Post # 1
This is my first post, so I don’t quite know all of the lingo/acronyms. And to begin with, sorry if this is a long post.
December 2009 wedding in downtwon Chicago on a 30K budget – a little less than 200 guests. Have a venue booked (2K down payment) and think that we will stay in budget. I also don’t think it’s possible for us to do it any cheaper. We were planning to have my parents do 10K, his 10K and us 10K.
My dad is most likely getting laid off from work (after 30 yrs w/ his company – making good salary).My parents still have to pay for 1 sister’s college and do have money saved, but nonetheless they are stressed about what the future will hold. I’m sure my dad will get another job, just making a lot less $. I feel selfish for even thinking about the ramifications on my plans for the wedding. I would guess that their max contribution now would be like 3K.
E and I have a good combined income – 120K and have money saved (60K). But we are young, 25, and haven’t bought a house yet or anything. We both are planning to go back to grad school too – so another future expense.
It seems irresponsible to spend $20K of our own money on a wedding during this recession. But, I really think I’ll always be sad at this missed opportunity to have all of our favorite people in one room. (I almost wrote regret, but that’s too strong of a word).
So, if we were to cancel our big Chi town wedding now, we would only be out 2K for the venue. Should we plan a very, very intimate destination wedding/honeymoon? Like immediate family only? What do you guys think?
Thanks for your advice,
Post # 3
Oh man. I’m in a similar situation, except we have significantly less savings (we’re both still in grad school) and our wedding is only 4 months away. We’ve put so many deposits down that I don’t feel like we can cancel anything, and I have no idea how to save my parents any money at this point. They insist that I shouldn’t worry about it but I can’t help it — I felt guilty about them footing the bill for this (at their very strong insistence) even back when the economy wasn’t in the toilet, almost 2 years ago.
Totally sucks. I wish we’d gotten married a year ago — we would’ve spent the same amount of money, but the guilt would’ve been much less.
As far as what to do, I’d start by having frank discussions with your Fiance about what the both of you want. If having all your friends and extended family there is really important, then stick with your original plan — you’ve got almost a year to reallocate funds and plan wisely. However, if you’d be ok with having an at-home reception and a destination wedding, then go for it. I wish we were doing that at this point.
Post # 4
Alot of people opt for a destination wedding because they think it will be less expensive. But remember, its only less expensive on the bride & groom, everyone else will be paying LOTS more (flight, hotel, etc.) So keep that in mind in hard times like these! Besides, if a big wedding with ALL your friends & family is what you’ve been picturing and have wanted, I wouldn’t skip on it.
As far as the money, it sounds like you guys are doing pretty good. You don’t need to spend 60K on a wedding. Even if you have a large guest list, cut some corners in other places (check the DIY blogs!) I would only spend half of what you have saved & use the rest for a downpayment on a house (which is a FAR greater investment than having a lavish wedding)!
But remember, if a big wedding is really what you want, than have it!
Post # 5
I think you are in good shape. I know you’re foreseeing some expenses (school, home). And that is smart. But I think you could still have your big wedding without postponing. I think financially, you could let your parents off the hook too.
Are you nervous about something else, like one of you losing a job? that might be a different story. but I don’t see a big issue, otherwise.
Post # 6
That really blows that you are indirectly feeling the heat of the economy! I’m so sorry! We had a similiar issue. We are paying for our 40K wedding ourselves – no parental contributions. Unfortunately, mr. tofu has been laid off and is now unemployed (looking, though!). Luckily, he has been saving up a lot, and he already finished grad school (me, not so much!).
I used it to my advantage – i let all my vendors know of our situation, and ask them to be sympathetic and help work out our budget with us. We even renegotiated with our venue!
Its possible to really do a budget wedding if you try. We actually saved at least $6K just by asking!
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
This is why I want either a very informal "picnic/backyard bbq" style wedding, or no wedding at all. I feel like the money we and our families have could be better spent on other things (housing, schooling, etc). It’s hard!!
Post # 8
It sounds to me like you’re in good shape, actually. You have pretty good savings, and also good jobs. You already know that your parents’ situation may change, and can factor that in. It doesn’t sound like you’re spending money you don’t have.
I would think about two things. First, the small amount of money that you’re getting from your parents – I assume this is money that they have saved? I would want to be sure that they can really afford it, even if your dad gets laid off. I wouldn’t worry too much about your sister – she may have to carry more of the cost of her own college, but if your parents’ income decreases she will also be more able to get financial aid. And I’m sure that your parents want to contribute at least something. Maybe just let them know that you understand their situation, and that you want to be absolutely sure they don’t pay for more than they are comfortable with.
Then I’d think about your own savings. If one of you lost your job, could you still live comfortably until you found another? Do you have plans to buy a house in the near future? It sounds like you could have a nice wedding and still do one or the other, if not both, but it will make you feel better to take a good, hard look at it.
Then, of course, you can think about maybe economizing in other ways. Maybe you can cut the guest list a little; maybe you can serve less alcohol; maybe you select a less expensive entree. There are any number of ways to cut your budget by a few thousand dollars that don’t involve canceling the whole thing and going a completely different direction.
And really, don’t feel guilty! You’re fortunate to be in a position where you can still afford a nice wedding, but the reason you’re there is that both you and your Fiance have worked hard and been smart with money. That’s something to be proud of! And now you get to spend your savings the way you see fit.
It’s also a good point (as already said) that destination weddings are only cheaper for the bride and groom. Everybody else has added expenses (airfare, hotel, time off work). It’s probably more thoughtful of your family and guests to go ahead with something local, and try to keep their expenses to a minimum.
Post # 9
Have you talked to your folks about the financial situation and are the famliar with your concerns? I would talk to them along with your fiancee to see what kind of options you might need to resort to and make decisions together.
Post # 10
I feel you! I had to find a way to eliminate 4k from our wedding due to the same situation. have you talked to your venue yet? I was able to eliminate $15 per head by minimizing our dinner options. There are ways you can work it out without having to give up what you really want. I know it sounds hard now and it is very stressful but, if you have a good vendor they will work with you and make it so it can fit your budget. I think you just have to be willing to give up some of the small things that won’t matter in the end!Hope this helps, also if you want a destination wedding that would also be very nice you should check out palace resorts.com they offer free wedding and you can upgrade from there!
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
We paid $15K out of pocket ($20 including honeymoon) for our wedding and had significantly less money saved than you do (although at the time we already owned our house… by owned I mean paid rent to the bank… as I like to call it). Anyway, his parents paid for the Rehearsal dinner and my parents paid about $15K, so Mr. Peng and I paid for at least half of our own wedding expenses. I don’t regret it in the slightest. While the economy is tight, if you feel like you can afford it and you are set on your "dream wedding" then it seems like you are in a good financial place to make it happen. When it comes down to it, there is so little that is actually NECESSARY to have a wedding. You need a location, food, and a dress. That’s it. We spent very little money on a lot of fluff, and felt like we had a really nice and meaningful wedding. And I know that if we didn’t do it, I’d look back today and really regret not having done it and done it in a nice way. So if you can afford it and if you know that there is a good possibility you’ll look back in regret if you dont… then you can find a way to make it happen. I say go for it… keep it simple and meaningful, and you’ll look back with no regrets!
Post # 12
Thank you so much everyone for posting. Sorry it took me a few days to respond – full time work and part time school have been no fun this semester.
I don’t want to bother my parents with concerns about my wedding. My Fiance and I have been talking and he seems to be ok if we end up spending a decent amt of our own $$ on this. I think he wants a big wedding as much as I do.
Neither of us are going to lose our jobs – so hopefully it won’t matter if we spend a chunk of our savings.