Money & Weddings: What Kind Of Bride Are You?

How much to spend on a wedding may very well be one of the very first major money decisions a couple will make. I have identified four different approaches to wedding planning and spending.  Every couple probably falls into one of these categories or perhaps a combo of two depending on budget, the kind of wedding and how much it costs.
  1. Elopers: Those who say to hell with it all and elope to a place like Hawaii, Vegas, or their local court house saving a boatload of money and time in the process.
  2. Frugal Non Traditionalists: Those who buck all tradition. They save a ton of money and say screw the wedding industry. I'm going to cook my own food, wear a dress from Macy's and have my wedding in a converted barn. Not that those weddings can't be lovely but the time, man power and creativity and DIY projects it takes to pull it off right...well it's not for everybody.
  3. Frugal Traditionalists: Couples who don't totally subscribe to the wedding industry machine and are doing it all or mostly on their own. They make sacrifices here so they can splurge a little there and pull off a traditional wedding to their liking while still managing to spend well under the national average which is $19,581 according to costofwedding.com.  The average for my city is between $20,651 and $34,419.
  4. Platinum Partiers: Those who go ALL out and ALL traditional and beyond with a lot of bells and whistles spending loads of money in the process.  These folks spend at least or well above the national average and their weddings look like something out of a bridal magazine complete with themes and maybe even an ice sculpture or two.  They either simply have the money to spend, are receiving major financial help from family or are incurring large debt and stretching their budgets beyond all reason to accommodate their expensive desires.
Can you guess what category we fall into? Frugal Traditionalists all the way. My extreme budget conscious mind sometimes wished I were part of the Frugal non traditionalist category because this would have cost us much less but that just isn't us. We want what we want but are willing to make sacrifices in certain areas to make it happen within our budget. We are not really credit card people. Our cars are paid off and are credit card balances are typically paid off month to month. If we had to do all of this on credit cards then it means we can't afford it and I'm not quite certain if I would have felt comfortable doing that. But luckily, we will not start our married life in debt because we have paid cash for everything we had to buy for our house AND our wedding. Granted, a lot of cash that is gone and never coming back that probably could have been used for important things like shopping sprees or emergency savings, backyard landscaping or for who knows what in the future. We made the decision that having a traditional wedding while not essential was important enough for us to use it for this.


  1. I was also a Frugal Traditionalists :)

  2. We were somewhere between elopers and frugal non traditionalists.

  3. I think we were pretty non-trad with our wedding, but I wasn't DIY crazy...I didn't have the time or patience for all of that, bless those folks who do! I vendored (I know that's not a word) everything out and still got away under $11k for 140 folks.

  4. 140 and under 11k!! That is like a miracle. Great job on that. I too am not a DIY kinda bride. I didn't see the point of some of it and I guess I'm just not that crafty!!

  5. i'm not crafty either. i tried to DIY and i failed miserably. i left it to the pros.

  6. I'm not sure how to answer this. We're pretty traditional and we have a defined budget. We scrimped in some places so we can splurge in others. We're hitting our local average, so that would put us in "platinum partiers" but that just isn't right. We aren't have a deluxe theme or ice sculptures or anything like that. I hope the day will be gorgeous but I can't see it looking like a wedding from a magazine. I actually think we're being sensible because we are spending right within our budget—actually a little bit less, and I hope that the result will be a beautiful, traditional day.

  7. Amy-To me 20k is a lot of money for a wedding but I do realize that is subjective and can vary from person to person. I also know that my wedding would have looked like something out of a bridal mag if I did spend the 20k!! Perhaps you are a combo of #3/#4? Regardless, you are staying within your planned budget which is most important! I hope your day turns out lovely!!


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