Dear People Who Comment On Wedding Articles,
If I could wave my magic wedding wand and make you go away, I would. Because somehow, whenever anyone writes an article about weddings on a news site, a personal finance site, a feminist-leaning culture site, or anywhere else that isn't strictly wedding-related media, the comment section immediately turns into a giant self-congratulating pile of crap. For people who are married, it degenerates into a pissing contest about who spent the least on their wedding. For people who are single or unengaged, it becomes a breeding ground for holier-then-thou proclamations about how you're going to get married at City Hall or elope or be an otherwise super laid back cool-and-cheap bride/groom, IF you ever bother getting married at all. Some of you are still angry at your friends for wasting some ungodly sum on One Single Day with "shitty food" and over-the-top Bridezilla antics. You can't believe that people actually spend that $28,000 average cost on their weddings because it's such a waste of time and money and stress.
First, I would kindly request that you actually read and understand the damn wedding articles you're commenting on. Because you seem to read the word "wedding," skip the bulk of the content, and think that it's an excuse to wax (very un)poetic about your moral superiority due to your budgetary party-throwing prowess (or perceived prowess, for those of you who have never actually been faced with planning an actual wedding). Unfortunately, most of these articles were not, in fact, invitations for you to spout your crap. They were articles about bigger issues like who pays for the wedding in this modern age/what are those implications and how to think about and save for big-ticket life items. But you obviously missed that in your zeal to piss all over anyone who didn't spend their wedding budget in accordance with your wedding budget priorities.
Secondly, can we talk a moment about why you hate weddings so much? Yes, hate. Because that's my only explanation for your willingness to leave 241 comments (some quite recently... on a 2007 post) about the idiocy of spending $28,000 on a wedding (even though that's not what the article was about, but moving on) and how you only spent/would spend $5,000. If it were an article about spending $28,000 on a car or a year-long life-dream trip around the world or a remodel, some comments might mention fiscal prudence, but 241 of you wouldn't leave impassioned arguments about the complete stupidity of spending that much money on a new car. No, you all get your panties in a bunch about weddings. Money is money, which we use to buy things of value (like cars, I suppose) but apparently weddings are a crock of meaningless emotional drivel. Well, if that's your approach, goody for you. But my approach is slightly different. I see my wedding as an investment, one that's a lot bigger than myself or my own individual needs. And so it's worth it to me to pay for a meaningful event, even if I have to stretch a bit.
Now, about that stretching... I'm sorry to inform you, but some people are fully capable of paying for a more-than-$5K-wedding without going into debt. Many of us are NOT spendthrift idiots, despite what your comment sections may claim. In fact, that's how we managed to save enough money to pay for this shindig in the first place. Yeah, that's right, some of us are not the horrible leeches from our parents you'd like to portray us as. And, on the other hand, some of us have amazing parents who are so excited to support and share this important day that they want to provide financial support. So good for you that you didn't go into debt and that your parents weren't involved. But guess what? I'm not going into debt either, I'll maintain a semblance of savings, and I'll maintain a great relationship with my parents and partner (enrich it, even), even though my wedding will run close to the national average.
I know I just blew your little pea brain mind, but follow me here. That $28,000 average is bubkis in Los Angeles. That's right, bubkis, nada, monopoly money even, when it comes to weddings (and houses, by the way. $28,000 isn't blowing a downpayment, since even shacks in Los Angeles cost $400,000+). I know, I know, you don't believe me and I'm an entitled wasteful Bridezilla. But this b*itch can still do math, so bear with me and tell me again where you live. Was it Kansas? Or Central Valley California? Or Texas? Because last time I was in small town Texas I got a well drink a the fanciest bar in town for $2. That's right, $2. If you are, in fact, from small town Texas, you'll be wondering why I brought this up. I brought it up because, to me, that pricing is ludicrous, whereas for you it seems just about right. However, when I ordered my first $2 drink I laughed/cried-with-glee for five minutes because well drinks in Los Angeles (outside happy hour and super sketchy dive bars) cost about $6. That's just for drinks. Now extrapolate that 3x multiplier for your $10,000 morally superior wedding budget and what do you get? $30,000. Just over the national average for weddings.
I think you also like to conveniently forget the (sometimes) disparity in income between small-town wherever and the Big City (specifically Big Coastal Cities) that helps account for the $2 vs $6 and $10K vs $30K disparities too. Because, I can assure you that, if I lived in the Midwest at a similar job and similar firm, I'd earn about 20% less than I do now. So your $10K budget is great and all for you, but it's about the same as my have-to-stretch-for-it $20K budget, in relative terms of what we can get for our money in our region of the country.
Also, I never want to hear you mention another photographer cousin or baker mother or dressmaker aunt ever again. Because I don't have them. And it's great that you do, but it doesn't make you some sort of saint to have been born into a talented family that gives you free labor. It means you won the genetic-association lottery. Good for you. Instead, I won some genetic brains and used them to earn $20K to pay for my wedding.
Also, I'd like to take a look why I hate it when you extol the simple backyard, mountain top, and barefoot beach weddings. Um, I live in an apartment and so we don't have a backyard. And my parents (who also live in Los Angeles) don't have a very large backyard (and if one more person says I should cut my full-of-love guest list to make it work, I'll turn around and cut them instead.). If you, however, have a glorious backyard for a wedding and wouldn't mind us using it, I'm all ears. Really. Send me your phone number and I'll give you a call. And as for that intimate beach or mountain top? You're making a lot of assumptions about peoples' mobility and ability to participate in your crazy on-the-top-of-a-mountain 15-person ceremony. We have dear family members and friends who would be in that blessed 15-person invite group who would be unable to make it up a mountain, let alone a flight or two of stairs. So, yeah, take your barefoot beach wedding budgetary prescriptions and shove it. Just shove it.
As for the single or unengaged-but-coupled commenters... I really can't wait until you get engaged. I've eaten my I'll-be-a-laid-back, $10K, backyard-bride crow already. You'll rant and cry and look for alternatives, but many of you will eventually come to the same "it's worth it" conclusion that I did, at a number you're comfortable with. Certainly, I could shave about $5K from our current budget, somehow, but then it wouldn't be mine. And by mine, I mean doing it in a way that feels right for us. And no, I do not mean in a hotel ballroom dripping with expensive florals. Because sorry, that wedding costs about $100K, not $20K.
So, since you're so obviously misinformed about the facts, emotions, and everyday negotiations related to weddings, I would kindly ask you to take your comments and shove them where the sun doesn't shine.
Becca, aka A Los Angeles Love