A big overblown wedding is one of the most indefensible ways to blow through $30,000 in one day that I can think of. Especially if, during all the planning and picking out and hand-wringing you forget to make it so the guests can actually enjoy the reception.
I watched my brother-in-law do just what you mentioned for about a *year* while my sister and her girlfriends and mom and step-mom and a legion of wedding planners got everything "just right".
That's why I'm looking forward to my cousin's wedding in late July in Minnesota. It'll be outside. The dress is "quite casual"--I'll probably wear my good jeans and a button-down, probably tucked in. Cuz runs his own micro-brewery, and I knew when he got married he'd have a mellow, fun, informal, memorable wedding and reception set up. Of course, this is only possible because he's marrying a "guy's girl", one of the coolest females ever.
Me? I'd just as soon elope than start out our new life together by going into massive debt for a limp, stodgy, one-day party.
Why, Mr. Kepple, that was very nice. I certainly hope Steph and Vince's wedding guests know that's a joke because they're moving into an apartment. However, we here at the Barnes Mansion would be more than happy to hold onto that hot tub for them.
Allison: Thanks for your note. I am sure that Steph and Vince's wedding guests likely know it is a joke, unless there is a long-lost uncle or aunt out there with Buckets O' Cash who sees the item and thinks nothing of spending the $4,000.
Kevin: Personally, I think the amount of money a family spends on a wedding should be commesurate with the means of the family. Further, I think anyone who thinks the resulting reception or ceremony is somehow insufficient is a gauche, unmannered and uncultured person.
Still, whether one's family spends $3,000, $30,000 or $300,000 on a wedding, it is no joke. Therefore, I've decided that when I eventually get married and have lovely daughters as a result, I will begin saving for their wedding the same way I would save for their college education. Namely, I'll start the day after my future wife informs me that I'll be a father.
Now, I do know that only about 30 percent of marriages these days are bankrolled by the bride's family. So I can see where financial considerations would be much more of a concern if the bride and the groom are paying for the day themselves. However, were I a father, I would think it my duty to ensure that my daughter (and, we might add, my own wife) have everything the way they want it on their wedding day. Not only would that make me the hero -- you know, just because I ruled -- it would bring me happiness knowing they were happy.
In reference to your comment about eloping, I can certainly see where you are coming from. As I noted, my maleness makes me genetically disposed to have done with it as quickly as possible and move on. But I'll get over that -- I would much rather have a great wedding and honeymoon provided it really pleases my future wife and her family. One can't put a price tag on marital bliss.
I wonder if you can good eggs in a hottub?