Why Have A Wedding At All?

I'd get a call from a vendor regarding a balance due.   Like nothing I'd get my purse, whip out that Master Card and fork over a couple hundred bucks.  It became routine.  Between buying a house and the wedding we'd been throwing around money right and left and while it seemed so jaw dropping and overwhelming when we first started all this somehow I became desensitized.

While it is extremely important not to go overboard and spend outside your means I also don't think it makes sense to spend a dime at all if it's not at at least close to what you want.  I'd rather spend 10k and love my wedding then to spend 5K be disappointed and feel regret about spending even that much because I didn't get much of what I really wanted.  Even though there are moments when I feel that it is positively obscene to spend this much money on a party I have no regrets for these reasons: 
  1. We really wanted a traditional wedding for ourselves and for our families.  We wanted to celebrate this amazing moment with everyone.  Weddings aren't free.  We knew it wasn't going to be cheap.  We knew we were going to be spending way more then we ever normally would on an event but we decided to do it anyways.
  2. We balanced budget with our vision.  I know I did my very best on finding the best prices and getting what we could for our money.   I shopped around and just said no to things that were beyond our reach financially.  Even if it wasn't as elaborate as the wedding industry would have you believe it should be we stuck to what we can afford AND planned a wedding modeled after our vision of what we wanted our wedding to be.
  3. We did not go into debt.  Everything was paid in cash and our wedding will not be hanging over our head financially at all.  Had we not been able to do this I'm not so sure how comfortable I would be with having had a wedding but fortunately we were able to.
  4. Our wedding was something that I was proud of even on a budget.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  You can't half way do it once you make the decision to have a wedding.  If I am going to ask people to travel cross country I want to plan an event to make it worth their while.  Even if we could invite 80 guests inside the courthouse with the justice of the peace for a 15 minute ceremony for close to $0 dollars and call it a day I certainly wouldn't expect them to come so far just for that.  This might be different for every bride.
  5. Our wedding brought family AND friends together.
The very best reason of all that I am glad we did this and one you can't necessarily put a price tag on is #5.  That weddings bring families together in a way in which under any other circumstances would probably not ever happen.  How many times in your life will you ever have a gathering (not counting funerals) like this that will bring both sides (let alone one side) of the family together all in one place? Probably never. Some families do have regular family reunions but most don't.  Who has time or money for it?  What other time will you spring for a party and invite your entire family and tons of friends to come?  Maybe NEVER! Most people can't justify spending even a couple thousand on a party-unless it's a wedding.  Maybe at some point you might have a 40th B Day bash or a retirement party blow out but even then no one goes to the extraordinary lengths to show up that they would for a wedding.  At the end of the day it was the people who were there sharing our marriage with us that made it all so special.  They became a part of our wedding experience and it was truly wonderful.

There is something so special and sacred about a wedding that makes it important enough that people will do what it takes and come from afar just they can just to be a part of it.   It's still not worth spending beyond your means but that alone is priceless and like our wedding a once in a lifetime occurrence.  I am so glad it's an experience that I did not have to miss out on.


Sara said...

Excellent feedback. I'm going to bookmark this page and return to it whenever I have a hard time justifying our gigantic bill. You're so right about bringing family and friends together, and it's not like we're going into debt over this (thank goodness).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the wedding isn't about the couple...it's about the gathering of friends and family FOR the couple. They're there to support you and your union...and you and your hubby have to feel good about how you'll entertain them while they're in your care.

Natalie said...

Number 4 is what sticks out to me, y'all didn't go into debt! When it comes to weddings do what you can afford. It is way too easy to see Platinum Weddings and get carried away!

Jhan said...

Hi. I am SO happy I stumbled upon your blog. I recently got engaged. I'm about to begin my last semester of grad school and my husband is already a professional. As I begin the preliminary planning (looking up venues, comparing prices, etc.) I've become a little discouraged. How am we going to pay for all this, especially since my mother is not quite on my side right now. This post inspired me to make ends meet somehow to have the dream day my beau and I will enjoy and not be in debt afterwards. Thank you so very kindly. :-)

jackie jade said...

yay love this! glad you sent me the link to this post... I agree that if we do have a wedding, I want to spend enough so that it is something I love, but be careful to not go overboard. love your reason #5 - I hadn't really thought about how it is a great way to get everyone together in one place! that is something we'll be thinking about more when we decide about our planning. thanks for sharing!
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