Post # 1
So, this is kind of a rant/cry for help 🙁
He and I originally planned on a $7000 budget for our ceremony and reception. We found a great restaurant that is willing to work with us. I was super excited — this is kind of unheard of in NYC. Anyway, the restaurant holds a maximum of 110 people. On the small side, but we’re willing to do it.
My parents, on the other hand, think this is a *ludicrously* small amount. They said that we wouldn’t be able to invite “anyone” since our families are big. They suggested we have a huge ceremony at a church, serve finger foods and drinks afterwards, and then have a smaller dinner reception at a restaurant afterwards. This will double out budget. Churches in NYC charge thousands just to use their church. PLUS, we’d have to feed all those people (he’s thinking like 200 people). Oh, and by the way, they never mentioned that they could give us any financial assistance. On the contrary, my father explicitly said that they wouldn’t be able to help with money.
So, my parents want us to go into debt to have a wedding more to their standards. Their justification is that I am the oldest daughter and the first one to marry, and that many people will give us cash as gifts so that we can “make” a profit. UGH! I absolutely refuse to go into debt for my wedding. I understand that for some people, its important to invite everyone they know and have a big celebration — not so for us. We want to invite a few near and dear to us, not everyone we know.
After cursing and crying for a half hour, being the spineless person that I am, I started researching churches. I do want to make my parents happy, but I just can’t do this. I have been engaged for less than a week at this point. Please help. Does anyone out there know of any churches in NYC that is aesthetically pleasing (the ones I know of are stuffy and not very pretty) and cost-effective (max. of $1000 to rent)?
Post # 3
I’m really sorry, cama. It sounds like you had everything figured out and then – BAM! – you get your first taste of interference.
I have very strong feelings about parents (or anyone else) overstepping the line and insisting on this, that and the other for YOUR wedding. Even if they offer to pay, I still don’t feel that buys them carte blanche to call the shots. And if they’re not paying, then WTF?
However, I realize that family dynamics are what they are and you may feel it’s more important to work with your parents’ wishes than to fight them on it. If that’s the case, then as far as compromises go I think what your parents suggested sounds reasonable (church ceremony + finger food, followed by a small dinner reception afterward).
BUT, I would insist that if you make this huge compromise in how your wedding day plays out, that they help cover the added expense of doing it their way. Should your father still insist they can’t help financially, then you have an easy exit by saying, “Then you’ll understand that we, too, have financial limitations and can’t afford anything beyond our original plan.”
Good luck, cama!
Post # 4
Oh, and by the way, I wouldn’t count on making any sort of profit from cash gifts!
Post # 5
this is so tough, im sorry for your dillema! but i do agree with million that you shouldn’t count on getting a return on your investment…
not that your wedding day is about money, but it kind of is. if you dont have the desire to spend what would be required to make your parents happy, then you simply shouldn’t. tell your parents you’re sorry, but this is what you want for your wedding day, BUT that you’d be happy to attend a family party later on should your parents wish to throw you one. or hold a bbq when you get back from your honeymoon?
definitely be tactful…but speak your mind. do what makes you and you FI happy. good luck!
Post # 6
I’m sorry, but it is definintely not okay for them to DEMAND that you double your budget and then tell you they can’t pay for it. You’re being smart about this, not wanting to go into debt. Million’s reply to your dad of “Then you’ll understand that we, too, have financial limitations and can’t afford anything beyond our original plan” is perfect and pretty much shuts down any argument. If they can’t afford to help you and they’re much more established/ older than you, why should you be expected to cover their demands?
Post # 7
See above. I completely agree with KMSull. She took the words right out of my mouth.
Post # 8
Are your parents actually suggesting that you invite 200 people to the church ceremony, feed them appetizers and then send half of them home, while inviting the other half to dinner? This is completely inappropriate and a serious breach of etiquette – if you invite guests to the ceremony, you must invite them to the reception. Otherwise, your guests will sit in the church before (and possibly during) the ceremony gossiping about how greedy you and your FI are to invite people to get gifts and speculating about why they didn’t make the cut.
By paying for your own wedding, you are buying your freedom. You should have your wedding whenever you want, and invite whomever you want.
My parents contributed significantly to the wedding, and our gifts didn’t even cover the portion of the wedding my FI and I paid for – so I wouldn’t count on the gifts making up the difference.
Post # 9
Yeah, you should just say no. That’s a cruddy situation, I’m sorry! (hugs!)
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2010 - Heritage Square Museum
what an awful position to be in! so sorry. In your case though- with no offer of financial help it seems totally unreasonable for your parents to ask you to go into debt on their behalf. Take a deep breathe, take a day or two, and then calmly explain to your parents the vision of your wedding you have and the budget you’re working with to make it possible. IF (and only if) you’re truly comfortable with changing your plan then maybe ask what they are expecting from your day and if they are willing to offer you money to bridge the gap between your expectations and theirs. If they say no then (calmly) say that you really are doing the best you can and can only realize your specific goal in NYC. Then go home and punch your pillow or scream really loud! lol. parents are so frustrating sometimes
Post # 11
You pay, your way. I think you politely say that you can’t double your budget and that you and your FI are quite happy with your wedding plans. Then change the subject. If they want to have a party with 200 of their friends, tell them you’ll be happy to attend, but you’re not hosting.
Post # 12
I agree with all the posters– just say no! You can’t send half the guests home without seriously being rude anyway– so this is both a financial issue and an etiquette issue. Good luck!
Do you communicate with your parents over email? Since you’re not comfortable with confrontation, I would start the NOs over email. Write them a note explaining all your reasonings. That way, they won’t be able to argue you out of it, or cut you off halfway through.
Don’t back down. You don’t want to start your marriage with debt.
Post # 13
I agree that your parents are being unreasonable here. Families can get so worked up about weddings and don’t always realize how much stress they’re causing! I’m sorry! That being said, if you would like to think about inviting their friends to a church ceremony, here’s some information for you:
The Community Church of New York requests an $800 fee to rent its hall of worship before 4 pm. You could also rent their assembly hall and serve refreshments there. They say it’s big enough for 150 seats, but if you had a short gathering, you could probably avoid having chairs for everyone. It’s $500 if you have the event before 4 pm. That’s a little bit more than $1000, but I think you may be able to negotiate the cost, since they say these are the “requested” contributions. http://www.ccny.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=91&Itemid=120
Post # 14
Ugh I’m dealing with a similar thing…. my mom’s ideas for the wedding are just way out of our budget. I think that not going into debt is super smart and that is our goal as well. I just explained to my mom that I care about the wedding but as long as I end up married I did it right… and I’d rather start my MARRIAGE off right because all this is about more than a wedding. That at least made my mom pause on the expensive suggestions for the time being… but who knows how it will work in the long-run. Good luck!!
Post # 15
This is a tough situation, but I think you need to stand your ground and make decisions that you and FI feel comfortable with. I think I would tell them that you can spend $7,000 on the wedding if they want something different, they need to help out financially.
I know this is easier said than done. My parents are giving us a set amount of money for the wedding. We have budgeted for 130 guests, but my Mom wants more. I talked to her the other day and told her that we could not bring more money to the table, so she would have to if she wanted more guests. She said no, and I had to put a few more people on the B list.
Post # 16
For our DW wedding we wanted something small and then both sets of parents told us that we needed to invite so & so, and we told them flat out, “we’re paying for this wedding and its not in our budget!” So their comeback, “we’ll pay for them!” So that worked out for us, but really, we were happy it was a smaller number, but at least they said they were willing to help us out!
In your case, I would clearly tell them like it is, you don’t have the money, so you can’t do it! Where do they think this “new” cash flow is gonna come from…a tree!?!