Married SFers: How much did your wedding cost?

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

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I have no idea: her folks did and paid for everything, no real extravagances. That said, it was the first marriage for our generation so her aunts and uncles pitched in to help with the food, booze, decorations, and what-not. I'd be surprised if the total outlay was over $10k, and I think we had roughly 150 guests.
     


  2. soxpats

    soxpats Senior member

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    No big wedding, had it at in-laws place with small group, only family and REAL friends. Put money into a house and moved in the same week. Been married 26 years.
     


  3. JSC437

    JSC437 Senior member

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    I think my actual wedding ceremony was $4,000. But then we had a reception at Locanda Verde that was about $9,000. So the entire wedding and reception was about $16,000 (including flowes, dress, etc..). But we only had 40 people or so.

    Married here

    http://www.theriversidechurchny.org/

    Reception here... great place for a small reception BTW

    http://locandaverdenyc.com/
     


  4. tropics

    tropics Senior member

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

    that's the problem though innit. a 10K gap now, at the start of the planning, will easily double by the time wedding comes around.

    mine came to about 30K EU for 150 people. between help from parents and gifts, we broke pretty much even.
     


  5. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Can someone explain the appeal of a big wedding to me? I REALLY don't get it. Wtf would i want to spend all that money on people I never see and that I wouldn't miss if they were dead?
     


  6. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    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.

    .


    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.
     


  7. oDD_LotS

    oDD_LotS Senior member

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    I think my wife and I got away for about $10K, but we're in a very inexpensive area of the country and we had probably 75-90 guests. That being said, it was probably one of the more expensive weddings out of those my friends and family have experienced. My wife is from Montreal, though, so for her it was an unthinkably low amount. One of the big things we did was look for vendors that we felt provided a higher level of service than their fees suggested and built relationships with them. We found an incredible photographer who became a good friend (and sold us our house), a cake decorator with immense talent but who only made cakes on the side, a couple who catered as a semi-retirement gig (but whose chef son had really helped take their game to the next level), and an entertainer we had really liked at a NYE party a year or two earlier. We ultimately took some risks, since I've heard of the same vendors providing less-awesome service at other events, but we were lucky to catch each of them at a stage in their careers where the quality was good and the prices were reasonable. For food, we didn't have a sit-down dinner, but we had great "stations" with tons of appetizer-type food, a pasta station, and some really neat stuff that could be carried while talking/enjoying things. We didn't do a bar, largely because my family are mostly anti-alcohol, but we did buy a large quantity of an inexpensive brand of wine that my wife likes and a keg of a beer I was into at the time. Along with the regular soft drinks we had more than enough without causing anyone undue discomfort. Our venue was a little unusual (and not my first choice, though I loved it in the end). It included an early 19th century chapel for the ceremony followed by the reception in a small hall owned by the same company. It wasn't exactly the sleek, metropolitan thing I'd envisioned, but it was affordable and it looked great once we'd decorated it. For us, it was definitely worth it to be able to buy a house right away and not have any wedding-related debt. There were definitely things I'd like to have spent a little more on, but it all turned out well.
     


  8. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    give me a beach, a barbecue, a couple dozen people I actually like, and a few of my friends in key roles (we ordained one for just this purpose) and I am pretty much happy.
    We had friends do this in Big Sur. The setting is extraordinary in the natural sense. And given the small crowd ... we almost all knew each other before hand. We enjoyed each other's company and celebrated the wedding of our friends until late in the evening when the a fog started to roll in. And even that fog didn't dampen our spirits ... it too was part of the beauty of it all.

    The next morning we all gathered at Nepenthe (now a coffee shop but originally the "love-nest" of Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles) for a late breakfast overlooking the a deep blue Pacific under sunny skies. Afterward, we sent the couple off on their honeymoon.
     


  9. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    My father and wife were quite close, and he really wanted to pay for our wedding, so the two of them planned it, and he paid. Her family, unfortunately, showed up (and stayed with us the week of the wedding, but that is another rant.) I have no idea how much it ran, but I think it was probably 75 people and about that many thousand. It was a blast, similar to some suggestions on here, we took over a very good local restaurant for the night.
     


  10. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    My feeling on this is that the alcohol bill should cost at least $30,000.
    Adjusted for inflation, I imagine that our parents complied with your wish. 1000 guests* ... open bar.

    * I had no idea who 3/4 of the people were.
     


  11. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    I am in the process of planning mine. 120 ppl is our target number, and we are planning to spend less than $10,000. I originally wanted to spend $5,000, but it is very, very difficult to do a wedding of 100 or more for less than $5K if you are serving food and beverages.

    In the end, I think we will come out around $8,000 or so. I am confident we will still have a classy, elegant affair that people will enjoy and remember.

    However, if you want to take over a decent restaurant, and want to do 100 people, you really do have to be prepared to spend a lot of cash.
     


  12. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    My wife and I made a very early decision to not spend a lot of money on the wedding. Neither of us had a lot of money and our parents were not well off. It seemed that depleting the savings we did have and mortgaging our future for a ceremony and party was not the way to go.

    We did a simple civil ceremony and followed with a celebratory dinner at a nice, but not insanely expensive restaurant. We then hosted a few simple dinner parties with close friends. Very low key.

    Seems to have worked as still married to same gal.
     


  13. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    We spent a lot of money on our wedding - was a function of many things (wife wanted a nice affair, my parents wanted to invite a lot of people on their side, they also wanted a nice affair, NYC is just crazy expensive, I was a bit picky on things like food, decor and music, etc...). Everyone pitched in and I don't regret a cent we spent on it. We were able to unite a lot of friends and family coming from a bunch of different places (I'm from Europe, my wife from Asia), make it a nice experience over two or three days for those who gave us the honor of making the trip. Have all sorts of details that made it feel adequate to us, at the age we got married and in our station in life.

    I think things would have been very different if we and our families were local, and if we had been much younger and more budget-oriented. We got married when we were 32, with well-paying jobs, decent savings, etc... Our expectations and desires for our wedding were different than they would have been ten years earlier.
     


  14. coolpapa

    coolpapa 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."
    Big weddings are, in my opinion, an expensive party thrown for the benefit of people other than the bride and groom. It's stressful, expensive, and the bride and groom rarely even get to enjoy any of the festivities, like eating and drinking. I've never understood the appeal, never wanted one myself, and a disagreement like the one between the OP and his fiancee' is, in my opinion, a harbinger of things to come in the marriage.
     


  15. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    we're planning one now, and shit gets expensive. Hoping for 75-100 people and we're figuring $30-40K, unfortunately. And this is with quite a few cost savings ideas. Considering our age, that is a big deal, but the brunt of the money is coming from the will of her grandmother and her grandfather (he is alive). A few weeks ago her grandfather, a man I greatly admire, said "it has been a while since we've had something good to celebrate in the family" (which is 110% true) so any regrets about funding I had went out the door.

    I usually hate catered food, the typical bready crab cake, beef something and dry chicken breast, so we did a little upgrade to get some quality food. It'll add a few thousand total, but I'd much rather spend $10K with some good food for our guests than $7K on the already mentioned. Add the bar, wine, flowers, photography, venue, favors, and the bill builds up very quickly.
     


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