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...And a $700 cheese tray

October 22, 2012 - Liz Skoczylas
Now that N and I have reached a point in our wedding planning where the big things are taken care of, I'm having fun sitting back and watching my brother and his fiance plan their wedding.

Sunday morning, the two of them called our mother to give her some updates on their wedding planning. Although they have their reception location, they are still scoping out churches to have the actual ceremony in, so they talked about that for a while.

And, then they got on the subject of a cheese tray.

Steve-o, for whatever reason, loves cheese. Like, the kid should be a mouse. So, he wants a cheese tray at their reception during cocktail hour. I think that's pretty reasonable. I will tell you, N's cocktail hour treat requests were a little more complicated than cheese, and we got him accommodated. So, Steve-o wants cheese at his wedding.

The problem that Steve-o sees is that the cheese tray offered by the caterers that serve their venue costs $700. Or, so Steve-o thinks. I don't know, I haven't seen their pricing.

While everyone else seems to think that $700 is moderately priced cheese, especially for a wedding, my brother is having a heart-attack over the cheese. Our mom suggested letting his future mother-in-law double check the cheese pricing for him, but Steve-o wasn't hearing it.

Instead, he was working on ways to cut down on the cost of cheese, including getting free cheese from a place next door to where he works (I didn't ask questions about this...) and cutting it himself.

I think his fiance is now wondering what she is getting herself into by marrying into this family. I'm pretty sure N questions it every day, and we've been engaged for months.

One of the things I'm finding interesting about the wedding planning process is pricing – for everything. While Steve-o is experiencing sticker-shock at the price of a cheese tray, N and I experienced it for the total cost of our venue, bar service and catering. And, talking to friends about their weddings, our costs are on the low end.

I think my biggest shock is how quickly the costs add up. I'm not an artsy DIY-type bride. I'm not artistic enough to get out a glue gun and glitter and make 200 favors. I don't have the time in my day, or the creativity, to make centerpieces and decorations. As a result, these costs add up, even as we work to keep it at a minimum.

I absolutely commend the DIY brides. I don't know how they do it. I just do not have those skills. I know someone who had a wedding for a price so low, I didn't know it was possible. For the life of me, I can't figure out how they kept costs down, other than they must have some fantastic family and friends who can cook and create masterpieces.

Then, I see these brides on TV who have budgets of $50,000 to $100,000 for their weddings. I can't even imagine having that kind of money for a wedding. I mean, I have student loans to pay off. We would someday like to have a house. I can think of a million other ways to spend money like that over having an extravagant wedding.

My brother may be chopping up his own cheese at his wedding, if he gets his way. We have opted to place emphasis on some aspects of our wedding over others, in order to maintain costs. We've had to cancel our aerialist and fire dancers to make room in the budget for the waterfall, for example.

I'm kidding, of course. But still, being budget-conscious in a world of $700 cheese trays in the multibillion dollar wedding industry is not an easy task. We want people to have fun at our wedding, but not at a price that is going to put us, or our parents, in debt.

The most important thing is that, in May, I will be marrying my best friend – the man who makes me laugh, the man I can cry to. We are excited to share the day with our closest family and friends, and we want to be sure that they have as good a time as we do. And, six months after that, I know Steve-o and his fiance want the same.

Even if it means sacrificing the $700 cheese tray, in the name of being reasonable.


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