How much is too much?

Coffee and CakeCoffee and Cake Posts: 3 New bride
edited 5 February in The wedding budget
Hello everyone,

I recently got engaged to my gorgeous, wonderful man and I am over the moon and so excited!!

I have started looking at all things wedding related and reading all the magazines and websites that I come across. One thing that I have noticed is repeated constantly is the budget and the cost of things. 

Everyone knows that wedding can be expensive, that's just their nature and I think always have been to some degree regardless of whether it was our parents or grandparent's generation. If you want to feed everyone a 3-course meal compared to a buffet or whether you have lots of real flowers or none at all, of course that is going to be a difference in price whether the wedding was 40 years ago or now, that would not change. Therefore I am a little confused by some of the comments I read in magazines and comments I hear from people once we tell them we are engaged regarding budgets.  

I am just getting the impression that people are looked down on if they choose to spend on their wedding and are seen as bragging or showing off if they do.  It also seems a bit of a competition to do it as cheaply as possible (and it still to be wonderful of course) and to prove to everyone that they are doing it as cheaply as possible. 

We all know the wedding is only one day and its the marriage that is the important part. Everyone also knows that a lot things are not needed and are a 'waste of money' but everything over and above the wedding ceremony/service and the marriage certificate can be considered as unnecessary. 

Don't get me wrong, everyone loves a bargain and not spending unnecessarily but why does it always seem like such a bad thing if you choose to spend a little more? The amount of times I hear people say things like ' the amount of money spent on the wedding doesn't mean you will have a stronger marriage' and words to those effect and I often don't understand why this would ever be suggested. Not sure why amount of money spent and strength of relationship have anything to do with each other.

Has anyone else felt like they can't discuss the cost of wedding related things, even with close family including parents, for fear of being called silly for spending your own money?

(sorry that turned out longer than expected) 


  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,942 New bride
    Yep, it's pretty normal. Weddings bring out judgy comments and no matter what you do you will get comments. Spending too much, not spending enough, please spend 5p on your wedding but make sure you invite 150 distant relatives you've never heard of. If you have a traditional wedding you get "oh, we just went abroad on our own", you go abroad and it's "don't you think it's selfish not having a UK wedding with all the family there".
    YOU WILL NOT WIN!! 🤣😂🤣😂
  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride
    edited 5 February
    This is so interesting. I had a medium to large wedding, nothing overly extravagant but it wasn’t the smallest budget wedding either, and I definitely felt the guilt. But we could do it, we wanted it, our families were on board and we haven’t sacrificed anything as a result. I think as long as you don’t end up in debt or really stressing and struggling it’s fair game. I ended up stopping telling people how much things cost cos I couldn’t be bothered with the shocked faces. Didn’t stop people asking though! 😂
  • I'm glad it's not just me!

    We will be funding our wedding 100% ourselves and by no means are we millionaires and will need to save to pay for it as we don't have the money sat in the bank ready and waiting (we won't be putting anything on credit cards that can't be paid off immediately and won't be getting into debt for it), but it is definitely doable from a financial point of view.  But in order to get the venue we want and the wedding reception we want, the only venue that we have seen and love is more than what the majority would spend on their venues. We haven't booked it yet as still have some other venues to view but I'm already starting to fear we will be judged for choosing the venue when we could have gone for something cheaper.

    But it is soooo beautiful and I can't get it out of my mind.

    We have members of the family who are quite critical about EVERYTHING so the same ones who will say we have spent too much are the same people who would moan if the venue wasn't fancy enough, not enough food provided, too much food provided, the room is too cold, the room is too hot, the room too dark, too bright, too small, too big etc etc you get my drift! So I know a few people will have something to say regardless of what we do but in the case of my dream venue they will make remarks about how fancy it is and it cost too much. 

    I have been quite selective in what I have told others about which venues are on the list of viewings as one person in particular (family)  is the type of person who will google the venue to find out the price of things and then give their 2 pennies worth any way! 

    Just not sure why we are made to feel guilty from spending our own money and not making it our mission to just choose something based 90% on the cost. Just seems everyone wants to put you down for spending on your own wedding. Its making me wonder if we should compromise and hjave a cheaper venue to make everyone else feel better! 

    If we do go for this venue we will be making savings and cutting back in other areas to try and balance it out a bit. We are getting quotes from all suppliers from the outset so we are aware of what the total cost would be (approx) before we commit to anything. 

    Just puts a dampener on the whole thing before it even gets started. 

  • Yeah its really hard to navigate as it is, let alone when you add in everyone's opinions. We did our initial draft guest list and booked our venue without telling anyone until it was done. At the time this wasn't a conscious choice, but as we are paying ourselves and while are close with our family, we literally never viewed it as something that involves anyone but us. It may have disjointed a few noses but no one ever said so. 

    I find its worse now that we have loads of time and i'm just one of those people that seeks approval and validation, so i constantly ask everyone's opinions even though its completely not worth it and i actually dont want the opinions anyway haha. 

    Its hard when others judge how you spend your money, but while i am a converted spendaholic, i am very much of the opinion that you could die any day, and whats the point dying with regrets only to have money in your bank account? I know it isnt always as black and white, but id rather have a day that i truly want than look back and wish i had done things differently. 

    If people comment, i tend to remind them that its good it isnt their money im spending if they have such strong views! 
  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 260 New bride
    I'm having a pretty large, pretty nice wedding and just tend not to mention the cost on here much at all as I know it's a sensitive subject for some people. None of my friends or relatives have mentioned it, but I think that there are friends who will have had way more expensive weddings than me, so mine doesn't stick out.

    Honestly, I have no guilt.
    I chose to go into finance in the City after I graduated, and I have worked damn hard over the years.
    I know I am fortunate to earn what I do, for the education I received, and that I managed to do well from the purchase of my first shared-ownership one bed flat before the credit crunch. But I don't come from money, and my parents sacrificed a lot to provide what they did - my mum was a teacher and my dad worked for local government. Nothing special in suburban north London in the 80s.

    It also helps that we have chosen not to have children, and we've put our plans to rebuild the garage on hold until after the wedding as well.

    People have different lives and make different choices, particularly when it comes to money. I don't think it's right to judge people for making whatever choices they like. But I do believe that getting into debt (apart from a mortgage!) is generally not a great idea long term.
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,942 New bride
    I must admit, I have seen a lot of reverse snobbery on wedding sites against people with larger budget weddings, but I think people are really just trying to justify their own insecurities/choices/decisions/financial position rather than really being massively offended that someone they've never met is spending £35k of their own money on their own wedding. Usually they are secretly a bit jealous, not necessarily of the big wedding but of the financial security :)
  • WirfleWirfle Posts: 25 New bride
    I appreciate I'm only just coming into this but I've never noticed. If it makes you happy, what does it matter what anyone else thinks? Book what you want and it's tough if no one else likes it ;-)
  • I think no matter what people will have a say on what you choose.

    I am finding that peoples favourite phrase is "That's not how I would have done it" I am a firm believe in it being your day and doing what ever makes you happy :) 
  • We’re having a low-ish budget wedding, I was shooting for £5k, I think we’ll go over £8k realistically. Still pretty cheap by many standards, but it also sometimes seems obscene to think we’re spending that on a party. As in, it seems obscene TO ME in the context of spending OUR MONEY - absolutely zero judgement on anyone else, I can’t imagine thinking myself entitled to an opinion on other people’s choices about how they spend their money. This level of spend is going to give us most of what we wanted for the day, whilst still allowing us to meet our other commitments and priorities - I’m pretty sure that’s the decision making process most people go through whatever the actual figures involved are. 

    We’ve been pretty lucky that we’ve not had too many comments either way, occasionally if it comes up someone will say ‘oh you don’t need to spend that much’ but they never seem to have any viable suggestions for how to get it cheaper either so I just make vaguely agreeable ‘mmmmm’sounds and carry on. Back when I was saying I wouldn’t spend over £500 on a wedding dress my sister was aghast and all ‘I don’t think you need to spend THAT much’ but then when I ended up spending £700 and fretting about it she was all ‘no I think that’s the perfect amount to spend actually!’ (Because it was her choice of dress probably 😀 )

    I’ve noticed a lot of ‘we got married for tuppence on a grass verge and everyone said it was the best wedding ever’ online, and an assumption that if you don’t do it in the town hall in your worst jeans and the local alky as a witness then you’re not really in it for ‘the right reasons’ but luckily nobody in real life has been like that. on the other hand, if you look at any wedding mags and blogs etc they do very much push a particular type of wedding, and it’s a type that doesn’t come cheap, so I suppose there’s naturally a certain amount of pushback against that, because to look at some of these sites you think it doesn’t count as a wedding if it doesn’t have a statement venue, live musicians, light up letters, a 27 person strong wedding party and a designer dress - and that stuff doesn’t come cheap. Like MrsC said, it’s very much damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 
  • MrsH2020MrsH2020 Posts: 115 New bride
    I am in the very early stages of planning and I'm finding a bit of this as well. Also, everyone has different priorities when it comes to weddings - one person is shocked at how much we are looking to spend on a venue but she spent much more on other things, like the dress, than I plan to. Lots of people are surprised that I am allocating more money to a (non-essential) wedding car than I am for my dress, but my other half and I have always dreamt about driving away from our ceremony in a vintage Aston Martin so it's a priority for us. The way I see it is that it's all relative - what's expensive for a wedding to one person isn't for another, regardless of how much they earn, so don't let anybody else make you feel as though you 'should' spend more or less on your day.
  • longhaullonghaul Posts: 22 New bride
    edited 13 May
    just in reference to you saying that amount spent and strength of marriage don't correlate they actually do, multiple studies across multiple cultures have found the more money spent directly links to higher divorce rates

    personally I admire anyone getting married for 2 buttons and an old can because its cool to see how people adapt

    budget wise I've been to micro-budget weddings that sucked (basically did everything as cheep as possible to the point there was next to nothing provided) and £20,000 weddings that sucked (same package different couple, bad food, overpriced drinks etc...) and I've been to £1-£6k weddings that totally rocked (mostly because they where super personal and thoughtful)

    if your rich then spend a fortune on your wedding day I've never thought twice about how much Kim-K spends on her wedding but I do seriously worry about people who go into debt (or expect/demand handouts of friend/family) to fund a lavish lifestyle they cant afford and I think everyone hates people who 'humble brags' with the 'casually mentioning they're richer/better than you'

    I have had friends that put it on credit cards and then you start married life with debt and it sucks for them and many brides I've spoke to said while they wouldn't 'change' their day they do virtually all wish they spent less so I think its just common sense not to spend £20-30k+ on a party - I take their word for it and learn from their mistakes
  • longhaullonghaul Posts: 22 New bride
    I also agree people split their priorities different though, we don't talk about budget with family in real life so no comments on that but some people have took offense that we are doing things different from how they would, they act like its a personal attack if we don't copy their wedding for some reason like:

    no I don't want a vintage rolls Royce just because you did or to use the same venue as Aunt May did in the 80s and that emerald green and burgundy colour scheme that uncle Donald had in 98 just isn't 'me' that doesn't mean I hate your choices or judge you it just means its not MY choice

    then friends act like I'm crazy because I don't want a photographer but its just not a priority for us, I get constantly told 'you'll regret it' or 'you must its not optional' :# but we would rather spend that money on great entertainment  
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