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The Cost of a Wedding

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AGBF

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This article is from "The New York Times". It discusses the increasing expectations of many people in the United States for an expensive, elaborate wedding.

July 13, 2003
For Richer or Poorer, to Our Visa Card Limit
By JENNIFER BAYOT

The mermaid-shaped gown with the $4,200 price tag was the first purchase that Cynthia Davis, of Coral Springs, Fla., charged to her Visa card.

The tiered cake, the groom''s tuxedo and gifts for the bridesmaids followed, putting Ms. Davis and her fiancé, David Davis, in serious debt for the first time in their lives.

Two more credit cards paid for doves to be released after their vows and for a horse-drawn carriage to take them to their reception, where 340 guests would be waiting.

When the big day was over, the balance due was $12,000 — a debt the couple struggled with for three years, through bouts of unemployment, until they separated in 2001.

Wedding bills are weighing down couples and their parents long after the "I do''s," and many have been forced to seek financial counseling as a result, according to credit counseling agencies.

Young couples with modest incomes are having the most trouble repaying. Whether they celebrate lavishly or modestly, they are more likely than ever to pay for their weddings without help from their parents. And even when parents pay, what more and more people expect of nice weddings is increasingly more elaborate for both the richer and the poorer. And so, with debt do they start.

Ms. Davis, now 23 and an administrator at an employment agency, has since entered credit counseling to help her manage her wedding debt.

"I hope everyone had a good time, because I''m still paying," Ms. Davis said, laughing, then quietly added, "really paying in a big way — not only financially, but with my marriage."

Howard S. Dvorkin, the president of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Inc., in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said, "Paying off these weddings is going to take a heck of a lot longer than the few hours the party lasted, maybe longer than the marriage lasts." He added, "Because there''s the emotional aspect, people lose sight of the finances when they''re getting married."

Springboard Non-Profit Consumer Credit Management, based in Riverside, Calif., says that in 2002 close to 240 customers — about 2 percent of its clients — named wedding spending the primary source of their debts, more than double the figure for 2001. Springboard said that with the exception of poor budgeting every other cause of debt that clients cited at least as frequently was unavoidable, like unemployment or illness.

Consolidated Credit, one of the country''s five largest accredited agencies, reports that so far this year 5.2 percent of its 6,000 new customers have cited wedding debt as a reason for seeking credit counseling, double the rate of wedding-related cases the company took on in 2000, just before the last recession began.

There has been no data collected on whether wedding debt is a factor in the increase in personal bankruptcies. But in some cases, such counseling is a step on the road toward bankruptcy.

For Mitchell and Sandra Crim of Bellevue, Wash., spending for their daughter Sarah''s wedding day "was a matter of pride," said Mr. Crim, a customer service representative for Nintendo. "We did not want to appear cheap, or that we were incapable of giving her the wedding she wanted. And that''s just part of the illusion."

The 250-guest affair that the Crims held for their daughter in August 2001 saddled them with $4,000 of credit-card debt. The payments were a burden from the start, they said, and after Mrs. Crim''s employer reduced her hours, the debt made even paying for groceries difficult. "And it was hurting our relationship," Mr. Crim said of his own marriage. "It''s so difficult when the main focus of your existence is trying to find a way to pay these people," he said, referring to the creditors.

The Crims went for credit counseling this past February. They now make monthly payments under a plan that, Mr. Crim wryly notes, will take four to five years to pay the remaining bills from their daughter''s big day.

"If you have to buy something on credit, buy a house. Buy a car," he said. "Certainly do not buy a wedding."

But wedding planners across the country say that couples are, in fact, buying weddings on the installment plan. And although there are no numbers on how often brides and their families are borrowing, a recent survey of 1,400 bridal magazine readers found that last year 43 percent spent more on their weddings than they had budgeted.

The survey, from the Condé Nast Bridal Infobank, a research service for its wedding magazines, also found that the average wedding now costs $22,000, representing more than five months'' worth of wages for a middle-income family, according to data from the Census Bureau.

Yet after adjusting for inflation, that $22,000 represents only a 7 percent increase over the average cost of a wedding in 1990. Moreover, the average wedding consumes no more of a middle-income family''s earnings than it did in 1990, suggesting that weddings are not necessarily less affordable than they were a decade ago.

So why is wedding debt an issue now?

For one thing, more couples are paying for their own weddings — 27 percent last year versus 23 percent in 1997, according to the Bridal Infobank. And an additional 30 percent are paying at least part of the bill, up from 18 percent in 1997. Newlyweds typically earn less than their parents, and often already carry the burden of student loans. Many are also trying to save enough to make a down payment on a house.

Wedding expectations, meanwhile, have far outgrown people''s incomes, especially those in the low to moderate end, said Chrys Ingraham, an associate professor of sociology at Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., and author of "White Weddings," a book about America''s fascination with weddings. Couples who years ago would have simply married at City Hall are now "emulating what they believe to be an upper-class model," Ms. Ingraham said. "There is this notion that the big wedding is a good thing for everybody."

Pamela J. Smock, a sociologist at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, last year interviewed about 120 people who were living with their romantic partners and earning low to moderate incomes. She said she found that the inability to pay for "a real wedding" was keeping a fifth of them from marrying.

"The perceived cost of the wedding — what we as a culture have now decided is the standard for a wedding — is very powerful," Ms. Smock said.

A sluggish economy is also making wedding debt more of a problem. Only two months after Stacey and Justin Blair amassed $20,000 in credit card debt to pay for their May 2001 wedding, Mr. Blair was laid off from his job as a laboratory technician. Ms. Blair said that because of their wedding debt, the couple had to move into her aunt''s house to save on rent.

They also parted with their two leased cars in favor of sharing a used car, and they enlisted a financial planner to monitor their spending, even submitting their credit card statements for review each month. "Everything was just a mess," Ms. Blair said. Still, she considers the wedding well worth it: "It was such a fun day, I didn''t care how much we put on our credit cards."

But the impact of wedding debt goes beyond finances. During the first five years of marriage, the most common and intense source of conflict among couples under the age of 30 is debt brought into marriage, according to a large national study conducted in 1999 by the Center for Marriage and Family at Creighton University in Omaha. Among all of the nearly 800 spouses surveyed, regardless of age, it was the third-most-troubling issue, behind time management and sexual issues.

For Trisha Betts, a 26-year-old office manager from Houston, repaying her $6,000 wedding loan meant spending more than three years scrimping and living with the occasional suspension of telephone service. It meant frequent arguments with her husband. The two divorced on Feb. 13. "If we didn''t have any debt, things would have been different," Ms. Betts said.

At the same time, Ms. Betts shares the opinion of many marriage therapists that financial stress is commonplace in married life.

Michael G. Lawler, the director of the Center for Marriage and Family, said, "It''s the United States of America, after all, and there''s going to be some sort of debt." He added, "The question is what strategies do you have, together, to deal with the debt?"

Douglas and Jacqueline Weaver, who live in Rockmart, Ga., spent more than a decade dealing with the $5,500 or so in credit card debt that they incurred for their wedding in 1992, when they were barely 21.

They finished repaying it last month, after nearly five years in a debt management program.

Ms. Weaver said the experience has taught them patience: whether that meant waiting to use their single car while the other was out, or saving enough to buy a second car, or taking day trips instead of having out-of-town vacations, or chipping away at debt keeping them from buying a house. Mostly, Ms. Weaver said, the debt taught them to have patience with each other.

Last week, the Weavers took their two sons on a trip to the Smoky Mountains for the family''s first big vacation since a honeymoon trip to Orlando, Fla.

"We''ve been married for 11 years, and we just are finally seeing light," Ms. Weaver said happily.

And when they returned home on Friday night, it was to their own house, which they bought last year.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company
 

AGBF

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A couple of days ago I had ocasion to discuss the upcoming wedding of a friend with another (older) friend. She told me that she had recently read an old book by Emily Post which advised a bride and her family to stay within their means, even if it meant "just" a wedding under a trellis of roses in the garden.

I went looking for Emily Post's old advice and found this:

Emily Post (1873–1960). Etiquette. 1922.

Chapter XXI.
First Preparations before a Wedding
...


BREACH OF ETIQUETTE FOR GROOM TO GIVE WEDDING

No matter whether a wedding is to be large or tiny, there is one unalterable rule: the reception must be either at the house of the bride’s parents or grandparents or other relative of hers, or else in assembly rooms rented by her family. Never under any circumstances should a wedding reception be given at the house of the groom’s family. They may give a ball or as many entertainments of whatever description they choose for the young couple after they are married, but the wedding breakfast and the trousseau of the bride must be furnished by her own side of the house! 24
When a poor girl marries, her wedding must be in keeping with the means of her parents. It is not only inadvisable for them to attempt expenditure beyond what they can afford, but they would lay themselves open to far greater criticism through inappropriate lavishness, than through meagerness of arrangement—which need not by any means lack charm because inexpensive. 25

WEDDING OF A CINDERELLA

Some years ago there was a wedding when a girl who was poor married a man who was rich and who would gladly have given her anything she chose, the beauty of which will be remembered always by every witness in spite of, or maybe because of, its utter lack of costliness. 26
It was in June in the country. The invitations were by word of mouth to neighbors and personal notes to the groom’s relatives at a distance. The village church was decorated by the bride, her younger sisters, and some neighbors, with dogwood, than which nothing is more bridelike or beautiful. The shabbiness of her father’s little cottage was smothered with flowers and branches cut in a neighboring wood. Her dress, made by herself, was of tarlatan covered with a layer or two of tulle, and her veil was of tulle fastened with a spray, as was her girdle, of natural bridal wreath and laurel leaves. Her bouquet was of trailing bridal wreath and white lilacs. She was very young, and divinely beautiful, and fresh and sweet. The tulle for her dress and veil and her thin silk stockings and white satin slippers represented the entire outlay of any importance for her costume. A little sister in smock of pink sateen and a wreath and tight bouquet of pink laurel clusters, toddled after her and “held” her bouquet—after first laying her own on the floor! 27
The collation was as simple as the dresses of the bride and bridesmaid. A home-made wedding cake, “professionally” iced and big enough for every one to take home a thick slice in waxed paper piled near for the purpose, and a white wine cup, were the most “pretentious” offerings. Otherwise there were sandwiches, hot biscuits, cocoa, tea and coffee, scrambled eggs and bacon, ice cream and cookies, and the “music” was a victrola, loaned for the occasion. The bride’s “going away” dress was of brown Holland linen and her hat a plain little affair as simple as her dress; again her only expenditure was on shoes, stockings and gloves. Later on, she had all the clothes that money could buy, but in none of them was she ever more lovely than in her fashionless wedding dress of tarlatan and tulle, and the plain little frock in which she drove away. Nor are any of the big parties that she gives to-day more enjoyable, though perfect in their way, than her wedding on a June day, a number of years ago. 28
 

emnightingale

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Very interesting article, AGBF. It's really kind of a disturbing phenomenon that money troubles are one of the biggest problems cited in divorces, and yet newlyweds are so often forking out twenty grand for a wedding. Sounds like a possible set-up for failure in many cases.

I think it's harder now for parents to pay for their childrens' weddings than it has been in the past. They seem to have more debt themselves and family ties are weakening over time. If the economy and job market hadn't tanked in the last three or so years, I know my parents would have helped me out more in paying for my wedding. I also wonder if it's partly because people today always seem to need more "things." I have never before in my life seen the number of luxury cars on the road that have popped up in the last couple years - or the prevalence of pricey electronic equipment in peoples' homes.

I hate to see weddings fall casualty to the status bug but a lot of them already have.

I guess I better start wedding funds for my children now - before they're even born (or conceived for that matter!)


Em
 

AGBF

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On 7/13/2003 2:59:25 PM emnightingale wrote:


"I think it's harder now for parents to pay for their childrens' weddings than it has been in the past. They seem to have more debt themselves and family ties are weakening over time.
...
I also wonder if it's partly because people today always seem to need more "things." I have never before in my life seen the number of luxury cars on the road that have popped up in the last couple years - or the prevalence of pricey electronic equipment in peoples' homes.

I hate to see weddings fall casualty to the status bug but a lot of them already have.

I guess I better start wedding funds for my children now - before they're even born (or conceived for that matter!)"

As my friend (the one who had been rereading her Emily Post) pointed out to me, weddings did *NOT* always include dinners in the past! Nor did weddings have to be done in extravagant manners.

One of my friends from high school (who had been a debutante and whose parents had plenty of money) got married in the Episcopal Church then had a reception on her parents' back lawn. There was a tent and waiters carried silver platters around, but there was no *meal*.

I assume we were served hors d'oeuvres then cake and champagne.

 

Mara

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It's very ridiculous...all this wedding and cost business. The 'emotion' of things definitely come into play. My parents are throwing us an engagement party in a month and are being very lavish. My dad says 'you only get married once!'..and I think...wow...why dont you put this money towards the wedding instead (which we are paying for...)?

Speaking of emotion, I was out shopping with my mother a few weeks ago and I found an amazing dress for my engagement party. It was very pricey and I tried it on just for fun but knew I wouldn't buy it (it's about half the cost of what I want to spend for my wedding dress!). Of course it fit perfectly and we all loved it. But I wasn't going to get it. As I was putting it back, my mom had a small freak out...what do you mean you aren't going to buy it, its perfect for you, you HAVE to get that dress, that is THE dress for THIS party. I told her I couldn't afford it and it was too pricey. She asked me what I could pay. I told her a price 1/3 of the cost. So then she paid the rest. In the end it all worked out (and to my advantage!), but that was just the e-party dress--and was she not there I would definitely not have gotten it. This is why I am NOT taking my mom with me to shop for ANY wedding stuff. Emotion! Yes, definitely. Hee hee.

Anyway--I have a tight budget and we plan to stick to it. Also all of the wedding money spent will be cash because we are now saving into our first joint account for our big day. We've had our share of discussions on managing money (I'm a spender and he is a saver) and this is our first opportunity to work together as a team to accomplish a goal. Also thank goodness my fiance has a degree in accounting (and in computer science and an MBA so he is well rounded!) so he has us all setup on Quicken to monitor our finances, as well as we have made a deal that anytime money comes out of the joint wedding account, we agree on where it's going. He isn't *anal* about things, but I'm glad he is there to keep me in check.


However, even though our wedding budget is very small (around $10k) esp when even compared against the national average (which according to theknot.com is $19k)--I still struggle at times with the thought of plunking down $10k for a one day event (well okay $1.5k of that $10k is our travel and accomodations to/in Hawaii before the wedding getting stuff ready..so not really ONE day) to feed a bunch of our friends and family and have a good time. Seems like spending time with our friends and family and having a good time to celebrate our union should be less than $10k? There are also times where I think, wow that $10k could be 1/4 of a house down-payment and we could be well on our way to being in our own dwelling. Then I think about going to Hawaii ourselves (as we are in Sept) and just getting married there on our own...and letting my parents throw us a big party for reception (because we wouldn't). Then I come to my senses (?!) about an hour later and nix that idea. But it's a vicious cycle. So expensive.

I can't even imagine paying for a $20k wedding on your own if you have any dreams other than 'the big day'---say something like the future?

Great article AGBF--I showed my better half too.
 

dancingmelimel

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There are very rational arguements for spending as little as possible, or as much as you want on a wedding. In the as much as you want camp we have "You only get married once." (God willing!) And in the budget-conscious camp we have "It's only one day of our lives."

Both are good arguements, and it ain't easy to balance the two. My husband and I had contributions toward the cause from my mom and grandparents, (father is deceased,) and his parents....especially his mom who wanted to invite alot of her friends and was willing to pay for them. We were very lucky! Since my husband wanted a (relatively) large wedding......170 people invited, 100 came.....and our budget was not huge, I got creative, saving money anywhere I could without looking tacky or cheap. (Must strongly recomend the book "Bridal Bargains". It's the only really different wedding planning book.)

Shortly after our wedding, one of my bridesmaids got married. They had a very small budget, and had a smallish wedding in a friend's backyard and various friends cooked various dishes for it. It was lovely! I was very impressed.

About a year later, a friend of mine got married. She's been buried under debt for ages, and living very thriftily to get by and pay it down. Well, she and her fiance (IMO foolishly), looked at a wedding site that had a very high minumum cost, and they fell in love with it, and while they were also very creative with decorations etc., they basically spent $100 a head just for food. So now they have more debt. Seeing as this friend is the queen of rationalization, I don't think they'll divorce over it, at least.


With all of these weddings, regardless of how much we spent I think we all kept our guests' comfort in mind, and because of that everyone enjoyed the occasions thoroughly.

People's attitude about debt in general has changed dramatically since those early Emily Post days, and many are worse off for it. When I see people with fancy cars and such, and a pang of jealousy strikes, I remind myself that at least I know I have money in the bank.

On the other hand, when I look back, I realize I was so super-careful about our wedding budget that I limited the guest list more than I would have liked, and now that we have money I wish I hadn't worried so much. Hindsight!


-Melissa
 

dancingmelimel

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BTW, have you seen "For Better or For Worse", the new wedding show on TLC? They've thrown some great weddings on their 5k budget!
 

mike04456

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Great thead, AGBF.


My wife and I tend to be pretty good at financial planning and budgeting, and I was about to post a long story about how cleverly we put together our wedding. Then I remembered that, in fact, we took on some debt to do it despite getting a lot of money from her parents.
But as I recall, it wasn't all that much and we had it paid off in about a year, maybe.


----------------
On 7/15/2003 12:12:58 AM dancingmelimel wrote:

On the other hand, when I look back, I realize I was so super-careful about our wedding budget that I limited the guest list more than I would have liked, and now that we have money I wish I hadn't worried so much. Hindsight!


----------------
Some advice I've heard in the past was along this line--decide whom you want to invite, then figure our what you can afford with that guest list. But we didn't quite do this either. We had to pare some of the fringe guests from the list, but they were all friends of the family we hardly knew.
 

dancingmelimel

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----------------
On 7/15/2003 11:44:36 AM LawGem wrote:


Some advice I've heard in the past was along this line--decide whom you want to invite, then figure our what you can afford with that guest list. But we didn't quite do this either. We had to pare some of the fringe guests from the list, but they were all friends of the family we hardly knew.
----------------
Come to think of it, those I regret not inviting were all more "fringy" friends at the time, who we became closer with later. Hindsight again!
But if we weren't worried about budget, I guess we would have invited the fringy friends too.

-Melissa
 

Tali

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Hmmm. Definitely a reflection of our society in general. Debt loads have increased astoundingly over the last few decades as we have become an "I want now" society. I agree with other posters that living outside one's means is, well, not smart, to say the least, and frankly, downright dangerous for some. Good article, and great reminder, AGBF.
 

whirled

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I can't even imagine paying for a $20k wedding on your own if you have any dreams other than 'the big day'---say something like the future?>

Hey Mara, my fiance and I are kinda doing just that -- only even simplier! We've been engaged for about a year and I've been thinking about all that planning that needed to be done, and yes, it is intimidating and exhaustive (especially since we're paying for it ourselves). But we wanted to be married soon and didn't want to wait another year (that's when I figured we'd save up enough money and I'll have all the plannning done), so ----- we're going to get the application this week and going to the courthouse next week! Both our parents live far away (mine in California and his in Texas), so we told them but no one is invited. My fiance said we should send out "you're not invited" announcements to our friends. He's always trying to be funny. Anyway, reason we want to be married soon is so I can take advantage of his travel perks. He works for an airline and once we're married, I get virtual free travel as long as that airline goes there! That just saves us a great deal of money since I have to fly down to Alabama to a friend's wedding, then to San Diego for a convention. And with free flights I can actually visit my parents on the weekend!

As for the later ceremony/reception, I plan on something fairly low-key. But since all our family live so far away, I didn't want people not to come because they didn't want to pay for a motel/hotel room, so I was thinking of renting a larger beach house in the outer banks (that would be the bulk of the cost -- around $2K for the week), holding a low-key beach ceremony and having a BBQ cook out later. Decorations would be white Christmas lights strung around, and I'll hand out sparklers instead of rice. My friends here love the idea, too, and North Carolina isn't too far for them to drive down and come back up. I know it sounds simplier than it probably is. For example, I'll have to figure out seating -- maybe rent a large table & chairs? But I'm actually thinking i'll bring some blankets and just have some people sit on the floor! hehe!

Like you said, Mara, this is once in a lifetime (so most of us hope!) and you wanna have fun and your guests to have fun and remember the day.

What does everyone else think of the idea? My fiance thinks it might be too difficult to pull off. He says it will cost a lot more than I think. I'm trying to budget around $5K. Invite 50-65 people. Am I being way off?
 

Mara

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Hmmm your idea sounds very intriguing, whirled!! I love the idea of a beach wedding like that...but where would everyone be housed? Or are these all local guests? Doing something for out of town guests would be ideal, at least for your families to stay in the beach house. That is kind of what sparked our idea for Hawaii.

Weddings do end up adding up in the end...so be cautious and price things out before committing to it. Do you plan to feed the guests or would it be more of an hors'd type thing with champagne toasts and cake? That could be fun and very simple..cheaper too. I think you could get away with the house rental, the simple decor, a cake, champagne toasts and some hors'd for around $5k.

I love simple decorations like white lights strung around at night, candles in hurricanes as the sole lighting, etc. I have seen great ideas for table settings and/or decor for the beach theme where there is a huge glass vase (round or similar) and then there is sand in the bottom of the vase, with a candle in the middle of the sand, and then there may be a little wrapped scroll in the sand (like a message in the sand) or similar...it looks very cool when grouped with other similar vases...I have also seen vases that were hand painted with waves and then the sand and candle are inside. Fun and simple and cheap (most importantly).

Make your own invites on the home inkjet printer...you can do invites with small starfish attached or similar, they sell for around $3 for a bag of them at the craft stores..attach one to each invite for the 'beach theme'.

Just a few ideas..I think the plan sounds wonderful, you can stay on budget if you shop smart...and don't get carried away by emotions...we all know about that!
 

mike04456

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----------------
On 7/22/2003 12:18:33 PM whirled wrote:
What does everyone else think of the idea? My fiance thinks it might be too difficult to pull off. He says it will cost a lot more than I think. I'm trying to budget around $5K. Invite 50-65 people. Am I being way off?
----------------

I think it sounds pretty cool.

And as Mara said, I think you could easily do it for $5k if you budget and shop carefully.

 

whirled

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Hey Mara, I love the idea of the starfish-invites!! And they are cheap. Thanks for your encouragement and other budgetary advice. You too, Lawgem!

I was hoping to rent a 4-bedroom (minimum) house, preferably 6-bedroom, so many of the guests could just stay at the house. That was the reason for the beach house rental idea in the first place, because I don't want any of my family members or close friends (some of which live in Europe) not to come because they couldn't afford to stay for a few days because they need to find a motel/hotel. And since my finace & I would be married for about a year by then, we won't need to do a honeymoon so after the ceremony & reception, it'll just be a sort of mini-family vacation. There's enough to do in the Outer Banks (golf, shopping, museums, beach, etc.) that it should keep everyone occupied and out of each other's hair. I'm also thinking of doing this in earlyish May or mid-August, in the off-season, so perhaps the rental would be cheaper. Oh! and I just bought a dress yesterday! Retail was $749 but I got it on sale for $350. I love sales...
 

trichrome

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I think that the type of wedding you choose should reflect the couple you
are.

We are both looking for a wedding with 100 guest in total...and for us,
the honeymoon is way more important than the wedding day itself.
We want a really intimate wedding where we will know pretty well
all the guests... maybe a very nice downtown restaurant for the
reception... Anyway, the wedding is for US, not for the guests.

Trichrome.
 

AGBF

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On 7/31/2003 4:22
4 PM trichrome wrote:

"Anyway, the wedding is for US, not for the guests."

I thought about this and I do not think it really makes sense. Of course it is your wedding in that it is you who are being married, but if you did not want to share it you would plan to marry privately. By choosing to invite other people to witness a ceremony where you commit to each other you are including them in the wedding.

Some of the decsions about the wedding cannot be made for the guests' happiness. If you do not want to throw a garter or do the Hokey Pokey, the impact on your guests is minimal.

On the other hand, it would be rude to plan a ceremony and reception at a meal time and decide not to feed your guests because the wedding was "for you". (This is an extreme example, of course.)

In other words, in my opinion once you decide you want others at your wedding you do take on the usual responsibilities of a host to his guests.



 

aljdewey

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Sorry, Deb, but I have to agree with Trichrome on this one (oh my God, I never thought I'd say that......I think I'm feeling faint!
).

A wedding is a different venue than other types of events. If one hosts a New Year's or Christmas party, for example, the party's purpose is FOR the enjoyment and entertainment of one's guests.

A wedding, however, is not primarily about entertaining others, it's about inviting them to share in the joy of the bride/groom and to bear witness to the commitment to one another. Of course, most of us wish for our guests to also enjoy themselves and try to plan a bit with that in mind, but the day IS about the bride/groom. Typically, the details of what to expect are spelled out for the guests in the invitation, and if they choose to accept with the knowledge of what is planned, then so be it.

I think Trichrome's statement was more directed at the thought that the wedding should reflect who the bride/groom are.....so if I'm a jeans/tshirt type of person, I probably wouldn't be comfortable choosing an 8-course formal meal just to appease the guests. Just my read on it.
 

AGBF

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On 8/12/2003 12:34:11 PM aljdewey wrote:

"Sorry, Deb, but I have to agree with Trichrome on this one (oh my God, I never thought I'd say that......I think I'm feeling faint!"

No need to be sorry. (Except for agreeing with Trichrome, of course. That *is* a sorry state of affairs in which to find oneself!). You may disagree with me :).

Deb



 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144

----------------
On 8/13/2003 2:31:31 PM trichrome wrote:
alj,

You said you agreed with me???? I can't believe my
eyes!!!!!



Trichrome.----------------
Ack.....can you believe it! I'm can't believe me eyes either. Something is very, VERY wrong!!!!!!!!

(It must be time for my tune-up).

LOLOLOL......you KNOW I love ya, Tri!
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
.... and you said also that you're a woman!!!!

TOO MUCH for me in a single week..... i'm going to have a heart attack



Trichrome.
 

Imagine

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
4
Geez. Now I feel cheap
My wedding is only going to cost about 2-3 grand, with over 100 people (that's just aunts & uncles, their kids, and their kid's kids!) I'll get married in a church, and my aunts will get together and make the food.

Anyone who has parents that are in a position to pay for even an engagement party should feel blessed. My fiance and I have to do it all ourselves.

I guess that outlandish wedding costs are a sign of our society.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,347
Imagine wrote:

"My wedding is only going to cost about 2-3 grand, with over 100 people (that's just aunts & uncles, their kids, and their kid's kids!) I'll get married in a church, and my aunts will get together and make the food."

That sounds beautiful to me. When I go to a wedding or First Holy Communion or bar mitzvah, what matters to me is whether I see evidence that the ceremony has meaning to the participants and whether family is there to lend love and support. A fancy party by itself would be meaningless to me.





 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Spending less on a wedding isn't cheap...it's probably smart. It's so easy to get carried away and spend 'oh just another $500' on something...when in the end all the extra $500's add up to a few thousand more $$ or even more than that! Don't spend it if you don't have it. Don't go into debt for a wedding. Your marriage will be so much happier without that extra financial burden!
Sounds like you are being smart...not cheap.





 
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