Post # 1
Our wedding is in December. Both the groom and I are going as low budget as we can on everything. I am even baking half of the desserts myself and we are using a refurbished firehall as our venue. But we still a going to have trouble with covering the costs of our wedding. Both sides of the family want a sit down dinner and want to invite a lot of people. On one hand it is understandable given both my fiancee and I are the first ones of our parent’s kids to get married. But on the other hand it is not something we can afford on our own.
When we first got engaged the groom’s mom pulled him aside and said if there is anything you need let us know. My parent’s said they could contribute as well but things took a turn for the worst for them lately and they might have to short sale their home to make ends meet. Needless to say I do not want to ask them for money I know they really don’t have. They remain however very opinionated on what things they want at the wedding.
My fiancee’s family is pretty well off. They take like 3 overseas vacations a year and his dad makes 6 figures. We would need about 5 grand if we were to include all the things both sides say they want for our wedding. Grooms family wants a pro photographer,brides family wants a dj and alcohol (I think I can talk them out of the alcohol since I don’t drink anyways). Is it reasonable for both my fiancee and I to ask the groom’s family for help? A lot of these extra expenses are at the behest of the families. They know I am a doctoral student who works a part time minimum wage job since they permit my odd school schedule and my fiancee covers most of our living expenses. They have to know we can’t do this on our own so we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Post # 3
People here will tell you to have the wedding that you can afford and to not allow others to dictate what you should and shouldn’t have.
In your case, I would tell them that if they want x, y, z, and the rest of the alphabet, the cost will be $xxx and they can pay for it. This goes for guests, as well. They want xx guests invited? They can pay. Sit down with them, give them numbers, and explain that to them.
Otherwise, hon, cut everything way down and invite who you want and can afford to have there. I know it’s hard to not get steamrolled by family during the wedding planning process, and I know that you want to make your future husband’s family happy and not upset anyone, but you’re going to have to put your foot down either way.
Post # 4
Since your FI’s parents have already offered to help, I don’t see why you couldn’t sit down with them and go over the wedding details and budget.
Post # 5
While I wouldn’t ask for money, you could have your FI go to his parents and say something along the lines of, “Remember when you said to let you know if you could help? Well…” and have him stress the cost of all these extras that the parents want. Still, leave it up to them. If they offer, that’s great. If not, make it clear that you wil;l be having a small guest list and not including X, Y, and Z.
Post # 6
Ditto with the above Bee.
Post # 7
From personal experience, I would proceed carefully when dealing with money and family. For example, are his parents the type of people that will lord it over you for many years to come if you ask them for help, or will they gratiously help? And were they serious about their offer, or was it one of those things that people sometimes say out of being polite/in the moment?
But I agree with PP, sit down with them and go over a budget. Explain that you can only comfortably afford to have x-number of guests and x-number of other things for the wedding. If they insist upon having the pro photographer, maybe mention that could be their wedding present to you.
Post # 8
Have the same problem as you. Being a doctoral student and my FI undergrad student when we get married, we are quite poor, but we want to get married for legal purposes (we want to buy a house soon after, so most of our savings go to prepare downpayment). Still we believe the wedding should be nice because we only will live it once in our life (but we’re thinking simple, intimate and DIY), but both our parents didn’t offer to pay for anything. Here food cost is just evil. Even for finger food instead of seating dinner, it would blow our budget and put us into more debts. We will have saved 3000 for wedding day – that’s not even enough to pay for our 55 guests and we can’t really cut out much more people, or else we’re chopping off people I would really be upset not having with us … I have 17 guests only on my side.
I think if your FI could ask his parents, maybe in a situation that isn’t formal (discussing possibilities for wedding and telling them you are worried about the costs) that would give you an idea if they’re willing to pay to have more guests on their own. That’s probably what my FI will do, but it does feel a bit humiliating.
Post # 9
@Twyla_Smith: They don’t seem the type to lord it over you. When my fiancee graduated college they took him on a vacation to Rome to celebrate. They recently paid for a trip for my fiancee’s brother to go to Italy because it was offered as a class trip for his college. They are going on a huge Alaskan cruise in a month and they just got back from a trip to New Zealand and Fiji. They seem to be financially sound and they are very sweet people. I am not sure about the offer since my fiancee spoke to her not me but he told me they can afford to pitch in a fair bit if we need their help.
Post # 10
As they’ve already offered to help then you’re probably okay. I would address it as something like “we really don’t expect anything and please don’t feel like you have to. We were wondering though, you said if there was anything we needed just to ask and so we were wondering you would be happy to contribute at all….” Basically make it sound appreiated and not demanded.
Both mine and my FI’s family are helping out, FI’s family are giving us slightly more as they have more. The amount you’re asking for is not excessive.
You could say that you don’t see how you culd afford the amount of people that you’d like to invite, but don’t try and guilt trip them into it by saying you can’t afford the people they want to come. Not sue that makes sense, I hope so.
Post # 11
I would just keep it real with them: “Hey, listen: I know you guys have your heart set on a sit-down meal, but here are the quotes we are getting. As you can see, this is very expensive. Our budget is $______, and it will not cover this kind of meal. I just want you to understand a sit-down meal isn’t something we can afford.”
At that point, they may feel inclined to help out, and if not, they’d be WAY in the wrong to be upset.
Post # 12
@NauticalDisaster: Have you considered a brunch wedding? Those tend to run cheaper than a sit down dinner and they are a unique twist on a wedding. Belgian waffles and mimosas are a lot cheaper than 3 course dinners. It is not an option for us because my fiance’s family is all going to Alaska during my next school break in early august and my next school break after that one starts the 18th of December. The weekend brunch would run way too close to X-mas so we have to squeeze it in friday Dec 20th.
Post # 13
@AureliaAurita15: we have pretty much considered everything and our wedding will mostly be a day event. However we can’t have the reception too early, because most of my FI’s family has to drive for 3 hours. We are finishing early (10pm) expressedly to allow his family NOT to sleep in a hotel that night, so if they want to go back home the same evening, they can. We are making choices hoping to accomodate our guests so they won’t have to pay for many ”side expenses”, but these decisions make us quite troubled budget-wise.
Though I understand people saying the reception is to thank guests for attending the ceremony, I have to differ : to me, the reception IS the wedding itself. I am having a civil, law-oriented ceremony. So to me, the 5 hour reception we throw is not about thanking guests for witnessing this 30 minute law-reading and signing papers thing. The reception makes it a wedding, or else it is just about formalities (and we didn’t want it to be). So, I would like it to be more : guests joining us for dinner as this is how we chose to celebrate the beginning of our married life, and together we share a good time. This is also why, eloping was not an option.
We have to find middle-ground I guess, because right now I really feel overwhelmed.
Post # 14
@AureliaAurita15: Saying something like “If there is anything you need let us know” is really vague. I would have your FI ask them to tell him exactly how they would like to contribute to the day. Then let them bring up specifically money or planning things or whatever. If they don’t bring up financial assistance I wouldn’t do it. It could put them in a very awkward situation if they choose to say no, which could make things a bit weird between you all. My FILS offered so I think if that’s what they want to do then they will offer.
Post # 15
Maybe it is just me but I am too proud to ask for financial assistance from my future in-laws for the wedding. I know that they want the best of everything in the wedding but it is not their place to do that.
Post # 16
@AureliaAurita15: Basically the same scenario I had…. we pretty much said we were only going to have the things we could afford, and if there was anything on the “demand list” each person would be responsible for taking care of it.
Just sit down with them and say ok…”so you know how you mentioned you guys would like_______? well in looking at our budget its just not possible, but if it is something thats important to you and you feel you guys would like to take care of it thats perfectly fine. Otherwise we’re gonna have to pass.”
I know its kind of blunt, and people say you have to be careful about talking about money BUT they’re being just as blunt asking/expecting you guys to foot for their requests. (that goes for all of us brides) If they have no problem saying “you need this, or we need to invite xxx people” then they need to take responsibility for that!
AND when it comes to requests for things you wouldnt have had if they didnt ask?? I dont see that as a means for them to hold anything over your head because its not something YOU asked them for… like my inlaws are going on about how THEY decided on their OWN to throw a lunch for THEIR friends during our gap… Im like so?? that has nothing to do with us? or our actual wedding costs lol… thats totally your own thing…i dont really count that as “contributing to out wedding”….we’re still paying out the same amount we we’re before.