Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Open Letter to Commenters On Wedding Articles

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


  1. As a Texas girl getting married in California I completely agree with the price difference. Girl, Caly is expensssiiive. How do you California people survive?

    Isn't it funny how the tides change. I was one of those laid back not yet engaged and then laid back engaged women, until I got into the thick of planning, then it ALL changed. I think I am finally starting to recover my cavalier attitude now that all the big decisions have been taken care of.

    Good rant.

  2. SNAP, bitches!
    I hate comment sections on articles - it brings out all the whiny a-holes who wanna hate on strangers for shit they don't know about. F that.

    I think the whole hating on weddings has to do with the fact that is women's domain. And our culture has this bug where anything to do with women and emotions is deemed less important. GAH! It makes me wanna hulk out and punch culture in the nose.

  3. DAMN. That was a good rant.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you!

    I'm a lurker, but I just had to comment on this one. It's such an awesome rant! My partner and I live in DC and that 20k? Yeah, much like in LA, it doesn't even come close to a downpayment. Not at all.

    And, on a semi-related note, why the hell does everyone assume that we're saving [or wish we were saving] for an effing house anyway?

  5. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for writing this. I read all those comments on Jezebel yesterday (the only place I even bother to look at comments), and I was so discouraged by all of the pettiness and competition. It's incredible to me how much judgment there is in the wedding world - whether you spend the national average (and people say you didn't get your money's worth) or you have a smaller budget (and people say you're cheap) or you go over the national average (and people say you're a selfish bridezilla who doesn't know the value of a dollar). It's absolutely exhausting and incredibly unfair, especially when it comes from those who've never even attempted to plan a wedding and negotiate all the different needs and demands and desires that entails.

    So, yes, thank you for writing this, and for reminding me (when it was much needed) that your budget is YOUR budget and not anyone else's. And that weddings are about love and joy and community and compromise and not about the bottom line - whatever that may be.

  6. @Mejane - Grr. The paternalistic we-know-best about the house thing drives me bonkers too. Again, math people. It really doesn't make ANY financial sense for us. Maybe for you, in your town, it does. But I *like* my apartment and freedom and extra savings at the end of the month, thankyouverymuch. I have a feeling a I may need to rant a bit about that, and other newlywed expectations, at some point.

  7. @Katy, it was the Jezebel article that finally made me snap. I don't understand how a site that usually gets it right, gets every wedding post so darn wrong (or basic, and insipid. Isn't half the very intelligent staff planning/just planned a wedding?!) But it was the comment section that made me want to break things.

  8. I skip those articles. I don't need to be told that my wedding budget, that my ring, that my whatever is too big, and I really don't need to hear the same crap, bullshit budget advice that I hear from every single "weddings are expensive" article. DIY your invites, hire an up-and-coming photographer, and have your ceremony and reception at the same site so you don't have to pay for both. Um. It would have been WAY cheaper to have our ceremony in a church and our reception at a restaurant.
    And OMG have a wedding in my parents mosquito-infested, unmowed, unlandscaped, un-washed backyard with only two bathrooms in a house straight out of a hoarders episode? Um, definitely worth $3,000 to have it at a venue. And yes, we would be paying the 8k for catering anyway. So there.

  9. @A Los Angeles Love, I totally agree. Usually I love Jezebel, but it's just a haven for "better than you" wedding posts. I was so sad and insecure after I finished reading the comments, but you've restored my normal perspective! Thanks!

  10. @Ellie - but it's not those articles that are the problem, at least not most of them. Those articles certainly exist, but then I ignore the articles and the comments. However, the articles I linked to weren't about cutting costs or budget judgment - they were about thinking through our choices and planning (for example.) It's the comment sections that get evil whenever "wedding" is mentioned, regardless of the article's true content.

  11. Hot post. Love it. Because damn people with artistic and talented in all-the-right-ways-for-a-wedding friends, parents who own a ranch you can use for free, and guestlists that are all within driving distance of your inexpensive rural town, us city-folk with doctor/lawyer friends, and who have to pay through the nose for similar space, food and booze, are already envious that you can pull off your fab wedding so cheaply, no need to be smug and judgey about it!

    but maybe it's a reaction to perceived judgment from the other side about spending too little / not being "classy" enough? i dunno . . . more posts about why everyone judges weddings so damn much please!

  12. Brilliant. That's all. Brilliant.

  13. Applauding you - that was a brilliant rant! I've also eaten my I'll-be-a-laid-back-and-super-cheapo-bride crow already and I'm freaken done with all the negative talk about weddings (generally directed at the brides) and how it's all so frivolous. And yet people still bitch when they go to weddings and it's not a full open bar, or the food was not up to snuff. Seriously, plan a wedding and tell me again what you think!

  14. Wow. I totally loved that article/blog but couldn't even get through the first ten comments without wanting to scream and pull my hair out. I LOVE that while the article takes a totally sane approach to spending what is (to be fair) an insane amount of money for a lot of folks, factors in the emotions at play and then tells you it is POSSIBLE. God I love a good budget. And still people would rather pretend that throwing a giant party with food/drink/music for 150 of their nearest and dearest isn't gonna cost a little chunk of change. Or well everything else you just said. Lovely rant. Lovely link. Thanks again!

  15. holy crap i love you. so many great points. please PLEASE go place a link to this post in their comment forum. it would open so many people's eyes.

  16. I've said it before, but I'll say it again -- I love it when you're mad.

    Self-righteous fools (yes, I've been one) need to take a long walk off a short plank. There's just SO MUCH backlash against weddings out there, it makes me wonder just what's at the root of it.

    Um, I'm with you on the cheap drink thing... beau and I are STILL talking about the time in Michigan when we ordered four beers and two jack and cokes for our family at a bar, and the total came to $12. TWELVE. FREAKING. DOLLARS. *mind blown*

  17. @A Los Angeles Love - Dude. Please post a rant on these kinds of newlywed expectations. They make me absolutely crazy/sad. Each time my aunt asks us when we're moving into a bigger place (for what?) or my fiance's dad tells us we should start investing in "nice" furniture (ouch), a little piece of my soul dies. It's like the life we lead pre-marriage needs to change dramatically after the wedding or else...

    I guess we won't be an authentic family if we live in an apartment and our bookcases are from IKEA.

  18. Well said! I heart you. Not in a creepy way, I promise. :)

  19. Ha I so feel you on the $2 drink thing! I've lived in Chicago since I was 18, so anytime the man & I go back to my home state of Michigan we are both blown away by how cheap it is to go out.

    We're doing what we can in planning the wedding in Michigan, because Chicago is *crazy* expensive. But I know not everyone has that option.

    And as for those articles, I really only read the comments on blogs like yours. I don't bother with them otherwise.

  20. Wedding articles on Finance blogs always make me wince because I know there's going to be moral smack talking in the comments.

    In fact, home buying articles on Finance blogs can be equally bad. Every home buying article has some holier than thou who put 30% down on their home shit talking anyone who put down less. Of course, they live in like, Oklahoma or something. Grr.

  21. 'Good for you. Instead, I won some genetic brains and used them to earn $20K to pay for my wedding.' - I love you.

  22. I'm planning a Chicago wedding right now and finding out just how expensive a "small party with the closest friends and family" can be. We wanted the low key backyard thing, but like you, we don't even know a person with anything resembling a yard. We went the park route (which is costing $500 just to be allowed to hold a 15 minute no decoration or amplified sound ceremony) and found an affordable place to drink and dance at afterward. It took months of searching through restaurants, bakeries, gardens, art studios, and vacation homes to find an affordable option. I never thought I would have to spend so much but is hard in a city. We are footing the bill in full yet people seem to be able to make me feel guilty for what I'm spending, which is minuscule simply because we don't have a lot. I hate that and understand the backlash on those who are lucky enough to be able to throw an amazing party for next to nothing in other areas of the country. On the other hand, I couldn't be more thankful for the DIY, homemade wedding type of blogs. My sister got married before all of this stuff started to catch on (including blogs in general) and therefore got sucked into being told what she had to have to throw a decent wedding. My mother was cash strapped for a year afterward. She over payed a lot of people because it was the standard going rate at the time for a typical wedding.

    I think we have to remember that as much as we are all stuck in the blog world where we see this sort of thing daily, most people are not. There are no TV shows about how to have a DIY, affordable wedding. Instead we watch girls step into $6,000 dresses, fly their nearest and dearest to Hawaii for a quarter million dollar blowout, and get scoffed at for their measly $40,000 budget. I'm sure you know the shows I'm talking about. The magazines are just as bad. They highlight extravagant affairs and contain ads for flashy, expensive must-haves. I think the couples planning small simple affairs have been underrepresented in the mainstream. When I found other couples that didn't want to or couldn't spend tons on the wedding day, I stopped feeling alone. I stopped feeling bad about what I wasn't going to be able to provide for my guests. I was able to concentrate on the fact that I had an amazing group of people that are flying from all around the country to celebrate a wonderful moment in our lives.

    I don't think the right approach to these types of subjects is bashing others, I just think it happens in emotional issues. In topics such as politics, child-rearing, and career paths, you see this sort of bandwagon judging or trash talking. I think it mostly really isn't about attacking individuals for being wrong, just reaffirming among groups that your point of view is right. Sorry to ramble, I've just experienced both sides of this and am fed up with all of it. I've learned to keep my head up, ears closed and eyes firmly fixed on my fiance to remember why we're doing this as well as drown out the unnecessary noise.

  23. great post. seriously.

    we even have access to an awesome back yard but the cost was WAY more than our venue if we wanted tents, a generator for lights, a dance floor, a one day boost in the insurance policy and bathrooms. way way more.

    i can't even read those articles because of all of the judgement. we are not going into debt. not at all. and i am super proud of that.* we have a large budget. we are getting married in a major east coast city.

    so thanks for this post!

    - p.s. I love you!

    (*dear going into debt bride- don't feel like i am saying it's a bad thing- if you want to do it and have a plan to pay it off more power to you)

  24. Man, I know you're pissed, but "Good for you. Instead, I won some genetic brains and used them to earn $20K to pay for my wedding." just reads as downright mean.

    People come from many, many different financial backgrounds. I know it's really hard to see that on blogs. Personally, I now earn FOURTEEN TIMES what my parents do/did through my childhood. Do I have genetic brains? Yes, yes I do.

    Does that mean I have 20K to blow on a wedding? No, I don't, because it takes some serious cash, debt, and investment to get myself where I am now from such an impoverished childhood.

  25. What irritates me is that 28k is NOT the national average. It's the average in L.A, a little less in CA, and it's around that in the Northeast, but the national average is way less. As in, I've seen the actual stats.

    As far as the wedding vs. house argument goes, well, yeah. But I could save the money I spend on Starbucks and buy an iPad at the end of the month, or a hybrid car by the end of the year, or whatever. It's my money, and Starbucks is how I choose to spend it. If you think a 28k wedding is wasteful, then don't spend 28k on your wedding. There was a great line in Mad Men, "Stop counting other people's money." Seriously, it's none of your business. Go find something else to do.

  26. @verhext. You're right, and I certainly don't intend to attack people who earn less, because it's not an either-or with brains-money. I earn more than my parents did and I'm expecting to earn a lot less in the future myself (because of pursuing a different lifestyle choice in the long term). So I'm aware of the cost and money issues.

    But people in these articles seem to think I have mush-for-brains because we're deciding to spend more money than they would. I was trying to say that we each use what we were given to make this wedding planning process to make this work. I've been saving for a few years now, so that's how my forward-thinking brain planning is making it work. I have no other options, so I had to find a way to get here, if we were going to host the wedding that mattered to us.

  27. Ah, I see, it was the either/or feel to the statement that confused me!

    It's weird, people value what they value - we're all so different! I mean, you don't see blogs railing on people for collecting tchotchkes or other "useless" uses of money - if what you WANT is a 20K wedding, so much so that you spent years saving, who cares! It's your money!

  28. It still amazes me that people get themselves in such a tizzy over weddings (whether it's about spending too much or too little money). I'm not sure if there really is another "product" out there that people get that emotional over. People might blink an eye when someone mentions the price tag of a house but it wouldn't end in 200+ rants and rages. Those comments really have nothing to do with the actual money involved but rather the commenter’s personal issue with marriage in general. It's too bad people can't separate the two and have a thoughtful, intelligent discussion about their feelings towards marriage instead of bashing the writer or each other. I have to admit, though, I have had my moments of thinking negatively towards the more “luxurious” or “platinum” weddings out there. Now I realize how personal each wedding experience can be and you can’t possibly judge someone else’s wedding (or marriage) based on what they decide to spend their money on as long as they are doing it for the right reasons (staying true to themselves, their families, etc.). Spending $$ for the sake of looking like you spent the $$ is a-whole-nother monster that I can’t even begin to talk about here.

  29. Lovelovelovelove.

    People have no idea what goes into planning a wedding UNTIL THEY PLAN A WEDDING.

    I never dreamed I would spend thousands of dollars on a photographer... but I am, because that is how much it costs.

  30. ha. i'm a secret lurker reader and this made my day. i actually read those two jezebel articles you've mentioned and although the comments didn't so much put me a cut-you-with-the-closest-sharp-object rage, they were interesting to see how jezebel readers (seemingly ladies who share fairly similar ways of thinking) reacted to the wedding talk.

    anyway, i'm recently engaged and am barely starting all of this research because i know nothing about weddings, but as a person who's lived in los angeles as long as i have, i can totally agree with the fact that things are just more expensive out here.

  31. You know I love your posts. Always have, always will. People need to stop comparing, and bashing for spending too little or too much on a wedding. I'm spending what we are because it's what I want. And, if you don't like it, get over it. You can do with your wedding what you want.

    You hit the nail on the head (like you always do).

  32. Still, I am just so jealous of your brain and the letters that flow from there, through your fingertips into the most amazing and (clearly) thought provoking posts. Damn you.

    You have to forgive the single people thier blind and innocent ignorance. You must. I thought that the most EXPENSIVE photographer would be about $2K. Yeah. I was wrong.

    You don't know until you start. And until you start, you just don't know.

    I think it's bloggers like you and me and Cupcake and Bowie and so many others who try to keep it real, not lose our minds and but still put together a wedding that we may or may not have dreamed of.

    I know I had the wedding of my dreams because the man I chose to love wanted to marry me too. My wedding cost $18,000 - give or take. Big chunks of money went towards things like renting a handicap van for a wek and paying for hotel rooms in order for family members who couldn't otherwise afford to or who were physically incapable of making it without our financial help. The most important thing to us was having our closest friends and family there to witness and support our union. And you know what? You can't put a price tag on that.

  33. I peed on myself a little. I did.

    Thanks- you may have just saved my wedding.

  34. Amen. As someone who is neither married, engaged, planning a wedding, I try to dispense advice from other side (i.e. the bridesmaids' point of view but I gladly admit, I have no idea what it's like to plan a wedding. Sure, I have notion of what I would/wouldn't do or spend; but having indulged in the wedding blog world for the last year or so, I've learned that while you can throw a 10K, even 5K wedding but you will be doing it with some sacrifice (e.g. professional photographer, evening time slot). As I often tell "my" brides, it's your day not mine - so we should respect however a couple wishes to spend their money, and leave at that. I only take issue when a couple wants me, the bridesmaids, to invest in their wedding!!

  35. Becca, this is such a great post. I would have more to say, but I think you've said it all.

  36. It's interesting to think about the larger social-political question of - why - anonymous strangers think it's ok to second guess what a couple plans to spend on their wedding. Having experienced a bunch of second guessing in a meeting today (work-related, nothing to do with weddings), I would hazard a guess that people weigh in because it is largely (but not exclusively) young women who are planning weddings. Our society still doesn't trust women, especially young women, with responsibility, including making decisions about how to spend large sums of money.

    As several commenters have noted, you don't see random strangers second guessing how much someone paid for their house or their car. We know that real estate is more expensive on the coasts and in cities, and accept that a starter home on the coasts might be half a million or more (egad!), whereas in the middle of the country that will get you a grand sprawling home. No one makes a big stink about it - but it's REAL estate, something that is 'real', 'valuable', and often purchased by men (historically women weren't even allowed to own property).

    And, historically, women took care of maintaining the family/ social bonds in ways that weren't included in economic accounting. Now some of these tasks are economically accounted for (through paid housekeeping services and childcare services, the cost of which many complain about). Similarly, weddings true costs are now captured in dollars, rather than the uncompensated labor than mothers, grandmothers and aunts used to put into making them happen. And the patriarchy is rebelling because it doesn't value this sort of labor.

  37. of course this post is awesome like so many of your posts. people can be so crazy judgemental (especially in the online world where no one knows them) and I am so sick of it. People need to realize, whats great/worked for them doesn't work for everyone, especially the preachy ones who aren't even engaged! I had noooo idea what I was in for until it started happening! you're going to throw a super sweet wedding for a price you can afford?! i'd say your wedding will be better than all 241 of those people then

  38. Great post! Gosh, how true this is.

    In the end, I know it would be impossible, but wouldn't it be nice if people just stopped being judgmental about wedding budgets? You have your budget, I have my budget, why can't we all just be happy and get along? Spending more money (or less money) on your wedding does not necessarily make you superior or inferior to me...the events are just DIFFERENT. We each are doing what is right for us. If you want to DIY everything and spend $1,000 - awesome! But, if you have a budget that has a bunch of extra 0's on it...I'm sure it will be fabulous as well. If we all wanted the same thing and paid the same price, then there really wouldn't be much diversity out there, now would there?

  39. Oh gosh, thank you, thank you so much for this. I am so sick of this judgemental attitude from people who have never even planned a wedding. I don't care if you plan events for a living (as I do) a wedding is a whole other kettle of fish regarding people's expectations and desires and wishes.
    And thank you also for taking Jezebel to task for this type of attitude - as a "feminist" blog you'd think they'd do some more thoughtful research before writing off all NY brides as crazy bridezillas. I'm sorry, but having linens at my wedding does not make me a crazy spendthrift.

  40. Loved this post! I planned on commenting something along the lines of what Walking Barefoot said, but she said it more eloquently and persuasively than I could have. Well done!

  41. Thank you!

    There is something really ugly about judgy anti-wedding, anti-bride sentiments. I'm beginning to think that the "brides are just bridezillas" culture that has sprung up has become the new way to express distain and hate for women, even in otherwise PC or progressive circles. It's discomfiting how vicious people, especially women, can be when decrying other's choices about a ceremony and tradition that is ultimately very personal.

    (I posted this on Jezebel, but as I am one of the light gray peeps there, I'm pretty sure no-one will ever read it. Ha!)

  42. oh honey, i want to take you out for top shelf mixed drinks.

  43. I really think we need to be full fledged friends. We've gotta grab drinks sometime soon. I'd usually give you the slow clap that escalates to a standing ovation with this blog post, HOWEVER, I'm going to skip it and go straight to the standing ovation.

  44. I dont read the comments or articles. I like to stay in the safe wedding world where everyone agrees with me because I hear enough hateful comments in real life. But I want to comment to say kudos to you for being so smart, passionate and dedicated. You are a movement, girl!

  45. Thank you so much for writing this. Really, sincerely. It summed up so much of how I've felt as I've been planning my wedding.

  46. Posts like this are why I quit buying wedding magazines when we were planning our wedding. Weddings are SO personal! And where you live will influence how much you spend a LOT more than people realize or are willing to admit.

  47. Can I leave my fiance and shack up with you instead? :)

    Just kidding - but really. I've been feeling similarly for awhile (I wrote that "you're a Bridezilla no matter what you do" article so it should be clear where I stand on these issues). Are we spending $20,000 on our wedding? Yes. Are my fiance's parents spending another $2,000 or so on the rehearsal dinner? Yes. Is it yet another $2,000 just to fly home from our expat pad to get married? Yes. Honeymoon? Another few thousand. And boom! While the actual wedding expenses are still technically "under the national average" (whatever that means) the total act of getting married is costing us...about the national average.

    And I'm freaking sick of people telling me it's too much, or that we're being irresponsible with our money (of course, nobody tells my fiance that). We discussed it before we started planning, we decided that it was, in fact, worth the money to throw this party, and we stand by our reasons. We don't WANT to spend it on a downpayment for a house, because we don't want to be property owners yet. We don't want or need a car (we live in a big city). We do feel that creating such memories with our nearest and dearest are not only worth our money - they are, in fact, priceless.

    We don't have a great backyard either, and even if we did the tent rental, catering kitchen rental - after our engagement party I am absolutely not DIYing food for 100 people at a wedding - tables, chairs etc. would cost the same as renting a venue that comes with those things. We can't fit our guest list on a mountain top and beaches are not comfortable for elderly guests.

    And if one more person tells me (me, not my fiance, just me) how I "should" spend my money, I am going to bite their face off. As though because now that I'm a "bride to be", I clearly have no sense of money, can't plan finances and need to be told for my own good what I should do instead. As though I (again, I, not my fiance) didn't really think through the implications of spending this much.


  48. Quality rant!
    I am a "budget" bride. I am coming in WAY below the national average (about 1/3) for my NY wedding but that doesn't make me any better or worse than anyone else.
    Because I am a public school teacher and my fiance has a crappy job we had to rely on a small inheritance from my deceased grandfather and help from our parents.
    It annoys me when people talk about how wasteful it is to spend that much money on a wedding. Well, I have to say I know my grandfather would be proud of the way that I'm using it.

  49. I have received a couple comments from Mr Fix It's family members when they find out our wedding is costing *me*, not him, over $30,000. They say things like "That's a down payment on a house," or "You could have bought a new Mastercraft boat for that." Well, guess what? Mr Fix It has a house, so we do we need a downpayment on a new one right now? And what the hell would I do with a Mastercraft boat? I don't live on a lake!

    My wedding is a once in a lifetime celebration of a love that I believe will stand the test of time. So you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be spending what I want to make it the most entertaining, fun, lively event I can. And as you said, Becca...I am not going into debt to do so. I have no credit card debt going into the wedding planning process and I will have our wedding paid off within 2 weeks of returning from our honeymoon. So I turn my nose to all of those people who make their dumb comments about how ridiculous it is to spend what we are.

    Besides, even with the 'higher end' amount of money we are spending, my vendors have been telling me that they think our wedding is going to look like we spent a lot more money on it than we even I must be doing something right :)

  50. Becca, I want you to stop reading Jezebel right now.

  51. I'm getting married in the Boston area. My family and his family ALONE is fifty people. If you add CLOSE family friends (not a ton, just the close ones), church friends, and friends from high school, college, and graduate school, our numbers explode past 200. We've whittled it to 125 (MIRACLE OMG). $5k? I don't think so. I don't care how indie-laidback-DIY you are. Unpossible.

    This is the best post ever.

    Sarah, another bride from a Big Coastal City

  52. Thanks for this.

    Sometimes things just don't work out financially with a wedding like you hope. We tried to do things for as smaller budget as we could manage but the costs do add up. When we got engaged, I had a job (that I spent a lot of money training for). When we came to pay for a lot of the wedding items 2 months before the wedding, I didn't.

    I think we just have to accept that just as each person spends their day to day money on their own priorities and choices then we must accept that couples choose their own wedding priorities.

    We could go on forever with this!

  53. Thank you SO MUCH for this amazing post. You are absolutely right and this needed to be said!

  54. Thank god for this post. I have such a headache from trying to rationalize what I've spent so far and it will only get worse. I am spending this money on this day because I want to and that's enough for me.

  55. This rant should be posted on EVERY Wedding site! Kudos!


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