Frugal or foolish? Our cruise-ship wedding

How much should you spend on a wedding? Well, that depends on who you're asking, I suppose. As I'm sure most of you are aware, the personal finance blogosphere tends to be divided into two main camps: those that are focused on investments and entrepreneurship and those that are focused on frugality.

In my experience, however, the entrepreneurship camp is pretty live-and-let-live. The whole “cut everything you don't care about so you can spend whatever you'd like on the things you do care about” school of thought. When you think about it, this makes sense for a few reasons.

  • We all have different skill sets to be utilized in our respective side hustles.
  • Different skills mean different pricing schemes.
  • We all have different work and family situations that we're fitting said side hustles in around.
  • We all care about spending our money on different things, and those things cost different amounts and reflect our tastes and values.

Long story short, what this means is that sometimes it's difficult to talk about investment and entrepreneurial issues in a way that applies to everyone.

  • Scenario 1: Someone who just graduated from college, hasn't been able to find a job yet, and doesn't have much work experience or professional contacts who is moving out of the dorms and trying to get a lease on an apartment.
  • Scenario 2: someone who has been in a stable job in their field for fifteen years and wants to start building up their side hustle so they can leave their nine to five and spend more time working from home now that their second child is on the way and their home is halfway paid off.

How do you give the meaningful advice to both folks at the same time? Not an easy task.

However, if I post a recipe for how to make your own laundry detergent and tell you it only takes 20 minutes to make a six-month supply, well — there's no reason everyone can't take advantage of that, right? As a result, frugalistas tend to be a little more “one size fits all” and, dare I say it, judgmental (in lots of blog communities, anyway, though blessedly less so at GRS).

What does all this have to do with my wedding? While my husband and I spent significantly less than the national average of $27,000, we did end up clocking in at what was — for me, anyway — a nearly heart-stopping $11,400.

However, there's more to this type of spending than pure number-crunching; psychology and social expectations play a huge role, and those who argue that those factors shouldn't play a part are in need of a serious reality check.

Expectations v. Reality

Contrary to stereotype, my idea of a wedding was eloping and sending out postcards to our holiday card list afterward telling people it happened. After all, we not only have school and consumer debt we're trying to pay off (more on that in another post), but we've been together for six years and living together for four of those years. In my eyes, it was a formality that didn't require a huge expense.

My fiancé, on the other hand, wanted the whole shebang: ceremony in a church (which I did manage to talk him out of — barely — by pointing out that we're atheists) and formal reception with a hundred and fifty guests. He'd literally been dreaming of his wedding day his entire life and had never once envisioned it without all the bells and whistles. I can't emphasize this enough; He wanted a black-tie affair and a string quartet, and that's just for starters.

After pointing out a few salient points, like:

  • I hadn't paid off over $10,000 in credit card debt just to rack it all up again, especially when my salary is only $40,000 per year.
  • He had just quit his extremely lucrative job at a mid-size law firm where he was well on his way to partner for a far more uncertain future starting his own firm with a friend who isn't exactly renowned for his work ethic.
  • Our parents were in no position to contribute to the costs: we were completely on our own as far as paying for the wedding.

He agreed with me that there was no way we could pull off a traditional wedding and honeymoon on our own. At first we didn't think this was going to be a big deal; after all, surely there were less-expensive packages offered by wedding vendors, right? We priced five vendors and, much to our surprise, struggled to find a single one that could provide us for a quote under $20,000. Which didn't even include the honeymoon. Gulp. Enter compromise. But where would we even start?

However, over the course of many conversations, priorities began to emerge.

First, neither of us are huge DIY-ers, meaning we weren't going to sit around for hours making invitations and table centerpieces from scratch. Second, having a formal event was non-negotiable; a pot-luck in the park wasn't going to cut it. Third, the event itself could be small, as long as all our friends and family were invited. Fourth, we weren't willing to forgo a honeymoon in favor of the ceremony. And finally, we wanted to go on a cruise for our honeymoon.

The Epiphany

Score! I don't even know where he came across it since it's not on the cruise company's main page, but somewhere in the endless Google searches my husband found what ended up being our solution: having the wedding itself on the cruise ship! While it sounds deliciously decadent, shockingly it ended up our most affordable option.

Here's a rough cost breakdown:

  • Ceremony and Reception: $2000 for up to 20 guests, $30/each thereafter. We ended up paying about $250 for going over the limit, so $2250 total. The reception was an open bar and included a selection of 10 appetizers.
  • DJ: $100. We provided the CDs with music, he was just the host.
  • Flowers: $100. Basic bouquets.
  • Bride's apparel: $600. I bought a sample dress for $110 and had it tailored. This amount also includes my accessories.
  • Groom's apparel: $200, tuxedo rental. Though pricey, a tux was one of his non-negotiables and going through the cruise company was cheaper than having to rent a tux for the entire week of the cruise.
  • Rings: $300 each, $600 total. My ring is white gold with CZ accent stones and his is white gold. We bought mine off a costume jewelry website and his off Amazon.
  • “Rehearsal” dinner: $400. There wasn't actually a rehearsal since the boat docked the morning of the ceremony, but we took our friends and family out for deep-fried seafood the night before we set sail.
  • Invitations: $500. Note: This is probably the expense I regret the most. Due to a pretty significant miscommunication, we waited until the last minute humanly possible to get invitations sorted out, and we paid for it. Ugh.
  • Postage: $100. Note: Don't forget to account for this expense! We had to buy 65-cent stamps for the invitations and then you have to also stamp the RSVP cards. Originally the plan was to do RSVP postcards to save a bit, but since we needed full legal names and birth dates with the RSVPs to comply with cruise ship regulations, this didn't end up being feasible.
  • Wedding website: $100. This was for one year of hosting service, which is about how far in advance you want to start notifying people of a cruise wedding anyway.
  • Bridesmaid's gifts: $300. I bought their jewelry for the wedding as well as took them out to a fancy brunch, since they planned the bridal shower in my state and a bachelorette party in the state where the wedding was held, despite the fact that neither of them lived in either of those states.
  • Favors: $150. This one was almost a fight, too, since the favors he wanted were really expensive. However, since we had fewer than 30 people attending when all was said and done, we could spring for this.
  • Photographs: $1000. Note: this seemed expensive to me, but apparently a professional wedding photographer usually runs $3000 or more. Our photographer was actually included in the cost of the wedding, so the $1000 is only for the prints we purchased and digital copies of those prints. He also turned them around in THREE DAYS, which is apparently unheard of in “normal” wedding photography circles. And everyone agrees that they're stunning.
  • Flights, hotel, and other transportation: $1500. We live in Arizona and the cruise departed from Florida, so we would have spent this regardless. It's also worth noting that my friends and family all are from Florida and having the wedding there was the only way a lot of them could afford to come. Additionally, we ended up having to pay the overweight luggage fees because we weren't willing to pack light for our own wedding.
  • Cruise: $2200. This was a seven-day western Caribbean cruise with four ports of call. We also stayed in one of the nicest cabins on the ship — we had a living area, plenty of closet space, and a balcony.
  • Spending while on cruise: $1300. This included excursions like snorkeling with sting rays, zip lining in Belize, tubing through ancient Mayan caves, alcoholic beverages while on the cruise, and all gratuities.

Total: $11,400

Since the wedding actually happened while the ship was in its home port, guests could attend even if they weren't coming on the cruise. Since they weren't obligated to cruise with us, and most of the guests would have had to travel to us even if we'd gotten married in our home state, the wedding was no more or less a burden to attend than it would have been otherwise. And four of our friends did end up joining us on the cruise, which ended up being even more fun than a honeymoon alone!

The Aftershocks Afterglow

We managed to pay for about half of these costs prior to the wedding, and ended up with credit card balances of approximately $5000 that still need to be paid off, or about $2500 apiece (we haven't combined finances yet). However, it's also worth noting that I fully paid off my last remaining $2500 in credit card debt during the year prior to the wedding. On the surface my balance hasn't changed, but this means I know I can pay off my share of wedding debt within a year, since I've basically done it before.

While I will admit that I started off resenting every penny and every minute of my time I spent on the experience (remember, I wanted to elope), I had an amazing time and appreciated the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends a lot more than I thought I would. And while he started off resenting that we weren't taking advantage of every upgrade available, after everything was said and done he agreed that everyone considered every aspect of our wedding to be very classy, indeed.

What Do You Think?

Are we heroes to be commended for spending less than half the national average? Complete and total fools duped by consumerism and the wedding racket into spending way more than we should have? Have you ever had an experience with a romantic partner where initial opinions differed so radically on an issue of such significance? If so, how did you resolve it?

More about...Budgeting

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Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
8 years ago

Roughly 150 € for fees, flowers and treating our parents too lunch.

Said parents gifted us a meet up and dinner for them and the rest of the family in a quality restaurant.

Some years later € 250 for a set of pocket clocks instead of rings.

Kate
Kate
8 years ago

Oh, the joy of conflicting expectations!

Contrary to the stereotype of bridezillas, I was the one happy to elope and let people know by email, and my now husband was the one who had been dreaming of his wedding since elementary school.

I’m mostly relieved to find out he wasn’t the only one who dreamed of a string quartet! My reaction was something along the lines of, “where do you even GET those?! Do people still do that?!”

KSR
KSR
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Mine too! What’s up with that?!? I won the battle and eloped. He didn’t want the string quartet but really wanted a national recording artist. He got the band— on the condition that I got Vikings season tickets. Again, what’s up with that?

Josh @ Live Well Simply
Josh @ Live Well Simply
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate

We had a string quartet at ours, but my wife is a musician and her friends played for free. It was their wedding gift to us. 🙂

Cybrgeezer
Cybrgeezer
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate

A not-too-germane story I was reminded of while reading this post: In 1967, when I was a married college senior, we were expecting our first child. When the baby came and we discovered it was a girl (back in those days, you didn’t know the gender of a baby until it was held up by the doctor, who said “It’s a ….”), I knew the tradition of the family of the bride paying most of the costs of the wedding would face me. From her earliest days, my daughter heard the word “elope” from me whenever we played together. One… Read more »

Angie
Angie
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

This strikes me as really sad, for some reason. I had a huge wedding, but it was a cultural thing for our family. My parents encouraged me to seek and education and be successful – thus my husband and I were able to pay for our wedding ourselves.

Linden
Linden
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

Awesome story!

Rosie
Rosie
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

That is a horribly sad story.

Carla
Carla
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

This strikes me as kind of sad too. I think we as a couture have forgotten about the true meaning of family and community when it comes to weddings. When people think of weddings now, they first think of the extravagance and the cost associated – not the good times and lifelong memories associated with it.

If I were to elope without telling my family, they would kill me. They would rather witness me get married in my apartment (my brother had an apartment wedding) then to inform them after the fact, like, “hey, by the way…”

Jamie
Jamie
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

I think this story is really funny! It may seem sad if you are picturing a family that has become disconnected– But I’m picturing a family that had already welcomed the boyfriend into the family, and the wedding was a technicality. There was a point where my parents would have liked for me to have had a wedding, but after years and years of me proclaiming that I’d never get married, I think they’d be thrilled if I eloped! (They actually probably wouldn’t care too much– I’ve been with my dude for a decade already, and my family is not… Read more »

Kelly@thehungryegghead
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

I would have been very hurt if my dad said to me. I am of Chinese descent and I was raised with the expectation that the groom’s husband was to pay for the wedding. However, my parents readily adapted to American culture and by the time my wedding came around my dad offered to pay for half of my wedding. In the end my husband and I paid for our entire wedding. My parents wanted an extravagent wedding and my father-in-law wanted us to elope to save money. We decided that we wanted to call the shots so we paid… Read more »

Tony Dobson
Tony Dobson
8 years ago
Reply to  Cybrgeezer

IF my daughters choose to get married it will be the biggest honour of my life to walk them down the aisle and pay for it. It is probably going to be the biggest day of their life and I wouldn’t want to miss it, regardless of the cost (which I would intend to save for).

If I were to miss that for any reason I think I would bitterly regret it.

Katie
Katie
8 years ago

Well, not heroes no. I mean, good for you, but wedding culture is pervasive but we shouldn’t be framing resisting some small parts of it as a heroic effort of will.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Katie

I think “heroes” is a bad choice of words – it implies a sacrifice or risk in order to help others. It’s great this couple was able to resist the “bells and whistles” and have a meaningful experience, but I don’t think it makes them heroes.

Tom
Tom
8 years ago

I like to joke that my wife and I spent $60 on our wedding/elopement ($30 for license, $30 for the ceremony). Now, we bought rings, I got a new suit, she bought a white dress (though not a wedding dress), and we went out to dinner with friends that night, so it was certainly more than that. But we were budgeting for a “real” wedding and realizing it was going to take 3 years to pay for it ourselves! We decided that $20k was better used getting us a place of our own As an aside, I like the idea… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Second the debt reduction comment.

JakeIL7
JakeIL7
8 years ago

You paid your money and got a exceptional experience in return. Yes, you did have to go in debt to do it which is bad, but you got a lot for your $11k wedding. How much do you think the people who spend $30k (in Stuff and experience) got?

Hero? No. Reasonable? Yup.

getagrip
getagrip
8 years ago

I am firmly in the camp of spend money on the things that bring you value. It sounds like this brought both of you value, didn’t cripple you financially, and you are willing to accept and recover from it. Hence, money well spent IMHO.

ShackleMeNot
ShackleMeNot
8 years ago

Cut up your credit cards and stop spending money you don’t have.

TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman
8 years ago
Reply to  ShackleMeNot

My wife and I go on one cruise a year FOR FREE. It’s awesome, we just have to sit thorugh 2 weekends of someone trying to sell us on a timeshare (during which time she reads a book and I listen to music on headphones), and then we get a free cruise with airfare. THATS how you don’t spend money you don’t have! 🙂

Shelldo
Shelldo
6 years ago

Where would that time share presentation be? I am very interested in having a free cruise.

Courtney
Courtney
8 years ago
Reply to  ShackleMeNot

Is that a hard and fast rule, no exceptions? What if your father was on his deathbed and the only way you could afford a plane ticket to see him before he passed was to put it on a credit card?

Jo-Pete
Jo-Pete
8 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

That’s what emergency funds are for. Easy to say, harder to do, but if the attitude is always “I had X amount of credit card debt last year, so I know I can pay it off,” then you will spend the rest of your life paying obscene interest rates for anything you think is important. That said, it sounds like the author got a very good experience for the amount of money paid, so I don’t think that it’s for any of us to judge whether or not they were too extravagant. My wife and I considered eloping, but our… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago
Reply to  Jo-Pete

I didn’t mention this in the article, but I *could* pay off the share on my credit card anytime. I have $4500 in my emergency fund. However, I don’t consider a wedding an emergency, so I’m willing to pay a big of a financial penalty in order to have liquidity on hand in the event that something major DOES go wrong. I know the normal recommendation is to stop the e-fund at $1000 if you still are paying off debt, but 1) it is a point of pride for me that I’ve paid off about $15,000 in consumer debt over… Read more »

Jo-Pete
Jo-Pete
8 years ago
Reply to  Jo-Pete

Honey,

Sorry, my emergency fund comment was a reply to Courtney’s “What if your father was on his deathbed” scenario. I would agree that a wedding is not an emergency (and if the wedding is an emergency, then it certainly doesn’t have to be extravagant).

Ramblin' Ma'am
Ramblin' Ma'am
8 years ago
Reply to  Jo-Pete

Re. Honey’s post # 91:

“I know the normal recommendation is to stop the e-fund at $1000 if you still are paying off debt…”

*Is* that the normal recommendation? I know Dave Ramsey advises it, but it’s always seemed somewhat nuts to me. (Suze Orman, for instance, puts more emphasis on building the emergency fund first.) Really, is there anyone here for whom $1000 represents even a month’s worth of expenses? I think having at least 3-4 months of an e-fund should be a priority.

ShackleMeNot
ShackleMeNot
8 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

Well, that isn’t what the topic is here.

What if…….

Becka
Becka
8 years ago

I have to try not to be judgmental about what people spend for their weddings. But that’s the thing – I have to try, because judging is the response that comes first and most naturally to me. We did a cruise for our honeymoon as well, but as an entirely separate affair, and did the whole shebang for about half what you paid, while serving 70 guests a full meal at our reception. Even then, it was a lot more than I expected to pay, but we had no debt besides our mortgage and carried no debt – not even… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Becka

I think the comments on this post are going to be interesting 😉 Many of us try not to judge how others spend, and then a PF blogger asks us if we think she’s a fool or a hero for what she spent on her wedding?

I’m just saying it seems kind of backwards to the whole “do what works for you” philosophy of GRS.

Tom
Tom
8 years ago
Reply to  Becka

Liked your post Becka. I missed that they carried $5000 of debt from the wedding, which will turn into an expense of $5200 – 5500 if you can pay it off in a year, depending on what kind of interest rate those cards have.

But hey, do what works for you. It’s a great mantra.

sarah
sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  Tom

That’s a really good point — this wedding is actually going to cost them a bit more than the $11K mentioned. I’d like to have seen an actual adjusted total after paying the debt off.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

It’s a great idea to track what we pay in interest. I am not sure what my husbands’ credit card rates are, but mine is 7.9%.

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

Unless you somehow have completely separate finances that will still be separate in case of divorce or sudden death… perhaps you should find out what those interest rates are.

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago

Good article. I appreciate that you spelled out the specific details and costs.

Lori
Lori
8 years ago

I think it is great to have a writer who is in a debt reduction phase. I myself struggle to keep to the straight and narrow while trying to pay off debt.
I think the best part of this article is how you compromised and determined what costs you both were comfortable incurring.Congratulations and Good Luck!

Angie
Angie
8 years ago

OK so here is my outlook on this. I JUST got married this past Saturday. We did the entire traditional wedding. We had 225 guests, got married in a church, and even had our reception at a Country Club! Whoever wrote this article has 0 money management skills. Let me break this down for you all that think you can’t do it– My husband and I make just barely over $100K/year. This article says she makes $40k and her husband is a lawyer so I’m guessing they are making WELL over $100k/yr. Here is a cost of my wedding: DJ… Read more »

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

It’s nice that you were able to do that, but I’d point out a few things. One, he *was* a lawyer at a firm. She specifically stated he left that position to start his own firm, which is a dicey proposition. Two, he wanted a huge wedding, she wanted to elope. What they did was compromise, and it’s a little much for you to refer to this as selfish behavior. Marriage is, much of the time, about compromising and reaching a point/conclusion/result that is satisfactory to both. Aside from the debt, which they seem to have the right approach and… Read more »

Hanna
Hanna
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

Sorry, but I don’t consider spending $40G’s as having money management skills either; if you’d finagled this designer-everything list down to a $20k budget I’d be impressed, but as-is who couldn’t replicate the extravagance for $40K? The point of this article is that the author had other things she wanted to spend her thirty-thousand savings on and found a way to do it. If it’s your personal desire to spend outrageous amounts of money on throwing the party of the year, you’re right, GO BIG, but don’t go and say you were totally frugal afterwards and then bash someone who… Read more »

Ohplease
Ohplease
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

What makes you so sure she has zero money management skills? On what do you base yourself to make this judgement? The woman said she had just paid off a lot of debt and her husband just started a business. She didn’t want a big wedding, she wanted to elope. Instead, she compromised to make her now husband happy. I find that very laudable.

Good for you for your GO BIG wedding, but aren’t you a tad bit judgemental of others?

Besides, for some people GOING SMALL is better! It is all a question of personal preference.

Marsha
Marsha
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

I think too many people focus on the wedding itself, and don’t think about the responsibilities of being married. It’s not about having a big party; it’s about joining yourself together as husband and wife. We had an inexpensive ceremony–my choice, as my parents were happy to pay for anything I wanted because they dearly loved my husband-to-be and wanted him in the family. I just didn’t think spending a ton of money would make the day more memorable. My wedding day was not the best day of my life–every day I get to spend with my husband is the… Read more »

Ohplease
Ohplease
8 years ago
Reply to  Marsha

YES!!!

If EVER I get married then my thoughts would be exactly like yours.

Alea
Alea
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

Ummm, you spent $18,000 for a dinner. You could have bought a car for that! Which reminds me of my idiot niece and her $40,000 wedding. Seven years later, with over $100K income between them, and two kids under the age of two, she moved back closer to her parents. What have they accomplished in 7 years after the $40k wedding? Nothing. They are renting from mom and dad (who put down the 20%). Walking through their house, their posessions are as follows: the same bed the husband had as a bachelor, a falling apart sofa from his bachelor days,… Read more »

Mikey
Mikey
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

God are you spoiled!

J
J
8 years ago
Reply to  Angie

“We own a house, have student loans, car payments, insurance, gym fees, cell phones, etc. also.”

So you have student loan debt and car loan debt, and chose to spend $40,000 on one day instead of paying down that debt?… and you are saying you, not the article writer, have money management skills?

Emily
Emily
8 years ago

So glad to hear another woman say that she was pro-elopement & anti big wedding! I am in the same boat you are. I am an only child with just my dad in my immediate family. My boyfriend is from a very large family. Just inviting his aunts, uncles, and cousins would mean 75 people before we even got to someone who mattered to me. Thankfully, since we’ve waited longer than a lot of my other friends, the weddings after weddings after weddings that we’ve spent spent spent to get to, get presents for, stay for, drink at, eat near,… Read more »

John
John
8 years ago

“Complete and total fools duped by consumerism and the wedding racket into spending way more than we should have?”

Yup that pretty much sums it up.

Stephen
Stephen
8 years ago

Given I’ve no intention of actually getting married (my other half is happy this way too) I’m surprised I reached the end of the article. But it was well written and didn’t lag like some of the others that have shown up. More so, there seems like there is a possible re-occuring story here that could show through in future posts. I’d be very interested to see how you justified paying for something like this on a credit card, then again where I’m from credit limits that high on cards are unheard of here. I’ve only gotten to 6% of… Read more »

Robyn
Robyn
8 years ago

10 years ago, I think we spent about $5000. We had it in a church, and the church ladies cooked food my parents bought for the reception. My mom made my bouquet out of fake hydrangea flowers, and I didn’t buy any real flowers. I didn’t have favors either. I spent about $1500 on the photographer and $500 on the cakes. Those are things I don’t think anyone should skimp on. (I live in the rural midwest, so those are nowhere near big city prices.) We had about 7 months between the engagement and wedding, so I’m glad we kept… Read more »

Alison Wiley
Alison Wiley
8 years ago

I like the candor of this post, and yes, we’ve got to admit that social expectations impact our spending, whether or not we admit it. I recently read that lean times help us focus on our intrinsic worth (the context was the Depression). That is really resonating for me. I’ve been both poor and well-off, and when I was poor I did focus more on intrinsic worth (both of myself, and that of others). And intrinsic worth is a guiding light of my own blog.

Good post, Honey. Hope you make the cut on the audition.

Amy
Amy
8 years ago

I like your writing style and this story is very readable, even if it is about weddings (which isn’t something I’ve had to deal with yet, and thus have extraordinarily little patience when people wax on about theirs). So bravo! I’m a big picture type of person, so it’s always shocking to me when I hear PF bloggers talking about how they saved so much and how great it is….and then you read the story and realize these scenarios only worked b/c a great deal of the true total cost was transferred onto OTHER people. In this case the guests… Read more »

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  Amy

She did address the cost of the cruise for guests – the event was held at port, so guests were able to board for just the wedding and then go their separate ways, though a few friends joined them for the cruise.

Susan
Susan
8 years ago
Reply to  Becka

Did anyone think about the fact that the wedding was such a good deal because the cruise line knew they would make a profit off of the couples “guests” who would be willing to pay cruise fare for the trip?
So they got a wedding discount by being a sales assistant for the cruise line.

Zach
Zach
8 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Possibly… but the cruise company would have to be prepared to *not* book any additional guests. It would be good business practice to ensure they at least broke even on the ceremony costs.

I don’t think you could treat a cruise ship wedding ceremony as a “loss leader” for cruise passengers!

Oleron
Oleron
8 years ago
Reply to  Susan

“Susan” said: “So they got a wedding discount by being a sales assistant for the cruise line.” Did they get a discount? I certainly hope so. Anyone with even a tiny bit of imagination can get a discount on a cruise, wedding or no wedding. “Sales assistant”? SO WHAT? IMO, that would have been a smart move. I see no mention of it. Did Honey and Hubby have to pay extra for the “venue” on the ship? I haven’t noticed any specific sum for that expense, but I could have missed it, along with perhaps other salient “details” left out… Read more »

Chris
Chris
8 years ago
Reply to  Amy

DH and I had a destination wedding over twelve years ago and we had 22 friends and relatives go on the cruise too. Honestly, it was not that expensive and I have spent nearly as much on mine and DH week long cruise fare and airfare as I have on airfare and two nights lodging to go to a wedding in Columbus, OH. Everyone that went went because they wanted to and in this particular case is was not a fincial hardship on anyone except for my aunt (which my mom and dad paid for–way cheaper than paying for a… Read more »

Victoria
Victoria
8 years ago

I suspect the national average on wedding spending is skewed a little high. I would say yours was neither foolish or frugal but right in the middle and a good fit for your situation! We spent about the same amount for our wedding and honeymoon and the only thing we did DIY was the music (kind of like you!). We did make a calculated decision to spend more on our rings. We had a church wedding and hors d’oeuvres and a sit down lunch for about 100 at the local country club (champagne only) and went to Maui for our… Read more »

mitigateddisaster
mitigateddisaster
8 years ago
Reply to  Victoria

Agreed on the “national average” being too high – there is major selection bias in how theknot and weddingchannel gathered the “data” for the averages. The survey only solicited data from users of the two websites, and used the data people volunteered. This is an average of “people who used theknot or weddingchannel and wanted to share their costs”, not “people who got married”. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too high, I would hypothesize that the population using these websites is spending more than the “real” average.

Anyway, appreciated this article and this author.

Erin
Erin
8 years ago

Oy, wedding articles. Wedding cost comments. Hate to say it, since it was a very nice article, but this kind of stuff is so hackneyed it’s not even worth writing about. Weddings can be expensive. You can choose to go into debt for them, you can choose to spend $100 and then brag about it for 20 years, you can choose to spend within your means (whatever your means are). Who cares?

All that said, hearing from someone actively trying to get out of debt would be a nice change of pace.

Adult student
Adult student
8 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Seriously. I hate when all the “we only spent $100 on our wedding!” people come out of the woodwork to look down on everyone else, and this post was just BEGGING for it. And in my opinion, frugality is just not the primary point of weddings.

Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
8 years ago
Reply to  Adult student

No, taxes and better legal protection is the point of a wedding. 🙂

Becka
Becka
8 years ago

Health insurance was a big factor in ours!

Zach
Zach
8 years ago

+1 for the same-sex marriage debate! 😛

Josetann
Josetann
8 years ago
Reply to  Adult student

But…but…I was really looking forward to coming out of the woodwork!

Holly@ClubThrifty
8 years ago

It’s funny how different people’s definitions of a “frugal” wedding are. To me, I couldn’t bear having a wedding that we didn’t completely pay for ahead of time. When we got married, my husband had been a student for many years and didn’t have any money at all. I basically paid for our wedding and reception then my husband’s parents paid for another reception in his hometown. I bought my unity candle and wedding invitations at a garage sale (they were the kind of invitations that you print on with your home computer/printer). I bought my wedding dress for $150… Read more »

pwcashier
pwcashier
8 years ago

I enjoyed the article but you’re right about the cost to the guests. Being in the “six-eight wedding invites a year” period of life (this IS only a period right?), destination weddings, bach/bachelorette parties, enragement…err…I mean engagement parties, etc. take some of the luster off of these celebrations.

Then again it’s only an invite so you can just say no.

Getting everyone together = amazing

Impoverishing your friends = not amazing

Krista
Krista
8 years ago
Reply to  pwcashier

Yes it is a period. Then there’ll be another one in 10-15 years for their second weddings. Luckily they don’t expect as much the 2nd time around!

Holly@ClubThrifty
8 years ago
Reply to  Krista

Hopefully you are right!

I almost cringe when I am invited to a wedding these days. I don’t mind getting a gift but often it requires getting a hotel room, travel spending, etc. Sometimes my entire entertainment budget in a given month will be $200 and a single wedding can eat up that month’s budget.

Megan
Megan
8 years ago
Reply to  Krista

Don’t forget yet ANOTHER round of weddings – when the children of your nearest and dearest get married, too. Within the last five years, my parents have attended countless weddings as now all of their friends’ kids are getting hitched.

Courtney
Courtney
8 years ago

She didn’t have a “destination wedding” – the event took place on the ship before it left the port in Florida, where their friends and family were already located.

Holly@ClubThrifty
8 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

I reread that part. It sounds like many of the guests still had to travel within Florida…unless they all lived in the same area where the boat was docked.

But you’re right, they would have had to travel to Arizona if they didn’t have it in Florida.

Either way, I still don’t see it as frugal but as someone mentioned before- it is just an invitation so if someone doesn’s want to spend the money, they can always say no.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago

One commenter mentioned that a lot of what passes for frugality in events like a wedding involves passing the cost on to other people. It was super important to me that we not do that (any more than a wedding inherently does, anyway).

About 45% of our guests lived within driving distance, about 55% flew. Of the guests who flew, at least three quarters of them would have had to fly no matter where we had the ceremony, as they don’t live in our home state either.

Holly@ClubThrifty
8 years ago

I certainly understand that you could not pick a location convenient to everyone. My husband and I are from two different states and that is why we chose a small ceremony and two different receptions. Even then, it was impossible to choose a wedding location that wouldn’t require anyone to travel. However, the original point that I was trying to make is that you had a wedding you could not afford…and I don’t even think you realize it. You will never “get rich slowly” with this mentality and you can’t possibly be serious about paying off your debt if you… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago

As the one who advocated for an elopement in part because of concern over the finances, I am excruciatingly aware that we couldn’t afford it. However, I also wasn’t willing to let those costs stand in the way of spending the rest of my life with the man I love, especially when he sacrificed just as much as I did compared to his original dream wedding. Not that it’s any sort of defense, but it was the first time I’d charged something I couldn’t pay off in full the same month in four years (since I started my “real job”)… Read more »

Holly@ClubThrifty
8 years ago

“However, I also wasn’t willing to let those costs stand in the way of spending the rest of my life with the man I love, especially when he sacrificed just as much as I did compared to his original dream wedding.” Honey, you are in denial. You didn’t have to go into debt to marry your husband. You chose to. If your husband is truly planning on going to Europe in a few years while you have over 200K of student loans and other debts then you have a tough road ahead of you. Getting out of debt, staying out… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago

Agreed on all counts, though I will not be cutting up any cards.

SwampWoman
SwampWoman
8 years ago

Funny how weddings can be so contentious. My husband and I were in the military. We were very young. Our families lived on the opposite sides of the country. They were immediately opposed to the idea of us getting married, probably because they (collectively) hadn’t even met our intended spouse. So, we didn’t invite ’em to the wedding and had a military wedding at a military chapel with our military friends in attendance. Funny thing is is that his siblings (3) and my siblings (2) all stayed home and had traditional weddings with family-approved spouses and every single one of… Read more »

Jen
Jen
8 years ago

She did say that no one had to go on the cruise to come to the wedding — and that Florida was where most of the guests lived anyway. It sounds like the wedding was done on board BEFORE the cruise.

It seems to me that those two things make this wedding equivalent or easier than others for the guests to get to. I don’t really expect a week-long entertainment when I go to a wedding!

Laura
Laura
8 years ago

I just want to say that I REALLY like Honey’s article – not because I’m looking at wedding costs (not after 26 years of marriage), but because it is SO REFRESHING to read an article about somebody who is at the beginning of their debt reduction journey coping with real expenses that have to be covered, who doesn’t make a six-figure salary and/or live in rural Podunk where the cost of living is $5/month, and who has to make compromises with someone who isn’t fully on board. In other words, it’s refreshing to read an article by somebody who isn’t… Read more »

Rebecca
Rebecca
8 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I wanna like this comment five more times.

Darbum06
Darbum06
8 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

i’d second that.

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
8 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I’m not going to give my overall impression of each candidate for staff writer until the very end. For one thing, I’m reading these as I go along, so haven’t read every article from every candidate. Plus, there were downsides to editing this piece. However, the one thing I really, really liked about this was the honesty and Honey’s willingness to put herself out there when she knew the slings and arrows of criticism would be coming her way. That’s tough to do. Again, not taking a side. There’s lots of good stuff coming. Just liked the honesty.

Oleron
Oleron
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

“Honestly,” JD? Honey was not honest about the amount of student loan debt she and her husband had. She neglected to mention it at all! I consider that a major factor in the overall picture. $200,000 [TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!] is not a minor figure, regardless of the lower interest rates for this type of loan. I feel sorry for the young people who, more and more often, have to go into debt to earn the degrees required to make a decent living. However, please consider how long it will take to pay off THAT loan. And Honey’s husband wants… Read more »

E
E
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

She has an interesting story, she managed to get over 170 comments (high even for J.D.’s own posts), who knows how many page views, and she got the commenters talking between themselves. All of that must be attractive to the blog ownership. Plus she is in the middle of things, financially- not a frugal master (yet). I think she’s looking good for a writer position. If not here, elsewhere. Good luck Honey!

Cindy
Cindy
8 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I also REALLY liked Honey’s style, not only for its honesty, but the specific details. And I was surprising myself by article’s end, agreeing with her — that amount, which I normally would have said was excessive, seemed like a more frugal choice. (Well, some of the stuff was still high, like the photographer and invitations.) I had no idea people could come on board a cruise ship for a wedding — and not have to go on the cruise, as well. If Honey’s SO was insisting on a fancy wedding, it sure makes sense to do it that way,… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

Thanks! The reason I included the cost of the honeymoon as a “wedding cost” is because it was attached to the venue. If we had gone with another vendor, we could have forgone the honeymoon and put the “savings,” if you can call it that, into the ceremony/reception. However, I don’t think the cruise company would have let us have the wedding on their ship if at least my husband and I weren’t cruising as well!

Anne
Anne
8 years ago

We’re in the middle of wedding planning right now – our wedding is in October this year – and while we have made lots of attempts to save money, it’s still racking up to be a HUGE HUGE expense. I’m 40 and never married, and I have a huge family that has had a lot of tragedies in the past few years, so I am very eager to host a really big and wonderful celebration. My future husband has a tiny family, doesn’t like parties, and is divorced, so he’d have been happy to elope, but he is kindly going… Read more »

Dave
Dave
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

We are in the same boat.. planning a wedding next year. I thought we could get out for $10-15k, still do something nice but not too big. Well after doing some research and planning that is not going to happen, we’ll be at or above the “national average.” Part of this is certainly where we live in the northeast, and part of it is social/family expectations. Neither of our families want a pot luck, and they are a big factor whether we like it or not. Also there are tons of small expenses that keep adding up.. clothes, invitations, flowers,… Read more »

Darbum06
Darbum06
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

My husband and I were in a similar situation last year. Our wedding was in October, and although our venue cost and photographer costs were 1/4 to 1/2 of what is “average,” we still ending up spending more than we initially budgeted for. Advice: pick a number and then add at least 10% on top. And, for those folks who are negative on what they perceive to be “destination” weddings, please take a moment and think about how global our society has become. My husband and I got married in California because it was beautiful, the venue was super cheap,… Read more »

Diane
Diane
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

I loved your comment too much to just hit the “Like” button. In my family, we only half jokingly say “we’ll come to your wedding and we’ll come to your funeral, but we’d rather come to your wedding.” One tradition we all love: a casual event the day after the wedding itself. It gives everyone a chance to spend more time together, particularly those who traveled for the wedding. Often the bride and groom have more fun at the “after” party because they have more time to share with their loved ones. Some times it’s a casual breakfast, another time… Read more »

graduate.living
graduate.living
8 years ago

I actually really like the honesty of this article. The author recognizes that this wasn’t the most frugal choice in the world; however, getting married is a two-person affair. If she had given in to her husband’s vision for the wedding, it would have been significantly more expensive. More than being simply about money, this article shows that many money decisions are often made by multiple people, and thus those decisions sometimes require compromise. I often wonder how people who are on a journey to financial freedom deal with family members or partners who don’t have the exact same focus;… Read more »

Sally
Sally
8 years ago

Ok, so I loved this article. That’s an amazing price for the wedding you had, IMO. This is relevant, because so many people, frugal or not, end up spending a significant chunk of change on their wedding. I’ve been with my bf for 3 years, and while I love the idea of marrying him, the thought of paying for a wedding gives me major anxiety. I find that some people have such high expectations for other people’s weddings, but then balk at the price. For example, in one recent conversation, “Ugh, they had a DJ? They should have gotten a… Read more »

Cgirl
Cgirl
8 years ago

I’d like to compliment you on something unrelated to the money: not ignoring the grooms desires. So much of the wedding planning is skewed towards what the bride wants, sometimes to the exclusion of the groom. It seems to me that much of your post is about compromising dreams as much as keeping costs down. To me, the cost seems a little high for what looks like 28 guests. We spent about the same amount for 70 guests at our wedding 6 months ago. The in-laws spent about $5,000 (I think) on the open bar which they insisted upon. On… Read more »

Courtney
Courtney
8 years ago
Reply to  Cgirl

The costs she listed included their honeymoon cruise – travel to Florida, the cruise itself, and spending on the ship. So their actual ‘wedding’ was only about $6000.

Erin O
Erin O
8 years ago

Honey has my vote for staff writer.

Joe @ Retire By 40
Joe @ Retire By 40
8 years ago

We didn’t have a formal wedding because the Mrs. didn’t set it up. It was just easier to go to the courthouse and get it done. We didn’t have much money then and it was a good financial move because we saved up for a house instead. We’ll plan for a nice 20th anniversary party. 😉

Ashley
Ashley
8 years ago

I really enjoyed this article and Honey’s writing style, to hear another perspective on weddings from someone with more GRS values since this is an important topic to me. I think you are awesome (not heroes) for planning a wedding where you ‘only pay for what is important’ and spending less than the national average. Not fools for being duped by consumerism since you had a fantastic wedding and awesome honeymoon. This is a similar approach to our wedding in September, which is also long distance (in Michigan where the majority of our family lives while we live and work… Read more »

john
john
8 years ago

My first wedding was about $1500. J.P. married on campus P.S.U. Restaurant with about 30 people there, family doing pics $150 for dress etc.. It was nice and while the marriage didn’t work it wasn’t because of the wedding.
My second wedding was about 4k, nicer restaurant, married outside in historic newcastle delaware, brother in-law was pro-photog, did for cost of film. ($200) Dress again was $150. Restaurant was $2700 with opend bar for $50 people, cello and violin duets $250 for 3 hours, other misc items. Paid on credit card, got reward points, paid off immed. Priceless…….

Sheryl
Sheryl
8 years ago

In one sense I kind of cringe seeing a wedding article here (even though I’m in the midst of planning my own, somewhat frugal wedding). But a wedding? Then you get not only your own expectations, but also your partner’s and (possibly) the expectations of parents and parents in law. There’s a lot of very heavy societal expectations, family expectations and it really is a once-in-a-lifetime event. So it’s hard to applaud or judge either way, really. But to echo above comments, it’s VERY nice to hear from someone who hasn’t got all their financial ducks in a row yet… Read more »

Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
8 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl

Oh, if people *want* to splurge on a wedding, more power to them. Regarding expections: Unlike “Adult Student”, I’ve never seen very much critique directed toward expensive weddings, not even from the cheapskates, who think that it isn’t such a big deal that it warrants large festives. On the contrary: It’s usually big-bash-afficionados which can’t stop gabbing about couples that neither party or spend thousands on rings. And a once-in-a-lifetime event? As someone who lived with his now- wife longer out of wedlock longer than the median length to divorce, I’m a little cynical about the importance of a large… Read more »

Megan
Megan
8 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl

I was cringing, too. This topic always brings out the inverse snobbery – “Well, I only paid $100 for my wedding and served lentils and water to 200 people and it was great!” It’s just as annoying as “I spent $200,000 for my wedding and served six-course meals for 500 people!”

Couples should do what they can within their budget while having a ceremony and reception that’s true *to them*. That’s the best kind of wedding.

Holly
Holly
8 years ago
Reply to  Megan

Agreed! A wedding should be a reflection of the couple. I’m planning my wedding right now, and all told it will probably end up costing near the national average. Would I like to spend less money? Of course. But there are a couple reasons we are not keeping everything as cheap as possible. First, most of our guests are traveling from out-of-state, so we want to throw them a really great party. I certainly wouldn’t expect them to contribute a potluck after traveling all the way across the country. Second, there are some elements that we just really want in… Read more »

jenn
jenn
8 years ago

i LOVE this article! my husband and i did something similar – we got married at an all-inclusive resort. it was way more affordable, the staff took care of EVERYTHING so it was infinitely more relaxing for us. and best of all we did not have any debt because of it. i don’t know how couples rationalize a multi-thousand dollar wedding they can’t pay for in cash.

Geen
Geen
8 years ago

We got married in Vegas.

I must say however, that each of our 11 guests had to buy a $300-400 plane ticket. I wonder if any of us take our guests’ costs into account?

If we did, we might all do backyard bbqs 🙂

Megan
Megan
8 years ago

I liked this article just fine, but seriously, how many more of these candidate articles will be posted?

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  Megan

I dunno, probably a week’s (or two) worth.

Every day I visit GRS and read the title of the article and the first paragraph or so and decide whether I’m going to read the rest. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. This week hasn’t been any different.

KarenJ
KarenJ
8 years ago

I got married for the second time in 2000. I lost my job that year and money wasn’t exactly flowing. I had dreams of being married on a beach in Mexico, but instead I got married in my dining room in a $50 dress, taking 12 friends/family out to brunch afterward. We’re still very happily married and have been to the Caribbean and Mexico several times since then, but I always regret that I didn’t have a “real” wedding with at least some of the trimmings. Many of you may choose not to spend a lot on your wedding because… Read more »

Holly@ClubThrifty
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenJ

I think that $11,000 would be reasonable if she had the money to afford it…but she didn’t.

Diana L
Diana L
8 years ago

I think everyone has different priorities.

To Karen, I’m not married yet but if/when I do, I fully plan to renew my vows every five years in fun and different ways. When I was a child, one of my neighbors did this (a Hawaiian renewal once, Elvis 5 years later) and it always struck me as a wonderful tradition and way to strengthen a marriage. I might not have the means to do everything I want right now… but I can wait 5, 10, 20 years . . .

Ely
Ely
8 years ago

I have never even HEARD OF a GUY who dreamed about his wedding day! Who knew?? 😀 My husband wanted a big fancy wedding with all the trimmings, mostly because he loves a party and has a lot of friends. I’m also in the ‘elope’ camp. I was willing to have an ‘event’ wedding, as long as he did all the planning, but we didn’t have the money for anything big. Still, we are fortunate in our associations; food, flowers, photography, location, rings, ceremony, and most of the wine were offered at no cost to us. Our main outlay was… Read more »

Babs
Babs
8 years ago
Reply to  Ely

That party bus idea is awesome! Filing it away in case my daughters ever decide to get married. Even if they aren’t interested I will get one for my slightly unruly family members.

Jan
Jan
8 years ago

I think a cruise wedding is a fantastic idea. I’m so glad you wrote about this because I’d never heard of them. I think because you had already paid off a lt of debt, and you knew what you were getting into, this was worth it. You’ll have those memories forever.
Best wishes!

Pauline Connelly
Pauline Connelly
8 years ago

I loved this post, probably because I am also in the middle of wedding plans. You did a great job working together to get what you both wanted – it bodes well for your future together! This is a second marriage for both me and my fiance (we are in our late 40’s and probably much older than the typical reader of this blog) and we both have kids (age range 15 – 23) from previous marriages. I insisted I wanted a wedding with a reception and all my friends and family there. It was going to be in the… Read more »

Tonya
Tonya
8 years ago

Love this article! Honey is definitely someone I’d love to hear from regularly, even though I’m at a completely different place in life than she is. I find that I’m a “cut everything you don’t care about so you can spend whatever you’d like on the things you do care about” kind of person, but have a great aversion to entrepreneurship. It’s fine for other people but not for me. I think it comes from growing up with a self-employed father who never did quite get his businesses flourishing. I hated the lack of money, having checks he wrote to… Read more »

Pauline Connelly
Pauline Connelly
8 years ago

Also – I vote for this writer, Honey Smith, to be a new staff writer!!!!

Jeff
Jeff
8 years ago

Well, since you asked. 😉 …

It was foolish. It is always foolish to start a marriage off in debt (wow, listen to me, so absolutist).

Personally, I think the “national average” is complete hogwash: a number perpetuated by an industry that wants you to spend more, more, MORE!

Crystal
Crystal
8 years ago

I liked our small $3000 ceremony and reception. Obviously, a cruise wedding sounds awesome too.

I think it is all a matter of priorities. My husband and I wanted to own a home completely mortgage-free by age 30 and be financially independent by age 52. That trumped all else, even our wedding. But if you and your husband enjoyed your cruise wedding and that was a high priority, then kudos to you! Glad you had fun!

In the end, what is important to you?

Jada
Jada
8 years ago

It’s so nice to read an article about compromise between spouses. I’m impressed with her admission to feeling resentful of the money she was asked to spend on something that wasn’t important to her. It seems so often in blog land couples are in complete agreement about being frugal on the same things.
I thought the authors writing style was more appealing and easy to read than some of the other applicants. It also might be interesting to have a writer that is new to dealing with combined finances and still paying off debt.

Laura
Laura
8 years ago
Reply to  Jada

+1. Everything Jada said.

Priswell
Priswell
8 years ago

A nice, honest account of your actual wedding expenses. I think the most important thing here was the negotiations between you and your fiance. You each had totally different expectations in regard to the “perfect” wedding, and you were able to communicate and each make concessions for the other on what was important.

Congratulations on your wedding, and I look forward to hearing about the budget on your first anniversary. 😉

elena
elena
8 years ago

I think having at least one how we did our wedding and how we paid for it on GRS once a year hits the right note for me. Like buying a house, car, a wedding requires some thoughtful budgeting to give the couple and family what they need.

Nina
Nina
8 years ago

Thank you for an honest article about wedding budgets and the realities that couples face when deciding how to tie the know. It’s lovely if all you both want (and your families are accepting of!) is a super simple ceremony and do it on $100. Good on you! And like others have said – you get to go on bragging about this at cocktail parties and internet discussion boards for all of eternity. Great investment really! But you know what else is an investment? A celebration that uniquely has the power to bring together families and friends – many of… Read more »

Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
8 years ago
Reply to  Nina

Thing is, my friends, my wife’s friends, our parents, siblings, colleagues do not have that much in common. Bringing them together would be for our benefit, not theirs. And we’d have to divide much more time between them than if we’d meet them separately. It is probably much important for societies with large families or an emphasis on tight family obligations, of course. Also, bragging about cheap weddings is as annoying as bragging about not having a TV. But also bragging about one’s large wedding or TV is annoying, too. And believe me, hearing about this and that again and… Read more »

A-L
A-L
8 years ago
Reply to  Nina

I got married a year and a half ago. It was only the second time since I graduated from high school (12 years previously) that all my siblings were together at the same time. I saw aunts/uncles I hadn’t seen in over a decade, and realized that I actually enjoyed their company and wanted to see them again in the near future. The only friends we invited were those that we consider to be like family. With all of us scattered to the four corners, weddings are one of the few times that we can all get together. So yes,… Read more »

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago

I enjoyed this article and I appreciate the honesty. Weddings are a very fraught topic … probably in the top five of things PF-minded people disagree on (others being kids, housing, travel, and education). To me the event Honey and her hubby put together was probably the best compromise they could have made, in terms of getting the *type* of event he wanted, at a price they could both agree on, that would not be too burdensome on friends and family. My own wedding came in at around $10,500 and we followed it with a $3500 honeymoon: a week driving… Read more »

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

I really enjoyed this article! Well done, Honey, for finding the perfect compromise, having a great wedding with family and friends, and a 7-day cruise to some amazing destinations all within an ‘affordable’ budget!!!

Caro
Caro
8 years ago

Seems people in the comments keep having to remind themselves of the “do what works for you” mantra of this site. But isn’t it supposed to be “do what works for you… to get out of debt and then get rich slowly”? This article is about how someone who got out of consumer debt managed to get back into it. An interesting read, but not a good fit for this site in my opinion.

Dog Lover
Dog Lover
8 years ago
Reply to  Caro

Agree 100%!

Caro
Caro
8 years ago

Editors — I agree with other commenters that this site could really use the perspective of someone currently getting out of debt. I would suggest you find someone who is overcoming overwhelming student debt. I’d bet that this would speak to many of your readers, as outstanding student debt is now greater than consumer debt in the US.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
8 years ago
Reply to  Caro

Caro, almost all of our EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT debt is student debt. In the neighborhood of $200K, between the two of us.

old&poor
old&poor
8 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

GOOD GRIEF!!!
I believe this is all we need to hear from Honey. Two thumbs down. Wish I had more thumbs.

I do wonder what they’re going to do when the first baby comes along.

Carla
Carla
8 years ago
Reply to  old&poor

Why do you assume they’re having children?

Jamie
Jamie
8 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

To be clear– I don’t “like” that Honey is in debt(!), I like that she has the perspective for which so many commentors are asking– Someone who is fighting her way out of debt!

How fun would it be to follow Honey’s stories about newly-wed life and major debt recovery? I’m just sayin’…

Alexandria
Alexandria
8 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

*ding ding ding*

I don’t think a lot of the negative comments are unnecessarily negative. It’s because it is hard to take financially seriously someone who is financing an elaborate want. I didn’t see the point to comment more of the same, but just heard that *ding ding ding” going off in my head when I read this comment. *This* is where the negativity comes from – the big financial picture of someone who truly believes it was a good idea to jump back into debt for a wedding. The big picture is pretty ugly – really no surprise.

Diana L
Diana L
8 years ago
Reply to  Alexandria

Yes, but making mistakes is a real part of life and a large portion of the population enjoys reading about real life. (Just look at all those horrible reality shows on tv.) If the only writers on board are perfect in every way, it’s hard for me to relate to them because, guess what? I’m not perfect. I learn more from mistakes than anything else… I would just prefer they be someone else’s mistakes rather than my own!
Here’s my vote to please have one of the staff writers be “not perfect”!

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