Post # 1
Yesterday, SO and I were discussing wedding finances (we want to get married next year). I thought that we had previously agreed that we would each pay half of the costs. I was a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding two years ago, and her parents and in-laws split the costs. It was a total nightmare. She was basically forced to choose a venue, dress, maid of honour, etc. that she didn’t want. She vented constantly to me, and I vowed to not get married before SO and I could afford it ourselves.
Apparently his mother is expecting and happy to pay for the wedding. I am grateful that she offered, that’s very generous! And she can definitely afford it. But I made it clear that I want to pay for half (and honestly, half of the costs is probably what FMIL is expecting to pay for the entire wedding… they come from a country where weddings are way more low-key and cheaper than in North America).
But I’m scared that I will end up not having a stake in many decisions. SO and I can agree on anything, but my FMIL has very different ideas about the wedding than I do. My SO has enough saved up to pay for half, but he doesn’t want to since his mother offered.
So for those of you who didn’t pay for your wedding entirely, what was your experience? I only know of that one friend whose parents paid for the wedding, so I want to know if you were allowed to make decisions that weren’t what the parents wanted. Did they just give you cash or did they directly book vendors? How involved were they in the planning process?
Post # 3
My parents are paying for almost our entire wedding. While they have given their opinion one many things, they are completely supportive of FI and I’s decisions. They understand that this is our wedding, not theirs, even though they are paying. My mom had gone with us to meet with a few vendors, but not all. Mostly, they just ask us when deposits are due and they send checks.
Post # 4
I haven’t gotten married yet, but maybe you can designate certain aspects that you don’t mind not having complete control over to be paid for by your FMIL? Say you’re not really set on a specific look for the flowers, you can ask her to pay for those or maybe if you can all agree on a venue she can cover the cost of that?
Post # 5
We had planned on paying it all. luckily my mom has given me like 75% of my wedding fund. i have been so thankfull. she doesnt actually have a lot of money and i feel totally guilty. the rest is what we have collected. my brother is paying for the DJ. My sister is helping with flowers. my BIL’s wife wants to help with flowers too. but i dont know if i can really rely on her. i actually thought his parents ( they are way better off than my family) would offer. but i actually feel like planning this wedding has pushed me farther away from them. they actually live in the same town as me. my mom lives in my home town and my other family lives else where too. The BM just offered to help with the limo. so things are working out better as we get closer. im just really surprised that his family didnt really help. at all. im really disapointed. and his family were the ones who were pushing us to get married. i dont get it. but it made me honestly feel like they are def. not my family when before i felt soooo close to them. i know traditionally my family is suppose to pay but my mom is on the verdge of loosing her house. my mom just gave me cash. my brother booked the dj for me though.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
My parents are paying for ~70% of the wedding and his are paying for ~20% – so far it’s been a dream. I’m doing most of the booking and they just cut a check. Both sets of family are very low-drama, have no expectations for how it should be or who we should invite (besides the obvious), and are just thrilled that we’re getting married.
Post # 7
It depends on the parents and your relationship with them. Money from my parents has never come with strings attached, so I knew I could accept it and do whatever. Money from my fiance’s parents has always come with strings, so if they had offered to help we would not have accepted. Presumably you each have a lifetime of experience of material and monetary support from your parents to show how they will behave.
As for vendors, I booked some and my mom and I jointly booked some (the ones she was interested in). I gave her full control of the flowers because I didn’t care and she is good with knowing about plants. Otherwise I basically make all the decisions. But, again, my parents let me do that my whole life, and were certainly paying more for college than my wedding.
Post # 8
I technically =had 3 sets of parents paying for our wedding, my mom’s contribution, my dad and step mom’s contribution, and the IL’s contribution. We did not have anyone telling us what we could or could not do or what we should or should not do. They gave us the money for us to budget and we spent it as we saw fit, which in my opnion is how it should be. A lot of this depends on the parents personalities. Your friend obviously has parents who wanted to have control beyond just participating. It sounds like your MIL may be somewhat the same since you say “she has different ideas about this wedding than we do”. If she already has different ideas about YOUR wedding than you do? You can bet those ideas will be a serious issue once money comes into play.
Post # 9
I had a similar experience to @AmyFarrahFowler: …my parents paid 100% of the wedding, my mom GREATLY helped me plan, but only because I asked her to (I hate making phonecalls, I work full time, she only works part time and doesn’t mind calling vendors etc). They came with us to all meetings etc, and definitely gave their opinion, but all choices were ours, the guest list was almost exclusively ours (my mom had several friends invited, but almost every single one was someone she’s known forever, whom I grew up knowing, and would have invited anyway).
Granted, this is because my parents are in general reasonable human beings with boundaries who get along with us very well and have similar tastes, lol
You have to know your parents/his parents. If you know they’re the type to cause problems, maybe don’t take the money…
Post # 10
My parents paid for 50-60% of my first wedding (a DW in the Caribbean). But I was prepared to pay the entire thing if there were any conflicts over decisions. Fortunately, there weren’t any serious disagreements. I would just say, either direct funds from your FMIL to areas of the wedding where you either agree or don’t have strong opinions, or be prepared to graciously refuse her funds if she becomes overbearing. But you and your FI absolutely have to be on the same page, or it will be a never-ending headache every time there’s a conflict.
Post # 11
@arathella: My FIL’s are paying for ~100% of the wedding. FMIL in particular is very involved, which has been mostly a blessing. She has very extravagant taste, in contrast to my simpler preferences. Since the goal here is to build a marriage and unite a family, I have looked at this as an opportunity for his mother and I to really hone our communication and interaction style: we’ve really bonded!
Yes, I have opinions on things. Are they all “make or break,” no. If it makes someone happy to have a favor I wouldn’t pick (and they’re paying), who cares. Now, if someone tells me what dress to buy, I would probably plant my flag and die on it, because that MATTERS to me. The planning will be as adversarial or pleasant as you make it 🙂
Post # 12
Depends on your parents. My mom is very outspoken and forward with her opinions. If she doesn’t like my choice she doesn’t expect me to change it, but she certainly lets me know her thoughts. It can be a downer if I’m excited about something she doesn’t like. My parents are paying for about 90% of everything, but if this meant they got to veto my decisions and in the end it was what they wanted over my desires then I wouldn’t accept the money. I’d go to the courthouse before I dealt with that.
Post # 13
My parents paid for my wedding. Neither they nor my inlaws offered any opinions as to how i should do thungs unless directly asked
They just gave me cash in form of bank transfer and i paid vendors
Post # 14
My parents paid for pretty much our entire wedding (they had always planned to do this for both their daughters and I was very appreciative).
Honestly, it was all pretty easy. I had a budget I needed to stick to and my mom offered her opinions but I was the one ultimately making the final decisions.
Post # 15
My parents paid for the wedding, almost entirely. They let us make whatever decisions we wanted. There was no pressure in any way to do anything. Occasionally they would make suggestions, but nothing more. My dad only pushed for better alcohol, and I wasn’t going to complain there 😉
The only thing that was a struggle was that I wanted to be given a budget and my dad wouldn’t give me one. I wanted something to work from, and he just wanted to deal with it as it came. It ended up not being a problem, though.
My in-laws were so cute. They only offered opinions in the “oh thank goodness you’ve already decided XXXX.” They were anti-receiving line, but didn’t say it until I already said I didn’t want one. They’re sweet.
Post # 16
My parents are paying 80% of the cost of the wedding. My parents have been extremely generous and completely supportive of eveything. And to be honest the only problems I have had planning have come from my In-laws (very minor though).