Last night I went to a party. It was a surprise party, the surprise being that people kept dropping by the birthday girl’s house anytime after 7:30pm. Best surprise party I’ve been to and I’ve been to a lot considering I’ve had three myself. Well one was a ‘Suprise’ party since all the signs my best friend made had the ‘r’ in the wrong place, but it still counts. It’s a scary, scary thing having all those people jump out at you. This method was much less traumatic.
But I digress. At the party I met a woman who talked weddings with me. Recently married, she hosted hers in Los Angeles on a budget. Her point being that she and her hubby refused to start their marriage in debt. When she told me her bottom dollar amount I blinked a few times and then told her mine. Her mouth gaped. “If you can do it on that budget you’ve got to let me know.”
Her shock was not at the amount itself, which is substantial enough to be a downpayment on a home, but at the amount in context of today’s wedding crazy society. Lesson #1: Everything and I mean everything is twice as much when you’re getting married. More places than I can count won’t even let you in the door without a $10,000 “site fee.” Site fee is code for bribe I think because it doesn’t really come with anything. Sam asked if it would at least pay for our hotels rooms or a hooker named Candy for his best man. The answer to both is no every time I ask.
Lesson #2: Invitations, flowers, gift bags, menus, programs…this stuff is the cheap stuff believe it or not. My new friend from last night’s party told me the real scoop. “The invitations are a couple thousand, the flowers are a few thousand more, the menus and programs are a thousand, and the gift bags are a thousand…but that’s all just a drop in the bucket. The place where they really get you is with the rentals and the service fees. If you ask me, rentals are to the wedding industry what sanitation is to the mob.” My new friend had a point. Everyplace I’ve called has told me that plates, silverware, and glasses for 60 people will be at least $7000. Not to mention tables and chairs, which adds on another $7000. Heck, my guests can sit on the grass for those prices. And don’t get me started on lighting and linens. And when did tap water go up to $10 a person?
I’ll finish this discussion tomorrow as it’s time for me to go to my hip hop class now and I’ve got a lot more I want to say. In the meantime, there’s a new sheriff in town and I’m going to teach this wedding business who’s boss. We’re in a recesssion people. It’s wasteful and irresponsible to spend $70,000 on a one-day event when there are people in our own country who have lost their jobs and can’t make rent. Make a budget, stick to it, and give the rest to charity…even a dummy can see the wisdom and rightness in that.