Wedding Finances-Today

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pennywise
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Wedding Finances-Today

Post by pennywise » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm

My (only) daughter just got engaged :D . We're delighted and now as the mother of the bride (ie bank) I'm dipping a toe in the bridal industrial complex....and it's quite overwhelming! Luckily the happy couple are not in any way exhibiting bridezilla or diva tendencies. They've already made it clear that whatever and however much or little we want to contribute to fund a wedding is fine with them. Actually my daughter says their only priority is to have a warm and fun gathering of friends and family to celebrate with them on their day.

That said, the wedding will take place during spring (high season) in the Florida Keys so partying can be pricey! Would love to hear from those who have planned or held a wedding WITHIN THE PAST 5 YEARS or thereabouts on any suggestions for saving money while organizing a lovely event. Reason for caps is that these occasional discussions tend to devolve into memories of how BH couples got married 20-30-40 or more years ago and also tend to focus on memories of those ancient rites done on shoestring budgets. My own wedding 35 years ago fits that category for sure! Respectfully though, life has changed and what worked back in the day isn't really going to help me navigate today's wedding jungle.

So tips, suggestions or warnings are all very much appreciated. Example: a couple of folks have suggested a wedding planner, which I'd not considered. I'm retired and have organized events in the past but the suggestion was made that a wedding planner who knows vendors can negotiate price. If I pay a planner X and s/he saves me 5X, that's worth considering. OTOH, maybe if a wedding planner is just for those who are too busy or overwhelmed to plan...I'll pass. And so on.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by pennywise on Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barnaclebob
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:59 pm

Planning weddings isn't that hard if you aren't doing anything crazy. I don't think a wedding planners primary goal is to save money but to spend up to the budget you tell them to spend and suggest extras you hadn't thought of. Most venues know how to handle all of the vendors and the vendors should know how to work with the venues. You just need to book the venue and tell the vendors when the event is.

Once you make the jump from a backyard/park type event catered by a local restaurant and a cooler full of drinks to a traditional wedding reception then the best thing you can do to save money is cut the guest list. People have also suggested as telling your venues that its a family reunion to avoid the wedding gouging.

daheld
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by daheld » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:04 pm

My wife and I were married about 3.5 years ago. We got married and had our reception (buffet style) in a really beautiful space that was in line with other wedding and event spaces nearby. We thought the place we got married was incredibly beautiful and the same price as competitors, so we went with it.

We planned everything ourselves, from DJ to food to decor. All of it. I understand people are busy but I do not believe most folks need a wedding planner. In terms of saving money, my personal opinion is that flowers are incredibly, ridiculously expensive and absolutely not worth the expense. You can spend thousands of dollars for almost nothing when buying flowers. Go minimal. Pay for a good photographer; it's worth it.

I think you're going to need to provide some more details in terms of what you're thinking the wedding will cost overall and how much you're looking to spend. If you have any details about the types of ceremony or reception they want, that'll help. Obviously doing a buffet is cheaper than a plated meal with full service. I don't know how "fancy" your family and friends are, but our buffet was perfectly nice for our guests.

Some info that will help guide answers:
-How much will wedding cost?
-How much do you want to spend?
-How many guests?
-Will there be a meal? If so, what type of meal service?

psteinx
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by psteinx » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:08 pm

pennywise wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
That said, the wedding will take place during spring (high season) in the Florida Keys so partying can be pricey!
Does your daughter live in the Keys? The families?

If there are strong family reasons to do the wedding in the Keys, so be it. But, IIUC, that's a difficult to reach location, and far from most folks in the country. If potential guests are widely scattered, it might be worth nudging them to pick a more accessible/central location.

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Tamarind
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Tamarind » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:14 pm

I got married last year at 32. Total budget incl rings: $15k. We did all the planning ourselves.

My first bit of advice would be for the couple to set their own budget based on what they can afford without assistance. This will focus them on prioritizing what's most important to them and help prevent bloat. Then if family members want to help pay for things already planned (or add to the budget for items that are more important to them than the happy couple) they can do so.

Things that saved us money:
* A courthouse wedding followed by a bigger reception. This meant no space rental for the ceremony.
* BHLDN - the bridal wing of Anthropologie - makes lovely less formal wedding dresses for a much smaller budget. My wife bought separates from them, had some alterations done, and looked gorgeous for well under $1k.
* Reception at a restaurant. Many places that both cater and do events will rent out some or all of the restaurant to you. In our case the restaurant waived the space rental fee in return for a catering purchase of a certain size.
* Heavy hors d'oeuvres and dessert instead of sit down dinner. All the fun of fancy catering for less. There was enough for everyone to eat and we could offer wider variety of interesting small dishes instead of "chicken or fish".
* Make your own centerpieces. It's "in" and can be cheap. In our case, flowers and ferns from the garden in mason jars. We paid $0 for flowers.
* Get a wedding website and send save the dates / invitations with a URL at the bottom for details instead of paying for all the cardstock to tell people about the hotel options and schedule.

Things we splurged on: rings, food, and the photographer.

Conch55
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Conch55 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:15 pm

I might be pressing the limits of your 5 year constraint but dw and I funded weddings for two children over the past 5 years and all I can add is it depends on what you are hoping for. We never considered a wedding planner, would have impacted the amount we, as parents and kids, were willing to spend. That amount was announced at the beginning of the process. I imagine the FL Keys in season will significantly skew your costs. Is this a destination wedding? If so, accommodations will figure into planning. The number of guest was the key in both our weddings. We/they opted for buffet service and open bar. It can be a stressful process but let the kids shoulder much of it. It's their day.

Jags4186
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:31 pm

I got married 3.5 years ago. It was a very expensive event and I’m actually embarrassed about it looking back on it. But that said, what I would recommend is telling your daughter exactly what you are willing to contribute up front and if there are any strings attached. My in-laws were very generous but incredibly opaque about what they would pay for so it made some things difficult for us to figure out.

So, for example, if you’re willing to contribute $20,000, say you’ll give them $20,000. If you’re willing to pay for the reception but want input on where the reception is, tell them that up front.

A couple things we did:

1) Ceremony at the place of the reception. You skip church fees and transportation costs.

2) Decide what “thing” is important to you. For us it was music...we wanted a band and we splurged. We didn’t care that much about flowers and spent relatively modestly on them. Some people spend a fortune on flowers. We had 1 photographer. Some people have 5 people taking pictures and multiple people taking video. Our pictures look amazing compared to many of our friends weddings where they had armadas of photographers and videographers.

3) Don’t waste money on fancy invitations (raised lettering, etc.).

4) Skip the Viennese table.

5) My wife designed and had our albums made online. They only cost about $300 for 4 albums. My sister spent over $4000!! on professional wedding albums.

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Watty
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Watty » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:38 pm

pennywise wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
Reason for caps is that these occasional discussions tend to devolve into memories of how BH couples got married 20-30-40 or more years ago and also tend to focus on memories of those ancient rites being held in backyards with thrift shop dresses, day old cake and homemade punch. In fact my own wedding 35 years ago was a variant. Respectfully though, life has changed and what worked back in the day doesn't really apply, at least for the wedding we hope to hold for our daughter.
Things might not have changed as much as you think.

When my son got married about six years ago the bride's family gave them a set amount and told them they could do whatever they wanted with it but anything above that was on them. I never heard the details but it was a reasonably significant five figure amount which the bride's family could afford.

Much to our surprise they asked if they could get married in our backyard. We have a huge backyard since our lot is a bit less than an acre even though our house is a pretty average suburban house and not a McMansion. We agreed and originally the plan was for about 40 people but since there were no cost constraints it grew to be about 120 people. :shock: They had BBQ brought in by a local higher end BBQ restaurant, rented tables and chairs, and decorated the yard with lots of hanging white "christmas tree" lights. There were some other modest costs but I would be surprised if the total cost was over four or five thousand dollars.

It is not as fancy as it sounds but our large subdivision has a pool with a clubhouse that we had reserved in case there was rain that day.

It went off very well and it was more of a big backyard party than a formal wedding but that is what they wanted.

Within a year they were able to buy their first house by using the rest of the wedding money for part of their down payment. We were glad that it worked out that way and the bride's family was too and that was important since it was their money.

I would highly suggest that you just set a budget for the wedding and give them a check and let them know that it is up to them to decide how to spend it and if they want to use any money that is left over for something like a big honeymoon or house down payment that is OK with you. When it is "their money" they might surprise you on how they plan their wedding.

That will also help reduce a lot of friction with you being in the middle of approving their plans.

One tip from our wedding decades ago. That is that we had the rehearsal dinner on a weeknight at an nice family owned Chinese restaurant. They were not busy on weeknights after about 7:30 pm so they let us use the space for just the cost of the food and they had partitions to separate us from the few other people in the restaurant. We ordered the food in advance they did a very good job and had good suggestions for things like large whole fishes that were cooked in a Chinese style. It was not really a buffet but we must have had 20 different dishes so everyone could find something they liked. That was much better than the stereotypical catered rubber chicken.
Last edited by Watty on Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

surfstar
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by surfstar » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:41 pm

4/2016 here

Held at a State park beach, and we provided group campsite for all who wished to stay there with us, for Fri and Sat nights. Others opted for overpriced accommodations nearby.

DJ was Spotify premium - $9.99 for 3 month trial. I did spend hours creating playlists for: pre-ceremony, bride walk, post-ceremony walk, cocktail hour, first dance, then dancing.

Photographer was [$800] off of Craigslist - we've barely looked at the photos and had kinda moved on by the time we received them months later.
Food: $10/person for catered taco plates.
Drink: Costco, beer & wine
Rented: tables, chairs, dancefloor (workers setup tables and dancefloor, we decorated after)
Bought, then sold: solar lanterns 1x/table, linens, rechargeable wireless PA for ceremony and announcements and pre-ceremony music, (used a generator + home stereo system for dance music), pop-up shade canopies, my outfit (linen pants/vest, matching Vans - went to ebay after! bought on huge clearance at Macys also)
Friends and Family helped with most setup and take-down - we had to clear the area by 10pm. Wedding was oceanfront at ~4:30, then moved chairs over to the waiting reception grass field where tables and everything was already up.

As you can see, we did a lot of DIY (wife did all the planning/organizing efforts, I found deals on lights, linen, etc) and our cost was still probably close to $10k for ~100-120 people. We did provide a bbq Friday night, Sat snacks for setup time and breakfast Sat/Sun mornings too for the helpers and campers. Highest cost was the "venue" - camping + reserving the site and having to pay for a ranger ~$2200

We still have friends tell of how that was the best, most fun wedding they've been to. No one ever mentions having to "work". The setup/take-down was amazingly fast and smooth (again, planned well by my wife). We made it cheap to attend for anyone who wanted to camp with us, plus we got to see our friends for 2 days instead of just minutes at a time during a hectic 6 hour wedding + reception. Going to a campfire after getting married and sleeping in a tent is much better than any fancy hall, IMO.

We also had whales in the background during the ceremony. Luckily they were free :)
Last edited by surfstar on Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:42 pm

You are the bank, not the planner. Let them plan their wedding unless they ask you to do it. Sometimes mothers of the bride go much further than the bride wants. My mother would be a case in point, she does everything based on what others will think.

Our son got married last December. They had about ~35 guests. They were extremely thrifty, had it in a historic building that happens to be a brewery, with finger food, beer, dessert and good friends. It was exactly what they wanted. They made a mix playlist on Google Music.

Photographer was the largest expense. Don't know the total, but it was only a few thousand dollars. They told us they could handle paying, we contributed anyway.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

elainet7
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by elainet7 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:51 pm

No planner-waste of $$
find your caterer and he will refer you foe music, flowers, photo

runner3081
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by runner3081 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:53 pm

We were able to do the wedding for less than $2K with about 50 guests (that included the wedding dress).

Rented a senior center with beach front access (ferries going by in the background), went with Costco cakes, light snacks (think pretzels, beverages).

Brought a burnt CD with music and played in their sound system.

The judge was $200.

HomeStretch
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:55 pm

Congratulations, very exciting!

Recently married family member used Zola.com to share their “story”, track shower/wedding responses (so postage for return envelopes not needed), and maintain shower and bridal registry. Gifts could be purchased through Zola and shipped to bride ahead of time or a cash gift made to the “honeymoon fund.” Only cards/cash gifts were received at the wedding venue so less to pack up after wedding.

Saved money doing simple invitations from an online vendor, bridal party bouquets (cut flowers bound by ribbon), corsages and boutonnières came from local grocer’s flower department, and purchasing professional photos in electronic format so inexpensive photo albums could be created online.

Another cost-savings was the bride and groom’s parents not insisting on inviting every known relative and long-ago family friend. The bride and groom were adamant they only wanted close friends and family at the wedding (which still worked out to 150 guests!) rather than allowing the guest list to swell to 200+ for people they didn’t have a close relationship with.

As is common nowadays, bride had two dresses so that is not a cost-savings!

I like Watty’s suggestion about (paraphrasing) giving a lump sum amount towards wedding and allowing bride and groom to decide how to spend it. In our case, the bride and groom asked the parents for suggestions but kept the parents out of the planning details so they could do it the way they wanted and not the parents’ way.

stoptothink
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:03 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:53 pm
We were able to do the wedding for less than $2K with about 50 guests (that included the wedding dress).

Rented a senior center with beach front access (ferries going by in the background), went with Costco cakes, light snacks (think pretzels, beverages).

Brought a burnt CD with music and played in their sound system.

The judge was $200.
Pretty sure ours was ~$500 with 45-50 guests 6yrs ago. We did the conventional LDS wedding reception (we actually got married in a judge's home the week before): in our church, food we bought and helped prepare (with the help of our families - my stepfather smoked a ton of ribs, brisket, pulled pork), no photographer, no flowers and very minimal decorations overall. Wife's dress was $40 on etsy and I wore clothing that I already owned. No entertainment, we talked with family and friends that we don't see that often. It was a freaking blast. FWIW, we received 1 gift and its cost was very minimal (and none were expected); in our culture it is common to have very simple weddings and gifts are not always expected.

Our parents didn't have a penny to offer. We will for our children and I suspect we will do the "this is what we are giving you, spend it on a one-day party or a home downpayment". Hopefully we will have raised our children to make a responsible decision.
Last edited by stoptothink on Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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elcadarj
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by elcadarj » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:03 pm

pennywise wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
....Example: a couple of folks have suggested a wedding planner, which I'd not considered. I'm retired and have organized events in the past but the suggestion was made that a wedding planner who knows vendors can negotiate price. If I pay a planner X and s/he saves me 5X, that's worth considering. OTOH, maybe if a wedding planner is just for those who are too busy or overwhelmed to plan...I'll pass. And so on.
DS getting married this Spring. His fiancée and he are doing the planning themselves for a ~100 guest, outdoor venue, nearby destination wedding. However; they have hired a day-of wedding director to mind all the details so the bride, groom, m-o-t-b, and m-o-t-g can enjoy the event without concerning themselves with coordinating the caterer, band, the bartender, etc.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:04 pm

You certainly want to have a $$ limit clearly expressed to the bride and groom. That strategy is useful for any wedding. That gets you out of the loop, and the couple can make their own decisions. You might be surprised at how that can cut your stress, and it puts the onous on the couple to do the inevitable decisions that must be made, balancing their wants with the funds available.

Be very aware of the premium during the "season."

Which key are you considering? I would try to stay away from Key West itself, maybe consider Islamorada.

Daughters and BIL go there for their annual lobster season trek, less touristy than Key West, and lots of venues. There is even a brewery in Islamorada.

Still high priced during the season.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

runner3081
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by runner3081 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:05 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:03 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:53 pm
We were able to do the wedding for less than $2K with about 50 guests (that included the wedding dress).

Rented a senior center with beach front access (ferries going by in the background), went with Costco cakes, light snacks (think pretzels, beverages).

Brought a burnt CD with music and played in their sound system.

The judge was $200.
Pretty sure ours was ~$500 with 45-50 guests 6yrs ago. We did the conventional LDS wedding reception (we actually got married in a judge's home the week before): in our church, food we bought and helped prepare (with the help of our families - my stepfather smoked a ton of ribs, brisket, pulled pork), no photographer, no flowers and very minimal decorations overall. Wife's dress was $40 on etsy and I wore clothing that I already owned. No entertainment, we talked with family and friends that we don't see that often. It was a freaking blast.

Our parents didn't have a penny to offer. We will for our children and I suspect we will do the "this is what we are giving you, spend it on a one-day party or a home downpayment". Hopefully we will have raised our children to make a responsible decision.
We received cash from both parents. It paid for the wedding and honeymoon. Worked out quite well!

Everyone has their own view of things, but a wedding is a waste of money to my wife and I. If we could do it over again, we would have eloped.

il0kin
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by il0kin » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:09 pm

Find a venue that is truly just a space rental, no restrictions on catering or alcohol vendors, which allows you to come in the day before. This will save quite a bit. We catered a higher-end BBQ place for something like $15/head with staff who set up and took down the buffet. People LOVED it! We also purchased the beer, wine and liquor ourselves and hired two bartenders - recently learned some stores will allow you to return unused/unopened bottles.

Do the wedding and reception in one place, so much easier for everyone and a time saver also. If they have a big family and lots of friends, ask folks to come to a rehearsal at 4:00 to assist with venue setup until 6:00 (just make sure you have a plan), then the practice, then a dinner - free labor!

We had a beautiful wedding for something like $15,000 and friends and family still tell us how much fun it was and how they loved it. Wife's parents helped out with about 2/3 of the cost, which was very gracious of them. They've got a couple grandbabies now, so I like to think it's money well spent :)

StoopieHippo
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by StoopieHippo » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:12 pm

Hiya!

When I got married 2.5 years ago, we went small (total of 17 people invited...including children). We got a package deal for a location, officiant, and an hour of photography in Orlando for $1450, then we opted for a family dinner instead of a reception (which my dad paid for as their contribution to the wedding). Everyone paid for their own hotel rooms and I budgeted enough for makeup that all the ladies attending would be able to get their makeup done if they so chose.

In total, we were out $3k out of pocket, including my dress (which I bought on Poshmark, a dress that retailed for over $1k that I got for $150) and shoes (also from Poshmake, $175 designer shoes, retail for $600+). I DID pick a fancy hotel to stay at, which was my one splurge. We opted for no presents, gave out cupcakes (purchased from the same bakery as our cake) as a welcome present in a clear box. The box and decoration (stickers, ribbon) were purchased off Etsy for about $25. For invites, I did them myself by printing at Staples and buying a format from Etsy (to be edited at home). I got fancy paper from Papersource to print on and asked the Staples employee to cut the invites out for me since I'm arts-and-crafts challenged. :)

I hope this helps!

psteinx
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by psteinx » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:16 pm

The vignettes are likely useful not only to OP, but also others planning weddings.

That said, OP might get more targeted/useful feedback with a better general sense of what her (and her daughter's) general expectation/parameters for the wedding are. True, these may not be fully fleshed out, but, for instance, ~30 expected guests is quite different from ~150 or ~250.

ddurrett896
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:17 pm

Let them plan and give them a set amount. Daughters family paying might be a tradition, but certainly not the case today.

Atilla
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Atilla » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:18 pm

I'm gonna break your rules and talk about my 2 weddings - 1993 and 2005. :)

Both were reasonable cost. Similarities between the two:

The thought of hiring a planner never entered anyone's mind
Buffet meal, 1993 was a full blown dinner; 2005 was heavy appetizers
Reception and ceremony at the same place (restaurant)
Limit open bar to beer & wine. Cocktail drinkers were on their own
Don't pay for decorating - no one cares
No big fancy cake - bon bons and small dessert thingys

Both times the guest list was just shy of 200 and both times the cost was about $10,000 all-in for the ceremony/reception, not including rings/dress/suit.

Neither time did we have a "wedding party" First time there was nobody. Second time just a bridesmaid and best man.

Both events were awesome and much enjoyed by everyone.
Last edited by Atilla on Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Olemiss540
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:20 pm

We had a destination wedding at a fabulous 5 star resort in Florida and kept it somewhat reasonable through limiting the amount of participants. There were a lot of feelings hurt, but ultimately we prevented a huge amount of headaches and expenses by keeping the guest list below 50. Immediately family and life long friends (a couple) only. If you couldn't make it, or couldn't afford the trip, no love lost and if you could make the trip we certainly didn't expect a gift considering the expense involved for the participants.

We got a set amount from one parent, and the rest was on our shoulders to plan, afford, and execute. As adults, it was liberating.
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campy2010
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by campy2010 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:23 pm

Parents of the bride paying full freight for weddings is an outdated notion. I would write the daughter a check for an amount that seems reasonable and then wish daughter and future son in law good luck with planning their wedding. Who knows, maybe they'll go small and save the rest for a honeymoon or a house. Maybe they'll go bigger and pitch in their own money. Up to them.

gogleheads.orb
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by gogleheads.orb » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:26 pm

I'll echo the others and just say write a check and ask where you can help them out in terms of labor.

It is very difficult to have a cheap wedding. The main way to control expenses is to not invite many people and to not serve much food. These things are easier said than done. It is not fun excluding people and food for many people is very important. Limiting the food will also limit the length of the party. If you are having people travel from a great distance you probably don't want to have a super short party.

Two years ago we had what we thought would be a rather cheap wedding. Back yard, 110 people, Lunch was the only formal meal. my wife did the planning and we depended on friends for a lot of help. It still cost $40k.

Each set of parents wrote us checks for the amount that they wanted to. It came up to $30k so it didn't cost us too much.

elainet7
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by elainet7 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:29 pm

no thing as a cheap wedding

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climber2020
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by climber2020 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:50 pm

I got married in Key West a few years ago. We did an all inclusive package through one of the hotels there, and they arranged pretty much everything. Probably not the cheapest option, but it was very convenient. Having it in the fall right at the start of the off season helped keep costs down a little bit.

The wedding ceremony & reception (including open bar) turned out to be less expensive than what I estimated. The bulk of the cost was lodging and plane tickets for family members and the wedding party; it felt ridiculous to pressure our bridesmaids and groomsmen to buy expensive flights because the two of us chose to have a destination wedding in a remote location, so we paid for all of them. Unless all your friends and family already live in Florida, be aware that many people may not be able to easily afford getting all the way down to the keys.

yakk0
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by yakk0 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:53 pm

We had our wedding in California's central coast in 2016. Total spend ended up at $13000 for about 45 guests.

Ceremony was at a state beach (minimal permit fees), and I did hire a planner to organize that part (sand raking, chairs, officiant, music, arch, some simple decorations) which came to $3000.

Dinner was at a venue overlooking the water that charged very reasonable rates (seems like they didn't upcharge just because we were having a wedding, it was just their normal room/banquet rate). I was a bit worried the alcohol costs might blow up a bit, so asked them to do a limited alcohol selection (picked about 6 beers and 6 wines from their lists). Really just to prevent someone from accidentally ordering a $200 bottle of wine. Ended up being about $3500 for the reception, with our guests drinking much less than we anticipated.

Did not have a DJ (venue not suitable for dancing anyway), nor videographer (in hindsight probably would have liked this). Spent $3200 for a photographer (took photos at the ceremony, of the wedding party at scenic spots, then at the reception - we covered their reception dinner too). Chose not to have them make an album (very $$$), but still haven't got round to doing it myself.

Centerpieces were DIY (succulents in mason jars). Made a simple wedding favor (magnetic button, personalized and ordered online) for people to take home. Did all electronic invites and RSVPs (I love the pretty paper invites I get from others but never know what to do with them after).

Wedding dress was about $300 after alterations. I did look at regular wedding dress stores, but even their more casual dresses were too "princessy" for me, and instead found the perfect "beach wedding" dress at Macy's for a fraction of the price (I think I may have even used a coupon :mrgreen: ). I did spend another $400 on a custom made traditional Asian dress for the reception. Matching outfits for groom & 2 groomsmen was about $600. My bridesmaids insisted on covering their dress costs themselves. Paid about $500 for hair and makeup. I'm not a makeup person, and balked at the cost at first, but I'm glad I had it done professionally as it turned out great in photos (the best my hair will EVER look!). It included a preview where I met with the stylist and tried out makeup a few days ahead of time so I knew what I wanted.

We went with a cupcake tower and made our own cake topper, about $350 total. Honestly, our guests were full by the end of dinner and lots of the cupcakes didn't get eaten.

While not a thrifty wedding, I think we spent a reasonable amount on an event that was perfect for us, and there's nothing that we felt we wasted money on. Location worked out great for us - we wanted a beach wedding, CA central coast was somewhere my spouse spent many childhood vacations, most of our guests were within a 3 hr drive, and it turned out to be more affordable than other options. We had it in August, when summer tourism slows down a bit. It was also important to me that venues were kid-friendly as many close friends had toddlers and probably wouldn't be able to attend if it was adults only.

MJS
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by MJS » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:55 pm

Using Costco for wedding food, booze, cake(s), flowers, and invitations is a current trend. A frugal wedding and starting married life with a nice emergency fund might make their lives happier.

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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:14 pm

gogleheads.orb wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:26 pm


It is very difficult to have a cheap wedding.
The main way to control expenses is to not invite many people and to not serve much food. These things are easier said than done. It is not fun excluding people and food for many people is very important. Limiting the food will also limit the length of the party. If you are having people travel from a great distance you probably don't want to have a super short party.

Two years ago we had what we thought would be a rather cheap wedding. Back yard, 110 people, Lunch was the only formal meal. my wife did the planning and we depended on friends for a lot of help. It still cost $40k.

Each set of parents wrote us checks for the amount that they wanted to. It came up to $30k so it didn't cost us too much.
Actually, it sounds like an expensive wedding is a huge hassle. My really cheap wedding was hardly difficult. If you want a fairy tale wedding with an open bar; yeah, that's going to be difficult.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:18 pm

pennywise wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
My (only) daughter just got engaged :D .
Congratulations!
So tips, suggestions or warnings are all very much appreciated.
Let the bride and groom do the planning.

You just set a budget, based on what you can afford and what you think is appropriate for your family. Other than that, you just write the check.

There are tons of ways to save on a wedding. Where I live (in a beach town) people get married on the beach all the time for free. Some choose to have the wedding in the town gazebo (which costs about $25 for a permit). Others choose to have their weddings at a church.

Some choose to have their receptions on their own lawn. Others go to a nice restaurant. Some go to the function hall at a nice restaurant. Finally, some choose the town's highest-end hotel where rooms rent for $550+ per night (I have no idea what the ballroom would cost).

All of those choices tend to be made by the engaged couple.
Don't be a lemming.

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Brianmcg321
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Brianmcg321 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:28 pm

Pay them 10k to elope.
Rules to investing: | 1. Don't lose money. | 2. Don't forget rule number 1.

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sergeant
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by sergeant » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:00 pm

If either DD or DS get married they will get a check for 20k. We will have nothing to do with the planning. They can figure it out. I'm sure DS will spend far less than the 20k.

The daughter of a friend got married a few months ago. He gave her a 25k budget. She spent 53k. Her mother tossed in 25k too. I went and enjoyed the event but couldn't for the life of me figure how they spent 53k. Just remembered, the 53k didn't include the open bar which grooms father paid, that was 10k.
Lincoln 3 EOW! AA 40/60.

runner540
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by runner540 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:34 pm

pennywise wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
My (only) daughter just got engaged :D . We're delighted and now as the mother of the bride (ie bank) I'm dipping a toe in the bridal industrial complex....and it's quite overwhelming! Luckily the happy couple are not in any way exhibiting bridezilla or diva tendencies. They've already made it clear that whatever and however much or little we want to contribute to fund a wedding is fine with them. Actually my daughter says their only priority is to have a warm and fun gathering of friends and family to celebrate with them on their day.

That said, the wedding will take place during spring (high season) in the Florida Keys so partying can be pricey! Would love to hear from those who have planned or held a wedding WITHIN THE PAST 5 YEARS or thereabouts on any suggestions for saving money while organizing a lovely event. Reason for caps is that these occasional discussions tend to devolve into memories of how BH couples got married 20-30-40 or more years ago and also tend to focus on memories of those ancient rites done on shoestring budgets. My own wedding 35 years ago fits that category for sure! Respectfully though, life has changed and what worked back in the day isn't really going to help me navigate today's wedding jungle.

So tips, suggestions or warnings are all very much appreciated. Example: a couple of folks have suggested a wedding planner, which I'd not considered. I'm retired and have organized events in the past but the suggestion was made that a wedding planner who knows vendors can negotiate price. If I pay a planner X and s/he saves me 5X, that's worth considering. OTOH, maybe if a wedding planner is just for those who are too busy or overwhelmed to plan...I'll pass. And so on.

Thanks in advance!
3 years ago, Midwest, 150+ attendees (>200 invitees). Pretty traditional format (church ceremony, dinner and dancing reception at a nearby venue).

Biggest cost drivers are #attendees, venue and style of event (sit down meal vs tea & cake).
Read the blog or book "A Practical Wedding"
Consider a "day of coordinator" instead of full planner.

Some levers to help save:
- pick a venue that allows you to choose your caterer (so you can create an RFP with competitive bidding)
- pick a caterer that will let you source your own alcohol
- off the rack dress instead of custom
- diy flowers and centerpieces
- simple invitations
- DJ instead of band

tkleo
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by tkleo » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:48 pm

Congratulations!

My (only) daughter was married last month. In the early planning stages, I quickly discovered that I did not want to be in this discussion as the arbiter in decisions that had a financial implication. Our daughter is amazing, very responsible in money matters and we have a fantastic relationship and I did not want to unnecessarily burden them or us with seeking approval on the many details. So, my wife and I decided to give them a check and let them manage this. I remember the night we had the conversation; it was fantastic and at the end, I said “more will not make you more married and less will not make you less married”. Best decision we made for everyone.

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Watty
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Watty » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:54 pm

tkleo wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:48 pm
....I said “more will not make you more married and less will not make you less married”.
There is a study that found that there is actually a negative correlation with how much is spent on a wedding and how long the marriage last.

https://www.cnn.com/2014/10/13/living/w ... index.html
A new study found that couples who spend less on their wedding tend to have longer-lasting marriages than those who splurge. The study, by two economics professors at Emory University, found a similar correlation between less-expensive engagement rings and lower divorce rates.

hoffse
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by hoffse » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:23 am

I am just outside your stated timeframe - I got married 4/13 - but I have been in several weddings since then, and I still have my spreadsheet with costs broken down for my own wedding.

The single fastest way to cut costs is to reduce the guest list. Once you consider the invitations, food, wine, centerpieces, etc. you get a rough cost per head, and you start asking yourself if great aunt so-and-so is really worth $100 to you.

If you won’t cut the guest list - and in my case we hosted over 200 people on a $25k all-in budget - I can tell you what we did to save money in other ways:

-Got married in the church where I grew up. No facility or priest/pastor fee because my parents had been parishioners for 30 years by then. A good friend of mine is a professional organist, so she provided the music as our wedding gift.
-Reception at my parents’ country club - again, no facility fee for members. We just had to pay for food and drink.
-Got married in April and ordered more than 1000 tulips off the internet for about $500 when all was said and done. We had dollar store vases that we painted to look like mercury glass and used the flowers at the church and reception. We made the bouquets out of them too a couple days before. Flowers keep if they stay in a cool place.
-My dress was a very plain clearance rack special that required almost no alteration. I paid less than $200 for it, and it was a full ball gown style dress. My mom sews, and she added some beading at the waist and hemmed it for me.
-I used YouTube for hair and makeup tips and did those myself.
-I ordered invitations off the internet. Found a couple places that did raised lettering for a reasonable price and ordered samples in time to see them and make sure they were good enough. Instead of hiring a calligrapher, we just bought a light box, picked a font we liked on the computer, and then we traced the addresses. They looked professionally done and all the ladies in town asked my mom who she had used lol. This whole process did take awhile though, so give yourselves plenty of lead time if you do something similar.

We did splurge on the photography and hired a band instead of a DJ. The interesting thing about the band is that people really danced. Our bar tab was less than half of what the country club predicted... we think it’s because people danced instead of drank. So we spent more in one area but saved a lot in another.

And finally.... this isn’t relevant to your budget, but speaking as somebody who is a bridesmaid next month: please be kind to those women and limit their clothing costs to $200 or less all-in (including shoes and accessories they may be required to buy). Keep in mind they also have to buy a wedding gift, shower gift, possibly a lingerie shower gift, and they may be paying for a bachelorette party and bridal shower. Plus they may have travel costs or childcare costs at the wedding. I have spent about $2,000 for the wedding I am in next month, and the dress alone cost more than my own wedding dress did. Also, Nashville is officially the bachelorette party capital of America, but it’s out of control. I was there just a few weeks ago, and it’s changed for the worse in my opinion. Look elsewhere for something classy.

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Tamarind
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Tamarind » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:56 am

I'll weigh in again to say I don't think weddings have actually changed for most people. The wealthy and the upper middle class may expect something made for social media, but most people still get married at their church or courthouse with close family and have a party in the backyard or a local park. If everyone in a bride's social circle is having fairy tale weddings, it is mostly a commentary on the narrowness if the social circle.

I recently went to a college friend's wedding. No parental help because none of the parents could afford it. The couple spent maybe $500 for a party for 25 people. Potluck dishes, sheet cake. No live music, alcohol, flowers, centerpieces, photographer, rehearsals or wedding party. We all had a wonderful time, and I remember it much more clearly than any of the 8 events in my second cousin's wedding from the same year.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:45 am

People get married for themselves, but they have a wedding for others. It is a show. Do you have to buy into that? Depends on how big a show you want. What is the motive? Gifts. Money, status. There you have it. The more you spend, the bigger and better you are compared to others.
After the wedding. No one cares anymore. Maybe some congrats on how well it went, or how much fun it was. In a month the bills come due and the sheen has worn off and what is left is two people making their way through life, perhaps now with a debt burden or regrets on money spent now that the celebration is in the past.
This is social conditioning from an early age.

chessknt
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by chessknt » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:18 am

Another data point--married 7y ago for 6-7k with 60 guests. Planned the whole thing. We were poor just out of college and didn't have any money or wealthy parents. Reception and ceremony in same location, buffet style food, very modest rings, no alcohol since we don't drink. We had a good time and could afford it and the people we cared about were there.

Some of our friends (or more likely their families) from then now spend 100-200k on a single day and it is mind boggling.

jpelder
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by jpelder » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:25 am

I'm just outside your timeframe (5th anniversary was back in August), but I'll butt in anyway :twisted:

We got married on family property, so the venue was free, but we did have to rent tents, tables, and restrooms, so it came out about the same in the end.
My FIL wrote us a check for the amount he was willing to pay. DW and I were just out of college, so we only paid a little on our own. As others have suggested, giving them the money that you're willing to spend is a good way to go. I would recommend having the caterer or venue handle the alcohol, rather than buying a supply yourself. We drank the bar dry during our reception, but since we'd paid the caterer for x hours of wine & beer service, they went and got more without us even knowing about it until later. In a friend's wedding at which my wife was a bridesmaid, myself and another bridesmaid's fiance had to make a beer run early in the reception. I was glad to do it, but it was day-of stress for the couple and an inconvenience for me.
Having a "day-of" coordinator is also a good idea. Our caterer suggested this and did it. He ran the schedule and the DJ was the MC. Also, having a trusted friend or family member be in charge of any day-of payments is a good idea. This could be you or anyone else that isn't the bride or groom.
As others have said, choosing what is important will guide their spending priorities. We prioritized good food and good photos. Our photographer didn't do print packages, he just gave us flash drives with all the "keeper" photos (about 1700 for the day). I highly recommend this. Some photographers don't give you the full-quality versions of the photos unless you buy prints, which seems crappy to me.

I think we spent about $20k on the whole shebang, and my parents spent a few thousand more on the rehearsal dinner. Limiting the guest list and controlling venue costs are the two biggest ways to economize. If you have a good relationship with your daughter, then there won't be too much tension.

Jags4186
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:27 am

I think these threads are much more helpful if the folks who brag about spending $927 including dress and rings, serving schwarma out of aluminum foil cooked in a steel garbage can that was lit on fire, and hiring a photographer off of an ad stapled to a light pole didn’t respond. It’s not helpful to the OP to tell him you saved money on the reception by having a free venue located in the back of a Walmart parking lot.

SQRT
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by SQRT » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:44 am

Hard to give advice re weddings. It’s very dependant on a lot of things such as your ability/desire to fund, ethnic background, location of wedding, personality/desires of your daughter, any previous discussions, relationship of parents (ie any x spouses involved?).

My only daughter got married in 2015. I gave her a budget (it was exceeded) and offered the cash in lieu of the actual wedding. Daughter had always wanted a “big” wedding so she declined.

It was a fabulous event but complicated by the involvement of my x wife, the bride’s mother. It was expensive (well into 6 figures) with about 180 attendees. The groom’s family was not in a position to contribute and we didn’t ask them to. I still think it was a relative waste of money, but I promised my daughter when she was quite young that she could have a”nice”wedding. It wasn’t material to my net worth.

If I were to give advice it would be: be generous, try not to get too involved in the actual planning, remember that this will likely be a very important milestone to your daughter and son-in-law’s lives so make sure the memories are happy, it’s only money.
Last edited by SQRT on Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:39 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Watty
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Watty » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:52 am

jpelder wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:25 am
I would recommend having the caterer or venue handle the alcohol, rather than buying a supply yourself. We drank the bar dry during our reception, but since we'd paid the caterer for x hours of wine & beer service, they went and got more without us even knowing about it until later. In a friend's wedding at which my wife was a bridesmaid, myself and another bridesmaid's fiance had to make a beer run early in the reception. I was glad to do it, but it was day-of stress for the couple and an inconvenience for me.
That reminded me of one other thing.

Be sure to look into the liability of serving alcohol in case one of the guests get drunk and is in a car accident. The rules will vary by state.

This can especially be a problem if the alcohol is not well controlled and minors are sneaking some of the booze.

One of the reasons that some people have a "no host" bar is to avoid this liability.

I don't know much about them but people have posted about being able to get a special one day liability insurance policy for an event like a wedding.

SDLinguist
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by SDLinguist » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:56 am

We got married 3 years ago. Honestly, the actual wedding and planning was probably the worst thing we ever had to go through in our relationship and we had been together 8 years before we got married through some pretty rough life events. In the end how it went down still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

It turned into my MIL's 3rd wedding. If I had any say I would have just gone down to the court and then had dinner with close friends. My wife fell into the trap of trying to please her mom. In the end her parents spend 40k and tried to rope my parents into spend even more on a party that nobody was really happy about.

During the reception my wife literally had a panic attack because of all the stress her mom was putting her under. We spent the vast majority of our wedding hiding from everybody and not in the cute fun movie hiding from the guests at the wedding sort of way.

The best part of the wedding was after we got kicked out of the venue and the "young folk" went out to the bars with the people we actually wanted to hang out with.

Best advice I can give: give them a wad of cash equal to what you are willing to give them as a gift which you will have no control over how they will spend and then butt out. If they are old enough to get married, they are old enough to plan it themselves. If they spend it on a party you are invited to, cool. If they they spend it paying off debt and take 5 of their closest friends out for dinner and you aren't on the list it is what it is.

shell921
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by shell921 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:53 am

SDLinguist wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:56 am
We got married 3 years ago. Honestly, the actual wedding and planning was probably the worst thing we ever had to go through in our relationship and we had been together 8 years before we got married through some pretty rough life events. In the end how it went down still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

It turned into my MIL's 3rd wedding. If I had any say I would have just gone down to the court and then had dinner with close friends. My wife fell into the trap of trying to please her mom. In the end her parents spend 40k and tried to rope my parents into spend even more on a party that nobody was really happy about.

During the reception my wife literally had a panic attack because of all the stress her mom was putting her under. We spent the vast majority of our wedding hiding from everybody and not in the cute fun movie hiding from the guests at the wedding sort of way.

The best part of the wedding was after we got kicked out of the venue and the "young folk" went out to the bars with the people we actually wanted to hang out with.

Best advice I can give: give them a wad of cash equal to what you are willing to give them as a gift which you will have no control over how they will spend and then butt out. If they are old enough to get married, they are old enough to plan it themselves. If they spend it on a party you are invited to, cool. If they they spend it paying off debt and take 5 of their closest friends out for dinner and you aren't on the list it is what it is.
This is what I have heard from some young people that I know. I was married 45 years in a ceremony in my mother's beautiful back yard with only
40 guests. My mother hired a caterer to prepare hor'sd'oeuvres and a bartender--the costs were not that much.
I bought a nice cocktail dress from Saks 5th Ave and my husband wore a nice suit and tie. We didn't care about bridesmaids or groomsmen.
We had my 5 yr old neice as ringbearer. I had no veil or bouquet - just flowers in my hair. A judge we knew presided. Most of the people there were my mother's friends! The whole thing was a blur - I was so nervous and busy trying to talk to the guests that I had nothing to eat.
I remembered almost nothing of what was said to me by the guests! I was exhausted / overwhelmed. Even with this small group and minimalist type of wedding. My husband and I talked about it after many times and wished we had just gone with
our moms and my brother + his wife and my husband's sister + her husband to the court house and then out for a nice family
celebration afterwards ! And then - after returning from our 2 week Tahiti honeymoon - we could have thrown a "party" and invited
my mother's friends -when we were more relaxed and able to enjoy! I think people put way too much emphasis on having a "wedding"
and having things so "perfectly" and this all makes for WAY too much STRESS!

Watty posted about a study that found that there is actually a negative correlation with how much is spent on a wedding and how long the marriage last. We were married 39 years when my husband died 5 years ago. Every single couple we knew that had a lavish wedding in the years right before and after we were married divorced ! A few remarried...happily..but NONE of them stayed with original spouse for long.
Last edited by shell921 on Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

aristotelian
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by aristotelian » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:56 am

Congratulations! But has the couple asked for your advice?

ScaledWheel
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by ScaledWheel » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:07 am

Got married in 2018 at approximately $200/person. Everything was planned ourselves, with the big expenses being food and drinks but the small things start adding up. Planning a wedding is a very individualized process so the only advice I would give is to definitely get a day-of coordinator. We didn't do a wedding planner, though it would have made life a lot easier, but the day-of coordinator helps make it so you can be sure that your family and friends get to attend the wedding instead of having to deal with the little things that can come up.

stoptothink
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:09 am

SDLinguist wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:56 am
We got married 3 years ago. Honestly, the actual wedding and planning was probably the worst thing we ever had to go through in our relationship and we had been together 8 years before we got married through some pretty rough life events. In the end how it went down still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

It turned into my MIL's 3rd wedding. If I had any say I would have just gone down to the court and then had dinner with close friends. My wife fell into the trap of trying to please her mom.
Few are going to admit it, but this likely represents a very significant proportion of weddings. That's the story of my 1st wedding, except it was FIL's day to show off and I got to cover the majority of the cost. She simply didn't know how to say no to her dad, even when it came to the guest list (mostly his friends, business colleagues - she knew maybe half the guests, I knew maybe a dozen out of 150+). We had countless arguments about it after a totally drama-free 2yrs of dating. Totally changed our relationship and, though not directly the cause, was related to why we got divorced (polar opposite expectations regarding lifestyle/spending). I learned my lesson and that is why the 2nd wedding was ~$500 (and wife was COMPLETELY on board) and a significantly more joyous and less stressful experience overall.

gogleheads.orb
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Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by gogleheads.orb » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:27 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:14 pm
gogleheads.orb wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:26 pm


It is very difficult to have a cheap wedding.
The main way to control expenses is to not invite many people and to not serve much food. These things are easier said than done. It is not fun excluding people and food for many people is very important. Limiting the food will also limit the length of the party. If you are having people travel from a great distance you probably don't want to have a super short party.

Two years ago we had what we thought would be a rather cheap wedding. Back yard, 110 people, Lunch was the only formal meal. my wife did the planning and we depended on friends for a lot of help. It still cost $40k.

Each set of parents wrote us checks for the amount that they wanted to. It came up to $30k so it didn't cost us too much.
Actually, it sounds like an expensive wedding is a huge hassle. My really cheap wedding was hardly difficult. If you want a fairy tale wedding with an open bar; yeah, that's going to be difficult.
If you go the justice of the peace with your two witnesses the cost will be $0 and the planning will take about 15 minutes. Yup, cheap and easy. If you then want to take 100-200 people out to dinner and drinks. Well, that's going to cost some money and will require some planning.

What is difficult to do is to achieve the later with the cost of the former.

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