Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen

Wedding costs: Do I barf or laugh?

Marketplace Staff Aug 22, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Wedding costs: Do I barf or laugh?

Marketplace Staff Aug 22, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TESS VIGELAND: Saving for life’s big events is something we talk about a lot on the program. College tuition, retirement plans, and perhaps the biggest party you’ll ever throw: a wedding.

If you’re thinking cha-ching, don’t let our commentator know. Michelle Philippe wants to keep the costs down for her big day.

MICHELLE PHILIPPE: Planning my wedding seems so doable — until I actually get involved in it. But I am the bride. My involvement is mandatory.

Small. We’ll keep it small and simple. I’m going to eat those words as sure as I’m going to eat cake.

I start with the biggest questions: When and Where?

When is easy. My fiance Misha and I want to get married during our favorite time of year: fall. Check one off the list.

Onto where. A hip Los Angeles restaurant. Velvet curtains, chandeliers. Very romantic — until the crushing price tag: 20 grand for a Saturday night party.

Twenty thousand dollars. Should I barf or laugh? Add tax, 18 percent service charge and about $750 in valet parking for our guests. Haha! What are these crazy event planners thinking?

Soon it becomes clear that it’s me and not them. What am I thinking?

I should have listened to Misha when he wisely suggested we run off to Reykjavik. But I have no family in Iceland. The only person I know there is Bjork — and we’ve never met.

We compromise, leaving the glitz of Hollywood behind for the quietude of wine country. Very practical — we can get vino by the case! Sparkling wine for everyone. I can toast to that. Bubbles make me merry.

I call bakeries and florists and photographers while Misha takes on DJs. Deja vu. How can things possibly cost this much? The word “wedding” prompts instantaneous inflation. One photographer quotes a price range with the high end reaching the cost of a new car. Barf or laugh?

So: we are getting married in a beautiful garden where flowers are already growing. The sunshine is free. At 2 a.m. the morning after our wedding, daylight savings ends and we gain a whole free hour. I say “I do” to that.

VIGELAND: Michelle Philippe is an actor. She works here at Marketplace. And tune in next week for another installment of our Engaged series — Mike and Tiffany’s wedding date has finally arrived. This is Marketplace Money from American Public Media.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.