Monday, October 27, 2008

Let Them Eat (Wedding) Cake

On Friday The New York Times published an article entitled "How to Take a Cake Knife to Wedding Costs" which detailed ways in which weddings are being scaled back due to the tumultuous state of the economy. Buy a vintage dress. Use an ipod instead of a band or D.J. Try sunflowers in the centerpieces instead of orchards.

I didn't get to read it until today though, as Friday I was on a $505 plane ride to a Destination Wedding!

The article goes on to make an interesting observation about what it's like to throw a big wedding in this day and age:
“Most successful men with daughters in their 20s set aside funds for the big day,” said Mr. Gruber, the photographer. “The money for her wedding is still there. Today it is a matter of perception: ‘Can I have the wedding I have always envisioned for my daughter, or is it insensitive to spend that kind of money right now?’ ”
Is it tasteless to spend $20,000+ on a wedding when people are worried about losing it all? I can now give you my personal perspective, having witnessed the elaborate wedding my parents threw for my sister in August as well as traveling to a destination wedding this past weekend.

Here's the scoop: College Friend and her (now) husband come from the same town. Connected through friends after college and now belong to the same cute little circle of friends that are all drinking the Marriage Kool Aid. Despite being two years my junior all her other friends seem to be married or engaged. Except me! Yes, that's right, Sallie's Niece went from being a strong accomplished young woman to Sad Old Maid in the matter of hours.

I arrived Friday night to discover that, without Boyfriend, I was the only person sleeping alone in the Beach House - except for the college-age Sister of the groom. Further than that, everyone in the house was either married or engaged - save for the brother of the bride who has seemingly forgotten about the night we shared in a sleeping bag six years ago - and his airhead girlfriend who desperately wants to be engaged to him. And guess who I get assigned to share a room with?

But, alas, this is a blog about money so I shall stick to the facts. Unfortunately the debit transactions weren't online yet but a lot of money was spent. My Dad ended up giving me $200 for the trip instead of $100 and despite the lofty ambitions I initially had for that money when I first learned it was coming, I can now confess that most of it is now gone. And you know why? Because going to a wedding by yourself sucks, that's why.

I enjoyed getting to spend time with my friends - the one getting married - and our former roommate who is now married to a guy we all knew in college. And the house we stayed in was pretty awesome - you know, your typical ten bedroom oceanfront mansion - seen one, seen them all. It rents for $9000 a week in the off-season if you're interested (nice view eh?)

I hate to be judgmental, I really do, and maybe it was just because I was seeing her for the first time in a few years but holy crap my friend has changed. I mean, even having her wedding someplace where it costs people lots of money to get there (as opposed to the town where she and all of her friends live) was odd for me considering we always preferred the low-key life in college. Also she is super skinny, a feat I discovered she achieved through the Atkin's diet. All of her friends do Atkin's. It's a little disturbing if you ask me. Late Friday night found them dipping pear slices into peanut butter. Saturday morning we woke up hungover as all hell to be treated to sausage links....and nothing else. Screw you Doctor Atkins!

Let me just take a minute to say that this is the friend that introduced me to Ani DiFranco. Who never shaved her legs because she resented the fact that she was expected to. We didn't wear any makeup and we hated sorority-type girls in college.

The whole experience really tested my opinion of wedding and marriage and the whole shebang.
But enough about that. Onto the accounting. Friday I spent about $70 - owing to the fact that I knew my friend was still at the wedding rehearsal when my plane got in and so I decided to just take a cab to a bar instead of bothering her when she was busy. There I proceeded to have a Bloody Mary and a beer (thanks Dad!). I then took another cab to the Beach House. $26+$20+11 = 57 + breakfast at the airport + assorted sundries.

To Be Continued.......


Shtinkykat said...

If your friends' membership in the bridezilla cult is scary, wait 'til all of your friends start drinking the "Let's have babies at the same time" Kool-Aid. Brace yourself! LOL.

FruGal said...

I think a lot of brides lose perspective in the lead up to their wedding day.. sounds like your friend has a tiny bit too! There's nothing worse than a hungry looking bride! I don't think there's anything wrong with spending money on a big wedding in tough financial times though - it's their money.
Can't wait to read part 2 - give us all the goss!!

Anonymous said...

How do what you can!!!