Wednesday, October 3

WWW - the costs of tying the knot

I've been having a bit of a breakdown lately. I'm freaking out about the wedding. Not about the planning or the actual getting married (the whole reason for the wedding) but just about how much everything costs! It's SO MUCH money. I mean, of course I knew weddings were expensive, and I also knew I have expensive taste. But lately I've just been thinking about all the other stuff we could do with the money besides throw a party for one night. Does everyone go through this?

We are probably paying for half the wedding ourselves, maybe a bit less. For total transparency, I kind of expect the wedding to cost about $30,000. I don't have a hard and fast budget, because we will kind of be paying as we go. I have a certain amount my dad and grandmother are giving me, and Ben's parents are pitching in too, but the amount we end up spending depends on what we can afford. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about the costs associated with their weddings, what they spent on what and so forth, but I feel totally comfortable talking about it. It's a lot of money and its scary! I want to know how everyone else handled it!

So, former brides and fellow brides-to-be...did you feel this way too at some point in your planning process? Is the wedding really worth the cost? Will I regret not having the big wedding if we don't? Will I regret it if we do? I'm afraid I'll try to save money and end up forever regretting not having the wedding I've dreamt of. I also don't want to get caught up in planning a party and forget the real meaning of the day. I know the party isn't the important thing...idk. I feel like I'm having an identity crisis!! Help!!



21 comments:

Courtney said...

I'm not married but I say go big or go home... cut cost where they aren't noticeable and add extra touches to make things seem more special:)

ashleigh said...

oh hot damn.
yeah im wanting to get married in about two years..
and thats a pretty penny to spend..
but if you want it to be cheaper. figure out where you can give and take

ashleigh said...

but if there is something i will say; don't skimp on a photographer..(or a videographer if you have that too)
everything else will be "forgotten" but you will have those pictures to relive the memories.. and you don't want to have bad pictures

Emily said...

I am planning my wedding and I feel the exact same way!! Paying $70 a person for dinner (oh and that is before the outragreous "taxes" and not including drinks?!) is insane!! I wouldn't spend 70 bucks on a dinner for myself! I find it crazy how much places charge for weddings... I am glad I am not the only one. I am starting to feel like I would rather use the money for our house down payment and throw a fancy house warming party instead! :)

Desiree Lynn said...

I loved every single thing about our wedding and it cost about a third of your budget. I just couldn't spend lots of money on things that seemed crazy after the fact. As a guest I don't care about lots of flowers, favors, or programs. I always pay attention to the food and the music. If you want to cut costs think like a guest. What do you remember most about weddings and what do you not care about? Good luck :)

Jill said...

Do not scrimp on the photographer. No matter what =)

Taryn said...

My parents spent about $20k including food, dress, venue, everything. Keith and I spent at least $5k...and we did a lot ourselves. Through the whole process, I had many breakdowns about how much things cost. It was a huge stress for me. My advice- decide on the 2 or 3 things that are most important (I.e., your must-have no matter what) and cut from other areas to have those. Don't get crazy on invitations- people throw those away. I bought a template on etsy for rehearsal, and wedding invites an we printed them ourselves. It saved a ton. I skipped the "little things" that we're nice to have but forgettable - like personalized beverage napkins. People will remember a very personal ceremony, the food, and the music -from my experience. Good luck!

Sloane said...

My wedding day was the best day of my life! I mean it was what I had always imagined... Except the fact I had to let go of having a Marchesa dress! Haha. I agree with Taryn... Don't sweat the small stuff! Get an amazing photog because that's all u have to remember! Get someone to pamper u and make you feel beautiful! Make sure your shoes are comfy and cute.... Got mine at dsw for 40.00.... I made my invites and they were about 300.00 total! Linens are crazy expensive so I just did plain ones.... No one even noticed. Last thing... Just doing beer and wine sooooooo much cheaper!

Mrs. Type A said...

It's okay to have expensive taste (my wedding dress cost nearly $4k which I am semi-embarrassed about) but I also cut things relentlessly. I bought flowers online and only had a florist do the bouquets. I did all paper products myself except invites. Lots of DIY. Didn't get a limo. Layers of our cake were styrofoam. No favors. And everyone had a blast!

Annie said...

I have been having mental breakdowns about it too. It's just a lot for one day. But at the end of the day, you only get married once and you may as well have all your favorite people in one place celebrating you both. It's a memory that will definitely last forever! At least this is how I justify it to myself!

megan said...

Ugh, yes. So freaking ridiculous. I agree with the majority - don't cut back on the photographer. My best friend did and highly regrets it. Favors are overrated. If possible, move your ceremony flowers to your reception and use your bridesmaids flowers as centerpieces or on the bar/gift table/etc so save money. :)

Lyss said...

I'm planning my wedding now, and the total budget looks to be about $40K. Skip on the silly stuff - you don't need expensive shoes (that you'll only take off) and Forever 21 jewelery looks just as good as the expensive stuff. Pick and choose where its worth to spend the money.

But I agree with everyone else - spend money on the photographer!

Courtney said...

I am exactly two weeks away from my wedding and I'm having extreme budget panic. We didn't follow a strict budget; instead we have been paying as we go. But now final balances are coming due and we are feeling so overwhelmed.

However, everyone I know who have recently gotten married said in the end it was completely worth it.

April of A. Liz Adventures said...

I love this post!

I have always been pretty transparent about how much my wedding cost if people asked. Mine was right in line with that national average from The Knot. But -- the way we spent it was very different. My reception venue was much less. My ring was more (but my husband paid for that - not a part of our budget). We had a DJ to cut music costs. I spent more on my photog and dress than the national average. I skipped out on the pricey cake and had an $11 grocery store cake and then cupcakes that my caterer did for $1/ea (he made 150 I think). I skipped favors. Rentals for me were a somewhat high expense. And I also paid $2k for a wedding coordinator who helped keep me sane and was therefore PRICELESS. :)

Do you have invitations yet? I have a source for fantastic, very affordable, yet gorgeous invitations.

Stephanie said...

We got married a little less than six months ago and in the months leading up to the wedding, I felt the exact same way you did. I've got to admit, I went over my original budget, but I don't regret a single penny of it.

Yes, there are always other things you will want to save for, but they will always be there. Your wedding comes around once in your lifetime, so make it as special and as perfect for you as you want. I promise you won't regret the decisions afterwards.

Kristin said...

we spent about $30,000 as well. and yes I cried often but it really was all worth it in the end. we paid for it all ourselves but had the time of our lives

Danielle DP said...

I know I am going to probably get cut for this but its the truth. If I could go back and rewind I never would of spent that much money for one night. It goes by so fast and everything is a blur.
I say cut in areas of food (not everyone needs a sit down dinner) just do some fancy heavy ords with a fun desert bar on top of cake.
Do a cash liquor bar with a complimentary champagne bar for those who want to celebrate and not pay.
Cut the guest list to those who really really matter and those who you know will be there forever in your life. I had quests at my wedding who I didn't even know them that well but my parents made me invite because they were friends, thats over rated, there is no need for that.
those are just ways i would of changed and the numbers change drastically when you cut food and liquor.

Katie said...

I am so thankful you wrote this post. I am getting married next May so I have been loving your WWW because they give me great tips. I am struggling with the money thing, too. It is so much for one day and we are itching towards the $30k mark when this is all said and done, too. It is super stressful and has made me cranky to everyone! I hate wishing away the planning, but I can't seem to enjoy it when I know how much this all is. I want a wedding and I know I would regret eloping, but some days, the whole thing is very overwhelming!

Hilary Lane said...

The first time I got married, it was in a country club and our parents paid for everything. The total cost of the wedding was around $10,000. Everything was done for us - food, bartender, decor, etc. This time around, we were paying for everything ourselves (at least about 95% of it). My mom came into my office yesterday (4 days after the wedding) and said, "Did I hear you say you spent NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS?!?!" My reply, "That was just what we put on the credit card." In total we spent about $15,000 having a DIY/low-key/backyard affair. It was chaos. My first wedding? Went off without a hitch. More money is definitely not always better!

Megan said...

I am right there with you! I just got engaged in September and we are taking about May or June of 2013. I am so excited to get married and for all of the wedding planning but the cost of things is so overwhelming. Like you I knew/know that weddings are very expensive but that doesn't light the blow when you see the figures adding up. To make things even hard we are paying for at least 90% of the wedding ourselves. I have already had a few panic moments about the costs and being able to afford everything. It is hard but we are going to mae it work. Its our special day that you only get once. Good luck with everything!

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