How to Pay for a Wedding

Hey, somebody got an iPod nano to give to a guy who might, say, write about how awesome it is? How about a nice pair of jeans, 32 length and (a forgiving) 34 waist?

I keep reading about bloggers willing to take free stuff in exchange for dumping their integrity. If any viral marketers (or whatever) are out there reading and interested, I feel like I’m about to cave. The financial demands of putting on a wedding have left me and my fiancée redefining things like magazine subscriptions and even repairing the microwave as luxuries.

Last week we forked over the massive event venue fee. (Plus damage deposit because it’s totally reasonable to expect someone to pay a damage deposit eight months before the event. There’s no telling what we might inadvertently break via telekinesis in the meantime.)

Handing over that cheque meant locking down our date: the last Friday of June 2010, one year and one day after I proposed. Instead of putting this thing on cruise control, this past week has seen crises of a financial nature prompting us to second-guess the whole plan. I won’t get into every detail, but let’s there had been crying. There’s no me versus her on this. We’re broke and frustrated but at least we’re united.

Let’s lay everything out on the table, shall we? This blog was meant to be helpful to the prospective grooms among the Daily XY readership, so I’ll try to explain what you might be in for in paying for even a modest wedding.

My dad is paying for the liquid refreshments and my mother and stepfather for the flowers and associated décor, while my future in-laws have sent us a generous dollop of cash. Right now we remain many thousands of dollars shy of being able to feed and entertain 100 guests.

I could have pressed for more, but well, do you remember the first time you passed a bar with a lineup and thought, No, never again will I line up to get into a club, for today I have discovered my dignity ? That’s how I feel now about asking my parents for money. They probably think it took long enough.

Left mostly to our own resources, my fiancée and I cooked up a plan that revolves around feeding our guests as little as possible by calling it a cocktail reception. I am a print journalist (whose company almost went out of business last week) and my fiancée works on the administration side of a theatre company. So people will understand, I think. I told my guy friends recently, Don’t show up at my wedding hungry, and I meant it.

Actually, we’ll be lucky if there’s food at all: Today we got rejected by a caterer for having too small an hors d’oeuvre budget at $40 a person. Rejected! They can’t make it work, and have brushed us off.

If there’s a catering company that would like to have a positive mention (or pos-men) in this space, do get in touch. I stand ready to swap my integrity for platters of mini-burgers.

Image courtesy of trumanlo on Flickr.


1 thought on “How to Pay for a Wedding”

  1. Weddings that you cannot afford to host! Not a new situation. Years ago if a groom and bride found themselves in this situation, then what they did was a) elope, b) be married quietly in the minister’s study with family present, enjoy a dinner out, and then later announce the wedding, or c) have a very small morning wedding (the most common time them) and a light lunch after with sandwiches and cake (tea sandwiches they were called). In other words they made the wedding suit their budget. Not a bad idea these recession days. What I think is happening now is that brides and grooms see in each wedding guest a wedding present. The more guests the most gifts. But the problem is this: after shelling out two hundred dollars for a gift, most guests seem to want a fairly pricey dinner in return. Quid pro quo. So reevaluate what is truly happening here. If you cannot afford to feed 100 guests, feed 20. The others will understand when it is explained to them that you just wanted a very intimate morning/afternoon/evening wedding. If you want 100 guests, then go into debt to feed them well, so they do not walk away laughing that you served burgers and Kraft Dinner. You’ll be remembered for that meal perhaps longer than your marriage might last.

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