Wedding Finances-Today

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
TrollToll
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:24 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by TrollToll » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:33 am

I got married recently. It was a good day, but it was quite stressful in the weeks leading up to it and it was pricey. I recently read this post from a blog I follow and am a bit jealous we didn't have a wedding more like this.

https://mymoneywizard.com/dream-wedding-2750-dollars/

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

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!
Everything can cost a fortune or be reasonable depending on what the couple wants. The biggest expense by far was our wedding reception venue. Many of them have a minimum guarantee and cost per plate of at least $100, so if you have reception hall that is $100 per plate and if you want a Saturday night, they may ask for a minimum of 150 guests, so that is $15,000 plus taxes plus gratuity, so that is another like 22% so then $18,300. And that is a pretty reasonable reception hall. We saw many that were $150 per person and some that were $200 per person and one hall just said flat fee of $50,000 doesn't matter how many people. So this is likely going to be your biggest cost, so only ways to save are to find a place that is a lower per person cost or have fewer guests.

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.

reherseal dinner, this could be a few hundred dollars

church fee, this was $500 for us plus tips

Tips, this is a sore topic, but everyone is going to expect a tip so that could easily be thousands of dollars more.

They say the average cost of a wedding in NJ is around $42K last time I checked.

I would say you should set a budget for what you can afford, and let them know upfront, this is how much we can afford to contribute to your wedding, the rest you will have to cover. I assume other side of the couple's parents will do the same. OR another way, some people will say our side will cover the cost of this part of the wedding.

Ybsybs
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:28 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Ybsybs » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:40 am

Based on my brother's wedding two years ago, heavy appetizers were MORE expensive than a regular buffet line. The caterers explained that making 50 individual bacon-wrapped scallops (or whatever) was much more time intensive for the chef than making seared scallop linguine for 50.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10503
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:49 am

HomeStretch wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:55 pm
Another cost-savings was the bride and groom’s parents not insisting on inviting every known relative and long-ago family friend.
When we married, we found a significant number of dead people on my in-law's "must invite" list. I suppose if we left them on the list and cut some of the live people, the cost would have been reduced.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

lowerleisureclass
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:05 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by lowerleisureclass » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:30 am

I got married eight years ago. One of the better pieces of advice I remember was "Decide who you want to be there (and err on the side of inclusiveness), THEN decide how fancy a meal etc. you can afford to give them."

I also found the website "A Practical Wedding" to be extremely helpful for planning purposes, with lots of helpful resources, not least of which was a section called "Real Weddings" where people broke down their own (recent) weddings with what they did and what worked and what they wished they'd spent more/less on.

The woman who started it also has a book out now: A Practical Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Wedding You Want with the Budget You've Got (without Losing Your Mind in the Process).
"At either end of the economic spectrum there lies a leisure class." -- Eric Beck, rock climber

surfstar
Posts: 1852
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by surfstar » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.
Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.

Jags4186
Posts: 3919
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:54 am

surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
This isn’t Early Retirement Extreme or Mr. Money Mustache. There are plenty of BHs who spent lavishly on weddings, cars, watches, houses, vacations, etc. etc... Having a miserly wedding or honeymoon doesn’t make you “better” which is, again, why these threads should be avoided by folks who imply directly or indirectly superiority by having done that. Save that for forums where people care...

nimo956
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by nimo956 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:02 am

I got married in May 2019. It was parents only at the courthouse. I paid $60 for the license and then parents paid for a nice lunch afterwards. No rings or honeymoon. Not everyone needs to succumb to peer pressure to spend a lot of money. Parents in law had set a sizable amount of money aside that will end up going towards a house down payment in the future.

We are in our early thirties and are on track to be financially independent by early 40s.
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

Ybsybs
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:28 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Ybsybs » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:10 am

This.

We had a lavish wedding and greatly enjoyed ourselves. Over a decade later, family and friends still mention what a wonderful time they had.

My only money regret is not buying going with a photographer who would sell us electronic files of our wedding photos. We got a beautiful album and, in theory, we were to be able to order prints whenever we wanted. But the photographer has gone out of business, so a couple times I've scanned photos from the album to reprint in other sizes for framing.

SQRT
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by SQRT » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:49 am

Ybsybs wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:10 am
We had a lavish wedding and greatly enjoyed ourselves. Over a decade later, family and friends still mention what a wonderful time they had.
Likewise. I don’t think you should spend more than you can afford or try to impress others, but my daughter’s wedding was a fabulous, joyous event. She is very happy it was such a success. We could have spent much less but I think we got pretty good value for the expenditure. I certainly agree though, that you can have a lovely wedding for a much more reasonable cost. You define reasonable. But this is true about almost anything in life?

surfstar
Posts: 1852
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by surfstar » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:52 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:54 am
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
This isn’t Early Retirement Extreme or Mr. Money Mustache. There are plenty of BHs who spent lavishly on weddings, cars, watches, houses, vacations, etc. etc... Having a miserly wedding or honeymoon doesn’t make you “better” which is, again, why these threads should be avoided by folks who imply directly or indirectly superiority by having done that. Save that for forums where people care...
"miserly" hardly. LBYM

Not everyone has rich parents to fund their wedding. Save your comments for the 1% who don't care.

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm

surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.
Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....

surfstar
Posts: 1852
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by surfstar » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.
Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....
You don't have to have all those flowers.
We paid for corsages for a few people. Otherwise it was some free, borrowed plants from a nursery. Flowers not needed for centerpieces.
It is just a really insane concept to spend $1k-$5k+ for temporary decorations. I don't think anyone noticed that our wedding was lacking in recently deceased colored plants. We weren't trying to impress anyone with our wedding or even with our frugality. Everyone had a blast and remind us of it at random times since.
$5k for flowers makes $5k for a watch seem like a much more sensible purchase :twisted:

surfstar
Posts: 1852
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by surfstar » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:08 pm

surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.
Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....
You don't have to have all those flowers. (here's a secret - you also don't have to have "groomsmen" and "bride's maids" - save them and you a bunch of money on horribly outfits.)
We paid for corsages for a few people. Otherwise it was some free, borrowed plants from a nursery. Flowers not needed for centerpieces.
It is just a really insane concept to spend $1k-$5k+ for temporary decorations. I don't think anyone noticed that our wedding was lacking in recently deceased colored plants. We weren't trying to impress anyone with our wedding or even with our frugality. Everyone had a blast and remind us of it at random times since.
$5k for flowers makes $5k for a watch seem like a much more sensible purchase :twisted:

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:12 pm

surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.
Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....
You don't have to have all those flowers.
We paid for corsages for a few people. Otherwise it was some free, borrowed plants from a nursery. Flowers not needed for centerpieces.
It is just a really insane concept to spend $1k-$5k+ for temporary decorations. I don't think anyone noticed that our wedding was lacking in recently deceased colored plants. We weren't trying to impress anyone with our wedding or even with our frugality. Everyone had a blast and remind us of it at random times since.
$5k for flowers makes $5k for a watch seem like a much more sensible purchase :twisted:
Yeah, I am sure most brides would love that idea, how did you match the flowers to the bride's maid dresses? I didn't say I spent $5K, but I know people that have, I also know many brides go to Klienfelds because they want to be like the TV Show and "say yes to the dreess" for $10,000. I also see people all the time with ridiculous cars, and $500 plus a month car payments who then tell me they cant afford to save for retirement. I see people with thousands of dollars of tattoos which is a waste of money, people buy shoes called EEEZY or YEEEZY or some other silly name and spend like $800 on sneakers or many insane thousands on a watch, hint hint, no one wears watches anymore, no one. Your phone keeps the time.... People are going to spend on something, I don't see most women thinking their wedding day is an area to "Save money" I am not saying splurge, but the facts are the average wedding in NJ is $40K ish and that is not extravagant by any means......

stoptothink
Posts: 6547
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:24 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:12 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am

Flowers, we kept to absolute minimum and it was still close to $1,000, but people I have seen hit $5,000 with ease using floral centerpieces.

Photo, this one can be between $2,000-$10,000 depending on who you use, and what package you get.

Videographer, this is another $1-3K

Dress is another one with potential big variance, you can get a dress for $500, or that stupid Klienfelds say yes to the dress stuff and spend $!0,000 on a dress to wear once.

Limo - this is probe $1-3K depending on what you get, could be more than 1 limo, could be regular limo or stretch hummer or party bus type limo.

Some people include the cost of engagement and wedding rings in wedding budget, that is up to each couple how they budget, again this could be $2K for simple rings or up to who knows. I had a friend in grad school with an $80,000 4 Karat yellow canary diamond.

Honeymoon - this can be just a simple weekend getaway for a few hundred bucks or an elaborate 2 week vacation to some foreign land and could be many thousands of dollars.
Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....
You don't have to have all those flowers.
We paid for corsages for a few people. Otherwise it was some free, borrowed plants from a nursery. Flowers not needed for centerpieces.
It is just a really insane concept to spend $1k-$5k+ for temporary decorations. I don't think anyone noticed that our wedding was lacking in recently deceased colored plants. We weren't trying to impress anyone with our wedding or even with our frugality. Everyone had a blast and remind us of it at random times since.
$5k for flowers makes $5k for a watch seem like a much more sensible purchase :twisted:
Yeah, I am sure most brides would love that idea, how did you match the flowers to the bride's maid dresses? I didn't say I spent $5K, but I know people that have, I also know many brides go to Klienfelds because they want to be like the TV Show and "say yes to the dreess" for $10,000. I also see people all the time with ridiculous cars, and $500 plus a month car payments who then tell me they cant afford to save for retirement. I see people with thousands of dollars of tattoos which is a waste of money, people buy shoes called EEEZY or YEEEZY or some other silly name and spend like $800 on sneakers or many insane thousands on a watch, hint hint, no one wears watches anymore, no one. Your phone keeps the time.... People are going to spend on something, I don't see most women thinking their wedding day is an area to "Save money" I am not saying splurge, but the facts are the average wedding in NJ is $40K ish and that is not extravagant by any means......
My employer has an annual single day event where $.75M is spent on flowers and then the huge majority of them are are thrown away. They can be absurdly expensive - and IMO, for what? - which is exactly why flowers were not even a thing at our wedding. IMO, same thing with photographers; I know people that have spent in excess of $5k for wedding pictures. Doesn't everybody have a pretty decent amateur photographer in their family?

Don't get me wrong, if you have the money or parents want to pay for a party: have at it. Those of us who have defined budgets and did it on our own; there are some massive wedding-related costs that can totally be eliminated and nobody would probably even notice. Define your priorities: you want a "conventional" wedding, it is going to cost.

gazelle1991
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:20 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:24 pm

Biggest cost savings for me was finding a venue that allows BYOB and have flexibility around catering.

Another tip was to find a venue out of town within driving distance. Small town venues typically are more flexible and have cheaper options. We did have to pay for accommodation because the location is out of town but the savings outweigh the costs.

I ended up spending about 10K for a wedding of about 200 guests. Biggest costs were:

Catering: $3K
Photographer: $2K
Venue for Friday/Sat at a historic site: $1K
Alcohol from costco and Total Wine: $1K

For 200 guests, I found that things add up quickly, even though I went super minimal. My parents gave us a check for $10K and DH's parents paid for the church ceremony, hire a bartender to hand out alcohol, paid for and made DIY decorations, so we probably ended up having left-over money, but if I had to do it again, I probably would do a destination wedding or just elope. The stress of planning and the thousands of $ spent on a wedding is :oops:

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:34 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:24 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:12 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am


Those are not budget prices.

$1k for minimum flowers?

All in, rings were under $900. Hers are white gold and semi-custom. I ordered a bunch for me to figure out what I liked, kept the most expensive one at $45. Cobalt Chrome, matches white gold very well.

Wife found a dress for $40 that everyone loved. She beat me on the clothing costs, but I did resell my getup for 80% of what I paid. She also got to wear the dress again at a white clothing'd engagement party for a friend. Everyone loved the dress, even more so when they found out it was her wedding dress.

Honeymoon - 10 day trip to Curacao. Flights were free with points from CCs, 1/2 of hotel nights were also. Cheap rental car and shore-diving made for an awesome, and cheap trip. No fancy dinners. Week and a half, international trip, well under $2k total. Probably closer to $1k.

But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....
You don't have to have all those flowers.
We paid for corsages for a few people. Otherwise it was some free, borrowed plants from a nursery. Flowers not needed for centerpieces.
It is just a really insane concept to spend $1k-$5k+ for temporary decorations. I don't think anyone noticed that our wedding was lacking in recently deceased colored plants. We weren't trying to impress anyone with our wedding or even with our frugality. Everyone had a blast and remind us of it at random times since.
$5k for flowers makes $5k for a watch seem like a much more sensible purchase :twisted:
Yeah, I am sure most brides would love that idea, how did you match the flowers to the bride's maid dresses? I didn't say I spent $5K, but I know people that have, I also know many brides go to Klienfelds because they want to be like the TV Show and "say yes to the dreess" for $10,000. I also see people all the time with ridiculous cars, and $500 plus a month car payments who then tell me they cant afford to save for retirement. I see people with thousands of dollars of tattoos which is a waste of money, people buy shoes called EEEZY or YEEEZY or some other silly name and spend like $800 on sneakers or many insane thousands on a watch, hint hint, no one wears watches anymore, no one. Your phone keeps the time.... People are going to spend on something, I don't see most women thinking their wedding day is an area to "Save money" I am not saying splurge, but the facts are the average wedding in NJ is $40K ish and that is not extravagant by any means......
My employer has an annual single day event where $.75M is spent on flowers and then the huge majority of them are are thrown away. They can be absurdly expensive - and IMO, for what? - which is exactly why flowers were not even a thing at our wedding. IMO, same thing with photographers; I know people that have spent in excess of $5k for wedding pictures. Doesn't everybody have a pretty decent amateur photographer in their family?

Don't get me wrong, if you have the money or parents want to pay for a party: have at it. Those of us who have defined budgets and did it on our own; there are some massive wedding-related costs that can totally be eliminated and nobody would probably even notice. Define your priorities: you want a "conventional" wedding, it is going to cost.
Right but when people talk about a wedding, in general, they are talking about a as you called it, "conventional" wedding. When someone says what car should I buy, not everyone says buy a 20 year old camry for $500, anything above that is a waste of money..... Yes everyone's budgets are different, but most people assume a certain typical cost of doing things, ie a wedding typically is going to cost $20-40K, a car is going to cost $10-20K. When people ask about buying a house, you assume depending on where they live a certain amount, sure they could build a tiny house for $10K, but that isn't the norm. Some people think a $1,500 phone is crazy, others think it is essential part of life, while some buy a $5K watch when no one even wears a watch and haven't since iphones came out....but we all chose to spend where we do and on what we enjoy.

In theory no one should even get married, because the COST of a divroce is half of everything you own, and that is statistically a 50% outcome, so in theory then getting married, no matter what you spend on the wedding is a ridiculous cost, since it is 50% likely you will lose half of everything....

oldfatguy
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by oldfatguy » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:37 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:12 pm
I am not saying splurge, but the facts are the average wedding in NJ is $40K ish and that is not extravagant by any means......
40K wedding not extravagant? Makes me very happy to be not normal.

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:44 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:37 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:12 pm
I am not saying splurge, but the facts are the average wedding in NJ is $40K ish and that is not extravagant by any means......
40K wedding not extravagant? Makes me very happy to be not normal.
Sorry I was wrong....

Weddings in North and Central Jersey will run an average of $62,074. South Jersey couples fork over an average of $40,231. Nationally, the average cost of a wedding is $33,391.


The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study polled almost 13,000 couples that got married in 2017 to discover the spending habits and trends of weddings in the United States.
Weddings in North and Central Jersey will run an average of $62,074. South Jersey couples fork over an average of $40,231. Nationally, the average cost of a wedding is $33,391.
So just what costs so much money?
For those spending 60 grand or more for the big day, most of it goes toward the venue, according to the survey. On average, couples spend $42,801 on the venue. Other big ticket items include:
Reception Band - $7,145
Photographer - $5,130
Florist/Decor - $6,050
Videographer - $3,214
Wedding Dress - $3,158


Read More: Average NJ wedding costs $62,074 | https://nj1015.com/average-nj-wedding-c ... m=referral

spoco79
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 8:59 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by spoco79 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:50 pm

My daughter had been raised by a Boglehead and that helped a lot. We had $30,000 saved in an account earmarked for her wedding. I started saving the day the sonogram said it was a girl. I told her and her then fiancé that was their budget and anything left over would be theirs.

My daughter put together a $10,000 wedding and ending up actually spending under $8000. My son in law had $15,000 in student loans which they planned to pay off. I was so impressed and proud that I gave them the $15,000 as a wedding present on top of the $22,000. They were able to start their life together in a much better spot than her mother and I. But that has been my life's goal - change the family tree.

[Comment removed by Moderator Misenplace.]

stoptothink
Posts: 6547
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:00 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:34 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:24 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:12 pm
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:01 pm


You tell me what professional florist is going to do flowers for a wedding under $1K? that is bride's bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, flowers for all bride's maids and groomsman, flowers for flower girl, and flowers to present to Mary, and that is without floral centerpieces. And do you have to do these things no, but you can also just elope or do court wedding, but that is well, something else.....
You don't have to have all those flowers.
We paid for corsages for a few people. Otherwise it was some free, borrowed plants from a nursery. Flowers not needed for centerpieces.
It is just a really insane concept to spend $1k-$5k+ for temporary decorations. I don't think anyone noticed that our wedding was lacking in recently deceased colored plants. We weren't trying to impress anyone with our wedding or even with our frugality. Everyone had a blast and remind us of it at random times since.
$5k for flowers makes $5k for a watch seem like a much more sensible purchase :twisted:
Yeah, I am sure most brides would love that idea, how did you match the flowers to the bride's maid dresses? I didn't say I spent $5K, but I know people that have, I also know many brides go to Klienfelds because they want to be like the TV Show and "say yes to the dreess" for $10,000. I also see people all the time with ridiculous cars, and $500 plus a month car payments who then tell me they cant afford to save for retirement. I see people with thousands of dollars of tattoos which is a waste of money, people buy shoes called EEEZY or YEEEZY or some other silly name and spend like $800 on sneakers or many insane thousands on a watch, hint hint, no one wears watches anymore, no one. Your phone keeps the time.... People are going to spend on something, I don't see most women thinking their wedding day is an area to "Save money" I am not saying splurge, but the facts are the average wedding in NJ is $40K ish and that is not extravagant by any means......
My employer has an annual single day event where $.75M is spent on flowers and then the huge majority of them are are thrown away. They can be absurdly expensive - and IMO, for what? - which is exactly why flowers were not even a thing at our wedding. IMO, same thing with photographers; I know people that have spent in excess of $5k for wedding pictures. Doesn't everybody have a pretty decent amateur photographer in their family?

Don't get me wrong, if you have the money or parents want to pay for a party: have at it. Those of us who have defined budgets and did it on our own; there are some massive wedding-related costs that can totally be eliminated and nobody would probably even notice. Define your priorities: you want a "conventional" wedding, it is going to cost.
Right but when people talk about a wedding, in general, they are talking about a as you called it, "conventional" wedding. When someone says what car should I buy, not everyone says buy a 20 year old camry for $500, anything above that is a waste of money..... Yes everyone's budgets are different, but most people assume a certain typical cost of doing things, ie a wedding typically is going to cost $20-40K, a car is going to cost $10-20K.
The data for "typical weddings" that I have seen comes from wedding planners or event facilities. I would take any of those numbers with a huge grain of salt, they are purposely inflated. Just look at the "study" you linked, it says the average cost spent on a "reception band" is over $7,100; I've easily been to 100+ weddings and can not recall ever seeing a band. Maybe that is a thing in some areas, definitely not in mine. It all varies depending on region and culture.
Last edited by stoptothink on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alf 101
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:24 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Alf 101 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:01 pm

The one thing I can quickly add, is that the wedding premium is real.

We got married several years ago, wanting a small gathering at an outside venue. My wife found a location, and called a nearby company about a chair rental quote.

It seemed high, so I waited about an hour, can called the same place to ask about a chair rental quote for a work gathering -- something we'd cater with some BBQ, people bring their families, hand out accolades, etc. While the number of chairs and location was identical, my quote was roughly 35-40% of my wife's wedding quote.

I don't suspect every single vendor would be so egregious, but it's something to be mindful about...

oldfatguy
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by oldfatguy » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:06 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:00 pm

The data for "typical weddings" that I have seen comes from wedding planners or event facilities. I would take any of those numbers with a huge grain of salt, they are purposely inflated. It all varies depending on region and culture.
Yes. And even if one accepts these "averages" at face value, a wedding will only cost what someone is willing to spend.

Cycle
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Cycle » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:10 pm

I was married 5 years ago. We did open bar but not high end stuff, people could buy top shelf of they wanted. We went with a nice venue (Minneapolis city hall) that offered affordable catorers, but not a premium venue. The biggest contributor to the wedding cost was number of guests.

I think our wedding was a little under $20k for 180 guests, including a rehearsal dinner. We received about $10k in cash gifts and another $5k from a parent. We didn't expect any reimbursement, so that was a nice surprise. Ie we planned it as tho it was all out of pocket for us.

In Singapore couples make money. Someone with a ledger greats you when u walk in and they write down how much you give. Everyone after you sees that number in the ledger.

Instead of an expensive wedding trolley I just hired a full coach bus... No wedding premium on that one.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:41 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:01 pm
The one thing I can quickly add, is that the wedding premium is real.

We got married several years ago, wanting a small gathering at an outside venue. My wife found a location, and called a nearby company about a chair rental quote.

It seemed high, so I waited about an hour, can called the same place to ask about a chair rental quote for a work gathering -- something we'd cater with some BBQ, people bring their families, hand out accolades, etc. While the number of chairs and location was identical, my quote was roughly 35-40% of my wife's wedding quote.

I don't suspect every single vendor would be so egregious, but it's something to be mindful about...
not necessarily true, they may have assumed chairs for work would be just that a plain chair, vs a chair for a wedding, would have the cloth wrap around it and probably in a color that matches the wedding theme, so there is more work involved.

SrGrumpy
Posts: 1184
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:45 pm

psteinx wrote:
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.
The destination might have been chosen to keep attendance low. I certainly wouldn't go. And all the folks in the wedding pix will be dripping in sweat and/or frazzled after the tedious drive from Miami.

luckyrebel
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:38 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by luckyrebel » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:15 pm

My Niece was married at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key,

Beautiful wedding on the beach and a reception that spared nothing. It was fantastic but, I am willing to bet it set my sister and brother in law back $75,000 minimum. That does not include all of the guests travel expenses.

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 13414
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by HomerJ » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:52 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
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.
Heh. Funny post.

But serious question, why is it not helpful to the OP to tell them how you saved money?
The J stands for Jay

Kaizen Soze
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Kaizen Soze » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:58 pm

Neither of us wanted a big wedding or to spend a lot of money. It was very helpful to talk to our parents about contributions upfront so that we knew their expectations and our exact budget. They had higher expectations than we did.

Suggestions to save:
- If you can, use a venue that allows BYOB. Food/alcohol was our biggest expense.
- Online invitations. Less than $100 total and makes tracking easier. Still send hand-written thank you's.
- Have a small cut cake and then sheet cake in the back for guests. Saves hundreds.
- Don't go overboard on flowers. Simple greenery is in and less expensive.
- Use a website like Mpix or Zno to create your own wedding album. The software is user-friendly.
- Don't use a wedding planner. Hire a Day-of Coordinator instead. We put the wedding/vendors together but were 100% hands-off on the day and are very happy with that decision. The coordinator took over all vendor communication 30 days out.
- Skip the party favors/trinkets. Instead have a snack or something edible towards the end of the night.
- Shop around. the caterer offered seat pads to rent for $400, including delivery. We found the same ones to rent for $60, but had to pick them up and drop them off within 2 days of the event. Wedding vendors love to put high price tags on the convenience factor.

Topic Author
pennywise
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by pennywise » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:56 pm

OP here, thanks everyone for the VERY helpful and thoughtful responses!

To answer a few questions asked about our situation:

Location and timing: Holding the wedding in the Florida Keys is non-negotiable because we live in Key Largo, our daughter was born and raised in South Florida and both her maternal and paternal (large) extended family all live in Florida. Currently she and her fiance live in Arlington VA; his parents and (large) extended family live in Michigan. She has long said she wants to be married at home, near the water. As for timing, she is a HS teacher so a spring break wedding is the only time other than summer she has any extended time off and even I wouldn't show up for an outdoor wedding here in July! They usually visit for Christmas but as a wedding date that could be even pricier and more complicated, as it's also a high season for this area. Not to mention trying to add a wedding to what's already a crowded holiday gathering. So spring 2021 it is!

Guest list: We started out with a plucked-from-thin-air number of 75-100. But remember that double large extended family? Right, yesterday when the happy couple finally sat down with a wish/guest list they ended up with 120+ at first pass! Preliminary conversation seems to boil down to them having a number in mind of around 100; they both have folks they can trim and they both are leaning against a blanket plus-one invitation for single friends. So if someone is in a relationship of course they should bring their significant other but they're not inclined to subsidize an expensive casual date to a Keys wedding :wink:. They also don't want kids other than any possible offspring of their siblings (each has one brother who is married and childless at this point). One catering mgr I've met with commented that in the Keys, the general percentage of invitees who actually attend runs ~80%. So I suspect their everyone-included guest list, once trimmed and modified will probably align somewhere between 80-90 people.

Priorities: Bride and groom want to be married on the beach, then have the reception somewhere near the beach but not ON the beach. They will not have any attendants, other than the bride's parents walking her down the aisle. They don't care about fancy invitations, wedding/reception floral arrangements or decorations, or an elaborate dress. She wants great music and a DJ is fine, he wants good food. At this point a full bar is planned but they don't care about premium brands, house liquor is fine.

Budget AKA the big question: it's been an eye opener to read the variety of price points and how people spent, or didn't, on weddings. I began with a plucked-from-air budget of $20,000. Financially that isn't a strain for us nor would a higher amount be a problem strictly from a fiscal comfort zone perspective. However here's where my Boglehead mind is being pulled in two directions: money carefully saved and stewarded is not money to be lightly frittered away...heck I could buy a really nice new CAR for $20K-$30K! OTOH, money carefully saved and stewarded is also not meant to be hoarded forever when it can provide our family with experiences and memories that we will treasure. So spending on a wedding doesn't feel like a waste in any sense of that spirit. I also am using my inner gyroscope about spending on my kids: I won't lay out money at a level that makes me feel resentful or that causes me worry about the amount. So while we could spend lavishly, I have a feeling that my magic number is probably somewhere around $25,000 or slightly higher. $30,000 and north feels unacceptable on the gyroscope meter, at least at this point.

Venue options: given that budget and the preference for a beachside wedding followed by an indoor reception we are considering either a resort or a standalone waterfront restaurant, both of which are in good supply down here. Resorts have the advantage of taking care of most of the logistics but have some rather breathtaking site fees in addition to the food/beverage cost. Restaurants may or may not add a site fee but they won't handle all the details, that will be up to us. Resorts also offer discounted room blocks as part of the wedding packages although at the height of high season that is not saying much. We will not be subsidizing rooms for anyone other than perhaps the bridal couple and family members who won't want to drive back to Miami after the ceremony.

We have found one resort that meets all their wish list items. The catering manager did a budget estimate for 80 guests which was above my original figure but she assured me she could work with us to get it down. She immediately mentioned a lower level bar plan (house v premium). This place basically handles everything from soup to nuts, they have centerpiece lamps we can use for free. They could have pre-wedding appetizers and drinks, a beachside ceremony (venue provides the officiant) then a reception in a private room with floor to ceiling water views, choice of plated, buffet or food station meal, 5 hour open bar, wedding cake, all the supplies from chairs/tables/linens to a dance floor, with food that gets rave reviews online. They will block rooms and there are numerous areas if the groom's parents want to do a rehearsal dinner or reception there, or we want to do a brunch the morning after etc.

I very much like the suggestions about giving the couple a number that we will cover, then let them decide how they want to spend it. I think that skirts the easy tendency of someone like a mother of the bride (ahem) to get dictatorial or conversely upset about their choices, while allowing them to know they are being gifted with a sum to create their dream day. Both bride and groom are very level headed WRT finances, so I am confident this would be a system that would work well for them.

I certainly welcome more comments or feedback and again thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond so far.

Jags4186
Posts: 3919
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:57 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:52 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
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.
Heh. Funny post.

But serious question, why is it not helpful to the OP to tell them how you saved money?
It IS helpful, but what happens in all of these threads is that it degenerates into a subset of people saying it’s stupid to spend $X (where X is $1 more than they paid) on a wedding. If the OP’s daughter was planning on getting married by a justice of the peace and then having a picnic in the local park, I doubt the OP would have posted in the first place.

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Thegame14
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:22 pm

pennywise wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:56 pm
OP here, thanks everyone for the VERY helpful and thoughtful responses!

To answer a few questions asked about our situation:

Location and timing: Holding the wedding in the Florida Keys is non-negotiable because we live in Key Largo, our daughter was born and raised in South Florida and both her maternal and paternal (large) extended family all live in Florida. Currently she and her fiance live in Arlington VA; his parents and (large) extended family live in Michigan. She has long said she wants to be married at home, near the water. As for timing, she is a HS teacher so a spring break wedding is the only time other than summer she has any extended time off and even I wouldn't show up for an outdoor wedding here in July! They usually visit for Christmas but as a wedding date that could be even pricier and more complicated, as it's also a high season for this area. Not to mention trying to add a wedding to what's already a crowded holiday gathering. So spring 2021 it is!

Guest list: We started out with a plucked-from-thin-air number of 75-100. But remember that double large extended family? Right, yesterday when the happy couple finally sat down with a wish/guest list they ended up with 120+ at first pass! Preliminary conversation seems to boil down to them having a number in mind of around 100; they both have folks they can trim and they both are leaning against a blanket plus-one invitation for single friends. So if someone is in a relationship of course they should bring their significant other but they're not inclined to subsidize an expensive casual date to a Keys wedding :wink:. They also don't want kids other than any possible offspring of their siblings (each has one brother who is married and childless at this point). One catering mgr I've met with commented that in the Keys, the general percentage of invitees who actually attend runs ~80%. So I suspect their everyone-included guest list, once trimmed and modified will probably align somewhere between 80-90 people.

Priorities: Bride and groom want to be married on the beach, then have the reception somewhere near the beach but not ON the beach. They will not have any attendants, other than the bride's parents walking her down the aisle. They don't care about fancy invitations, wedding/reception floral arrangements or decorations, or an elaborate dress. She wants great music and a DJ is fine, he wants good food. At this point a full bar is planned but they don't care about premium brands, house liquor is fine.

Budget AKA the big question: it's been an eye opener to read the variety of price points and how people spent, or didn't, on weddings. I began with a plucked-from-air budget of $20,000. Financially that isn't a strain for us nor would a higher amount be a problem strictly from a fiscal comfort zone perspective. However here's where my Boglehead mind is being pulled in two directions: money carefully saved and stewarded is not money to be lightly frittered away...heck I could buy a really nice new CAR for $20K-$30K! OTOH, money carefully saved and stewarded is also not meant to be hoarded forever when it can provide our family with experiences and memories that we will treasure. So spending on a wedding doesn't feel like a waste in any sense of that spirit. I also am using my inner gyroscope about spending on my kids: I won't lay out money at a level that makes me feel resentful or that causes me worry about the amount. So while we could spend lavishly, I have a feeling that my magic number is probably somewhere around $25,000 or slightly higher. $30,000 and north feels unacceptable on the gyroscope meter, at least at this point.

Venue options: given that budget and the preference for a beachside wedding followed by an indoor reception we are considering either a resort or a standalone waterfront restaurant, both of which are in good supply down here. Resorts have the advantage of taking care of most of the logistics but have some rather breathtaking site fees in addition to the food/beverage cost. Restaurants may or may not add a site fee but they won't handle all the details, that will be up to us. Resorts also offer discounted room blocks as part of the wedding packages although at the height of high season that is not saying much. We will not be subsidizing rooms for anyone other than perhaps the bridal couple and family members who won't want to drive back to Miami after the ceremony.

We have found one resort that meets all their wish list items. The catering manager did a budget estimate for 80 guests which was above my original figure but she assured me she could work with us to get it down. She immediately mentioned a lower level bar plan (house v premium). This place basically handles everything from soup to nuts, they have centerpiece lamps we can use for free. They could have pre-wedding appetizers and drinks, a beachside ceremony (venue provides the officiant) then a reception in a private room with floor to ceiling water views, choice of plated, buffet or food station meal, 5 hour open bar, wedding cake, all the supplies from chairs/tables/linens to a dance floor, with food that gets rave reviews online. They will block rooms and there are numerous areas if the groom's parents want to do a rehearsal dinner or reception there, or we want to do a brunch the morning after etc.

I very much like the suggestions about giving the couple a number that we will cover, then let them decide how they want to spend it. I think that skirts the easy tendency of someone like a mother of the bride (ahem) to get dictatorial or conversely upset about their choices, while allowing them to know they are being gifted with a sum to create their dream day. Both bride and groom are very level headed WRT finances, so I am confident this would be a system that would work well for them.

I certainly welcome more comments or feedback and again thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond so far.
We also said no kids other than the ones in the wedding, boy this is a hot topic.... that was a local wedding and people can get sitters, if you don't allow kids, ANYONE who isn't in state is not going to show up. Cant leave a kid home in Michigan and travel to Florida for a wedding. I would SERIOUSLY reconsider this one....

stoptothink
Posts: 6547
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:17 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:22 pm
if you don't allow kids, ANYONE who isn't in state is not going to show up. Cant leave a kid home in Michigan and travel to Florida for a wedding. I would SERIOUSLY reconsider this one....
Or not...depending on the situation. If it is really important, people will find a way for their kids to be watched for 2-3 overnight days or even figure it out among family members to bring the kids and have someone else watch them for an afternoon in Florida. If it was a sibling or best friend (FWIW, we traveled out of state for my best friend's wedding and grandma watched our kids for 2 days), I'd have no problem figuring this out. If it was pretty much anybody else, it's unlikely I'd consider traveling out of state for a wedding regardless of the situation.

HomeStretch
Posts: 2995
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by HomeStretch » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:36 pm

Thanks for the update. The resort option sounds wonderful. With your daughter and fiancée in VA, they are lucky to have you doing the initial search for venues and for a generous budget.

Best of luck!

megabad
Posts: 2524
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by megabad » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:43 pm

Never tell any vendor this is a wedding if you can avoid it. Say business gathering or “fundraiser”.

Never use any wedding specific venue for the reception/rehearsal.

If you want to save money, I’ve seen that restaurants provide better deals for the reception if they have event space. Basically I’ve been able to get the space for almost nothing and just pay for the food.

Hire at least 2 completely separate non affiliated photographers. They are hit and miss and this is not where you want to skimp. Cost apparently has no bearing on quality. I have seen 2 brides in tears a month after the wedding due to bad photos. Not pretty. After being horrified at the end photo product from her pros, my best friend actually demanded (threateningly) that I send her my photos of her wedding that were just amateur shots with my 5D taken freehand with a 50 mm prime from kind of far with a little bit of touch up. She framed 3 of mine and none from the pros...I joked that I am still waiting for payment...

MJS
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:55 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by MJS » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:34 am
They say the average cost of a wedding in NJ is around $42K last time I checked.
However, consider the difference between average and median:
30 weddings @ $5,000
20 @ $15,000
20 @ $30,000
20 @ $40,000
4 @ $100,000
3 @ $200,000
2 @ $300,000
1 @ $600,000

Average = $43,000 ... but only 10 cost more than $40,000
Median = about $14,000.

Let us assume that wedding planners have traits in common with financial advisors!

User avatar
Raymond
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:04 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Raymond » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:13 pm

MJS wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 pm
...Let us assume that wedding planners have traits in common with financial advisors!
Exactly. That article would have been much more useful if they showed the median cost of a wedding.

Especially with the data likely having a lot of outliers, both low and high.

But that wouldn't serve the interests of the wedding industry.

The old joke:

A statistician puts his head in an oven and his feet in a freezer, saying, “On average, I feel fine.”

Here's an article which shows the median cost (national) of a wedding (2016 data) = $14,399:

"How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost — SuperMoney Guide to Wedding Costs" -supermoney.com
(median cost is discussed in the third section.)
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

mbasherp
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:48 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by mbasherp » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:40 pm

Recently married, within your specification. My main piece of advice is to avoid a traditional wedding planner. They likely won’t save you any more than you can save yourself, and you’ll pay them regardless.

Plan it yourself, or themselves, as the case may be, and hire a day of coordinator to execute your plan as intended. A good coordinator takes the stress off, but relies on a well laid plan, which a budget conscious couple should certainly have.

Don’t spend a lot on flowers.
Spend on a good photographer, but not their prints.
Don’t spend a lot on expensive/exotic drinks or menu items. No one remembers them anyway!

Natsdoc
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:53 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Natsdoc » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:57 am

pennywise wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:56 pm
OP here, thanks everyone for the VERY helpful and thoughtful responses!

To answer a few questions asked about our situation:

Location and timing: Holding the wedding in the Florida Keys is non-negotiable because we live in Key Largo, our daughter was born and raised in South Florida and both her maternal and paternal (large) extended family all live in Florida. Currently she and her fiance live in Arlington VA; his parents and (large) extended family live in Michigan. She has long said she wants to be married at home, near the water. As for timing, she is a HS teacher so a spring break wedding is the only time other than summer she has any extended time off and even I wouldn't show up for an outdoor wedding here in July! They usually visit for Christmas but as a wedding date that could be even pricier and more complicated, as it's also a high season for this area. Not to mention trying to add a wedding to what's already a crowded holiday gathering. So spring 2021 it is!

Guest list: We started out with a plucked-from-thin-air number of 75-100. But remember that double large extended family? Right, yesterday when the happy couple finally sat down with a wish/guest list they ended up with 120+ at first pass! Preliminary conversation seems to boil down to them having a number in mind of around 100; they both have folks they can trim and they both are leaning against a blanket plus-one invitation for single friends. So if someone is in a relationship of course they should bring their significant other but they're not inclined to subsidize an expensive casual date to a Keys wedding :wink:. They also don't want kids other than any possible offspring of their siblings (each has one brother who is married and childless at this point). One catering mgr I've met with commented that in the Keys, the general percentage of invitees who actually attend runs ~80%. So I suspect their everyone-included guest list, once trimmed and modified will probably align somewhere between 80-90 people.

Married early 2016 in the Bahamas, was a destination for us we lived in the DC area, most of my family was in the midwest, his in the northeast.
We invited ~180, and approx 60 guests. We invited our large extended families, but few came, was a higher proportion of friends than extended family (cousins, etc) which surprised us a little, but we had an absolutely great time.
We offered everyone a +1. Had a few friends who came who weren't part of a bigger group and wouldn't have known anyone aside from their "casual" +1 and made it a better experience for them.
We used a smaller hotel/resort, who offered a few set "levels' of meal/bar service, and they took care of all of the set up, tear down, decorating, etc. We used a wedding planner which was an included part of the package, and she took care of everything (flowers, photographer, etc) but no one was local as you are so I'm not sure the planner would be as helpful.
A few tips
- BHLDN from anthropologie has great dresses that aren't quite as formal and more "beach friendly" -though FYI - tulle sticks to EVERYTHING on a beach, my goodness.
- VistaPrint for invitations - they have amazing phone customer service, you call and describe what you want and they design it in real time for you.
- A Practical Wedding blog/website - has some great tips for the frugally minded and their guest list/spreadsheet is excellent



Congrats and have a great time!

SpaceMonkey
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 12:19 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by SpaceMonkey » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:50 am

I got married last spring. It was a relatively large wedding (~125 people), and cost more than I wanted it to, but in the end it was worth it.

The biggest cost drivers are the number of people and the food and alcohol you are serving. Full stop. Everything else is a relatively minor component. We had our reception at a hotel which probably inflated costs somewhat but it also simplified things in the sense that the the food, alcohol, and room rental were all the same vendor, and most of our out-of-town guests were able to stay in the hotel so we didn't have to worry about transportation logistics. Nth-ing the idea of a day-of wedding coordinator, which meant that all we as bride and groom had to worry about during the ceremony and reception was following their instructions.
Last edited by SpaceMonkey on Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

likegarden
Posts: 2917
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by likegarden » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am

I wonder if there is data which relates total cost of weddings to number of years staying married. We had little money many years ago, had a low cost and enjoyable wedding and are still married now for 48 years.

daheld
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:14 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by daheld » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:57 am

pennywise wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:56 pm
OP here, thanks everyone for the VERY helpful and thoughtful responses!

To answer a few questions asked about our situation:

Location and timing: Holding the wedding in the Florida Keys is non-negotiable because we live in Key Largo, our daughter was born and raised in South Florida and both her maternal and paternal (large) extended family all live in Florida. Currently she and her fiance live in Arlington VA; his parents and (large) extended family live in Michigan. She has long said she wants to be married at home, near the water. As for timing, she is a HS teacher so a spring break wedding is the only time other than summer she has any extended time off and even I wouldn't show up for an outdoor wedding here in July! They usually visit for Christmas but as a wedding date that could be even pricier and more complicated, as it's also a high season for this area. Not to mention trying to add a wedding to what's already a crowded holiday gathering. So spring 2021 it is!

Guest list: We started out with a plucked-from-thin-air number of 75-100. But remember that double large extended family? Right, yesterday when the happy couple finally sat down with a wish/guest list they ended up with 120+ at first pass! Preliminary conversation seems to boil down to them having a number in mind of around 100; they both have folks they can trim and they both are leaning against a blanket plus-one invitation for single friends. So if someone is in a relationship of course they should bring their significant other but they're not inclined to subsidize an expensive casual date to a Keys wedding :wink:. They also don't want kids other than any possible offspring of their siblings (each has one brother who is married and childless at this point). One catering mgr I've met with commented that in the Keys, the general percentage of invitees who actually attend runs ~80%. So I suspect their everyone-included guest list, once trimmed and modified will probably align somewhere between 80-90 people.

Priorities: Bride and groom want to be married on the beach, then have the reception somewhere near the beach but not ON the beach. They will not have any attendants, other than the bride's parents walking her down the aisle. They don't care about fancy invitations, wedding/reception floral arrangements or decorations, or an elaborate dress. She wants great music and a DJ is fine, he wants good food. At this point a full bar is planned but they don't care about premium brands, house liquor is fine.

Budget AKA the big question: it's been an eye opener to read the variety of price points and how people spent, or didn't, on weddings. I began with a plucked-from-air budget of $20,000. Financially that isn't a strain for us nor would a higher amount be a problem strictly from a fiscal comfort zone perspective. However here's where my Boglehead mind is being pulled in two directions: money carefully saved and stewarded is not money to be lightly frittered away...heck I could buy a really nice new CAR for $20K-$30K! OTOH, money carefully saved and stewarded is also not meant to be hoarded forever when it can provide our family with experiences and memories that we will treasure. So spending on a wedding doesn't feel like a waste in any sense of that spirit. I also am using my inner gyroscope about spending on my kids: I won't lay out money at a level that makes me feel resentful or that causes me worry about the amount. So while we could spend lavishly, I have a feeling that my magic number is probably somewhere around $25,000 or slightly higher. $30,000 and north feels unacceptable on the gyroscope meter, at least at this point.

Venue options: given that budget and the preference for a beachside wedding followed by an indoor reception we are considering either a resort or a standalone waterfront restaurant, both of which are in good supply down here. Resorts have the advantage of taking care of most of the logistics but have some rather breathtaking site fees in addition to the food/beverage cost. Restaurants may or may not add a site fee but they won't handle all the details, that will be up to us. Resorts also offer discounted room blocks as part of the wedding packages although at the height of high season that is not saying much. We will not be subsidizing rooms for anyone other than perhaps the bridal couple and family members who won't want to drive back to Miami after the ceremony.

We have found one resort that meets all their wish list items. The catering manager did a budget estimate for 80 guests which was above my original figure but she assured me she could work with us to get it down. She immediately mentioned a lower level bar plan (house v premium). This place basically handles everything from soup to nuts, they have centerpiece lamps we can use for free. They could have pre-wedding appetizers and drinks, a beachside ceremony (venue provides the officiant) then a reception in a private room with floor to ceiling water views, choice of plated, buffet or food station meal, 5 hour open bar, wedding cake, all the supplies from chairs/tables/linens to a dance floor, with food that gets rave reviews online. They will block rooms and there are numerous areas if the groom's parents want to do a rehearsal dinner or reception there, or we want to do a brunch the morning after etc.

I very much like the suggestions about giving the couple a number that we will cover, then let them decide how they want to spend it. I think that skirts the easy tendency of someone like a mother of the bride (ahem) to get dictatorial or conversely upset about their choices, while allowing them to know they are being gifted with a sum to create their dream day. Both bride and groom are very level headed WRT finances, so I am confident this would be a system that would work well for them.

I certainly welcome more comments or feedback and again thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond so far.
You're clearly being very level headed about this, and I am confident it'll work out fine. I agree with basically everything you said here. I think your best path forward is to decide on a number you're comfortable spending, clearly communicate that intention, spend the money you're willing to spend, and step aside. It sounds as though you're comfortable doing that.

Congratulations--it's an exciting time!

stoptothink
Posts: 6547
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by stoptothink » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:02 am

likegarden wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am
I wonder if there is data which relates total cost of weddings to number of years staying married. We had little money many years ago, had a low cost and enjoyable wedding and are still married now for 48 years.
Watty shared it earlier in the thread

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."

tomwood
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:13 am

pennywise wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
My (only) daughter just got engaged :D . We're delighted
CONGRATULATIONS!

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 57869
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:16 am

Several off-topic comments and a reply have been removed. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.

...At all times we must conduct ourselves in a respectful manner to other posters.
Please stay focused on the financial aspects. Rants that wedding costs are unnecessarily excessive are off-topic.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22411
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:28 am

SpaceMonkey wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:50 am
I got married last spring. It was a relatively large wedding (~125 people), and cost more than I wanted it to, but in the end it was worth it.
The biggest cost drivers are the number of people and the food and alcohol you are serving. Full stop. Everything else is a relatively minor component. We had our reception at a hotel which probably inflated costs somewhat but it also simplified things in the sense that the the food, alcohol, and room rental were all the same vendor, and most of our out-of-town guests were able to stay in the hotel so we didn't have to worry about transportation logistics. Nth-ing the idea of a day-of wedding coordinator, which meant that all we as bride and groom had to worry about during the ceremony and reception was following their instructions.
Glad things worked out for you.

MDfan
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:32 am

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by MDfan » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:31 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:54 am
surfstar wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:48 am
But we're not like most couples. We are BHs and have similar financial goals/desires. One of the main reasons we are so compatible. Hopefully couples find this out prior to getting engaged.
This isn’t Early Retirement Extreme or Mr. Money Mustache. There are plenty of BHs who spent lavishly on weddings, cars, watches, houses, vacations, etc. etc... Having a miserly wedding or honeymoon doesn’t make you “better” which is, again, why these threads should be avoided by folks who imply directly or indirectly superiority by having done that. Save that for forums where people care...


Agree. I have one daughter and she's going to get whatever wedding she (and my wife) wants. If I spend way too much, so be it.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22411
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:48 am

likegarden wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am
I wonder if there is data which relates total cost of weddings to number of years staying married. We had little money many years ago, had a low cost and enjoyable wedding and are still married now for 48 years.
DW and I just passed 41 years!

We had a modest cost reception in a church hall (same location as the wedding), hired a band (modest cost, as I recall), bar and bartender, and my late mother-in-law did much/most of the buffet food preparation. I think we had 100+ guests.

Our costs were moderate because: 1. Held in church hall with modest rental fee for parishioners - no increased charges or cost for having more guests; 2. Mother-in-law prepared much of the food ahead of time. We hired 1 or 2 folks to help with the food; 3. Got a good deal on the band (not sure how we did this); 4. We bought the beer and alcohol, and mixers - just hired one bartender. The bar tending place suggested two, but we stuck with one - and it was fine. The line was not long - and we did not want folks to drink too much. Nobody there got drunk!; 5. We had very nice, but modest flowers; 6. We hired one photographer. Videography had not yet become available or popular; 7. Some good friends helped with a potential "last minute" disaster with the wedding cake.

I recall that everyone seemed happy, even though a few things turned out to be a bit of a mess. For some reason, I cannot recall why, the receiving line did not work out all that well. We had a head table for the wedding party - but we ended up not using it much at all. We only had two "attendants" each - no big bridal party!. The bride was 30 minutes late (mother-in-law was still finishing attendants dresses) - but she eventually showed up. We specifically invited and welcomed children to attend. I think having so many children there made the whole thing much less "formal" and much more "casual" - and enjoyable. We were also able to invite everyone that it made sense to invite. We actually could have nicely accommodated more.

In the end, all those who attended the wedding and reception seemed very happy and nobody (as far as we knew) was angry or upset about anything.

Jags4186
Posts: 3919
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:52 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:48 am
likegarden wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am
I wonder if there is data which relates total cost of weddings to number of years staying married. We had little money many years ago, had a low cost and enjoyable wedding and are still married now for 48 years.
DW and I just passed 41 years!

We had a modest cost reception in a church hall (same location as the wedding), hired a band (modest cost, as I recall), bar and bartender, and my late mother-in-law did much/most of the buffet food preparation. I think we had 100+ guests.

Our costs were moderate because: 1. Held in church hall with modest rental fee for parishioners - no increased charges or cost for having more guests; 2. Mother-in-law prepared much of the food ahead of time. We hired 1 or 2 folks to help with the food; 3. Got a good deal on the band (not sure how we did this); 4. We bought the beer and alcohol, and mixers - just hired one bartender. The bar tending place suggested two, but we stuck with one - and it was fine. The line was not long - and we did not want folks to drink too much. Nobody there got drunk!; 5. We had very nice, but modest flowers; 6. We hired one photographer. Videography had not yet become available or popular; 7. Some good friends helped with a potential "last minute" disaster with the wedding cake.

I recall that everyone seemed happy, even though a few things turned out to be a bit of a mess. For some reason, I cannot recall why, the receiving line did not work out all that well. We had a head table for the wedding party - but we ended up not using it much at all. We only had two "attendants" each - no big bridal party!. The bride was 30 minutes late (mother-in-law was still finishing attendants dresses) - but she eventually showed up. We specifically invited and welcomed children to attend. I think having so many children there made the whole thing much less "formal" and much more "casual" - and enjoyable. We were also able to invite everyone that it made sense to invite. We actually could have nicely accommodated more.

In the end, all those who attended the wedding and reception seemed very happy and nobody (as far as we knew) was angry or upset about anything.
This article might be interesting to people comparing what they did 40 years ago to today:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzf ... st-in-2017

An inflation adjusted $10k wedding in 1974 cost >$42k in 2017. Just a warning there is some profanity.

Post Reply