Post # 1
I wasn’t sure whether to put this in emotional or here in money, because Fiance and I got emotional about money last night. I guess I’d like a little confirmation that I’m not insane.
I ran some numbers yesterday and wanted to share with him b/c I think I’ve been doing well with the budget. Our original amount was $5000. Then my parents wanted to pay a significant amount, we realized that we have a large number of family and friends that we want to have attend, and my mom shot down my vague idea about a non-traditional caterer. And then I discovered just how hard it is too find a venue that can fit 150 with both a nice outdoor space and a roomy a/c indoor space for heat/rain which must be planned for in August in Maryland. I did find it in the end, only $1700, and they have a list of 8 caterers, so I’m limited there. I’ll spare you the details, but by leaving a lot of stuff out, I think it can be done for $9000, of which my parents would pay about $5000 (maybe more, I don’t know). So that leaves him (I have no savings since I’ve been in school and only a part-time job though I’m looking for more work) to pay about $4000, less than he originally thought. And he’s upset!
It’s not the money exactly, he has enough savings to pay for the entire thing out-of-pocket, he says he doesn’t care who’s paying, it just feels extravagant for a few hours (5 to be exact). He worries that it will be too fancy (wants to cut back by using paper plates “there are really nice ones”) when all it will be is a pleasant catered garden party in a beautiful location. I feel we have the rest of our lives to have backyard bbqs or potlucks, when we’re not hosting 150 of our nearest and dearest who have traveled to see us.
I have said I don’t want a “magazine-ready wedding”, and he thinks I’m going back on that idea, I was into the $2000 wedding and such at first and now he thinks I’ve been overcome by the wedding-industrial complex. He thinks this kind of conspicuous consumption doesn’t fit with our environmental-hipster values, that this means I’ll go back on other things I’ve asserted, that this is somehow creating a precedent, that he’s put together tons of grad-school social events that cost a lot less than that with as many people, etc etc.
I can see doing one of the more unusual-type weddings if we had 40 or 50 guests, and none were infirm, but I have a huge family (so does he) and I love them and want them to be there and be comfortable. And yes, a certain level of formality is expected in my family and makes an event really special, though I will not say a word when the party his family throws us is super-casual. Am I really nuts for thinking that under $10K is a totally reasonable amount to spend on your wedding when you have the money and 150 people to spend it on?
Post # 3
Wait a minute, didn’t you mention in the beginning that $5k was your original budget? Was that an amount that both you and he agreed on? I can understand your point of veiw. Of course, this is a one time event (hopefully)!! Just let him know how important this day is to you. And honestly, for 150 guests, you’re doing awesome for staying around the $9,000 range!!!!
Post # 4
$10,000 is a very reasonable, not excessive amount. Fiance thought I was spending too much, so I sat him down and showed him how all the little things add up. Candles, taxes, gratuity, programs, etc. and I think he understands now. Good luck!
Post # 5
Under 10 K is FANTASTIC!!!! Good for you for getting good deals and keeping with a reasonable budget. We are having a similar discussion as we originally set a budget to pay on our own. I was agreeable to the budget, but knew it was an extremely tight budget by Vancouver standards as everything is WAY over priced out here 🙁 Family has since offered to contribute a significant amount and rather than slightly increase the budget to make it easier he thinks we should just decrease the amount we are contributing but keep the same tight budget because it too much money to spend on one day. I figure let’s not go crazy but also not be super stressed about a few dollars here/there. URG 🙁
Post # 6
Show him the budget and where things are adding up. This will help him realize what you are talking about.
Under $10,000 for that many people is very impressive!
Post # 7
I think you’re right. $10,000 is a budget wedding in my book. Maybe it’s good that you guys are having this argument, since money is such a common topic for couples to argue about. You can practice your conflict resolution skills!
If I were you, I would make it clear to Fiance that it’s not of matter of whether it is possible to throw a party on a lower budget, but whether that type of party is what you want. I think that the wedding you are proposing is a great compromise between a lavish affair and a simple one.
Post # 8
Hmm…I understand both sides. $10,000 is definitely a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding…you could be spending much much more! I think it’s taking things a bit far for him to say you’ve been taken overcome by the WIC and that you’re a changed person. $10,000 isn’t a very extravagent amount in WIC terms.
BUT…just because it’s a generally reasonable amount, doesn’t mean that spending that amount is in line with your fiances values and goals. Even if someone had offered to give us a bunch more money for our wedding, I don’t think either of us would have wanted to increase what our wedding cost…it would have exceeded the amount we were comfortable spending on one event, regardless of where the money came from. You should sit down with him and go through the various aspects of the wedding and see what you both feel is a reasonable amount to spend on that (and see if you’re spending that, or more, or less) and from there make a plan TOGETHER to go forward, add things, or cut things back as appropriate. You don’t want to have a wedding that your fiance is going to regret or feel like the money would have been better spent elsewhere (by you or by whoever provided it).
Post # 9
So what you’re saying is, you are throwing a wedding… in Maryland… for 150 people… and you’re having it catered at an actual venue… for less than $10,000?? And he’s MAD?! I’m blown away.
The thing is, when you come up with your original budget, sometimes it’s hard to be on target because people can be really slippery about weddings. No one wants to come clean about how much anything costs, so it’s really hard to tell how much it’ll actually be. Also, in my (limited) experience, I’ve found that there are things I thought wouldn’t matter that actually do. Maybe it feels silly, but it’s ok to want it to look nice and feel comfortable for your guests. Embrace that.
Your fiance should be proud of you. I think you’ve done a great job of balancing your values and budget with the real world of wedding planning. I say congratulations to you.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone for your nice comments!
@WendyS328: when we started, we didn’t think our parents would contribute (don’t know why), and he said “I have $10K+ in savings not counting stocks” so I said “awesome!” and he said “but I want to keep it less than that” and I said “$7K?” and he said “more like $5K” and I said “okay”. But then reality set in about what things cost and what has to be taken into consideration, and my parents offered (his are doing rehearsal dinner and may forcibly buy him a new suit). I guess he didn’t get the reality check? This is making me think that he hasn’t heard me when I talk wedding! But he’s still paying under original budget (which was totally unrealistic). The thing is he’s the only one who feels this way – his parents have literally threatened him with bodily harm and said they will provide the $$ themselves if he has budget objections to whatever ring I want (though I’m not taking advantage of this, will probably pay under $200).
@gasiaraine: you have his argument pinpointed exactly. I guess the problem is that our values differ a bit; I honestly feel strongly about hospitality and that means specific things to me. And it kinda seems to me that he’s okay with the individual items but uncomfortable with the total – I know arithmetic isn’t his strong suit, but come on!
Post # 11
Hi, from a bride in Maryland also with 150 estimated guests — $10k is fricking awesome.
Post # 12
Maybe he just doesn’t have any idea what things cost. You are doing an amazing job. I’m planning a $8,000 wedding for 100, I can’t imagine how I would fit another 50 people into my budget! Show him your breakdown of the numbers and see where he objects. For example, if he thinks your photography is too high, tell him that he needs to find someone for cheaper. It’s easy to say “I don’t want to spend $1000 for photography, I only want to spend $500” but it’s a lot harder to actually find someone in that price range. You understand that because you’ve been doing the planning and you’ve seen how prices are. He needs to come to that understanding too, and that may mean that he needs to do so research on his own so he can see how hard it is to find reasonably priced vendors… It isn’t right for him to make demands and then put it on you to get it done without investigating whether it’s even possible or not.
Post # 13
Haha…if he’s ok with the individual items, but not the total, then that sounds like something he just needs to come to terms with!
Maybe it would help for him to just “forget” the overall amount, if he’s ok with the individual item totals.
We actually did this ourselves…having an overall budget became too much of a “how do we ocme in under budget” competition. Instead we just looked at each individual aspect and said “are we ok spending $x on this? Yes? Ok move on!” We still don’t know what we spent overall in total and decided we don’t care (I have a good idea because I was tracking it all at first). We spent what we were comfortable with and what aligned with our values on each thing. For example: food got a lot cuz we both LOVE food, photography got a decent amount, but not as much as many people put to it because we and our families are obsessed with taking pictures…and yes…both my husband and I took our own pictures on our wedding day :-p, the cake got nearly nothing cuz there was no way I was paying someone to do something that I love to do to get a product that doesn’t taste as good.
Post # 14
@greenleafmountain: yeah, you’re totally right – I should let him do some of the dealing with the caterers (which I should have started today but didn’t). Let’s see if he can do better; at least it will take some of my stress away!
Post # 15
I’m gonna agree with @qasiaraine here: just because the money doesn’t come from you doesn’t mean it’s not being spent by someone. And the fact that anyone is spending it may be his concern. I can also see where he’s coming from about you “going back on (your) idea” about not needing a magazine wedding. If your FI’s original vision for the wedding was a lot less formal (& your wedding doesn’t sound all that formal at all), then the wedding you’re (individually) planning may not fit with his vision. Since it’s BOTH your wedding, he should become MUCH more involved in the process if he’s concerned (what I’m implying here is that he shouldn’t just complain about what you’re planning without actively contributing to the planning – and suggesting “really nice” paper plates doesn’t constitute active planning on his part).
Additionally, perhaps he’s one of those people who like to live their values in every action he takes…Fiance & I try to be that kind of person. We’re strong believers in making the world a better place & try to live that philosophy in every action (I’m a high school teacher, Fiance is a movie industry assistant – I try to teach the leaders of tomorrow, he tries to inspire them) including things as mundane as the kind of TV we watch – we’ll watch reality shows in which participants strive for excellence, but not those that focus on the interpersonal relationships of participants (i.e. yes to sports, biggest loser or Project Runway; no to Survivor, Real Housewives, or Models of the Runway). Maybe, your Fiance wants to live his values in the wedding planning…he just needs to get involved in the planning process to better understand your vision of the wedding & how much effort it takes to unify your two visions.
But if you & Fiance are looking at straight numbers, $10K for 150 people in a city is DAMN good planning & budgeting.
Post # 16
It sounds like he’s more concerned about giving money to the wedding industrial complex than he is about the financial implications.
Here’s the thing – for 150 people, 10k is a really great deal. Maybe explain it in just plain event terms – that it works out to 10000/150 or just under $67 per person. If you took 150 people out to dinner it’d probably cost that much. Yes, it’s possible to have a backyard wedding for a lot less, but it’s hard to find a backyard that can comfortably seat that many people. and you’re still buying a lot of food.
Also – if he wants to go cheap by using paper plates, I’m not sure how that squares with your environmentalism. It’s kind of nitpicking, but based on your region, # of guests, and cost it seems like he’s having more sticker shock / feeling ripped off based on the sum total than anything else. (My boy’s kind of the same way, thinking we should be spending more like 2k than 20k when we want to have a 100 person open bar Saturday night fully catered event in an expensive area… I am all over the cheap but at a certain point you have to be realistic.)