Big Wedding - Change it

waddles28March 8, 2002

How many had a big wedding? Now looking back on things what would you do different? Would you spend the money that you did or not?

We had an average wedding 250 guests. But I actually did not spend that much money. I have a really talented family and boy did I use it. My mother made my dress and it was absolutely beautiful. My aunt did all of the decorations and flowers. I made the bridesmaids flowers and we had a friend make the cake. My uncle did the ceremony. Our biggest expense other than the food and beverage was pictures and I was very unhappy with the man that did them so I kept all of the proofs and had someone else do the copies. Our transportation was old fords in the rumble seat - again a friends.

What would you change - I would obviously have a different photographer.

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We had a very small wedding. Just a ceremony and a few munchies and cake afterward. Total $$, about $200.

We chose to spend our money on furnishing our new place.

I don't regret it for a second. It came out very nice. The wedding was Feb. 2, so it should have been cold. But it turned out to be 70° that day. Since the ceremony was just family and close friends, we moved it from the main worship area to their outdoor chapel, and had a beautiful sunny outdoor ceremony.

I have so many wonderful memories of that day. And we are still enjoying the furniture we bought! :-)

(I had 3 college roommates, who had huge weddings, that I had been in. So by the time mine came around, I decided I had had my fun, and didn't need the hassle.)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2002 at 10:32AM
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Being an "older" couple (I was 30, DH 38) we were over the big wedding thing, and so we had a private ceremony in France with my sister and husband as witnesses - it was incredible, we got married on a terrace overlooking the mediterranean, on a sparkling Tuesday afternoon!
Then a month after we got back we had a dinner reception/party for 100 people, mainly because we are from different coasts and I wanted friends/families to meet. It was perfect, we would do it again, and I got to wear the dress twice! There were of course people (mothers!) who were disappointed in the way we did things, but unlike many weddings, it fit our personality and was the right thing to do for us.
Picky regret would be the party DJ - I left my husband in charge of that and he didn't really do it, so last minute we picked someone who was free, who was terrible. I wish we had a live band but we couldn't afford it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2002 at 3:54PM
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We had a small church wedding that costs my parents about $1500 including bridesmaids dresses, my dress, and all flowers. I had about 50 guests and we had a small reception with sandwiches, chips, mints, cake and punch in the church fellowship hall. I wouldn't change a thing about my wedding day.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2002 at 3:54PM
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Big wedding, spent a couple grand (20 years ago), and wouldn't do that again. Still married, but what a stressful day, I'd rather have simple if I did it again (renew, god forbid I get remarried...the thought of some other guy having to see me naked for the first time scares the beegebers out of me)


    Bookmark   March 9, 2002 at 7:50PM
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I really honestly think my wedding day was perfect... We had about 80 of our closest friends and family with us -- most from far away (some from Europe). Having that few people was wonderful for me, because I felt like I actually had time to visit with my family, some of whom I had not seen in several years. We had the reception at a beautiful bed and breakfast -- very traditional southern plantation house with wrap around porch. Dinner was outside on the covered porch. On the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before my wedding it was VERY hot, and I was worried about being hot in my dress. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday it stormed. I mean really, really stormed. Well, the storm cooled things off, and Saturday (The Day) was sunny and the temp was perfect. (Sunday, by the way, it stormed again!) The food and everything was so perfect that I later asked my mom if anything went wrong that I didn't know about, and she said no! She did a great job. Certain things (like my fondant cake) cost a lot more than I would have spent, but since my mom had to have it "just so" and she was paying for it, I didn't argue. The only thing I wish is that the day hadn't gone by so fast!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2002 at 7:53PM
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Like Mausie, we had about 80 or so people, including relatives from Europe who we were so glad could come. Everyone was so impressed with the little "country church" out in the middle of nowhere, the church I was baptized in and where my parents were married - that was my dream to get married there (the church is so 'quaint' that they don't even have a phone!). The weather was perfect for the end of June, breezy and warm but not too hot. The reception was at a lodge in a state park that I frequented often when I lived in Ohio, and everyone was so touched by our scripture readings and the way the ceremony was held. So I guess all that hard work impressed people!

My cake was delicious, although I only got a taste of it. the food was scrumptious, although I should've had more (but alas wasn't hungry). The ceremony went perfectly (including with my 1 1/2 year old flower girl - she was an angel!) and the two week honeymoon in Europe was a dream.

The only thing I would wish to do over was my wedding night. We were all dressed up in our wedding 'gear' and drove to a bed and breakfast that had neglected to tell us they closed their doors - permanently - so we were forced to stay at a Best Western. We got there, were hungry, and ended up eating dry cereal that DH had pinched from the breakfast bar. We considered crashing the Lions Club party that was downstairs for some food (and probably should have, they might have thought it was neat!) and ended up ordering pizza that was so-so. So it was an imperfect end to a perfect day. Oh well. everyone says it'll be a good story to tell our grandkids. LOL

    Bookmark   March 9, 2002 at 8:10PM
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My wedding was fairly small, with less than 100 people in attendance. Since I paid about 80% of the total expenses, things were kept simple. My dress was from JCPenney catalog, simple and less than $200. My veil cost $21 at Wal-Mart (pre-decorated comb looped into short pre-made veil). My flowers were silk, so we didn't have to worry about what was in season. My cake was awesome -- done by a local baker who was a friend of a friend. Cost of wedding cake & Groom's cake was about $200. A friend took pictures for me, and only charged for the film & developing. The food consisted of finger foods, with some prepared by a local grocery store and the rest prepared by friends & family. Ceremony music was pre-recorded by me and my Brother was in charge of cueing the stereo. The ceremony was held at a local Country Club and reception was held immediately after in the same room. Our table decorations were designed by me and cost very little to make. The cloth over the gift table was a quilt that my Great-Grandmother had made for me years ago.

The only thing I would change about my wedding is that I would've hired a wedding coordinator, instead of trying to do alot of things myself, so I would've been able to enjoy the day more.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2002 at 9:25PM
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Small - had 10 people and that included us and the priest. I wouldn't have changed a thing. I even refused a bridal shower that my Mom in Law wanted to make. Its lasted 28 years so far. Its not the wedding that counts - but the marriage. We saved our money and bought our first home within 3 months of our marriage in a great part of town. Had friends that spent over $10,000 on their weddings (back in the 70's) that are on their 3rd or 4th marriages and still don't have a pot. Point is that anyone can get married and sometimes (from experience in what I've seen), I've seen that the girls are more into the ceremony and festivities than the life work ahead. Its wonderful to have a beautiful ceremony and celebration of the union of two lives, but put that much effort and more into the foundation of your lives. Many of the wonderful respondents here have marriages of long duration and know what a successful marriage is all about. So many young people these days just act like they are going to a prom. My wedding day was a beautiful sunny April day with the crabapple trees in bloom and unseasonably warm weather. The recollection always makes me smile - but after 28 years - I don't think of it that often anymore. The years that followed were the important part in retrospect. Just like the births of your children. Many happy memories of the day I first saw their beautiful faces - but so much more joy in seeing them as they are today and how they have progressed into such wonderful young people.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2002 at 6:57AM
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It was a second marriage for us both and both us had married in courthouse before with just a witness and a judge so i did it up right this time it was beautiful but kinda small about 150 people or so and i called in all kinds of favors lol. My best friend did the pics for free, her finacee did the videotaping again for free anohter did the flowers and another the cake and a couple more did all the food for free. I got my dress at JCP after prom season (i have 4 boys so i didnt want white i wanted pale yellow)and my hubbys "suit" it was baggy black dress pants and i snow white collar shirt no jacket although he complained that i had him looking like a waiter lol. But because i work at Penneys i got my employee discount off of those all the clothes total cost me under $300. the church was free and we paid the preacher $50.00 We honeymooned at a log cabin of my parents all total my wedding cost under $500.00 including the invites that i handmade. No i wouldnt change a thing ;)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2002 at 7:02AM
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We were married 4 yrs ago. Had 220 people at the wedding (immediate family was already 150 people..DH has 10 siblings and I have 7!). We had both the ceremony and reception at the same private residence. The ceremony was on the lawn and the reception was in the courtyard. The home is a $$$million dollar showcase but we were able to rent it pretty cheeply. The whole wedding came to just under $20k, which DH and I paid 75% of. Our parents chipped in the rest.

We spent quite a bit of $$ on our wedding but both of us wanted it that way and believe it or not we had a blast! So many people complain that they didn't have a good time on their wedding day. We made it a priority to have fun and it all worked out.

It was a lot of $$ to be spending at the time, but I think we did pretty good for the number of people we had. Plus we're in Southern California where the prices for everything are higher than most other places.

Both of us look back at our wedding day with great memories. I don't think we'd change a thing.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2002 at 11:45PM
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Well, we had a very small wedding. We got married in Hawaii on the island of Kaui at the Westin resort, in the Chapel by the Sea. My sister came with her husband. It was great. No pressure, on the beach until 11 am, and married at 1pm. Wouldn't change a thing.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2002 at 6:55PM
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We were married over 38 years ago. I considered it a small, frugal wedding. We invited 100 guests, of course fewer came. I made my own gown and veil, as well as the dresses for my bridesmaids. We found a reasonably priced photographer, and a florist who did arrangements from her home.

Our reception was at a beautiful hall--in a dry town, so it was relatively cheap to rent (since there wasn't a big demand for it) AND we had a great excuse not to have alcohol at our wedding. The caterer I chose was reasonabl, as well--I believe (remember this was almost 40 years ago) the price was something like $5 per person for a buffet that had a couple of hot choices, several sides, etc.

We didn't go on a honeymoon--we put our money into buying our first house, rather than on something that would last only a few days. We're still in the home, and it's worth 8-10 times what we paid for it.

Would I change anything if I were doing it today? I don't think so.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Well, nine years later that's all very interesting.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:27PM
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We decided 41 years ago,no big wedding its over before you know it,we saved our money, we could build our first home 5 yrs into marriage.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Spent $1500 on dress, shoes, veil, photographer, reception with food/beer/wine, misc expenses for 60 guests. Then spent $1500 on a honeymoon to the Carribbean for a week. $3K total. Back then, the average was $15K for a wedding. No regrets.

I went to the wedding of a relative back in the 90s! I heard they spent $80,000 on their wedding. Both were children of multi-millionaires. The parents offered the kids $100,000 to NOT have a big wedding and the kids turned it down!!! Can you say spoiled brats?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Except for keeping the people in the related businesses employed (florists, caterers, photographers etc), a big, expensive wedding is probably the dumbest use of money anyone can make. And I'm sorry, but this is all about the girls wanting to feel like the pretty pretty princess for a day. I am in my mid-40s, been thru all my friends' weddings and all that...and honestly, I have NEVER ONCE met a guy that was into this ridiculous fantasy for a day. Most of them knew they just knew they had to 'play along with it' because society has made all these little girls feel like true love MUST be accompanied by gaudy expensive dresses that will sit in a closet for the next 40 years, thousands of dollars worth of flowers, limos, and champagne and caviar.

I think if young couples really had a grasp on how hard it is to save up the 20% to buy a house these days (in most parts of the country anyway), they would opt-out of being princess for a day and start their marriage of on a better financial footing.

And based on all the "toddlers and tiaras" and "dance mom" type parents there are out there....I don't see it changing any time soon, probably just get crazier and crazier. Time to invest in a catering or dressmaking business I

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 2:36PM
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"And I'm sorry, but this is all about the girls wanting to feel like the pretty pretty princess for a day."

What a cynical thing to say!
And I would love to be able to disagree -- but sadly, I can't...

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 4:59PM
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The problem as I see it, with all the emphasis and focus on having "the best day of our lives" the happy couple don't see that if they've had the best day of their lives it can only go downhill from there... pity they don't put so much effort into the actual marriage as they do the wedding. Maybe then so many marriages wouldn't fail so early.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Well if it's any consolation, my ex and I both wanted a no-hassle wedding, we got married by a JOP in San Diego where we were living at the time, and had a nice dinner with another couple in a restaurant overlooking the pacific ocean, it was nice and cost us no money and no headaches about who to invite, who sits where, what color the parsley was gonna be, etc.

And the marriage still there goes that theory, colleenoz!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I didn't say that was the _only_ reason that marriages fail, mkroopy! But honestly, the number of people I know who have either paid for a hugely fancy wedding for themselves, or one of their children...only to see the marriage last less than two years, is legion. Case in point, the recent Kardashian fiasco :-)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I call it the "barbie doll" syndrome. Seems to be a mostly female thing. So many want "the fantasy"....usually via someone else's money. And then the china/silver/crystal thing gets priority above all other considerations seemingly regardless of means.

I remember when the ball got rolling with my first wedding decades ago. (divorced decades ago) My fiance assured me that I didn't have to worry about it because "people give you all that." Expensive settings so of course they didn't. Then, acquiring all that stupid stuff -- which had no place in our lives at all -- became a priority even though we were struggling to get by in every other way. Amazing syndrome. I don't care for it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:21AM
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colleenoz - I know that...was just showing that sometimes, no matter how good the intentions...things just don't turn out as planned.

As for the Karsdashian really can't talk about that as any form of reality...that's just Hollywood idiots doing what they have to do to keep their names in the papers. And man does it work....I just want all of them to please go away...

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Asolo you say first wedding ,how many times have you married?if you dont mind me asking.which im sure you will.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 3:35PM
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