Recession Mama

{April 18, 2009}   Do I Want My Picture with Elvis? Um, maybe…

By Katy

Beverly Hills Courthouse

Beverly Hills Courthouse

After I wrote about recession-proofing a marriage and, more specifically recession-proofing a wedding…I got a lot of mixed reactions. So I sent some e-mails to wedding vendors who were looking to get my business (and had e-mailed me first). I told them that I was possibly considering getting married next year, instead of this year because of the recession and that I wanted to have more money saved up. I was hoping for a few e-mails offering me some deals. But instead, here’s a more typical response from the ones I got.

“I do understand your dilemma that you posted at the bottom, about whether or not to get married this year and the deals. Something else to keep in mind – a lot of properties go through annual pricing review and prices often increase a bit at the beginning of each new year. Mostly to go along with the general increase of the cost of goods.”

Yikes! That’s obviously what I don’t want. Another “vendor” who had spammed me with e-mails had this to say about a wedding…

“Katy, with homes prices finally within reach, interest rates at 4.5%, $8,000 buyers tax credit and our cash back rebate of thousands of dollars – why not elope or at least modify wedding costs – and set a goal to buy a home together sooner? I invite you and your fiance to meet with us for a free homebuying plan.”

I don’t know how he got my e-mail, but dude, I already own a home…an awesome loft in downtown Los Angeles. (If you actually read this blog like I asked you too, you would know that.) On the other hand, eloping IS something I’ve considered. (Although, my mother might not like that, since I’m her only daughter and the ONLY one of my generation to get married.) And that’s kind of how another wedding vendor felt about the possibility of my fiancé and I eloping:

“I cannot tell you how many times I hear that and I understand your feelings. It’s a personal preference if you want pictures with Elvis or pictures with your flower girl…? We have a great location that can’t compare to the desert – we’re the beach! Great weather, beautiful sunsets – what more could you ask for! Let me know if I can help and we’ll see if we can pull something together for you.”

Hmmm…what does the desert have anything to do with it? And to be honest, I like Elvis better than flower girls. I won’t be having any of those in my wedding. If I elope, it will be at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. And I think I can safely say that Elvis has definitely left that building.


Crys says:

Hey Katy …
How about a destination wedding … without formal invitations? Whoever wants to go and can afford the trip is welcome. No pressure or guilt for others.
My husband’s siblings had recently staged extraordinary and no doubt exorbitantly priced weddings … Tavern on the Green for one, a fabulous Manhattan cathedral for another … 200-300 guests, many from across the country and others traveling from other continents.
Not only did we not have the time to plan or the money to spend for such an event, we had no inclination toward a massive “white wedding”. So … we opted for two weeks in Europe that included a few days in Edinburgh, Scotland, where we said “I do”. We let immediate family and closest friends know several months in advance, we’d be getting married in Edinburgh on May 28th, 1999. Be there or not.
It was perfect. Our guests turned out to be my best friend and her husband, a friend living in London. and my husband’s sister and husband and 2 year old daugher, Grace — our flower girl. (Katy, you should rethink your aversion to flower girls…)
We took over a lovely bed and breakfast for several days. They treated us like royalty. with a smiling Andrew the butler popping in to serve drinks and snacks even when we returned well after midnight. We married at city hall in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. We hosted a fabulous champagne soaked dinner at the coolest restaurant (The Witchery).
Of course, it was 10 years ago. But the entire trip and wedding cost about $6,000.
And our families and friends gave us (unexpected,unsolicited, and so appreciated) gifts and parties back in the U.S., in L.A. and New York, so we did get to celebrate with those we love.
If we were doing it again, we wouldn’t change a thing!

recessionmama says:

Crys, Your wedding sounds beautiful and romantic! And for $6000? That’s amazing! I have thought of a destination wedding, but some of my relatives will be traveling from Taiwan. It’s already far for them to get here, and then to have them travel to another country would be extremely difficult.

Crys says:

Well, then I guess that Elivs thing is out, too …. we disappointed some family members, no doubt about it. But they got over it fast. I’m not suggesting you do the same! But our wedding / honeymoon was perfect … for US!

recessionmama says:

Yes! Destination weddings are the best! It weeds out the people who come for the free drinks and dinner. You won’t feel obligated to invite second and third cousins just because crazy aunt Edna asked you to do so. Elvis is also not a bad option. I’ve been to two Elvis weddings. One was serious and included a really nice reception. The second (not so serious) was to celebrate a 10-year anniversary. The couple told us to “dress trashy.” So I wore silver go-go boots a big platinum blond wig, a short skirt and a sequin top. I got lost from the group briefly and some guy eyed me like I was a hooker. (think Pretty Woman before the makeover) Both weddings were a blast.
And as I’ve mentioned before, I got married in Mexico. We had a great time and were surrounded by all of our favorite people. No freeloaders allowed.

recessionmama says:

The couple wanted their guests to “dress trashy”? That sounds awesome.

Carla says:

Heather, I think I’ve seen that pic of you in the wig and boots. Wow!

Katy, I am still shocked that in this economy, vendors aren’t just about giving stuff away in order to get business. Maybe they’re hoping for the girls who WOULD spend all their life savings for the “wedding of their dreams”, but you’re not that girl…you’re smarter than that…and hopefully others will be, too.

recessionmama says:

I do want an intimate ceremony and a fun party for our friends and family. I do want to celebrate our marriage, but yeah I’m too practical to spend my savings.

recessionmama says:

It’s true, Crys. I think it’s best to do what WE want to do, and if people are disappointed, they can definitely get over it. Your wedding does sound awesome!

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