Wedding 911

Throwing it ALL out the window ..

So just a little background - we have a beautiful, all inclusive venue booked for June 2016. Already made a deposit on the venue, told family and friends (including patiently coaxing my extremely socially fearful mother into being excited for the event), purchased a dress, and have met with and informally chosen a photographer and officiant. I am EXCITED for it when I think of the actual day - getting to celebrate with all my family and friends, my beautiful dress my mother helped me happily pick out, the memories made that day - all of it. It's our dream wedding.

Then comes the sickening, sinking feeling I get in my stomach when I think of the money this wedding is costing. Don't get me wrong, FI and I can afford it. But still, this feeling of $20k+ for one day is seeming more and more absurd. The nail in the coffin was when I was at dinner last weekend with my best friend who had a beautiful wedding last summer - I asked him what he would have done differently with his wedding, and he said straight up he would have eloped. I almost wish he would have lied to me.

So I talk to FI, and we are now toying with the idea of completely cancelling the wedding and eloping on a two week dream vacation - something FI is much happier to spend the money on. If I could get everything I wanted, I would love to do a backyard wedding then spend the money on the dream vacation, but it's extremely overwhelming for me to think of cancelling this pretty much planned wedding and starting from scratch with a 1/4 of our original budget.

I guess my question is, have any brides gone through this before? Wanting to throw everything out the window because the money is just CRAZY for a one day party? Has anyone actually gone through with it and planned something more reasonable? My feelings are so conflicted right now, it's making my head spin.
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Re: Throwing it ALL out the window ..

  • I think you need to decide what's really important to you. Do you want your friends and family there to celebrate with you? Or do you want it to just be you and your FI?

    If you want everyone there, there are PLENTY of ways to properly host a wedding for far less that $20k. Find a cheaper venue, skip the crazy decorations and favors, and skip alcohol.

    Bottom line? Sit down with your FI and figure out what you want. Then, whatever it is, create a budget that doesn't make your head spin. 
  • I agree with PP.  You and your FI need to decide what you want in regards to your wedding.  You should each make a list of the top 10 most important things that you want and then compare them.

    You should also check out the budget board.  There are plenty of ways to have a beautiful wedding for far less then $20K+.  I mean depending on what you and your FI want you could have an afternoon wedding (ceremony starting at 2pm) with cake, punch and finger foods.  Or you could have an amazing brunch wedding.  Or a nice park wedding with BBQ.  The ideas are really endless.

  • I agree with all of the above comments.

    My FI and I were also really struggling over the cost of everything at first.  We sat down and really talked it through.  We decided to spend the majority of our budget on the things that were the most important to us, and cut costs elsewhere.  We also decided to cut our guest list a TON.  It is now 54 people (including us), and I couldn't be happier.  

    Bottom line, you are marrying your best friend.  Whether you spend $20k or not, you still get to marry the man of your dreams.  It sounds like you are really leaning towards eloping.  Before canceling everything, you should find out how much of your deposits you will get back. 

  • edited March 2015
    DH and I thought about eloping or going on a small DW and eventually decided that we want the big blow-out wedding. When you think about it in the context of "I'm spending $xx,xxx on ONE DAY?!" yeah, it seems crazy. But finding that person you love so much and then committing to spending your life with that person is a pretty big fricking deal. For us, we stopped thinking about it as spending it on "one day" but on a very important day, a day that we both really wanted to happen, and a day that marks the beginning of the rest of our lives. For DH and I celebrating with all of our loved ones made it the most perfect day, and I honestly don't regret a single cent we spent. Yeah, it was overwhelming to look at the bills when they arrived, and we definitely had a few "OMG this is the biggest check I've ever written" freakouts as the date approached, but we reminded each other that we pinched and saved so we could have this day for ourselves and our guests.

    Walking down the aisle was seriously the most wonderful moment I've ever experienced in my life and I have had a lot of wonderful moments. It wasn't because DH was at the end of the aisle (though that was pretty cool) but because the church was filled with a 150 people that loved us, supported us, and were cheering us on. I would have totally missed out on that moment if we went decided to go with a small destination wedding.

    There is no wrong answer here. It's really up to you two and how you feel your money is best a spent. I just wanted to share my feelings with the same situation. It was overwhelming, but it was amazing and I don't regret it at all.
  • Thank you ladies for all the advice. This has been a sad few days for me. Fi and I are sitting down tomorrow night and going to do exactly as you all said - figure out what is most important to us, and come up with a game plan. 

    My heart and my brain are very conflicted right now, haha. @sfj2715, your words were particularly encouraging. I REALLY want to share the celebration with everyone. Unfortunately, FI is excited for a trip now - I think we are going to have to do some major compromising.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    This is why we can't have nice things.
  • We pretty much threw out ALL our plans and I am so, so happy we did. Our's was just over a year away when we moved the date up 6 months and changed to an immediate family only ceremony and dinner at a restaurant afterwards instead of the 100-person traditional wedding were planning. We haven't had our wedding yet (just about 5 weeks away), but I feel so much better about this - spending so much less money and still having the very most important people there and getting to take a honeymoon. That would never have been in the budget with the original plans. We were only planning on spending $8,000-9,000 for our originally planned wedding, but even that amount seemed too unreasonable to us. There are so many other things that we felt our money would be better spent on to start our lives together. Good luck planning and compromising!
  • Love this! So encouraging. I know with a little bit of scheming, we can have a laid back, budgeted, fun celebration and still get to enjoy a great honeymoon. I'm actually starting to get excited about re-planning everything and turning it into more of a "party" type event then a traditional wedding! 

    I hope you have an amazing wedding/honeymoon!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    This is why we can't have nice things.
  • I'm glad you're getting excited again! :D
  • How'd the talk go OP?

    One more thing I thought of--- I think the small guest list is key.  When you think about the costs to actually host your guests, is everyone on your list a person you would be happy to host for the same cost on any other night? (Like, let's say your cost per head is $100, would you normally be ok treating, say, your second cousin to a fancy dinner and drinks? Or not?)  For me, that really put things into perspective.  Then, if you hire a DJ, well, that's the cost to have a dance party anyway. An expensive dress wasn't important to me, so I didn't spend my money there. 

    $20k for "one day!" is a lot on the surface, but when you break it down to hosting people you love who love you back, the cost isn't as scary. And if it still is, that's when you know you can scale back the guest list. 

  • cjr3561 said:

    I have been gathering a bunch of info and options over the week, and the talk is tonight - had to postpone because our day was just crazy :) We set aside some time tonight to get some sushi, sit down and plan. 

    We are definitely cutting our guest list in half. There was a lot of people that I just thought "mehhh" when I really asked myself if I wanted them there. 

    The *new* venue I am looking at actually has a really AWESOME sound system that you can plug a computer/ipod etc into for a very small extra cost, so we may actually just do that instead of a DJ! FI isn't into the whole wedding song thing (Thriller, electric slide, etc make him very uncomfortable, haha) so I think being able to customize a playlist will actually work out just fine.

    It would be an outdoor garden wedding, with the reception in a partially open carriage house space. Thinking of bbq catering (of course leaving out the very sloppy choices) or even a build your own burger bar (veg options too). We have extremely laid back friends/family, and a few close friends I've talked to about this even said this is more of what they expected the wedding to be like in the first place.

    The venue also allows you to purchase your own alcohol as long as you have a licensed bartender serving. Which will save a ton of money and we will be able to customize our bar based on family and friends. (Craft beer and local wine for the win!)

    I think bringing all these ideas to FI will get him excited. I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes.

    Thank you for asking! :)
    Oh yay!  Sushi and a wedding plan that you'll love.  Sounds like a great start to the weekend.  Have fun!
  • @cjr3561 Sounds like you have some great ideas! Have fun planning!
    [Deleted User]
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