Monday, February 21, 2011

City weddings ain't cheap

After several months of thinking evil thoughts about those happy couples whose parents pay for a $20,000+ wedding or who have the money themselves to fund such an event, I've become one.  Just a few days ago, I was trying figure out how much H and I could save between now and October for a wedding.  And then I was thinking that if we saved that much money we should not throw a wedding and use it for something we really need (like fixing the duct work in the Haus or new insulation or painting or refinishing the stairs or renovating the bathroom or fixing the roof).  I was honestly starting to talk myself into selling my wedding dress and forgetting the whole damn thing.  It was disappointing to think about missing out on the wedding love fest for monetary reasons but I also couldn't reconcile our financial future with a one-day party.  I don't know if that swayed my parents at all, but I hope so because I learned from them.

Having my parents foot the majority of the bill doesn't make the huge cost of a New Orleans wedding any less, nor did I ever feel entitled to such a wedding.  It's what I want but we all know you can't always get what you want so you better learn to like what you've got.  So I feel really lucky right now. 

Let's be clear that my parents are not just going to open the check book and give me whatever I want.  That's cool.  This is fine.  It was stressful not to have any sort of direction but now that I can see what they are willing to do, the rest is chump change in comparison.  H and I (mostly H because I'm still a broke-ass) will probably still cover photography, invitations, and cake (which H's sister may bake...?).  The venue, booze, and catering appear to be on the 'rents' tab because it's all wrapped up in one vendor.  I suspect (based on my dad being a NOLA music fiend) that they will also be willing to cover a band but we'll get there when we get there.  I don't want flowers so I don't need a florist (and besides that, my mother and her her garden club already have been making plans without me).  The venue needs little to no decoration and whatever we do can be done over time and DIY.  The dress is already done.  We have a lot of favors that we can call in and a lot of friends who have already offered.  Our personal expenses can be kept reasonable and I will not worry about choosing between our wedding and a home repair (90-year-old houses constantly need repairs).  So the budget negotiations are still on and I don't think any of us are interested in spending money on extraneous stuff.

Let's be realistic, people: in the city $20,000 is a "budget" wedding even though the number looks enormous to me who's barely making much more than that in a year right now.  A year ago $20,000 seemed outrageous.  In some ways it still is.  But it's not much to work with if you want to have even a small wedding (and in New Orleans, 100 people is small).  Just suck it up and accept it.  And yes, I have to have at least 100 people because we have that much close family and good friends and I couldn't live with the guilt of not inviting some of them.  It's all or nothing.  I am thankful that I get a wedding under the circumstances.  But after all the research I did, I am no longer under the illusion that I can make a wedding happen for less.  Some people can, maybe, but that's not me.  It sucks but it's reality.

On a side note, I think that this weekend was the first time that I actually felt engaged for real.  Not just playing but really engaged with a wedding at the end.

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