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Married SFers: How much did your wedding cost?

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

  1. robbie

    robbie Senior member

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    Weddings don't have to be costly: do your homework.

    The most important things are:

    Dress - just resign yourself to the fact this will cost more than you think is reasonable.

    Photographer/Videographer - You are going to be so busy schmoozing,etc the only way you'll remember any of it is with good photo/video.

    Food/Liquor- When you look at your pictures and think back on your wedding you want to see your friends and family having a good time.

    Typically the father pays for most of the wedding, sounds like your situation is different. I'd say you need to sit down with your fiance and figure out what you can afford to spend.

    The best advice to anyone getting married : Capitulate,Capitulate,Capitulate.

    -rF
     
  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    It's very important that one's wife/mate be a best friend ... soul mate as some say. If there are lots of disagreements before the marriage ... they are likely to grow in number after. Of course, this is not to say there won't be a disagreement from time to time ... perhaps even a few passionate disagreements.

    But if you don't see eye to eye on the important things before marriage ... watch out after.


    we had more stress in the 6 months before the wedding than we have had in the total 13 years since. a lot of women have a very specific idea of what they want for their wedding. the guy gets to pretty much run things for the next 50 years. chose your fights
     
  3. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    i'm 20 so consider me a naive numbnuts but the idea of an incredibly expensive wedding that is beyond the couple's means is completely absurd imho. i've been to weddings that cost the couple $1000 with a handful of important people and weddings that cost $40k+ with 5th cousins in attendance. it's all bullshit because the couples with the cheap weddings have had great marriages and don't regret a thing about their wedding and some of those really expensive weddings ended up being a waste because the couples ended up divorced.

    i don't mean to imply that the cost of the wedding has anything to do with the likelihood of a successful marriage. of course that's absurd. HOWEVER, since marriage is such a crapshoot i really can't see anyone paying so much out of pocket for something like this.

    i read something on yahoo a long time ago where this marriage counselor went over several divorce couple's weddings and figured out that if they had a modest wedding they could've used the 10s of thousands of dollars saved for things like a babysitter on the weekend for a date night like every other weekend for several years, a down payment on a house, and all sorts of stuff that may have prevented the destruction of their marriage in the first place.
     
  4. DerekS

    DerekS Senior member

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    Excellent. Make sure to bring this into the discussion with your fiancÃ[​IMG]e as a good argument for saving on the wedding [​IMG]

    Personally, I see it pointless to blow 20-30 grand on one day celebration. That money could be put to much better use...as the OP said...down payment on a house.
     
  5. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Personally, I see it pointless to blow 20-30 grand on one day celebration. That money could be put to much better use...as the OP said...down payment on a house.

    Where I live, that's not even down payment on a dog house.

    Again, there should be different budgets for people at different stages of their lives and with different means. I completely agree with those saying that it's silly to have a wedding one cannot afford or will put the couple into debt. 100% agree. We don't tell students to go get bespoke suits at Rubinacci ! (wait...). But for some people, a 200k wedding is something they can afford and want to spend money on - so it's pretty much impossible to give one answer to that question because there's a lot of different situations and therefore the number is vastly different for everyone.

    Same with engagement ring discussions.
     
  6. v0rtex

    v0rtex Senior member

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    About $5,000 for 50 or so people, which is apparently very cheap but still seemed like a crazy amount of money to spend. We were (are) young, broke, and paying our own way.

    Pick one or two things that are very important to you both and spend the money on that. For us that was good food/booze and nice outfits (MTM).

    Get a venue that is nice in itself. Decorating large spaces gets expensive fast so get somewhere that looks nice without any extra decoration, supplies tables, etc. Check your community for spaces that offer steep resident discount. The place we went was a beautiful community building that rented for $20/h to residents and $120/h to non-residents.

    Second the sentiments of the posters who have said that if you can't come to an agreement with your fiancee about the budget for the wedding it's not a good sign. If your fiancee isn't committed to the budget she grudgingly agrees to then she'll be swayed by the first asshole vendor who says something like "Of course, to make your day truly special, you just *have* to spend $3,000 on flowers or *what* will your friends think of you?"...
     
  7. DerekS

    DerekS Senior member

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    Where I live, that's not even down payment on a dog house.

    Again, there should be different budgets for people at different stages of their lives and with different means. I completely agree with those saying that it's silly to have a wedding one cannot afford or will put the couple into debt. 100% agree. We don't tell students to go get bespoke suits at Rubinacci ! (wait...). But for some people, a 200k wedding is something they can afford and want to spend money on - so it's pretty much impossible to give one answer to that question because there's a lot of different situations and therefore the number is vastly different for everyone.

    Same with engagement ring discussions.


    thats true. Im looking at this from my POV...(and wallet)...which as you said is very different...
     
  8. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    I think I'm just gonna have take some of you gentlemen's advice and just bite the bullet on this one.

    I think the friction is that I can afford it but am against the idea because of pragmatic reasons.

    I asked why she's mad at me simply because I have a 15 year plan and she has a 1 year one.
     
  9. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    I have no idea, and I had a big one. My mother in law though is in competition to do things better than her sisters can...the fact that our families dropped almost $100,000 in two days baffles me (both families are middle class). The food was ok, catered, drinks were ok (how much alcohol can one really consume?), Band was great, my wife looked beautiful, I was a fat bastard. Everyone knew we were two teachers as well...no one was going to be making "baller $" in the future...it still pisses me off when we go see her family. Now we make ends meet, but things could have been so much easier if there wasn't so much fucking competition in the family. What particularly kills me, is that my folks got roped into it as well. My brother's getting married this summer...small, at a local restaurant...if it costs $5k it'll be a lot. But if you love the girl, and she ain't budging, you really only have two choices...do what she wants, or break it off, but whatever you do, make sure YOU are cool with it, and it sounds like you're not cool with paying $25k for a "party".

    It's not even just about the money for me though because I i've accepted the fact that I can't be cheap on the ring. I just don't want to be around 100 people. I don't usually find big parties filled with people I barely know very enjoyable. I have 3 friends that actually mean anything to me plus a couple more from boarding school that i used to be best friends with but that I've lost touch with over the last 10 years. They and their guests combined with immediate family would put the number at 16-20 people from my side, but I'd still prefer to elope just the two of us + closest friends and their partners given a willing fiancee. It's amazing how quickly the number of people gets up to 50 or more so it's easy to see how costs can spiral out of control.

    What gdl says about cost being relative is true for all things though.
     
  10. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    The best wedding present you can give to your bride (if you can afford it) is the wedding she wants. Besides showing up at the altar of course [​IMG]
     
  11. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    The best wedding present you can give to your bride (if you can afford it) is the wedding she wants. Besides showing up at the altar of course [​IMG]

    And a healthy pounding after the reception, amirite
     
  12. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    I think I'm just gonna have take some of you gentlemen's advice and just bite the bullet on this one.

    I think the friction is that I can afford it but am against the idea because of pragmatic reasons.

    I asked why she's mad at me simply because I have a 15 year plan and she has a 1 year one.


    If you really can afford it, i'd just give her what she wants and not worry so much. But if by afford it you mean that you have the money in the bank, but will have to defer buying a house, or that it will put a major crimp in your lifestyle, then i'm not sure you can afford it.
     
  13. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    having a fiance who won't back down demanding you to pay $30k out of pocket for a wedding you don't need isn't a good sign. over/under on the length of this marriage has to be at 20 months right now

    caving is never a good thing to do.
     
  14. Biggskip

    Biggskip Senior member

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    having a fiance who won't back down demanding you to pay $30k out of pocket for a wedding you don't need isn't a good sign. over/under on the length of this marriage has to be at 20 months right now

    caving is never a good thing to do.


    I won't go so far as to set an over/under, but this guy's on the right track.
     
  15. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    My younger sister is getting married in 6 months, so it's about all my mother talks to me about for the past 6 months. It's all coming out of my parents pocket, so my sister has been pretty good about letting my mother dictate what she wants out of the wedding/apathetic about her own wedding, take your pick... because my sister is 23 and my soon to be BIL is 24, and both are just out of college (she with her bachelor's and he with his master's) and nether have held any kind of real employment or financial savings/assets... yeah.

    -dress, she bought or ordered cheaply already, not sure the story but we can work with that I guess
    -groom's side clothes I have offered to make bespoke at my cost, which they will pay out of pocket on their own, and it is not much more than what rentals would cost and everyone will get to go home with a black suit that these non-professional student guys can use later (yeah, save me the black suit talk for another day)... but BIL seems to be lazy and has not really pushed the matter along much at if all, and time is ticking

    -church location
    -DJ, photographers, music, etc are all people they know, but all seem pretty expensive still. Well into the 4 figures for each service that might end up costing $5000-8000 alone. Seems a bit high?
    -not sure where the party is, nor how many are coming, but it won't be too small. My extended family is large and travels to weddings as far as they need to.
    -My mom has it in her head that all of it is gonna cost $20,000, but the budget seems to be missing $5K-10K still, so maybe she is planning to chip in for their honeymoon as well. I am not sure.

    I offered to the make the men's clothes, and I'm paying out of pocket to be there, which will cost me $2000, in addition to a couple grand I've gotta pay to get to a cousin's wedding a month earlier, so I'm already in for four grand just to be there.

    I don't foresee a divorce coming down the line with these two, but I do think $20K is a lot to spend on my sister and this guy. Neither are particularly hard working, as I said, and neither has anything huge lined up where they're going to get into any kind of money on their own, so $20K for them, at their age, is quite a lot of cash. I don't think they'd get into the property market, but they might need something if they can't get into the job market...
     
  16. Johdus Fanfoozal

    Johdus Fanfoozal Senior member

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    Around $25,000 for a Manhattan wedding this past May with 125 guests, and we felt like we made out like bandits.

    -We used business and personal connections where possible to keep prices down.
    -We had it on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend - lower than a Saturday wedding, but not inconveniencing our guests since most, if not all, were off the next day.
    -We decided only to have a best man and maid-of-honor.
    -We're in our mid-30s and paid for it ourselves.

    Where we splurged:

    $17,000: Cocktail hour and reception for 125 guests at a large, acclaimed midtown Manhattan restaurant where we know the owner who cut us a great deal. Had the entire joint to ourselves. Six hour open bar, premium liquor. Hot hors d'oeuvres included wood-roasted oysters, shrimp, small lamb chops. Choice of 8 oz filet mignon or wood-roasted salmon for dinner. The food blew everyone away.

    $2,000: Hotel rooms plus bridal suite at a top-flight midtown hotel for us, immediate family, maid-of-honor and best man for two nights. My wife often put clients up at this hotel so we were able to get a great rate.

    $1,500: Flowers. Didn't realize how much you get hosed by florists on weddings, but man, you do. This was bouquet and headpiece for wife, flower display for church, etc.

    $1,200: Photography - Hired a photojournalist colleague of mine. Worked his ass of that day. All candid, fly-on-the-wall shots. Supplied us with 800 to 900 4x6 prints, a custom-made CD with all our photos, plus he set up a Website with all our photos.

    $1,000: DJ - Paying someone to spin my discs and play our exacting setlist was not my idea of money well spent. Would have preferred to program my own iPod, but I was overruled. Still, the guy was a pro. He played what we wanted, when we wanted. Everyone danced.

    Where we saved:

    $400: My wife's dress. God bless her. She saw it early on in a J.Crew catalog and fell in love with it.

    $350: Centerpiece flowers for tables - Mother-in-law made them herself. 15 vases from Ikea. Flowers from Costco.

    $225: Wedding cake - or rather 150 cupcakes stacked together.

    $200: Vocalist and organist at church. They came cheap.

    $200: Favors - Bought $400 worth of Godiva gift cards for $200 from Costco and gave everyone chocolates to take home.

    $150: Invitations - We designed and printed them ourselves. Bought the paper and envelopes at a craft store. Toner at Staples. Stamps at PO.

    $100: Tux rental at Men's Wearhouse. Crucify me, but the damn thing fit well.


    A lot of grooms complain about the wedding, and yeah planning was a bitch. But I enjoyed the hell out of that day. It was money well spent.
     
  17. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    Around $25,000 for a Manhattan wedding this past May with 125 guests, and we felt like we made out like bandits.

    Nice, you did indeed.
     
  18. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Very very impressive. $2000 for hotel rooms + suite for two nights in NYC? rly? [​IMG]
     
  19. Johdus Fanfoozal

    Johdus Fanfoozal Senior member

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    Very very impressive. $2000 for hotel rooms + suite for two nights in NYC? rly? [​IMG]

    My wife brought a lot of business to this hotel through the years, so they treated us very well. The suite was something ridiculous like $350 a night.
     
  20. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    That's basically what we're doing, but about 20 times more witnesses and it's in a restaurant. Cocktails, quick legal "ceremony" then incredible dinner.

    After that we're getting drunk on a very big boat owned by a family friend, and they're refusing to even let us pay for liquor or crew/fuel.

    Biggest expense is the hotel room... probably the most I will ever, ever spend for a hotel room my entire life.


    Now that's the way to do it.
     

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