To answer the title’s question: Everything! Just kidding. (Kind of.)
Here’s the real answer: It’s all relative.
Sure, weddings are expensive. The average cost of a wedding across the country has crept over $25k (although it’s probably less in rural Eastern North Carolina). That’s the cost of a decent car or a downpayment on a house, two things that people (mostly guys) point at when they don’t want to pay for a wedding.
Videographers are expensive. Venues are expensive. Caterers are expensive. Everybody’s expensive. Or are they?
“Expensive” is all relative. We’re not talking high vs low income people having different viewpoints. We’re talking about the importance of your wedding.
If you and your fiancee aren’t excited by the prospects of a wedding, then costs will look overwhelming. Since you aren’t dreaming of elaborate centerpieces or classy invitations, just skip them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a very small wedding or skipping it entirely in favor of the courthouse.
For those who want the big to-do, let’s examine the concept of “expensive.” The cost of a wedding can be very expensive but what is one of the most important days of your life worth to you? What are your memories worth to you?
The truth is that, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still splurge somewhere. Pick and choose the places of your wedding that are most important to you. If your photography is important, don’t skimp. You can get a really bad photographer for $500 or you can spend more and get a great photographer for $5,000. In a strict dollars and cents definition, the $5,000 photographer costs significantly more. However, when you include the opportunity cost, the loss of choosing the other option, the decision becomes muddier. You can save $4,500 by hiring the bad photographer but that comes at the cost of great pictures. Is that worth it? The answer is different for each bride. Only you can determine what’s right for you.
Next, take a look at the value added to your experience. Does adding this costly vendor or detail add value to your experience and/or the experience of your guests? The goal is to have a wonderful wedding. If this expense helps you achieve your goal, that means it has added value to it. Maybe that addition had a high cost, but was it too expensive for the creation of the day of your dreams? Again, you’re the only one who can answer that for yourself.
The word “expensive” means different things to different people but only you can determine what it means to you. If saving money is important to you, then save money and get cheap vendors. That’s fine if you know what you’re doing. If a magnificent wedding is the goal, then a moderate to high price tag will be attached.Remember, just because it costs a lot doesn’t mean that it’s expensive.