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Planning a wedding

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rhody31, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Been engaged four just over two months, haven't gotten squat done.
    Me and the future Mrs. Rhody have sat down twice, both to disastrous results. We've looked at places, but when it comes to planning, as soon as we start talking about cutting our list down or where it's going to be, she freaks.

    Is this normal? Any suggestions with the best way for me to handle this?
  2. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    Reminds me of an old friend of mine who used to say, "I only need two things at my wedding: A shotgun, and a second shotgun in case the first one fails to kill me."

    Anyway, Rhody, what do you mean freaks? Do you think she's just generally anxious about the enormity of planning the wedding? Is there some family drama over what the location is or something?
  3. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Seems like the enormity of the thing. We want no more than 200; our initial list has 280. She wants glitz and glamor but I think is understanding that we - when I say we, I mean mainly her because I am a journalist after all - can't afford a 40K affair.
  4. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Woe is the man who marries a woman who has an idea of a "dream wedding."

    Blessed be the man lucky enough to have a woman who says, "I never really thought about it" when asked about her dream wedding.

    (I had the latter . . .and still spent between 25-30 grand. High cost is unavoidable).

    In all seriousness, start by having the various parents pare down the lists they gave you. Then start eliminating people who you know wouldn't be able to come; send them announcements.

    Then figure out who would bring the best gifts. Keep them.
  5. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Three words:


    Vegas, baby. Vegas.
  6. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    High cost is avoidable, but you have to not try to out do all your friends. One of my sisters pulled off a wedding for around 7K (still too high for my tastes).

    The Wedding-Industrial Complex convinces us we need to spend 35K and have 250 people at our weddings. We don't. We really just need a judge down at the courthouse. It was good enough for most of our grandparents.
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Judge at the courthouse would have been fine with my wife. We only did a little extra so a few relatives could meet her and share in it.

    Guest list was a whopping 7. Price was about $500. Beautiful chapel in the Smoky Mountains.

    Any woman who wants to come back from her honeymoon and see a $20,000+ wedding bill waiting to be paid --- with the country in the grips of its worst economy in 75 years --- is no one I want to share a life with.
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Our budget is $5,000 and we are hoping to spend less.
  9. Hiro

    Hiro Member

    We got in for just under $8k with about 200 guests. The first thing to know it that between 50-75 percent of the people you invite will actually show up (generally).

    Some things we did to save money were:

    1) 1 p.m. wedding, 3 p.m. reception meant we didn't need to feed everyone a sitdown dinner, just finger food and you can avoid the "bar or no bar" discussion. No one expects an open bar at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday. It helped that 3/4 of our guests were non-drinkers, of course.

    2) iTunes, laptop, stereo in the corner. We made about four hours of playlist from stuff we had and purchased a dozen or so songs that we really wanted. We had one groomsman hit play for the first dance, turn the volume down for the toasts (which we did right after), then turn it right back up after the fact. Party hopped until things thinned out a bit, then people just went up and chose what song they wanted next. We even bought a couple off the hotel's wifi to play because her dad had a specific song he wanted to dance with her to (though he didn't see fit to mention it in the eight month engagement). iTunes had it, I promise a $1k DJ wouldn't have. One of my wife's theater friends did introductions coming down the steps.

    3) Reasonable dress expectations. Nothing you can do about this one but get lucky. If you get out under $1-2k consider it a blessing.

    4) REALLY shop around for churches if you don't already have a place picked out. If you're members somewhere you can probably get by for free or very cheap there.

    There are a million others but that's just what came to my mind about my experience. Of course, some women when presented with No. 1 would plant both feet down, cross her arms and tell you "that's not what weddings are and we're not doing it, period."

    Then you might be in for a $30k affair.
  10. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    Rhody, I think once you bite the bullet and make a few of the major decisions, like the when and where, it might start to seem less nebulous and more manageable for her.

    One way you might be able to help now is start a spreadsheet or some lists to break down what has to be done. My wife and I used Google documents to create a shared folder of stuff that we could both access at any time from anywhere. You can do documents or spreadsheets for the budget, maybe separate info sheets for various events (rehearsal dinner, honeymoon, sending out invitations), and detailed schedules for the wedding week. It helped us to keep organized and break the tasks into defined chunks.

    With the exception of food/booze, locations are your biggest budget busters. We did our wedding on a public beach and the reception in our back yard (spent a lot to spruce it up, but still came out way ahead). One way to cut costs is to do a lot yourself -- we did our invitations and guest favors and they turned out great -- but it's a big time committment and might not be the best course if your bride is already overwhelmed.

    If you're in the business, hit up a photog you trust to shoot the pictures. Most of them have a lot of experience, will work for less and apreciate the freelance work. I had an old colleague and friend shoot it, and he just handed over the memory card at the end of the day. We handled all the sorting and ordering of prints -- big money saver.

    We did the midafternoon thing that Hiro suggested (we did offer open bar, but people drank surprisingly little), and also the ipod wedding band. We ended up at about $14k for 85 people, and it was beautiful. It can be done without going broke.

    In my experience, it's been the thoughtfulness, not the lavishness, that tends to make weddings memorable.
  11. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    It does depend greatly on where you get married.

    We wanted one-stop shopping (wedding outside, reception inside) near where our families lived. The DJ was reasonable, the photog was reasonable (the one reckless spending was the videographer . . . what the hell was I thinking?). About 180-190 people or so.

    Renting outfits for the bride and her party, plus renting tuxes for all three groomsmen and the two dads, added some expense.

    We had a lucky extenuating circumstance that meant that we were flush with clash that was specifically earmarked for the wedding. Had we not, we would have found a way to do it for 12 grand or less. (Hey, it's Southern California. YOU plan a cheap wedding here).

    It does depend on who is doing the planning, and how well-done everything is; "thoughtfulness vs. lavishness," indeed. One member of my family had his wedding in a church and his reception in the bride's family's backyard, and it was excellent. Another had his wedding in a church and the reception in the local civic center, and it was completely haphazard and, for lack of a better term, "ghetto".

    Good luck Rhody. Learn your cliches:
    "Sounds good to me."
    "Whatever makes you happy, makes me happy."
    "Great idea, dear!"

    "Why don't you have a nice tall glass of STFU."
    "Stop bothering me! I don't care!"
    "I thought the bridesmaids are supposed to be somewhat hot? Who's gonna wanna hook up with that gnome?"
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