Big Marriage or Small Marriage?

Lucifer1904

Well-Known Member
Having gotten married 4 months ago.... Thats actually quite average cost, for the US at least. A small wedding running around $15,000 and a large one running about $40,000. Rings run from $100 (Mens Titanium Wedding Band) to $5,000 (Diamond Wedding Ring). During my wedding we spent $16,000 on the wedding itself and about $3500 on both rings (Prices combined). So alt together about $20,000 (Rounded). Not counting other costs like, plane tickets (From country outside the US). So $25,000 is actually more average of a cost for a wedding in the US, especially considering the fact the cost rises every year.
 

Manda the first

Well-Known Member
People may not understand how much even a smaller wedding costs in certain states now. I got married about 5 years ago, budgeted 25K spent about 19K.

10K of that was the venue/food which included a large cabin rented for our family for the weekend. Rehearsal dinner 25 people (hotdogs, burgers and salads because I'm classy), cocktail hour, open bar, dinner, about 90 people. Photographer 5K Videographer (I got a student) 500. DJ (got a discount) 500. My dress/shoes/jewelry/everything 800 Husbands 800. 500 for favors. 500 for cake + delivery.

I made all the decorations, flowers, invitations, programs, menus and some favors myself with supplies around 500. I did my own makeup, friend did my hair for free. Had a relative perform ceremony at venue for $0. About another 500 in tips to the staff at the end of the night. Our rings, mine was 200 something his was 300, + 100 or so for engraving but I didn't include that into the wedding budget, nor my engagement ring which was 1K and thats without any diamonds as he knew I didn't like them. Only thing I wanted to not cheap out on was the photographer, wedding lasts a day pictures last forever still not as big of a price discrepancy between best and bargain bin as you'd expect.

I was working full time, he was military we had disposable income neither one of us ever spent. We already had house downpayment socked away but couldn't buy one, vacation funds never spent because we hadn't been able to go anywhere in years. We hadn't seen alot of our family and friends in awhile and our families had hardly really met each other, he hadn't met half my friends from back home. Our wedding served as all of that for us.

I'm a frugal person, so is he I had a cash back credit card I put everything on (and paid before the bill of course) for the kick backs. I used store rebate programs to cut the cost of all the decoration supplies and damn if he didn't ask every vendor if they offered a military discount (everyone but the photographer did) I had Mommy hem my off the rack davids bridal dress because I wasn't paying for a seamstress (should have paid for the seamstress but never tell her that =) )

Talking with friends who got married in the last few years they couldn't believe how little we spent. We chose out in the boon docks (which people very graciously drove to for us) they got married in a more urban area and spent 2 to 3X more for similar sized weddings.

All in all and sorry for the wordy reply, I'm glad we spent it. Neither of us really had birthday parties or anything like that growing up and we had the money for it. I'd been to other weddings and parties and knew some people, here I knew everyone and they all really seemed to have a great time. I didn't think I'd feel that way once we spent so much but he related it to buying a new car, we could drive our hoopties a few more years and have a wedding. Now 5 years later I'm glad we chose that and I'm still loving my hooptie. I get buyers remorse about damn near everything but honestly, zero about spending 19K on a wedding.

We still toss around the idea of renting a VFW by where all our friends and family live and throwing a costume, or no occasion party just to have fun with everyone in the same room again.
 

Super Catanian

Well-Known Member
People may not understand how much even a smaller wedding costs in certain states now. I got married about 5 years ago, budgeted 25K spent about 19K.

10K of that was the venue/food which included a large cabin rented for our family for the weekend. Rehearsal dinner 25 people (hotdogs, burgers and salads because I'm classy), cocktail hour, open bar, dinner, about 90 people. Photographer 5K Videographer (I got a student) 500. DJ (got a discount) 500. My dress/shoes/jewelry/everything 800 Husbands 800. 500 for favors. 500 for cake + delivery.

I made all the decorations, flowers, invitations, programs, menus and some favors myself with supplies around 500. I did my own makeup, friend did my hair for free. Had a relative perform ceremony at venue for $0. About another 500 in tips to the staff at the end of the night. Our rings, mine was 200 something his was 300, + 100 or so for engraving but I didn't include that into the wedding budget, nor my engagement ring which was 1K and thats without any diamonds as he knew I didn't like them. Only thing I wanted to not cheap out on was the photographer, wedding lasts a day pictures last forever still not as big of a price discrepancy between best and bargain bin as you'd expect.

I was working full time, he was military we had disposable income neither one of us ever spent. We already had house downpayment socked away but couldn't buy one, vacation funds never spent because we hadn't been able to go anywhere in years. We hadn't seen alot of our family and friends in awhile and our families had hardly really met each other, he hadn't met half my friends from back home. Our wedding served as all of that for us.

I'm a frugal person, so is he I had a cash back credit card I put everything on (and paid before the bill of course) for the kick backs. I used store rebate programs to cut the cost of all the decoration supplies and damn if he didn't ask every vendor if they offered a military discount (everyone but the photographer did) I had Mommy hem my off the rack davids bridal dress because I wasn't paying for a seamstress (should have paid for the seamstress but never tell her that =) )

Talking with friends who got married in the last few years they couldn't believe how little we spent. We chose out in the boon docks (which people very graciously drove to for us) they got married in a more urban area and spent 2 to 3X more for similar sized weddings.

All in all and sorry for the wordy reply, I'm glad we spent it. Neither of us really had birthday parties or anything like that growing up and we had the money for it. I'd been to other weddings and parties and knew some people, here I knew everyone and they all really seemed to have a great time. I didn't think I'd feel that way once we spent so much but he related it to buying a new car, we could drive our hoopties a few more years and have a wedding. Now 5 years later I'm glad we chose that and I'm still loving my hooptie. I get buyers remorse about damn near everything but honestly, zero about spending 19K on a wedding.

We still toss around the idea of renting a VFW by where all our friends and family live and throwing a costume, or no occasion party just to have fun with everyone in the same room again.
Yeah... I'll just stay single.
 

Graviton

Well-Known Member
Yeah... I'll just stay single.
Or get married at the courthouse with just immediate family; spend a few bucks taking them out to eat afterwards; spend a bit more on a brief honeymoon; and use your money to start building your life together instead of spending it all on flashy bits of symbolism. ;)

The most expensive thing at our wedding was her wedding ring, which ran about $3k. The rest was small, simple, happy, and inexpensive.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, it's all relative. If I were a millionaire I'd have probably dropped a few thou on it. I don't get why people are willing to disproportionately spend, or even go in to debt, for a wedding, but whatever floats yer boat.
 

RazorbackPirate

Well-Known Member
US wedding industry approx. 3 billion. US divorce industry, approx. 300 billion. US divorce rate, approx. 50% for first marriages, 75% for 2+. I've also read there's an inverse relationship between the cost of a wedding and the likelihood of the marriage lasting. So the more the wedding costs, the less likely you are to stay together. In the US, approx. 80% of all divorces are also initiated by the wife. Unfortunately for many, the true cost of the wedding has yet to be calculated.

 

Manda the first

Well-Known Member
Yeah... I'll just stay single.
Nah. These are the prices for 'weddings' and rings, not for marriages or relationships. If you don't want to have the party, the family the pictures pomp and circumstance or rings then don't. It doesn't make your relationship any more or less valid because you threw a party or not. If you want the party then yeah here's what you're looking at spending but if you don't then you don't =)

I honestly don't remember what the license itself costs but say it's $50, you can get a friend ordained online for about the same then you need to round up two witnesses, sit in your living room in your PJs and sign the certificate, buy a stamp mail it in and you are just as married as someone who spent 70K on a wedding.
 

Stephen Longshanks

Well-Known Member
Ah, I see.
My parents have only celebrated their anniversary once. It was their 30th.
Well, I guess if you're talking about public celebrations that involve other people and a party, my wife and I haven't "celebrated" one yet and we've been married 25 years. But we certainly acknowledge and celebrate it every year between ourselves, even if it's just a card and a nice dinner out. I also remember every year on the anniversary of our first date.
 

Super Catanian

Well-Known Member
Well, I guess if you're talking about public celebrations that involve other people and a party, my wife and I haven't "celebrated" one yet and we've been married 25 years.
Congratulations! Well, 5 more years to go! ;)
And, yes, I meant celebrating with others and a party.

But we certainly acknowledge and celebrate it every year between ourselves, even if it's just a card and a nice dinner out. I also remember every year on the anniversary of our first date.
Yeah, my parents always acknowledge their wedding anniversary.
My dad “celebrates” (as in acknowledges) the anniversary of the last time he ever got drunk (almost 30 years ago; will have to ask him for a specific date).
 
Most of them marry for the ego trip that is called a wedding... Operation squander money to the poor house.

In my observation the real correlation is between married and poor and stressed, and single and wealthy, and drama free...