{on wedding costs and priorities}

Elopement or DIY or barn or Oscar de la Renta? What does it matter? Image above via Snippet & Ink.

Last week I posted a link to the Knot's list of the most expensive places to marry. The reaction that I got from most people was Oh my goodness, that's [insert negative word here]. I know that people don't mean to be offensive or anything like that, but I feel the need to explain something anyway.

Just because you don't want to/can't spend X amount of money on your wedding doesn't mean that someone else shouldn't be able to. It's the same as judging someone on the house that they purchase or the clothes that they buy. The beauty of living in this country and in this time is that we have the freedom to choose our own values and priorities. For some people, that may mean spending more on their wedding than you would on yours. And that isn't a bad thing!

I'm not entirely sure when weddings started getting a negative stereotype, but my goal as a wedding planner is to reverse those negative stereotypes. I would NEVER commit my life to something if I didn't believe in it, and I truly believe that weddings can be (and should be) something true, pure, and beautiful. We're celebrating love in a way that celebrates the couple getting married! Unless there is an abusive or obviously dysfunctional relationship, that can never be a bad thing. 

This post isn't in regards to one comment in particular. I'm being honest when I say that I've heard it from at least a dozen sources, including personal friends and family, in the past week or so. I'm sure they know what they're saying, but I have to wonder if they understand what it means to me as someone in this industry when they do. 

Weddings are my job. They are my livelihood and they are my passion. Again, I wouldn't commit myself to something unless I honestly loved it, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to make money or a living off of what I do. I have to! This is literally how I provide for my family. And saying that someone shouldn't spend $100,000 on their wedding because you wouldn't do that is insulting to me. It makes me wonder how much you really support me, or people like me who try to make a living doing what they love. Because let me tell you, the majority of us, myself included, make barely enough to live, even if we do weddings that reach into the six-digits. 

I guess what I'm saying is, let's just all be a little more understanding. Any wedding is important and valuable and legitimate, regardless of how much it costs, because it results in a marriage. That's the true point here.


Joelle Duff said...

Gosh, I just love this post!! It is SO DANG TRUE. The most important part of the wedding is the marriage, and if someone wants to spend a small fortune on getting to that point then who really cares?

Also...I mean...as much as I think that inexpensive, DIY weddings are cute and quirky...they aren't for everyone. And people need to remember that the wedding is about the couple, and what they want, and not really about the guests.

Joelle Duff said...

This post struck me as I never thought of it as an issue.

But since you raised it, it got me thinking -- we paid for our own wedding and I truly wish we had just a bit more to spend. But, had we won the lottery before hand, I would've been embarrassed to spend an exorbitant amount.

I agree that everyone is entitled to their own lives, their own priorities, their own desires, but to think that someone could spend...(let's not put a figure, but A LOT), on one day when they're are...(let's be cliche) starving kids in Africa...I understand the frustration of the commentors as well. I don't think anyone is trying to insult you, I just think their are a lot of people who are sick of the "My Super Sweet 16 Party" mentality.

Joelle Duff said...

It's funny that anyone here in this country would have the cajones to judge another person's wedding spend since anything any of us Americans spend could be viewed as wasteful by those in other cultures or who are less fortunate. Don't listen to people who judge, judgment can only come from jealousy, insecurity or ignorance, none of which are good things. ;)

Joelle Duff said...

Hadn't thought of it that way. Sorry if I offended you that I think the average cost of weddings is too high (in my opinion, obviously). I am not paying for my wedding and I feel bad that my parents are because it really takes so much for my dream wedding to happen, you know? Thanks for this, I'll keep your thoughts in mind :)

Joelle Duff said...

I love that last line. It's the same with what I do (helping brides get healthy for their weddings). Regardless of if they 'wish they were skinnier', MY job is to help them become healthier and HAPPIER for their wedding, which will happen no matter what!