Friday, August 22, 2008

How much did you say...?

While scoping out venues for this bash, I looked into a garden spot in nearby Philomath that I've heard is rented out for weddings. It's a lovely place, all very Merchant and Ivory with fields of tulips and dripping rose arbors and weeping willows and ladies floating dreamily about in white lace and dashing, mustachioed gents in boaters and striped jackets and all that. To say nothing of the dog. You get the picture.

For a wedding with up 350 guests, the rate is $18,000. Events with up to 750 guests require one to plunk down $24,000 for the privileges. OK, they do provide tables, chairs and a couple of small tents, but $18,000? Who around here spends $18,000
just on the venue? I mean, even when locals (Corvallisites) are rich, they tend to be pretty cheap. Not to denigrate the good people of Corvallis, but in my experience, they lean toward miserliness, grousing much about being nickled and dimed all the time, and $18,000 goes well beyond nickles and dimes.

The other day I said something to my betrothed about a $2,000 budget. He seemed to think that was reasonable, and started listing things this $2,000 might cover. I had my first indication of potential trouble when he threw the honeymoon into the mix. I don't know where he's going for a honeymoon... I am horror struck at the thought of the newspaper wedding announcement reading: "...and the couple honeymooned in Lincoln City." Even with no marriage party at all, we're not going on any kind of a decent trip anywhere for $2000.

Here I am fantasizing about shoes and cakes and some musically inclined brazeros to rally 'round with some rousing conjunto and mariachi dance music, giving a respectful nod to the groom's Mexican-American heritage, all followed by a trip to Panama or Portugal or some such (see poll on sidebar).

And then there's the acquisition of a house that will hold all my stuff to consider. One of the great advantages to this marriage business is being able to operate on economies of scale; two can live as cheaply as one, etcetera. However, it's easy to forget (or for it to not even occur to you) that this old chestnut does not take into consideration the initial layout of cash to make it all happen. Mergers may save money in the long run, but they aren't necessarily inexpensive to undertake. As we can see, it's incredibly easy to spend lots and lots of money just on the public recognition of the merger. That said, I've thrown some parties in my day, even some fairly sizeable parties. The 'Come as Your Parents' costume bash I put on some years back was probably at the top of the heap, as far as crowd-size and lavishness go, and it was quite the merry spree, but it certainly didn't cost me $2000.

That party was held at my parents' house. My first wedding reception was held at my parents' house. My parents' house is big, decently holding a crowd of some 75 people, with the wood-floored kitchen dining area cleared out for as decent a ballroom as I've seen in many smaller European manor houses, measuring somewhere on the order 300+ square feet. Where am I going to find some other venue like that for free? See, I'm a cheap Corvallisite, too.


Marcos said...

Sooooo you have a reference to "Three Men in a Boat." Should you ever find the time to enjoy some light reading during your current adventure, you should look up "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. It's a fun read that pays homage to the ambience and feel of "Three Men in a Boat," but adding a little sci-fi and time travel to liven things up. Trust me, it is not as lame as it may sound: the geeky aspects are basically just story-telling devices used to stick two near-future people into the world originally described by Jerome K. Jerome, resulting in lots of lighthearted fish-out-of-water situations.

MisAnthropology said...

That's funny.... I've read it twice, this summer for the second time.

Dee said...

$18,000, huh? Makes me wonder, who in the hell has that kind of money here?

Oh, yeah, probably some of the HP mucky mucks or the docs. It's certainly not the profs.

$18,000! Holy cow!