Most people love the thought of a wedding.
Such a happy occasion, bridesmaids, little page boys and flower girls, a chance for distant relatives to get together in celebration and to welcome the latest addition to the family.
It is also a major headache, especially if you are paying for your own and have divided loyalties, divorced parents and estranged siblings.
According to the This is Money.co.uk website, Brides Magazine (July 2015) quoted the average cost of a wedding at £24,000.
In 2016, this figure had increased to in excess of £30,000 (link)
All I can say is ‘Ouch’ to the Father of The Bride.
But the tradition of Daddy footing the bill has been modified, and it has become more of a divided affair according to the experts in these same articles.
My Dad took out insurance policies when both my sister and I were born to cover our weddings in later life. OK, both of us had two goes at the wedding cake, and our second attempts were covered by our own funding.
I believe every girl dreams of her Big Day with all the trimmings, but I find the escalation of costs totally overwhelming and unrealistic with greed, and that’s not because I’m a cheap skate as our wedding including a three night honeymoon in Amsterdam and our celebratory meal set us back around £500.
No, our guests didn’t have to bring their own sandwiches or a bottle, and I did have a proper wedding cake (homemade), but there were only 9 of us. This was enough to have a wonderful day on our terms without the potential squabbles and disagreements over who should be invited, who shouldn’t, how many bridesmaids and where everyone will sit.
With the Big Dos of forty odd years ago, church services were normally booked for a Saturday between 1 and 3 pm. This was to allow the far away aunts and uncles to make the trip, attend the wedding and reception, and if they weren’t staying over with family or in a hotel, make the trip back home.
For my first round of the ‘I do’ game, we had an afternoon reception for 75 members of family and close friends having got married at 2pm, then a big party in the evening for twice that number to include everyone else.
Catering for the official reception set my Dad back £3.50 a head for a three course meal, and he supplied the table wines, though we had the bubbly stuff for the Wedding Toasts.
The evening reception was catered for by us (family), being a buffet do and plenty of it.
The venue had its own bar, but Dad had made it clear that it wasn’t an open bar, and everyone paid for their own.
It was a brilliant day, the sun shone, everyone had a terrific time, and an aunt who had been poorly made the effort to come, which thrilled me to pieces.
I just married the wrong bloke.
It’s very different today as you can have your service or ceremony at a wider choice of venues, practically any time of the day, and posh nosh afterwards isn’t always expected.
Hubby and I have attended a variety of weddings since we got together.
Some have been brilliant, some have been low-key, some have even been a mistake, but from what we’ve been privy to see, such vast amounts of money is just an excuse to triple the cost purely because the word ‘Wedding’ precedes everything required in preparation.
Hubby and I have been invited to a wedding later this year.
We haven’t replied yet as some things are unclear.
Whilst we know who sent the invitation, we wonder if the family knows and thus where to send our reply.
We don’t know if we’re being invited to a late wedding ceremony and reception afterwards, or just an evening reception after the main event.
It would be far better for us to attend an afternoon wedding (if there is one) and forego the later reception to travel back, as it’s a four hour journey for us at the best of times.
To attend a reception at 7pm means we will have to leave here around 3pm (not a problem) but going home afterwards?
We can’t afford to stay in a hotel, especially in the height of the summer, and whilst we may be able to arrange care for Maggie for the day and possibly overnight, travelling for four hours late on a Saturday night/early Sunday morning isn’t practical for us.
Still, it is nice to be included and invited.
We have a few months before the RSVPs have to be in, so all being well I can find out a bit more. That is if anyone is willing to tell me or knows we’ve been sent an invitation.
Then you get to the subject of wedding lists. That’s come a long way from a carbon copy book and detachable pages (sigh).