Why I Wanted a Big Budget Wedding

A fancy table at a wedding reception

A big budget wedding might be over the top for some, but for me it was perfect. Many little girls dream of their wedding day and begin planning it when they aren’t even a teenager. Budget doesn’t come to mind so ice sculptures and 1,000 guests are thrown into the dream. Some of these plans might be pushing it, but a big budget wedding with all sorts of fun food, stuffed with loved ones, and a huge party can make some little girl’s wedding dreams come true.

A wedding couple kiss outdoors in front of their guests

Lots of Family and Friends

The guest list is one of the toughest things about planning a wedding. You sit down and begin writing down people to invite. Then your future mother-in-law sends you her list of 25 people. Then you remember you should invite all of your co-workers so the list grows another 20 people. Before you know it, the list can get out of control. For some brides, this is a nightmare. For me, it was a welcome challenge. I cut the list off at about 400. This might sound like a lot of people, but even a list of 200 invites means they get to bring a guest. An invite list of 400 means you could end up paying for each of those guests. Truthfully only about 1/4 of those invited guests will actually attend your wedding, but it still means your budget may get crushed a bit. I wanted all of my favorite people to celebrate with us. I didn’t care that it would cost $40 a person for a meal or that I had to pay to serve each one alcohol even if they didn’t drink. For some couples being surrounded by love is much more important than a price tag. I know it would have been more intimate to have only close family and friends, but I wanted everyone that had ever meant something to me partying alongside us at our wedding.

The Extravagant Venue

Some brides dream of having a rustic wedding outside in their relative’s backyard or in a tiny chapel where everyone sips punch and eats cake in the banquet hall after the wedding. I wanted to get married in a church then go to a venue for a huge party. This means I had to shell out a few hundred dollars for the church then splurge separately for the exquisite reception venue. A couple is going to end up spending a lot more on a nice, big venue because popular wedding places love couples like us that will pay for their dream reception. I didn’t want to have to lift a finger at my wedding. I wanted the food prepared, the cake in place, the DJ ready to rock and the photographer snapping photos the entire night. A big venue helps with all of these little things. Sometimes you even pay for a planner at the actual venue that keeps the stress away from the bride. The decorations seem perfectly in place and the dishes seem to magically disappear. You pay for what you get, and a smaller venue meant putting my family and friends to work. I just wanted everyone to chill out and enjoy the night.

The bride and groom cut into a large wedding cake

The Food

You can get a local company to cater your wedding for a pretty good price the same as you could have relatives bake casseroles and bring desserts. I decided to go with my venue’s caterer and spend a little more so I didn’t have the hassle of dealing with outside vendors. The problem with food and alcohol is it can add up fast. When we first sat down to plan a menu, after all was tallied, the total was $17,000 just for food and alcohol. I gasped and decided we had to cut it down to action stations and appetizers instead of a full meal for each guest. Having alcohol at a wedding is costly, but most guests think it’s a must have so we served an open bar. Food for over 200 guests adds up quickly because most couples aren’t serving Happy Meals. We wanted to feed our guests yummy food and let them feast on two giant cakes for dessert. I was told people remember your food at the wedding much more than they remember your centerpieces. Five years after my wedding people still talk to me about these mac n’ cheese truffles we had at our wedding. People love to eat, drink, and socialize. It was important to us to give them what they wanted and take the stress off of us to meet with outside vendors or make sure Granny was making her famous tuna casserole on time.

Once in a Lifetime Event

Getting married to my best friend is something that will be forever in my memory. It’s an event that I want to happen once in a lifetime. Sure, we may renew our vows at 50 years, but we wanted our wedding to be that fairytale once-in-a-lifetime event for us. We didn’t want to pinch every penny and worry about spending only a few hundred dollars. Some couples can make the most memorable event from a few pennies, but we just aren’t one of those couples. We wanted the stress off of us and just wanted to enjoy every second. I wanted every dream of that little girl planning her wedding to come true. I didn’t have ice sculptures or huge flowers cascading from the ceiling, but I had my perfect dress, my perfect food, and my perfect man all right there making my dreams come true.

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