This post is part of a Yakezie blog swap where all participating bloggers answer the question, “Why do you think so many people spend so much on weddings? Do you think it’s worth the money?” You can read my post at Musings of an Abstract Aucklander.
But life happens and minds change. I have a ring on my finger (most days) and after a year of being engaged, right now I’m finally in the very nascent stages of wedding planning: it’s all theoretical (no date, no venue, etc).
What I do know is that I want an intimate wedding that reflects US. I’ve only been to one wedding in my entire life – an Indian extravaganza for one of my high school friends. The couple literally sit up on a stage in front of the crowd – and while the wedding was beautiful and epic in scale, it’s the exact opposite of how I imagine mine. I hate formality; I hate being the centre of attention; I hate fuss and fussiness.
Here’s what I DO want for my wedding that is going to help design the kind of day that suits us as a couple, and – BONUS – keep costs down.
A quirky venue
I haven’t yet pinned down a venue/s (but I think I’m close). This was a toughie. A church was never on the cards; I don’t personally have anything against them, and in fact, we have a ton of breathtaking ones around here that would be stunning for a ceremony and photos. But neither T or I are religious. We haven’t stepped inside a church for years. And doing so merely to get married seems incongruous and downright phony.
Vineyards or hotels (also very popular choices) aren’t really our kind of places, either. Instead, we’re looking at halls, community venues, sports/yacht clubs, galleries, cool restaurants or cafes, and public buildings/spaces. I got some great ideas from local wedding message boards and simply from talking to other people in person. Keep an open mind and your ear to the ground.
A simple dress
No froufrou, no veil, no tulle, no train, no lace, no frills, no CRAP. I intend to find a nontraditional dress – NOT a “gown” – and pay in the three digits for it (or possibly ask my MIL to make one for me). I’m thinking something long, sleek and simple, or a cocktail-style, knee-length flirty number. And if things get desperate, I’ll just recycle my white Grecian dress from my high school ball.
No live band
The first order of my engagement was to knock up a playlist – and that was literally the only thing I did, apart from putting some thought into the honeymoon, that I did all of last year. This runs the gamut from Elton John to Mudvayne to Kylie Minogue to U2. I do not believe any band could do my playlist justice.
Flipping idly through a wedding magazine the other day, I saw the suggestion to set aside 10 percent of the budget for flowers. Luckily, I didn’t have food or drink in my mouth at the time, or I no doubt would have projectile spat it across the room. Flowers are up there just above jewellery in my books when it comes to useless frippery (yes, I have a ring, but it’s a family hand-me-down, and only worth just over a grand, and it’s the only accessory I wear). Flowers make me sneeze, before wilting and dying. I’d rather spend 10 percent on getting in a pro photographer.
This is probably going to be controversial, and we’ll have to work out the details. This is not a cost-driven decision. This comes down to the fact that some of the guests that have to be invited (immediate family) simply cannot be allowed to drink. They cannot do so in a civilised fashion. Their family get togethers are rare, thankfully, but always involve booze, and always end in fist fights, blood spills, holes punched in walls or car wrecks. I am deadly serious. I have seen more than a couple of these firsthand, tried to intervene even, and it is quite frightening. I will not risk any of that happening.
If we bother with favours, they’ll probably be along the lines of little chocolates or something edible. We’re all about food. That, or we might splash out on something fun like a photo booth.
I do want to have professional shots of the day, but video is another beast entirely. Neither of us is all that comfortable with cameras; iPhone footage of key moments will more than suffice.
They say the average wedding costs $20-30k. Having done a little bit of research, the number that originally made my jaw drop now doesn’t seem so far-fetched. But I still plan to throw ours for a four-figure sum; I’m saving the big budget for the honeymoon – Europe, or possibly a spot of long-term travel, depending how things pan out for both of us work-wise.
Of course, the cheapest way to get married is just to do the registry thing. But I’d like to make an occasion of it – create some memories with our closest friends and celebrate our 7-years-and-counting relationship moving into the next phase.
eemusings is a 20-something New Zealander chasing that elusive trifecta of health, wealth and happiness, and blogs about personal finance, travel, career, relationships, food and more at Musings of an Abstract Aucklander