Post # 1
My parents are (very generously) paying for our wedding. It was totally unexpected and I honestly thought that FI and I were going to be paying for this shin-dig ourselves. I am so incredibly grateful that I don’t even have the words to describe it. BUT…. (there’s always a but…..)
Although my FI and I will be asking for their input every step of the way they have told us that in the end we have to choose things that WE want. The venue we want, the photog we want, the dress I want, etc. etc.
My FI and I have been excitedly researching vendors. The problem is….. we don’t know how much to spend! I’ve found photogs that charge anything from $800 – $5k. I’ve found caterers that charge $75 per person to $110 per person. Where do we draw the line?! Whenever I ask my parents they say that they don’t really know how much weddings cost these days and if we really love it, we should get it.
I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m also realistic. My parents aren’t made of money and I know that they have a mortgage and student loans for BA degrees for me AND my little bro.
I wish they would just give us a concrete number. They don’t have to dictate what we spend on each vendor (although they totally can if they want to), but even if they just said we plan on spending $10k or $20k or $30k total my FI and I would know what we should/shouldn’t be looking at.
I guess this is more of a frustrated vent then anything else. I even feel bad for complaining about this because they’ve been so sweet and giving to both of us. I’m sure there are other bees with parents who are helping fund the wedding. How did you settle on a budget??
Post # 3
@TinyTina: My parents gave me a budget of what they could afford and asked me if they thought I could work with it.
Maybe you could kind of do things in reverse – sit down and look at what kind of wedding you want to have, figure out ballpark what that would cost, and then present that number to your parents and see if they are comfortable with it. So, you will be setting a budget but they will be approving it instead of having to come up with it. You’ll still have the same result (a budget), you just getting there a different way.
Post # 4
Yeah that’s a good idea. Maybe look at three diff price plans – your bargain, your mid range, and your dream weddings, and show them the general options, and then see. Then you will have options for each major item – dress, photog, venue – etc. Best of luck!
Post # 5
Ahhhh, these are both REALLY good ideas… Why didn’t I think of that?!
Haha, this is why I am on the bee. 🙂
Post # 6
If I were in your boat, I would take them at their word, and plan an event that was nice and what I wanted, but I would plan it as if I were paying for it. If I would be uncomfortable spending that much of my money on something, I certainly not spend my parents money that way. And then if there is anything special or splurge worthy, I would talk to my parents (my mom in all honesty, since my dad would completely not care) and tell them what is normal or the non-splurge cost and let them know I wanted the splurge version. If they gave the green light, go ahead.
This will make them a lot more involved in the planning (which could be good or bad), but it also gives room for you to just go ahead except for the really big ticket items.
Post # 7
i could have written this exact post a month ago. it was so aggravating not knowing, but they kept saying that they just didn’t know what weddings cost. finally i presented them with the numbers from a couple vendors in there categories – budget, mid-range, and splurge. well, my version of those three – i knew we weren’t having a 10k wedding and i knew we weren’t having a 100k wedding. it was really helpful to them, and taught them that weddings cost way more than they thought. it got them to set an actual budget, which has been so helpful. they are ok with me going over a little, especially when there are certain things that all of the sudden they care about and want upgraded, but in general i am working with that number and have divided it up however i saw fit. it has made my life a ton easier, as now there are plenty of vendors i can just throw out for being too expensive. having too many choices really makes things difficult, so it’s good to cut people out!
Post # 8
My advice is to pick the vendors who are the best mix of quality and budget friendly. More expensive isn’t necessarily better, many times, it’s worse because people who charge a premium are already settled and don’t feel as though they need to try as hard.
My parents paid for our wedding and didn’t give us a budget, because they knew that I would never go overboard just to spend money, and that I like getting a good deal a lot more than I like blowing a bunch of money.
We found a 20% off coupon for our venue, limited the number of guests invited to only 1st degree relatives and VERY close friends, interviewed 6 photographers and picked the second-to-least-expensive one because they could match the photojournalistic style, and did minimal in-season flowers because I hated to splurge on something that was going to die in 24 hours…etc.
Do the research and you can have the perfect wedding for any budget. Your parents will be grateful that you didn’t go overboard, and you’ll feel good about getting the wedding of your dreams without busting the bank!
Post # 9
@Miss Peach Tree: Good in theory… not so much practice. If my parents weren’t paying, I’d be looking at an 80 person wedding on a serious budget. My parents are offering to pay because they want to invite EVERYONE (200 people) and they know I can’t afford that. So it’s hard to plan what I would vs. what my parents are willing to spend.
Oh and for the record… I am totally cool with their involvement! Thankfully, I have a really good relationship with my parents.
Post # 10
@pb and j: Ah I am glad to see someone who feels my pain! I honestly hadn’t thought of presenting THEM with a budget… That is sounding like a really good idea since I have been doing most of the research (and I looooove doing it!). And again, I know we won’t be having $10k wedding (just because our guest list is so big!) but I know we won’t be spending sayyyy $75k. Where is the happy medium?? I think I will set up some “mock” budgets… The Knot’s budgeter has been very useful for me so far!
@CanAmBride: I agree with you about finding a deal!! I can be really cheap sometimes and am getting some serious sticker shock from all these wedding prices. I find myself saying, “I could never make my parents spend this much money on XYZ!”
Post # 11
@TinyTina:Mine haven’t given me anything either. They just said that
they have veto power on everything.
I still wish I knew, so I could aim at the right level.
I know what you’re going through.
Aren’t they so sweet though? <3
Post # 12
So-Schenectady, for #200, ok now-What is the style/feeling for your wedding that YOU want?