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Old PrincessChelle
 
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 01-29-03 , 02:59 AM


Hi everyone!

Hopefully this will be a fun topic for discussion... I'm not engaged or married, but have seen a lot of friends go through the process. I'm curious as to the costs involved in getting married: e-ring, wedding bands, the wedding, and honeymoon. As most of us don't have unlimited funds, I would imagine that there are many decisions to be made in terms of tradeoffs. For example, having a simpler wedding in favor of a month-long honeymoon (yes, one of my friends did this!) or going with a simulant e-ring and having more to spend on the wedding/honeymoon. I'm curious as to which direction most people go...

- Ballpark, how much did you spend on your e-ring, wedding and honeymoon?
- Was it tough to strike a good balance?
- What, to you, is the ideal balance of funds between the different items? Or how would you rank the importance of the three categories?

I'm not getting married anytime soon, but living in the Bay Area in CA, I know how expensive everything can be. I might change my mind on this, but I think that the rings are the most important since I'll be wearing them every day for the rest of my life. I would put the wedding and the honeymoon about the same and would be willing to go simpler on both in order to have more money go to the e-ring. My rationale is that the wedding is only one day and the honeymoon is only a couple of weeks.

It's tough, though, because if I could, I would love to go all out on all three!

Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this... (I may be biasing the results by posting my question on DT!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 01-29-03 , 08:13 AM


PC

I agree with you. Your ring is, hopefully, for a very long time while the wedding day and honeymoon are over very fast and memories tend to be a bit of a blur, years on, in my experience

I was married 26 years ago and, in my circle, very few spent huge amounts on ring, wedding party or honeymoon. The lack of pressure to do things up to some sort of standard, I realise now, was a very good thing.

We had a small family-oriented wedding, about 100 to the church and 60 to the lunch time reception, then 100 or so to the evening party. (An all day affair, as you can see). We paid for the church, flowers and dresses, while my parents paid for everything else. We did not bankrupt them in the process.

My ring was a quarter/third ct rb, set in 18ct gold and I loved it. Still do. It cost us £35, about a month's student income. It was the most we could afford then as we had just bought our first house and had to do it up and furnish it

Honeymoon was two weeks camping in the Lake District in Cumbria. We had the absolute best time and I have many, many hazy but happy memories.

Like much else in life, things and experiences, are what you make them.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 01-29-03 , 09:07 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by PrincessChelle
I might change my mind on this, but I think that the rings are the most important since I'll be wearing them every day for the rest of my life. I would put the wedding and the honeymoon about the same and would be willing to go simpler on both in order to have more money go to the e-ring. My rationale is that the wedding is only one day and the honeymoon is only a couple of weeks.


To put it into even further perspective-- the cost of our destination wedding/moon and rings is LESS than the "typical" DT'er ring purchase. (All told, we're spending $5,500.) We chose to do this because the wedding IS only one day. The rings would mean the same no matter how big or small the stones are-- they represent a lifetime commitment. We wanted to have our "saved" money go towards the MARRIAGE, which is intended to last a lifetime. For example, we want a house, and we want to start a family soon. Both things take $$, and are frankly more important to us than a diamond or a wedding or a honeymoon. :-) Plus, they're things that will add to the quality of our marriage. I don't see a large rock making the both of us happy in 3-5 years if we had to sacrifice the home/ kid for the rock.

I've seen people go into massive debt for a wedding/ honeymoon/ rings-- it makes no sense to me. I've also read that the major contributing factor in divorces is generally money/ financial, and I can believe it (money woes makes a person crazy)! Why start your marriage in any more debt than you have to? It just doesn't seem worth the risk.

--Heather

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 01-29-03 , 10:12 AM


I think that the rings are an important cost because you will be wearing them every day. HOWEVER, there is always the chance to buy new rings later. There is never a chance to have a better honeymoon. ("Second" honeymoons don't count because there's only one period of time that you get to be newlyweds.)

To me, the honeymoon is the most important cost. A wedding is only one day, and a lot of the money spent is on things that don't matter--monogrammed napkins, overpriced wedding hall, little favors for the guests, linen tablecloths, blah blah blah. For me, a beautiful gown and a nice honeymoon that you both can remember for the rest of your lives, are the more important costs there.

Rings, too, but as I said, they can be replaced later. Maybe for a romantic anniversary.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 01-29-03 , 10:14 AM


And I agree with Heller that going into debt for any of it is nuts.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 01-29-03 , 10:35 AM


When we got married, I think we spent about $1200 total. We only had wedding bands, we later bought an engagement ring. We had an actual wedding, sort of. The same day we got the license we decided to get married that day. So we looked in the phone book for someone to marry us. We went to some reverendís office and he did it for $40. We didn't even dress up we wore the clothes that we were wearing that day. We drove about 3 hours for our honeymoon, which was 2 nights in a hotel in Nags Head, North Carolina. It was really nice. We have talked about getting remarried (it will be 11 years in April), but I rather use the money for travel. We are probably going to go to Las Vegas this summer or fall. If we do, I want to go to one of those wedding chapels and get an Elvis impersonator to perform the ceremony. Maybe Marilyn Monroe will be my maid of honor.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 01-29-03 , 10:35 AM


Lucy

Ah, but does a wonderful honeymoon have to = expensive trip?

It certainly didn't for me


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 01-29-03 , 10:37 AM


It's such a hard thing to decide on because it's really up to each person. In my case,

The ring around $6,500
The wedding around $45,000 - $50,000
The honeymoon around $7,000

The reason the wedding is so expensive is because of so many guests we have coming. We have about 310 people coming, and it's a dual tradition wedding, so two ceremonies to perform and alot of traditions that go along with it.

The honeymoon, we're set on an all inclusive in Hawaii. We want to live it up because who knows when we'll have another chance.

Some will say this is overkill, including myself, but my parents are willing to spring for most of it, and also, when will I ever do this again? I figure, what the hey, why not? I do agree with the other posters, if it was going to cause me to go into debt, I wouldn't do it. It's not worth it!!!

In case you're interested, in the US, the average wedding costs about $19,000 and the average ring costs $1,800. The funny thing? Of that average $19,000, the wedding dress accounts for $1,300. About $800 for the dress and $500 for accessories (petticoat, jewelry, shoes, vale, etc).

Keep in mind, you have the rest of your lives ahead of you. If my financial situation would not allow me to comfortably to this, then i would not. To me, being able to have that beautiful house and car much sooner is more important than having more extravagent centerpieces at my wedding. It's something no one will remember once they walk out of the wedding hall. However, a house, etc is something we can share and enjoy everyday.

While there may not be bigger events in your life than GETTING MARRIED, there are much bigger events in your life than A WEDDING.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 01-29-03 , 10:39 AM


All three can spin out of control. No sense going into debt over any of. As I have said to brides before - be creative. It's not how much money you spend - it's how wise you spend it.

We knew we wanted to go to Nantucket for our honeymoon. Initially, we looked at one of the old fancy hotels. Someone told us about the Nantucket accomodations which lists several houses/apartments for rent. We chose one & had a blast cooking lobster & blue fish which we caught on a fishing outing. The hotel would have been twice the amount; and, we would have missed out on the fun of cooking our own Nantucket delicacies.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 01-29-03 , 10:42 AM


Nicky

Some friends of ours got married shortly after us and it was a very strange 'do'. They got married in a registry office and only had about 6 friends there, no family at all. The bride and I, made pizza for the wedding breakfast and then we all went into a nearby graveyard to take snapshots of everyone! I went out and bought her a bunch of roses that morning, so she would have a wedding bouquet. They didn't even bother with any rings for either of them, but none of that seemed to matter, they were just so happy.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 01-29-03 , 10:47 AM


Bagpuss,

I've noticed that those are the marriages that seem to last the longest!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 01-29-03 , 10:51 AM


Nicky!!! That's the second wedding I want! It's our 10 year anniv. this summer and I'm trying to plan a trip to Vegas in the summer/fall with an Elvis "wedding". We got engaged on a trip to Graceland, so I was trying to keep the Elvis theme going!

We got married right before our last year of law school. My engagement ring was a surprise, a 2/3 ct. mall RB (for about $1600), but I *loved* it. I think we spent about $5-6K on the wedding and my dad paid for all the food at the reception for 100 guests. Definitely not a big, fancy wedding, but nice. We did not take a honeymoon at all because we had to go back to school the following Monday! It was the only weekend of the summer that my father was free, and that was far more important to me than a honeymoon. However, I really wished we could have had a trip to look back on. We now have small children and trips without Disney in the title are really hard to come by (but those are fun, too).

Now, it's been 10 years. Money is different (more of it) but time is so scarce (3 kids and my husband's job).

I came here looking for a 10 year anniv. ring/wedding set upgrade. That is now purchased and I'm waiting for the final product (2.09 RB in a Vatche X-Prong Pave). And, like I said, I think we'll take the Vegas trip this fall.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 01-29-03 , 11:02 AM


Midfiman

Don't get me wrong - if a couple (or their in-laws!) have the cash and desire to have the big day and fancy honeymoon and expensive e-ring, then good luck to them. It's not a sin to spend money on any of these things, nor will it mean that the marriage is 'doomed', it's just that most people have to choose priorities because their finances are finite. All I was saying was that given the need to prioritise, I'd put a good ring top of the list but I'd still try to balance my available cash fairly equally between all three areas - ring, wedding day and honeymoon.

In the end only the couple involved can decide what their priorities are - some will have dreamed about a big wedding party, others a dream honeymoon, but if someone has found their way to DT, then they are likely to more interested in a gorgeous rock than anything else


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 01-29-03 , 11:16 AM


PrincessChelle,

Striking a balance is a very subjective. It really depends on the couple.

Personally, my husband and I decided not to have a wedding or honeymoon. Given our personalities (and the circumstances) at the time, it was a good decision for us.

However, I did insist on nice rings because that was very important to me. I loved diamond rings ever since childhood, and had always looked forward to the most meaningful diamond ring of all. Also, given the decisions we made, the rings would have been the only symbols of our marriage, so I was rather adamant about having them (and nice ones, at that).

To answer your each of your questions based on what we did:

- I don't know how much hubbie spent on the rings. My rings are designer, so probably a good amount.
- No, it was not hard to strike a balance for us. We were a little anxious by our decision, but we knew it was what we wanted.
- The order (and only item of importance): Nice rings ^_^

I hope my input helps!


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 01-29-03 , 11:24 AM


See, I told you the folk on DT would put a gorgeous diamond first on their list. Em made it the only item on her list


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 01-29-03 , 11:27 AM


Bagpuss,

I think you misunderstood me. You told a story about friends of yours that had a simple wedding/pizza party, etc. I was just stating that I've noticed that people that get married in that fashion (not too glitzy,etc) seem to have the marriages that last the longest!

It's something to admire, and something to learn from!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 01-29-03 , 11:57 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss
Don't get me wrong - if a couple (or their in-laws!) have the cash and desire to have the big day and fancy honeymoon and expensive e-ring, then good luck to them.


True enough, Bagpuss. And your wedding/honeymoon sounds lovely.

I wish we could have a "smaller" wedding, with only about 200 people. But now it looks like we'll have a big circus of a traditional Hindu wedding and reception here (with probably about 500 people), then we'll likely have to FLY TO INDIA


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 01-29-03 , 12:02 PM


Whoops, I got cut off.

As I was saying, after the big wedding here, we'll have to go to India and have another big reception there, and THEN go to England and have a reception there. So our "honeymoon" may just be flying around the world! Hopefully we can take a few weeks in France or a week in Hong Kong or something along the way.

I shudder to think of how much all this will cost. My ring is going to end up costing about US$3500, which is fine with me. And my in-laws will probably shoulder most of the cost of the wedding(s).

But we're kind of dreading this whole process right now... I would like something simpler, but we're committed to this through our families, and Dr.Zaius would like a big wedding as well.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 01-29-03 , 12:41 PM




Guess what I've been researching: My Wedding Budget. I can tell you where we are so far.


The Rings
I thought we had more resources for them, but we don't right now. Because we didn't have a lot of money to spend on them at this moment, I ended up turning to eBay. I bought a very very lovely .55 Marquise (H/I VS2), plump, minimal bowtie, for $600. I also purchased a 14K white gold semi mount and matching band that have inlaid .02 princess cut diamonds along the top of each for a total of .35ctw. Those are SI1's, G-H color. I paid $265 for the set. Also gotten off of eBay.

Then if we tack on a new prong head and sizing the rings up 1 ring size, maybe we're looking at a total of $1,100-$1,200 (or less <-- likes to plan for more so I don't get caught not having enough) for both of my rings. And he just wants a simple 14K white gold band, which I can also get off of eBay for $85 plus shipping.

Total for all three rings: Under $1,500

The Wedding
We're already saving on Chapel fees and Reception Hall fees (which I think is the most expensive part of it all), because we're holding our Ceremony on the beach of the lake we just bought land down the street from, and our reception is going to be in the park, which is so utterly beautiful. They've got Pavillions with electricity, really nice bathrooms, and lots of stuff (big toys) for the kids to play on so they won't be bored! The township just spent $650,000 redoing the park, so we're definately gonna take advantage of the result of all the hard work. Lots and lots and LOTS of beautiful places for pictures.

* edited to add: The cost of "renting" the park for the day? $40! The Pavillion fits 60, and we've got 50 or so guests.

My dad has a buddy who later in life ended up being a minister, so we're going to ask him to marry us. Last time I recall paying maybe $300-$400 to the church for their services (I'm a second time bride), so we'll give this guy probably around that.

Aaron has a few friends he's gonna ask some favors from. One is a blues and jazz musician (who once had a recording contract with Virgin records but broke it off with them to start his own record company), and he's planning on asking him to do the music. Not sure yet if he would charge us for it, Aaron seems to think not.

He also knows a really great chef. We wanna talk to that guy about cooking all the food for us so we can pick our own menu, and have really great food for a lot less than some reception halls would charge you per head.

I've already got the wedding favors. I have an overabundance of my faerie pins, and I figured since they were something that I designed and would go along with the theme of the wedding, that I would get little organsa bags and drop a pin into each. I also got a friend who is picking up these cute little clear plastic tubes filled with gourmet bird seed so those will be grouped together with the pins/bags. The seed tubes are darling, and come with a decorative ribbon top with a single ribbon flower. And they're made to fit your wedding colors, so they'll be perfect. I'll also make nicely printed little tags with Mine and Aaron's name, the date, and the event. Those'll go on the bags too.

Table cloths are no biggie. I'll just get some plain white ones at a discount store. I plan on making my own centerpieces out of glass bowls that I'm gonna modify so that candles will sit on top of them, they'll be decorated with ivy, and there will be water with two fish inside the actual bowl part. Not sure yet if I'm gonna do goldfish or Blue Gill (if I can find baby blue gill - so we can just release them right into the lake).

We may end up renting dishes. Heck, I would do paper plates, but people might say something then.

I wanna decorate the pavillion with white christmas lights, which I totally plan on getting at the After Christmas Sales this year!! And maybe some white tulle. Much cheaper than strands of ivy.

My dress is right on BrideSave for under $400, so maybe $600-$800 when I get the bra, the crioline and all the rest of that jazz. I'm doing my own make-up. I may have someone do my hair. His Tux will cost prolly $100-$200, unless I can talk him into buying a really nice suit that he can keep instead of renting a tux for that amount of money.

My Daughter's gown will cost me $35-$50 on eBay. (I already bought one for $35, but she's gonna be too big for it by the time the wedding rolls around!)

My brother has a degree in Photography, so I'm talking to him about doing our Photohgraphs. He actually took some photos at my last wedding, and I ended up liking a lot of his shots better than the hired photographers.

We've got a video camera that I'm gonna teach someone to use well in advance so they can film the wedding. Or I may just have my local public access station bring out the big equipment and shoot with a bunch of different cameras so we can get all the good facial angles. (And then I get to edit it all together, whee!)


So.. now that I've rambled on endlessly about that...

Total for the Wedding & Reception: Ballpark Estimate thus far of $4,000-$5,000

The Honeymoon
As much as I would love to go to Tahiti, it just isn't in our budget. The airline tickets alone were around $2,500 a piece.

I've been looking on Expedia.com and Travelocity.com for trips to Hawaii. There are some REALLY good deals there, and I have always wanted to go to Hawaii (a dream since I was a very little kid). Both of us can go, round trip, with 7 nights in an awesom hotel (which I don't even care about because I plan on spending time OUTSIDE!!) for under $2,000. If we include spending money? Maybe $3,500-$4,000.

Total for the Honeymoon: Ballpark Estimate thus far of $2,000-$2,500 prior to spending money

Last edited by Cassandra : 01-29-03 at 12:47 PM.
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Great Question....
Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 01-29-03 , 01:30 PM


I live in San Francisco and got married in the Napa Valley 6 years ago. I think getting married, being pregnant and having children is the biggest racket out there. It's incredible how much pressure society puts on us to have the perfect wedding. I was the first one in my family to get married so my parents didn't really know what to expect, I guess they just wanted to make sure that I was happy.

A wedding is just one day; the rings will last forever and will remind you of that day for the rest of your life. If I had to rank them in order of importance it would be my rings, the wedding and then the honeymoon.

My parents paid for my wedding roughly $25,000.00

My parents also paid for our honeymoon, but my inlaws gave us a big check for spending money $12,000.00

My wedding set (with one upgrade) $35,000.00, my husbands platinum band $500.00

I hope when your time comes PrincessChelle to plan your wedding it is exactly what you always dreamed about.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 01-29-03 , 01:35 PM


"My wedding set (with one upgrade) $35,000.00, my husbands platinum band $500.00"

Woman's Wedding Dress - $500-$10,000
Man's Tuxedo - $70 - $300 (rental?)


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 01-29-03 , 02:10 PM


my e-ring under $4K

My wedding I will barely spend anything on (why? it is only one day of my life and I will wear my e-ring til the day I die).

Side note about weddings and receptions. If you don't feed them dinner and/or keep it small (remember it is 2xs the people you invite - as it says and guest) THis will save a lot of money. Feeding people is $20-40+ per person.

Honeymoon... I have not chosen yet. It would probably be avg or low. Though I still hope to have a nice one. It is hard cos we run our own company so that alone may mean it has to just be a long weekend

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 01-29-03 , 02:37 PM


We spent about $8000 on all 3 rings
$10,000 on wedding and reception (150 people, lunch reception)
$1000 on a 2 night honeymoon to the next town!

I think my husband I are practical, we also believe that rings are most important. Wedding is only one day, but we wanted close family and friends there, so we had a small wedding with a nice sitdown lunch for only 10K and the honeymoon was unplanned because MIL passed away right before the wedding, and we weren't going to go on any long trips because she was very sick. We decided to drive to San Diego for 2 nights after the wedding, so we only spent $1000. Most of it was shopping money! I think everyone has their perception of what's most important so to each their own!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 01-29-03 , 02:40 PM


Quote:
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And it starts. The oppressed society that a man lives in! [/B]


Oh brother!

No sympathy from me.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 01-29-03 , 02:42 PM


Midfi

I quite understood your post and I wasn't disagreeing with you or having a go at you, I just didn't want anyone to think that I was totally against big weddings. I think that a small or even odd-ball wedding can be great and that a big elegant bash can also be great too. What makes a wedding a success or not is whether or not the couple are happy with it.

Someone who has always dreamed of a big wedding would most likely be disappointed with a modest affair while someone who really wants a low key ceremony and gets the whole circus, is likely to hate it.

Both kinds of wedding have their place and the couple should go with what they want, as long as they've got the dough, of course


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