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Since I'm creating a wedding startup, the insane amount of money people throw at one event has been in my mind lately...

It's a brutal cycle — the weddings featured in magazines and online are almost always out of the average couples budget, and what those stories do is create the idea of "this is what you should have". Couples then concern themselves with having the best card boxes, the perfect playlist, hand making favors that will be thrown out the next day by the majority of their guests, because this is what they're told is the right way of throwing a wedding. A one day event that people spend way too much money on because they're persuaded to by this industry.

This calls for another startup -- the funeral startup.

Weddings and funerals are businesses with huge markups. There is a lot of emotional attachment involved in both, and people will be willing to shell out enormous amounts of money on such events.

Oh my goodness, I totally agree.

Did you know they sell decorative boxes to be cremated in? Nevermind you're never going to see the box, nor will the deceased care which box they're in, all it's going to do is _burn_ but the funeral people are all, "what, you'd burn your father in a cardboard box? How horrible."

Put me in a cardboard box, bury me and plant a tree above me.

I tell my wife all of the time, "if I die first, get the cheapest funeral possible. A cardboard box is fine. If you spend too much I will come back and haunt you."

And of course baby showers and the like as well.

The ladies play bingo at baby showers. I was similarly ignorant about checks stats ten thousand dollars ago.

What is "checks stats"?

he checked his stats to see how much he (presumably) made selling babyshower bingo cards.

Fantastic way to gain insights into the everyday lives of people :-)

There's one in the current YC crop, isn't there?

Somebody posted a write-up not to long ago. 1000memories, I believe.


I was actually responding to @rdtsc's comment above: "This calls for another startup -- the funeral startup."

Sorry, didn't read carefully enough.

My wife is involved in the wedding industry. Both she and I have commented at various times that if people invested less in their wedding day and more in their ongoing relationship after the day, they'd often be better off.

I find that very interesting as well. I'm getting married in May and quickly figured this out... its about the union of two people and what makes them happy, not how many layers the cake is or how expensive the party favors are... we opted for a destination wedding with the closest people to us - instead of 200 people in a giant, expensive, impersonal function hall

It's an advantage to marry young, then. The older the get, the more friends have invited you to their own wedding. Maybe I worry too much, but I feel uneasy about not returning the favour.

Then again, maybe attending another person's wedding is the actual favour. After all, it usually costs a lot of money to attend a wedding, too.

I think that's one influence, but a great many people do it to impress their friends. You don't want to be the couple that had that bland, short wedding where there were no hook-ups, the dancefloor didn't go nuts, that one person didn't embarrass themselves, no one kicked on afterwards until 4am and people still weren't talking about it years later, do you?

To facilitate most of these things you don't need to spend loads of money, you just need abundant alcohol.

A wedding need neither be bland nor short to be cheap; hook-ups, dance floors, embarrassment and kicking it until 4am don't require that much money.

You know that and I know that, but I don't think a lot of people realise it (certainly not in the flurry of planning). Every chick says "I don't want it to be over the top, I just want it to be more like a party where everyone has fun." Fast forward a few months and the bill includes chair covers, marquee, crockery and cutlery hire, catering, lighting, and the list goes on and on.

One of the few episodes of Friends that I watched was where Chandler and Monica were planning their wedding. Chandler told Monica how much money (cash) he had and she said something like "Now we can go with my Plan A wedding" and Chandler said "We're not spending all my money on one party", to which Monica responded "Don't call my wedding a party!"

It'd be nice to think that this was intended and took as a spoof of the conspicuous consumption that big weddings are, but I suspect that, considering the target audience, there was a lot of nodding all around.

This is true. We had a cash bar, and opted for the cheapest chairs and people had to use paper napkins and plastic utensils to eat their BBQ off of paper plates (gasp!).

But the part friends & family still talk about years later is, "Hey, remember when your German Shepherd was your ring-bearer at your wedding, and you sent her running down the aisle? That was great!"

Doesn't take money to be entertaining.

Yes. Many of us don't give a rats ass about impressing anyone, that's not the point of a wedding.

The problem is a cultural narrative of "this is my perfect day!" This is what creates bridezilla out of otherwise very nice (but, not self-aware-enough) women.

That's the female narrative, we're on hacker news, I was assuming he was asking the male point of view. I certainly don't know any men who thought "this is my perfect day".

It's a wedding. In the majority of cases, the male point of view is irrelevant.

Also, as I said elsewhere in this thread, what a woman might say in theory or outside of planning mode is often quite different to how they'll act once things get real.

(Recently married for the second time, FWIW.)

> It's a wedding. In the majority of cases, the male point of view is irrelevant.

Which is probably why so many marriages end in divorce. If she's not mature enough to know the real purpose of a wedding and thinks it's about having her day to show off to her friends, then she's just not mature enough and she's selfish.

Catch her the second or third time around and see if she hasn't smartened up a bit and if the man's point of view doesn't carry more weight now.

> Recently married for the second time, FWIW.

Good luck with that!

Are you suggesting that a woman being obsessive about her wedding day is a character flaw?

I understand that they want the day to go well, since it is significant. But there's no need to step on people to achieve it.

Yes, one they outgrow with each wedding.

Yes it is!

I think the best advice I ever got from my parents about weddings is that you have to have really good food. Nobody hardly remembers anything else, even the bride's dress, but if you have incredible food, people will talk about it for a decade. This may be biased, being from a southern Italian family, but I think it's good advice.

The sad thing is that money problems are a major cause of divorce. Starting out with a bunch of wedding debt is not helpful.

As several folks told my wife and I, "the marriage is more important than the wedding." Our wedding was wonderful, but simple and cheap - I think about $3,000 (with lots of help from friends). But from the start - from dating to pre-marital counseling to continued investment in our relationship - we've been focused on our marriage itself.

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