Monday, May 18, 2009

Crunching the Numbers

Ryan and I are wealthy people.

We have roofs over our heads and more food than we could ever eat. We have closets full of clothes and families and friends who love us. We have 3 bachelor's degrees and one master's degree between the two of us. So while I consider us enormously rich, we are not able to spend the national average on a wedding (which is $25,000, FYI).

Even if we had millions of dollars to burn, we're not the kind of people to spend $200,000 on a wedding. I think it's excessive.

So we are trying to go about our wedding by spending as little as possible.

This, as it turns out, is not nearly as simple as I thought it would be.

In every "How to Save Money on your Wedding" article I have ever read, the first thing they tell you to do is to cut your guest list.

Ryan and I both come from exceptionally large families. My mom and my dad both had 6 brothers and sisters - and that's just my side of the family. Ryan's family is even bigger than mine, and they are very close knit. So there is no way we can cut our guest list. What are we going to do, start cutting cousins? Not happening. As of right now, we're looking at a guest count of 350.
We're trying to spend money on the things that are important to us. For him, this means having his whole family there. For me, it's a killer dress and great photography (that sounds like I don't care about my family. My extended family is very spread out and we don't really keep in touch. My immediate family and a few close friends mean the world to me, and of course it matters to me that they be there). The other stuff can take a back seat. This means that I will not have huge floral centerpieces with my favorite blossoms, or favors for our guests, or give my bridesmaid's Tiffany necklaces, or have a videographer.

But that's ok. I'm marrying a wonderful man, and that's all that really matters. The rest is just extra.

Reception-wise, I can't see us being able to spend much more than $20/head for everything. With 300 guests, that is $6,000! To me, that is an astronomical sum to spend on a meal. I've been quoted prices as high as $70/head, and that isn't feasible for Ryan and I.

How are you dealing with your wedding costs?

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