Post # 1
I’m in desperate need of some good non-biased advice here. My FI have been fighting over the budget and venue for a few weeks now and can’t get passed it. My parents are helping with the wedding (5000) but we’ll have to pay the rest. From day one, I’ve wanted dinner, alcohol, and family. A classy wedding but definitely not crazy. I can forgo the photobooth and chivari chairs, etc! We’re planning a wedding for about 125 and we’ll have to fork out about 8000 total. Now, the FI wants to spend 6! He doesn’t care if it’s not as nice…as long as it’s cheap. At least, that’s what it seems like.
Now, I understand that every couple is going to have their personal budget but help! We both have stable, good jobs and I have lots of money saved up. We will not be in debt and we’ll be able to buy a house right after we’re married. Financially, we’re in a good state. However, he doesn’t think it’s worth it for one day. Regardless of the fact that it’s the biggest day ever.
We don’t normally fight and agree on many issues. Both of us are frugal, but I just feel like I know that we can have the classy event for a decent price. We won’t be splurging on invitations, makeup, etc! 🙁 Please help. I understand we need to save for a house, children, emergencies…but we’ll be fine.
Can I convince him that this day is worth a little extra?
Post # 3
Have you tried explaining to him the breakdown of just how much everything costs? My FI was hesitant about spending this or that on things until I gave him the task of researching caterers and then he finally understood that planning a wedding is downright EXPENSIVE.
On the same line, do you think you are being reasonable in listening to what he wants in the wedding? Like if he is worried about spending too much on food, have you considered finding more midrange options that can still be nice without breaking the bank? I noticed that sometimes in this process I got really caught up in a certain element that was kind of pricey and it was nice to have FI bring me back down to earth on finding a more reasonably priced alternative.
I feel like we are going for the same feel of wedding as you are, a nice wedding without going overboard. But it took us awhile to get on the same page. I think FI would have been happy with hot dogs and a keg in the backyard, but now I think he understands how important it is to make the best choices to create the best day.
Post # 4
Thanks for your advice. It is way expensive, and I think we both realize that. We had picked a venue and then he got worried about the cost, so I went and looked at places I thought would be more reasonable. I did! I’ve sent him the spreadsheets but for dinner and bar–every place is about the same! I thought that if we could save 2grand and have it somewhere a little less fancy, I’d be on board. But, that’s not an option. I just wish he’d compromise. I told him I’d give up my cable for next year–saving us 900 bucks! This created the gap in his “wish” budget and the actual to be about 1200 bucks (give or take a few hundred probably)…and, yet, he’d rather just have chips and dip as appetizers in a dumpy place. Ugh. 🙁 I’m hoping he’ll come around but I just feel like I’ve tried to compromise and I don’t know how to explain that putting a little money out for one day is important because it’s going to be the biggest day of our lives (thus far :P)!
Post # 5
I feel your pain. FI keeps using his best man’s wedding as a yardstick for our wedding – they spent $4000 total. They also had a backyard bbq, with a free venue, free wine, sheet cake, etc. He just has no clue how much things cost. We finally agreed that he would pay for our honeymoon, since he likes to travel and won’t be cheap about that. We are using our parent’s contributions for the wedding and I have to pay for any cost overruns. Helps to keep me in check since I have to pay for it!
Post # 6
Oooh, that’s a good idea from JenniB, do you think you could give him things to spend money on that he would want to spend money on, like the honeymoon? Or maybe the DJ? It seems like he is not interested in spending money on the food or venue because those things don’t matter as much to him, so maybe just redirect his efforts to something that does?
Post # 7
I’m in the opposite boat. Some of my fiance’s friends spent upwards of $60-80k on their weddings. Well, more accurately, their parents spent that money. We’re paying for our own wedding, and I can’t help but think that he feels some sort of pressure to keep up with what his friends have done.
What’s helped me cope with the budget is simply seeing how much everything costs. To do darn near anything, it seems like you have to spend a fortune!
Post # 8
What’s your flower budget like? That’s a good place to cut costs and still have them look beautiful.
Post # 9
I think what’s important is to remember that there isn’t any right or wrong. It’s not wrong to spend money on an important celebration, it’s not wrong to have a cheap wedding, both options are great. I don’t think the two of you will get anywhere arguing about what is ‘right’. What I would do is sit down and talk about why you want a nice wedding and why it is important to him not spend money on this even though you can afford it. Discuss the whys and then you can come up with a solution that will satisfy both of those whys. Hopefully. Otherwise I think this kind of disagreement comes down to for whom is it more important, is it more important to you to have the party be classy or for him not to spend on it? That person wins. But often once you’re talking about the ‘whys’ instead of the ‘whats’ you can come to an agreement.
Post # 10
Guys sometimes don’t realize what things cost. You’re obviously doing the research trying to keep costs down to compromise. It definitely adds up no matter how much you try to save.
You know what he wants but have you tried describing to him how important it is to you? You’re doing all the footwork and showing him spreadsheets, it’s obviously important to you to do things on budget but still “right” for you (i.e.: not chips & dip on a park bench – tee hee that’s funny. It’d be a great shower though!)?
Post # 11
Do you have separate bank accounts? Could you pool more of your own money, to make it work? To be honest, I never budgeted the wedding with my husband. My parents paid for half, and I paid for half. I saved almost every penny I ever made, so that I could pay for a wedding. (He paid for the honeymoon.)
Post # 12
I hear you, because I was having similar problems with my FI. Some suggestions that helped me:
don’t add things up – if you’re happy with the individual litems’ prices and they’re all important, and you’re not going into debt, then what does the total tell you? nothing, it just makes you anxious.
concentrate on the emotions and people, not the stuff, when you’re talking about it. My FI wants me to have things that are important to me, but hates things that I’m only doing because weddings “need” them, so saying “I want to have a nice lunch for my grandma and this is the caterer I love” means a lot more to him than “the average wedding meal costs $75/person and so getting it for $40 is a steal”. Wedding averages, to him, just means “the average person is stupid” (he said it not me!)
force him to make suggestions rather than just criticizing. get him involved in negotiations, so that he sees that it can either be nice and $$ or dumpy and $, so he’s not asking you to do something impossible with the budget.
emphasize that you will be unhappy with a crappy venue and chips. you aren’t doing it to impress anyone, you honestly will be unhappy.
but also show you haven’t changed on the whole, that just because you want to spend money for your wedding doesn’t mean you aren’t still frugal the rest of the time. You don’t disagree with him on principle, but on specifics. also take breaks from wedding planning so he sees you are still the cool girl he proposed too, that relieves some male anxiety I think.
tell him that you are compromising (and mention some places you are doing so) so he has to also. no one gets a prize for winning!
I’m glad to find someone else with the same priorities and problems as me – good luck as we’ll both need it!
Post # 13
It sounds like your FI is more concerned about overall money issues and perhaps the wedding budget is what’s getting the focus of the issue.
Guys are wired to worry about money. I think you need to sit down with an agreed upon 3rd party to talk this through. I think this is an important step in negotiation and the way you two will compromise in the future.
He also may have felt pressured into doing a wedding ‘your’ way, when all along, he didn’t want anything lavish.
The point is – arguing about it is not going to get anywhere. You need to come to a unified agreement about a compromise you both can live with.
You may need to (again) explain what a wedding means to you and why the format you want is important. He may need to explain why he feels so strongly at capping it at 6K. Together you may need to discuss what your financial goals as a couple will be for the next few years.
He agreed to put 6K into the wedding – so, even though he feels strongly about not spending a lot of money on one day – he is on board to have a big party. Perhaps he feels like the 8K is going to turn into 10K, etc. Did you initially agree on 6?
If you are early on in your engagement, it’s likely that he’s also really overwhelmed about a lot of things – and, from what you’ve said – it sounds like he’s a long-term planner. I am sometimes that way and not a day goes by when I don’t think about what else could be done with the money I’m spending on the wedding! So, go easy on him too! He’s wanting what he feels is the best for both of you and your future.
Post # 14
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your words of wisdom. I think the “whys” are totally important. And, I will really try to hit on that.
We didn’t set a budget in the beginning because we were waiting to see how much my parents would contribute and how many guests we’d have–in order for it to be realistic. I think I definitely need to hit they “why 6k issue”. And, discuss how a dinner and bar is important to me. I don’t drink a lot but I know that our guests will enjoy it and I just always saw it as part of the great celebration.
I think the other issue is the way we’re discussing the money. We’re talking about it like it’s our money already just because I thought that was the fair way to go about it. However, maybe I need for him to look at it differently so that he can relax. I’m going to take all of your suggestions to heart! I know that he wants the best for us. I just think that we can “have our cake and eat it, too!”. 🙂 🙂
Oh, and I’m trying to be the ultimate budget bride! I want to cut bm’s flowers and do a cute clutch with a colorful broach (each one different to fit their personalities), I want to do floating candle-type-centerpieces, and I’ve even been building up rewards on my debit card to put towards purchases on Amazon (basically free money!) for the wedding. My mom is giving me my hair-do as a gift, too! I know they are already contributing, so why have her get me a frying pan? This way she helps more with the wedding and we save money!
We’ll have to share ideas!
Post # 15
Im working on a $8000 budget also for about 150 guests:
Flower Vases: 125.00
Party Favors: 40.00
Other (cake knife/server, flower girl basket, card box): $20
some my things will not work for you. for example… im making the wedding cake since im a baker/cake decorator. we will have 2 professional photographers and a college student (younger sister, family friend, and uncle). With the decor, it is a family business friend which we’ve known for over 10 years so we got a discount. The DJ will be a friend of my sisters so he may or may not ask to be paid. I made the invitations and pretty much everything else, I got on sale at michaels or joann in addition to shopping online for cheaper prices. I do think you can make it for $6000 and make it beautiful… you two just have to get creative and really use your resources and network. i know for what we are getting, this wedding would easily cost at least 12,000.
Post # 16
That’s a tough one! As much as I agree with you, I can also see your FI’s side. My FI loves to splurge, so in a way I envy such a stickler! The thing is, once you really get into wedding planning, you probably WILL go over budget. At least, that is what happened to us, and I think it is very common. If he is being a stickler at first, maybe it is a good thing, because you can squeeze more in later if you need to, or if he softens up to it.