Monday, June 21, 2010

That'll be $50,000 please...

Can we talk about how expensive weddings are for a second?

So I did it, I finally broke and bought a few wedding magazines. It took all of a week and a half and then I caved.

There was a section in one of the mags about budget and what real brides spent on their weddings...

The first brides budget? $68,000...

And they didn't even have to pay for a venue because they got married at her parents house. I almost barfed when I read this. Call me confused but spending that kind of money on one day is incredible to me. That is half the cost of a nice house in a lot of states and you're gonna drop that kind of cash on 6 whole hours?!

The boys best friend proposed to his girlfriend a few days after we got engaged (I think the boy inspired him) and we were talking to them this weekend about their plans, they went on and on about how they were gonna have a small wedding and be economical about it because they were paying for it themselves. Their budget? $50,000.

What is going on here? Gone are the days where one can spend $10,000 on a wedding and that seems reasonable and not cheap, women are spending $10,000 alone on their dresses these days. I could buy a car for $10,000 and I would use it for a lot longer than a few hours my friends. In an economy where there are families living in homeless shelters what happened to our priorities?

Let's be honest, if money were no object for me or I'd been saving for a long time I would probably blow a lot of cash on a gorgeous jaw dropping wedding so I am not judging here. But, I think it's a shame that the wedding industry even thinks it appropriate to charge that kind of cash to rent silverware or linens or a flipping cake, most wedding cakes don't even taste that good!

I think it's funny people quietly judge me about spending $20,000 a year tuition to get my doctorate (a lot I know, but I'm gonna benefit from it for the rest of my life) but don't bat an eye on spending $35,000 on one day, and even taking out their own loan to do it. Some people's marriages are over before they've finished paying off the wedding. I think things are backwards, and I don't see any change for the better any time soon.

Las Vegas is looking better and better.

Image from Stressed Out Brides Survival Guide

Update: I feel I must mention that there are a lot more books, websites and magazines coming out about weddings on a budget...but I don't think many ppl are getting the message.


  1. Cinnamon, I have this debate in my head every day. I wonder if everyone I know is secretly from a wealthy family or what? My co-worker who makes less than me (and I make less than the world) bought his bride a $30k car for a wedding present cash?! Wha? How? My best friend has girlfriends one that's a waitress who married a student and supposedly did a budget wedding cost--20k?!!! Budget? I don't even have that in savings?! Maybe I should become a waitress? I am really freaked that I won't be able to ever afford a wedding. I guess this post hit a chord with me, it is scary. Good for you for getting your doctorate you should be proud...BTW, Congrats!

  2. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

    What one person thinks is an extravagance another sees as essential.

    Spurge on the things you love and save on others.

    (Easier said than done in this climate!)

  3. It is insane. Totally insane. We aren't spending near that amount and we're having two weddings on opposite sides of the world.

    I have a bridal magazine addiction. I can't help it.

  4. The wedding industry is certainly a beast but I am guilty of being one of those girls who wanted her dream day. And to have a certain kind of wedding you have to spend a certain kind of money (venues, flowers, etc. all cost what they cost). Sure there are ways to reduce your cost, but it's hard to have it all on a budget even one that seems crazy.

    Our cultural thing is to give money as presents and that helps a lot of people to help pay for some of the expenses. I know some who are used to giving gifts might think it's gauche, but it really softens the blow for a lot of couples.

    I think everyone should do what they like for their wedding and spend what they want/can, the only thing I really find hard to understand is why people would actually want to go into *debt* for one day.

  5. I like the idea of having ppl give money as gifts for the wedding. It's the new thing to do for the honeymoon, to put it on the registry for donations, why not do the same for the actual day? I don't see why not.

  6. Wow. I don't understand where people come up with this money? Does everyone go into debt, I mean, seriously. Either that, or they have family money? I keep telling my folks that the average wedding these days is around $20k and that a cheap DIY wedding is around $5k-10k. They flipped out and said... we had our wedding for $200! ;) xo

  7. The wedding industry is on CRACK. Pure and simple. I had the hardest time with this. It is absolutely ridiculous. I have to admit that I got lucky... my parents are going the traditional route and paying for my wedding. You'd think that would make it easier. I couldn't help but be like, do you have any idea what I could do with that kind of money???? I've decided to let it go and just go with the flow. "It is what it is" sort of attitude. I have too much family to keep it small. If I wasn't having a more traditional wedding, I would have just decided to elope or do something ridiculously small, spend money on a fab dress, shoes and bouquet and have a tiny reception at a great restaurant.

    Lots to think about!! Best of luck ;)

    Hope you're having a great week Love!


  8. I agree...even if I had money coming out of my ears, there is NO way i'd spend that much on a single day. I think so many couples make their weddings about others...and impressing others than remembering its simply about love and committment.

    btw, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog!

  9. Haha yeah I'm equally in awe at how much people spend on a one-day event. I think its all about priorities. My husband and I spent around $2,000 total on ours. We got married at the gorgeous Santa Barbara courthouse and had a lovely lunch reception with about 50 people at a nearby newly opened restaurant on State Street for about $25/person. Since the decor inside the restaurant was already pretty fab we didn't really need to bring in any extra decorations. We cut the cost of our yummy cake from Bread Basket by adding fresh flowers ourselves. My dress was a $60 Nordstrom Rack designer find (original price was in the hundreds but was on clearance because it had a rip -my mom easily fixed it).
    Not long after we got married we purchased a condo. We probably wouldn't have been able to do that had we blown all our money on the wedding!