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40-Plus Brides

Are expensive weddings worth it?

So I'm watching my twitter feed (which consists largely of science tweets) and bizarrely from Nature (the big journal) I get this one:

[QUOTE]RT @NatureNews: apparently, they are... RT @TimHarford: Are expensive weddings worth it?  http://goo.gl/nNgJF [/QUOTE]

Of course I had to go look at the link. Over there an economist goes into the average cost of weddings, and indicates that those numbers are inflated by folks who self-select to respond to surveys via fancy wedding magazines, providing those answers. Those throw off the numbers.

He also concludes that they are worth it--and possibly profitable if you have a gift registry.

Well...I left a snarky comment over there, but it is still in moderation. It says: [QUOTE]Um…sweet. But how does a 50% failure rate figure into your calculations?

It always cracked me up that people were pressing me to marry. Any other endeavor with a 50% failure rate people who care for me would be advising me against….[/QUOTE]

Obviously I'm not opposed to weddings entirely. But I do think some of the fluff is out of hand, and entirely disproportionate to the needs.
Retro/Vintage Inspirations

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Re: Are expensive weddings worth it?

  • In Response to Are expensive weddings worth it?:
    [QUOTE]Obviously I'm not opposed to weddings entirely. But I do think some of the fluff is out of hand, and entirely disproportionate to the needs.
    Posted by memSomerville[/QUOTE]

    I completely agree.
    I simply never understood the "I've been planning my wedding since I was a little girl" thing.  It appears that those are the women who end up stressing over the tiny details and extraneous fluff that no one will remember or care about.
    Mr. Imp and I spent just under $5k for our day.  Of that, the biggest chunk was for the reception dinner.  We had a fabulous meal and a cake people still talk about.  But if I can't even remember what the restaurant's centerpieces looked like, I'm sure none of my guests did.
    What ended up being the most important detail for us was that we ended the day as a married couple. 
  • Depends on what you mean by "worth it." Worth it as in getting your money back in presents? Highly unlikely. Worth it as creating lifetime memories? Depends on what's important to you.

    My first wedding was expensive by any standard and I don't regret it for a second even though the marriage was short-lived. We didn't spend money on what I consider fluff or tsotchkes (no bubbles, toasting flutes, favors, etc.), but we spent quite a bit on excellent food, top shelf bar, a rocking 10-piece band, gorgeous flowers, etc.

    Our parents contributed quite a bit and we were both 39 so well along in our careers and with a nice bit of disposable income.  We didn't go into debt or sacrifice anything else for the wedding.

    I still think of it as the best party I've ever thrown and have no regrets about the amount of money spent.

    You can't really talk about weddings in terms of "needs" -- all you need is the couple, the officiant, and some witnesses. What anyone "wants" is entirely different and completely personal taste.
  • In Response to Re: Are expensive weddings worth it?:
    [QUOTE]I wonder how they will be answering this question on the new Luxury Weddings board? 
    Posted by Dot Dash[/QUOTE]

    Oh, dear god, nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!  Well, maybe it's a good idea to put them all in the same room and watch them inflate their budgets due to the peer pressure. 
    Retro/Vintage Inspirations

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  • I have never understood the whole "dreaming of my wedding since I was a little girl" thing.  Dreaming of a career since one was little is comprehensible, since a career can span decades.  But spending several decades dreaming of one day?!?!?!

    I'm also amused that Budget Weddings are one of the primary wedding boards, but Luxury Weddings are off in Wedding Theme Boards.  I never knew that "excess" was a theme!
  • In Response to Re: Are expensive weddings worth it?:
    [QUOTE]I have never understood the whole "dreaming of my wedding since I was a little girl" thing.  Dreaming of a career since one was little is comprehensible, since a career can span decades.  But spending several decades dreaming of one day?!?!?! IPosted by 2dBride[/QUOTE]

    I'm one of those people who thought about my wedding for ages. I had wedding coloring books as a little girl and since I didn't get married the first time till I was 39, I had plenty of time to go to other people's weddings and see what I did and didn't like.

    But in my defense, it's not just weddings! I'm a planner and a daydreamer so I have all sorts of fantasies rolling around in my head. I dreamed about all sorts of careers, I used to design then decorate random houses in my head (now I envision what I'll do in the house I own if I can ever sell our old one and get some cash), I daydream about what I'll say when I become a famous author and Carson/Leno/Stewart interviews me (yeah, that's how long I've had THAT daydream!).

    I found planning my weddings fun.
  • Just wanted to add that my "dream wedding" definitely changed through the years! When I was about 12, I read Marjorie Morningstar and learned about a dove release at a wedding, which I SO wanted to do. At 39, though, not so much...
  • edited April 2011

    Hello ladies - DH and I tallied up every cent we spent on our wedding, including honeymoon, jewelry and accommodations, and we spent way more than we originally intended.  And I would say EVERY SINGLE PENNY was worth it.

    The difference, at our age, is that  we were spending our own money, we were settled in our lives, so that we weren't having to forgo paying the mortgage, electric bill (I am so old I almost wrote light bill), or buying groceries.  We also chose to spend the money on things that mattered to US in throwing a party - great food, a gorgeous venue, plentiful alcohol, music and a kick-a$$ honeymoon without the kids.  We didn't fall victim to the wedding industry, except in a few small ways.  (Ask me about the frantic guest book search.)  The only expense that we got suckered into that I regret was our exorbitant cake.  It was yummy.  It was pretty, but good grief it was CAKE - priced at nearly a mortgage payment.  That one earned a "what were we thinking?" forehead slap.  Pretty darn good for all the planning, spending we did. 
     So I would answer the, is it worth it question with a whole hearted yes.  I am satisfied that we had exactly the type of wedding celebration we set out to have.  The fact that our guests still make comments about it 5 years later reinforces that to me.  ~Donna

    ETA - We wouldn't qualify for the Luxury Weddings board, by the way.

  • I challenge the concept of "expensive".  What is expensive for one is not for another.  So the money I'm spending on my wedding might seem extravagant to others - but I am feeling rather frugal knowing what I COULD spend. 

    So while we won't be anywhere near the "average" or qualifying for the "luxury" title - we are having the ceremony, party and vacation we want.  And I think it will be worth every penny in the long run. 

    of course - I reserve the right to come back to this in a few months and tell ya what I spent money on that I wish I had back! 
  • In Response to Re: Are expensive weddings worth it?:
    [QUOTE]I didn't even know there was a Luxury Weddings board.  I may have to take a drive through that neighborhood just to see how the other half lives. Could eavesdropping on that board possibly be as wonderfully horrible as I imagine it to be?
    Posted by LucyHC[/QUOTE]

    Leave the top down and drive by slow....I will join you and bring the popcorn.

    Only if you think $200+ pp is excessive.
    Anniversary
  • In Response to Re: Are expensive weddings worth it?:
    [QUOTE]I have never understood the whole "dreaming of my wedding since I was a little girl" thing. 
    Posted by 2dBride[/QUOTE]

    LOL when I read this, it reminded me of an "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode, where he and Deborah are remembering when they got married. 

    She pulls out this HUGE binder, opens it up and Ray asks, "What in the world is that?"

    Deborah:"It's my wedding plans book.  I have been planning my wedding since I was 12."

    Ray:  "But you didn't meet me until you were 22".

    Deb:  "Yeah, yeah, you were the last piece of the puzzle".
    Anniversary
  • I don't think so! I've seen Platinum Weddings and am amazed at how much they put into a one-day event when they could have paid for a house (or several!) in cash!

    I bought my dream dress for $60 :-) Hell yeah Salvation Army! That was totally destiny...so far I have bought my gown, made a veil, bought 3 bridesmaids dresses (brand new), made the favors/placecards, bought BM gifts, and GM gifts and have only spend $122 according to my TK Budgeter!!
  •  I personally don't like the idea of spending a lot of money for my wedding.  I'm getting married for the 2nd time. I wanted to spend $2,000 or less on our wedding.  It is going to be around $2,000. We are having the wedding and reception at my church for free.

      I am making a lot of things and making the food.  I already had a new wedding gown from before (long story).  We have a photographer friend who is going to take pictures. I wanted to do something nice for not a lot of money.  In addition to the wedding, we are having a sweetheart potluck picnic for guests who want to visit more the day before our wedding.
       For me, the wedding is all about getting married and not going over the top.  For first time brides, it is more important to have a fancy wedding. Second time brides, you have a choice.  I do think however, if we had an over the top wedding, guests would think it was pretty silly of me.  I do believe that the bride and couple should choose what ever type of wedding they want.
    Katie
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