Weddings of Yesteryear

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.

royalsIt 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.

wedding-costI 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.
divorceIt’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.
rsvpThen you get to the subject of wedding lists. That’s come a long way from a carbon copy book and detachable pages (sigh).

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About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and have a terrible sweet tooth for jelly babies or fruit pastilles. Best friends are Hubby, our dog Maggie, Bro in NZ, MSM and MOH (and his dog). I am also a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! Due to a nightmare of a house sale in 2014, 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat until April 2017. We made strong friendships both on and off the water, and enjoyed swan and duck families for neighbours. Sadly times change and we were once again house hunting until September. We now reside in a small bungalow a short distance from the beach on the Lincolnshire coast.
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16 Responses to Weddings of Yesteryear

  1. Heartafire says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Expectations are beyond fantasy and It has gotten way out of hand financially. Every woman and some men want a gorgeous wedding, I am finding many of these couples are forced to pay for their own wedding as the parents just are not able to finance it. There are lots of options out there, out door weddings, beach weddings, receptions held at home or garden weddings. I just attended a wedding held at a nice restaurant, it was beautiful!

    • It’s the people, not the surroundings that make a marriage work.

      • Heartafire says:

        Absolutely! Some of the most fun weddings I have been to have been rather simple but filled with laughter and love.

      • Ours was wonderful, just 9 of us in the registry office, each having a row to themselves, and a pair of handcuffs in Hubby’s pocket just in case I changed my mind at the last minute. ‘Confetti’ was breakfast cereal, sugar puffs and rice crispies, so the birds loved us. It was a brilliant day, and has only got better over time.

      • Heartafire says:

        I had a small wedding the 2nd time around. In the sanctuary of the church of my mother in laws choosing, sounds awful but it worked out. My reception was in my home. It was lovely.

      • Ours was small, just our parents, three witnesses and us, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. It was truly a wonderful day, and a memory I treasure.

      • Heartafire says:

        Lovely, it is a wonderful treasure to remember, making that commitment be it before 200 people or the justice of the peace. Beautiful!

  2. It is a big ta-do these days. I’m going to one in April and I’m looking forward to it. I have no idea what kind of affair it will be. So far I have only received a “hold the date” notice rather than the real invitation with the particulars. You are a better person than I am as I am not sure I would travel that far for a wedding unless it was someone very, very close.

    • It is a family member, but again if we have just been invited to an evening reception, it’s not practical for us to attend. If the wedding is at 7pm, it seems a little late for a ceremony, and the venue is nowhere near where they live either. I am confused to be honest, which is why I need to find out a little more and the question is who to contact without possibly stepping on someone’s toes who might not be aware we’ve been included.

  3. We had the whole shebang for our wedding a couple years ago – right down to making everyone sit through the long, Catholic wedding (it didn’t seem long to us! That’s a pretty short ceremony for a lifetime commitment!). I’m glad we did it, but we were luckily in a position where it could be afforded. I’ve been to lots of small, fantastic weddings, and weddings all over the place, in all sorts of venues.

    • It’s personal choice though isn’t it, and Im so glad you had a wonderful day. Hubby and I had both been married before and didn’t want any fuss so we kept our wedding under wraps, especially as a young girl in the office was getting married the day after us and was so excited, I felt it unfair to tell anyone anyway.

      • Now that you mention it, I think I remember you mentioning that a few months ago when you were writing about your honeymoon. Or maybe I’m just imagining that I read it now, thinking of the previous posts!

      • Our honeymoon was fun too……. especially our honeymoon suite: bunk beds in an inside cabin on an overnight ferry, and we couldn’t do very much for laughing 😉 😉
        You’re right though, I have written about it before. Time for some new material!!

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