Monday, October 27, 2014

What's an Affordable Wedding?

Alright, I decided to crawl out from under my protective shield of a bed and face the wedding reality: they cost $$$. Besides, with our (tentative!) date less than a year away it's about time to get on it if I want to avoid a bridezilla episode(ssssss).

I recently read an article in the local paper that said Honolulu weddings are among Hawaii's most affordable, averaging $52,190. (Yeah, I supersized that number to let it sink in) Sweet mother of--- what the friggin fresh hell is this????? Here I thought the national average was around $30K and thought Okay, let's increase that by 5% to account for Hawaii's markups and we should be on point. Apparently not. I guess Hawaii's markup is more like 70%. So if you're planning on a destination wedding out here with the full reception and everything, be sure you have some serious dollars saved up on top of the plane ticket and hotel. Just a tip.

The article goes on to say that couples here spend an average of 72.19% of their household income on a wedding. I don't know about you, but I really don't think one day of fancy ruffles is worth 1 1/2 years of mortgage payments. I'd rather keep my house than have a dream normal wedding and be homeless. But! -because there's always a silver lining- if you're looking for a career prospect, I propose moving to Hawaii and becoming a part of the wedding industry because you'll get to take all of our hard-earned money. 72.19% to be exact. What madness. As if the lovely cost of living wasn't already kicking me in the yet-to-be-steel buns. $4.29 for a gallon of gas is not cheap, folks.
In reality I'll be driving up in my own car. It'll also run out of gas on the way to the reception because I didn't have enough money left to fill up the tank.
I'm normally pretty frugal but I still wanted to have a small and practical wedding, nothing fancy. But after reading that article I thought about going the cheapest route and just heading to the courthouse. Then we considered eloping because oddly, both our parents are cool with it. Kudos for awesome understanding parents. Vegas weddings, ftw! That will be our fallback plan.
For now I'm trying to see how many corners we can cut and still have a wedding where our friends won't leave thinking, "What the heck was that?" So far we've narrowed the potential guest list and nixed the hotel reception - seriously, who can afford to pay $70/head?? I have a growing list of other ways to trim wedding costs because in the end, all that really matters is that everyone has fun, right? Who's going to remember what kind of flowers were decking the tables or how many tiers the cake had?
This cake will not be at my wedding. What is that, 500 layers?
It helps that we recently won a lucky drawing at a wedding expo for a free in-studio engagement photo shoot with a local photographer. We've browsed his portfolio before and were impressed with what we saw. C is starting to stress out and insists that he needs to lose some weight for the engagement shoot. I wonder how groomzilla he'll get before the wedding.
Have you planned a wedding before? Do you have any tips on cutting costs without cutting out the fun? We're going for a casual, non-traditional kind of shindig so all suggestions are welcome, no matter how wacky! Thanks in advance for your ideas!


  1. Good luck! I've never planned a wedding, but many of my friends are married and whoaaaa can it get expensive. The most budget-friendly affairs I've attended involved the couple renting out a park or B&B and having a potluck-type thing with only close friends and family. That only works if you're cool with inviting just 20 people though ... good luck again!

    1. A potluck! I'd totally consider that. My parents catered from a restaurant and had their reception at my grandma's house and the guests just rolled in and left as they pleased. Maybe I'll do something like that....saves $$ on a venue and DJ!

  2. Yeah budget is the most important thing in weddings. Nowadays it is impossible to arrange a wedding within pre decided budget. We should carefully hire the services such a catering, lightening, venue etc. On my wedding I got really affordable Chicago Wedding Venues and catering services.