Why Is Everything So Expensive?

by , under Wedding

The past few weeks I’ve been wracking my brain and twisting my stomach in knots trying to figure out how my fiancé and I are ever going to afford a wedding.  We’ve been together for 5 1/2 years and have an 8-month-old son together.  It’s time to get married.  While on the one hand I just want to go to the court house and get it over with, the other part of me wants the big shin-dig with beautiful pictures of us in our wedding attire, surrounded by family.  But the more and more I look into venues and start adding up the extraneous costs, the more I realize we simply can’t afford a wedding.

There are so many other necessities that, if I want to be responsible, need tended to first.  First, I need to pay down my $70,000 student loan debt.  We also need our own house.  We rent a very nice but very small house, and we’re quickly running out of room as our son grows and needs more things.  We also need a bigger vehicle.  We have a small Chevy Cavalier Coupe (which means two doors) that is very difficult to get a car seat into.  We have no room to haul anything, and if we forget to leave the stroller at home, forget fitting groceries in that trunk!  That’s a lot of money tying us up!

I don’t even want an expensive wedding.  Just something pretty, preferably in a green/natural setting. No DJ or dance floor.  No hors d’oeuvres, champagne toasts, roses, designer dresses and cakes.  Just a simple wedding. But do you know how much that would cost!  Here’s the breakdown for a “cheap” wedding in my area for 50 guests:

Ceremony Venue: $200

Reception Venue: $1,500

Food cost (per person): $25 each (or $1,250 for 50 people)

Cake: $100

Wedding Invitations  and Stamps: $100

Photographer : $1,000 (double that for a videographer)

Dress: $200 (not including any accessories)

Tux/Suit: $200

Clergyman Fee: varies, but about $100

Marriage License Fee: $140

That’s already $5,500 just for the essentials.  Fortunately, we already have rings.  This price doesn’t include decorations, transportation, getting my hair done or any accessories like jewelry or shoes, flowers, taxes, hidden fees, musicians or DJ of any kind, favors or take-home cake boxes, unity candles, etc. etc. etc.


I literally couldn’t sleep last night thinking about how all my hopes of having a wedding are impossible.  I just want to cry.  I don’t have anyone to help me make this dream come true.  Unless Publisher’s Clearing House comes knocking on my door with a check, I guess I’m going to have an impersonal, short, ugly marriage at the court house.  I really wish this wasn’t the case.

  1. Stephanie

    Oh my gosh, finally someone who knows exactly how I feel! My fiance and I are already barely able to pay our bills every month and are getting married in less than two months. I don’t know how on earth this is going to work, we don’t have $500 for the photographer or $1000 for the caterer we have booked. We don’t have a DJ. I already have a dress and everyone is expecting a nice wedding. I want a nice wedding too, dangit! Sorry for my rant, just nice to finally find someone who can relate!

  2. ksbeth

    i’d suggest you choose to wear clothes that make you feel beautiful and celebrate with close family and friends in a place that makes you feel beautiful, outside, park, etc. with flowers and food that are simple and make you feel beautiful. otherwise you may worry, what’s going on now, before, during and after, and be even further in debt. instead you can enjoy your special day, before, during and after.

    • Libby Sawyer

      That’s pretty much what I want. But just renting a pavilion at a park and having simple food will run me $800. Isn’t all this just absolutely ridiculous?