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amother




Olive
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 4:48 am
I just made a wedding in NY. We live OOT.

We split costs 50/50 with the chassan. (Obviously airline tickets etc were on us, also we made a sheva brochos in our home city which I am not including in this list)

Hall etc was about $20000, split between us, photographer about $5000, also split, flowers $1000, band $1000. (we spent the minimim on everything but did want to spend on a good photographer, this was the cheapest package - 1 photographer only, 1 video guy only). Both chasan and kallah are the oldest in the family so we didn't have a huge amount of family pictures to take.

Less than $14000 each side for wedding night.

We also spent a few hundred on make up artists and hair, no one (including kallah - she used her friend who is a starting makeup artist) was more than $150 per person. Maybe kallah hair person was more. Dresses were all from gemachs or bought second hand, prob $1000 in total including kallah. (I have 3 daughters)

I did spend a bit of money on sheva brachos, lchaim clothing for myself, maybe another $1000. But I still have and enjoy those clothes.

We gave the chassan and kallah $2500 each to spend on furniture.

I spent about $4000 on a sheital. (for kallah- I had just recently bought myself a new sheital so saw no reason to get another)

$1000 to stock up apartment with food.

$1000 chassan shas, more for other gifts. (he wanted sefarim not a watch)

Chassans mother made 2 Sheva brachos at home, her relative made another at home, my family made one in a small shul hall.

Linens, pots pans etc came from a gemach, they also gave money towards a sheital and lingerie.

My daughter made a wedding list online for the other household items, so most of the gifts were cash or things she chose.

She didn't have to buy other household items.

BH we were both in agreement with mechutanim about what to spend.
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 5:05 am
WitchKitty wrote:
A hall, yes.
Catering, no.
Many chareidi families cook the shabbos sheva brachos, usually dividing the food. Many times they divide the meals- one side makes each meal- each can decide if it's catered or not- then shalosh seudos is basic, mainly leftover dips, salads, etc.
And when you have so many siblings, they all pitch in and each makes something. It's not complicated.

This is new to me Speechless
If it works logistically then great.
If there are lots of sisters on each side I can maybe see it materializing. If many SIL's: not so much. I wouldn't like that cooking would fall on me as a SIL because two large families marry off.
There's serving too. I know what it takes to serve large events as I've done at professionally. It ain't Shabbos Menucha to put it mildly.
Sorry but I'm opting out.
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WitchKitty




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 5:10 am
Bnei Berak 10 wrote:
This is new to me Speechless
If it works logistically then great.
If there are lots of sisters on each side I can maybe see it materializing. If many SIL's: not so much. I wouldn't like that cooking would fall on me as a SIL because two large families marry off.
There's serving too. I know what it takes to serve large events as I've done at professionally. It ain't Shabbos Menucha to put it mildly.
Sorry but I'm opting out.

It's not a lot of cooking though.
If each sis/SIL makes one thing that's 8 dishes at least.
I'm sure you wouldn't mind making rice or salmon. The parents pay for ingredients of course.
Serving is harder but totally doable. I haven't seen many waiters at such events. There are more than enough people there to help.
(I'm one of 11, my husband is from 12, and my sisters all married into large families too)
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justforfun87




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 5:17 am
Yikes... and then 10 years down the road these kallahs are crying on imamother they have no money for a down payment and stuck in an apartment. Granted I'm not in this "lifestyle" but even if I had the money I would NEVER spend that much on a wedding. 75k?? For a night and a weekend??! That literally was my down-payment for a house.
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Mollie




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 7:17 am
It’s interesting that 90 percent of people here are writing that they make takanah weddings. In real life it’s just a small percentage who do, especially in my neighborhood (Flatbush)

Yes, making a Jewish wedding can destroy you financially. The same way regular tuition, Seminary, and regular cost of living as a religious Jew can. The system needs to change.
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amother




Acacia
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 7:31 am
I made a wedding three years ago and the numbers were even higher. The vort was in my backyard and I did all the cooking and it was still over $2000. My sister in law and I shared some of the costs and cooking for Shabbos Sheva Brochos in my house and it was over $2000 for both meals combined and some serving help. Both families shared the rental costs of the apartment for two years since the bride was still in school. We made some minor contributions to furnishing the place for beds but most of the furniture came from hand me downs from a cousin and a few IKEA or Home Goods purchases. Gifts for Tallis ($750) and watch ($2000) and some silver items ($300?) added a bit more. The enormous costs were for the wedding itself which were split 70 (B)-30 (G) for the families. Before we made the wedding, we sat down with very close friends who have similar resources and they told us exact numbers for all the costs. We did the same for other close friends whose son was getting married after our child but for very specific reasons paid for and organized all the costs of the wedding. The most expensive aspect is usually the venue. If you have the option of a beautiful takanah hall, that might work for you and save a substantial portion. Music is also expensive, but you don't have to have a 10 piece orchestra. We had 5. Some people have 3 or a 1 man band. Photography varies as well. You could look for a talented student as long as they are educated about which pictures are essential and how a frum wedding works. (I.e. you don't want to miss the bedeken!) We were advised to work with a florist who operates from her house and that saved literally thousands of dollars. There are people who do that in Brooklyn and Monsey and in the "OOT" city where we made our simcha. I imagine other places have them as well. However, as someone noted upthread, you can also make beautiful elegant centerpieces with candles and just a few flowers. I also attended a wedding with huge bunches of babies breath in vases. It was economical and looked lovely. I took a very active role in decor by arranging photos from both families throughout the venue on gold shelves I bought at Home Goods. That was instead of large floral arrangements in the bedeken area. Gowns can be bought for a variety of prices ranging from $1000 to many times that. Others wear beautiful gemach dresses. The point with all of this is that you need to do your research and determine what you can afford to spend and where you want to place the emphasis. Unless you have unlimited resources and a small family, you will have a finite budget. An honest conversation with the Machatunim is also in order about expectations and ability to pay. We literally gave ours a spreadsheet so we could discuss numbers. In one family I know where the resources were not balanced, the Kallah's family just told the Chussan's family, we only have $10K to spend. They worked it out. A Chassidische friend told me that her family makes weddings in Boro Park for $10K per side split evenly and that they are beautiful. You are wise to start considering your costs now and planning for them. Others who have younger children should try to take the opportunity to save but if these costs are unreachable, downsizing guest lists and expectations is also in order. It might mean sticking closely to other budgets or taking on additional employment. This might also be a good opportunity to discuss expenses and staying within your means with your child as he or she approaches shidduchim.
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 7:38 am
Mollie wrote:
It’s interesting that 90 percent of people here are writing that they make takanah weddings. In real life it’s just a small percentage who do, especially in my neighborhood (Flatbush)

Yes, making a Jewish wedding can destroy you financially. The same way regular tuition, Seminary, and regular cost of living as a religious Jew can. The system needs to change.

Changes start with people not buying into the system.
We have DH niece getting married tonight. We are not participating in any SB, also not Shabbos SB.
We opted out of it *as a principle* as we are pro downsizing wedding costs and keeping things down.
They will do just fine Shabbos SB without us Smile
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amother




Tan
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 7:45 am
amother Olive wrote:
I just made a wedding in NY. We live OOT.

We split costs 50/50 with the chassan. (Obviously airline tickets etc were on us, also we made a sheva brochos in our home city which I am not including in this list)

Hall etc was about $20000, split between us, photographer about $5000, also split, flowers $1000, band $1000. (we spent the minimim on everything but did want to spend on a good photographer, this was the cheapest package - 1 photographer only, 1 video guy only). Both chasan and kallah are the oldest in the family so we didn't have a huge amount of family pictures to take.

Less than $14000 each side for wedding night.

We also spent a few hundred on make up artists and hair, no one (including kallah - she used her friend who is a starting makeup artist) was more than $150 per person. Maybe kallah hair person was more. Dresses were all from gemachs or bought second hand, prob $1000 in total including kallah. (I have 3 daughters)

I did spend a bit of money on sheva brachos, lchaim clothing for myself, maybe another $1000. But I still have and enjoy those clothes.

We gave the chassan and kallah $2500 each to spend on furniture.

I spent about $4000 on a sheital. (for kallah- I had just recently bought myself a new sheital so saw no reason to get another)

$1000 to stock up apartment with food.

$1000 chassan shas, more for other gifts. (he wanted sefarim not a watch)

Chassans mother made 2 Sheva brachos at home, her relative made another at home, my family made one in a small shul hall.

Linens, pots pans etc came from a gemach, they also gave money towards a sheital and lingerie.

My daughter made a wedding list online for the other household items, so most of the gifts were cash or things she chose.

She didn't have to buy other household items.

BH we were both in agreement with mechutanim about what to spend.


Thank you for this realistic breadown.
Thia shows it is possible to make a normal wedding for a lot less than previous posters said
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 8:01 am
amother Acacia wrote:
I made a wedding three years ago and the numbers were even higher. The vort was in my backyard and I did all the cooking and it was still over $2000. My sister in law and I shared some of the costs and cooking for Shabbos Sheva Brochos in my house and it was over $2000 for both meals combined and some serving help. Both families shared the rental costs of the apartment for two years since the bride was still in school. We made some minor contributions to furnishing the place for beds but most of the furniture came from hand me downs from a cousin and a few IKEA or Home Goods purchases. Gifts for Tallis ($750) and watch ($2000) and some silver items ($300?) added a bit more. The enormous costs were for the wedding itself which were split 70 (B)-30 (G) for the families. Before we made the wedding, we sat down with very close friends who have similar resources and they told us exact numbers for all the costs. We did the same for other close friends whose son was getting married after our child but for very specific reasons paid for and organized all the costs of the wedding. The most expensive aspect is usually the venue. If you have the option of a beautiful takanah hall, that might work for you and save a substantial portion. Music is also expensive, but you don't have to have a 10 piece orchestra. We had 5. Some people have 3 or a 1 man band. Photography varies as well. You could look for a talented student as long as they are educated about which pictures are essential and how a frum wedding works. (I.e. you don't want to miss the bedeken!) We were advised to work with a florist who operates from her house and that saved literally thousands of dollars. There are people who do that in Brooklyn and Monsey and in the "OOT" city where we made our simcha. I imagine other places have them as well. However, as someone noted upthread, you can also make beautiful elegant centerpieces with candles and just a few flowers. I also attended a wedding with huge bunches of babies breath in vases. It was economical and looked lovely. I took a very active role in decor by arranging photos from both families throughout the venue on gold shelves I bought at Home Goods. That was instead of large floral arrangements in the bedeken area. Gowns can be bought for a variety of prices ranging from $1000 to many times that. Others wear beautiful gemach dresses. The point with all of this is that you need to do your research and determine what you can afford to spend and where you want to place the emphasis. Unless you have unlimited resources and a small family, you will have a finite budget. An honest conversation with the Machatunim is also in order about expectations and ability to pay. We literally gave ours a spreadsheet so we could discuss numbers. In one family I know where the resources were not balanced, the Kallah's family just told the Chussan's family, we only have $10K to spend. They worked it out. A Chassidische friend told me that her family makes weddings in Boro Park for $10K per side split evenly and that they are beautiful. You are wise to start considering your costs now and planning for them. Others who have younger children should try to take the opportunity to save but if these costs are unreachable, downsizing guest lists and expectations is also in order. It might mean sticking closely to other budgets or taking on additional employment. This might also be a good opportunity to discuss expenses and staying within your means with your child as he or she approaches shidduchim.

10k per side chassidish circles marrying off in Boro Park? Applause Applause
Excellent
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amother




Trillium
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 8:38 am
justforfun87 wrote:
Yikes... and then 10 years down the road these kallahs are crying on imamother they have no money for a down payment and stuck in an apartment. Granted I'm not in this "lifestyle" but even if I had the money I would NEVER spend that much on a wedding. 75k?? For a night and a weekend??! That literally was my down-payment for a house.


In addition to the wedding it includes all engagement gifts, setting up an apartment & several months rent, vort, shaitels, clothing for bride/ groom & wedding clothing for the entire family. Anything you touch is expensive, down to the taxi rides ( read op) & kalah classes.

It's easy to say you wouldn't do it but when in comes to it things are just expensive!
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amother




Trillium
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 8:41 am
WitchKitty wrote:
It's not a lot of cooking though.
If each sis/SIL makes one thing that's 8 dishes at least.
I'm sure you wouldn't mind making rice or salmon. The parents pay for ingredients of course.
Serving is harder but totally doable. I haven't seen many waiters at such events. There are more than enough people there to help.
(I'm one of 11, my husband is from 12, and my sisters all married into large families too)


I've been to such events & honestly, I'd prefer they invite a lot less people & buy the food + waiter, it's so stressful & not too relaxing for the guests.
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amother




Mustard
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 8:54 am
amother Trillium wrote:
In addition to the wedding it includes all engagement gifts, setting up an apartment & several months rent, vort, shaitels, clothing for bride/ groom & wedding clothing for the entire family. Anything you touch is expensive, down to the taxi rides ( read op) & kalah classes.

It's easy to say you wouldn't do it but when in comes to it things are just expensive!

I really think it depends on your circles. In mine, parents don't contribute much to setting up apartments. It comes from a combination of wedding and shower gifts, and if the girl has been working (usually she has, for at least a year or two) from her savings. Same with apartment rent--the couple is on their own, maybe parents help with the first month. I'm talking oot yeshivish, so taxi rides aren't a thing, either. Most girls, once they start driving, will have a car (they need to get to and from work). Usually that's the first big purchase a girl makes when she starts working.
Engagement gifts--that depends on your circles, and not everyone spends the amount I see quoted regularly on imamother or gives every piece of jewelry that some do. It's also perfectly acceptable to have a one man band, which is what most people do. Etc.
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amother




Poinsettia
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 9:41 am
The scary thing to me is the demographics of our community are such that few Lakewood couples have hit retirement yet. What happens when these couples are still shelling out 70k every other year for their youngest kids chasunas until they are in their low 60’s? They are facing a retirement with their savings depleted and likely their home equity maxed out. How do they plan on retiring? Their children are usually unable or unwilling to support them, having large families of their own and THEIR first chasunahs to pull off.

Subsisting on the communities help? Is that a mehalech? All so they could blow 50-70k on a night and a weekend? What’s left to show for it? A $2000 chosson watch sitting in a drawer and a $7000 Diamond ring that no one can tell isn’t lab created? This is simply insanity.
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amother




Bergamot
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:02 am
amother Trillium wrote:
In addition to the wedding it includes all engagement gifts, setting up an apartment & several months rent, vort, shaitels, clothing for bride/ groom & wedding clothing for the entire family. Anything you touch is expensive, down to the taxi rides ( read op) & kalah classes.

It's easy to say you wouldn't do it but when in comes to it things are just expensive!


The engagement gifts and the setting up apartment are also way out of control. Most of what's being done before marriage should be done AFTER marriage. The couple should get the bare basics of jewelry and the bare basics of household stuff. They then have their whole lives to upgrade all of it.

Why have we set up such crazy expectations that young adults need to start off their lives as if they're VIP, high-class, wealthy people - all based off someone else's sweat?
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:07 am
amother Poinsettia wrote:
The scary thing to me is the demographics of our community are such that few Lakewood couples have hit retirement yet. What happens when these couples are still shelling out 70k every other year for their youngest kids chasunas until they are in their low 60’s? They are facing a retirement with their savings depleted and likely their home equity maxed out. How do they plan on retiring? Their children are usually unable or unwilling to support them, having large families of their own and THEIR first chasunahs to pull off.

Subsisting on the communities help? Is that a mehalech? All so they could blow 50-70k on a night and a weekend? What’s left to show for it? A $2000 chosson watch sitting in a drawer and a $7000 Diamond ring that no one can tell isn’t lab created? This is simply insanity.

THIS
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amother




Trillium
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:10 am
amother Bergamot wrote:
The engagement gifts and the setting up apartment are also way out of control. Most of what's being done before marriage should be done AFTER marriage. The couple should get the bare basics of jewelry and the bare basics of household stuff. They then their whole lives to upgrade all of it.

Why have we set up such crazy expectations that young adults need to start off their lives as if they're VIP, high-class, wealthy people - all based off someone else's sweat?


I agree with you, I was just answering someone asking why so much for 1 night.
I'm not at that stage yet but I do see how things add up way faster than we expect, for example before Yom tov, the little unexpected things.
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:13 am
justforfun87 wrote:
Yikes... and then 10 years down the road these kallahs are crying on imamother they have no money for a down payment and stuck in an apartment. Granted I'm not in this "lifestyle" but even if I had the money I would NEVER spend that much on a wedding. 75k?? For a night and a weekend??! That literally was my down-payment for a house.


It is the magnitude of the useless expenditures that astound me - aside from the extreme high costs of the actual wedding and costs that surround it.

When I read that someone was furnishing an apartment for newly weds at a cost of $35,000 I gasped. It doesn't even make sense practically as the furniture they buy for their first apartment might not look right at the home they want to buy - not to mention that tastes change especially in terms of the extreme youth of the participants.

What a lack of financial wisdom - and then people wonder why there is a system when people are struggling to provide the basics.

I can't imagine anyone being asked ten years down the road whether they would prefer to live in a comfortable home or remember a large wedding with clothing that one doesn't wear anymore and furniture that is no longer one's taste - let alone a bunch of events that one doesn't remember particularly if there were no pictures.

Take the money - let it sit in an account and grow - use it for a down payment or use it for tuition when people discover that they need a degree or some form of credentials to make a better salary at a job that they actually find somewhat fulfilling.
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:16 am
amother Trillium wrote:
I've been to such events & honestly, I'd prefer they invite a lot less people & buy the food + waiter, it's so stressful & not too relaxing for the guests.

Agree
In dbl digit families once you marry off the last one on each side then core family (parents g-parents married sibling plus their spouse AND their kids have grown to impressive numbers. I am speaking about 90-100 persons *only core family*)
No aunts no uncles no friends
Who are you gonna cut out?
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:19 am
amother Poinsettia wrote:
The scary thing to me is the demographics of our community are such that few Lakewood couples have hit retirement yet. What happens when these couples are still shelling out 70k every other year for their youngest kids chasunas until they are in their low 60’s? They are facing a retirement with their savings depleted and likely their home equity maxed out. How do they plan on retiring? Their children are usually unable or unwilling to support them, having large families of their own and THEIR first chasunahs to pull off.

Subsisting on the communities help? Is that a mehalech? All so they could blow 50-70k on a night and a weekend? What’s left to show for it? A $2000 chosson watch sitting in a drawer and a $7000 Diamond ring that no one can tell isn’t lab created? This is simply insanity.


It's a real problem. I was recently talking to someone I know, not even from a super-large family, and she was telling me that her parents did not think much about retirement, and they married off half their kids, and helped with support, and with their kids buying houses...and now father's job has not worked out past couple of years, mother working but not enough, and they literally are not managing financially and it's causing unhealthy stress.....

People need to take initiative to cut down and live within their means.
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amother




Trillium
 

Post Thu, Nov 24 2022, 10:42 am
Bnei Berak 10 wrote:
Agree
In dbl digit families once you marry off the last one on each side then core family (parents g-parents married sibling plus their spouse AND their kids have grown to impressive numbers. I am speaking about 90-100 persons *only core family*)
No aunts no uncles no friends
Who are you gonna cut out?


Why do the choson's married siblings need to be invited if the kalah's parents are hosting? & grandkids don't need to come for the meal unless there is nowhere for them to go. My youngest sibling's shabbos Sheva brachos was almost as expensive & large as the wedding night, it makes no sense.
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