There was a Do It Yourself wedding featured on the Style Me Pretty website recently that made me sing, “Hooray! There’s someone else who gets it.”
In the words of the Bride, “We had an extremely small budget…partially by circumstance and partially by choice. We didn’t want to go into debt over our wedding. As time went by, it became revealed how expensive weddings really were! Enter: an amazing community. Our wedding would not have happened without our friends and family and we made that clear in our heirloom-themed day as there was a lot of old and borrowed.”
Wholesale flowers, homemade photobooth, dresses from Urban Outfitters, muslin tablecloths, potluck of desserts, wine only–$2 Buck Chuck! That’s so refreshing and meaningful. If my wedding had been local, I considered a potluck with everyone bringing their favorite dish. People thought that was tacky. What’s tackier—bringing your friends and family together and celebrating with meaning traditional dishes or spending a shitload of money on a single day?! Call me cheap, but please don’t call me tacky.
There was an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in September that I’ve had sitting here on my desk because I knew I’d blog about it at some point. Well today is the day. It’s titled ‘For Wealthy Indians, Trip Down Aisle Often Requires a Passport.’ It describes how rich Indians are opting for destination weddings, flying in assistants, chefs, wedding planners, and support staff to the tune of millions of dollars. Wuh? Apparently, the average price tag for an Indian wedding abroad is $2 million. OUCHIE!
I’ve heard the debate that rich people earn their money, they should be able to do whatever they want with it. And they should, but maybe practice a little bit of restraint. Flying in 500 guests to Macau and paying for their lodging in a four-star hotel for several nights seems a bit excessive, don’t you say? I was honored to be invited into an Indian friend’s home for dinner and while I was waiting for the bathroom, I overheard some of the guests laugh, “Isn’t this place totally gaudy and crass?” That made me really sad that people were laughing behind our friend’s back, especially since he was hosting us for dinner. But it made me realize, we do not need all this ‘junk.’ We do not need china and a china cabinet and an SUV and a second home on the beach.
Warren Buffett is the richest man in the world and you don’t see the man throwing elaborate celebrations in the Bahamas. He’s certainly not catering sit-down dinners for his cronies. The man is having a hamburger and diet coke at the local steak joint.
I believe that this is where we lose our grounding when we start flushing money down the toilet ‘just because.’ Stop doling out inheritances to your kids. Make them work for their own money. Stop financing these ridiculous weddings. You can get the same result on so much less. After I read the DIY, I went back to my wedding budget. Ok, where else can I cut?