How Much Would Game of Thrones Weddings Cost IRL? We’ve GoT the Answer.
Admit it: Even if you aren’t engaged you’ve thought about your dream wedding at least once or twice — the dress, the food, the venue… oh yeah, and the groom. But no one dreams up weddings quite like George R.R. Martin. Martin’s thrown some serious ragers over the last four seasons of Game of Thrones, from Daenerys’s wedding to Khal Drogo to the PTSD-inducing Red Wedding, to the opulent nuptials of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell. But Martin seems to plan these festivities without taking one very important wedding element into consideration — the budget.
Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo ($8.6 million)
In Season 1, Episode 1, Daenerys Targaryen married Khal Drogo and became the Khaleesi and Mother of Dragons we all know and love.
The bulk of their wedding budget undoubtedly went to food. The Khal’s trusted advisors and high warriors were served more refined fare (around $590,000), whereas the remaining 39,000 tribesman devoured copious amounts of horsemeat and root veggies (approximately $1.6 million). Taking into account the kitchen costs (about $80,000), the grand food total for the Dothraki wedding comes to approximately $2.3 million.
Then we have insurance (because the death rate in GoT is actually ridiculous). According to The Dot, Public Liability Insurance typically consumes 1 percent of the non-production budget. But that figure obviously got bumped up for this particular wedding, because, let’s be real, the Dothraki get down with death on the regular. Therefore, The Dot and Haywood allotted a guess-timated $320,000 to covering wedding insurance.
Finally, there were the coordination and production costs. Daenerys and the Khal had 40,000 surly wedding guests, all with debatable manners and no respect for personal space. So, logistics would realistically cost around $1.5 million, and then to house this rowdy bunch for two nights? Tack on another $4 million.
Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr ($500)
Robb and Talisa planned a very modest wedding in Season 2, Episode 10, but it was certainly the most love-filled ceremony we’ve seen thus far. They were married at night in a torch-lit forest. The cost? $500 for the officiant.
Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark ($128,000)
Not many of us saw this one coming, including Tyrion and Sansa. Emotionally, the Lannister-Stark union in Season 3, Episode 10, was bittersweet and, er, kinda super awkward. You know… with the whole Tyrion getting wasted, and Joffrey threatening to impregnate Sansa and Tyrion and Sansa almost not really doing it… Anyway. Back to how much the whole thing cost. For the ceremony, we have to take into account the venue (approximately $17,000 to rent out the Great Sept of Baelor), the wedding dress (about $21,000), and the bride’s hair and accessories (around $7,000). So right there, we’re looking at $45,000.
Next, we have the reception. The food probably cost around $15,000, renting out the reception hall would be about $20,000, tack on an additional $20,000 to pay the servers and then round things out with $7,000 or so for the assorted court musicians, all for a grand total of $62,000.
Last but not least, the insurance and coordination costs. Insurance for this wedding could never compare to the insurance we took out for that Dothraki wedding, falling in at a modest $1,000. But the overall coordination costs would most likely come in at $21,000.
Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey ($7.1 million)
For a wedding based entirely on deception, ill intent and murder, Walder Frey certainly dropped serious dollars on the Red Wedding in Season 3, Episode 9. But we guess you can’t put a price on revenge, right?
Food and booze for the noble and low-born alike cost Frey just over $400,000. Luckily (kind of…), the venue was free, since Walder Frey so graciously offered up his castle to host the event. The three tents and fire pits for the men outside of the castle, however, cost cumulatively $75,000, and security cost just under $37,000.
The wedding gown cost $75,000; linen, tableware and candles come in at $19,000; and the band played throughout the slaughter for the low price of $13,000.
Then of course there’s knocking off 3,500 people. The Dot says Mafioso hitmen charge about $1,600 per person, so for the whole dirty deed, we’re looking at a cost of $5.6 million.
Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell ($10.3 million)
Alright, we’ll give it to them. The Lannisters threw one hell of a wedding in Season 4, Episode 2. Between the pre-wedding breakfast and the wedding feast post ceremony, the Lannisters and their guests ate around $1.9 million worth of decadent food and pastries. But liquor isn’t included in that figure, so go ahead and add on another $755,000.
The entertainment accrued a massive cost as well. There were heralds and choirs, a dancing bear, fire breathers, acrobats, fireworks and a five-dwarf act. And oh yeah! Don’t forget a performance by Sigur Rós! All told, the family that always pays their debts (and hopefully their bills) dropped around $1.8 million.
According to Haywood, logistics, insurance and recycling and disposal would have cost approximately $1.5 million, and the plates, cutlery and luxury glassware would ring up to an astounding $2 million.
And finally, there were the miscellaneous costs, such as the attire for the bride and groom (approximately $89,000), security (around $60,000), gazebos ($571,000), flowers (which clocked in at about $560,000 because obviously the Tyrells love their posies) and the lethal dose of ricin ($20) that ended the marriage shortly after the “I do’s.”
So what’s the moral of the story here? Depending on what you do for a living, throwing a wedding that lives up to GoT standards might be (?) totally do-able (and cost-wise, it still won’t compete with the Royal Wedding). But as we’ve learned from the HBO series, a rockin’ wedding ceremony doesn’t directly translate into a loving, happy, and/or particularly long marriage. Right, Joffrey?
What was your favorite Game of Thrones wedding? Let us know in the comments!
(h/t Daily Dot)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com