Sunday, December 14, 2008

Can You Spend One Million Dollars?

On the latest episode on "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", my colleague, James Tramondo of NYC-based DAVI Weddings, is tasked with the planning of a million-dollar shindig for the bride and groom. And I've seen a lot of feedback, with most folks asking "what do you spend 1 millon dollars on?" My answer - anything you want.

Let's be honest - everyone's checkbook and credit card lines are decidedly different. So what may seem extravagant to one person may indeed be commonplace for another. As a planner, I can tell you - it's not hard to spend that kind of money. Certain line items in a budget (or spending parameters as some of my clients like to call it) are going to be larger, namely food, location and decor. The wedding that James was working on was held in one of the more expensive cities in the United States - good ole' New York City. Weddings in NYC and Los Angeles tend to be pricier that the average of $30,000. When you add in sophisticated technology (i.e. the plasma screens), a gorgeous locale (Bryant Park and the New York Public Library), linens, florals, entertainment - oh yes, the numbers on the calculator keep growing.

Over the past 16 years, I've planned weddings where the budgets were extremely modest (less than $10,000) and where spending parameters were much larger (over $100,000). The ones that stand out to me the most are the events where the bride and groom took the time to think about the comfort of their guests, the overall "vibe" they wanted to have, attention to detail and most importantly - how they wished to celebrate their love and committment with those who meant the most to them.

On the the flip side - it's also about personal taste and desires. I admit to having a thing for dropping some serious cash on's one of my "quirks". But I know folks who won't pay a dime over $29.99 for anything that goes on their feet, however - I'm not one of them :). That goes back to the "what you like, is what you like" theory - if you've got the dollars and it's the lifestyle to which you are accustomed, who am I to say you can't spend it?

I think this is a scenario where most people will sit on one side of the fence - those who don't mind writing the checks and those who see it as frivolous. At the end of the day, it isn't about what we think....nope, this is definitely about the two people saying "I Do" and how they wish to celebrate. For the rest of us - let's just sit back and allow them to enjoy it.....

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