CupcakeKay's Blog

Whoops! I spoke too soon.

Posted on: November 3, 2010

We had the appointment set up to go fill out the paperwork and pay for the venue on Sunday. The day before, Mom Cake called and said that the venue we had picked wasn’t “special” enough, and she thought we should keep looking. Since we needed her to write the check, that was pretty much that.

Rather than reiterate my frustrations with the amount of control my mother insists on exerting over this entire affair, I will vent my frustrations on a completely different topic: the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC).

If this term is confusing to you, I highly suggest you check out Meg’s excellent explanation on her blog: http://apracticalwedding.com/2009/04/wedding-industrial-complex-as-it-were/

As I (begrudgingly) continue my venue search, I am shocked an appalled at what some places charge for what is essentially a big, empty room. OK, some of them will set up the tables and chairs for you. If you estimate two minimum-wage custodial persons take a whole hour to do this, that should add, at most, $15 to the amount they charge. Seriously. And some have events coordinators who work with you. Sure, tack on another couple hundred for that. But still.

Is there any reason for the Harn Homestead, a mostly-outdoor museum on original Oklahoma Land Run property with an un-air-conditioned “Event Barn”, to charge $3500 to rent the place?

Yes, you heard me right: $3500.

That’s before we even start thinking about food, booze, and all that.  It’s also startlingly close to my entire wedding budget. Argh!

In light of that, the rustic lake cabin is looking PLENTY special. Heck, it’s air-conditioned!

Not only are the excesses of the WIC frustrating from a budgetary stand-point, but they also point to how seriously effed up our society’s attitudes toward weddings are. The average American wedding costs $20,000 these days.

To put that in perspective, that’s a) about what I make in an entire year (yeah, I know I’m poor), and b) as much as two years’ tuition at the private liberal arts college where I got my B.A.

(Those two facts placed side by side are really making me wonder at the cost-effectiveness of my degree, but that’s a different blog…)

This means that a) I could live for a year on what the average wedding costs. Food, rent, bills, etc. for an entire year, or a party for one night. Or b) you could get half a college degree from a fairly prestigious university, or a party for one night.

Those are some effed up priorities right there.

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