I’m a little more than a month away from my wedding and, at this point, if I could give any advice to newly-engaged brides- and grooms-to-be, that advice would be to hire a wedding planner.
If you’re like Jonathan and me and you can’t realistically afford to hire a wedding planner on top of the cost of a wedding, then my advice is to start selling drugs so you can afford to hire a wedding planner.
The average cost for a wedding in the United States is $28,400.
The average cost for a venue is $12,905.
The average cost for catering is $63 per guest.
The average cost for a wedding planner is $1,847.
The street price for heroin in the United States is about $200 per gram.
The price for cocaine is about $174 per gram.
The price for ecstasy is about $35 per tablet.
The price for meth can be as high as $500 per gram if it’s some high-quality meth.
Number crunching isn’t really my thing, but it looks to me like selling 142 grams of heroin would pay for an entire average wedding. Two tablets of ecstasy per guest will get them each a plated salad course, at least two entree options, and half a dozen passed h’orderves. 75 grams of cocaine will get you a decent banquet hall with purple up-lighting, because for God’s sake if the up-lighting doesn’t match the floral pattern in the centerpieces, what kind of wedding will this be?
And, most importantly, if you get really good at cooking meth, you would potentially only need to sell four grams of it to hire a wedding planner. And you can spend the profit from all your lower-quality batches on your honeymoon, the cost of which isn’t included in that $28,400 average wedding. Though the related expenses will increase if your house explodes, so maybe you should look into something safer. Like crack.
That isn’t to say that planning a wedding on your own is impossible. Especially if you’re a lunatic. Lunatics like to tell their invitation designers that they want all their paper materials to be shaped like tickets, even when the lunatic knows she will have to cut out the little divoted ticket edges herself. By hand. For every. Single. Piece.
Lunatics will also have done their research on the assortment of Google Drive spreadsheets available that are catered specifically to wedding planning, and will have downloaded and intricately color-coded each one. But when they realize that the budget spreadsheet template is too awkward to use, lunatics will then create their own, and update them to-the-penny whenever a purchase is made or a new expense is discovered. The latter will happen surprisingly often, which your wedding planner could have helped you budget for many months ago. If you’d hired one.
It helps that I’m a lunatic without a traditional full-time job right now, which means I have the time to prioritize researching, crafting, and planning. When I was first engaged and thinking of the process broadly, planning the event didn’t seem overly complicated. Venue. Photographer. Dress. Food. Etc. I’d dealt with similar vendors in my personal and professional lives before. Although I knew putting them together would be time consuming and require detailed organization, I didn’t consider it something a classic control-freak/over-achiever couldn’t handle with finesse in her spare time.
Extremely wrong. Because the second the word “wedding” is mentioned in talks with musicians, and florists, and hair salons, the word “money” follows closely, and kindly inflates itself into ranges that only make sense to high-end meth dealers. And wedding planners. There are a hundred little ways that your venue and your caterer and even your manicurist can politely dick you over, because you’re not a wedding planner who is already familiar with their tricks and can therefore expertly dick your way out of them.
I’m extremely lucky to have found a caterer who has pulled every string in her kitchen to keep my costs down, and who, even luckier, doubles as my florist. Without her my wedding wouldn’t exist, and I’d likely be in a mental institution, crafting my centerpieces out of tufts of my padded walls, which I cut out with a pair of smuggled-in tweezers. I never said I wasn’t resourceful.
I was not so lucky, however, in other aspects of my planning. I could have scraped better deals on some of my larger expenses had I known the tricks of the trade beforehand. Like a wedding planner does. A wedding planner, for instance, may have suggested I take my wedding dress with me when I moved to Tennessee, and find a frugal seamstress locally; instead, I left my gown 700 miles away, and had to invest in the 11-hour drive for my first fitting.
The silver lining in driving 700 miles to pay $350 for a hem and a bustle (on a dress that otherwise fits me perfectly) is that I was able to plan the alterations trip to coincide with another happy couple’s wedding celebration.
Celebrating with Malcolm and Jerry was a quick way to put wedding planning into perspective. They’ve been together for 14 years and still have not killed each other, and if that’s not the definition of romance then I don’t know what is. When you’re with a couple who waited more than a decade to tie the knot, a 1.5-year engagement and the insignificant wedding details you could be stressing over fade easily away.
But that carefree attitude could also be from all the drugs I just sampled to make sure they’re fit for selling.
P.S. Anybody want to buy some drugs?
*I’m not actually a drug dealer. I’m sorry if this post was misleading. Unless scrap tulle from wedding gowns is considered drugs, in which case I can get you a really good deal.