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Wedding Woes (for the bridal party)

August 26th, 2009 at 01:30 pm

My husband and preschooler are in a wedding on Labor Day weekend. My husband is the best man. I am hopeful that this is the last wedding they will ever be in. Ever. It's hard not to compare this non-frugal, no holds barred, to heck with the financial and scheduling constraints of the bridal party wedding extravaganza with our (as I remember it) simple and beautiful wedding and reception.

But let's see the breakdown for this extravaganza (for us):
Husband's tux (which we had to drive 150 miles for): $200;
Son's tux (and shoes??!-because his black shoes won't match the other men?!): $200;
Wedding shower gift: $60.00;
Hotel for night of wedding: $145.00 (big fight about this one -but I think we didn't have much of a choice);
Wedding brunch: $unknown (but mandatory);
Bachelor party: $unknown (husband is keeping quiet about the details);
Wedding gift: $unknown (see below).

Then, there's the babysitting for the younger son, who was not invited to the wedding, the time off work for the rehearsal, driving across the state several times, and ... (cue ominous music) my dress.

My dress, which was supposed to be frugal as well as classic. It is classic, but definately not frugal. The wedding is orthodox Greek, in the late afternoon, so I wanted a dress that would look good in the afternoon, but fit in at the evening reception. I wanted something that covered my shoulders and would look ok with a hat, in case I had to cover my head. I wanted something classic, and that would look good for any pictures with my tuxedoed husband and son.

I bought on ebay a vintage 1950's dress, tea length, black taffeta with tiny off white polka dots, cap sleeves and a beautiful asymetrical neckline. I paid too much, but in my defense: it was the perfect dress; good vintage in my size (a modern 8/10) are tough to find; and I was suckered into an ebay bidding war. Then, I had to buy the crinoline and the undergarments, which cost more than I expected. At least the hat was frugal: $10.00. Except that it was the second hat, and the first one was $15. (I love hats.) Let's just call the dress $400. (Which, sadly, is more than I spent on my own wedding dress, veil, crinoline and undergarments.)

So, with my help, this wedding has been a financial disaster. (I can only guess what it's costing the couple and their families -and I'm thinking we're up around $40,000.) That said, we have to come up with an appropriate gift for the bride and groom. They already have a fully furnished house, and I bought a lovely shower gift for the bride, so I decided to go with cash.

The question is: how much? Is $100 too low? What is expected from the best man? Cash or check?

Has anyone been to a wedding lately? Do you think there's a difference in the spending of weddings of younger couples vs. weddings of older couples? Are weddings recession-proof? Also, does anyone need a vintage dress after Labor Day weekend?

3 Responses to “Wedding Woes (for the bridal party)”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    You should definitely sell that dress on ebay after you are done with it. It will help the financial pain this wedding has brought on. I think $100 for a wedding gift is more than generous considering how much you have already spent.

    I'm starting to think wedding party participants shouldn't have to give gifts at all...because of all the other costs they incur!!

    Why can't the other son go to the wedding?

  2. MomEsq Says:

    I take responsibility for the dress disaster -it was my plan to wear it to a second event in the winter, but that's been cancelled. One local consignment store owner has asked that I consider her if I decide to sell it. I'll have to try not to become emotionally attached to this thing.

    As for my other son -he wasn't invited. Annoying, because the groom is his godfather. I don't know why he wasn't invited, but that's a whole other rant. I suspect I would have declined the invite to my older son had I known that it was going to cost a fortune and exclude his brother.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Ugh.

    We spent a small fortune on my SIL's wedding. I was really peeved about the whole thing. I didn't ask anyone to spend a dime for MY wedding. I know tradition is tradition, but I find the whole thing tacky.

    Luckily that is the only "expensive" wedding dh or I have been in. We've been in others that were more like ours (we weren't expected to shell out 100s of dollars). It was probably worse because we both had to buy dress/rent tux, etc., etc. The millions of parties and presents were insane. I will never understand why you need an engagement party and a wedding shower. It was a whole year-long event, it felt like! Literally, by the time we got to the wedding, we just went cheap. It was just like, "We have to buy ANOTHER present?" We were just spent. We didn't really care any more. Call us fuddy duddies!

    Most our other friends and family were much more low key. We should probably just be thankful for that!

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