Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
(If you’d like to skip the many paragraphs: my parents are paying for my wedding but my mother hasn’t let me go forward with any of the vendors I’ve chosen; the one vendor she has approved is the one she picked. This is driving me a little nuts.)
I live in DC but with the majority of my (small) family in the Indiana/Chicago area and my fiance’s family virtually nonexistent, we made the choice to have the wedding where we met: our college campus. Our catering/bar/cake will cost about $4000 for 50 guests. The venue is only $300. That leaves about $11,000 in the budget, which is A LOT to me.
So of course with this little windfall I figured I could splurge on one facet of the wedding. The first inclination was the wedding dress. We went to Vera Wang, found just the dreamiest dress, and I was in love. It was 2700 for the sample. Her limit for my dress was 1500, so I offered to pay the difference. She refused. I let it go and sort of rediscovered my priorities, which was for something lasting, like photography or videography.
I found the photographer I wanted; he suited my style perfectly. His package was 3500 but with the money I saved on my dress (Did I mention? J. Crew..), I felt it was okay. My mom scoffed at the amount.
I’m not attempting to blow the entire budget, but if there’s room for something like a dream photographer, how do I express this to my mom who is indeed being so generous? We’re skipping transportation and favors, I’m designing the invites, and I’m doing farmers market flowers for centerpieces. Certainly there is still entertainment to figure out. But beyond that, photography is basically the last big purchase. And we have a lot of surplus.
I should mention by now that this dream photographer has been booked on my desired date. But I know this is going to be a source of tension throughout the planning process: she’s going to perceive something as too expensive and dismiss it. How do I navigate spending the budget when nothing I want is to her liking?
oh and p.s.! She doesn’t like the J.Crew dress 🙂
Post # 3
I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this! It would drive me nuts. What does she want to spend the money on? Maybe the budget really isn’t what she said it was and she’s trying to keep the price down without telling you? I think you need to sit her down and let her know what’s important to you and see what she says. I would then go back and buy that Vera! 🙂 Though I do love JCrew too! Good Luck and Stay Strong!
Post # 4
This is a tough situation for sure. My family (grandma mostly, some mom) is paying for the majority of our wedding too. I’m not sure if your mom is able to do this, but my grandma wrote us a check for a lump sum. We’re then free to spend that money on what we want. Not sure if you’re mom is willing to give up that much control, but it’s always worth a shot to ask. Is there an underlying issue going on? Did she not have a wedding or did she not have the wedding of her dreams? Regardless, if she is willing to give you a gift (which is essentially what this is) she has to realize that what you do with it is up to YOU, not her.
Post # 5
Wow, I feel for you on this one. Have you really told your mom, just what you’ve told us? Often times I kind of think, if parents are paying for the wedding, they should get to invite the extra friends, or buy an extra this or that, or make some choices with the menu. But in your case, your mom, seems to really be making it difficult for you. She doesn’t seem to be happy with whatever you pick out. Maybe she feels like videographers etc, are not important? She probably got married before they were popular.
Sit down with her and go over the budget and what she expects to pay for what. Then give her your list of ideals. Se what you can agree on (maybe cut down here or there) so that you can fit in the Vera Wang. If she is expecting to pay $800 on a cake, and you can do some leg work to find one fabulous for $500, maybe the rest can go towards something else.
I’m wondering about this. "It was 2700 for the sample. Her limit for my dress was 1500, so I offered to pay the difference. She refused." If her limit was $1500, what would the problem be in you making up the difference? Is she normally controlling? Does she otherwise seem to be having a hard time accepting you getting married (and pulling some passive aggressive behavior)? Does she hate the dress? Does she feel like if you have the extra money for the dress, you should be putting that money into a "more practical" wedding expense? Is she upset that you are having your wedding OOT? When you say they are paying, did you ask, or she offer? Have you two had issues over money before?
You don’t have to answer these questions. Just stuff to get you thinking. Good luck, I hope you can reach some common ground.
Post # 6
To be honest I think I would decline her offer, and pay for it myself. I would rather have a courthouse ceremony and a piece of cake afterwards (or elope) than have a wedding that someone else planned for me. I don’t think it’s worth it the heartache. I am lucky in that my parents are contributing a certain amount, but just gave me a cheque so we can spend it however we like. I’m not sure why your mum hasn’t done that – maybe it’s worth asking? In any case, I honestly can’t think of another option that would suit me. This is your day, not your mum’s, and if she can’t see that then I think you have to figure out what is most important to you.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
Yes, she is generally a bossy person, but perhaps I’ve underestimated it since I haven’t lived with her for six years..
She loves my fiance and she had her own "normal" wedding. So I don’t think that’s a source of conflict. She lives in Indiana herself and the campus thing was mostly her idea.
She also loved the Vera Wang dress. Thought it was perfect for me. But then she went back home, talked to her friends, and they told her it was an outrageous amount for a gown. So my mom repeats these things to me and of course it makes me guilty. But I’m getting less and less interested in planning the wedding because every time I find something I’m enthusiastic about, she shoots it down on account of the expense.
I was really afraid I was being entirely selfish here, so thanks. I’m not really sure of the solution, but I had no idea if this is typical of parents or not.
Post # 8
<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: Helvetica CY; font-size: 12px”>Hey, I’m not trying to be the one person to insert some negativity<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: Helvetica CY; font-size: 12px”> <span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: Helvetica CY; font-size: 12px”>here so please don’t take it that way. I absolutely understand your frustration with your mom and can’t imagine what that must be like for you. My fiance and I are paying for every single aspect of the wedding on our own and it’s extremely difficult. Think of the stress that such a thing adds to your relationship and be glad that you’re not dealing with that right now. Even if she is being a pain in the butt, it’s your mother’s money and I guess she can spend it as she sees fit. It doesn’t sound like she’s going to be willing to give you a check for the amount.
<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: Helvetica CY; font-size: 12px”>Maybe talk to her about how she’s stealing a bit of the joy from your big day by shooting down all of your ideas. It’s hard to be truly excited for your big day when there’s a big storm cloud hovering over you.
<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: Helvetica CY; font-size: 12px”>If she continues to be unreasonable then I agree with the idea that maybe you should decline her offer and figure out a way to take care of the wedding financials yourself. It will add a whole load of different issues (maybe) but at least your wedding will be your own vision.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I’m absolutely trying to maintain perspective like that, Miss SoontoBee. Thanks.
Post # 10
Wow! you guys are so much nicer here than other forums :0)
I basically posted this same thing on another forum and all I got were replies calling me a spoiled brat.
But, I’m having the exact same issue. I’m coming in WAY under budget but she is upset that I spent $3000 on catering for 150 people (which IMO is SUPER cheap). She has the lump sum to give to fiancee and I but she isn’t willing to do that. We only have 68 days until our wedding and we have no photographer, tables, chairs or a tent for the outdoor reception yet. And we got into a huge fight yesterday because I booked the caterer.
I wish you the best of luck and if you come up with any solutions, let us know!
Post # 11
I feel too like PPs have mentioned, there might be some other issues or just that she is chatting with her friends or other people about the costs instead of talking to you and the vendors. Particularly because you paying the difference of the Vera dress doesn’t make sense. Perhaps just having a conversation with your mom not talking about money or budgets but asking in general how she is feeling about the wedding and you getting married. Maybe she is just realizing that you are getting married – it’s a big step, but maybe it’s JUST now sinking in.
Have you guys by any chance sat down with the budget and listed how much to spend in each category? It could be that she isn’t aware the true costs of a wedding in this day and age. Maybe you could sit down and discuss it further, or make a decision on the 3 top things that you feel are the most important about your wedding. So if it’s the dress, the photography and the catering (or whatever you decide) that’s where the budget stems down from. So the other categories you may need to cut a bit for the big 3 that y’all want to spend on.
I feel your struggle. My parents have generously offered to help with a lot of the wedding too. They are not rich by any means, they live modestly, but they’ve been really open to a lot of ideas and been *knock on wood* really easygoing for the most part. It’s sort of a pay as you go situation with our wedding which is similar to yours it seems. I know a lot of people have their parents give them a lump sum cheque to spend and that’s the way it goes. Which obviously makes it a lot easier but not everyone is able to do that.
Post # 12
Just browsing, I noticed that you have both replied to an original post that was 3 years old. I see that you are both kind of new here so am suggesting that if you are looking for responses, start a new post yourselves. We will be happy to respond 🙂
Post # 13
That would no fly with me… a comproise needs to be made. She is being so generous and you are so lucky BUT not if her money comes with so many ‘strings’, you may need to have a heart to heart with her. Outright refusing her money might cause problems at this point so just come out and ask her what’s up. It is YOUR wedding and as generous as her gift is, it is a GIFT and she should let you spend it on your day as you see fit. She can still have a say and make decisions WITH you but making themfor you is not OK.
My fmil recently decided to make the table linens and she was getting a little bossy (telling me what she liked and what I should get)… however she knows at the end of the day it is my wedding so she got my OK on the kind of linens before she bougt the mateiral, and what I wanted for the color. Even though she wanted a different color she asked me and I told her no. I am thankful she is doing this for me, but I would have refused her help if she had outright told me I couldn’t have the color or linen I wanted.