Post # 1
We’re currently planning our wedding and we seem to be having the same argument over and over again. She wants something, I have to figure out a way to make it work within our budget. I must not be doing a very good job because we’re already $10k over. With some savings here and there, I can probably cut the deficit to $6-7k, but I need her cooperation, which I’m just not getting.
What I hear from her: we’re only doing this once, don’t want to sacrifice quality for the sake of money, people will give us cash gifts so we can recoup our costs, we can afford it.
What should I do? I want her to be happy, I want a nice wedding, but at the same time, I’d like to have enough money for a downpayment on a nice house, I want to have enough money for investments to secure our future. True, an extra $10-$15 will not make or break us, but the line has to be drawn somewhere, right?
How do other couples deal with this? I figure we are not the first or last couple to have this issue.
Post # 3
Well, I think it’s really good that you are so concerned with setting up your financial future!! While it’s true that you’ll only do this once, and ideally we would all love for everything to be perfect and amazing – in the long run, it’s certainly much more important to have long-term security than one really over-the-top fabulous day.
What helped my Fiance and I to really figure out budget and when to draw the line is that we decided we would not go into debt for the wedding, and not deplete our savings. Once we both agreed to that, we then figured out how much time we had to save, and how much we would honestly save each month (just weddings savings, and a realistic number), and determined our budget from there. I would definitely NOT count on getting money from guests.
What is breaking your budget now? Could you offer her suggestions that are still in the same ballpark as what she wants, but perhaps not exactly like she wants? i.e.: if she wants a full open, top shelf bar for the full reception, what about instead looking into having just beer and wine, and a signature drink? If she wants tons and tons of expensive flowers, maybe look into which flowers are in season in your area when your wedding will be, and use more of those cheaper, in-season flowers? If the venue is really expensive, look into having your wedding on a Friday night, or Sunday. My venue fee was cut in half for Friday/Sunday weddings. Good luck!
Post # 4
Thanks for the well wishes, gabrielle. We’ve booked the venue for Saturday night, so no savings there, now the fight is about a photographer and videographer. Unfortunately there is a definite difference in quality between different price points. It’s all about trade-offs and I’m wondering how couples who don’t see eye-to-eye on these issues resolve their differences.
gabrielle, it seems like you and your Fiance are on the same page, thank your lucky stars for that!
Post # 5
It’s good you’re talking about it. I agree with Gabrielle that a good first step is to decide how much you can acutally save, and discuss what going into debt for the wedding means for the wedding and for the future. I also agree that counting on cash gifts to recoup costs is a bit risky.
My fiance and I are both pretty, um, thrifty, so we’re lucky that we see eye-to-eye on most things. But even so, we sat down and talked about the things that were important to both of us, and those that we could cut costs on. He wanted a full bar and a saturday night. I wanted great photos, so we’re spending on those things.
Also, if either one of you have a knack for crafty things or DIY, you can save a bunch of money there. I’m doing our entire stationary suite, all the flowers and centerpieces (except my bouquet), making some of the table linens, and we rented a sound system for an Ipod deejay.
And my final piece of advice, if none of the above help and if you’re looking at a pretty formal wedding, is to find a place that’s all inclusive: venue, catering, alcohol, decor, etc. They come with a hefty price tag, but you get a much swankier look for less than you could pull off on your own.
Best of luck!
Post # 6
I am assuming you are paying for the wedding yourselves. I agree to not count on cash gifts. Those are supposed to help you set up your home and future and not to throw a party. Yes I know a wedding is more than a party but that doesn’t mean be irresponsible. Do you share the budget with her so she can see what everything adds up to? When you don’t see it, it’s hard to believe how everything adds up.
My fiance and I wrote down the 2-3 things that were important to each of us. Everything else we will save money when we can and cut corners. We found the venue we wanted but chose a Sunday so it would work budget wise. I am making the invitations. We aren’t choosing the priciest menu because people don’t remember the food anyways. I have been scouring Weddingbee classifieds and craigslist for used wedding items and getting on crafting mailing lists so I get their coupons.
Are you sure you can’t move the wedding date to the Friday before or the Sunday after? They might be willing to do that because it is so far out or just charge a small fee which still might help you realize a savings.
The best thing is probably just to share the budget with her so she sees. You can go over every budget item and expect to come under. If you go over there, you need to cut back here. I saw an article that stated if you were given a budget at work, you wouldn’t go over. Treat your wedding the same.
Edit: Good luck! It will all work out though. 🙂
Post # 7
Maybe you could also show her how the money saved on the wedding will grow if you invest it instead. It’s hard to understand how saving $100 now will pay off, but maybe if you put that into a spreadsheet and “grow” the money, you could show her how saving now will pay for a vacation, new car, new house, college fund for future kids.
Or, do like my parents did to me: here’s what you have to spend. If you go over, it’s your money. Except you’d have to phrase it more like: as a couple, here’s what we can afford. If you want to go over that amount, you’ll have to make changes to your daily activities to afford it out of your pocket (i.e. cutting out daily Starbucks trips, lunches out, movies, etc.).
Post # 8
The way my Fiance and I did it was we each named our 3 most important things that we wanted for the wedding for example mine was Dress, Rings and Photographer. His was Guest enjoyment (each guest gets a +1 and food), open bar, guest safety (no drinking and driving). So those are the things that we “splurged on” within reason and got what we wanted. Everywhere else we got the cheapest options possible within reason.
This worked for us! I hope you can find something that works for you!
Post # 9
- Wedding: April 2011 - The Tribute Golf Club
Things that helped me and my Fiance when it came to the budget was the fact that we were paying for half the wedding ourselves, when it’s coming out of your pocket I feel like you’re more likely to find the best quality for the best price.
Our planner had us sit down and list things that were most important to us (like photography) and least important (flowers) and we built our budget around those things, putting more into the important aspects of the day.
If we don’t see eye to eye on something, (which doesn’t happen too often since Fiance is more of a “that sounds great” kind of guy), we look at the budget and compare the options. We did that with the videographer that we’re looking at. He didn’t really see the need, but after we discussed it I looked up all of the ones in the area and depending on cost and quality I had him pick out the best one.
I hope everything works out for you, I’m sure it’s going to be a give and take type of thing, but remind her that the down payment on a house is something you’ll be able to enjoy a lot longer then one wedding day.
Post # 10
I had the same problems with my FH, and he understood my wants, just as you do with your fiancee, but it took me a while to realize how much it would affect our future purchases, especially the big one you mentioned the down payment on the house. Like you mentioned it may not set you back a whole lot, but for us it would definitely affect how soon we could buy a house. Another thing I realized is that it can be a matter of balancing out. We really had to think about what we valued and wanted most so that the quality would not be as compromised. However, we had to figure out what things we were willing to save on, for us it’s invitations, favors, and a few other things that we figured we might skimp on. Hopefully you can both sit down look at numbers, I know it’s not fun, but really talk about what your actual budget is and what your max is. If there is no max, the number keeps going higher before you know it.
Post # 11
If my FH had it his way, we would be having a barbeque in the backyard.
But luckily for me he saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I suggested a $ dollar amount and that I had worked out a budget ourselves. I thought something he would be keen on would be increasing the drink tab. Not so.. he was keen on keeping it small! So with that money we saved and we spent the extra on a really good quality suit for him, one he can wear to business meetings, or weddings whichever. To him investing in that was better than investing in friends getting drunk. FH and I are not big drinkers anyway.
I mapped my budget down to everything… and estimated cost and an actual. Once I had done that and FH saw the reality of costs we planned that we wouldnt get a loan, we would pay for this ourselves. This also determined our wedding date as we would have enough money by then to cover costs. We are not relying on parents to pay for the wedding as my parents are nearing retiring age and we think it would be unfair, even if I am the only daughter in the family.
But definitely a mapped out excel spreadsheet helped us!
Post # 12
@ AverageGuy- I am kinda in the same situation as you except my Fiance is the one thinking the wedding should be elaborate and he thinks there is no way we can do our wedding on the budget I have set. It is very frustrating because like you I would rather spend our money somewhere else and I cant imagine blowing the budget knowing that we have a daughter. Since I am in the early stages of planning I have been doing alot of research on venues and price checking items and then I will go back to him with all of this information and explain to him we can have this wedding on the budget I set. I agree with everyone else you both have to say what your top item is for the wedding and then go from there in planning if not the budget will definitely explode at the seams. GOOD LUCK
Post # 13
For us, it’s me trying to reign him in 🙂 but fortunately he listens 😉
We made our budget, with the total amount we wanted to spend, and now when we look at something — because, let’s be honest, the nicer option almost always IS more expensive! — that we can’t afford, we look at the budget, and we find a way to compromise. It turns into, “If we spend x$ more than our budget on this, where is that x$ coming from? What are we going to cut?”
That has helped us prioritize, together, where we want to splurge and where we want to save. And it’s keeping us focused together, because we have to discuss everything along the way.