Having the awkward budget talk with parents/in-laws..

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
42460 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Wifey2beee:  The two of you should plan the wedding that you can afford. Any donations from parents can then be used for upgrades or things you thought you could not afford.

Post # 3
Member
795 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You don’t. You plan the wedding on the budget you can afford now. All money recieved afterwards is a bonus and can go towards upgrades and other things you didn’t think you could afford. 

Post # 4
Member
1208 posts
Bumble bee

I agree, just plan a wedding that you can pay for. My guy swears up and down that his parents will want to help once we tell them, but I say there is NO way we can count on outside help. If you can afford your wedding you won’t feel pressured to ask them. 

To actually answer your question though,draw up a budget breakdown of all your costs and just go talk to them. You aren’t begging for money, they already offered. Just sit them down and say, “FI and I were wondering if you’re generous offer of helping us with our wedding was still on the table. And take it from there.

Post # 5
Member
3346 posts
Sugar bee

You can’t. Plan the wedding you and your FI can afford. If they help out, great, it’s an added bonus.

Post # 7
Member
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I’m going to tell you the same as the others; you can’t count on anyone else. You plan what you can afford, so if you’re planning a $40k wedding, I’m assuming you have $40k already, or a plan to get it-that doesn’t include parents.

My FI and I are paying for everything together. There is a chance that his dad will throw us some money at some point, but that would just be a bonus. Nothing I have for my wedding even *can* be upgraded, so it would probably be considered a wedding gift. Also, since we’re paying, we get to make any and all decisions. No one else gets a say, unless I allow it.

If you’re comfy enough to know his parents ideas of wedding donations, why haven’t you been comfy enough with your parents?

Post # 8
Member
3044 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

The next time they say they will ‘help out,’ that is the time when you can bring it up. ‘Mom and Dad, we are definitely grateful for any assistance which you wish to give. We are at the stage in planning where we are starting to get into details. What did you have in mind for how you wanted to ‘help out?’ Is there a specific task or item you want to be in charge of?’

Or alternatively, if you end up having a dinner with both sets of parents to celebrate your engagement or somesuch, I would definitely give your parents a heads-up in advance that your FILs want for the parents to split the bills. I’ve known couples where one set of parents felt put on the spot by their kids’ in-laws and agreed to cough up more money than they would have come up with on their own because they hadn’t talked in advance and one spouse didn’t want to look cheap.

Post # 9
Member
55 posts
Worker bee

I am coming from a different angle because I actually cannot afford a wedding currently, not even a small one, and my parent offered to help.  It took a few months before they made it clear they planned to offer any financial help and even then it was very unclear what they would cover.  I know they don’t have a lot of money and I hate that I need any help at all, but the best thing I did was finally say to them, “I know you said you would help, but I’m not sure what you planned to include.  I don’t want you to worry about how much certain things cost.  I thought it would be easier for you to just tell me how much you can reasonably afford.  That way, I know I’m not asking for more than you can afford and I can make compromises more freely.  For example, you might say you’ll cover the food but not the flowers.  Maybe some place includes the flowers in the package and it’s cheaper overall.  If I’m just working with a maximum amount, we can focus on what’s cheapest overall and not get caught up in the details of who is paying for what.”  It worked out really well because they took some time to really think about what they could afford and now that I have a number, I can see that we can definitely stay under budget.

I don’t think waiting to ask helps anyone.  If you start planning a wedding without a complete picture of your budget you are going to only hurt yourself.  Adding chocolate fountains because you found out your parents are contributing can’t make up for a compromise you made on your venue because you thought you couldn’t afford the place you really wanted.  Remember, you are signing a lot of contracts and making changes could mean losing money– for everyone.

Post # 10
Member
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Wifey2beee:  There’s no way around it, you just have to sit them down and talk about it.  Budget can be super scary, but if that’s not lined up and expectations are not properly communicated, things might end in disaster.  Just find out early if/how much they are willing to contribute and verbally confirm it (a lot lol) in your conversation.  Another way of bringing this up without getting too into th enumbers is to see if each set of parents wants to contribute to specific things.  For example, my fmil wanted to pay for the DJ and my parents wanted to pay for the flowers.  That might help them feel better about handing over cash if they know what it’s specifially going toward.  It will also make them accountable for a major aspect of the wedding, if you are worried about them flaking out on it.  

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