Originally Posted by travelluvr
I agree, I'm totally freaked out reading this post. I'm wondering if I live in a bubble? I totally was thinking I could do the whole thing for 5 grand. I know I can get our all inclusive week (7 days) for about $2200 for both of us. Then pay $1000 for a basic wedding package. Add a dress, small items and a few extras. I'm getting married at home first (justice of the peace) I can't handle the stress of paperwork.
I'm looking at Cuba - the prices are 1/4 of other countries. I realize there is little, if any info on Cuba weddings here, ......but I'm banking on my bubble being real! Pun intended.
What I'm curious about...how on EARTH to people afford this? What do people do for jobs? I just don't get it. I don't want any debt. We don't have any family pitching in for costs. Is everyone just OK with paying this off for years and years? If I can't pay for it all upfront I won't do it.
Sigh. Feeling kinda sad now......I thought a Destination Wedding was the cheaper way to go. Perhaps I was wrong...
I paid for my own wedding and I still wonder how other people paid for theirs lol. I am one of the brides who worked three jobs. I know, I am nuts but I have different life circumstances than you- no school and no kids and I am a HS teacher so that means nights and weekends were free. I really only took the second job bc I insisted on having an AHR- now what I am about to say will sound a little foul and I am not at all materialistic- but from a financial standpoint- it was a pretty bad investment. We got back $2,500 in gifts on an AHR where we spent $15,000. I don't mean to sound harsh, but the people who came with us to DR- I didn't expect anything from them- however the people who came to the AHR, while I knew I would not break even, I expected gifts, sure. As one friend put it- your wedding should be your first financial windfall. He spent nothing on his because the brides parents paid and he made $35,000 back in gifts and they bought a house. Surely it was because the "AHR" people considered just a party- but I sent out formal invitations, paid a DJ, paid for decor, and paid a catering hall. What we got back wasn't even enough to cover the cost of the DJ. I had friends I've known for years- been to their weddings and given generously, give absolutely nothing. Luckily I prepared myself in advance for this and I'm not upset, I'm actually just surprised.
Why the AHR? Because our DJ who I paid a $1,800 deposit to when we were not having a destination wedding, would not refund our money. It was a lot to lose so I planed the AHR around the DJ, especially when I saw the guest list to our DW dwindle- coupled with the pressure my family put on me to have something for my guests who couldn't attend (btw just putting it out there that all those same family members DID NOT attend the AHR- they went to neither party). I'm not going to say I totally regret it because I had a blast and I got to wear my dress again and share moments from my DW- but our phone with all our honeymoon pics was stolen- yes stolen- and it was simply too much money!
If I had it to do again- I would have just stuck with the DW and not had an AHR. Our total on both was $35,000- $20,000 for DW and $15,000 AHR. And we paid for it on our own. We made a separate wedding savings account and mid-month I transferred $1,000 from our checking accounts, at the end of the month, I would wait until all our bills- rent, car, insurance, phones etc, were paid and I would transfer what was left over the day before we got paid again- usually it would be $200-$500 which meant I saved $1,500 a month. My husband and I have the same income and its not a lot but we were super stringent. Then I added the two jobs- I am a HS teacher so twice a week for one hour, I tutored kids and I also did test prep at my school on Saturdays for 3 hours each Saturday over the course of 16 weeks. I bartended 3-4 nights a week. The bartending is what paid for the AHR- so if I hadn't had one, there'd be no need for that job. My husband was against the AHR and I insisted and he said "Our money isn't going to the AHR if you want it so badly pay for it on your own" Challenge accepted. He was upset I took the bartending job- he didn't think I would, but you cannot challenge a Puerto Rican woman.
I say 15k is a reasonable budget- but if we wanted to stay within that, we needed to have it at a different resort. We chose Paradisus and they are more expensive than most resorts and their outside vendor fees are astronomical- so we budgeted $20,000 to accommodate.
It took us a year and a half- we extended the engagement to be able to save- that is another thing to consider if you are at the very beginning and haven't selected a date. But we didn't use our credit cards, we didn't take out a loan, and we didn't borrow from anyone- although a few people volunteered in case we needed it. So for all the tired feet, headaches, and pain- it was worth it because now we can save for our home.
And yes- I'm still bartending- because I am a teacher free for the summer and if I took a second and third job to pay for a wedding? I can definitely do it to pay for a house. New goal!