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  #1  
Old Sep 11, '10, 2:49 pm
Magickman Magickman is offline
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Default the Un-Wedding

We had a recent discussion here, about the high cost of weddings. That set me to thinking, and I did some research on the Internet.

Simple, inexpensive, non-traditional weddings are sometimes called
un-weddings or anti-weddings. They are becoming more popular, though still a minority taste.

These are not rejections of sacramental marriage, but rather represent the choice of non-commercial simplicity, over the excesses of the wedding-industrial complex.

Expensive clothing is not required, nor a large wedding party. Receptions can be small, and at home, or in the yard. High priced invitations, caterers, florists, photographers, and musicians aren't necessary. These things are not central to a good marriage.

The resources that could be expended on a big wedding, might better be used for a down payment on a home, to furnish the first apartment, or to purchase a decent automobile.

Marriage is a lifetime partnership, while a wedding is a one day party.
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  #2  
Old Sep 11, '10, 3:09 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

I totally agree. A big wedding with all the flourishes really isn't necessary. My dh and I had things as simple as possible. My dress and veil was made by my mother's friend (we paid her, of course, but spent far less than in a bridal shop). The same with the cake. My dh wore a good suit as did the one groomsman. My bridesmaid wore a dress she'd worn in a friend's wedding, which fit the time of year and my tastes perfectly. Family and friends took pictures and we had the reception in the parish hall with friends and family making the simple fare--our wedding was at 7:30 PM, so no dinner, more like high tea. We only paid a florist because no one we knew could make corsages and the other flower arrangements, but even here we didn't go overboard, but kept it simple. We invited close family and friends and any members of our small parish who wished to attend (this last by general invitation--only family and friends got a written invitation). It was very nice and filled with lovely memories with half the hassle and bother of a big "production". I don't wish to deprive those who make their living from weddings an income, but really, these massive efforts these days really aren't necessary. Better to spend money on more permanent things and let the sacrament be the center of attention instead of trying to impress people, I say.
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  #3  
Old Sep 11, '10, 4:09 pm
SaintSerafina SaintSerafina is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

This is what my fiance and I want to do. We're planning to start around 7:30 or 8 pm and have a "cake and champagne" reception at home.

We are on a really tight budget and this way we'll just enjoy our friends and family without having to spend excessive money.
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  #4  
Old Sep 11, '10, 5:20 pm
KCT KCT is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Our daughter was married 2 years ago. She got her dress on e-bay, had one basket of flowers on the altar, and silk flowers that we ordered on-line.

The majority of the $$ went towards the reception, which was a buffet dinner at the K of C hall. They had an in house cook who did a great job.

We wanted the reception to be a really fun celebration and it was. Everyone had a good time and many stayed until the end.

We attended a wedding in the Hamptons over the summer. Honestly, I was expecting something over the top. The bride wore a simple dress, the groom a nice suit and the groomsmen wore khaki pants, blue blazers and matching ties. They looked fantastic!

There are SO many ways to have a nice wedding w/o breaking the bank.
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  #5  
Old Sep 11, '10, 5:22 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magickman View Post
We had a recent discussion here, about the high cost of weddings. That set me to thinking, and I did some research on the Internet.

Simple, inexpensive, non-traditional weddings are sometimes called
un-weddings or anti-weddings. They are becoming more popular, though still a minority taste.

These are not rejections of sacramental marriage, but rather represent the choice of non-commercial simplicity, over the excesses of the wedding-industrial complex.

Expensive clothing is not required, nor a large wedding party. Receptions can be small, and at home, or in the yard. High priced invitations, caterers, florists, photographers, and musicians aren't necessary. These things are not central to a good marriage.

The resources that could be expended on a big wedding, might better be used for a down payment on a home, to furnish the first apartment, or to purchase a decent automobile.

Marriage is a lifetime partnership, while a wedding is a one day party.
newsflash
this actually represents the way many if not most people get married, bridezilla extravaganzas are largely a media creation.
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  #6  
Old Sep 11, '10, 6:44 pm
Magickman Magickman is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

While there is great variation in wedding costs, supposedly the average in the U.S. is about $28,000.

Some weddings cost much more, and others much less.

To me, $28,000 is a large chunk of change.

If I were to marry, I would like the expense to be a small fraction of that amount.
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  #7  
Old Sep 12, '10, 8:16 am
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Our wedding and week long honeymoon in Costa Rica only came to about 15K with most of it being about half and half. The wedding was in Florida where we lived and while simple most of the bridal party was not from the area so we did pay for the ones that could not afford to travel to do so. We also paid for their dresses. My dress was expensive but I am now in the process of selling it back to a shop in Boston so hey
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  #8  
Old Sep 12, '10, 9:35 am
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Kit15 Kit15 is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

"Un-weddings" are all and well and good....

But I admit I really don't like it when people flaunt it in other people's faces as if it gives them some sort of moral superiority. It's the mirrored image of those who brag about their large, extravagant weddings.

As long as you enter marriage in the proper frame of mind and you had a fantastic time, I don't care how much you spent on your wedding. It's none of my business.
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  #9  
Old Sep 12, '10, 2:03 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit15 View Post
"Un-weddings" are all and well and good....

But I admit I really don't like it when people flaunt it in other people's faces as if it gives them some sort of moral superiority. It's the mirrored image of those who brag about their large, extravagant weddings.

As long as you enter marriage in the proper frame of mind and you had a fantastic time, I don't care how much you spent on your wedding. It's none of my business.
People who can afford a large, expensive wedding are welcome to them. After all, those who make their living putting on weddings have to eat too. What we're talking about is people wasting money on weddings they really can't afford but think they need to put on a big show to impress family and friends. Family and real friends don't need impressing. So, those who need money for a start up house and other necessities shouldn't be bullied into spending a huge wad when they don't have it or really should spend it on more practical things. No bride should have to pretend she's some kind of princess in order to simply recite vows. It's the sacrament that should be the center of attention, not the money spent on dresses, flowers, food, a band, etc.
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The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. -- Pope Benedict XVI

Tiber Swim Team, Class of '87.

Inklings!

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  #10  
Old Sep 12, '10, 3:12 pm
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MissMichal MissMichal is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit15 View Post
As long as you enter marriage in the proper frame of mind and you had a fantastic time, I don't care how much you spent on your wedding. It's none of my business.
This is a good point. That said, I truly hate to see a couple or their families get into a huge pile of debt for a party.

I just got engaged a week ago and we're planning in doing the "un-wedding" thing. We will both wear suits, and we'll have something along the lines of a backyard BBQ afterward. And believe you me, my fiance can definitely get behind chicken and steaks on the grill! He has way more interest in that than in strawberry-rimmed champagne glasses and ice sculptures.

Here's what I think is the wrong frame of mind: That it's just your day, or even the couple's, to be a princess for a day and have everything you want. A marriage is a major event in the life of two families and of the Body of Christ, and a vanity pageant is out of place no matter how much or how little is spent on it.
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  #11  
Old Sep 12, '10, 3:17 pm
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Miserys_Fence Miserys_Fence is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMichal View Post
Here's what I think is the wrong frame of mind: That it's just your day, or even the couple's, to be a princess for a day and have everything you want. A marriage is a major event in the life of two families and of the Body of Christ, and a vanity pageant is out of place no matter how much or how little is spent on it.
Amen!!

And congrats on your engagement!


Miz
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  #12  
Old Sep 12, '10, 5:27 pm
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit15 View Post
"Un-weddings" are all and well and good....

But I admit I really don't like it when people flaunt it in other people's faces as if it gives them some sort of moral superiority. It's the mirrored image of those who brag about their large, extravagant weddings.

As long as you enter marriage in the proper frame of mind and you had a fantastic time, I don't care how much you spent on your wedding. It's none of my business.
I agree. I don't like the boosting or flaunting of how little or how much money one spent on their wedding. Pride is found in both directions.
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  #13  
Old Sep 13, '10, 5:01 am
CoffeeHound CoffeeHound is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

I think it's a nice idea in theory, but practically, it's not that easy. The majority of cost at any wedding is food. Where I live, for 100 people, you're not getting away with anything less than $10,000 for a meal (and that's nothing fancy, just salad, baked chicken, and cake). And that's not a $100 meal, that's after food tax, sales tax, service fees, and including non-alcoholic drinks. So really the only way to have a "cheap wedding" is to eliminate the food cost.

How can you do that? Either go with an hors d' oeuvres wedding, a potluck wedding, or a wedding with no food at all. And those are fine if everyone is local to your wedding. But these days, it's more common to have groom's family in one city, the bride's family in another city, and the wedding in a third city (where the couple lives). In that case, you're just being (for lack of a better phrase) a poor host if you don't feed guests flying hundreds or thousands of miles that have never been to that city before (and normally you feed them two dinners).

Then add in parishes that charge between $1000 and $2000 for a wedding these days, and it's really hard to have a cheap wedding. "You could always have the wedding during a regular Mass for free". I guess. But now I'm going to ask my grandparents to fly 2000 miles to sit in the back of a standing-room-only church then afterwords go find a Subway or McDonald's for dinner. "You could always not invite those people". You're right. I could elope.

Edit: and someone mentioned a backyard reception - often times those are more expensive than weddings at reception halls. If you don't have enough plates, silverware, chairs, etc. you need to rent those and they aren't cheap. 100 chairs around here will cost you about $1000 (remember to price them with pads, usually they quote you just the bare-bone chairs). Then there's the cost of a tent in case it rains (which runs between $1000 and $4000 here, depending on the time of year and if you need / want air conditioning - and you can't just book it the day-of in case it rains, you have to book a tent months in advance or you're not getting it).

The cheapest receptions are restaurant receptions with the guest list 50 and under. But even then, after church fees, dress, food, etc. you'll be lucky to walk out at a cost under $7500.
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  #14  
Old Sep 13, '10, 5:26 am
HouseArrest HouseArrest is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeHound View Post
I think it's a nice idea in theory, but practically, it's not that easy. The majority of cost at any wedding is food. Where I live, for 100 people, you're not getting away with anything less than $10,000 for a meal (and that's nothing fancy, just salad, baked chicken, and cake). And that's not a $100 meal, that's after food tax, sales tax, service fees, and including non-alcoholic drinks. So really the only way to have a "cheap wedding" is to eliminate the food cost.

How can you do that? Either go with an hors d' oeuvres wedding, a potluck wedding, or a wedding with no food at all. And those are fine if everyone is local to your wedding. But these days, it's more common to have groom's family in one city, the bride's family in another city, and the wedding in a third city (where the couple lives). In that case, you're just being (for lack of a better phrase) a poor host if you don't feed guests flying hundreds or thousands of miles that have never been to that city before (and normally you feed them two dinners).

Then add in parishes that charge between $1000 and $2000 for a wedding these days, and it's really hard to have a cheap wedding. "You could always have the wedding during a regular Mass for free". I guess. But now I'm going to ask my grandparents to fly 2000 miles to sit in the back of a standing-room-only church then afterwords go find a Subway or McDonald's for dinner. "You could always not invite those people". You're right. I could elope.

Edit: and someone mentioned a backyard reception - often times those are more expensive than weddings at reception halls. If you don't have enough plates, silverware, chairs, etc. you need to rent those and they aren't cheap. 100 chairs around here will cost you about $1000 (remember to price them with pads, usually they quote you just the bare-bone chairs). Then there's the cost of a tent in case it rains (which runs between $1000 and $4000 here, depending on the time of year and if you need / want air conditioning - and you can't just book it the day-of in case it rains, you have to book a tent months in advance or you're not getting it).

The cheapest receptions are restaurant receptions with the guest list 50 and under. But even then, after church fees, dress, food, etc. you'll be lucky to walk out at a cost under $7500.
I agree with you 100%. A big portion of the cost of weddings that I have attended are incurred in accomodating guests, not trying to placate a snarky bride. Those of us with large families (my Dad has 11 brothers and sisters, and yes I am close to all of them) and a lot of friends want those special people in our lives to share our big day.

I can always put a down payment on a house a few years down the road. I can pay off my student loans one month at a time. But I cannot go back and invite Aunt Jean to my wedding after I cut her off the guest list the first time.
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  #15  
Old Sep 13, '10, 5:34 am
CoffeeHound CoffeeHound is offline
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Default Re: the Un-Wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeHound View Post
The cheapest receptions are restaurant receptions with the guest list 50 and under. But even then, after church fees, dress, food, etc. you'll be lucky to walk out at a cost under $7500.
Please let me clarify this: I'm not saying that if your wedding is under $7500 that you're a bad host. There are some cases where you can throw perfectly acceptable and lovely weddings under that price (undoubtedly 5 or 6 people will post their specific situation to "prove me wrong"). However, for every case where that's acceptable, there are probably 2 or 3 cases where it's not.

Most $30,000 weddings that I've dealt with weren't $30,000 because "princess" walked in with daddy's credit card and ordered carved ice sculptures. These days most couples pay for much of, if not all of, their wedding. What usually happens is that the bride and groom budget $15,000 then get pushed higher and higher by vendors until they hit $30,000. It's things like planning to spend $250 to rent the church when it actually costs $2500. "If you're going to spend $30,000 on a reception, why complain about $2500 for the most important part?" Because that's the mantra that all vendors have and that's why prices keep going up and up.
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