Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What to spend?

This weekend I was watching some crappy chick shows because flyboy was flying and I didn't have to listen to his moans about how crap tv will make me stupid, so anyways I spent some time watching a show on TLC Say Yes To the Dress.


I must really, really be a cheapskate.

I think the lowest budget point that someone had was 5k. And someone who had just lost her job bought a dress for like 15k.

Oh wait, time for my disclaimer, {if I forget I get the nasty comments in which people ream me for something} a. props to the sales people, they really lecture people about trying on dresses outside their budget, frequently explaining that they will love the more expensive dress and will be screwed. In nicer language of course. and b. no, no I don't know the details of peoples financial situations but do to the beauty of editing, they edit the show to be aobut people breaking their budgets or what not.

I paid 500 bucks for my wedding dress. I thought, and still do, that it was just lovely. I'd put a picture up but I don't know how to use my scanner.

{yeah that's right I have a college education and can't use my scanner}

Flyboy and I had a low key wedding and like I said... I'm cheap. But I didn't feel like I settled on a dress or anything, I just didn't want to spend a crap ton of money on a wedding, because, well, a wedding is only one day.

{Another disclaimer... this is just my opinion}

My brother is getting married and we went to look for wedding dresses, well his fiancee and I did, it would just be kinda weird if my brother and I went, but she found a beautiful dress that I think is going to be "the one" for just about a thousand bucks.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I thought that was expensive. But still reasonable.

Spending 15 thousand dollars because you just have to have a dress yet you lost your job and in your own words don't have any money and your budget was 5k? That makes no damn sense.

So I'm curious..... what do you all think is reasonable for a dress? I'm not asking what you paid for your dress, I'm not that forward, I'm just curious what you think you would spend, either if you had to do it all over again or if you are doing it for the first time.

And by the by, my brother and sil wedding is going to rock, can we say destination wedding in Savannah! And the thousand dollar dress would look SMASHING on her.


  1. ha. i thought i wanted a big wedding, even went out and bought a $850 dress (thats alot of money to me) and the hubby and i ended up having a quick wedding with 12 family members. didnt even wear my dress.

    your right its just one day. i'd rather spend the money on a vaca.

  2. I (well, my parents) bought mine for $700...and I thought it was outrageous! But I really, really wanted that dress. :) I'm the same way. I totally don't understand those standards of living.

    I think I'm safe in relaying this. A few months ago, a BB I used to follow was having a virtual "garage sale" (basically doing it over her blog) and listed a few pairs of jeans of a brand I had not heard, said they had only been worn/washed a few times, but since they were used would be "heavily discounted" - they were still well over $100!!! I thought, geez, is this an alternate universe I'm living in? I sweat at spending $50 on jeans.

  3. Fifteen. Thousand. Dollars. o_O I cannot even wrap my head around that. Heck, I can't even envision $5,000 for a dress that will be worn on one day. I was very lucky that the dress I loved was marked down to around $200; with alterations, it wound up being a little more, but it was still definitely within the realm of reason for a single-occasion item of clothing.

  4. I completely agree with you. I think a lot of times people get caught up with the expectation and fairytale dream of the day. They don't realize that it is just that...ONE DAY. Granted, a day you'll remember for the rest of your life, but why put yourself in debt or at heartache because of a dress??!?!?!?

    I found mine for $450 and I was extremely happy with it.

  5. Wow...I thought I spent a shit ton on my dress. It clocked in at about $1500 (including veils--yes, two...and alterations. But it was breathtaking. And I still get teary eyed thinking about it. It was just so dang pretty.

    But, I thought it was insanely expensive, and was my one big splurge. That, and the open bar at the reception, haha!

    15K is just a totally different world. I can't imagine.

  6. You can still find gorgeous dresses without spending tons of money on them. I'm looking at dresses right now for my wedding. Even used ones. My fiance balks at the idea of a used wedding dress, but I was the girl who wore hand me downs growing up. What should it matter if the dress was used? It was only worn one day plus is cheaper? Hey, that's more money to the honeymoon

  7. My grandparents bought mine. It really broke was $250. Just kidding about the breaking them part.

    We went to a JP and loved it! We paid $75 total. Awesome!

    I think the amount people pay for weddings is ridiculous. One of the girls I was an RA with in college, actually debated this dilemma: her parents offered to pay for her wedding or buy their first house. She actually had a hard time deciding! Are you kidding me?

  8. I think the highest I ever would go would be $1500 and even that would make me want to crap my pants. On a dress for one night? Yix!!

    There's no way I could do anything more than that though! Personally, I'm the type of person who would rather get a fun white dress and go to Las Vegas and do a drive through wedding with closest friends in a limo <- my mom already told me she'd kill me though haha.

  9. I paid $60 for my wedding dress, but we got married by a magistrate and it was just us. I love watching Say Yes to the Dress, but I agree that the prices are just insane. Why not spend a fraction of that and use the rest to put a down payment on a house?

  10. I paid just about $1,000.
    We had the budget, so it was ok. If I didn't have the budget for that much, I probably would look for something around $5-600.
    I'm not fooling myself into thinking someone else will want to wear it one day, but I do think it was worth it for my wedding day.
    Would NOT have spent $15k on a dress in my wildest dreams. Well, maybe in my WILDEST...

  11. If this tells you anything, my *entire wedding* cost about $5000.

    So once again, I'm with you on this one!

    I'd much rather take that 15 or 20K use it towards a down payment on a house. Or buy a car free and clear. Who the heck cares about the dress 10 or 15 years later? I sure as heck don't.

  12. ditto on keri - my WEDDING cost between $6k and $7k. and it wasn't for 10 people - it was 170 and very nice thank you :)

    my dress was less than $100 - on sale and discontinued at david's bridal. and i don't think i settled - i liked my dress (granted, i WANTED simple - no beads/lace - and that tends to run cheaper). and i hope i have a daughter so i can have the dress cut up for a first communion gown :)

    i do think its reasonable to spend around $500, more or less, for a dress, but even $1000 seems like a lot to me.

    however, i will say a photographer is worth A LOT (you can never do over pictures) and i would be willing to pay lots for that.

  13. I think my budget would be around $2-300 and it would absolutely have to be something I could wear again. It probably wouldn't be white and it probably wouldn't be fancy. It would be nice and classy, but not $15k worth of lace.

  14. I spent $199 on mine. It was discontinued - which I didn't know when I tried it on - so that's why it was so cheap. I think it was worth $400 or $500 originally.

    Funny you should bring this subject up because I used to sell wedding gowns at David's Bridal back in college. And I always thought it was asinine that we were encouraged to up-sell budget brides. I knew that encouraging out credit card (with 24.9% interest!!!) was so stupid. But I did was I was told to do. I was told on more than one occasion to always put the girls in the designer gowns, because then they'll fall in love with them! So twisted.

    Anyways. The most you could spend on a dress and the accessories was probably $1800. I think - for someone with $$, which wasn't me at the time - $1500 all together is reasonable. $15,000 is insane. If you're spending that much, you're buying the status of the brand. There's no way that actually SEWING a dress costs that much. Have it made by a tailor - knock off the design or something! Geez...

    We spent about $1000-2000 on our wedding. The details are fuzzy now. But it was a budget wedding of crazy proportions. We had a Cosco-food meal in the church basement, made all the girls dresses, and the guys just wore matching blue shirts from JCPenney :)

  15. My dress cost me $25 from JCPenney's clearance rack. I hated it for a wedding dress, but what can you do for a wedding planned in 4 days? My entire wedding cost $300. And that is only because we had already bought ties for the groomsmen (that didn't come to our wedding) and flower girl basket and petals (that we did not have).

    I hated our wedding, I wish we could re-do the day. And we talked about having the wedding I want but doing a vow renewal but my thinking is nobody cared to show up the first time (none of my family showed up, none of our friends) so why try a 2nd time. It makes me upset to think about weddings and my husband has forbidden me from watching wedding shows because of how depressed I get.

    If I had the wedding I wanted, my dress budget would have been about $500, I had found a beautiful dress that I loved for about $400 before we moved our wedding date up 3 years.

    Some of the people on that show are ridiculous! I cannot believe the amount of money that some people have for such things. Granted I wish I had that much money too!

  16. My dress was free! I won it at a Bridal Extravaganza. Sweet!

  17. My dress was from an antique store and was "vintage" I paid 50.00 for it and I LOVED it. I did have to pay another 20.00 for alterations.. still LOVED it!

  18. Ok so to tell you about my dress, I first have to ask that no one judges me. I was about 5 months pregnant when we got married. Yes, I believe in God, yes, I wish I had waited to "get together" with my husband until after we were married, but no, I do not regret having my wonderful daughter. (We were already planning on getting married way before we even knew I was pregnant)

    But anyway, I got my dress at a winter sale at Macy's for like $60, and my MIL insisted on paying, even though I had the money. I got the JP for free as well as the use of his house for the ceremony. Had our parents (I have step parents as well) and his sister and my oldest sister. I spent $150 or so on the cake, and we had the "reception" at my dad's house. So my wedding was under $200 with shoes, and jewelry, my friend, a hair stylist did my hair for free, and he wore his Class A's (which I really didn't want him to do)

    15 grand is nuts for a dress! I couldn't wrap my head around spending more than 2-4 hundred, at least myself. I would rather put the money into a house down payment or a car or maybe even my kids savings.

  19. Oh yeah, my dress was from the plus size section to fit my tummy, but it was still so beautiful! I just altered the top to fit me, and it was good to go.

  20. Ha! I agree... Mine was $150.00 ish, and I LOVED it... I also bought it less then a month after I met my husband, we moved quick! I actually spent more money on prom dresses then that one, but like I said, I LOVED it. I think that a good budget is 10%-15% of the budget overall. My friend spent about 5k just on her dress (she got married 4 months after me... and divorced 13 months after that...) and people that were at both our weddings (not knowing the cost of either) liked mine better (they didn't tell me this, it was an outside conversation that neither the other bride or I was in... so they weren't trying to 'save' our feelings) It's CRAZY to me what some people spend... some times I think, how 'bout you work on the marriage, and not so much on the wedding!

  21. My dress was originally $850 but I waited until the bridal store had their sale and it was marked down to $600. But it was the dress of my dreams. I looked hard to find the dress of my dreams and when I found it I was thirlled that I could wait until the sale to purchase it! I don't think I would have paid over $1000 on a dress. and yes 15 grand for one dress for one day is outrageous. My entire wedding did not cost that much. We had a large wedding with 300 plus guests and it was the perfect price for the dress.

    I watch that show all the time and it just amazes me that they are willing to drop that kind of money on a dress or even how much they are spending on their weddings totally. Their wedding budgets could have paid for my wedding and our house, that is insane!

  22. Interesting. My Aunt owns a shop, so she made my dress, exactly how I wanted it, as my wedding present. I think my whole wedding cost about $2K maximum, and I had food, champagne, the whole nine yards. I think it was perfect.

    I wouldn't go into debt for a wedding, and my parents had given me a college education that cost 50 times what my wedding cost, at least, which was a far more valuable investment. Not that a wedding isn't a valuable investment, but you know what I mean. I did have a good photographer and my friends and family were there, and Gunner, and that's all that really mattered.

    My dad turned his office into a sweatshop and they made all the flowers, a friend is a popular cake designer and she made my cake.

    We've been married for 15 years, and it still makes me smile when I think of our wedding.

    .....well until I had to go get a barfy kid from school, so we see what the wedding led to, lol.

  23. Well, I'm like you! I spent about $500 on my dress. My husband and I paid for our wedding--we went split the expenses roughly in half. At the time, we both made huge incomes, but we wanted a pretty cheap wedding because we were hoping to buy a house in Los Angeles. I think we spent less than $15,000--including our honeymoon to Bora Bora! I'm glad we didn't go crazy!

  24. AGREE! I spent $425 on mine (clearance area from last years designs, it was originally $1200 <- which would have never happened!) After getting the length altered (it was waaaay to long, but fit perfect otherwise) I spent $500 total.

    I can't imagine having the money to buy a $15,000 dress that you wear once. I'm thinking... savings or down payment on a house, half a car, vacations, etc!

  25. My mom bought my dress and it was in the $500-600 price range with veils and all the undergarments. I couldn't imagine spending anything much over $1000 for the whole shebang. But, I guess that's me. I do, however, love watching these people pay these outrageous prices for their dresses. It never fails to make me drop my jaw!

  26. I'm cheap. I don't think I could justify spending more than $500...and $500 would be a stretch for me! I can't help but think of all the other things that my family needs...and spending so much on something I would only wear once, just doesn't make sense to me!

  27. I think mine was around $300, it was perfect for our wedding, tea-length for an outdoor wedding. We got married in one of the squares in Savannah! Where is your brother getting married?

  28. I paid a thousand and change, but 15, God! The things I could buy with that! No matter what I made, I wouldn't do that!

  29. I spent (including undergarmets, hemming, shoes, veil, etc) $1k on my dress. It was absolutely perfect, beautiful, and I've lent my shoes and veil to two other brides. I feel it was totally worth the money.

    My understanding is the average wedding costs 20k. Mine cost about $3200... we got married by a JP in a very nice party place and had our reception at Paul's mothers. The power went out because it was raining buckets and so it was candle-lit! So romantic.

    I'm still super happy with the dress. I never felt more beautiful than when wearing it.

  30. I had a relatively expensive wedding. It was in the Chicago area and not anything over the top. My dad kept calling it "his party" and adding things on. I think the total for it all was about $30,000 for 200 guests.

    My dress was $500. With alterations and all the other add ons, it was around $900. It felt so weird to spend that much on a dress for one day. I've since cut it up and made our boys' baptismal outfits out of it. I like getting multiple uses out of it.

  31. I brought my dress for $750 including alterations and I thought it was more perfect than any of the "expensive" dresses I tried on.

  32. I don't know if you know or not but to be one of the featured women on the show, the minimum price of the dress has to be 1,000 bucks. That's one reason why you always see the women with the higher price bracket.

    I'm sorry some of the dresses are beautiful but there's no way I'd ever spend that much on a gown to wear it once!

  33. Bought my wedding dress on a clearance rack for $199, I was thrilled! It was originally $700, and I probably would have paid that for it because I loved it so much. I think spending thousands on a dress that you wear once is nuts! Just my opinion. :)

  34. My dress was a little over 700 dollars and I paid for it myself. Our wedding cost around 3k... 150 guests, 2 receptions (one outside the church next to the water and the other a 5 course dinner (for family) at a stunning bed and breakfast that my parents rented out for the night), hand-made invitations, beautiful flowers.... Our wedding was truly gorgeous.
    There was no bickering over money or how to squeeze more out of my parents. And now, I can look back on our day with joy and peace in my heart because we didn't overspend, there aren't any regrets, and relationships stayed healthy!

    9 years in June!


  35. I spent $200 on my dress. Even better, it was exactly the dress I wanted. It's just one day. The focus should be on what comes after that day.

  36. I think I spent just under $1K on my dress (I've actually had to think of it recently since we are currently doing the wedding planning thing with my sister). I was lucky with no alterations other than adding a button so we could bustle it. Afterwards I had it cleaned ... so maybe my daughter will one day wear it (she can change it if she wants). I can't imagine spending too much more than that on a dress.

  37. As usual, I love getting shout outs. I'm still looking, trying to see if there are any dresses out there that would look just as "smashing" on me (haha) for a little less money. And thanks, I agree that it's a great dress, very sweet of you to say though :)

  38. I agree with you! That is just crazy to spend thousands of dollars on a dress (at least in my humble opinion).

    I spent $450, and I loved my dress! :)

  39. Yeah, I spent about $500. In fact, we only paid about $3000 for the ENTIRE wedding!

  40. My dress was about as much as yours. I had just been discharged from the Navy, so I guess I was unemployed as well. It wasn't quite the dress I wanted, so we bought some extra lace embellishments on Ebay and sewed it on. I did almost ditch the dress entirely and buy a $150 white prom dress a couple of hours before the wedding (looooong story) but now that's just a funny story to tell. I was lucky, though, that our families kicked in and I got both a navy bonus and an inheritance shortly before the wedding bills were due to pay for everything--and it was all paid in full before we got married. I have a friend who spent a ridiculous amount on her reception and was STILL paying off the credit card interest two years later (and she found out she was pregnant shortly before she picked everything FOR the reception).

    I think if you HAVE the money to waste on stuff like that $15000 is fine for a wedding dress (for example, if one was going to marry a prince or something). But that girl who lost her job and completely blew her budget is a complete idiot. Unless she knows she can sell it for close to what she paid shortly afterwards or something (which I doubt).

  41. My dress cost me $250...alterations for both of us cost us $20 (total). My dress isn't a "typical" wedding dress though...tea length, black lace bodice and detail, etc. The average American wedding now costs around $25k, which I just cannot fathom.

  42. 15K for a dress? I cannot even fathom...

    Mine cost about $200 and I thought it was beautiful. But my whole wedding was 2,500 so I guess I could be considered a cheapskate as well, lol. But I thought it was pretty great myself. :)


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