Friday, February 10, 2012

The Wedding Budget Competition (guest post by Well Heeled Blog)

While I'm out of town for a few days gettin' hitched, I've lined up some blog posts from some truly lovely bloggers and friends of mine.  The theme: love, marriage, relationships...or whatever they feel like writing about.  I hope you enjoy, and check out their blogs as well, because they're all awesome.  I'll be back next week as a married lady!

Today's lovely guest post comes from Well Heeled Blog.  We've been blog buddies for a long time, and I'm so pleased that she took time out of her busy blogging (and wedding-planning! she's getting married in June!) schedule to write a guest post for me!  Check out her blog at

The Wedding Budget Competition

As a personal finance blogger who is planning her wedding, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon. In the Real World (or certainly the Beautiful Wedding Blog World), there seems to be a competition on how pretty and meaningful and personalized your day is (all judged on the beauty of the photographs, of course). From the joyfulness of your photos, to the uniqueness of your reception, to the loving touches that perfectly captures "who you are as a couple," it's enough to make even the most confident and laid back of brides feel inadequate. Most of these efforts take a fair amount of time or money, or both!
I think most of us, especially personal finance bloggers, can agree that such a competition to Have The Most Perfect And Expensive Wedding Ever is pointless and maybe counter-productive. A wedding is about love and celebration, and a smaller budget doesn't mean there is any less of those two qualities. Your chances of staying married and in love isn't higher in a $2,000 dress than a $200 dress.

In the Personal Finance World, however, there seems to be another competition going on.

It's no surprise, personal finance bloggers can be a goal-driven, competitive bunch. This competition is about who can spend the LEAST on weddings, who can more loudly proclaim that The Wedding Is Just One Day, and that it's ridiculous to spend over $X or $Y. But a wedding is about love and celebration, and a bigger budget doesn't mean there is any less of those two qualities. It certainly doesn't mean, as I've read in some comments on other blogs, that an more expensive/elaborate wedding means the marriage will fail. And if a bride and groom (or bride/bride & groom/groom) want to rock a $2,000 dress or band or venue and it's important to them and fits their budget, they SHOULD!
It's funny, because there is such an emphasis on spending on experiences in among personal finance bloggers, and one could argue that a wedding is the biggest experience of them all. It's the day that two people pledge to love and honor each other, in view of friends and family. It's probably one of the biggest and most important events a couple will host. So why the disdain for an expensive wedding, when we cheer on folks who spend the same amount, or more, on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or on a down payment for a bigger house? There is so much judgment surrounding weddings, when in fact it really shouldn't matter what people spend as long as its reasonable for their situation. Some people get more joy out of a beautiful wedding than travel or a bigger piece of real estate. I say, more power to them.
If a couple manage their wedding budget according to their priorities and resources, there is no wrong way to have a wedding, regardless of how much or how little they spend. The only three things I'd never do to pay for a wedding would be to (1) take money out of retirement accounts, (2) take on debt, or (3) ask guests to pay. After that? It's all personal. Just have the wedding you want with a budget you can afford. 

Well Heeled Blog | Personal finance blog at the intersection of life, money, and happiness



  1. I am inclined to agree, but's like this with every milestone I think. College. Engagement. Kids. Everyone wants to tell you what to do and where you are going wrong. The key to anything is not listening and drinking a lot of wine. Or whiskey. I'm not gonna judge ;)

  2. I agree to you that if a couple manage their wedding budget according to their priorities and resources, there is no wrong way to have a wedding, regardless of how much or how little they spend.  My little sister had her wedding and the amount she spent is only half of the one with a wedding coordinator.  We, sisters are the only ones who helped her in everything and it became a Grand Wedding. Everybody thought that I was hired by her, I look like a Wedding coordinator that day and so they thought.

  3. I'm glad you won't judge. You are an expert advisor.

  4. "A wedding is about love and celebration, and a smaller budget doesn't mean there is any less of those two qualities." -- I certainly agree to this. When I was young, I told my self that I wanted to have a big celebration with a bit of expensive wedding stuffs. But as I mature, I'm already looking forward to a simple wedding. I want it to be simple and memorable. And reading wedding blogs like this and also having to know other people's sweet stories sweeps me off my feet. Perhaps that's why I opened an online store with wedding shoes for the bride and wedding gowns. =)

  5. I have been married almost 18 years now, having got married at the tender age of 21, and weddings seem to be getting crazier and more expensive! I have friends and sibling who want to get married but are waiting util they can save enough money to have the wedding of their dreams!
    My husband and I did the whole big church wedding with 250 guests, limo and wedding favours on the table. My favours were 5 mints wrapped in tulle, to represent fertility, health, wealth, happiness and i can't remember what the fifith one was lol. Our favours were made by myself, my sisters and my friends and didn't cost much to make!
    I work for an online gift company ( ) and part of it is dedicated to wedding favours and gifts for the bridal party. The brides we see want their day to be unique, showy and everything revolves around a set theme. Our wrappers reflect that with choices from cartoons, to rings, to beach themes and so on. However , we are now also designing wedding favours for the brides who want everything unique, one bride is having a circus themed wedding with an elephant cake and she is not involved in the circus in any way! The latest craze here are the candy carts or buffets and cupcakes for each guest. As an amateur baker I know that cupcakes for each guest is a very expensive choice!
    I guess that couples are losing the true meaning of their wedding day. Its not about the glitz and glmour and the amount of money you throw at it. Its the people you choose to spend the day with you and the person you choose to marry.
    If you ask anyone what they remember about my wedding day most will tell you that it was me being an hour late (not my fault as the limo was blocked by a farmer on his tractor on a road that was barely wide enough for the limo! It was ok the priest entertained them with jokes!) others will tell you how much we smiled!
    My brother recently got married and they didnt do wedding favours or even have a video (or dvd now I suppose) Their day was full of friends and fun. The dancefloor never emptied all day as it was THEIR wedding, THEIR way and with more friends than family! I loved every minute of it!
    I think guests won't remember the little things that cost so much lol. What do you remember most about a loved ones big day?

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