Average Wedding Cost: $29,858 (excludes honeymoon) – TheKnot.com

‘Tis the season for weddings, so it looks like you’ll get to see what the price of a new full size pickup gets you in the way of nuptial revelry. Call us a cynic but the Idler has the sneaking suspicion that these statistics are published in order to guilt the guests into ponying up in the wedding gift department. I mean, if you do the math and come up with an average outlay of, like, $200 per guest, it might occur to you that you’re coming in a little light with your toaster oven, even if it is the deluxe model with convection something or other. But then later, when you discover that the bar is “cash” rather than “open” you might start to think that a nice four slice toaster would have been enough. This is further proof that the open bar is a good investment and might even lead to the occasional guilty but mellow guest tossing a last minute benjamin into the envelope with the card.


So open bar all the way. Now that that’s settled, it’s important to get some of these expenses under control, and to that end the Idler would like to share some cost-cutting tips with you prospective brides and grooms out there. Okay, just the brides since, given  the typical groom’s role in wedding planning, he is best considered furniture.

First, you don’t want to blow half your budget on the hall. Tell the man of your dreams to sign on with a volunteer fire company, many of which have perfectly serviceable reception facilities. Moreover, should some of your new in-laws become rambunctious, there will be plenty of security personnel in the vicinity to hose down or otherwise restrain the offending party or parties.

Next, what should you offer in terms of entertainment? This usually comes down to live music versus a DJ. The Idler looks at it this way: even if your choice is a terrific cover band for your all time favorites, the Ramones, there will be a certain number of guests who don’t like the Ramones. Actually, hardly anyone likes the Ramones, so, wow, what the heck were you thinking hiring a band like that?  But the point is, a DJ can play any type of music your loutish and unsophisticated guests request, and face it, you can’t have a wedding reception without at least one Hokey Pokey, a bird dance and then towards the end of the evening when everyone’s feeling, um, motivated, a rendition of “Shout!” So you’ll need a DJ anyway. Also, an alert DJ can report which guest has asked for “Free Bird” three times in a row, and you can instruct the hose company to separate him from his car keys, forcibly if necessary.

Finally, don’t exclude kids or grandparents. The former liven up the dance floor by sliding around in their stocking feet and the latter can tend to them once they’re tuckered out and their parents want to dance.It also gives the newlyweds a look at what the future holds although by that time it may be too late to do anything about it.

One more thing, be careful with the bridal dance song selection. Even if your names are Frankie and Johnny, remember that it is a song about a woman who shoots and kills her paramour. Likewise, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and “You Can’t Hide Your Lying Eyes” might tend to give the wrong impression. Now take the thousands you’ve saved and go on a really great honeymoon. You might want to send a postcard of thanks to Idler Wedding Planning Services, Inc. c/o this newspaper.

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