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Old 07-23-2008, 05:39 PM   #41
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Makes as much sense as any of the wedding "traditions".

My wedding cost about $500; 5 people at the service. My mother (found out 2 months later) gave us matching t shirts from the Pink Pony Pub. Got wedding pictures for free a month later because we were "such a cute couple" the company wanted to use us as an advertisement.

I think I'll sell the ring along with some other stuff now that gold has been near $1000.
Khan, cool--we had a total of 10 (including priest, dh and me) two days after DH finished his army service. Dinner afterward was probably <$200 back in 1972 for all of us. Good times.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:49 PM   #42
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Maddy's got a girlfriend, Maddy's got a girlfriend. . .

We got married after living together for a few years. Went to a judge I knew, brought along Greg's bro, the bro's wife and my sis and did the deed. Bought two cheap rings from a pawn shop.

Greg's brother and his wife gave us a food processor which we still use today. Told his parents and they sent us $500, so we made money.
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:20 PM   #43
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Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between the cost of the wedding and the shortness of the marriage. Severity of the divorce is also directly correlated to wedding cost.

My speculation is that many marriages fail due to financial issues and folks willing to spend fat 5 figure amounts on a wedding may not be very good at subsequent financial decisions.
This does not surprise me. Wife #1 was enthused about spending every nickel I had on the wedding and honeymoon to St. Thomas - neither parents had much, I had about $6k in 1978, a lot then. It "went against the grain" for me to do that but I was told by all the females in my family that I should quit being a tightwad and splurge. The marriage ended five years later when I refused to take out a loan to go on a trip. I love my sisters, but I ignore their advice since then.

In 1988, wife #2 was happy to find a wedding dress at J.C. Penny for about $150, we spent about $1,500 total on wedding & honeymoon (Deep Creek Lake in MD) but I owned a house and was still in the "house poor" stage. The 30th of this month is 20 years with her.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:45 PM   #44
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no no no .. go for the open bar.. just invite fewer people (and ones you really want to have a good time with). The advantage of "older" people's weddings, or second weddings, is that I think no one expects the full-court press anyway, so you can 'get away with' a more modest affair that is more to your personal tastes.

We got married in 2000 at 40/41. Ring was a gift from MIL. We requested no gifts; donations to CCF or similar. I did go for a handmade dress ($1k?), nice flowers, live music, and kick-ass meal for 45-50 folks. What took it over $10k was putting most of them up for 2 nights in a B&B, but I would do it again tomorrow in a heartbeat. The B&B setup for the guests gave everyone (including me) time to relax and mingle.

Maddy, best wishes! (but don't go into debt, pleeeease!).

What I would say "counts".. good food and spirits regardless of venue. I would take local bbq shack catering in the VFW hall over iffy Marriott chicken.
Counts: bride has a COMFORTABLE dress (so she can dance! I specified this!)
Counts: people who are there want to be there and YOU want them to be there. Resist pressure to invite obscure relatives, parental friends, etc.
Counts: minimal/no "orchestration" by photographers, videographers and planners. All you will need are a few choice photos, as after the first couple months no one will ever look at any video coverage. If necessary, hand a digicam to a couple of trusted friends for "cinema verité"-type spontaneous footage. Eschew ANYthing that requires extra lighting (we did this by having a mid-day ceremony and a lonnnng sit-down lunch in a nice setting).
Doesn't count so much: honeymoon.. we did a Med. cruise which was OK but too regimented. We could have spent 1/4 the sum on just a 3-day 4-star weekend someplace special and been happier.

We didn't have a planner or hotel arrange things; we relied on the caterer to give us tips on the best venues and local services. [Is that Italian or what? Ya gotta start with the food and go from there.. ]
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:12 PM   #45
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We eloped to Milwaukee in 1982. I think we spent around $1500 for the wedding, rings, wedding dress, flowers, photographer and honeymoon combined.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #46
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It was 1976 and we were both 21, just finishing college. We wanted a simple, low key, low stress wedding. But my parents were paying for the wedding, and doing all the planning. I think my dad said it was $3000 or maybe $5000.

I wanted to get married at their house but when they made the guest list and insisted on inviting everyone they knew or "owed" a wedding invitation to it became clear that it would have to be at a catering hall. I was away at college and after too many trips home to make decisions about stupid details (stuffed mushrooms or cream cheese puffs) I let them do whatever they wanted. All I really wanted was that we could invite about 20 of our friends and make it all legal.

My engagement ring was my husband's grandmother's white gold diamond ring, which she gave to him for me. We bought our own wedding bands, very inexpensive. Mine needed to be a very narrow simple white gold band to sit next to and slightly under this beautiful engagement ring from 1925. Very special! I've always loved it. My wedding band was under $50, hubby's was maybe $75. Luckily, we like simple stuff.

I wore my sister's wedding dress and changed the color of the ribbon from blue to yellow. This was not because of money, I just liked the dress and after trying on many others, I realized I already had what I needed.

For our honeymoon, my FIL gave us a week in a condo in Vail, CO. It was owned by the hotel company that he worked for. September in Vail was very off-season, so the place was empty. We drove from Ohio to Colorado in a VW beetle, camping on the highway in Kansas one night, staying in another company hotel another night.

I'm not the type of girl who grew up dreaming about her wedding day. I didn't want the fairy tale, princess wedding. I got the wedding my parents wanted, what they felt other people expected. Kind of sad, but they were paying and doing the planning. In the end, I felt like it was their wedding, we were just the main act.

Even on my wedding day, I didn't care about being the center of attention. Really, I did it for my family and for my husband's family.

If we had been older/wiser/had money of our own I would have done it very differently. I would have been married at a courthouse with immediate family only and then made a small, fun party that reflected who we are and what's important to us.

Luckily, every moment after the wedding has been better than I expected. The marriage is happy, healthy and we're doing great. It will be 32 years in September.

I hear about these weddings that cost $30,000 or more and think it's absolutely NUTS! A friend of my sister's took out a 2nd mortgage on their house to make one of these weddings for their son and daughter-in-law. The parents are older than us and need a 2nd mortgage for a one day event?

My niece is getting married in 2 months and the reception is in the nicest hotel in the area. We just returned the RSVP and the choices were prime rib, chicken or fish. There's cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and dancing. What does a wedding like this cost today?
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:54 PM   #47
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...
My niece is getting married in 2 months and the reception is in the nicest hotel in the area. We just returned the RSVP and the choices were prime rib, chicken or fish. There's cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and dancing. What does a wedding like this cost today?
Just went to a wedding like this...learned the bride's parents budgeted $175 per person for the reception, attended by 230 people. (That's more than $40,000 for the food/drinks alone!!) I was in the ladies room when the bride came in and I overheard her telling a friend that she knew maybe 25 of the people in the ballroom.

We, too, got married in 1976. Parents paid for most of the event. Mom made my wedding gown and veil (~$150); reception - with open bar!! -- at country club was less than $2,000 for more than 200 guests....and like my overheard conversation recently, I didn't know most of them either! (I do remember that my dad invited one of his co-workers and their spouse, who RSVP'd that they planned to bring all of their children to my wedding. They had NINE children!! Dad had to "uninvite" the kids. Good thing. The parents came and gave us $5 as a wedding gift! Even in '76, that was cheap!)

Thirty two years, and still together!
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:01 PM   #48
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1976? I was alive...but not potty trained! Hey, but I was only 3 years from graduating kindergarten!
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:39 AM   #49
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1976? I was alive...but not potty trained! Hey, but I was only 3 years from graduating kindergarten!
You 1974?
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:11 AM   #50
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I was just born in 1974!
My brother is having one of those weddings that my mother is putting on to "show" people and him and his bride are the main act. Last I heard, the figure was over $150K!!!! I think it is on the lower price range of an Indian wedding.
I was told that my parents have a "dowry/wedding" fund that was started for me when I was born....I wonder what the balance is in that account!
For me, I would have a simple outdoor ceremony either by water or in a beautiful garden followed by a lunch reception. The honeymoon would be simple as well....go see a natural landmark and just relax and enjoy the moment of being married.
I absolutely refuse to get married in the traditional Indian style!
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:21 AM   #51
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1976? I was alive...but not potty trained! Hey, but I was only 3 years from graduating kindergarten!
.

Oh my...someone bring me my medicine and my cane --I'm feelling a case of the vapors coming on!

I remember my first "real" job when I heard someone mentioning an experience they had at work and I piped in that I was only five years old at the time. I will never forget the way he stopped, looked at me and said "So, that means you are only 18 years old today?" I proudly said "Yup!" to which he replied: "Hon, I have shoes older than you and you know what, no one cares about that either!" Ouch.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:26 AM   #52
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... Last I heard, the figure was over $150K!!!! I think it is on the lower price range of an Indian wedding..

I absolutely refuse to get married in the traditional Indian style!
Unbelievable! Is this for a multi-day event? I'm curious. Please share: What is a traditional Indian style wedding?
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:33 AM   #53
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150K?!?!?
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #54
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I believe Indian weddings are multi-day ceremonies with lots of ritual and tons of guests (which is why the price tag is so high). I'm not surprised that it would come to $150K for a wedding like that in a big city. I don't know where CFB got his statistics that the more expensive the wedding, the less likely the marriage will last, but even if that's true I doubt it applies to these couples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_wedding
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:02 AM   #55
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No....that is for one day....it is being held at a big hotel from 1pm-whenever (usually till 4:00am), open bar, groom will be on a horse, 500 some guests, all the outfits were custom made in India, and this does not include the honeymoon.
There is another event two weeks prior to the wedding which is a small, intimate gathering of friends and family (only 150 or so!) which is another 30-40K.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:48 AM   #56
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I doubt it applies to these couples.
Having just moved from a town that was about 70% indian, I think the divorce options are pretty seriously limited by family pressures rather than the whims of the bride and groom. In many indian marriages, the in-laws live WITH the couple.

As to the source, I posted the studies at some point here a few years ago. As always its hard to tell true cause and effect and causation vs correlation issues.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:17 AM   #57
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We have some friends that will be getting married next month. They are around our age and money is not an issue. They have been living together for 18 years and will finally be taking the plunge. He bought her a four carat diamond solitaire and so far they have spent $17k on the wedding. 205 guests from seven different states will be there...the bride and groom are paying for most of the overnight lodging. On the night of the wedding, after the vows are completed, limos will take the guests bar hopping. The day after the wedding, the formal reception will take place at a country club.

One more thing....the groom looks like Lewis Black and has the same humor. Should be interesting.....
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #58
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I was just born in 1974!
My brother is having one of those weddings that my mother is putting on to "show" people and him and his bride are the main act. Last I heard, the figure was over $150K!!!! I think it is on the lower price range of an Indian wedding.
I was told that my parents have a "dowry/wedding" fund that was started for me when I was born....I wonder what the balance is in that account!
For me, I would have a simple outdoor ceremony either by water or in a beautiful garden followed by a lunch reception. The honeymoon would be simple as well....go see a natural landmark and just relax and enjoy the moment of being married.
I absolutely refuse to get married in the traditional Indian style!
I'm 3 months older than you! Hmm, you have 150k socked away by your parents? I'll PM you if me and DW don't work out.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:34 AM   #59
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Hah, looking for a woman who could support him in the style that he'd like to become accustomed to...
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #60
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I don't believe in going into debt for a wedding (talk about starting out on the wrong foot!). Because of a bit of luck in our financial situation, DW and I were able to splurge on a very nice wedding, reception and honeymoon without going into hock. If the only way to have a fancy wedding had required going into debt, we would've gotten married at town hall and had a nice dinner out with family and friends.

I know that many people feel that it's a once-in-a-lifetime day, and that it's worth going overboard for, but I don't agree if it means starting off the marriage in debt.

I know that the social pressure to get a big ring, etc. is huge. I'm fortunate there; DW is frugal, and picked a small, simple engagement ring for herself (I paid for it). She still wears it with pride all these years later, bless her!
Who knows... maybe I am just a romantic at heart. But I would think your wedding would be that one day that you cannot really remember most of it, with the exception of thoughts of the person you just married. I mean after all... the reason they have groomsmen and bridesmaids is that each needs a private army to get things done on that day, because mentally both parties are probably a bit out to lunch on the wedding day. So with that in mind why spend a fortune on an event that was made as special it is, not by the trappings, the food, the band, etc. It was made special by the person you were with. I have always thought that occasions that special should only be shared with a very small select group of people, not hundreds...
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