Bullshit Budget Weddings
Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 7:00AM
Louise in Budget, Rant, ReCaps, Wedding Gifts

I couldn't think of a better alliteration, so there you go.

I am really kinda sick of reading about these $5K, $10K, $whatever-K weddings and their budget breakdowns. You know why? Because they are bullshit. OK, OK - not all of them, but some of them for sure. I think I need to explain something to brides and wedding bloggers and wedding web sites out there for clarity. If your photographer cost $3500 and your parents, your grammy, your grampy, your sister, the groom's uncle or whomever PAID for it, then it goes into your budget. Period. Many of these budget breakdowns don't work that way. I'd link to several examples, but I'm not that big of a bitch (regardless of those of you who may think so).

I kid you not. I read a recap recently where the venue location and booze were "free" because mommy picked up the tab. Um, hello? Your "budget" $12K wedding? It just jumped up to about $18K or $20K because we all know (being the fantastically brilliant women we are) that the reception counts for approximately 40% of your budget and your mommy just paid for the majority of it.And that's okay, it really is. But count it, because....well....it counts. Otherwise, you're cheating.

CHEATING!

Now, if you truly get something for free, then you don't have to count it. For instance, I got my fabulously fantastic chargers from a fabulously fantastic Indian vendor friend of mine. I actually paid for them (a paltry sum at that) and he never cashed the check. It was our wedding gift - one that in a real-life retail situation would have cost me close to $1500. Hard to imagine, right? It's true though. Because my friend owns the factory that makes these, the first cost of these was probably close to $100 - maybe less because he already had the white bodies (meaning the chargers already existed but were raw metal without the antique copper finish).

Jonathon Campbell Photography

Or as a better example, let's say your BFF is a photographer and gave you your wedding photography as a gift. No one was paid, therefore it was "free." Now, while it cost you zero dollars and you're friend was gracious enough to give you that gift, it does NOT mean that it doesn't have value. That's not what I'm saying, so don't get your panties all in a wad.

And what about the insanely artistic bride who just so happens to be a designer, graphic artist, pastry chef or florist? Those chicks can stuff their "budgets" where the sun doesn't shine because YOU'RE CHEATING. That's right, YOU'RE CHEATING. I read about a wedding on the Bane of My Existence where the bride was a graphic designer for a letterpress company who had a relative in the event planning business and the groom was a chef. PUH-lease! Are you kidding me (seriously, I am NOT making this up)? Of course their wedding was swoon-worthy. Of course it made it to the pages of the Bane of My Existence. Why wouldn't it? I'll bet you those weddings were for sure "budget friendly" when you've got half of the stuff you need to buy already on hand as part of your daily life. Do you think they had to purchase double sided sticky tape, corner punches, A7 envelope liner templates or a new printer because your old one decided to bonk out in the middle of printing your DIY menus (true, it happened)? I'm going to think not.

NOT FAIR!

I'm just trying to keep it real, folks. If the money came out of a pocket to pay for a service but the pocket wasn't yours, it still needs to be counted.  The end.

I don't think my wedding was a budget wedding. Yes, I DIY'd a ton to save some money. Yes, I used coupons galore and took advantage of resources I had available to me, but I don't think that an $18K wedding for 77 people counts as "budget." I've got an Unfake Wedding feature coming up next week that was $28K for 450 people. To me, THAT is a budget wedding. Come back next week to see it!

Am I right here or am I off my rocker? What do you think? What counts? What doesn't? What makes a wedding a "budget" wedding?

Article originally appeared on The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog (http://thethirtysomethingbride.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.