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Does anyone regret having a nice wedding?


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Old 19th November 2018, 9:50 AM   #1
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Does anyone regret having a nice wedding?

Hello LS,

I am recently engaged and in the early stages of planning my wedding. Iím in my early thirties, fiancťe is late twenties, and itís the first marriage for both of us.

I definitely know I want some kind of wedding, at least a small ceremony with just our immediate families, but ideally also including close friends and close extended family. By the time you count everyone up weíre looking at a minimum of 100-125 people. Not a big wedding by some standards, but Iím still getting used to wedding price tags. I have every intent to have a reasonablly modest affair, but still, the amount I was hoping weíd spend has already tripled as I research costs.

Now, we are financially very comfortable and my parents have also kindly offered to contribute an amount that would cover most of the cost. Iím their only daughter and they have been waiting to see me marry for a long time. So, money is not a huge issue, except it all still seems so wasteful to me. Thousands of dollars spent on just one day- and that doesnít even include the expenses our guests will incur to travel to be there (almost everyone will be from out of town).

So my question is- do people regret their weddings? Or is it going to be the best day of my life and totally worth it and I should just stop worrying about it and enjoy?
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Old 19th November 2018, 10:01 AM   #2
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We had a huge, expensive wedding because that is what my parents wanted & they paid for it. Still I searched for bargains everywhere.

I don't regret because it brought them so much joy & the both passed a relatively short time later.

Do NOT go into debt for a wedding. Shop around. Use the internet. I got my wedding dress cash & carry at a discounter for $299. Granted the alterations cost $350 but it was still better then paying $2000 & getting "free" alternations. I got my veil on line for $12, rather then $400 in the store.

Think about what is important to you & don't let anybody "should" you. If you want wedding favors or matching linens, get them but you are under no obligation to get things that have cost but little value. People are happy to RSVP via e-mail rather than with paper responses which cost you for the card, the envelope & the stamp. Postage adds up.

Cut corners where you can. Think about off days when you can have the wedding & save money. We married on the Sunday of a 3 day weekend because Sunday was cheaper then Saturday. If I had it to do again I might get married on a weekday like July 3 to save even more. lol

The only thing I would encourage you to spend money on is the photographer / videographer because they will preserve your day. However, everybody has a cell phone & with social media you will get pictures you didn't even realize.

Make a budget; round up by 20% & go from there. In the end keep your eye on the ball -- your fiancť & your marriage. The rest is just details.
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Old 19th November 2018, 10:31 AM   #3
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No, not at all. Our wedding was an incredible experience, and it's only been a little more than a year, but my husband still says "hey, remember that time we had the best wedding ever?" Our friends talk about it a lot too, especially in light of other weddings. Lots of couples told us we had the best wedding they'd ever attended because we just skipped the ceremony and went totally overboard on fancy food and drink.

The thing is, we had that vision in mind when we first discussed being engaged. If we hadn't specifically known we wanted an intimate but elaborate party at our favorite place, we might have just been content with the random courthouse marriage we did months before the actual party. A friend of ours had a $60k wedding for an enormous group with lots of beautiful decorations, flowers, etc...but it still felt like a generic wedding, just bigger. And they were divorced before 18 months anyway. Like d0nnovain says, it's really about the marriage. If you don't care a lot about any aspect of the wedding, don't do it. But if you do, whether it's a few friends or a lavish banquet or dancing all night, then try to make it happen. It won't feel wasteful in retrospect.

(And many congratulations!)
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Old 19th November 2018, 11:14 AM   #4
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I am sure many people will have a different opinion, but the average wedding ceremony, while important in your life, lasts about a whooping 20-30 minutes.
Everything else is preparation, which takes an extraordinary amount of effort, and a celebration afterwards. At the end of the day you will be exhausted both physically and emotionally and realize how much work you put into such a short event.

Understand many of the people you invite will not attend because other commitments. Add to this that most people today could really care less about watching you exchange vows, but enjoy the celebration with family and friends.

What you do with your husband for a honeymoon in my view is more important because this is the real beginning of your marriage.
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Old 19th November 2018, 7:37 PM   #5
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The irony of planning a wedding is it tests your bond to the limits with your future spouse, but at the same time locks you into marrying them anyway after you see that side of them.

I say if the parents want to spend the money and want a wedding and it's not hardship for them, then have a wedding. But every price is inflated for venue, photographers, every little thing just because it's a wedding, which is a big ripoff. I think if it were me I'd plan so far ahead I could grow my own lillies and just buy inexpensive vases or bind them for display. The flowers are ridiculous and last no longer than the wedding itself. I always hated things that had a long lead up to them and then were over. I never wanted a wedding. I always wanted to go to the justice of the peace and then on a nice honeymoon. Dress prices are way up there these days. The worst thing is you can hardly find long sleeves that aren't see through, IMO. Even when young and thin, I hated sleeveless dresses. There's actually an Amish wedding dress site with lots of long sleeves. I liked what Heather Locklear got married in, a white suit with miniskirt. I watch Say Yes to the Dress some and my favorite dress on there was the black one the bride really wanted by was pressured out of. I imagine it's just as well I didn't try to get married. My mother would have had a stroke no matter what I did.

It's your day and your fiance's day, so you two decide what you both want. It sounds like you have options. I would just plead on behalf of working poor everywhere not to do anything that requires your guests to spend much money. It's not their day and they have things they'd rather spend it on than destination weddings and a dress they can never wear again. I'm glad you're thinking about that angle.
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Old 20th November 2018, 5:45 AM   #6
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I have been married twice, my first wedding was a simple courthouse ceremony which set us back $28. We told the family afterwards. We had planned on having a casual ceremony and party at home a few months later for family and friends, however his mother and sister hit the roof and declared that they were not going to come as we'd already gone ahead and done it without their knowledge/blessing and it was "wrong", so we never did anything else, and they never forgave me....interestingly he wasn't at fault for any of this?? Go figure!










My second wedding 2 years ago cost 10K, we had 100 guests, a full buffet dinner, and live band. The main expense was alcohol and catering. We were lucky enough to get the venue for free, I used my own sports car as one wedding car and a friends for the other. Other friends made our cake as a wedding gift. We had 2 friends who are photographers take photo's as a wedding gift, and my brother in law videoed it for free as he does professional DVD's as part of his work. My dress cost $300. We had the most incredible day, neither of us regret spending what we did. It was magical to have family and friends turn up from all over the world, I will never forget it and besides the birth of my sons it was the happiest day of my life.
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Old 20th November 2018, 9:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucy_in_disguise View Post
So my question is- do people regret their weddings? Or is it going to be the best day of my life and totally worth it and I should just stop worrying about it and enjoy?
You'll not be able to foresee how the day is going to turn out, no matter what type of event you plan. But, my experience: I started off wanting something very small, in our back-yard...maybe with a tent in case of bad weather. Ended up in a much bigger production, still intimate at about 100 guests, in a church, banquet hall, etc. No pressure from anybody; it just sort of morphed from within me.

It was the best day of my life! (And, stuff went wrong, including the photog didn't show up until much later, and the hall misplaced my wedding cake.)
I'm long divorced, but that still is always going to be one of my 'highlight days' of this lifetime.

Still, though, it's such a very personal life event, I would offer to just follow your own intuition/instincts...at the end of the day, that's really all that I did.

Congrats, and wishing you and your groom a wonderful day!
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Old 20th November 2018, 1:52 PM   #8
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Congratulations, OP.

Personally, I think there's a balance to be had. We did splurge on our wedding - it wasn't "lavish" by any means, but we chose exactly the venue and day that we wanted, which came with pretty significant costs (for instance, our venue doesn't allow BYO alcohol). We also didn't skimp on anything that was significant to us - the photographer, or food, or conveniences like a day-of coordinator.

Zero regrets whatsoever. It was a fantastic day and we loved the photos and the memories of the day. We still reminisce about it often. It's the kind of thing that I believe we will truly cherish forever.

But, we also didn't go all out financially. We only spent about 50% of our savings. While that's still a pretty hefty sum, we have plenty left, and we are quite confident that with our current jobs, we will recoup the cost easily within the next year. I feel that people need to think really carefully before dumping all their savings on a wedding, and I STRONGLY feel that people should not go into debt for a wedding. Debt isn't a pleasant place to start a marriage.

Ultimately, I'd advise you to do what you (and your fiancee) truly want to do, after careful thought and discussion. I know that nowadays there's a bit of reverse-snobbery over wedding costs - people like to boast about spending next to nothing and look down at people who do splurge on thiers. But at the end of the day, the only person whose opinion matters is the two of you.
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Last edited by Elswyth; 20th November 2018 at 2:11 PM..
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Old 20th November 2018, 2:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Simple Logic View Post
I am sure many people will have a different opinion, but the average wedding ceremony, while important in your life, lasts about a whooping 20-30 minutes.
Everything else is preparation, which takes an extraordinary amount of effort, and a celebration afterwards. At the end of the day you will be exhausted both physically and emotionally and realize how much work you put into such a short event.

This wasn't how we viewed it, and not how many of the couples I know viewed theirs, either. I know couples who have been together for years or even decades, who still think back on their wedding day with a smile, and who still look at their wedding photos. When I talked to older friends about wedding planning, it was fantastic to see how they smiled or how happy they were to talk about their wedding day.



The day may be over, but the memories remain. (Of course, this comes with the "balance" caveat that I mentioned above)
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Old 20th November 2018, 5:12 PM   #10
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Ugh...the pricetags for weddings are insane!

do what YOU want to do as a couple. Not what families, etc. want you to do. It is YOUR wedding.
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Old 21st November 2018, 10:17 AM   #11
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I would never consider going into debt. But I could still see other ways to spend that money- for example, as a down payment on a small rental property, which we might have to put off for a little while. The wedding wonít impact our ability to buy a house in the timeframe weíre aiming for or to start a family.

It just adds up. Site fees, catering, alcohol, photography, rings... no matter what ďaffordableĒ options I look into, I seem to be looking at the same figure of about 22k for a wedding of 125. I know there are cheaper options than some of the ones Iím considering - places that let you byob and have small site fees, like a veteranís hall or a local park- but even those options Iím estimating at 16-18k, and at that point Iíd rather splurge for a nicer venue. I donít have the time or inclination for a heavily diy affair.

I know itís supposed to be about what we want, but I think itís hard for me because I never was the type to fantasize about my wedding- something I used to be almost proud of, but whatís biting me in the butt now. I wish I had an image in my mind, but I can see the upsides and downsides to a lot of different options. At the end of the day all I know is I want the ceremony in a church and for all our family to be around for the reception. Everything else is just details. Details which need to be figured out soon since weíre aiming for next summer...
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Old 21st November 2018, 10:48 AM   #12
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Keep shopping on the venue & remember that there is something to be said for convenience, especially on such a hectic day, you really don't want to be dealing with DIY.
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Old 21st November 2018, 1:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lucy_in_disguise View Post
I would never consider going into debt. But I could still see other ways to spend that money- for example, as a down payment on a small rental property, which we might have to put off for a little while. The wedding wonít impact our ability to buy a house in the timeframe weíre aiming for or to start a family.

It just adds up. Site fees, catering, alcohol, photography, rings... no matter what ďaffordableĒ options I look into, I seem to be looking at the same figure of about 22k for a wedding of 125. I know there are cheaper options than some of the ones Iím considering - places that let you byob and have small site fees, like a veteranís hall or a local park- but even those options Iím estimating at 16-18k, and at that point Iíd rather splurge for a nicer venue. I donít have the time or inclination for a heavily diy affair.

I know itís supposed to be about what we want, but I think itís hard for me because I never was the type to fantasize about my wedding- something I used to be almost proud of, but whatís biting me in the butt now. I wish I had an image in my mind, but I can see the upsides and downsides to a lot of different options. At the end of the day all I know is I want the ceremony in a church and for all our family to be around for the reception. Everything else is just details. Details which need to be figured out soon since weíre aiming for next summer...

It's great that you've figured out the bolded. If that's your (and your fiancee's) priority, then spend only what is needed to achieve what you want. Perhaps you could consider a morning ceremony and lunchtime reception, which would be a lot cheaper (although you'd have to be up MONSTROUSLY early for the hair and makeup in that case!). You could also only have the photographer around for only the ceremony, which would save a lot of money.


That said, it's true that prices for everything do get hiked up insanely for weddings. That's why it's so important to decide on a few things that are REALLY important to you, so that you splurge on those but save on everything else.


We had a very small bridal party, a small guest list, no live music, and I got my gown for much cheaper than the average around here. So, massive savings there. But we did splurge on the things we truly wanted.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 1:17 PM   #14
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So my question is- do people regret their weddings? Or is it going to be the best day of my life and totally worth it and I should just stop worrying about it and enjoy?
both our parents gave us $10k total and said do what you want. we had a big wedding (it was the thing back then - 25 years): 250 guests, spent way to much, while our friends (same circle) of 20 or so had a great time, we ending up saying 'hi' to people either she didn't know, i didn't or worse neither of us did. her parents had an 'after party' at their house and it was simple, 50 or people (including all our friends), they had a bartender, basically a 'mixed tape' music on the stereo and no set end time. i wished we saved our money and did just the after party. it was much better hanging with our friends and close family.

start thinking outside the box ---you can still have a 'destination' wedding without the expense --- have it at a LOCAL beach or mountain vista or whatever is your favorite location. at most there is a small 'permit' fee to use it or go rebel and just do it (understanding while you can't force non-invites away nearly all will just assume you have permission or 'not want to ruin your day'). too many get caught up (we did and sounds like you are heading there) what you think others would like rather than sensible choices.

the biggest advice --- 'opportunity cost' --- every dollar you spend on this ONE EVENT can not be used elsewhere: a better home, car, children, a second vacation...

Last edited by beatcuff; 22nd November 2018 at 1:19 PM.. Reason: punctuation
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Old 22nd November 2018, 1:22 PM   #15
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The irony of planning a wedding is it tests your bond to the limits with your future spouse, but at the same time locks you into marrying them anyway after you see that side of them.

I never understood this. Sure, there were some stressful times (which comes with the territory of undertaking a big project together of any sort), but we have many happy memories of the time spent planning together as well - it was more good than bad. And even the stressful times were MUCH less tough than some of the life circumstances we have endured together over the years. I'd put it at the same level as moving to a new location together or travelling for a few weeks together, and WAY under the level of, say, enduring financial difficulty or illness or bereavement together.

If a couple truly thinks that planning a wedding "tested their bonds to the limit", I really don't think that couple should be getting married.
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