When Did Weddings Become a Big Giant Show?

August 10, 2013

Let me start this out with the fact that I have been dreaming about my wedding day since I was little. In a little girl’s mind, it’s the day you get to dress up like a princess and the entire day is about you and what you want. I remember even having in depth discussions in high school with my best friend about how our days would go. Spoiler alert: neither of us will be have those weddings. 😉

During college I took Principles of Christian Marriage. It taught you what marriage was really like. I quickly realize that what I had dreamed of as a child was merely a wedding, not a marriage. And what is the wedding the celebration and start of?

Ding. Ding. Ding. A Marriage!

A few fun facts: 

  • The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $27,000 – You could almost buy 2 Honda Civics with that!
  • The average cost of a wedding dress is $1,099
  • 69% of people get married on a Saturday
  • Over $50 Billion is spent on weddings annually in the US

Sources: 1 | 2

When did weddings become a giant event?

So I was wondering, when did wedding become this big giant show that got away from what it is, the joining of two families, two people, and two hearts (cheesy but true). It’s the beginning of a new family. And should you really go into debt for one days worth of extravagance? I’ll leave that answer up to you.

Image via Flickr

To answer my question, I went to the most trusted, the most valued place on the internet: Wikipedia. According to wikipedia..

During the 19th Century in America, weddings were usually small family gatherings at the home of either the parents of the bride or the parents of the groom. The ceremonies were intimate and not elaborate. Weddings did not become elaborate until the 1820s and 1830s, when upper class couples would have wedding ceremonies similar to what is common today.

But the 1820s version of elaborate meant the bride owned her own dress, there was a floral arrangement and a wedding cake. Prettyyy elaborate if you ask me (sarcasm much)!

Today’s elaborate includes a variety of 30 chandeliers to pick from with different price brackets, destination bachelorette parties with VIP seating at “da club,” and floral arrangements costing the amount of a new ford focus. With TV shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Brideszilla,” can you blame me for being irked by these nuances. Is this all really necessary?

The other problems

These extravagant affairs are held by the rich and the famous but then posted to places like Pinterest for the rest of us to drool at. I mean look at this:


How can the rest of us compare with this? And the bigger question should be… do we need to? I decided a while ago that no, I won’t.

If you are planning a wedding…I bet you have noticed these things…

  • The moment you mention your planning a wedding, the price increases 200%.
  • You realize you aren’t getting out of this for under $10,000 and you equate that to the number of iPhones you could buy.
  • Wedding planners are expensive but seem 100% necessary

A few moments so far that have caught me off guard with wedding planning.

  • The dress shop I went to, the woman looked at me like I was crazy when I told her my budget was $500. Like I should basically leave because they can’t help me. Pretty Woman style.
  • The fact that a venue ALONE could cost upwards of $15,000 before food and beverage. I mean…really?
  • Flowers cost a lot. And I mean a lot. The arrangements above would make you pee your pants a bit!

Maybe I think this way because I can’t afford to choose between 30 chandeliers, heck I can’t even afford to rent one chandelier. But does that make my wedding less cool? Does it make it less likely to be attended?

 Where is she going with this?

Honestly, parts of me would love to be the host of the photos above but I realize that it’s extravagant and I would rather spend it on a kick-ass house or vacation that will last longer than 24 hours. I have to remind myself that those events should be left to those who won’t go into extreme debt.

But…I am NOT telling you or anyone that you shouldn’t have a luxury wedding because if that’s your dream and it will make you happy…then you should.

If you are on the fence…

My unsolicited advice is to ask yourself how important it is to have certain elements in your wedding. If you are like me, you’ll figure out two things you MUST HAVE and then you’ll have a lot of LIKE-TO-HAVES. Once you know these things, you can prioritize based on your budget. Because it’s easy to get lost in the endless abyss known as Pinterest.

Bottom Line

When we are little girls, we play “wedding”…

Image via Wedding Vows SG

As you grow up, you see stuff like…

image via pop sugar

And so you think that is what you get!

But in the end what really matters is…LOVE

Budget-Friendly Resources


Quick note: I am not saying people that have elaborate and extravagant weddings don’t love each other. But for those of us that can’t afford it and try to talk ourselves into expensive things…take this as a reminder what a wedding is really about. And please don’t hate me. This is just one opinion.

Sometimes Pins Do Come True

July 26, 2013

pinterest wedding ring

I am so excited. My feet do a little happy dance every time I look at it. It’s just perfect. The essence of my ring completely speaks to my personality…isn’t that just awesome. It’s unique – the first one made of it’s kind! The jeweler told us that she was on the phone with the dealer and they were excited because MY ring was the first one made, ever! I can’t believe it.

Probably the reason I am so excited is because 21 weeks ago, I pinned this ring because I thought it was awesome. I didn’t know I was going to be engaged but I knew I loved it.

Breon told Teresa (our gemologist at JB Hudson) that he didn’t know which ring to get me because I had 20 different styles pin (typical Amanda) so he didn’t know which one to get. He bought a “finger-warmer” (her words) so that we could come home from London and pick it out. We looked at a few that weren’t “the one” and I liked them all. But Breon and I decided this was indeed sheer perfection!

I cannot tell you how excited I am to have it finally. It fits perfectly, it shines like the brightest star in the sky, and it is truly unique. I have to give a huge shout out to JB Hudson and Teresa. She was the best and easiest person to work with and she had great opinions and worked with our budget. We had the VERY BEST experience with them. I would HIGHLY recommend going there if you want great customer service! They even gave us a bottle of wine while we were checking out!

Enough talking….here are some more pics:

sylvie engagement ring

Our Trip to London

July 1, 2013

Our trip to London was so much fun! Other than the obvious reason, we had so much fun just hanging out in town, walking around the beautiful city, and exploring the neighborhoods. We spent our days roaming the city and nights hanging in our awesome AirBNB flat (highly recommend)! Just had a blasty blast! Here are some of my favorite photos:

westminster abbey

Westminster Abbey

shoreditch street art

Shoreditch street art

Shoreditch Street Art

More Shoreditch street art

Breon and I

Swan on the Lake in front of Kensington Palace

Swan on the Lake in front of Kensington Palace

Leaving Harrods - Such a beautiful buidling.

Leaving Harrods – Such a beautiful buidling.

At Leeds Castle

At Leeds Castle

On our drive to Dover, Fields of Gold.

On our drive to Dover, Fields of Gold.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral windows

Canterbury Cathedral windows

Me standing in the English Channel

Me standing in the English Channel

Breon being serious

Breon being serious

Near Picadilly, we went shopping

Near Picadilly, we went shopping

At Borough Market, some produce for purchase.

At Borough Market, some produce for purchase.

In Shoreditch, a pretty street

In Shoreditch, a pretty street


We toured this house, where The Dutchess was filmed.

We toured this house, where The Dutchess was filmed.

Covet Garden hidden gem, Neal's Yard.

Covet Garden hidden gem, Neal’s Yard.


The Guards at the Tower of London

The Guards at the Tower of London

I love doors!!

I love doors!!

Tower of London

Tower of London

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Garden Maze at Leed's Castle

Garden Maze at Leed’s Castle

Mr. Peacock thinks he is pretty!

Mr. Peacock thinks he is pretty!

A Beautiful Beach Wedding {Hopefully} on the Horizon

June 24, 2013

So, many of you may know, but some not. I am getting married! AHHH! It’s so exciting! Breon and I have been together for 3 years and I am excited to spend the rest of my life with him.

When we first got engaged, I was so excited because he captured it all on his glass. I must admit, I don’t remember the moment at all and if not for this video I would probably never really know how I reacted. I was just so shocked (also by the fact that Huff Po, Fast Company, and Mashable posted it to their websites).

Fast forward back to state side and reality, we are in planning mode. Both of us want to get the majority of the planning done soon. We both love to plan but would love to have the details solidified as soon as possible so we can just enjoy everything. We have been talking to wedding planners and looking at blogs! It’s been very fun!

I have been scouring pinterest for inspiration and keep finding myself on inspiration overload. There is just so much you can do (and so much money you can spend).

We are trying to keep this event as simple and casual as possible (and budet-friendly), as both of us realize this is about our marriage not just about a wedding.

But the wedding will be awesome, of course. 😉

Which brings me to my point. For you lovely ladies getting engaged, take a look at Style Me Pretty! It’s a fantastic website full of advice, inspiration, diy projects, and vendors. I have found it to be very helpful thus far. My favorite part: MOODBOARDS!

I won’t be doing a lot of moodboaring because I know I will just go crazy and never decide on colors, a look & feel, etc. So I have decided to just get a feel down. I love this one:

So, what do you think?

Should we do natural sea colors, like Khaki and Blue or something fun like coral and teal?