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Old 10-07-2015, 04:01 PM   #41
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The fact that folks in this thread are suggesting $20-40K weddings are acceptable shows just how skewed this issue has become.
Yep, this is the home of frugalistas, and yet they are underwriting incredible wedding expenses.

My dream, when I might still have referred to getting married as a dream, was to get a JP wedding at LA County Courthouse. Fiancee's family vetoed this, and I went along with it as long as they paid 100% of expenses. I bought the license.

Men are always nervous at weddings, especially their own weddings. Why not make things easier with low-stress events nearby, where you know all your favourite restaurants and bars and can return to your own bed?

Ha
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:01 PM   #42
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I have been married twice. The first one, my parents paid for. I think there were 8 people present and it cost my parents about $100, plus they gave us a check for $250. My mother made my dress. His parents gave us a check for $1000, which had to be a real stretch for them. I don't think anybody else gave us much beyond a crock pot or set of coffee mugs, that sort of thing. My great regret is that I have no photos. I know my Dad took some, but he refused to give them to me after I got divorced. He said they would stir up bad memories.

The second one, Mr. A. and I paid for. We had the wedding and reception in our home. There were about 15 guests, and we spent about $2000 - including a photographer. The gifts probably amounted to $100 - assuming people actually bought them - Mr. A.'s "best friend" gave us an ugly vase that I knew at once had to be a regift! We just laughed privately about it, since we already had everything we needed.

That year, I attended several friends' much more lavish weddings. I am afraid I find weddings boring. It's basically the same old goings-on, just some are bigger than others. Only one of those couples is still married.

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Old 10-07-2015, 04:07 PM   #43
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DD2 just got married. We told her that we would pay the first $10K and then we would cost share 50/50 after that.

She had a beautiful outdoor wedding/reception with about 130 guests. Lots of DIY (dad sewed 132 cloth napkins). Total cost was about $20K. It is amazing how much more some things cost when the word wedding is uttered in the same sentence.

She was very happy, even though she had been attending friends' weddings for the past several years that were often over $50K and at least one had to push $100K.

The cost sharing offer did not surprise her, the deal for college was that we would pay in-state tuition/room/books. If she wanted to go elsewhere, the extra was on her nickel.

As someone mentioned - communication and the expectations that were set growing up go a long way toward keeping everyone happy, even when there are limits on spending.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:12 PM   #44
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The last two weddings I went to cost about 2k or less.
It can be done. A few years ago I shot the photos at a wedding for a guy at work. He knew photography was a hobby for me and he couldn't afford a pro photographer (he's a janitor in the building, makes ~$15/hour) and offered to pay me I think about $700 which for him is huge. I offered to do it for free, partly because it makes any liability issues go away if the camera dies (I only have the one DSLR) but also because I knew he didn't have much money, and I wanted to see if I could do a decent job of it. And he's a nice guy.

I learned that being a wedding photographer is a lot harder than it looks.

Anyway, bride and groom were absolutely thrilled with the photos and a CD with the .jpg's and a license from me for free noncommercial use was their wedding present from me.

Nice reception in a sheet metal building, DJ, and catered dinner, I think he spent maybe $2k if that.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:21 PM   #45
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The wife and I had maybe 50 people at our wedding, the reception was at a restaurant. Very modest.I was 36 she 33.
-Happily married 25 years this week. How many crazy over the top weddings did I go to? For many it as the start of a life of debt and over spending! My buddy paid for it then his daughter asked for help with the furniture...she was making more then her father.. 2 years later the son in law buys himself a brand new Harley! So wrong on so many levels...

Daughter is 20 - looking a couple years down the road (the Mrs. and I paid for college fully I consider that a big deal)

My thoughts: If you have a modest wedding that you fully fund (no debt) I'll give you $100k as a wedding gift. If you want me to pay our contribution is capped at $40k and that's all you get (son is 16 today...)

What it means ..
No coming out of the smoking floor
No 15 piece band
No $5000 dress
No other insanity...

Yes I know it is imposing my will... Am I crazy? Before you say anything harsh ...how long does it take to save $100k? How about $40k? Don't get hung up on the amounts. It is the concept I am talking about.
And yeah I saw father of the bride... Spenser Tracy wasn't it?

Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum.
I like Lou Holtz's story about this (read attached) and I followed his advice for my daughter wedding. Worked pretty good for me.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:26 PM   #46
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At our church it is $50 or $100 for the priest. The church hall is $50. The rest is food and a dress.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:30 PM   #47
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That's pretty much the tradition with my extended family and many of our friends. Weddings and receptions are not "extravagant" but almost always include dinner, open bar, music and dancing, etc. Guests consider it a time for renewal of friendships and/or a chance to say hello to the out of town cousins you only see at weddings and funerals...... Most that accept invitations are generally generous gifters and understand what it's costing to have them there.

I can certainly understand where folks with smaller families or families that are less close would want to keep things smaller. If you're stretching to come up with a guest list without including folks that neither the bride, groom or their parents are really close to, why force the issue? Just keep the ceremony and celebration small, send out post-wedding announcements and insist on no gifts.
Yes, a lot depends on the family dynamics. Are the guests family members or friends that the parents or the couple see often? We have been invited to weddings where we never saw the couple again.

We are close to our siblings, and my daughter to her cousins. The groom has been to many family functions, and has met most of the guests prior to the wedding. There are also friends of the family, and my children and their cousins also have common friends.

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I don't think these kind of cultural decisions are a "one size fits all" thing and I'm a little surprised at some of the folks here who seem to feel everyone needs to think their way on this issue.
I think people often do not think of family situations that are different than their own.

About the money being "wasted", we often talk about spending money to buy experience, not things. A happy wedding is an experience in my book. I gladly help pay for my kids' wedding, and get more out of that than some things.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:38 PM   #48
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Apparently these days the Justice of the Peace requires you to meet at a nice location, with food, and have about 100 witnesses.
You left out the booze.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:45 PM   #49
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Yes I know it is imposing my will... Am I crazy? Before you say anything harsh ...how long does it take to save $100k? How about $40k? Don't get hung up on the amounts. It is the concept I am talking about.
And yeah I saw father of the bride... Spenser Tracy wasn't it?

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You are correct that it is an attempt to be controlling, and it's potentially laying the groundwork for resentment in the years ahead, no matter which option she/they choose. Because, controlling.

Offer $40,000 for either a wedding, or a home, or whatever they wish to do with it, and call it a day. Or, should you wish, gift then an additional $60,000 at a later time should they choose the option you 'approve.' Same end result, different, less controlling pathway.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:12 PM   #50
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Interesting comments with different perspectives ...would be interesting to see the breakout of male vs female posters, male vs female children, various religious affiliations, cultural, etc.

I'm a guy with two sons (and I'm waaay happily married to their mother) ...none of three of us "guys" would want anything other than seeing a FEW of our close friends in a place that is easy and low stress to get to, that is really fun, that doesn't force our friends to wear ugly outfits (:-) I always wonder why guys wear anything other than basic black tux ... knowing that at some point they will look silly to people casually looking at their photos) ... but then again, I would say the same thing about guys with fashionable beards, fashionable hair, etc ...

Trying to make this fun discussion .. not trying to jam anyone ...
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:48 PM   #51
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Have had a couple friends that had big expensive weddings when we were a younger and what I remember most was hearing their snide remarks over the next few months about how cheap some of the guests were with their monetary gifts. It seems there was an expectation that when people are invited to a costly, fancy wedding, then the gift should materially exceed the expense of having that guest or otherwise there's no actual gift, just a reimbursement.

We have been honored to be invited to a lot of weddings and our budget just doesn't work like that. And we certainly don't want to insult anyone with a gift that is judged to be substandard. It's led us to be more choosy on which weddings to attend and decline a number of them.

When a couple wants to have a decent size wedding and in order to be able to invite everyone they want, it must be held in a fire hall with homemade cookies and friends doing the DJ and photo work, that's who is getting a larger-than-usual gift from us. That gift isn't a reimbursement, it's going to help them get started. The ones who rent a museum and a string quartet in tuxes, they don't need it. But since I know they'll judge us for not coming through with a $500 gift, I'd rather skip it. And honestly, I prefer a fire hall reception with rigatoni and fried chicken anyway.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:52 PM   #52
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When a couple wants to have a decent size wedding and in order to be able to invite everyone they want, it must be held in a fire hall with homemade cookies and friends doing the DJ and photo work, that's who is getting a larger-than-usual gift from us. That gift isn't a reimbursement, it's going to help them get started. The ones who rent a museum and a string quartet in tuxes, they don't need it. But since I know they'll judge us for not coming through with a $500 gift, I'd rather skip it. And honestly, I prefer a fire hall reception with rigatoni and fried chicken anyway.
What he said!
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:30 PM   #53
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The above comments about wedding gifts are valid.

It has been years since we were invited to any wedding other than those of nieces and nephews. But decades ago, I remember us giving the same no matter what venue the weddings were held at.

Nowadays, we tend to be more generous because our financial situation is better, plus the weddings are that of close relatives and we know the married couples better.

PS. We no longer enjoy going to weddings, except those of close relatives. And being as old as we are, no friends of ours are getting married or if they do, they are not going to do anything fancy.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:19 AM   #54
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We Haven't been invited to many recent weddings. My daughter's wedding in August was the first since 2009.

She told me that the guests at her wedding were extremely generous. No snide remarks or any suggestion that everything wasn't great re the gifts. I think there were even a few who didn't give anything. No problem.

Her wedding was certainly not an attempt to raise money but rather celebrate a joyous event with friends and family. Complaining about having to give a gift is petty.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:40 AM   #55
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We hardly ever go to weddings. ......
+1

I only reluctantly attended my own.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:54 AM   #56
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Have had a couple friends that had big expensive weddings when we were a younger and what I remember most was hearing their snide remarks over the next few months about how cheap some of the guests were with their monetary gifts. It seems there was an expectation that when people are invited to a costly, fancy wedding, then the gift should materially exceed the expense of having that guest or otherwise there's no actual gift, just a reimbursement.
Yeah, this is bad etiquette. Our wedding gift has always been based on our closeness to the couple, sometimes with a little extra if they're hurting for money. Even Miss Manners has said that your wedding gift is not the price of admission to the reception.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:41 PM   #57
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It's about being nice...you should bring something to a wedding, the nicest and most useful gift you can think of, can afford without difficulty, and that reflects your closeness to/knowledge of the couple.

That covers a wide swath of possibilities, including something handmade or edible. There's a company www.penzeys.com that specializes in "wedding spice kits."

But it is in the worst possible taste to a) specify what guests should bring or b) criticize the gifts. I realize I broke that rule in my earlier post by making fun of the hideous, regifted vase, but that was 30 years ago and the giver has passed on.

The wedding registry falls between these two etiquette bookends, as it is merely a list of "suggestions" to assist givers who can't quite come up with something. Any couple who mutters because someone only gave one place setting, or didn't order off the registry at all, is muttering very much out of line.

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Yeah, this is bad etiquette. Our wedding gift has always been based on our closeness to the couple, sometimes with a little extra if they're hurting for money. Even Miss Manners has said that your wedding gift is not the price of admission to the reception.
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:32 PM   #58
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I only reluctantly attended my own.
Like dis?

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Old 10-08-2015, 05:33 PM   #59
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Like dis?
Now that's funny!
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:54 PM   #60
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Like dis?
Oh to have had that on the wedding cake.
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