Big Wedding Budget: Is it worth it?

Posted by on September 12, 2014 • Filed Under Wedding

Wedding Couple

When Juan and I got engaged, one of the first things we discussed was the wedding budget. We are usually very frugal with our spending and don’t want a lavish life. It’s just not us.

I was doing some research on weddings: the whole process (planning, budget, vendors, etc.), and it was a complete surprise how much money people usually spend on weddings. Did you know that the average wedding cost in the United States is $25,200? I didn’t know that fact, and went a little crazy when I read it. It seems absolutely excessive and unrealistic to spend that much money in a wedding that’s going to be a couple of hours in just one day. With that kind of money, you can buy things for the house or apartment, you can save it in a bank account, there are many things you could do with that money that would be more beneficial for the couple’s life. Especially when they begin their journey as husband and wife.

I’m glad we have managed to keep our wedding budget as low as possible. We are both paying for 95% of the wedding, so it was important for us to keep our priorities in order and think about what’s more important. Generally speaking, we have spent more on our honeymoon (which is going to be two weeks) than our wedding because we felt that a trips out of the country are not as common, we won’t be able to have them often and we wanted to enjoy two weeks for ourselves, and enjoy a new place.

Even with the honeymoon, we have managed to keep our budget at $5,000 and I think we have done a great job at keeping the costs as low as possible. It hasn’t been easy, because most vendors in Puerto Rico charge about double of what they would usually charge everywhere else (especially photographers), but we have made it work.

For a 6 hour wedding plus reception, we couldn’t really justify going higher than that. And I’m so glad we were strict about it. I’m not judging people that do spend that amount of money in a wedding, I just think that it’s not effective to spend that much in an event that’s going to be a couple of hours long (in most cases).

For those of you that are married? What do you think about the whole wedding budget subject? Did you go all out, or did you try to save some money?



22 Comments


  • avatar image

    Angie

    Sep 12, 2014

    Reply

    We went to a JOP and spent an pit $350 on the reception. Definitely don't regret. We are planning on doing a renewal and will spend money then.

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      That sounds amazing. Do you have a set time for the renewal? I know some couples do them at 10, 15, 20 years and so on.

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    Christa

    Sep 13, 2014

    Reply

    I was engaged (but the relationship took a bad turn so I got out before something happened) he wanted nothing to do with the wedding subject so it was all left to me. I ended up figuring a shoestring budget was the way we had to go. All of the items for the wedding was handmade, food was going to be made by my family, the church was free - the only thing that was really being paid for was the wedding dress. And when it came to that I found one for $99 - it was a sample since sample sizes are so small, but it still needed taken in a small amount. I personally don't see a reason to spend a lot of money on a wedding. But that may be due to the way I grew up. I have nothing against people who do have huge all out weddings.

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      It sounds great that you tried to have all the items for the wedding handmade. DIY weddings are my favorite. And yeah, I hear you, I have nothing against those who do have huge weddings but it's just not my style.

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    Faiz

    Sep 14, 2014

    Reply

    As someone who has witnessed their sibling getting married I know that it can be an unusually stressful time. And it can be quite costly. In the end its what you and your fiancee are comfortable with that matters. I do like the fact that you're spending more on the honeymoon, after all its for the both of you to enjoy! Oh and congratulations :)

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      Thank you Faiz! Now that we're so close to the wedding, I've realized how stressful the whole process can be. Yeah, we wanted to make the honeymoon truly special so we don't regret spending more on it at all.

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    Rezina

    Sep 15, 2014

    Reply

    I think most of the time, a lot of people spend lots of money on a wedding is because (hopefully) it's going to be the only one they have, and they want it to be as special as possible. And when they think of "special", the "value" of the wedding goes up. But of course the "value" depends on the person and how they choose to define it! I definitely think that saving money is a great idea, especially if you don't need to spend a lot of money (as you said) on something that's going to last about 6 hours. And it's a great idea to spend more money on your honeymoon! Also, congrats!

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      Thank you Rezina! I agree, most people go into the whole wedding process thinking it's going to be their only one so they want to go all out. And while I agree that it should be special, I don't think our wallets have to suffer to achieve that.

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    Ana

    Sep 18, 2014

    Reply

    We're on the same page. Our budget will be around 7k. We want to celebrate with our loved ones but not be paying for a one-night event for the next 10 years. Seems too extravagant to spend more than 10k on a wedding if you ask me.

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      Exactly my point :) So excited for you to start planning for yours, when are you planning on having it dear?

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    Amy

    Sep 18, 2014

    Reply

    Well I want a wedding to remember but it doesn't have to be lavish. As long as I can have my close friends and family members there I'm happy. It's what you want that counts, if you want to keep it simple and not splash out I applaud you because sometimes I do feel it's an awful lot of money for one day. I know most of my friends tried to keep costs low by asking friends to help them with their big day, such as helping with chair covers and table layout, hair and make-up etc. :) I'm unsure how much my budget will be in like 7 years time hahaha. Everything will be expensive x.x

    • avatar image

      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      I agree. Having family and close friends is one of the most important things. And definitely, wedding stuff is always on the rise so I definitely wouldn't be surprised that prices go up exponentially in a few years. It's sad that it has to be that way though.

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    Sara

    Sep 22, 2014

    Reply

    I am not married, but I plan to be one day but I won't lie and say that I haven't thought about weddings and budgets! I've seen friends get married. Some of them have super lavish weddings, others just normal. For me, I'm not someone who wishes for either - I'm not fussy at all. I know there are some girls out there who demand a $$$ wedding. I think I am someone who'd rather have a small, quiet party just because my bf and I are both introverts and we don't like the attention (and I hate people taking photographs of me!). As my bf and I are now apart in a long-distance relationship (we were not before but due to circumstances), for me to be with him, we are expected (by the British immigration) to spend a £3000 wedding for it to be 'genuine' (to apply for a visa to be with him), which I think is absolutely ridiculous. Not everyone has that kind of money, and not everyone WANTS to spend so much on a wedding. We all have different priorities. Like you said, I'd prefer to spend money on a honeymoon, or activities I can enjoy WITH my future husband. I had a friend who got married and I know she probably spent about £10,000 on her wedding (you could see via her photos, decorations, dress etc)...but then again, her parents are extremely rich.

    • avatar image

      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      Wow, it's crazy how much it costs to apply for a Visa. I don't know much about the subject but I've read how difficult the process can be. I wish you the best of luck with that if you end up doing it.

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    Bea

    Sep 23, 2014

    Reply

    I'm not getting married, engaged nor in a relationship but in my opinion, wedding should not be costly. We're talking about matrimony. The love between the couple is the most important. But still, it depends on the couple if they want it to be gregarious,

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      Exactly. Usually, people get caught up in this bubble where they see it as they have to spend more to impress or to make the right impression. I've seen a lot of that here and it's sad, the love between the couple should be the most important thing.

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    Georgie

    Sep 26, 2014

    Reply

    As a girl I have always wanted a wedding, but as I grew older, I came to realise how much a wedding might cost, and it shocked me how much some people paid. I remember watching a show where someone paid about $10,000 and it was not that impressive. I think that weddings have just become really unnecessarily expensive. Maybe some caterers charge more because it’s supposed to be “special”. I attended a few of my cousins’ weddings and they claimed to have paid upwards of $35,000 (I paid less than that for a car...). And when I attended, I was far from impressed. Decor wasn’t all that good, the food wasn’t really amazing, it’s just like paying too much for a big party. I know that if my boyfriend and I were to get married, we would spend as little as possible while still making things special, and we wouldn’t invite every member of the extended family. Just the special people close to us. :) In the end it’s just a wedding day, as you said, a few hours of one day. It can be special without having to pay all that money.

    • avatar image

      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 21, 2014

      Reply

      Exactly my point. And you always have to be careful with wedding vendors, because they will do their best to get you to 'upgrade' to a more expensive offering, or to make you feel that you have to spend more because it's the 'most important day of your life'. People usually get caught up in that spell.

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    Nicole

    Sep 26, 2014

    Reply

    I feel the same way as you when it comes to wedding budgets. I think people get crazy with what they spend.. I could never justify it. Like you, I do think the money could be put to better use. Also, even if a couple thinks they will be together forever, they should remember that couples split up and/or get divorced more often than they stay together. I think it is smart to spend more money on your trip because traveling is an experience that will stay with you and, assuming the trip is good, will give you good and lasting memories. I actually wrote an article that touched on this topic a while back: http://nicky.nu/traditions-part-1/

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      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 22, 2014

      Reply

      I completely agree Nicole. I will definitely check out your article, thanks for sharing!

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    Kalliste

    Oct 05, 2014

    Reply

    Wedding costs do seem very excessive. I think it's great you've kept it so low even with honeymoon costs. I just can't imagine how I'd justify spending so much money on one day. A woman at work said she spent $60k on her wedding and I just couldn't believe it.. that's a good home deposit or renovation or anything that isn't a wedding :P The idea of planning a wedding terrifies me, I think I'd prefer just to have a small ceremony with minimal people, maybe just us and the celebrant/photographer.. but definitely not something that costs a lot (other than probably honeymoon).

    • avatar image

      Nicole J. Tirado

      Oct 22, 2014

      Reply

      Believe me, at this point (with 2 months to go for the wedding), a very small ceremony would have been ideal and less stressful. It all depends on what you want though. But I think it's better to keep it as simple as possible.

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