmaid dress. Although we were trying to cut costs wherever we could since we weren't expecting any financial assistance from parents, we decided this was someone we wanted to play a special part in our wedding. So we covered the cost for her.

    Now I don't think most people can get the cost as low as we did: we have an extremely supportive church, and dozens of people volunteered their time cooking, setting up the reception, serving the meal,
    and cleaning up afterwards. We've done enough weddings that we have a number of designated wedding "specialists" who lead these affairs, too (I happen to be one), so we also saved on the cost of a professional wedding planner. The result: we thoroughly enjoyed our wedding and had a fun, relatively stress-free day. Having seen stressed-out brides at weddings with costs that ranged from ~$1000 to possibly $100K, I'm very thankful for what all those people did for us.

    Regardless of the specifics, there have to be places where you two can negotiate. Take your budget. Talk through it line by line. Do it over a bottle of wine if that helps. If you love this girl, and if your marriage is going to succeed, you two have to be able to talk things through with each other (though I kinda worry for the OP given the way she walked all over him when he brought up this discussion [​IMG]).

    Also, don't capitulate emotionally: the people saying that you shouldn't treat this like a big deal because 50% of marriages end in divorce are stupid. That's like saying you shouldn't try for the A on the first day of class because the average grade is going to be a C. You have a hand in your marriage's fate, and this is likely your first big test. Don't be passive. You don't have to make every decision, but have an opinion and be engaged in the process.

    Finally, for the young guys who aren't yet married but plan to be: save up for your wedding. Seriously.

    Don't count on your future spouse or her parents: maybe they won't have saved enough (if at all), maybe they'll be too poor or in recent dire financial straits (like, say, paying for her older sister's wedding), or maybe they'll have already passed away.

    Instead, figure out the average age a guy gets married today (I think it's 27), count up the number of months until you hit that age (say, 60 months for a 22 year old), and divide $28000 by that number ($467/month ... [​IMG]). Yeah, that's a lot of money, but even if you can only save up a portion of that, you'll be much better off when the reality of a wedding hits. And if you luck out with a future spouse or her parents willing to help, you can redirect that money toward retirement or a down payment on a house.
     


  5. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    37,142
    Likes Received:
    18,086
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    Happy New Year, Colin
     


  6. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,338
    Likes Received:
    3,585
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    1. its pretty simple - for 50 years the man gets to run the show. for one evening the woman does. pick your fights.
    2. nobody is talking about a "financially deleterious decision" - the issue is about spending an additional 10K to make your wife happy. in the overall picture of your life, 10K is nothing. everyone talks about the high divorce rate - marrying the woman who is the one you want, and making her happy, is worth a lot more than 10K. and what were you going to do with that 10K? buy a nicer car? take a nicer vacation? buy a house a year earlier? none are as important as making your wife happy
    3. most of us here simply don't "get" how important the wedding is to women. do it right, keep them happy.


    + 100
     


  7. Desi

    Desi Senior member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    325
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore

    Instead, figure out the average age a guy gets married today (I think it's 27), count up the number of months until you hit that age (say, 60 months for a 22 year old), and divide $28000 by that number ($467/month ... [​IMG]). Yeah, that's a lot of money, but even if you can only save up a portion of that, you'll be much better off when the reality of a wedding hits. And if you luck out with a future spouse or her parents willing to help, you can redirect that money toward retirement or a down payment on a house.


    fudge...that is like all my paper.
     


  8. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

    Messages:
    17,863
    Likes Received:
    3,974
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    omicron persei 8
    where'd you guys go for your honeymoons? when it happens i kinda want to just spend a week or two in nyc eating and shopping
     


  9. SField

    SField Senior member

    Messages:
    6,278
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    where'd you guys go for your honeymoons? when it happens i kinda want to just spend a week or two in nyc eating and shopping

    That's a cool idea, although NYC could be a little hectic. Also consider a location where you can eat and shop just as well, that might be more different than where you're from.

    NYC is more of a weekend kind of thing.
     


  10. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

    Messages:
    3,196
    Likes Received:
    1,209
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit-ish
    where'd you guys go for your honeymoons? when it happens i kinda want to just spend a week or two in nyc eating and shopping

    We went to Martinique and St. Lucia and spent the time doing nothing but sitting on the beach or in the pool and eating. It was perfect.

    We considered going to Spain and Portugal for a few weeks but we realized that we would be too distracted with history, art, and architecture and we didn't really want to do anything active.
     


  11. WhateverYouLike

    WhateverYouLike Senior member

    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    1. its pretty simple - for 50 years the man gets to run the show. for one evening the woman does. pick your fights.
    2. nobody is talking about a "financially deleterious decision" - the issue is about spending an additional 10K to make your wife happy. in the overall picture of your life, 10K is nothing. everyone talks about the high divorce rate - marrying the woman who is the one you want, and making her happy, is worth a lot more than 10K. and what were you going to do with that 10K? buy a nicer car? take a nicer vacation? buy a house a year earlier? none are as important as making your wife happy
    3. most of us here simply don't "get" how important the wedding is to women. do it right, keep them happy.


    [​IMG]
     


  12. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

    Messages:
    17,863
    Likes Received:
    3,974
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    omicron persei 8
    We went to Martinique and St. Lucia and spent the time doing nothing but sitting on the beach or in the pool and eating. It was perfect.

    We considered going to Spain and Portugal for a few weeks but we realized that we would be too distracted with history, art, and architecture and we didn't really want to do anything active.


    nice i want to do either this and chill or try all the top restaurants in nyc every day for a week or two. it turns out 8 of the 3, 2 michelin star restaurants will cost about 3 grand for 2 people.
     


  13. SField

    SField Senior member

    Messages:
    6,278
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    it turns out 8 of the 3, 2 michelin star restaurants will cost about 3 grand for 2 people.
    wtf?? It will if you're popping expensive bottles. But most tasting menus with prestige/premium pairings would not run you more than maybe $800 a person... and that's extremely expensive. Food max $300 unless you're talking about Masa. The only time food gets really expensive is when great raw fish is involved (caviar too), and of course truffles... but people don't generally eat enough truffles to take the bill into the stratosphere.
     


  14. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Likes Received:
    2,048
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    3 grand for 2 people is really tough to do, in my experience. In fact, in my experience, it is basically impossible without going wine crazy.
     


  15. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    37,142
    Likes Received:
    18,086
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    Isn't he talking about 8 dinners for two??
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by