Parents, You Need An Intervention!

Last year I did a post entitled, Counting Up The Cost. The post was about how parents are buying their children expensive, luxury brands. Now, I stumble on another article about how parents are spending tens and thousands of dollars on kiddie birthday parties. America, we need a parent intervention!!

The problem did not start with MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” but I am sure that the show contributes to the excessiveness of parents and children. The CNN article highlighted a mother who spent $5,000 USD for a 3 year old toddler’s birthday party. The party had expensive favors, lavish entertainment, a four-layer cake. (That sounds like a wedding reception to me!)

Cake with bow

Another family spent $10 million on a bat mizpah. According to the CNN article, “former defense contractor David H. Brooks of Long Island reportedly spent in 2005 on his daughter’s bat mitzvah. That soirée, at the storied Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, featured 50 Cent, Don Henley and Aerosmith, among others.” (Sidebar: please note his career choice!!)

Above picture is a Coach™ – themed cake for a birthday party. This cake runs about $1500. I know many brides who spent less on their wedding cakes.

What kind of values are we passing on to our children, when we spend lavishly on a birthday party? To be honest, I do not think most of the parents have the money to spend on these parties, but they want to look like good parents by giving their children the “best” of everything.

I feel like children today do not have anything to look forward to in life. Parents shower them with expensive everything and when they get older, they will try to maintain the lifestyle and realize they cannot. At some point, these excessive acts must end. Parents have to realize that affection, love and care cannot be bought.

We are destroying our children by giving into their every whim or creating these whims. Parents need more backbone and learn how to say no. I tell you my parents had no problems telling my sibling and I “NO!!” on a regular basis. I do not even know how I would live in the world, if my parents spoiled me.

I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let the lead the way. BUT we cannot do so if parents do not have any self-control.

Let us move up a little higher,

Mix Maven

For Richer or For Poorer

Hey Pumps and Gloss-ers,

Wedding season is approaching very quickly. Many brides are finalizing reception, floral arrangements, and other related wedding activities.

I have discussed many aspects of wedding attire and accessories, but not the actual wedding/reception party planning.

Wedding Reception

We all know that weddings/receptions can be expensive. If possible, your best bet is to begin the planning process early. Please bare in mind that the actual wedding is not as costly as the reception. You can probably get away with faux flowers and tulle on the pews and a few flowers, columns, and so forth on the rostrum.

The reception is probably 60-80% of the budget, assuming that all of the bridal party will be paying out of their own pockets, which is pretty much standard, unless you are aware of financial hardship with a couple of bridal participants. Here is Mix Maven’s rule of thumb, “If you cannot afford the reception, you need to keep the wedding invites to a minimum.” Opt for a destination ceremony that will limit who can come to the wedding, which, ultimately, means less money flowing out of your pocket.

Preston Bailey’s Sandals Destination Wedding

I must stress that you cannot have a caviar and saltfish reception. You must either keep the reception elegant or decide on a casual event. Do not mix the two. A friend of mine was telling me about a wedding that the friend was planning with the bride. The bride asked the friend to help because she likes my friend’s taste, which is quite impeccable. The friend told me how the bride wanted to use plastic or paper plates for dining *gasp* as well as setting up a lobby for the reception. *double gasp*!!! To add insult to injury, the bride and groom wanted to serve a specific ethnic menu to all guests, but the menu would cater to 25% of guests. Why? Because the menu was the cheapest. Now, the best solution would be to cater to both sets, negotiating rates that will be conducive to their budget. (Sidebar: if you have a significant amount of guests that are vegetarian, do not relegate them to eating cheese and pasta. Make sure that substantive food i.e. protein is provided for them.)

Spring Rolls - Source: MarthaStewart.com

I am not saying that you should not find bargains, but be careful of where you decide to cut costs. I am a bargain shopper, but I know that you get what you pay for. Do not cut costs on food. If you cannot afford to feed people good food, DO NOT have a reception. I heard about a bride wanting to have a potluck for her wedding reception, thankfully, a relative stepped in and helped to make sure the event was catered.

Do not treat guests with disdain by providing them substandard fair, yet still wanting gifts from them . Elegance does not have to be butchered, if your budget is not the amount you want it to be, be open to creative affordable options that will still add the touch of elegance you desire. You, your spouse, family and guests are definitely worth it! Always REMEMBER, Your wedding day is a reflection of you and your new spouse, so make sure the look you want is cohesive and charming.

Keep It Classy,

Mix Maven