Borsalino Brand Store Opens in Brooklyn

For the black hat wearing visitors of this website, there’s good news. A new hat store opened in Brooklyn, and it’s the brand store of the big name in hat making – Borsalino.

The new store, located on avenue J off Nostrand Avenue, is beautifully designed with a fashionable boutique store feel. With a recent relocation of Bencraft Hatters to “Flatbush”, in addition to The Hat Box and Hats Plus which have been around for years, there are more options than ever for your hat shopping convenience.

Contact Info: Borsalino Brand Store

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Wedding Finances Survey | Part 2

In an earlier post, we discussed some of the initial results of our Jewish wedding finances survey. And interestingly enough, the breakdown of those responses did not change much as more people answered the survey.

We continue our analysis of the survey responses with question 5, namely who paid for what.

FLOP, what’s that?

Only 16% of respondents split the wedding bill using the FLOP system. In case you belong to the 84% of people who did not use FLOP, let me fill you in. FLOP stands for Flowers, Liquor, Orchestra, and Photography. It is one way to divide the wedding bill between the two parties: the groom’s side pays for FLOP, while the kallah’ side pays for the rest (which is mainly the Hall and the Catering). This system is (or perhaps was) popular with a more “yeshivish” crowd, but only 16% of this blog’s readers used this approach. The most popular way to divide the chassanah expenses, used by almost 50% of couples and families, is the 50/50 split.

There were many instances (these were mentioned in survey comments) where one side paid for 100% of the wedding bill. The bride’s side was the paying side more often than the groom’s, but the occurrence was frequent enough to be significant. When does one side pay for the entire wedding? Does this happen when one side is significantly less advantaged than the other? Or when one side wants a lavish wedding reception, while the other is looking for a budget approach?

We also wanted to know if parents still foot the wedding bill like they did back in the day.

And the answer is yes, in 56% of cases, the parents paid for the whole thing. Baruch Hashem for mom and dad (or abba and ima or mommy and totty)! That’s not to say that many brides and grooms do not contribute. In the rest of the couple contributed or paid for the whole thing themselves in the rest of the weddings (besides the three percent of weddings where a sponsor paid for it).

What about borrowing? With wedding expenses being what they are, are families forced to borrow to make it happen?
We found it pleasantly surprising that 65% of respondents said that they did not need to borrow to cover the wedding costs. Out of the 35% of couples that did borrow to afford their wedding, 17% borrowed upwards of $20,000.

This is worth contemplating. In question 10, where we asked for the total wedding cost, almost a quarter of respondents said that they managed to make a wedding for less than $15K. Which means, that the couples borrowing more than $20K for their wedding either were not blessed with this magical ability of squeezing the giant of an affair as a wedding into a $15,000 box or they preferred debt to going skimpy on this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Of course, it is also possible that they had a larger guest list. But this also raises that question if one is really obligated to invite that many people. Who are we to judge people for the voices they make? A lavish wedding reception is certainly alluring, and it’s been that way for as long as there have been weddings. There’s just something special, almost supernatural about the grandest of all life-cycle events that is a wedding that elicits such feelings.

Now let’s get into the more sensitive aspects of paying for the wedding. We asked: Did conversations about wedding finances result in tensions between the couple or between the two families.

wedding-budget-survey-q9aThe Gemara in Shabbos says that “there are no Ketubah [discussions] that do not result in a fight”. This, of course, is not be taken literally. ¬†As we see from our survey, in overwhelming majority of weddings tensions were almost non-existent. In only 12% of weddings, did conversations about money result in serious problems, and that’s good news.



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Zevi & Batsheva | Chabad at Rutgers U

This wedding trailer comes from Laibel & Chana Schwartz Photography. The wedding ceremony took place at the Chabad House at Rutgers University. Enjoy!

Zevi & Batsheva Weisinger | Jewish Wedding Photography from Laibel & Chana Schwartz on Vimeo.

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Wedding Finances Survey | Initial Results – Part 1

Some time ago we added a 10 question survey to the right side of this blog. (Go ahead, I’ll wait a minute until you scroll to check it out.) The survey relates to wedding finances – setting a budget, the actual wedding costs and other related issues. While the responses are slowly trickling in, we couldn’t wait to share with you these early results and what they seem to indicate. Meanwhile the survey continues, so feel free to take half a minute and fill it out. And if you’re still in the early planning stages of your wedding and not ready to answer these questions, do come back and share your experience.

{Perhaps it is necessary to point out the obvious. This survey is in no way scientific. It is an open, voluntary survey of visitors of this website. We don’t know much about the respondents nor about the truthfulness of their responses. Still the results are certainly interesting and worth a discussion.}

Let’s begin with end, with the last question of the survey: “How much did your wedding cost?”


There were 7 possible categories to choose from: from below $15,000 to above $75,000. Interestingly enough, the two categories that got the most responses were these two extremes. Almost 26% – more than 1 in 4 – of respondents kept their wedding costs down to below $15,000 and almost 20% shelled out more than $75,000.

Do you think $15,000 gives too broad of a range? Is it that easy to pull off a Jewish wedding for under 15 grand? We certainly didn’t think so when we drafted the survey and don’t think so still. Between the hall, catering, music, flowers, photography, videography etc. it seems nearly impossible to put together a wedding under $15,000. But, to our great surprise, more than a quarter of the survey participants managed it. What do you think?

The smallest response was given to the $65,000-$75,000 range. Could that indicate that if one spends one really spends? Perhaps. Although, with more kallahs filling out the survey, things may even out.

Now let us take a look at the survey’s first question: “Did you budget plan for your wedding?”

Yes, we know proper English would be: “Did you set a budget for your wedding?” But we felt that this version was more appropriate, more closely descriptive of the process of trying to set a budget for something that really requires professional and experienced planners. Whilst most people sort of learn the trade of figuring out the various options and their costs as they go along not unpleasantly overwhelmed.


As you can see from the chart, almost half the survey participants took their budget quite seriously. Only 20% of respondents did not set a budget at all. Wait, are those the same 20% with wedding costs exceeding the $75,000 mark?

In the next question the survey wants to know: “How successful were you in setting a budget?”


Here again 26% answered – making it the most frequent response – that they managed to fit into their budget. Whoever heard of fitting into a wedding budget??? Who are these people? Wait, are these the same 26% that managed to pull of a whole wedding under $15,000? Hmm, there does seem to be a pattern of sorts.

This next question is a personal favorite: “The price tag of which wedding service surprise you the most?”


I was rooting for photography, but it only came in third. The winner is “Flowers”, with almost 32% percent of people surprised by the cost of wedding florals. Isn’t it a wonder that one can get a beautiful, large bouquet for about $50, but if it’s a bridal bouquet, well that’s $150-$250?

Many (almost 28%) were also surprised by the price tag of food. It’s generally the biggest of all wedding expenses. Prices for catering (which sometimes include the venue and sometimes are in addition to the cost of the wedding hall) can range from $25 per person to $200 per person. The total cost here is dependent, in large, on the amount of guests you are expecting at your affair. To set table at a large frum wedding with 500 guests or more even at $50 per person adds up to a hefty $25,000.

Now we wanted to know if you think your wedding is costing too much. Duh, of course it is! Well, as you can see from the chart below, about 12% of people answered that they kept wedding costs to a minimum. Most respondents, however, indicated that their wedding expenses are high – some are just more OK with it than others; after all it is a wedding!


The second half of the survey we shall discuss in Part 2 of this article. Stay tuned, but add your two cents to the topic of wedding costs in the comments.

1 Comment. Leave your response!

Milano Wigs Instructional Event

This Wednesday August 7th, Milano Collection wigs will be holding an instructional event for Kallahs. What a great idea! You’ll learn all about wearing of and caring for your sheitel. Hey, you might even make it on time for your first Sheva Brachos!

This event will be held at the Milano Brooklyn Showroom on Coney Island between 7:00 an 8:00 PM.


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