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Married SFers: How much did your wedding cost?

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

  1. thisfits

    thisfits Senior member

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    Ours cost ~$15K for 400 guests (about 350 turned up). We paid for most of it out-of-pocket (parents were in a tough place financially and couldn't help much).

    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?


    The people saying have a small simple wedding are, frankly, naive. EVERYONE says that, especially after seeing the $28,000 average cost of a wedding.

    And yet, the average is still $28,000. Good intentions and all that.

    Here's my question: how did you two come to $30K and $20K? Did you actually figure out what you want in the wedding and get quotes or estimates? Or are you pulling these numbers out of thin air?

    If you haven't, figure this out first. Get real numbers. Make a budget based on that. Then look at what you can actually afford. Then start picking and choosing where you can scale back and cut. You'll find out where each of you has some wiggle room, and where your non-negotiables are.
     


  2. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    We're doing our research now and it's looking like $20-25K is pretty standard after it was broken down.

    Just food and drinks alone is at least $10K.
     


  3. thisfits

    thisfits Senior member

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    We're doing our research now and it's looking like $20-25K is pretty standard after it was broken down.

    Just food and drinks alone is at least $10K.


    Where's her extra $5K-$10K coming from?

    Yeah, food and drinks was our biggest expense. We looked at our budget, and between us decided that what we really valued was having as many of our friends there to celebrate as possible. So we scaled down from a full meal at the reception to cake and punch.

    Of course, your negotiables will vary based on your values. But it's this kind of think that got us through the wedding without going into debt.
     


  4. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    We got married in Vegas while we were on a roadtrip from Denver to Pasadena. This will be our 10th anniversary in May 2011.
     


  5. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Mine is a destination deal. Everyone we're inviting will have no problem paying. A few of the people who I know can't are going on my dime, and it is my pleasure.

    The cost is a bit lower since it is at a restaurant I once worked at, but it is a fairly expensive wedding when all is said and done. It will be small, though.
     


  6. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    Where, if you don't mind?
     


  7. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    Where's her extra $5K-$10K coming from?

    $20-25 is talking like barebones with minimal stuff on neccessities. Realistic average is like $25-30K.



    Maybe I need people from the other side to weigh in....anyone spent money on an extravagant wedding and thought it was worth it?
     


  8. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Mrs. Spoo and I eloped, but eloped somewhere that was ballerific. Did about $19k for the 2 of us and 2 friends. Worth every penny.
     


  9. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Senior member

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    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.


    I just went through this. I spent 30k for 8 hours at the Hilton [​IMG]

    If I had to do over, I would have rented out an entire restaurant and saved half.
     


  10. thekunk07

    thekunk07 Senior member

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    5 guests, $1000
     


  11. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    I think we spent ~35k total, had 100 people.

    The cost will depend massively on location. Easily 2x cost swings from one part of the country to another. We did ours in Northern VA, one of the most expensive regions for weddings in the country. We ended up dropping $135 a plate for 100 guests, including venue rental and ceremony costs. Her parents paid and really wanted us to have something "nice," probably 10k of that was stuff they added on. Could have slashed a lot of that, stuff like paid hotel rooms for guests, but they wanted to pay, so....

    I looked at some places that were in the $85/plate range in NoVA and they were pretty atrocious. I wasn't terribly picky, but I wasn't going to serve cafeteria food in an unairconditioned building.

    However, $60/plate in GA would have given us something great.

    If you really want to save money, avoid anything with the word "wedding" in it, and don't tell the people you're planning for a wedding until you already have a price.
     


  12. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    We quicky realized that it was our parents -- well more precisely our mothers -- who wanted a big wedding. We bowed out gracefully and let them plan and pay for it. That said, I recall seeing my father-in-law at the post wedding reception (1000+ guests). For a brief moment he was standing all alone in that crowded room ... looking terribly lonely. I walked up and asked if he was alright. He responded, "Alright, but broke." I retorted, "You know this was not our idea, we didn't really want a grand wedding. You didn't have to do this." He replied, "You really don't know your mother-in-law well enough yet. You will."
     


  13. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    Romantic - Its the one day you'll remember for the rest of your lives. Isn't that worth spending money on to be happy with how it will come out?

    Rationalist - Spending $25,000 on a one day party is $25000 less that you and your wife can use to start a family and life together

    Realist - Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce. Would you spend $25000 on something you knew you were going to regret for the rest of your life?
     


  14. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    $20-25 is talking like barebones with minimal stuff on neccessities. Realistic average is like $25-30K.



    Maybe I need people from the other side to weigh in....anyone spent money on an extravagant wedding and thought it was worth it?


    My wife and I spent about $20K out of pocket for a 100 guest wedding. We did almost everything ourselves or with help from friends. Our videographer, photographer, DJ, set up people, flower arrangement creator, hair stylist, and all the other small things were handled for free. We paid for our caterer (food+staff), cake ($1,000), and location (it was very rural and fairly cheap at $3,000). Had our friends and family not handled so many tasks, the cost would have been astronomical.

    I did not even really get to enjoy the wedding since I was too busy.
     


  15. IUtoSLU

    IUtoSLU Senior member

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    Our wedding cost about $4k. Her family paid about $3.5k and mine paid $500. We got married at the age of 22. We had about 150 guests. It was a blast.
     


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