DW and I got married in 1999 and the price then was about $20k. I clearly remember the videographer at over $4k, photog at over $3k, the reception was over $10k, and add to that the cake person, limited drinks, organist, soloist, church, pastor, wedding planner, flowers, etc., ...def. over $20k. In-laws wanted to cover the wedding costs but after signing the contracts, they ran out of money. We used our honeymoon money to cover those obligations. We didn't have any money left over but then got a huge blessing when our cruise cancelled on us and they gave us 60% off a rebooking plus travel and hotels. It all worked out in the end, debt-free too.
I've never understood the reception idea. Every wedding I go to... half of the people there are people who have no direct contact with the bride or groom... just random people who happen to be family or were friends at some point.
My reception will consist of no more than 20 people, thankfully, and be a small and personable affair.
If we were to splurge on anything, it'd be the honeymoon.
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I usually never post but this topic peaked my interest since I was just married in late 2010. Definitely, a money discussion early on helps.
You have to do what's right for you two. My then fiance (now husband ) and I discussed options and cost. We decided on a small destination wedding and a reception later when we came back. This allowed us to keep cost down because we only invited family and a couple of close friends.
This was my "dream" wedding because I was able to marry the man of my dreams and have my dad walk me down the aisle (beach) in a beautiful locale. Also, because it was a small party, we spent more per person then we would have with a huge invitation list and wedding party. We were also able to enjoy our wedding day because we were more relaxed and didn't have to worry about the details and guests (many hotels and resorts have event planners that take care of that when purchasing a package). We did splurge on a photographer because we wanted memorable pictures. We stayed at the hotel just under a week.
The total (travel, hotel room, wedding, photographer & wedding dinner) was definitely under 10k. My parents paid for the wedding dinner, but we paid for everything else...
We came back and had a reception/party which our close friends threw for us and we requested no wedding gifts, so everyone came together and gave us our reception as a wedding gift. We had a duplication cake made of our wedding cake so that people at our reception could have cake and sparkly with us...
There are definitely many ways to keep wedding cost down.
The best thing was, we didn't have to any wedding debt, we just paid as we went for the wedding package, hotel, and photographer.
As far as dresses go...Fabulous deals can be found at sample sales and altered....
Just my 2 cents.
Well, let's see. First time around (back in 1980), I was married from my mother's home. She picked up the tab (blush), so I don't know how much it was, but it included the minister from our church, the organist, the photographer, and the wedding organizer who did the food, which was nibbley things set out on tables. There were maybe 60? guests. Not that much, really.
Fast forward to now-that-I-know-what-I'm-doing, one year ago: wedding on the back deck, minister from my church (free)*, license from the state (can't remember, but whatever it was), our two best friends to stand up for us (also free), maybe 40 bucks in groceries for the bruschetta and something else (can't remember now what else I fixed, but I was still cooking as they arrived, and they pitched in and helped finish up), $26 x 2 for two bottles of Napa Brut Prestige (not allowed to call it champagne, but that's what it is), and the cat wandered across the deck for free. We did slip the minister $100 afterwards just because, since he did a great job, and just out of a general sense of relief. (I'm never getting married again.) Unlike my first wedding, I wasn't chased up hill and down dale by a photographer, and I didn't have to make nice with total strangers who were friends of my folks, and we just sort of moseyed around to the ceremony when everyone was ready, and when the bruschetta was out of the oven. We all passed around cameras and took pictures of one another, and we're happy with the results. So something under $200, and guess what, we're legal.
My older daughter just got married a month ago, in a formal ceremony in a church, with a catered reception, and she and my new son-in-law kept expenses ruthlessly under control, and they (and all the guests) had a blast. They paid for most of it (I picked up the flowers and decorations, and his folks did part of the reception), and it was a beautiful, beautiful occasion. (Pauses to blow nose.) Total cost somewhere around $8K, and they had it all saved up ahead of time (plus what his folks and I kicked in), and it's already paid for.
I guess what I'm saying is: don't buy into what Bride Magazine and the cable shows and your friends and the department stores tell you you're supposed to do for your wedding. A wedding is when you and your intended stand up before your family, your friends, and the community and proclaim your intent to stick it out, through thick and then, until one or both of you bites the dust. Yes, it can be a fun party, but it doesn't have to be some god-awful debt-inducing nightmare of consultants and florists and swans. IMO, it should be something that you can look back on with fondness and the occasional gut-splitting guffaw, and incurring minimal or no debt. Don't buy into what the wedding industry tells you you're *supposed* to have.
* eta: re the free minister from my church: see, people say there's no reason to attend church these days, because we can all go wander up a mountain and commune with the Creator. While I'm all about commuing with the Creator, belonging to a house of worship will save you money on your wedding.
I guess what I'm saying is: don't buy into what Bride Magazine and the cable shows and your friends and the department stores tell you you're supposed to do for your wedding. A wedding is when you and your intended stand up before your family, your friends, and the community and proclaim your intent to stick it out, through thick and then, until one or both of you bites the dust.
The worst part in planning a wedding is all the "help" you get from other family members.
Nice to hear from you hauling.
I just watched my younger sister get married this past weekend.. It was a beautiful wedding and I think she got everything she wanted. However, the whole time, I felt sorry for my parents who picked up the tab. Easily cost $40k. I'm thankful for abundant blessings as my parents had that money and didn't have to borrow a single dime but I would never do that to them when my time comes (whenever that is)
I've told me parents on countless occasions that my wedding budget is $5000. Regardless of the effects of inflation a few years down the road. I just can't justify spending anymore than that. I will hold my future spouse in such high esteem and the estimated value of our relationship ( inestimable) will have nothing to do with how much we will spend. I come from a culture where marriages are celebrated in a big way and I will be breaking a lot of cultural ideals (and maybe even my parent's hearts) when I decide to have a wedding with 30 people on the invitation list
I hurt my moms feelings because I kept vetoing her ideas; but I was paying; it was my budget and I swear I saw $ signs everytime she made a suggestion. My wedding was in the backyard at our new home. Expenses included lanscaping supplies; flowers; wedding dress; clothes and boots for groom. Wedding band. Veil. Bbq. For 50. Two cakes; wedding and grooms cake. Sweet tea and ice; paper plates were provided by Bbq place. We had cake plates and napkins for cake. The wedding cost about 4k but it was beautiful and we had about 50 guests.
This is somewhat what I am trying to shoot for, but for half the guests, if even that much.
Nice to have an "estimate" for future reference.
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There are a lot of great ideas! It's good that you two are talking about this stuff now rather than in the moment of deciding to spend $50 on a cake serving set or $200. After being married for 10 years, I couldn't even tell you how much we spent, but it wasn't a lot and we're still married. It's not the amount of money spent that makes the wedding memorable but the people who really matter that are present. $10k for one day is a lot. If you're putting this on several credit cards, average out your monthly payment if you pay the minimum and see what that comes out to with your current interest rate. Factor in paying your student loans as well and any other outstanding debts you have like a car loan. Just understanding what that monthly payment will be for those things will put reality into sharp perspective.
My ex-husband and I had very nice weddding that we paid for on our own. We paid cash for our wedding. We planned it over a year. The cost for the wedding was under $6,000. We didn't want for anything. With E-bay, costco for flowers, chocolate fountain, it was a beautiful wedding! We rented a hall. Had a DJ. Would I do it again? NO!!! I would have rather saved that money and eloped in Hawaii or Mexico or Lake Tahoe! The reason why he is a EXHUSBAND, because we never could trust eachother when it came to finances! A wedding is for one day, a marriage lasts a lifetime! Talk about your finances, your family, religion, and your fears. Do you trust each other? What if? What if you can't work? What if she gets sick? Will you still be there for her?