Post # 1
Hey bees. I’m waiting for a ring, but with the timeline my SO has given me and our ideal wedding date, it looks like we’ll have just under a year and a half from engagement to wedding to save AND SPEND money. This freaks me out. While he’s expecting money from his folks, my folks have suggested we elope. 😛
Upside: I know I can totally plan our ideal <40 person, indoors formal wedding with a sit-down dinner *where we live* with the money I’ve saved RIGHT NOW. Downside: He’s dead-set on having the wedding near his family, in one of the wealthiest parts of the States. Derp. So not happening if we don’t get assistance. Major assistance.
Once we are engaged, since he sort of refuses to think about wedding budgets until there’s a ring, I’ll have to have a conversation with him about how we are going to pay for his dream wedding, or alternatively, how to make him happy with a wedding where we live.
How do I go about doing this? His main point will be “We can’t plan until we know how much money my parents are going to give us”. Sigh. What do I say to that? Besides, “okay, so I’ll just get dressed real nice and show up wherever you tell me to”?
Post # 3
As a former waiting bee who “planned the wedding” before the ring, I can relate to this. Now I’m on the other side so hopefully what I have to share can help you.
After my FI officially proposed with a ring and we announced our engagement, the process of planning has been different than the preliminary “what about this?” talks. He had a lot of preferences before that were somewhat different than they are now. For example, he wanted a plated steak dinner with a premium open bar at a hotel before we were engaged. Now he’s totally fine with the idea of a buffet and just serving beer and wine and he’s been with me on finding a more rustic/vintage venue.
As difficult as I KNOW it is to relax, I’d steer away from having a money talk before you have a ring. In the meantime, maybe have some of your pricing information printed out, keep it in a secret binder. Make a guest list based on your side and what you know of his side and maybe crunch some numbers to compare your totals. I don’t see anything wrong with that…plus it isn’t exactly planning, it’s research.
Once you get engaged then, sit down and show him what you’ve found online and based on the price differences as well as how difficult it is to trim the damn guest list, maybe he’ll come around.
Who knows…you could be paying for it by yourselves or you could get help. But either way, I wouldn’t try to have this talk with him until after you’re engaged.
Something else you might do in order to ease your anxiety is work on a playlist for the reception. I would have done that if I hadn’t been so busy making paper flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces.
Post # 4
I kind of agree with your Fi, I can some parents not willing or ready to talk about that until you are acutally engaged. I think what you can control is you two. Judging by what you said I assumed you are already saving. Start a joint saving fund if you don’t have one together for the wedding, see where you can cut back and what is a reasonable amount to put into savings each month.In the meantime look at budget breakdowns, seach cool and unique places in addition to traditional wedding venues to compare and contrast cost. So when the time comes to make a budget you will be well prepared. Then when you are engaged he can speak to his parents about it.
Post # 5
@missjuli: Yeah, I’ll wait to bring it up again until after the ring. And you’re right, preferences do change and I shouldn’t really worry yet. The playlist thing is a good idea. Much less stressful than window shopping.
For the record though, this worry was his fault (even if I was watching TLC – Randy to the Resue). We were talking about our new town and how exciting it is but I didn’t know where anything was yet and he said randomly “at least you can ask my parents about venues so that won’t be an issue with the wedding” and I was like “what? I thought we were going talk about that since we can’t really pay for it there…” 🙂
@TwoCityBride: I suppose my issue is I don’t like that we’ll be relying on his parents to offer us money. Once we’re engaged, we’ve already agreed to set up a joint account that will first be used for wedding saving, then house saving and living expenses after marriage so I suppose this conversation will happen naturally then.
Post # 6
It’s probably best to have the money talk after the ring. I agree, I did some preplanning as well, getting a little panicky at the logistics/timing. But after being in the engagement period, I’d say let that time period wait until the engagement period. Enjoy each stage as it is!
“This freaks me out. While he’s expecting money from his folks, my folks have suggested we elope.”
“We can’t plan until we know how much money my parents are going to give us”
The consensus is that you don’t plan things with any assumptions that you are getting money, nor do you ask for money. The couple plans according to the budget that they have or will set up.
Only if someone comes forth and offers you money (either a lump sum or to cover certain aspects of the wedding), then you can work it into the budget. So your budget could change if his parents step forward, but best to plan as if they are not contributing.
Trying to figure out if they will step forward is tricky (since you are supposed to not ask). If they are going to make an offer, then they’ll probably do it shortly after engagement.
You’ve had some talks with your FI about what you both could envision (which will probably change 100x). Draw up some spreadsheets for each scenario (as I call them) and see what roughly each idea is going to cost. Then you can show your honey what his big dream day really will cost.
I have about 10 different wedding scenarios/ideas all with budgets breakdowns.
Post # 7
As an OCD pre-planner, I can relate to you wanting to get started ASAP, with or without the ring. 😉
If you really want to get started, even if it’s on your own, you can look at your own budget. Do you have any money in savings that you can use? Can you commit to putting a certain amount of money away each month for the wedding (i.e. I know I can put $500 per month in an account JUST for the wedding)?
You can also start researching wedding venue costs in your area so you’ll have an idea of how much a “big” wedding will cost in your area.
Post # 8
i would make a budget for the wedding you can afford right now, and look up costs for a comparative wedding in the place fi wants to have it. so youre ‘armed and ready’ with facts so to speak! with different levels of cost – say fillet mignon and open bar, versus chicken and cash bar, live band versus dj or whatever.
to be fair, until youve had the wedding conversation with his parents then its hard to do much. you’re saying under 40 people – what will you do if they present you with a 50 person guest list because ‘of course we cant leave out long lost uncle joe and his 5 children’. because if they are going to contribute, youll need to listen to them to an extent about guest list (you should allot them a certain no. of guests anyway…but maybe theyll want more!)
Post # 9
@newname_99: The presenting of extra people is exactly why I don’t want to take any money from the parents, but I really don’t want the SO to be disappointed either. As it is, the 40 includes grandparents, parents, their sibs, our sibs, cousins and cousins’ kids…so hopefully that includes everybody anyone wants to invite. 🙂
Post # 10
I don’t think he should even factor in any money from anyone. He should be realistic as to what you can both afford and go from there…if his parents help, that should be a bonus.
I think stressing about it now since you’re not engaged is going to make it worse. Also, while not easy, I think a year and a half should be good enough for you to save up for a nice wedding (especially since you already have some money saved). Also, if he wants the big expensive wedding, he should see what it will take to get it. Maybe a 2nd job or more hours at his current one. Once he sees prices for weddings, he just might change his mind.