Wedding Expenses from the Flip Side

It seems like there are plenty of posts out there about weddings and how much they cost and all of those things.  Weddings are expensive and I think they can provide the perfect exercise for frugality and value – cut on areas that you dont care about, spend money on quality in areas that you do care about.  That being said plenty of the things I’ve decided to do for my own wedding could be done cheaper or skipped entirely – the reason that I’m spending money on these things is because I believe I’ll get lasting value out of them or because it’s something that I dont mind spending my money on.

Note: These will only be the things that are specifically for me and what I’ll be wearing during the wedding – the cost of things like invites, save the dates, facility rental and all of that are not included.  Below is what I’ll be purchasing for my wedding.

A New Suit – Growing up in the western US, I never needed a suit (and I still dont) because no one frequently wears a suit.  The only ones that do are bankers and lawyers, of which I am neither.  Formal here is considered a nice pair of blue jeans or stretchy wranglers with a this sport coat – both of which were quickly nixed by my fiancee.  I didnt even own a suit that fit until right after I finished grad school and through connections I was able to land an interview with a firm in the DC area.  My friend that worked there asked what I was wearing – so I told him kakhis, shirt, tie.  Apparently, that doesnt cut it on the east coast, so the night before I left I went down and bought a suit and had it tailored.  The guy who was helping me was pretty shocked when he asked when I needed it done and I told him “tomorrow” – but everything worked out.  Since this is my only suit, I’d like to get a new one in a different color, and I’d also like a 3 piece suit for the wedding.  Due to the fact that I’m fairly tall and lean, in most suits I look like I’m wearing a tent.  I’ve found some that fit well, but they are quite expensive, around 1,000.  The one thing that’s really committed me to making this decision is the fact that I’ll be able to wear this around to events and other things, driving the cost per wear down significantly over my lifetime –  unfortunately for brides, the wedding dress is a 1 day only thing.
Cost: $840

Shirt – I’d also like to get a new custom shirt with my new suit.  As mentioned in the preceding paragraph I’m tall and lean, so like most suits, most shirts don’t fit all that well either.  I seem to run into three problems – it’s too short in the tail and wont stay tucked in when I move around (and I’ll surely be dancing the night away) or if it is long enough the arms and body have way too much fabric in them, or, the neck is waaaay too tight.  This usually makes it fit weird and uncomfortable, which annoys me.  Since I’ll also be wearing this for the rest of my life, I don’t mind spending more money than normal for a shirt – so I’m getting one custom made.  I can pick fabric, collar type, pocket or no pocket, and wether or not I want my initials on the cuff.  Pretty awesome stuff, I think.
Cost: $112

Tie: H has been bothering me about getting a tie basically since we got engaged.  She quite literally wanted to pick what color tie I was going to wear and base the rest of my outfit off of that.  I was able to put the kibosh on that, because I didnt want to lock myself into a certain suit and shirt color because of some tie that was picked out when everything in the wedding planning game was fluid and no colors had really been nailed down.  After a while, I was told I could pick basically any color tie I wanted as long as it was yellow-ish.  I havent picked one out yet, but Ive found a few that could go up for “vetting” soon.
Cost: $60 

Shoes:  I’ve got a pair of solid black shoes that I’ll be wearing for this – it’s probably the only thing that wont be new for my wedding, but that’s fine – I’m happy to save the money and I happen to find the shoes rather comfortable.
Cost: $0

Grand total: $1,012

So, as you can see, I kind of got quite a bit of stuff here for my wedding.  This wont be the case for most people I imagine, but before this I only had 1 suit (I think others have more) and I didnt have to get a custom made shirt either.  However, I figure that this will be a day I’ll remember for a while, and looking nice is something I’d like to do – It also gave me a pretty good excuse to get something that I’ve wanted for a while (the shirt) and have a nice place to wear it.

Honestly, I really dont think this is that bad – if you look at my grand total, that’s the cost of a relatively low priced wedding dress (though correct me if I’m wrong, ladies), and that is all I need.  In addition, I have yet to hear of an instance where women can wear their original wedding dress again, and I will be able to wear each one of these items more than once, bringing down the cost per wear significantly.

Readers: How much did you spend on your wedding clothing?  Were you able to wear it again or is it sitting unused in the closet somewhere?  Do you think that I went overboard or is this reasonable?

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15 thoughts on “Wedding Expenses from the Flip Side”

  1. I think you are doing pretty good for these expenses. Ours were similar. My hubby rented a suit and I bought a dress and the total was just over $1000 which I thought was pretty reasonable. I know of people who spend $2-3000 on a dress alone.

    • Miss t-
      thats why I was OK with spending that much on a suit – Ill be able to wear it again at least, which isnt really true for wedding dresses. it should get to be a pretty low cost per wear in the future.

    • NEED? Probably not, but I’ve really wanted one for a while and thought this would be my only chance to justify getting one. The vest was custom made for me and i”m done growing, so I shouldnt out grow it anytime soon.

  2. Your suit comment made me think, “oh, he’ll have a suit to wear to funerals,” which made me think, “dang, if I could choose, I’d want everyone in wedding attire at my funeral”

  3. “I have yet to hear of an instance where women can wear their original wedding dress again”

    I can, I can!! And I have, I think 3 times since getting married in 2008. But I eloped and found a beautiful plum colored dress for the sole purpose of being able to wear it again. I’ve worn it to 2 friends weddings and when my husband and I decided to get our marriage blessed in the Catholic Church.

    But most women do the traditional wedding and only get to wear their dress once.

  4. I love how every bride in the history of the world has told her bridesmaids, “I chose this dress so you could wear it again!” Yeah, I’ve been in a bazillion weddings, and have yet to find a way to wear any of those dresses a second time.

    As for my own wedding garb, I eschewed tradition and bought myself a killer pair of yellow heels for my wedding. I was able to wear them to work and church for six years before finally throwing them away last year after the sole literally fell apart.

  5. I rented my tux, not sure what we paid for the dress. What about renting and taking the difference and spending it on the honeymoon? Bottom line, it’s your day Jeff so do what feels right for you!

    • Hi Paul! The honeymoon is already paid for (I used a lot of frequent flyer miles and cash flowed the rest last november), and I’ve already got the suit.

  6. The suit’s NOT bad at all. Especially because you got Brooks Brothers, right? My fiance got a 2-piece for $500 from BB and he’s probably going to spend another $300 on the shoes, tie, and shirt.

  7. My boy is blue collar, so he’ll definitely need to buy a suit! We actually attended our first wedding together recently though and have a couple more coming up, so we were forced to purchase one back in December. It’s not a flashy one – only about $250 – but is fairly nice. I’m not sure if he’ll want to wear it when we get married, or buy a nicer one (or rent a baller tux…)

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