Need Wedding Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by billyergs, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. billyergs macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2005
    This question goes out to those who've already been married or plan to do so in the near future.

    My fiance and I have begun to discuss our wedding. We will probably have a maximum of 50 guests and have it at a wedding hall. The big issue that we are trying to figure out is the cost of everything.

    For those of you who are already married, approximately how much did you spend? Who organized it? How many people were invited? What type of place did you have the wedding and reception at? What type of entertainment? Are there any "hidden" costs that we should look out for?

    For all of those in the process of planning. How far along are you? Goodluck as I can already feel the pressure even though it's months away.
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Let's see... we were in a stationary store, and looking at a mind-boggling array of stationary for invitations when my (then) fiancée looked at me and asked me "What are we going to use for gift on the tables, and what color do you think the table cloths and runners should be?".

    Let me make a suggestion for a MUCH better use of your money, particularly if you're paying for it:

    You can get a free wedding if you stay long enough/spend enough, and you have a killer honeymoon built-in. Plus it's a couples only resort, so no kids, and no scum-bag shenanigans. So take the money you would have spent on a wedding and reception and use it to enjoy YOURSELVES. Because ultimately, it's going to be the 2 of you who should enjoy the wedding the most and will remember it the longest. If you want, take a buncha people to dinner when you get back for a 'mini-reception'.
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Are you having a reception after the wedding? Food? Drinks? What about the night before the wedding? The morning after?


    Wedding dress. Suit/Tux?

    Are you having bestest people? That involves extra expenses (clothes, etc).

    Who is marrying you? What are their rates?

    Invitations? Stamps?

    How much is the hall? Can you/do you want to decorate it (flowers, etc)?
  4. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    We did the small wedding thing as well - I think we had about 50-60 people total. We did all of the planning ourselves (with some unwanted input from both sets of parents). We held it in a chapel, and then had dinner at a local restaurant's banquet room. It was a nice place, but it didn't set us back too much (we paid for it ourselves), maybe 3 grand or so total. Maybe not even that much - I really can't remember as it's been very nearly 10 years.

    We had a pianist instead of a DJ, since the restaurant wasn't set up for dancing or anything. It was quite nice.

    Hidden costs would be things like open bar, limo charges, perhaps night-of or night-before hotel charges (if you need to stay at a hotel so you don't *gasp* see the bride before the wedding). Also, the costs of buying and mailing invitations, thank-you's, etc., which should be fairly minimal given the size of wedding you're envisioning.

    As for heading off somewhere by yourselves, as yellow encourages - it definitely has pluses. Less money, less fuss, less stress. Until, of course, you get back and everyone harps on you for not having a "proper" wedding and reception. You then invite everyone to a dinner anyway and end up spending just as much. Plus it isn't as cool because, well, you've already gone on your honeymoon.

    I'd say keep on track with the small wedding, keep it as simple as possible, and enjoy it.
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Yeah, I'm not the right person to ask about a wedding. We had ours and it was very nice, but not something you could ever duplicate. Total cost of our wedding was about $1500-1800. (that doesnt include the rings which were another $1000, but thats for her engagement ring, and our wedding rings)

    Pictures were $300 (We know the guy and he hooked us up)
    Flowers/Decorations for the church wer $600 (again, someone we knew - that includes my wifes two bouquets and all the attendants flowers).
    Cakes (Bride and grooms cake) $200.

    Thats $1100 right there, but thats when it goes way off.

    We had the wedding and reception at our church - Free
    Our small group at church gave us the reception as our present from them - Free (food, decorations, everything except the cakes)
    My wife's dress was given to her by a friend - She just had to alter it (so like $40 or something)
    My tux was free with the other rentals.
    We did the invitations ourselves which only cost us like $60 (including the stamps to mail the invites).
    A lot of people from our church offered to do stuff for our wedding. One of my wife's friends volunteered to be the wedding coordinator. And the singers at the wedding were friends of ours.
    We had some other stuff to buy, but that wasnt much.
  6. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Anyway, the way I've looked at it (and my wife agrees) is that the wedding isn't for the bride or groom, it's for all your friends and family. If you truly love your wife (as you should) and she truly loves you, and you want to be married, then a marriage at the courthouse (though not preferred) will accomplish that task. Weddings, the ceremonies and the receptions are for show: a time that you celebrate with your family and friends. Thus, the wedding isn't for the couple, but for everyone else you know.
  7. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2003
    New England
    The grand total for my wedding was around $450 for both rings. My wife (of 16 years) and I were married by a family court judge. Her sister paid for the license, so no cost to us.

    Her immediate family and a few of her friends came. We were living in HI at the time, and my family was on the east coast, so they did not attend. No flowers, reception, hall rental, photographer or anything. We do have a few photos that were taken with her sister's compact 35mm camera.

    Still married. Still happy. No regrets!
  8. ibook30 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    I got married for a few grand, expenses I can remember:

    small chapel on a uni campus - $700 ish
    unitarian minister- $200 ish
    local restaurant for rehearsal dinner - $400 ish
    Reception at a family members house, decorations and food/drink - $1,000 ish
    No Tuxes - everyone had a suit.
    Maids of Honor got dresses- $400 ish
    Wedding Dress (handmade by bride) -$200 ish
    Invites - $200
    Photos by friends
    Flowers - can't remember

    Maybe this will give you an idea - also keep in mind the divorce cost me $20,000 ish. :mad:
  9. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I married in 1990, and we got a "steal" for about 10K. There are no hidden costs. If you have help planning or do it yourself, the books available will give you all you need to know. Wedding shops give away those "to-do" books. Use it.
    We had about 200 guests with an open bar at a nice restaurant on a lake... The meal was served, choice of three things. We had a DJ. Folks have a better time that way I think. The flowers alone were 2K! INSANE, but my wife wanted it to be special, and I agreed.
    I'll be you can do the whole thing for less than say 3K if you do buffet, cash bar, DJ, VFW-type hall. It depends on what your WIFE thinks. Looking back, I'd have rather had a town-hall wedding and slap the 10K in the bank!

    Now? Still happily married, only a few melt-downs over the years (First 3 years were ROUGH), and out daughter Emily is an INCREDIBLE girl.
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR

    While parts of that are true (the courthouseness), everything else is funtamentally wrong, IMO. In 25 years, your family and friends aren't going to care about your wedding, however, you and your significant other ARE going to remember it and you should enjoy it and it should be memorable.
  11. MacFan26 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2003
    San Francisco, California
    2K for flowers? Did the flowers end up making it special? or just the knowledge that so much money was spent on the wedding? I've never understood how people spend so much money on stuff like that, even for a wedding. Seems like with every wedding I've been to or been a part of is never actually about marriage, it's always fighting over colors of dresses and bows and appetizers. :eek: Perhaps I'm just ranting for no reason, sorry.
  12. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    My cousin recently did this, and he had a dinner a month later at a decent restaurant, Maggianos in OakBrook. The food was better than your average wedding, and I think it was just as intimate if anything people were more relaxed, I mean they already survived a month! I thought it was a cheapo move at first but to be honest, it was a very nice meal and I had fun.
  13. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2004
    Not married myself, but just been a big part of my sister's wedding so would say that you should do what you want to do, not what your families want you to do. It's your day and the families fit around it, not the other way around.

    Also, do you have any keen photographers/videographers in the family? If so, that's a fortune saved in fees. I filmed the wedding and made a gorgeous DVD using iDVD - the bride and groom love it, total cost to them = £0. Same with the photos, the groom's brother used his digital SLR. All they're paying for now is the prints, not cheap of course but so much cheaper than it would have been otherwise.
  14. freeny macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
    After reading the previous posts I'm too embarraced to say how much my wedding cost. lets just say it was pricey $$$. I can say now after the fact that I wished we had just thrown a small party and kept the rest of the dough. The wedding was mostly for making the family happy and although it was beautifull, both my wife and I would certainly do it different with the hindsight.

    Just remember that all that cash will be going to a three hour event. You wont make it back in wedding gifts because theres always that group of people who will stiff you:mad:

  15. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    No frills, blissfully simple and refreshingly inexpensive. Looking back ... no doubts and second guessing about what you did versus alternative options. It sounds like a genuine winning formula to me.
  16. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Saw a documentary about that place, and the wedding service was seriously tacky. They did everything on the cheap - rushed service, nasty portable sound system for the music, everything was rushed, photo/video was really low quality - and expensive. It looked like a real cash-in on the couple.
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    What a wonderful suggestion!
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I attended a wonderful wedding for two friends of mine a few years ago here in Japan.

    It was first class all the way. The wedding ceremony was Japanese.

    Total cost for everything including the wedding ceremony, reception and parties (x2) was around 80 grand.

    One interesting tidbit. In Japanese tradition, everyone receives a gift for attending the ceremony/reception.

    edit: I forgot to add. While this was very cool, to me it was a huge expenditure of funds that may have been used elsewhere much more wisely. The show was great, but it only lasted a short time -- say less than 6 hours for all events. Sure they have some great pictures and such. I guess it boils down to what the couple feel is important.

    Here's one for ya. Ask your fiance if she could only have 2 of the three: wedding/reception, ring, honeymoon. Which would she choose. Her answer may give you some insight as to how to approach things and what her priorities are.

    Good luck!

  19. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Hmm we quite liked it. And since we paid to be there 10 days, the wedding was free.

    We chose a great spot, wrote our own vows that the dude read (quite well), they played our music that we selected, and the photos came out pretty well. The champagne toast, cake, and dinner afterwards for our friends and family that attended was quite nice. And above all, the employees there were nothing if not professional, friendly, and to an extent, doting.

    I guess it's one of those "your experience may vary", but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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