Author Topic: Average wedding now over $31,000  (Read 15574 times)

One Noisy Cat

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Average wedding now over $31,000
« on: March 12, 2015, 09:51:28 PM »

dividendman

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 11:09:46 PM »
Another good reason to end the archaic practice.

gooki

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 11:51:37 PM »
But what's the median cost? :)

Rage

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 11:58:33 PM »
But what's the median cost? :)

Exactly, average is literally the average and therefore literally useless.  Slate did an article a few years ago and I think the median they came up with was about $6K.

NykkiC

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2015, 12:06:28 AM »
Leaving aside the ridiculousness of that average, an old school friend of mine got married recently and the wedding was much nicer than all the other weddings I've been to, at roughly 1/50 of my guestimate of the cost of the others. It was achieved by the bride being aware of what she wanted, realisitc about the cost, pragmatic on what to compromise on and willing to do most of the work herself.

Turns out she has a knack for organising and decorating weddings and has since turned it into a side hustle. She was telling me the other day that she organised a wedding that looked almost identical to hers and ended up charging the wedding party about ten times what she paid... and it was still half the quote of the next cheapest planner. The difference? My friend was willing to have the wedding in the function rooms of the local bowling club, didn't presume more expensive meant better quality when it came to decorations and she didn't have to pay for someone else's time so she didn't have to organise it herself.

That average? It comes from people who want something extravagent regardless of the wisdom of it and who can't be stuffed to do the work themselves.

Luckyvik

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 12:25:31 AM »
My wedding reception 3 years ago cost about $14k for 105 people it's something both sets of parents wanted and they paid for it. My husband and I saved a lot by not hiring a car, we used the car my in laws had hired for their visit,  we didn't buy the bridesmaids or groomsmen any presents and the bridesmaids wore their own shoes and jewellery, the bridesmaid dresses were a gift from my aunt and we hired the grooms and groomsmens suits. I still spent too much on the dress and wedding photos but this was in my pre-mustachian days.


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Anatidae V

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 12:32:42 AM »
My wedding looks set to come to between $20k and $30k. It's a large somewhat formal family reunion with a few friends and a ceremony at the start. Our original plans came to $10k-$15k, but our parents decided they wanted something different and were happy to pay for it. Not much of it is decoration costs. I'm interested to see where we end up...

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 12:46:04 AM »
We spent $25,000 eight years ago. That includes ring, dress, dinner for 225, live band, good wine. Our parents chipped in a little, but 80% of it was ours.  It was first class for our guests, a great experienc for us, and I've never regretted a bit of it.

My brother and his wife eloped with just the parents. I wasn't even invited. They had a great low-key reception a year later for maybe $500. They have never regretted that.

I have a cousin who put on a wedding for his daughter. Two separate ballrooms. Two separate bands. 350 guests. Steak, chicken, AND lobster. Dom Perignon for everyone. Now that was a little over the top.  But it was a lot of fun to attend!

You gotta do what's right for you.

libertarian4321

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 02:07:38 AM »
I never understood this massive waste of money.

Just do the legal paperwork and get a JOP do to it cheap.

If you feel you must include Jesus, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or (insert imaginary friend/God of choice here), drag him before the Judge. 

Smile and get a picture taken.  Post it on Facebook.  You'll save yourself (and your friends/family) a ton of money.

Invest the $15,000 you saved in a good mutual fund.  It will pay for your first child's college education, which has got to be worth more than a boring wedding (is there any other kind?) followed by a couple of hours of drunken partying.

Drew664

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 05:12:12 AM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

MLKnits

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 05:39:21 AM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

If you're already rich, sure. But if someone's still working for money--well, I for one can't see how giving up a year of your life to working to pay for one party is a worthwhile trade-off.

Whatever happened to backyards? My ideal wedding would be a buffet, wine, and iPod speakers in my parents' lovely backyard. Probable cost, $2000.

Pooperman

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 06:56:40 AM »
Our wedding will be about $10k-$15k (free to us). Figure about 85 people in total. This number includes: dress, rings, photographer, DJ, reception, ceremony, justice of the peace, suit, invitations, etc.

nereo

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2015, 08:21:09 AM »
I'll just add that these figured of "$31k average wedding cost" are horribly flawed.  This particular one is based on a survey of readers from "The Knot" online magazine.  For those that have never heard of The Knot, it's many people's go-to source for information about how to throw traditional, commercial weddings.

As such, it's heavily biased towards couples who are throwing the stereotypical 'wedding-plus-reception.'  It doesn't capture people who opt for small, civil ceremonies at all or who simply go to the courthouse to sign the papers.

... it's kind of like the duPont Registry or Ferrari Magazine putting out a survey saying the 'average cost of a car" is over $100,000.  Sure... for those publication's particular readers. 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 08:46:58 AM by nereo »

Apples

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2015, 08:30:37 AM »
My parents paid for ours, using money they had saved for college for me but I had gotten scholarships.  It was probably $35k all told, and they covered $29k of it or so.  We had it at a normal wedding venue on the slightly nicer side, and they had an in-house catering business that was required to provide the food.  It was great fun, perfectly our vibe, normal food everyone loves, and the venue and food probably cost $19-21k, plus 3-4K for drinks.  The final tally includes absolutely every tiny bit of money that went to any wedding-related expense, including stamps and envelopes.  It wasn't flashy or showy, it just costs a decent chunk of change to go the traditional route.

EfficientN

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2015, 09:48:53 AM »
So, this paper presents a some statistics into the discussion:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2501480

At Atlantic (next link) describes some of the findings as "The more people who attended" decreases the likelihood of future divorce, where as the more expensive the wedding is, the more likely divorce is.
Atlantic article: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/the-divorce-proof-marriage/381401/

Non-sequitur: Despite being young, hip, technically inclined, how the hell do I embed links within text on this board?

Ninja-Edit: Because I can't read graphs correctly the first time.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 09:51:26 AM by EfficientN »

Fodder

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2015, 09:54:35 AM »
I'm not surprised by this.

I had a 120 person wedding nine years ago and it was $15k.  It was not an overall extravagant affair, and I can easily see how a similar wedding, not in the off-season, would now cost a lot more.  Here's an overall budget breakdown of what we spent:

Photographer: $1400
Flowers: $500 (just bouquets and corsages/bouts)
Attire: $1000 ($700 used dress, which I later sold, $100 veil, $100 shoes and $30 purse; grooms tux rental was free)
Ceremony fee: $600 (to church and priest)
Transportation: $500 (rented a van for the bridesmaids and a school bus to transport guests to and from the reception)
Music: $1000 ($500 for a DJ, $300 for a jazz trio during the cocktail hour and $200 for a string quartet for the ceremony)
Rehearsal dinner: $1000 (dinner for 26 at a local restaurant)
Decor: $200 (centrepieces and a few vases)
Cake: $220
Venue/food/liquor: $8000, including tax and tip --> included lots of wine with dinner and punch during cocktail hour; remainder was cash bar, which is socially fine in Ottawa, though I understand this is not the case elsewhere)
Remainder was on things like hair, makeup, nails, gifts, etc.

In retrospect, I can see how some of these things are completely non-mustachian, but they were also the best prices I could find on these items at the time.  34-year-old me kind of looks at this list and sees a lot of room for slashing, but 24-year-old me (who planned the wedding) didn't really know that some of these things were optional.

That said, I don't regret how we allocated the spending - more than half the cost was the reception, and that was for our guests, who had all travelled.  And I decided to forgo a limo or other such nonsense in favour of making sure my guests had a safe and reliable way to get to the reception venue (it was a popular choice!).  The music was important to me, though 2015-me would use an ipod in lieu of the shitty DJ.

I don't regret spending on the photographer, because I love my photos and still look at them.  I also thought I did relatively well on attire, as I bought my dress for $700 and then sold it for $750 on consignment (I didn't get all that money, but it worked out).  I also sold the veil for just about what I paid for it.

But it is so easy to see how the costs can just increase when you believe all of these things are necessities - we paid for a good chunk of the wedding ourselves, with both sets of parents voluntarily pitching in some money.


FoundPeace

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2015, 10:06:45 AM »
Everything for mine was less than $5,000. We had a great venue, shrimp, cheesecake lollipops, a jazz band for dancing, a custom made dress for my wife, photographer, wedding prints, and more. It is very possible to have a great wedding for not very much $$. Although it certainly helps if you know the right people and don't serve alcohol.

In retrospect my wife wishes that she had just rented her dress. Other than that we were pretty happy with it. We had a lot of fun, and it was a memorable day.

If we hadn't paid attention to the price, it could have easily exploded on us. I think the average person doesn't think of ways to optimize something like a wedding. They just want to have a big fancy-pants party.

sabertooth3

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2015, 10:15:02 AM »
Got married last year, total cost was about $15k with both sets of parents contributing a total of $10k, so $5k out of pocket from us. 50 guests. Most of it went to the venue, which honestly I wouldn't have traded anything for. It was a beautiful venue in a super-high COL area and we did the ceremony and reception there, saving transportation costs (and resulting in much better food!).

It was an awesome evening, a perfect wedding for my wife and I. I'm also an only child, and my parents won't get another chance to see their kid get married. I hope.

Joshin

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2015, 10:34:42 AM »
When we got married 10 years ago, we spent a total of $500. I made my own dress (I sew for fun) and the hubs wore his dress kilt. Our rings were simple, cheap, Celtic knot bands from the local highland festival. Paper flower bouquets, we made all the centerpieces and decor (granted, we're very crafty and he's a professional artist). Bridesmaids were asked to wear black dresses of their choice, and groomsmen were just in dress shirts and a tartan tie. Venue was a nearby hotel conference room on an "off" day, so room rental was cheap with no services provided. We had 35 to 40 guests. MIL gifted us a wedding cake, and my dad catered the event (he was a retired deli consultant and caterer, so he called in favors from suppliers and contacts to get sufficient "samples" for his daughter's wedding). One friend supplied music, another got the paperwork filed to perform the ceremony. My cousin, who was studying photography, did the photos and gifted us with a beautiful album that doubled as his school project.

The best part? I wrote up a piece on throwing a cheap wedding and sold it to an online magazine for $125, thus bringing the total cost down to $375!

partgypsy

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2015, 11:08:31 AM »
We got married for less than $500 including the honeymoon (we eloped) but my side of the family was upset, as well as my husband's grandparents (My Mom wanted to be there, my Dad felt he lost face doing it this way, the grandparents were looking forward to a wedding).   

So just remember, the simplest wedding (justice of the peace) may also be the one that upsets the most family members. I still feel if you are the ones paying for it, you should be able to decide, but you may get some fall out.
I'm fine with what we did, but in retrospect I would have also been OK with a backyard wedding so the parents, grandparents, etc could be present.   

PencilThinStash

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2015, 12:25:01 PM »
Went to a wedding recently that ran around $150k... Both sets of parents make great money, split the cost, and the whole thing was beyond beautiful, but wow. Walked out of that one praying that future wife is at least slightly frugal.

Syonyk

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2015, 12:35:23 PM »
I never understood this massive waste of money.

Just do the legal paperwork and get a JOP do to it cheap.

I've done both.  My wife & I got married at a local court, partly for tax reasons (saved $5k we tossed at the remainder of student loans), partly for religious reasons (living together, not married... neither of us were hugely comfortable with that).

Then we had a "real" wedding in Colorado, up in the mountains.

There was no comparison.  We spent around $8k all told, for a fairly small wedding, and having a bunch of family & friends out there for it was totally different from a courthouse wedding.

greatrussian

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2015, 01:24:39 PM »
Got married last year to the tune of $42,000. My suggestion of just sending $100 checks to 300 of our closest friends and family didn't fly - though it would have been cheaper.

 

celticmyst08

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2015, 04:23:33 PM »
The average is certainly skewed in cases like this, as others have pointed out, but after spending last year planning our wedding, I'm a whole lot less judgmental towards people who spend "a lot" on theirs. I always thought I'd be a Super Thrifty Bride, and scoffed at people who spent more than $5k on a wedding, but I was unpleasantly surprised by the reality once I got engaged. We didn't have the luxury of having an army of local friends/family to help us, so that meant we couldn't use the normal money saving tricks like "have a potluck reception in your parent's backyard."

DH and I spent ~$12k on our wedding (most of which was paid for by my parents, as they have been saving forever for their "little girl's wedding"). It was really important to us to share our wedding with family and friends, and since they are all scattered around the world, it didn't make sense to have a small courthouse wedding and a reception later, because either way we'd have everyone come from out of town. While there are a few things I would have spent slightly less on, they were all small. The biggest thing I regret about the whole process wasn't the amount we spent, it was how much I stressed over the damn thing. The things that went "wrong" were totally out of my control: it poured rain all day at our beautiful outdoor venue, and I had a nasty cold. No amount of planning could have prevented those things.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2015, 10:29:06 PM »
My wedding reception 3 years ago cost about $14k for 105 people it's something both sets of parents wanted and they paid for it. My husband and I saved a lot by not hiring a car, we used the car my in laws had hired for their visit,  we didn't buy the bridesmaids or groomsmen any presents and the bridesmaids wore their own shoes and jewellery, the bridesmaid dresses were a gift from my aunt and we hired the grooms and groomsmens suits. I still spent too much on the dress and wedding photos but this was in my pre-mustachian days.


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It's very nice you were given so much

clarkfan1979

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2015, 04:58:55 AM »
My wedding 2 years ago cost 12K for 95 people for everything except the photographer. My sister in law wanted to have her friend do it for $2200, so she paid for it. If we paid for it, we would have found someone for 1k. It was at a hotel and included open bar (beer & wine) for 4 hours. I wish our guest list was closer to 120, but 95 was what we could afford at the time. It was my wife's call. We could have had 120 if we waited one more year, but that wasn't as important to her. Most of her important family and friends were there. I have a larger group of family and friends.

MoneyCat

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2015, 06:13:51 AM »
Our wedding cost about $12k and it was extremely nice -- luxuriously so.  I have no idea what someone would spend $31k on.  I mean, come on.  It's a party  You still have the entire rest of your lives to live.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2015, 06:19:41 AM »
Our wedding cost about $12k and it was extremely nice -- luxuriously so.  I have no idea what someone would spend $31k on.  I mean, come on.  It's a party  You still have the entire rest of your lives to live.

Like property values and restaurant prices, location plays a huge role here.

MoneyCat

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2015, 06:24:02 AM »
Our wedding cost about $12k and it was extremely nice -- luxuriously so.  I have no idea what someone would spend $31k on.  I mean, come on.  It's a party  You still have the entire rest of your lives to live.

Like property values and restaurant prices, location plays a huge role here.

Well, I live in NJ, so it goes without saying that prices are extremely high here.  (NJ is one of the wealthiest states in the nation.)  We were just smart about things and had a very, very nice wedding and reception without spending stupid money.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2015, 06:35:25 AM »
Gasp!  We are below average! We better do some thing about it!  Everyone else spends $31k, we should, too!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2015, 07:00:48 AM »
Our wedding cost about $12k and it was extremely nice -- luxuriously so.  I have no idea what someone would spend $31k on.  I mean, come on.  It's a party  You still have the entire rest of your lives to live.

Like property values and restaurant prices, location plays a huge role here.

Well, I live in NJ, so it goes without saying that prices are extremely high here.  (NJ is one of the wealthiest states in the nation.)  We were just smart about things and had a very, very nice wedding and reception without spending stupid money.

I'm glad! I just always feel guilty with how inexpensive, but still nicely, my wedding came together. But then, the east coast/NE just seems insanely expensive to me.

justajane

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2015, 07:31:21 AM »
Our wedding cost approximately $11K almost ten years ago. We had 125 people. I think the key to having an affordable(ish) wedding is to scrimp on the things that don't matter to you and splurge on the things that do. If everything matters to you, then you'll have problems. I wish we could have invited less people, but there were parental friends, and I just didn't want to fight that battle. So there were a lot of people at the wedding who I had never met.

I also wish we had spent less on photography. I couldn't even tell you where the photo album is. But at the time, this was the cheapest we could find. These days everyone and their mother considers themselves a professional photographer, and Holy Shit, they charge a bundle for weddings. I just went to the website of the mother of one of my son's classmates , and she charges over $3k for the day! I don't think she has a studio or anything.

What I don't regret is spending so much on the venue. I was a classic Art Deco building downtown with two floors. It was perfect, especially since we did a cocktail/appetizer wedding. We saved a lot of money by buying and delivering our own drinks, which included beer (two kegs), wine, cider (non-alcoholic), coffee, and soda. We bought ice from the gas station next store. It was hard to find a caterer who was amenable to making less on drinks. Of course she would have preferred if we were lazy, but she still took our money for the rest :). Servers make up about $1000 of that total, which sounds high, but I appreciate that she paid her servers $20 an hour. They had been working with her for years and years and deserved the wage they got. I also don't regret the day wedding planner and the gift to my pastor. They both worked hard. My pastor was so grateful for the gift that it came across like it was the highest amount he had ever been given. This makes me sad, since he wrote a wedding homily as well as provided premarital counseling. In hindsight, I wish we had given him more.

Oh, and music included a student pianist and an amateur madrigal choir that sang two love songs in French. Absolutely beautiful. No regrets there, and for $400 it was a steal IMO.

Flowers $500
Photography $750
Church rental $175
Music $400
Cake $500
Reception venue $1500
Reception decorations $150
Food and servers $4000
Drinks $1000
Rehearsal Dinner $1000
Dress and Tux Rental $500
Wedding day planner $250
Honoraria for pastor $250
Gift bags for out of town guests $30
Bridesmaid luncheon $150

KStache

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2015, 01:31:38 PM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

If you're already rich, sure. But if someone's still working for money--well, I for one can't see how giving up a year of your life to working to pay for one party is a worthwhile trade-off.

Whatever happened to backyards? My ideal wedding would be a buffet, wine, and iPod speakers in my parents' lovely backyard. Probable cost, $2000.

That was exactly my wedding and you're not too far off. Cost approximately 2500$ since most of the food was prepared by ourselves and we had a nice tent with tables and chairs. Weddings don't have to be these monstrous events. You can save and everyone can still have fun.

Chuck

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2015, 03:19:11 PM »
My wife decided not to go ahead with our planned 11k wedding later this year. Made me so happy and proud.

We're going to do a smaller party with her family instead. Should only be a couple grand, if that.

zephyr911

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2015, 09:06:52 AM »
    Can't say I am really surprised.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/12/pf/planning-for-wedding-costs/index.html
My wife and I went to her youngest brother's wedding in Argentina last weekend and it probably cost that much... the crowd looked like 200 people, and in typical fashion, it went until sunrise. There were countless courses of hors d'ouvres, dinner, dessert, late-night snacks, mid-morning snacks, coffee, and an open bar the whole time. They had a DJ all night, with a break in the middle where a prominent local band played for a couple of hours. Total event staff was probably 25 or 30.
AFAIK, most of the cost was borne by the bride's family - my wife's family is doing OK but they're not extravagant like that.
I'd never put on such an event, but talk about an experience. Madness... beautiful madness.

mm1970

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2015, 11:01:29 AM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.
If you have it, sure.

If you have the money in savings, or your parents do, and you want to throw a bash, do it!

I wanted to elope to Vegas and fly out our parents.  HE wanted a wedding.
So, we had a wedding, and he paid for it.  Out of savings, not on credit cards.  It was about $10k in DC 19 years ago, which I suppose was about half the going rate.

frugalnacho

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2015, 11:47:53 AM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

Life isn't a spreadsheet, but you'd be an idiot not to calculate the cost.  I've never understood the view point of "just enjoy your money", or "you've gotta live life and not worry so much about money", etc.  Your money IS your life, you are trading away your precious time to accumulate it, so why blow it foolishly? Our wedding cost us $12,000 and was massive waste of money (imo).  Even before I discovered MMM or read YMOYL I still understood the basic concepts, and I actually had a spreadsheet all worked out with how much we were going to be paying for everything in the wedding, and translated into working hours.  I figured we could either spend $12,000 on one night of our lives, and have a blast, OR we could just go to city hall and get it done for next to nothing.  That $12,000 represented both of us working in a cubical for 6 months.  6 months! Is it worth both of us sitting in a cubical at a job we hate for half a year just to have this lavish celebration for a few hours? I really thought that point would sink in with the wife and she would choose 6 months of relaxation with me instead of a lavish wedding, but I underestimated how badly she was brainwashed by the wedding industry.

Chuck

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2015, 01:32:42 PM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

Life isn't a spreadsheet, but you'd be an idiot not to calculate the cost.  I've never understood the view point of "just enjoy your money", or "you've gotta live life and not worry so much about money", etc.  Your money IS your life, you are trading away your precious time to accumulate it, so why blow it foolishly? Our wedding cost us $12,000 and was massive waste of money (imo).  Even before I discovered MMM or read YMOYL I still understood the basic concepts, and I actually had a spreadsheet all worked out with how much we were going to be paying for everything in the wedding, and translated into working hours.  I figured we could either spend $12,000 on one night of our lives, and have a blast, OR we could just go to city hall and get it done for next to nothing.  That $12,000 represented both of us working in a cubical for 6 months.  6 months! Is it worth both of us sitting in a cubical at a job we hate for half a year just to have this lavish celebration for a few hours? I really thought that point would sink in with the wife and she would choose 6 months of relaxation with me instead of a lavish wedding, but I underestimated how badly she was brainwashed by the wedding industry.
It isn't just the party. It the anticipated judgement from friends and family for being the only one to go without.

It really does suck. It almost got me too.

Drew664

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2015, 07:47:47 PM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

Life isn't a spreadsheet, but you'd be an idiot not to calculate the cost.  I've never understood the view point of "just enjoy your money", or "you've gotta live life and not worry so much about money", etc.  Your money IS your life, you are trading away your precious time to accumulate it, so why blow it foolishly? Our wedding cost us $12,000 and was massive waste of money (imo).  Even before I discovered MMM or read YMOYL I still understood the basic concepts, and I actually had a spreadsheet all worked out with how much we were going to be paying for everything in the wedding, and translated into working hours.  I figured we could either spend $12,000 on one night of our lives, and have a blast, OR we could just go to city hall and get it done for next to nothing.  That $12,000 represented both of us working in a cubical for 6 months.  6 months! Is it worth both of us sitting in a cubical at a job we hate for half a year just to have this lavish celebration for a few hours? I really thought that point would sink in with the wife and she would choose 6 months of relaxation with me instead of a lavish wedding, but I underestimated how badly she was brainwashed by the wedding industry.

Agreed you should be in control and aware of what is going to be spent. I'm not sure anyone on this board would suggest you go in blind and incur debt for a wedding - that would be irresponsible. What should be challenged is deciding that giving your SO, family, and friends a time to come together and celebrate isn't worth the money when the experience and joy of that doesn't add to your net worth. I feel at that point, you are letting money decide life decions without giving weight to emotional or relationship factors. Finding the balance is key and different for everyone!

I have to think that on a board such as this, everyone's trajectory towards FI is so far ahead of the curve, that rebalancing and being ok with spending money on important life events will give a more rich and fulfilling experience of life. So yes, enjoy your money its why we have it. Just trying to call for some moderation awareness of items that can't be calculated in a spreadsheet.  :)

Kris

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2015, 07:51:10 PM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

Life isn't a spreadsheet, but you'd be an idiot not to calculate the cost.  I've never understood the view point of "just enjoy your money", or "you've gotta live life and not worry so much about money", etc.  Your money IS your life, you are trading away your precious time to accumulate it, so why blow it foolishly? Our wedding cost us $12,000 and was massive waste of money (imo).  Even before I discovered MMM or read YMOYL I still understood the basic concepts, and I actually had a spreadsheet all worked out with how much we were going to be paying for everything in the wedding, and translated into working hours.  I figured we could either spend $12,000 on one night of our lives, and have a blast, OR we could just go to city hall and get it done for next to nothing.  That $12,000 represented both of us working in a cubical for 6 months.  6 months! Is it worth both of us sitting in a cubical at a job we hate for half a year just to have this lavish celebration for a few hours? I really thought that point would sink in with the wife and she would choose 6 months of relaxation with me instead of a lavish wedding, but I underestimated how badly she was brainwashed by the wedding industry.

Agreed you should be in control and aware of what is going to be spent. I'm not sure anyone on this board would suggest you go in blind and incur debt for a wedding - that would be irresponsible. What should be challenged is deciding that giving your SO, family, and friends a time to come together and celebrate isn't worth the money when the experience and joy of that doesn't add to your net worth. I feel at that point, you are letting money decide life decions without giving weight to emotional or relationship factors. Finding the balance is key and different for everyone!

I have to think that on a board such as this, everyone's trajectory towards FI is so far ahead of the curve, that rebalancing and being ok with spending money on important life events will give a more rich and fulfilling experience of life. So yes, enjoy your money its why we have it. Just trying to call for some moderation awareness of items that can't be calculated in a spreadsheet.  :)

Though in theory I agree with you, in this particular instance, spending the equivalent of one entire year of living expenses for a couple (the $31,000 average) seems beyond "life isn't a spreadsheet" and well into the facepunching zone.

caliq

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2015, 07:58:03 PM »
I also have to argue with the default idea that a wedding or the day of a marriage has to be an important life event.

I literally got married so that it was easier for me to deal with the VA on behalf of my husband.  We were living as though married anyways, there was no emotional significance to moving the date up to the day we picked vs. some future unchosen date. 

We faced a good amount of backlash from friends/family who thought we were unduly depriving ourselves of something.  Nope, we just realized that it was smarter to spend those thousands of dollars on things that aligned more with our overall goals, rather than dealing with the stress of planning a huge affair for two large families more than 1000 miles apart.  Probably helps that our friends are scattered across the entire country due to meeting in college/Marines so there was never going to be an easy location to pick. 

I see couples saving for a wedding and a down payment on a house and I just can't understand why they're so irrationally handicapping one goal by pursuing both...it's very inefficient.

frugalnacho

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2015, 08:18:00 PM »
There are members of this board that simply come off as cheap. Life isn't a spreadsheet and you will miss out by treating it as such by simply not participating.

/end rant

Enjoy your money, its why you have it.

Life isn't a spreadsheet, but you'd be an idiot not to calculate the cost.  I've never understood the view point of "just enjoy your money", or "you've gotta live life and not worry so much about money", etc.  Your money IS your life, you are trading away your precious time to accumulate it, so why blow it foolishly? Our wedding cost us $12,000 and was massive waste of money (imo).  Even before I discovered MMM or read YMOYL I still understood the basic concepts, and I actually had a spreadsheet all worked out with how much we were going to be paying for everything in the wedding, and translated into working hours.  I figured we could either spend $12,000 on one night of our lives, and have a blast, OR we could just go to city hall and get it done for next to nothing.  That $12,000 represented both of us working in a cubical for 6 months.  6 months! Is it worth both of us sitting in a cubical at a job we hate for half a year just to have this lavish celebration for a few hours? I really thought that point would sink in with the wife and she would choose 6 months of relaxation with me instead of a lavish wedding, but I underestimated how badly she was brainwashed by the wedding industry.

Agreed you should be in control and aware of what is going to be spent. I'm not sure anyone on this board would suggest you go in blind and incur debt for a wedding - that would be irresponsible. What should be challenged is deciding that giving your SO, family, and friends a time to come together and celebrate isn't worth the money when the experience and joy of that doesn't add to your net worth. I feel at that point, you are letting money decide life decions without giving weight to emotional or relationship factors. Finding the balance is key and different for everyone!

I have to think that on a board such as this, everyone's trajectory towards FI is so far ahead of the curve, that rebalancing and being ok with spending money on important life events will give a more rich and fulfilling experience of life. So yes, enjoy your money its why we have it. Just trying to call for some moderation awareness of items that can't be calculated in a spreadsheet.  :)

No I gave weight to it and decided it was batshit crazy to spend 6 months in a job you hate for a single day of celebration.  A day of celebration that could be achieved for a tiny fraction of what was spent.  I'm all for using money to maximize happiness, and I feel that lavishly spending on a wedding is a massive waste of resources.  I had a good time, and i'm glad my wife did, but I would be much happier if we had an additional $12,000 in our investment accounts (it would probably be more like $20,000 the way the market has grown since).

Drew664

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2015, 08:36:29 PM »
Ha, to each their own.

Happy wife, happy life. Probably a wise investment actually!

caliq

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2015, 08:37:34 PM »
Ha, to each their own.

Happy wife, happy life. Probably a wise investment actually!

I am the wife, and I am quite happy with my $300 wedding ;)

Drew664

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2015, 08:41:03 PM »
Ha, to each their own.

Happy wife, happy life. Probably a wise investment actually!

I am the wife, and I am quite happy with my $300 wedding ;)

Even better, lol.

LiveLean

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2015, 09:16:30 PM »
We had a beautiful wedding, but my in-laws made it stressful and the amount they spent on our wedding and that of my wife's sister was indicative of a lifestyle that contributed to their eventual bankruptcy. I wanted to pay for the wedding myself -- it would have been a lot smaller, though no less beautiful -- but my wife caved to her parents, who between being part of large families and inviting a bunch of business associates who were nowhere to be found when father-in-law's business went south took what would have been our 50 guest list to 200.

I should have stood my ground, though they would have blown the money on something else.

In the end, it's just a $12,000 photo album. Or a $31,000 one. Or a $50,000 one. Keep it small on your terms. Go to Vegas. Put the money toward the house payment, a world tour, or some other memorable experience, not on throwing a party you'll barely remember for a bunch of folks -- 90 percent of which won't be in your lives 10 years later.

zephyr911

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2015, 11:29:03 AM »
I also have to argue with the default idea that a wedding or the day of a marriage has to be an important life event.

I literally got married so that it was easier for me to deal with the VA on behalf of my husband.  We were living as though married anyways, there was no emotional significance to moving the date up to the day we picked vs. some future unchosen date. 

We faced a good amount of backlash from friends/family who thought we were unduly depriving ourselves of something.  Nope, we just realized that it was smarter to spend those thousands of dollars on things that aligned more with our overall goals, rather than dealing with the stress of planning a huge affair for two large families more than 1000 miles apart.  Probably helps that our friends are scattered across the entire country due to meeting in college/Marines so there was never going to be an easy location to pick. 

I see couples saving for a wedding and a down payment on a house and I just can't understand why they're so irrationally handicapping one goal by pursuing both...it's very inefficient.
I am in VIOLENT agreement with you!
We were long-distance for years, and got married for 100% pragmatic reasons: to file joint taxes for that year, and get her a green card before she graduated the next summer and lost her student status. We crashed a New Years party (the hostess knew the day before, but nobody else) and brought a friend to officiate. The only thing we actually bought was her dress (~$50 on clearance), after a friend talked her into it.
The reception was several months later when we could actually get a family quorum together. Her mom made the cake, and I cooked Hawaiian style kalua pork and chicken satay along with a smattering of random grilled shit for fun. I don't think it even ran $100, and our house was overflowing with love and happiness for an entire afternoon, evening, and night.
Pretty good, eh? :)

MoneyCat

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2015, 02:46:28 PM »
I just found out that my niece's prom dress costs hundreds of dollars more than my wife's wedding dress cost.  Apparently, my sister took my niece to a fancy dress shop and had it custom made for her.  My wife designed her own dress and then paid someone on Etsy to make it for her.  Super cheap.

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2015, 08:05:46 PM »
We had an "event" on a Sunday, 18 years ago for $25 per person (including wine and a sparkling wine toast) at a winery considering offering weddings.  BEST decision!! We didn't get much say in the food (other than I didn't want the rib eye they insisted on called a "roast" on the menu plan), but it was fantastic.  That winery is Francis Ford Coppola today and all our friends think we must have spent a fortune....their chef made me think of Steve Martin and that wedding movie. 

125 guests was their limit.  All you could drink, and an excuse for no beer/hard liquor being served. We had to sign away rights to some promo pics for the winery, but we also got amazing photography!

 Now to negotiate a 20th year retrospective anniversary party at the pool they put in.... ;-)


r3dt4rget

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2015, 08:48:30 PM »
Weddings are terrifically ironic. Spend $15k on a celebration of the marriage, 50% of which will end in divorce, most commonly due to financial troubles. Couples would be much better off spending the minimum on a marriage license, and using that wedding money to build a solid financial foundation for the rest of their relationship. $15k is a year of living expenses for a couple. I think we would all agree that one full year of not working and spending time together actually being in a relationship is worth much more than a one day party celebrating the relationship. And no, having family pay for it doesn't make it acceptable because, I think we would also all agree, that a family member's year of freedom is also worth more than that wedding (unless you are just narcissistic)