Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do We Really Need To Go THAT Overboard?

I think i have may have mentioned before but.... i'm getting married next year. November 5th, 2011 to be exact. So even though my wedding is still quite a ways away i'm already bookmarking wedding blogs, and searching Google images for pretty wedding hair and bitching about the other brides on " Four Weddings".  And yesterday i came across this article about a women who's wedding budget blew out so much that her wedding debt has now outlasted her marriage ( a shame on both accounts ). Which, though i have pondered it before, got me thinking - why the hell is there any need to spend sooooooooo much on a wedding which is, in reality, only one day of your life?

We've all heard of the crazy bridezillas who spend fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars on their "dream wedding ". Celebrities i can understand, but how on earth any normal person can justifty spending the equivalent of a house deposit on one day - hell, its only a few hours of the day! - is just beyond me. I'm sure there will be women out there saying " But i loved my day! And it was MY day, what i WANTED, so why shouldnt i spend that much ? " To that i say - fair point. Its your day, spend what you want it on it. But to me, i just cant see how a $5000 dress makes you any happier than a $500 dress, or how Swarovski crystal table centrepieces brings you any more real, lasting joy than a beautiful bunch of flowers. Sure the pretty things and the extra fine dining might give you momentary thrills, but a few months down the track, when your struggling to pay all your bills, is that really going to be worth it ? I wouldnt think so.

Mick and I have a budget of $10 000 ( very kindl, traditionally and generously supplied by my parents. Otherwise, we wouldnt be having a wedding because we gots very little money of our own ). We're hoping to squeeze at least part of the honeymoon cost in under that $10 000 and i cant see why we cant make that happen. We're simple people with simple tastes - though " simple " does not ( as some people seem to think ) equate to " tacky ". No - i like fine, pretty things as much as the next woman, i just refuse to spend exorbitant amounts of money for those fine pretty things. I've already bought my dress and i paid $400 for it, marked down from $1200. To me thats nothing to be ashamed of - its a beautiful dress, it looks gorgeous on me, and its savvy shopping! I'm not the kind of girl thats dreamed of her " big day " since she was 5, but my dress is a beautiful Grecian style and thats what i was looking for. It may have been on sale, it may have been " cheap " but i fail to see how spending a few thousand dollars more on a similar dress would make me any happier....

What i'm trying to get at is I personally am not going to feel the need to spend a small fortune on one day of my life. The wedding is, after all, only one day and what is going to matter to me more is the marriage ....all those days after the white dress and the flowers and the cake. I'm going to be grossly, vomit-worthy happy to be in my $500 dress, in a local park beside a pretty (albeit man made ) lake, exchanging vows and jewellry with the man i love. And i'm going to enjoy my reception afterward at a local " boutique beer " establishment, upstairs in its function room with its fairy lighted ceiling, eating gourmet " pub grub " and more than likely dancing to an IPod playlist. As long as the man i love, and the little man i love, and the rest of my people are there enjoying it with me, the dollars spent ( or not spend, in my case ) wont matter a dot....
What about you? If your married, did you have a budget do or a an extravaganza? If your not married - what do you think ?


  1. Me personally? No, I don't think there is any need to go as overboard as some women do with their weddings. Unfortunately, it seems this is just another example of the over consumerism in this society.

    We are hoping to get married one day but with only one income, a mortgage and bills, it will have to wait. I'm actually considering getting married in Fiji - Cheaper, less stress and more intimate :)

  2. I had a very modest budget--I think I spent somewhere around $5000. And I don't regret it a bit! You only wear the dress once, and your wedding day goes by so fast and is such a blur you barely have time to take in the details! In the end, the only thing you'll remember or that will be important to you is you and your spouse and the vows you took.

    Although I did love my flowers. :)

  3. Oh good, I'm not the only one unmarried with kids and a mortgage!

    I think if have the money, and extravagant is what you want, then knock yourself out. But I don't like the idea that people are in debt because of a wedding.

    You can still have a perfect wedding, without selling your soul.

    We're waiting until we can afford a wedding, that and I'm still waiting to find the dress.
    When that happens, the date will be set based on how long it will take to save up enough to pay for it.

    "Wedding Debt" is a stress I don't need. :)

  4. I just don't see the need to spend a lot of money on a wedding. Starting married life with debt isn't the best way in my opinion. We got married on an incredibly limited budget (about £1000!), it was a lovely day and what we wanted. A friend catered our reception as her gift to us and another made our cake. It was very small anyway which is what we wanted.

    I think there's so much pressure now to have a massive wedding. If someone can afford to spend that amount of money then fantastic but if not then, well, debt's just not worth it.

  5. We had a budget and we stuck to it, in fact we came in under budget! And I shopped around and if I could find a way to make a saving, I did! No shame at all! I made our bonboniere myself and made all the table cards, seating charts etc myself too. My aunt teaches floral arrangement at TAFE and so I bought the flowers and she did them up for me. We hire 1 limo to do all the ferrying of bridal parties and families because we got ready at a hotel in the city so we didn't have huge distances to travel. It meant we could get a nicer car (Chrysler 300C Limo - gorgeous!) because we didn't have to spend a fortune on several wedding cars. We had no debt after the wedding because we paid for things in full before the big day. And because we got in early and had things booked about 18 months before the wedding some places gave us a discount for paying in full ahead of the wedding and it meant we could pay in installments too - and that helped the budget HEAPS!
    I don't think you have to pay a fortune to have an amazing day, and I look back on our wedding day and to us it couldn't have been better.
    A huge wedding does not make a happy marriage ;)

  6. I think it is crazy to spend heaps of money on a wedding - you can do things really cheaply if you want and still make the day special. I have heard of a lot of women who spent thousands of dollars and ended up paying it off afterwards. We had a really simple, inexpensive wedding and I loved it! Good luck :)

  7. My wedding dress only cost a few hundred too, and it wasn't on sale. I just didn't buy it from a bridal shop (yes it was new). All up I think from memory we came under 10k with the reception being the biggest bill. We had a theme wedding and the guests also dressed up. 14yrs later I still get comments about how much fun they had.

    My only regret was the photographer. We used someone cheap that was recommended. They sent a different guy to take the photos which all looked like they were taken at was a 3pm wedding. You can't get those photos back. At least our guests took some great shots.

  8. Dum de dum. I went to a wedding last weekend that cost $70000. And the bride bought us bridesmaids a $20 bleeping gift!! It was huge. Just dinner was $165 a head.

    But, to their credit, they had been planning it for three years and paid for it all in cash, no credit, no debt. So good on them. But I could not justify spending that much...

    My wedding cost $8000. But my husbands family owns a limo company and a bridal wear shop, so we got huge discounts everywhere- that helped a lot!

    I know a couple still paying off their wedding loan, two years after a divorce. It's quite sad.

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  11. We probably spent too much on our wedding, but it was exactly what we wanted and we still look back and think we wouldn't change a thing. We got lots of good deals however and I think we were quite savvy for the wedding that we had - Im sure it looked far more extravagent than what it actually cost us.

  12. This isn't something I really think about as I'm about as likely to get married right now as . . . Mother Teresa (I suppose I have a slightly bigger chance than she does since I have the advantage of not being dead.) But I don't like the idea of a big wedding that has had thousands spent on it. It's just not me - I don't really like to be the centre of attention anyway.

    My sister went to Mauritius to get married and then had a party after they came back. They spent 4000 on the wedding/honeymoon/holiday, 1000-ish on the party, and my sister's dress was less than 1000. And they totally did the right thing.

    Well, apart from the fact that I didn't get to be there, that is...

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  14. Nothing wrong with being savvy. My whole wedding cost about $5000 and that included 1 wedding dress, 1 flowergirl dress, 2 bridemaids dresses, 4 suits (I clothed my father as well), full buffet meal, drinks, decorations (which I did myself),photographer & photos....basically everthing! It can be done cheaply but piccies are FB if you want to have a squiz!