How Much Does It Really Cost To Get Married

According to a survey done in the Brides Fall/Winter 2009 random sampling of vendors across the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. area the rates are off the charts. According to the survey the prices are not the average but you need a snapshot of the expenses if your heart is set on planning your fairytale wedding. If these prices are no where in your budget it might behoove you to go back to the drawing board of your wedding planning or simply go to the courthouse which will at least guaranteed you that you will be legally married to the love of your life. There are horror stories of brides who had the big fairytale weddings only to find out months later that someone forgot to get the marriage certificate signed at the church. I would think that is the most important detail that should never be overlooked.

Music will set you back anywhere from $750-$8500 Think your going to dance the night away by spending only $250 on music. I wouldn’t be surprise if the DJ hung up the telephone on you for insulting them with outrageously low prices request. To think you have folks that think disc jockeys will set up their expensive equipment and literally play for hours at very meager rates is astounding.  I guess you must be bringing your classic iPod loaded with your favorite music and a serious sound systems to get your groove on with your wedding party.

Reception Rental Fees $2300-$7,000 Some couples will be having their wedding reception at their local fire station, family backyard or simply in their apartment.

Photography $2195-$5000 Now I have to laugh at this because most of the folks on Craigslist who are seeking photography services for weddings and receptions are extremely under budget. You know who you are and no I don’t shoot for TF or any promotional work unless your bringing major style and your face is beat for dear life. I only do freebies, meet and greets and low budget photography work if I am going to have an awesome time, seeking the opportunity to shoot to add something to my books and the shooting experience was worth me donating a full tank of gas to the cause. I say this because some of the folks on Craigslist who respond to my photography ads assume that I want to work for free, fill my car up with a full tank of gas and shoot TF for hours because…….they are going to give me a link on their website and promote me to the same group of people who are looking for the same hookup. SMH, at the thought! Brides who are not willing to pay at least a fraction of these cost for photography services should consider buying disposable cameras and have their family members snap them. Photographers who shoot hundreds of digital images at discount rates deserve a trophy…..I am serious! If I lower my prices any farther I would practically be working for free. Enough already with those insulting request for photography services as if your shopping at the dollar store.

Bouquets $150-$200 I thought at first this number was small but that is all your going to get if you pay a flat fee of $200. I can’t tell how many girls think flowers are cheap. If your really looking for the deal of the century it is in your best interest to shop at Costco, a wholesaler and arrange your own flowers. Otherwise consider fake flowers or no flowers at all.

Cake $400-$950 I don’t eat cake like that so I am not sure what the rates are but if you watched the wedding channel and eyed some of those beautifully put together cakes, these figures are not going to be quoted to you. Might as well get your girlfriend and bridesmaids to bake your cake if you think your going to get a platinum wedding cake at these low prices.

A few things missing from the survey are rings, wedding dresses and gowns, tuxedos, food, drinks, honeymoon, destination weddings, invitations, engagement photography, housing, insurance and all the extras that brides think they want until they are given an actual quote. It is obvious that a wedding will set you back for thousand of dollars and give you headaches along the way. Plan to spend more than the figures above if your planning a platinum wedding along with all the fantasy trimmings. Unless Daddy is paying, you have celebrity money, celebrity sponsorship or has been saving since you were a baby…….think $marter about your wedding budget and plan wisely. You still have to live after your wedding day. Dolls, it is not cute to get married and pull up to an empty apartment with an empty refrigerator and bills waiting to be paid.

Marriage is a serious commitment between two imperfect individuals and incurring a tremendous amount of debt before you had a chance to live your life in matrimony is unrealistic especially during an economy that is unstable and filled with a lot of financial crisis. Never before have I witness a time when the world seems to be collapsing around me, unless of course I must be getting older and my folks kept me in the dark about their financial turmoils. The best advice I can give anyone preparing for a wedding is be realistic about your wedding planning and budget. Stick to your own program and do it for you and not someone else. Don’t do it for the gifts, the people you haven’t spoken to in years and the infamous white dress. Hell if you want to be in a wedding dress that bad….go to David Bridal and try on some dresses or go model them for fashion.

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  • Rick

    Don’t forget to take the time to research the benefits of each metal that are commonly used for wedding bands, wedding rings and engagement rings as well. And it is best to do that before you begin shopping.

    Keep in mind that platinum is expensive, but is naturally white and does not lose mass over time (so you can have a platinum ring refinished over and over). White gold is not naturally white and will look more yellow over time, so if you are looking for a white metal and platinum is not an option due to its price, then you may wish to consider palladium. Wedding bands made from titanium and tungsten look sleek, but neither metal can be sized.

    To learn more about the characteristics for the metals commonly used for wedding bands, visit