On March 8th the love of my life proposed to me (aww). On May 9th, we announced the engagement to our excited friends and family. My mom was smiling from ear to ear and my grandfather joked, “It’s about time!”
Immediately thereafter we were bombarded with a slew of questions I was completely unprepared to answer:
- Have you set a date?
- Will you get married in Maine or New York (or do a destination wedding?)
- Have you picked a venue?
- Why type of dress do you want?
- Will his family be able to make it (many of them still live in Manila, so we want to plan around them being able to come)
- Who’s in the bridal party?
- Will you take his last name or keep yours?
By the end of the first day of, “announcements” my head was spinning. After 6 years of dating I was thrilled just to be able to introduce Eric as my, “fiance”. It’s sort of funny because we’ve always been committed to each other (heck we have a, “fur baby” and even purchased a home together), we just didn’t have an external symbol (engagement ring) that perfect strangers could see.
Since he put that pretty rock on my finger, clients have been commenting and asking me questions about my relationship status (which is really pretty sweet and sometimes pretty funny. I.e. comments like, “You can’t be old enough to get married!”).
A Wedding costs HOW MUCH??? Insert shocked face here!
A frugal, “bride in training”, once I told my family about the engagement, I immediately immersed myself in learning how to plan a wedding on a budget. I searched pinterest, etsy and wedding bee for inexpensive venues, flowers, cakes, caterers and wedding rings (holy cow… planning a wedding without spending a fortune is a full-time job! Now I know why some people happily hire a wedding planner to deal with all of this).
I looked up the average cost of an American wedding and, googled, “most expensive places to getting married”. Here’s the list I came up with-gulp:
Top 25 Most Expensive Places to Get Married
- New York City (Manhattan): $86,916
- Long Island: $57,343
- North/Central New Jersey: $51,287
- Chicago: $48,449
- NYC Outer Boroughs: $47,121
- Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA: $44,214
- Rhode Island: $42,469
- Westchester/Hudson Valley, NY: $42,444
- Connecticut: $41,745
- Philadelphia: $40,350
- Los Angeles: $38,735
- South New Jersey: $38,620
- Washington, DC/Northern Virginia/suburban Maryland: $37,487
- Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $37,210
- Boston: $35,512
- Houston: $35,475
- Louisiana: $35,008*
- Lehigh Valley/Poconos, PA: $34,488*
- San Francisco: $33,836
- Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $32,021
- Baltimore: $31,964
- Chicago Suburbs, IL: $31,489*
- Detroit: $31,044*
- San Diego: $30,885
- Maine: $29,854*
Great…NYC is the most expensive place to get married, and Maine is the 25th most expensive. We certainly have no intention of spending anywhere near either figure. If I was 22, I’d probably want a huge fairy tale wedding with a chocolate fountain and a huge cake and a huge fancy ballgown. At 32, a small simple ceremony with good food and drink and very close friends and family is much more my, “speed” and we definitely have much better uses for $30-80k!
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with other couples spending on their, “big day” if that’s what they want. We’d just rather save our money and use it towards other things.
Married? Tell me about your wedding. How many people did you invite? How much did you spend? Not married? What’s the most you’d spend on a wedding?