March 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm #19360
Also wedding budgets suck. Depending on where you live, it’s hard to go under a certain number if you have crazy large families. We had 130ish guests and we spent $14,000, and that was cutting out a bunch of extra crap. The food and open bar alone was about 70% of that.March 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm #19365
I’m a little put off by the negativity regarding larger, more expensive weddings. It does not always equate to caring more about a party than a marriage. My husband and I had a big, expensive wedding, but we saved up for it for a long time because it was something we both wanted. We got to have a wonderful honeymoon and still were able to buy the house we wanted shortly afterwards. I don’t feel like we sacrified anything by spending a lot. It was an absolute blast, too, and it afforded us the ability to remove any financial burdens from our attendants, family, and guests and to provide a wonderful event for them to enjoy. Our families won’t stop talking about it and keep telling us to throw another one next year at the same place with all the same people because it was so much fun. We have wonderful pictures and video to memorialize our day, and incredible memories with so many people we hadn’t seen in a while. We wanted to celebrate in a big way, and we feel very lucky that we were able to do what we wanted.
It’s incredibly offensive to me to judge someone for spending a lot on their wedding (just as it is offensive to judge someone for not spending “enough”). Just because you wouldn’t do it that way, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. Besides, until you plan one, you don’t really realize how much stuff costs and how NOT far your money goes to get what you want. We spent more than your friend and we had to make a ton of sacrifies even still. There were a lot of things we wanted to do and still couldn’t afford.
If you can’t afford something, then TELL her! I’ve had to do that when I have been weddings. It was no big deal. If she’s your friend, she’ll be more upset that you are upset. So, really, if you want to be upset at your friend for putting a financial burden on you, and you’ve spoken to her about it and nothing has changed, that’s one thing. But don’t use her wedding budget as a reason to be upset. That’s incredibly unfair and, quite frankly, it’s irrelevant to the actual issue.March 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm #19370
I definitely spent over $1000 on the one wedding that I was in, including the specific dress I had to buy that now just hangs in my closet. I wasn’t bitter about it though, because I love my friends and was excited to be a part of everything. Luckily the bride was not a bridezilla (at least not around me, her sister was the maid of honor, so maybe she got to see more craziness haha).
As far as the rehearsal goes, as someone who had never been in a wedding before and who is not religious, it was key. I’ve been AT lots of weddings, but all in different locations and there’s differences in where you stand and when you stand vs. sit. Also, it was a full catholic wedding, so they did communion. The priest told us at the rehearsal how to handle that if we were not catholic, which was really useful. And the rehearsal dinner was a crawfish boil with a cajun band, which was awesomeMarch 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm #19373
@evanscr05 I don’t think anyone is meaning to offend you- I think most people’s points would be that for a lot of people a wedding has become a huge commercial event and focus has shifted in our culture towards having a big lavish wedding, rather than creating a union with your partner and a life long marraige. I personally think it is great that you had a big, fancy wedding- and that you were financially smart about it- because it is what you wanted. I know you took care of a lot of expenses for your bridal party which is awesome!
Sorry if I offended you!March 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm #19374
@mandalee – I am so terrified about when Painted Dude and I get married. It’s 2-3 years in the future and yet my mother is already making noises about having to invite her and my dad’s extended family. My general attitude is that if you’re not sure what city I live in and don’t know what I teach, you don’t get a wedding invite. Not that I’m that important, not like that, but if you don’t know who I am anymore (we don’t see that side of the family except at funerals), then I don’t feel like either of us is obligated to your attendance at my wedding. Besides, the family that I’m close to knows who I am and that my wedding will probably be pretty nontraditional, and the family my mom is currently pressuring me to invite to an event three years in the future isn’t even comfortable with an open bar, much less a nonreligious ceremony performed by my gay best friend and the donations-in-lieu-of-gifts we’ve already decided to request guests make to It Gets Better. Plus Painted Dude has a really small family in comparison to mine, and I hate how that looks when you go to a wedding and EVERYONE’S there for the bride. I don’t want that for him.
Although maybe I could avoid it all if I put the request for donations on the invite and scare them off…March 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm #19380
@GatorGirl: I don’t think anyone is intending for it to sound that way, and I would agree that there are a lot of women out there that place more emphasis on the wedding than the marriage, but I do feel like making comments like “I would have spent that money on X instead of a wedding” makes people like me feel like we’re automatically lumped in with them. I’m a fairly responsible person, I wanted what I wanted and I didn’t want to burden anyone with it. My husband is the same way. We’re not better than anyone because we spent a lot on a wedding, and neither of judge our marriage based on the size and lavishness of one party. It was reflective of our tastes and our style. We LOVE large weddings. We love formal occasions and getting dressed up. We adore large family events. It was an excuse to combine it all and we’re very proud of it. We were okay with possibly having to wait a lot longer to buy a house because we chose to spend a significant amount on one party. We were lucky that we didn’t have to, but it was a sacrifice we chose to make with regards to how we spend our money. What’s important to us isn’t necessarily what’s important to other people. My mom kept commenting the whole time about how we could spend our money better on a house. We didn’t want to spend it that way and we felt it minimized the celebration we wanted to throw. I just think people feel like it’s more okay to judge someone who has a big wedding, but I bet those same people would be offended if people made comments on how little they spent. You can’t please every single person, you have to do what works for you. I think people need to stop complaining about how much their friend’s wedding costs and complain about actual issues – ‘zillas, their own financial burden, logistics of pre-wedding parties, etc. Talk about that stuff. Don’t talk about the budget. It has NO bearing on how seriously a person takes their vows, how wonderful their wedding will be, or how they will treat you during the planning process. I’ve known people who had VERY inexpensive weddings who were so completely rude, self-centered, and gave off the air that they only cared about this one event instead of what the event is for. And I’ve known people to have large, expensive weddings that were so accomodating, so sweet, and so obviously in love you couldn’t wait to celebrate with them. It’s all circumstantial and not at all related to the almighty dollar.March 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm #19394
painted_lady- Yes the guest list and parents insisting on inviting random family members may drive you crazy. I had many conversations that ended in tears, because we were paying for our wedding and our guest list creeped up to 220 because of all these family members we *had* to invite. Eventually, I stood my ground similar to you in that if I don’t know anything about this family member and they don’t even know I’m engaged, they are simply not being invited.
I was able to chase off some family members just based on the idea that I was getting married outside of a church and religion. So, if your extended family is not comfortable with your idea of a ceremony or wedding, they probably won’t come. At the end of the day it’s about what you want to spend and who you want there. My wedding was very untraditional in some aspects and I made it known before, in case it bothered anyone. I do love your idea for donations in the invite lol That will make your life a lot easier!March 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm #19395
I’m very sorry if I sounded judgmental, evanscr05. Engagements and weddings in Argentina are very different from yours, so when the topic comes up I tend to judge them in a pretty detached/anthropological way and forget that real people I usually talk to are involved, and that makes me sound disrespectful I guess. It’s just that the whole thing sounds SO WEIRD to me that sometimes I can’t look past the ceremony to the people celebrating their love with it.
I’ll try to be more careful in the future.March 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm #19396
evanscr05 — I didn’t mean to make it sound like my issue is with her budget. She’s allowed to throw the kind of wedding she wants, and she hasn’t and will not hear any complain from me about the kind of wedding she’s decided to throw. It sounds like you threw a big wedding and did a great job of relieving the financial burden of your bridal party and groomsmen, which is great.
My issue moreso is with the expectation involved in some bigger weddings that the bridesmaids and groomsmen shell out a significant amount of money (more than my monthly rent, that’s for sure!) to be in their wedding. Yes, you’re allowed to have a large and expensive wedding if that’s what you want, but the expectation that your bridal party will be able to match your tastes is a bit forward, in my opinion.
The reason I choose not to mention any of this to the bride is that I know how hurt and offended she would be; and it isn’t worth it to me to perhaps mar her wedding day or cause tension in our relationship over money that (thankfully) won’t bankrupt me to spend (though letting it go isn’t easy, either). It’s a battle I chose not to fight with her, but a topic I still feel the need to vent about at times, because it’s reflective of a larger pattern in our society these days.
And as for the “I would have spent it on X” comment, I didn’t mean that I think that’s what THEY should have spent it on. It’s just that after witnessing them plan this event, I’ve realized that’s not at all what I want for MYSELF.March 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm #19402
Hey rainbow and JK, I’m sure you’ve said before, but remind me – how do weddings work in Argentina? I find this stuff fascinating, especially given how wrapped up a lot of people are in the idea of a “traditional” wedding in the US. Which is odd given that a lot of customs we’re worried about only exist in the US and only relatively recently. Not knocking anyone’s desire to stick to them, just the idea that it’s the only way to have a “real” wedding.
@evanscr05 – It does have to be irritating to get lumped in with the “me-me-me” brides when you’re obviously not that girl at all. You obviously tried very hard to ensure your guests and wedding party had a blast, which is awesome. I think the assumption is that people who are willing to throw down that kind of money on flowers, food, and a pretty location for it to happen are self-centered, which is obviously not always the case – if you want to make sure your guests have a great time, ensuring the food isn’t crap, the place looks nice, and the music is done well, among a million other things, and that does cost money. You were obviously responsible about handling costs, and where I generally go into WTF territory is when either the couple (or bride, as is the case many times) is so obsessed with having things a certain way regardless of whether or not the guests are enjoying themselves (like my cousin, who had a lavish ceremony that was boring and stuffy and a reception with zero music, bad food, and no beer or wine to cut costs) or who go into debt just so they can have a massive Broadway production in a reception hall. While neither of these things are objectively “wrong,” I just don’t get it.March 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm #19406
Depends a lot on the people. The civil ceremony is mandatory (in the Civil Registry), with 2 witnesses. Then some people have a church/outdoor wedding. Then usually a good party.
When I got married we really couldn´t care less about a party (plus we were saving to finish our house), we just had the civil ceremony and then a lunch at a restaurant with the people that had been at the ceremony (close family and friends).
Some people have bachelorette parties, but I´ve never heard of anyone have a trip for it (usually just out dancing or something). I´ve never heard of anyone having a shower either. And I´ve def. never heard of a destination wedding!
Even the friends Ipve had get married with a big party were extremely low key about it, Ive never (touch wood) run into a bridezilla!!!March 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm #19408
RR, I completely agree with the essence of what you were trying to say, I just think it’s important to point out that the frustrations you are feeling have NOTHING to do with their overall budget and style and should never have even entered into the conversation. Also, with regards to how traditional it is, you have to understand that she may be getting a lot of pressure from her family, OR, when it comes to her wedding, she realized that now that she’s actually planning it, she WANTS those things. If you don’t want to do things the same way, that’s perfectly fine, I’m just saying that it’s equally as rude to use those reasons to complain about your predicament. They are unrelated to the situation at hand. Feel free to vent about not wanting to wear the dress or shoes, but if you legit can’t afford it, you should talk to her about it. Especially since you are the MOH and you’re good friends, you should be able to talk to her about this kind of stuff. That’s part of your responsibilities in that role – keep her grounded with her expectations.March 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm #19410
painted_lady, I 100% agree about people going into debt (thus we waited for 3.5 years until we were ready) or spending a lot (or even a little) without any regards to their guests. The thing I hate the most about weddings is when the couple so obviously do not care about whether or not their guests will have a good time. I feel like if you can’t put yourself in their shoes for the evening and try to come up with an event they will actually enjoy, what the hell is the point? I’ve also known several people who spent YEARS paying off their wedding. That is such a waste to me. We wanted to wake up the next day and our finances be exactly the same.March 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm #19413
Also, RR, I apologize if I also sound extra defensive. It’s a sensitive subject to me. I know you are not a disrespectful person. I just wanted to point out another perspective.March 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm #19414
FWIW I think RR’s venting is totally justified! I had to spend about $400 on a dress I haven’t worn again to be in a cousin’s wedding. Luckily that was the expense I personally had since my parents covered the othere expenses, like travel, hotel gift etc.
I think the resentment about the dress and shoes all ties into having to spend your OWN money, even if you can afford it, on something you aren’t CHOOSING. We Americans love our freedom to choose, and yet other people’s weddings becomes on of those areas where we can’t exercise it (unless the bride is SUPER accommodating, which can be hard if the couple has a specific ‘look’ in mind). I’m only talking for myself of course, and not RR, but to me, this is why I’m glad I haven’t been in another wedding since my cousin’s.
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