Post # 1
Ok, so my Fiancee and I are saving all our pennies to pull off a wedding and buy a home in the few years. His parents have generously given us a huge chunk of change to spend as we wish, either for the wedding, for a down payment, to furnish the FI’s current home ( our future home for the next year or so), whatever. We plan to use 10% of it for the wedding and 90% for our future down payment. That was our decision and we are happy with it. My parents think it’s ridiculous. They have always been a spend today, worry tomorrow kind of folk and think I should use most or at least half of it toward our wedding.
We have told them repeatedly that we will not do that and yes we will have a modest wedding. We want to have a cake and punch wedding not only because it’s cheap but because without worrying so much about food, it frees us up to plan for other things for the wedding. However, my mom, who isn’t familiar with American wedding traditions, thinks we, at the minimum, need to have a full catered dinner if we want her or her friends/relatives to attend. I told her that it used to be traditional that a wedding featured only cake and punch and my stepdad yelled over the phone that I was a liar.
My mom refuses to give me her invite list because she is too embarrassed for them to see “cake and punch reception to follow” on the invitation. Neither of them even want to attend because they think everyone will think they and my FI and I are poor.
They have offered to pay for some of the wedding but because of their poor finances, I’ve only accepted $1000 from them. I refuse to take more even though they are offering because I don’t want anyone, including my parents, to go into debt over this wedding. I know them well enough that even a grand is stretching it for them and so I feel guilty for even accepting that.
My FI has been so supportive in this but I just need advice on how to tread. They’re angry right now but what do I do if my mom still refuses to let me invite my relatives? I’m afraid she will get angry at me if they show up. I’m pretty sure people love me enough to want to come to the wedding, even fly, even if it is only cake and punch. My mom says that’s not true, no one will fly for just cake and punch. No one cares about me that much. I hope she’s wrong. 🙁
Post # 3
do you the people who would be on their list? if you do I would go ahead and start putting together your list and just invite them. This is your day, you do what you want to do. If they choose not to go, it’s really going to be their loss.
No matter who does or doesn’t come, remember you are marrying the man you are going to be with for the rest of your life. You have to be happy – weddings are for other people as well but it has to reflect what you want.
In my personal opinion, if I was in the situation, I wouldn’t even include my unsupportive mother in wedding planning. But that’s just me, and I tend to be rough like that.
Post # 4
First – your mom is probably right that some relatives may turn their nose up at a cake and punch reception – and some may not choose to come. I’m sorry she got so mean and ugly and made the remark that no one cares about you that much. That’s completely uncalled for.
HOWEVER – there is nothing wrong with having a cake and punch reception and I love how sensible you and your FI are being about money.
Your mom sounds like she is really trying to pull a power card here.
My advise is to continue to plan your wedding as you want it. Invite the people you want to be there and call it a day. They can choose if they want to show up or not (my thinking is she will show up, but if she is threatening not to – you need to be prepared for that too).
The thing I learned in my own planning is that parents have these hopes and dreams for what their kids weddings will be like… and when you start creating a plan that’s different from what they’ve dreamed about… it unleashes the wedding-crazy, like nobody’s business.
Post # 5
A wedding is to celebrate you and your FI and your love. I think you mom is totally wrong and so will everyone who loves you. I do think that you should put punch and cake to follow, so that people know what to expect and don’t show up starving. BUT I totally think your wedding should be everything you want it to be. It sounds like you will be happier with a roof over your head and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I would bipass your mom and invite who ever you would like. It’s your day, no one elses.
Post # 6
Can you find a caterer who will cost less than what your parents gave you? If I do pick-up catering for mine (entrees, two sides, buns, serviceware, and plates, for 100 people), it’ll cost about $650 – you’d just need to add the cake and punch that you’re already planning. Admittedly, it may be hard to find that sort of deal somewhere other than the middle of nowhere. But since they’ve given you money for food, it would only be fair to at least look.
Post # 7
I think your mom and stepdad are being mean and you should do what you want. Some people will frown on what you are planning and others will commend you, but you are being very smart with your finances, so try not to let them get to you. Can you go to another relative; maybe an aunt, to help you with the guest list? As long as you have your wedding at a nonmeal time and you forwarn your guests, you should be fine.
Post # 8
It sounds like your parents are approaching you with their concerns in totally the wrong way. However if many of the guests are from out of town I would have to agree with the sentiment that you should do a full dinner. Yes, they love you. But if you love them you should try to accommodate them and at least give them 1 free meal for their trouble. Especially since you have the money. I totally respect having a sensible wedding and saving for a down payment… but I think there is a limit. So I guess I’m saying… I get where your mom is coming from but I think she is probably approaching you the wrong way.
Post # 9
DO NOT let them pressure you into spending more money than you want to on your wedding. You’ll only regret it and resent them for it.
I’d just tell them “This is what we’re doing, this is when we’re doing it, we’d like for you and our relatives to be there”. Then leave it up to them to decide what’s most important.
If you let them talk you into spending/doing more than you want for your wedding you will regret it. Many brides are super stressed putting work into the wedding they WANT, you’ll be even more so having to plan an event you didn’t want & having to spend the money on it.
Post # 10
Ignore your mother! I hate to say it, but she is definitely wrong! Your frineds and relatives love you and will travel. I’ve never considered what I was getting before deciding to go to a wedding or family party. It’s always about the person/couple being celebrated. And those who don’t feel the same way, don’t have to come! If you do cake and punch, you can really have the freedom to do some awesome things with dessert and drink options!
With the economy the way it is, many people are finding ways to cut back. You are making smart decisions for your future and should be very proud!
We had a modest wedding (day time, state park in a beautiful building, BBQ buffet) but people came and they loved it! Everyone had a great time.
Post # 11
Do what you and your Fiance intended, don’t budge. Cake and punch reception is great!
Post # 12
will ur mom contribute any money?? if not then do what you want. would u consider finger food?
Post # 13
Hmm…not to be rude, but it doesn’t seem like your parents’ “spend today worry tomorrow” philosophy has actually got them very far in terms of material wealth (I am sure they are amazing parents, even though I think for them to tell you no one will be interested enough to attend the wedding for your sake if there isn’t a huge spread laid on is a bit harsh). I think your decision to spend just a small percentage of the generous gift is very wise and respectful to the spirit of the gift. A wedding is meant to be the start of a new life, and if you want to have cake and punch then that’s your choice! I bet your relatives will all queue to come and visit you in your brand spanking new home in the near future…money well spent and not wasted on a huge party to please others.
Post # 14
I agree with @CorgiTales:
Your parents are approaching you all wrong, but they’re not totally off the mark IMO.
It would be one thing if you literally just didn’t have the money. But I think a meal is in order when you’re asking people to do significant travel to be there. I mean, if you were hosting a friend who flew in to visit you (on any random weekend) – you might take them to dinner, right?
Could you split the money- house/wedding – 70/30 or 80/20?
Post # 15
I applaud your decision not to waste money on a single day. However, I agree that if someone is coming a long distance to share your celebration it’s polite to host them properly. My friend had various pasta salads and the groomsmen grilled – it was great and cheap. How about platters from Whole Foods? Where are you in CA? Maybe people have suggestions for inexpensive food options.
Also, in order to see our out-of-town guests as much as possible we are having a no-host dinner and no-host breakfast for them. I figure they all have to eat anyway, and even though we can’t afford to host multiple meals we can still celebrate together. Consider that possibility as well to make it worth everyone’s while to travel.
Post # 16
If a Cake and Punch reception is a good way to cut down the guest list, I say go for it!! I think it’s funny that your Mom is threatening for her friends/family not to come. If I were in your position, I say good riddance. It’s my wedding anyway. More room for my friends who will enjoy my cake and punch. 😉