Post # 1
My FI is the sole supporter in our relationship right now and will be taking on our wedding costs entirely. I am in college and will probably get my degree in 2014 – I anticipate being able to pay my loans off completely in the first year, and then paying FI back for my share of the wedding after that.
Before I launch into this, FI owns his own business and it’s going very well. He would be able to cover the wedding costs without loans, and our estimate right now is about 35K. Neither one of us have debt with the exception of my future loans (I have paid out of pocket up to this semester).
We’ve been talking about weddings long before we got engaged, and he was always made aware of the pricing. The other day, however, he got a little nervous and asked me to consider getting married at a place which is two counties away and would completely change the style of the wedding we envisioned for ourselves. He said he was concerned about spending 35K + for one party, and that he thought it might be a mistake.
I was really sad, but I understand his worry. I won’t lie – I definitely started crying as a knee-jerk reaction because, well, I can’t counter that. It’s his expense right now.
He has since said we can still do it, but now I wonder if I should even go through with planning. What happens when we get a cake estimate? Or chair rental? Or the wholesale flowers?
I have to also add that FI is paranoid about being broke. I don’t know where it comes from, because it’s definitely not from experience or his childhood. I mean, paranoid to the point of suggesting we pack canned goods in a suitcase to “save” money on trips. Ugh, don’t ask. We also don’t spend money… I would say we are living on a salary which is 90% lower than his income.
Which is fine, but you see how perhaps I am confused about his concerns. And very confused about the ethical decision I should make based on it.
Post # 3
I would have to agree 35k for one day is a lot. But everyone is different and every budget is different. But if he isn’t comfortable with it thenI would say sit down again and compromise on an amount you are both comforable with. 9 times out of 10 couple go over budget as the planning goes on, so keep that in mind as well. Good luck, I am sure everthing will work out.
Post # 4
Well, owning your own business + being the sole supporter has probably put a big weight of responsibility on his shoulders. It’s actually great that he is very good at saving (although IDK about canned goods in suitcases…)
I would break-down your budget and review reasonable expectations. For example, a reasonable expectation for a cake might be $X, $Y, or $Z and then show him how you’re going to make it all stay within budget. That way, when a quote does come in, he’s not like “Cakes cost WHAT?!”. You can show him how you have planned on that.
I would try to get some price quotes now, just have some numbers to play around with and come up with a plan, together, on how to stay within the budget.
Also, have a heart to heart (with no tears) conversation about if $35k is a reasonable number for him to come up with.
I would say, go ahead with the planning but be sure to “comfort” his fears that you are staying within the budget. It sounds like he just had a stressed out moment but it will come up again so be prepared.
Post # 5
I agree that you should see if there is a midline compromise that you can still have the kind of event you want for less money. You two should also talk about money styles, it sounds like he is really cautious with money. That’s crazy that he can afford to live on 10% of his salary!
Post # 6
I’d try to negotiate some things. Maybe scrimp a bit more b/c I totally see where he’s coming from. That is a considerable amount of money, I know some would disagree. I’m slightly concerned that he fears financial ruin or that he’s that frugal; I get being frugal but to the point of wanting to take canned goods on trips!?
Post # 7
Thanks everyone for the input.
He’s good at what he does. I am proud of him, and he enjoys working, but I also don’t see the need for working so much/making a lot of money. He says it’s for “us”, but his freak outs make me concerned. He reminds me of my great aunt, who hides cash in the freezers and walls as a result of experience during the Great Depression.
She also had thirty year old ketchup in the fridge, though.
Post # 8
@beekiss2: haha, yes. He isn’t serious about that anymore, but I about fell on the floor when he suggested it. It’s definitely something I poke fun at.
Post # 9
I would probably change the location to appease his wallet. You’re still well over a year away so I would think making some adjustments wouldn’t be too detrimental to your big day. Since your not contributing to the budget at this time, he needs to be comfortable with how much he’s spending and I do agree that $35K is alot of money for one “party”. The last thing you want to do is start out your marriage on a sour note due to wedding expenses.
Post # 10
I’m with a lot of the previous posters. I think you guys need to talk not only about financing the wedding but also about finances in general. The idea of you paying him back for wedding expenses is a bit odd. I mean once you’re married it’s all going into the same pot.
Post # 11
@UpstateCait: I agree. I definitely don’t want to start it badly, but it’s very difficult to pull off a wedding for less than 30K here. It’s not impossible of course, but it would probably be too labor intensive to research.
Hopefully I can come up with a mutually agreeable solution.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2010 - Ocean View Villas/Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
It sounds like some communication about the reality of money and a wedding might be helpful. I think it’s helpful to sit and do a line by line budget for the entire wedding. I did that with DH and it really helped him to see the larger picture and to understand where all the money is going. Some say that money is the number one reason why marriages don’t work, so this is good practice for having honest and open communication about money and money habits for your united future.
Post # 13
I think he’s being reasonable. Lot’s of people have been loosing their jobs.. that they have had for 20 years or more and now they have nothing. It is alot of money for one day. maybe if you shift the focus to the marriage rather then the wedding you could see where he’s coming from.
Post # 14
Your FI sounds very reasonable in this economy. I know Chicago is expensive and you have a certain wedding envisioned. Your FI only suggested one venue that was 2 counties away that didn’t meet your expectations. Perhaps there are other venues outside of the city that would still meet your expectations. You could look at other options.
Also, sometimes you have to lower your expectations. You can save money by not having absolutely everything you need. For instance, you could have white linens instead of fancy pintuck linens. Or the venue-provided chairs instead of chivari chairs. You could do a shorter open bar or just provide a few select alcoholic beverages instead of a full open bar all night. There are ways to get that budget down. You just have to spend a little bit of time researching them. And don’t be afraid to ask on the local boards here on the hive. There are plenty of helpful and thrifty members on here.
Post # 15
@artichokesalad: I would counter that by saying that the second you are married, that money is joint property, and thus becomes an expense for both of you. He isn’t paying for this – it is coming out of money used to support both of you. I don’t really understand the philosphy of you “paying him back” when it is joint money anyway.
But, I do agree that $35,000 is crazy for one day. Our wedding was maybe $25,000, of which we paid half. I think we honestly would have eloped if we had to pay more, and we make really, really good money. It just would have seemed too much to us. But again, I never would have “paid back” a spouse. That money all goes to joint goals.
Post # 16
@crayfish: I think I have a different philosophy regarding money, which is why it made sense to me. I personally don’t want joint money; everything will be kept separate and we will divide up expenses accordingly. That is why I made the decision to pay him back – his money isn’t mine, and vice-versa.
Regardless, thank you all for your responses. 🙂