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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was re-watching "Father of the Bride" the other day and started thinking, "Gee, $50,000-$100,000 is a whole lot of money to spend on a wedding and reception."

If you're married, how much did you spend? Would you do it again?

If you're not married and would like to chime in, that's fine, too. This isn't the place to discuss the pros and cons of the institution of marriage, though.

What is important to you to have in a wedding, those of you who like the idea of some form of the ceremony? Did you pay for your own? If your parents or in-laws paid all or some, did this give them more control over the event than you wanted?

I started trying to make a tally of all the things that would cost money if someday I decide to get married.

My sister is a cake decorator. I know she'd do the cake as her wedding present.

A friend is a professional photographer and I know would happily donate his services. I might have to pay his actual costs, but that would be minimal.

I know any number of people who would do a lovely job with live music and DJing during the reception.

A dress would come from a second-hand venue of some kind, and I don't care what the wedding party wears as long as they look presentable. The groom's tux could be mined from a second-hand place, too.

I know any number of people with marvelous flower gardens. Should I have a warm-weather ceremony, they would be happy to contribute.

No swans, ice sculptures, a limo or high-priced strangers playing violins or harps are needed.

Decorations don't have to cost much if you know where to look.

A church would cost little if anything to reserve for the occassion. I know mine would do it free. My parents' neighbors have a near paradise, and others have held their weddings and/or receptions there.

Food and drink are nearly the only costs I wouldn't want to get around. I don't know how many vegan caterers are in the area, but once in my life I want a vegan gourmet I don't have to cook. Even if I'm too keyed up to eat much.

If I and my fiancé pay for it ourselves (and at this rate, I don't know why we couldn't), we can have full control over the guest list. I wouldn't have to invite the man who worked with my dad 15 years ago, hasn't been seen since, and I only met once.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't know how I could spend $100,000 on one day.
 

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My first wedding we spent close to 20K...ended in divorce 5 years later. This time around, and the last... we had a small ceremony by the beach and a dinner for 20 at a lovely restaurant. No cake, dj, dancing etc. I spent a big chunk of money on a good photographer, which is so important. We didnt get a honeymoon since I was moving out of the country a few months later to live with him (that cost a fortune in itself!) Thats the only thing Id do different, have a real honeymoon right after.

To me a wedding is about the ceremony, not the party. I'm also one that does not believe in inviting everyone I know, but only my close friends and close family. So many people just want to attend weddings for the party.

To each their own, but for me I want to look back years from now and still talk to everyone who shared that day with us!
 

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We spent under 100$.
I think it was 35$, actually (note: we were poor, and wanted a simple wedding):

- No wedding rings.

- No wedding dress or tux.

- No reception (though friends took us out to eat)

- Married by a Justice of the Peace.

If we were to do it over again, I think I'd put the cap at $1000. I don't regret doing a wedding that cheap, though, and to be honest, not having wedding rings doesn't bug me.

Edit: I think it's important that the bride and groom do what they want, but within reason. Don't do anything that's going to wreck you financially.
 

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we would rather spend money on travels as opposed to something that is for show/extravagance.

probably $1,000 tops.
 

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We spent just under $4000. My aunt made the dress (I paid for pattern and material), my mom made the cake (I paid for ingredients), my dad knew a guy who would DJ at reasonable rates. No flowers, the most we spent was on the hall/catering/bar (one of my "musts" was free food and drinks for the guests...I hate weddings that you have to pay to attend). DH didn't care about rings, but I wanted one, so I bought one for myself, it was $125. We splurged on some pretty glasses and stuff too.

I don't care how much anyone else spends on their wedding, it's none of my business. For me, it was about throwing a great party for my friends and family so they could have a chance to celebrate mine and my husband's love and committment. It was a great bash, and everyone had lots of fun. If for some reason we were to get married again, I'd want something similar in style and price.
 

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I don't know if I'll get married. I don't think weddings are a big deal. I take after my father in that aspect. My mother and him never married. He was with my stepmom for, I believe it was, 12 years before SHE proposed to him. He was like "Eh..ok. whatever."

If I were to get married, I'd probably just do a justice of the peace thing. I'm not religious so the ceremony really isn't a big deal. I'm also not a partier, so the reception isn't a big thing. I'd rather spend the money on a nice long honeymoon. I was going to say house, but I'm sure I'd have a house by then. I'd have one now if I knew where I wanted to buy it, and if I didn't care about taking care of yard work and repairs.


I'd definitely live with the guy before I decided to marry him, too. You don't know someone 'til you live with them.

ETA: And we'd pay for everything. I never understood the whole parents-pay-for-it. Maybe 100 years ago, sure; or in really traditional, cultural families. But, the parents aren't the ones getting married. So I think the bride & groom should pay for it themselves. I've heard the "Well they might not have the money" Well then they need to cut back on their expenses, or if the big, elaborateness is important, then wait until they DO have the money. Part of being an adult is paying your own way. *steps off soapbox*
 

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I think 1000 would be the top.

I allready know of a great outdoor flower garden that I would like to use for ultra cheap. Dress and tux would be cheap enough, rings, chair rentals...really I think the most expensive thing would be the food, but I want to something simple like a picnic food style dinner. grilled Veggie dogs, grilled burgers (for other people) and a bunch of fruits and some veggie salads.

really I don't see much of a need to get a super expensive wedding.
 

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I live in the northeast, so $1000 simply won't get you a wedding with catered food. We did have a simple ceremony, in the same location as the reception, and the whole thing (rings and engagement ring, dress, flowers, food, tux, etc) cost about $6,000. I was very proud we created a beautiful wedding for that little (of course, it was most beautiful becuase our love was so true.)

Yes, we paid for everything ourselves. I think if you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to pay for it. I find that people who care a lot about silly details (calla lillies and programs, expensive ring, expensive dress, etc.) are the ones who have problems down the line. If the wedding is about your union, and not about the party, you've got it totally right.
 

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I'll probably be getting married in the next couple years so my boyfriend and I have been talking about this a lot recently. My dads family is very wealthy and traditional so I will probably get a lot of **** for not doing a replica of my dad's second wedding (ice sculptures, giant cake of doom, 400 person guest list, expensive dress, expensive rings, super expensive food, etc.) but I could easily live for a few years on what got wasted on that one day.

I'm with the under $1000 crowd, venue I could do free since my cousin is in real estate and owns two rental houses on topsail beach. Beautiful and free with only a short phone call. Dress I wouldn't spend more than a couple hundred on at the most, food wouldn't be that much because guest list would be small, rings can be very cheap (e-bay!). Really I'd even prefer to skip all of that and elope but my boyfriend's family is very traditional and that wouldn't fly.
 

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We spent a little over $1,500. We debated just eloping, but then decided not to. And fought tooth and nail for a small simple wedding (something some of my relatives felt was inappropriate and didn't "feel like a celebration".)

-My best friend/maid of honor made my wedding dress ($80 for materials)

-Cake for 80 people was $250 (My MIL paid for that)

-$150 for the outdoor site reservation, plus $150 a backup site (which we didn't really need but it was worth it for peace of mind)

-$200 for flowers

-$800 for the picnic afterwards. Completely worth it. It was a vegetarian buffet and I still have (meat-eating) members of our families complimenting us on it.
 

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I'm not married, but my parents' wedding was pretty damn simple. They didn't get married until I was um...10(?) I think. I delighted in other people's uncomfortableness when they asked "so is he...your real dad?"

My dad bought a brand new shiny waistcoat for the day, and all his other clothes were ones he already owned. My mum wore red a skirt & shirt from Marks and Spencer, and me and my sister had M&S clothes too. Flowers were just a flower each held my me and my sister, so that was cheap. They got married in a registry office and the reception was just a standard 'party' at a friends house. There were decorations made by all the kids in the family & family friends.

All of this has definitely influenced my preference for very small cheap weddings, but I don't care what other people do. Some people just care more about that day. If I ever get married (or whatever verb you are meant to use for a civil partnership
) I would be happy to have a big wedding if it was important to my fiancee. It just doesn't matter that much to me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylark View Post

If you're married, how much did you spend? Would you do it again?
I spent absolutely nothing. And I would do this again. (Perhaps I did have to pay some administrative fees to register the marriage, but I can't recall now.)

We did have a meal afterwards, but it was salads and stuff (but we made the meal ourselves and ate it at home), and as there were only the two witnesses and the parents of both parties, it was more like having friends over for a meal.

No rings, no fancy clothes, no flowers, no nothing.
 

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I had a fairly traditional wedding many years ago, but I wouldn't go that same route again. Why spend so much on what basically comes down to an elaborate costume party? If you have the resources to spend, put a downpayment on a house, go on a wonderful trip, or put something away for a rainy day.
 

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$0 would be nice.

Just kidding, my dream wedding would be like this: the ceremony would be at a big church with a lot of guests wishing everybody happiness, and afterward everyone would move to a restaurant where there would be a big party and there would be a couple of speeches and good laughs. But then the walls would crack open and all the colours would disappear and people's faces would start twisting and turning, a black substance seeping through their mouths and everyone would be emitting shrieking sounds and the clouds would start crashing down!
 

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When my husband and I got married we didn't have a lot of money but we wanted something special and unique. We both love camping and hiking in the Adirondack Mountains so we decided to get married on a mountain cliff overlooking the lake where I first told him I loved him. A friend of mine helped me make the bouquets from artificial flowers that we purchased at a craft store. She also helped braid flowers into my hair. We found a local town justice who was willing to go on the hike with us. (The site is about an hour hike from the road.) About a dozen of our friends and family members joined us on the wedding hike. My husband carried a garment bag up the mountain and we all wandered off into the woods to change out of our hiking clothes before the ceremony.

We stayed in a nearby campground and spent the first part of our honeymoon camping in the Adirondacks.

A week after the wedding we returned from the honeymoon and had a picnic style reception in a rented pavilion at a small park near our home. At the reception, my sister displayed a nice photo album of wedding pictures she had taken for the enjoyment of those who could not make it to the mountain top ceremony.

It was beautiful, romantic and affordable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jojob, your story reminded me of my parents talking about their wedding. I don't know what they ended up spending, but at first my dad was really into the idea of holding the ceremony on the side of a mountain at sunrise. My mom (and her parents, who were helping pay for it because my parents graduated from college two weeks before and had no money) nixed that idea.

I'm thinking, what's so bad about that? The people who actually care about you will find a way to be there at that time, and those who either can't drag themselves out of bed or despise the outdoors will have to send their regrets. I'm not saying I'd do it, but I'd definitely go if one of my close friends got married at sunrise on a mountain.
 

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I don't like the idea of a big fancy wedding reception or ceremony, but I still think mine will wind up being pretty pricey, because I would love to go away somewhere tropical, possibly Jamaica. I don't want too many people there, but I do have a big family, and everyone in the fam. who wants to come will be invited.
 

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Our wedding costs no more than $1000. I'm sure way less than that. My parents agreed that we should keep it less than or equal to what a semester in college cost (which was about $1500 for 12 hours) but we kept it very low key. We wrote the ceremony ourselves based on Medieval traditions. My dress was made by a seamstress for $100 (including fabric) and Spiderman's tunic was I believe $30 with fabric. Our rings were $80 together and invitations were also $80. We had lots of food at the reception (we were omnis then so there was a large roasted piece of meat--that was my dad's idea) But we had lots of veg and dips and finger snacks. And a fantastic chocolate cake that cost $50. We had made a tape of monks chanting and some Medieval music to be used as people came in and were seated. My 8th grade art teacher gave us ivy to use as garland. My ecentric grandfather grew 100 pink and green coladiums in pots for us to decorated the church and reception hall. We hired a high school string quartet to play at the reception and our flower girl (who was 7 years old) played the harp (and is now an award winning adult harpist) So really most services were donated. Pictures cost $100 and the video was done by a friend's older brother.

And we didn't go on a honeymoon. I had been living in our apartment alone for 14 days prior to our wedding while Spiderman lived in the male dorm at our college. So our honeymoon was to spend our first night, all night, together in our new home and cook our first meal together. And we did things like go see a film at the $1 cinema and a play at our local comunity theatre and we bought our first set of bookshelves ($40)

So really the whole thing cost about $500-600 MAX. And it was a glorous day. I wouldn't do anything more expensive. I would like to renew our vows and have a Quaker wedding and an all vegan reception for maybe our 15th anniversary (June 2007) or our 20th.
 

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I would probably spend a bunch of money if I could afford it. Although it's not necessary since I don't need anything formal or extravagant. I would like to get married somewhere where there is lots of snow, maybe in a country setting. I would want a beautiful gown and lots of good food and music though.
 

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We didn't have a wedding, but we did have a party after we got married. At our rental house, potluck with some food and drink provided. I think we spent a few hundred $ to clean up the place and buy the goodies, maybe $200-300 or so.
 
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