March 24, 2017 — We safely made it through the Ides of March (yes, that is a “thing” for me) and now I’m looking for a wedding dress and figuring out logistics for the wedding day. Mario and I plan to get married in September and we both want a simple ceremony at the Courthouse followed by some fun pictures in Manhattan. Afterwards, we will jump on a plane and go somewhere exciting for a week without the kids! Easy-peasy right? How much does a wedding cost anyway?
Our plan for a two-person wedding is a non-starter when my six-year-old announces that he wants to attend the ceremony. He won’t back down, even when I threaten that all wedding guests must wear “outfits.”
So now things move from two people saying “I do,” to a plan that must include all of our collective 1-million children. Ok, not really that many.
- I have three kids. He has five. That’s 8 extra people.
- Two of Mario’s kids are adults and have plus-ones. 10.
- Plus my ex-husband Jake and his fiancee — because he’s insisting and also we’ll need help managing the CHILDREN. 12.
- Plus we think that Mario’s sister should come up to help with his side of this mess. 13.
- Oh, and we have to be there too. 15.
That’s 15 people. At the courthouse. And me in a shite dress that I haven’t even found yet!
Then, my good friend Sharon and I start texting about what I’m doing. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing and she is all lawyer-mom/type-A/super-planner and amazing!
She tells me that she can help me divide and conquer some of the work involved in planning. She kicks my ass (figuratively) into shape. I tell her that I think it would be great to have a little dinner after the ceremony. If we have all of our kids (15 people), as well as a few friends (16? 18?), we can keep it to about 30/40 people MAX, right?
Now we are at 40+ people and $10k to $15k into this, with no dress yet . . . and no fun pictures, and no fun honeymoon. What the hell is happening here? This is probably a small barbecue to most people, but to me this feels like a bunch of work, for a lot of money, and not so much fun.
Of course I turn to Google about the cost of this whole deal. “Ok Google, how much does a wedding cost?” The Knot (a popular wedding website) polled around 13,000 brides and found that the average cost of a wedding in the United States last year (2016) was $35,329 — and that’s not including the honeymoon!
And, according to a Reuters article that I found buried on Google, New York is also the most expensive city in the United States to get married (Like, really, was anyone surprised by that?). The reported average cost of a wedding in the New York City metropolitan area is $65,824. The article is from 2012! Shit, it must be more than $80k by now. Another wedding site (Every Last Detail) suggests the starting price for 100 people in NYC without a planner is maybe $30k.
A website with a calculator by zip code, called Cost of Wedding, shows me that “Couples that live in Astoria, NY Zip Code 11105 spend between $29,093 and $48,489 on average for their wedding.” Here is what my search produces on that site:
Average Wedding Cost by Number of Guests
A single guest could add between $213 and $260 to the overall cost of your wedding. The best way to save money on your wedding is to limit the number of guests.
I talk to Mario: “Every time I turn around, yet another thing costs about $2500,” I say. “This is more than $10k.”
“I know,” he tells me. “I’ve been keeping a running tab in my head. Every time we talk about something, I add it to the tab,” he says. He tells me that he hadn’t thought about guests and he doesn’t care what we wear, “As long as you are there, and you say ‘I do.'”
“We could take a killer trip around the world for that price,” he adds. “Also, your chart images are wrong – the last group should include a guy with a gun to his head.”
On the flip-side, in the bowels of Pinterest, I discover the opposite solution to the wedding reception cost. Did you know…