Author Topic: Average wedding now over $31,000  (Read 15575 times)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2015, 08:00:33 AM »
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.

Good news though: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/upshot/the-divorce-surge-is-over-but-the-myth-lives-on.html?_r=0
The divorce surge is over (although the myth lives on). "The divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining for the three decades since."

nereo

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2015, 11:49:26 AM »
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.

Good news though: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/upshot/the-divorce-surge-is-over-but-the-myth-lives-on.html?_r=0
The divorce surge is over (although the myth lives on). "The divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining for the three decades since."
+1.  There has never been a time when 50% of marriages have ended in divorce in the US.  It's a myth.  Some cohorts *might* hit that, and only after 30 years of being married.  Hard for me to think of a three-decade relationship as some sort of failure, even if it's terminated before death.

damize

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2015, 04:49:19 PM »
My $30000 1995 wedding ($47,056.51 in today's dollars) was completely ridiculous.  Not only because of the price (that figure didn't include the ring) but because we were already wildly reckless with money.  I take some small, slight comfort in the fact that my friends still consider it the party of a lifetime....but damn I was dumb.

The marriage lasted 18 years though, I definitely don't consider it a failure. 

DINK

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2015, 01:07:37 PM »
I had to post for the first time to brag about my own frugal wedding. We got married 6 years ago and spent less than $3,000 (rings included-my husband had saved $1,500 for my ring but I chose a $250 instead!) while still serving fresh caught lobster and steamers for about 100 people at the reception. Living on the coast of Maine and being friends with Lobster men really pays off! We prioritized good food and booze (we had a DIY open bar) because that is what makes a reception in our opinion. The rest we didn't feel the need to spend much on. For music we just set up a play list on our laptop and hooked it up to speakers. So many people have fancy DSLR cameras these days that I just let family members take photos and then had them send them to me rather than hiring a photographer.The pictures make me smile just as much as, if not more than, some super posed expensive professional photos. The only thing I almost broke down and splurged on was chairs because the venue had ugly tan folding chairs that I hated but I just couldn't bring myself to pay money to rent chairs when there were already ones to use for free.

TN_Steve

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2015, 04:23:28 PM »
Will be interesting to see what happens with our sons' weddings.  Hope they avoid getting close to the "average," even though  the [likely] brides' families can apparently afford a lot and the "kids" are in good jobs.  Bad precedent for starting out.

Don't know what we/parents combined to spen in 1983, but rings cheap at pawnshop, afternoon reception in church hall.  Wedding on NYEve so church already full of flowers.  MIL bought the dress at a going out of business sale for 150 or so.  Cheap wine, beer, finger foods, and wedding cake at the grocery store--no music (hate not being able to talk at receptions!).  No car rental or limo stuff, although huge families on both sides in attendance.  No honeymoon, as we had to get back to grad schools...

Oh, and photographer limited to an hour before the wedding so that we weren't having to deal with staging for pics.  Some day, we'll have to pull those pictures out again--it's probably been more than 30 years since we've looked at them.

TN_Steve

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2015, 04:27:31 PM »
So, this paper presents a some statistics into the discussion:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2501480


loved that paper when I read it a bit ago.  It "must be correct," because it meshes perfectly with my personal biases and anecdotes.  :-)  Been to just a couple of truly over the top surf-and-turf, open-bar, private-club weddings and neither marriage lasted 5 years....

queenie

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2015, 05:19:27 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.

I dunno about this.  I mean, we could have eloped and spent next to nothing.

But, we had a wedding for about 125 guests with an open bar and full meal and had an amazing time.  We spent just under $11k and received about $11k in gifts.  So, we spent next to nothing.  We wouldn't have received the gifts if we didn't have the wedding for the most part.

Of course, it doesn't always work out that way but if we hadn't had the wedding, we wouldn't have had an extra $11k to invest anyway (and we wouldn't have had a fun, memorable party for our wedding). 

I have no regrets.

nereo

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2015, 12:42:50 PM »

But, we had a wedding for about 125 guests with an open bar and full meal and had an amazing time.  We spent just under $11k and received about $11k in gifts.  So, we spent next to nothing.  We wouldn't have received the gifts if we didn't have the wedding for the most part.

Of course, it doesn't always work out that way but if we hadn't had the wedding, we wouldn't have had an extra $11k to invest anyway (and we wouldn't have had a fun, memorable party for our wedding). 
This makes no sense to me.  If you spend $11k and receive $11k in gifts, the only way you can consider that to be a zero-sum game is if you would have otherwise purchased everything you got as gifts within a very short time period of the wedding.

Also, if you spent $11k, why is it that you "wouldn't have had an extra $11k to invest"?  Was this paid for by someone else?  On credit (and if so why couldn't your cc payments have simply been contributions to your investments instead?)
I'm not knocking spending money on a wedding - we recently spent $6k to get married in front of 65 friends, so about the same cost/guest as what you did.  I just don't get your mental accounting.

The_Captain

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2015, 01:30:28 PM »
In the middle of planning my own wedding. Occasionally my fiancee freaks out about the idea of spending all that money and wants to elope, but since we already live together and are effectively married anyway I'm of the opinion that the wedding is about including family & friends. I have a big family and we're all close, so I want to do the whole proper wedding thing so I can celebrate together and I don't have the stereotypical frugal "Do it at your parent's huge yard" thing as I don't think I could fit 90 people on my Dad's yard, let alone host them for an event.

It's going to cost us about 15k, 5k of which is being contributed by my father, so it's a little painful but not overly. We'll have no more student debt by that point, so we're not spending fungible money and secretly doing the wedding via debt. It's not the most mustachian, but if there's anywhere where we've never been overly mustachian it's always been our willingness to spend freely to do things with my occasionally spendier family. Besides, it's still half as expensive as my sister's wedding was.

queenie

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #59 on: March 30, 2015, 02:49:00 PM »

But, we had a wedding for about 125 guests with an open bar and full meal and had an amazing time.  We spent just under $11k and received about $11k in gifts.  So, we spent next to nothing.  We wouldn't have received the gifts if we didn't have the wedding for the most part.

Of course, it doesn't always work out that way but if we hadn't had the wedding, we wouldn't have had an extra $11k to invest anyway (and we wouldn't have had a fun, memorable party for our wedding). 
This makes no sense to me.  If you spend $11k and receive $11k in gifts, the only way you can consider that to be a zero-sum game is if you would have otherwise purchased everything you got as gifts within a very short time period of the wedding.

Also, if you spent $11k, why is it that you "wouldn't have had an extra $11k to invest"?  Was this paid for by someone else?  On credit (and if so why couldn't your cc payments have simply been contributions to your investments instead?)
I'm not knocking spending money on a wedding - we recently spent $6k to get married in front of 65 friends, so about the same cost/guest as what you did.  I just don't get your mental accounting.

We didn't get any physical gifts - just money.  For the most part, our bills were due the day of the wedding, and otherwise my parents gifted us our money early to pay some things ahead. So we were literally paying for the wedding with the cash given to us as gifts.

I mean, I know we would have still gotten a little if we didn't have a wedding and just eloped, but I don't think very much.

Hunny156

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2015, 03:22:03 PM »
Our wedding was 14 years ago, and cost about $15K.  We lived in NY at the time, and we could not find an "acceptable" locale that would meet social standards for less than $40K.  We headed to Vegas and had a smaller but similar wedding celebration.

We had friends who did the full blown NY affair and managed to blow $100K.  I have a cousin who celebrated her 10 year wedding anniversary by making the final payment on their wedding loan.

We were frugal, but there was still so much waste and so many choices made to avoid judgement.  And yet, there still was a ton of judgement.  Everything from suggesting a "cheap" wedding at the local Knights of Columbus, to a family member publicly stating that damaged goods girls get married in Vegas.  And no, Elvis never made an appearance, we didn't get married in a drive through, or any of the other stupid comments that were sent our way.  We always had a pretty good comeback, the marriage is what counts, and we had no plans on spending so much money on what is essentially a 5 hour party.

While getting to the wedding day was a bit of a challenge with all this positivity around us, it totally paid off for us in the end.  We wound up charging the wedding costs, and using the cash we had saved to buy our first home, a small co-op apartment.  Then we scrimped for the next year to pay off the credit card debt.  Before our two year anniversary came around, hubby's job had relocated us 80 miles away, and we netted 3x our investment on the sale of our co-op, which became the down payment on our new home.  It laid a great financial foundation for our marriage.  :)

Jags4186

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2015, 03:30:34 PM »
I am having a complete clown wedding to the tune of 50k+ in North Jersey and I gotta tell you...its going to be ridiculously awesome!  Look...parents are picking up brunt of the tab.  And we are both very frugal otherwise...but what can I say I can't wait!

I can't be mustachian about everything I guess.

nereo

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2015, 09:04:59 AM »

  I have a cousin who celebrated her 10 year wedding anniversary by making the final payment on their wedding loan.
Whaaaaaahhhh?? 
I have no problem when people who have the means choose to spend a lot of money on a wedding.  I figure "hey, at the very least they're re-appropriating that money to other people."
But when you don't have the money and it takes you ten years to pay off one day of celebration... [head explodes]
Had a friend who's widowed mother took on a second mortgage so that she could throw an elaborate wedding for her eldest daughter.  Even today she jokes that "I was all set to retire until that party - now I've got another decade of work ahead of me".  That was 8 years ago. 

pachnik

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2015, 09:27:20 AM »
Disclaimer:  I am a middle-aged woman who lives with her SO.

My dream wedding would be in the back yard with family and a few friends only.  I would like to have it catered by a company that does BBQ and provides tables, chairs etc.  I wouldn't want to see any of my family members hauling plates of food or tables around - this is the most important thing for me.  Just to not see my family working at it. 

I would happily pay for this.

Hunny156

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2015, 10:22:48 AM »

  I have a cousin who celebrated her 10 year wedding anniversary by making the final payment on their wedding loan.
Whaaaaaahhhh?? 
I have no problem when people who have the means choose to spend a lot of money on a wedding.  I figure "hey, at the very least they're re-appropriating that money to other people."
But when you don't have the money and it takes you ten years to pay off one day of celebration... [head explodes]
Had a friend who's widowed mother took on a second mortgage so that she could throw an elaborate wedding for her eldest daughter.  Even today she jokes that "I was all set to retire until that party - now I've got another decade of work ahead of me".  That was 8 years ago.

These are the most anti-mustachian/keeping up w/the Joneses people ever!  They were not really young when they got married, both had good jobs, but they blow it faster than they will ever earn it.  Plus, this cousin's sister married really well, so they constantly compete.  Every "big" event, like baptisms, milestone birthdays, baby showers, graduations, communions - everything is done at a fancy reception hall.  I'd bet money that they have loans outstanding on each of these parties.  They will probably get cash gifts for the communions and graduations, but the other stuff would be physical gifts, so the attendees are not paying their way.

This same couple also lived in a tiny 1 BR apt in the in-laws house, barely scraping by and yet always up for big fancy vacations.  When my aunt & uncle passed away, my cousin got a mortgage to buy out her siblings share.  It was the only way she'd ever be able to own her own place - an entire life supported by parental handouts.

MgoSam

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Re: Average wedding now over $31,000
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2015, 11:14:11 AM »
Yeah, weddings have become outrageous. A family member of mine, had an insanely expensive wedding in NYC. The bride's parents are very well-off (both dentists), my cousin's dad is extremely well off (well known neurosurgeon) and both of them make a lot of money as well and they had a very elaborate wedding. Later she told me that her parents told her, "We will either fund your wedding or your down payment," and apparently they chose the wedding. This is the same cousin that told me I "would be stupid for thinking of retiring with less than $2 Million in the bank."