I just got engaged a few weeks ago (YAAAY!) and my mom and I attended a bridal show this weekend with my BFF (also a bride to be) and her mom and several other ladies. Mom and I took off on our own (on accident, actually) and in the course of chatting with vendors and eating way too many mini cupcakes my mom said something along the lines of "well $20,000 is certainly not an unreasonable budget". I think my jaw hit the floor. My parents are not exactly well-off, though I do have two aunts who I am very close with who are extremely comfortable financially. My mom hinted that there are "plenty of people who are going to want to chip in" and told me not to worry about prices right now.
Holy heck. I always assumed FI and I would be paying a large portion and we would do something very simple possibly at his parent's house. Now we're discussing booking a hotel ballroom and getting tuxes and the whole 9 yards. I am so overwhelmed by this and we haven't even planned anything! I'm just so blown away at the way my mom, the most frugal and savvy woman I know, was willing to entertain the notion of spending $20-30k on a wedding.
Now I'm feeling really guilty at the thought of people spending that much money on me. I mean, that could pay off my parent's house and get some repairs done that they need. That could be my sisters college tuition for a few years. That could be spent helping my brother and sister, who have a new baby and a 500 square foot apartment, buy a home. I have NEVER been good at accepting large gifts and attention- I would much rather spoil others- so this is such an adjustment to make. A good adjustment, and an exciting one, but a big one.
Was anyone else shocked with a much higher budget/more support than they were expecting from family?
Well what a nice surpise!!!
Actually if that was her comment, "well $20,000 is certainly not an unreasonable budget," was there any thing else spoken? I mean just going by that comment, that could actually go a multitude of ways! Just making sure she is actually giving you $20k.
Just a word of caution, because I have seen it on here many times and it's so heartbreaking when it does happen, either see if the gift can be given to you in cash, or make sure your parent go along when signing things or you know their payment plan. I also would not assume your aunts are going to donate money unless they gave you a check.
I just have read so many stories on here about people not coming up with the money they promised and brides went and paid their deposits, but then the donors backed out on them.
There's also nothing that says you need to take them up on all $20k if that is in fact what she is giving you. Then you can get rid of some of that guilt!
Yeah, it was more of a general statement made after I balked at the insane price of something. We haven't "gathered" the troops yet but just hearingher say something like that was so surreal to me. I told her multiple times I can't let my family spend that much but she just kept shaking her head nad saying "stop worrying".
Nothing is set in stone so I'm still just going to think of everything as "what can FI and I afford to do" until I know for certain what the deal is.
I think you should get a budget in writing before you start spending and planning away. Some people may be more willing when there's not an actual expense yet, but might not want to "chip in" once the bills start rolling in.
I think just because they offer that much doesn't mean you have to spend that much. Set a budget you can afford to cover without the sort of promised money that may or may not come.
Our budget is $5,000. While way smaller than yours, $5,000 is a big number for our family. I felt the same way - a little guilty (though SO thankful) that my parents had decided to spend money they didn't really have on me and FH. I think just make sure she is totally okay with spending that money. It will certainly give you a LOT of comfort and wiggle room. Me and FH experienced the same thing after planning on paying about $1k for a park wedding by ourselves. So now we have a LOT more to work with.
Really, having the smarts to stick to your budget is more important than the actual amount. Generous family members are TOTALLY a lifesaver, and a huge blessing, IMO.
If spending 20k would be a stretch for you and your fiancé it nobody ended up helping, make sure that number is firm before you start spending. I started off thinking we could do a wedding for 10k but once I got into planning I realized there's no way, I was surprised by how much things cost because like most brides, I'd never planned a wedding before! I don't feel too guilty over that though since we alone can afford it and our families have offered to help as well but yep, man was I shocked.
I also feel guilty sometimes about the amount of money my mom is spending on the wedding (my dad is cheap and is only giving a very small amount compared to her). Her and my step-dad could definitely use it in other places, but problem is that she wants to spend the money on the wedding. She wants it to be amazing and there are certain things she refuses to not have. There are some things that I thought were not needed and would not let her do, but there are only some many things she will agree to not do lol
I think I should clarify- I don't want to spend that much money! In total honesty, if it were up to me FI and I would drive down to Savannah for the weekend and elope. That's where this guilt is coming from. It would be a blessing if they want to help and if they do help that much, but I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around the idea of it. It just seems so over the top to me. My mom wants me to have the big traditional elaborate shindig I think, because she never did, but I just don't know how comfortable I am with even the idea of spending all that money on a party. It is so foreign to me.
I am no where near the $20k mark, but FI and I were VERY surprised that my parents offered to pay for our wedding, especially since we're having a DW/planned elopement. I didn't feel right asking them for money since they won't even be there, and FI and I had a good portion saved up already for deposits and paying the rest wouldn't be an issue... but my dad insisted on paying for the wedding/honeymoon, a week-long hotel stay, my dress, everything. It will total $2,500 and at first I felt very guilty and even argued with my mom about it. But, it's obvious that they are not budging on this so we are putting what money we had saved toward a future house downpayment instead. Honestly, I still feel guilty but there's no getting around it: they are paying and that's that!
@MissGreenBean: I agree that even if $20,000 is offered, if you feel that your mom will be forgoing needed repairs on her house or even your sister's college tuition, then you probably shouldn't accept it. You don't mention it here, but I assume your FI and you aren't capable of paying for a large wedding yourselves?
If your mom has a *ton* of money and has plenty to pay for your wedding and your sister's tuition and repairs and anything else that arises, then it's fine to take the money. If your mom is offering more than she can/should realistically afford, then I think it's your duty to turn it down.
I've read enough threads here on WB to see that many parents offer more than they are capable (maybe their pride won't let them offer less? who knows). My husband's parents wanted to pitch in on our wedding a lot more that we let them---but my husband wouldn't accept it because we make more money than they do, and they are closer to retirement. It just seems wrong. Similarly with my mom, she was willing to pitch in a lot more than I let her (I let her buy/make 2 things--our favors for one night and our bouquets/bouts), but I didn't let her---for the same reason. She's only 2 years from retirement. She should be saving that for expenses down the road.
In any case, find out more information, then make a decision. Good luck!
Mine is costing right at $20K for virtually everything (aside from the HM and rings) for 80 guests. I started off wanting to spend $15K. So my best advice is not to "start" with a $20K budget if you really want to stay under $20K! All those little expenses really do add up once you see how much they really cost. Have fun planning
My parents didn't hand me over the money, they've been paying for deposits and things as we go. Obviously most of the money comes in the month before the wedding. My parents are paying a little over half of the costs. I'm very grateful to them...I figured I'd be paying for it all on my own! In which case I probably would have done something competely different from what I'm doing. But I am paying for some of my own things, and I like doing that. So you could always voluntarily pay for certain vendors.
Your situation is so similar to what mine was. After we got engaged I expected that my DH and I would pay for everything ourselves, then my Parents told me they were planning on taking care of the majority of our expenses. I don't do well with excepting large gifts from my Parents, I know they never had a lot when we were growing up which made me feel x10 more guilty. I pleaded with them to reconsider and save the money for themselves, but being their only daughter they would hear nothing of it. They did make some smart financial decisions over the last 10 years so I knew they were better off then when I was a kid, but it was still uncomfortable for me.
I paid for things like my dress, accessories, and smaller items. I treated their money as my own in that I cut corners on favors and center pieces and did as much DIY as my Mom and I could. It turned out amazing and it is what I would have done had my DH and I had to pay for it ourselves. It made me feel a bit better to save as much money as possible even though it wasn't coming out of my pocket.
@MissGreenBean: I think I should clarify- I don't want to spend that much money! In total honesty, if it were up to me FI and I would drive down to Savannah for the weekend and elope. That's where this guilt is coming from.
What if you treated your immediate families to a little weekend getaway that included your wedding in Savannah, GA! That'd be way under $20k honestly and the whole family can benefit (including sister), and it's *almost* like eloping.
But really it is up to FI and you - it's your wedding! :)
I priced out a 3 day weekend in Sundace Resort, Utah, renting a mansion for the entire family (which came with a little side house for us), all the food, wedding related stuff, etc. It was about $5k.
I think you should first get the money in your hands before planning too much. Also, I would plan the kind of wedding you feel comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable having the whole 9 yards, then plan a smaller, or less formal affair. If your family wants to give you money, more than you would need, you could either ask them to pay for certain expenses instead, or tell them you don't want such a formal wedding and if they want to still give it to you, then use it for your house or honeymoon expenses.
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