Post # 1
Sorry if this gets a little long, hive, but I need to get this off my chest….
So the backstory to this is that my fiance and I have been “planning” our wedding for half a year now. By planning, I mostly mean just gathering ideas, not booking vendors or deciding on specific locations (though we have done a bit of Internet scouting). Through our planning, we started with a budget of $10K, and then weaned our way down to $5K. This whole time we’ve been planning on paying for it totally by ourselves (though we would ask family to step in to help out with DIY projects, and we’re hoping his aunt will do the photography and my dad will do videography — he’s already said yes). We were really excited about this, and due to our small budget and my fiance’s and my preferences, we were planning on having a relaxed, informal picnic wedding: a make-your-own-sandwich bar with pop/water/juice (maybe beer, wine, and coolers if our site doesn’t ban alcohol) from 5:00 to 7:00-ish, then the ceremony from 7:30-8:30, and then cupcakes and an iPod playlist for dancing afterwards until the site closes (around 10:00-11:00).
My dad hates this idea (and so does my grandmother, for that matter). And somehow, even though we’ve been talking about paying our own way, he thinks that he’s paying for it (even though my parents aren’t contributing anything to my school — which I’m fine with, but I think it’s a little weird they want to pay for my wedding, but not my education).
So basically…I know the whole adage that “if you’re not paying, you don’t have input”…but how do you (nicely, but firmly) turn down an offer/demand to pay by a family member, when you KNOW that it comes with strings attached? And even if they don’t pay, how can I stand firm by my idea of what I want for my wedding when they obviously hate it SO MUCH?
Any help (and hugs) at all would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.
Post # 3
((HUGS)) I would just say thanks, but no thanks, you know that if he pays then it will change your wedding and you’re happy with what you have planned. You still have a lot of time to plan, so you may change your mind though, that’s the only thing I’d worry about.
Post # 4
Yeah. Just say you appreciate it, but you and your FI are very excited to be able to treat your family/friends to this, and just want love and support in your decisions!
Post # 5
Is there a compromise? Can you and your Dad (and Grandma) sit down and talk about what you would really like for your wedding? Perhpas you can do causual/outdoorsy and still accomodate their desires? Also, if he wants to pay for it ask if you can come up with a budget that you both agree to. I think every parent wants to pay for a childs wedding if they can. Unless your Dad is a real control freak I’ll bet you two can work it out.
Post # 6
I absolutely agree with ms Ashley Marie. Just politely say, thanks so much Dad, that’s really nice of you to offer, but FI and I are really want to pay for this ourselves, be independent etc, and throw a great party the way we’re envisioning it. Leave it at that unless you think he isn’t understanding. I know it’s touchy though with money no matter what so we’re thinking of you!
Post # 7
Well, I think your wedding sounds awesome.
If your family is more traditional, maybe your dad thinks that people will assume that he is paying for it, maybe he’s worried that people will expect something more formal. I think clear communication is key with family members, to let them know not to expect a formal event but that what you are planning is more about your own personalities. But for the people who are close to you, it’s hard to change their minds. They should just know that there are millions of ways to have a wedding and that people can enjoy themselves even at an informal event.
Post # 8
((hugs)) to you Jenniphyr!
I agree with the other bees to hold your ground on this. Perhaps your dad is worried abotu what people will think. I would have a talk w/ him about why you’ve made the decisions you’ve made and what you imagine the wedding being about. Maybe you can even print out some pictures of some of your ideas so he can see them and have a better picture of your wedding. Try to help him see your vision, that by doing things your own way you will have a creative and memorable wedding that is unique, fun and enjoyable for all. YOu can maybe even print out information (just look online) about what people pay for weddings on average and just explain to him, no matter who pays for it, that it just doesn’t seem worth it to blow all that money on photography, specially printed invites, etc. Just try to get him to be on the same page with you. I think most parents can appreciate their kid being careful about finances and thoughtful about this.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone for your kind comments! =) I think I will definitely print out some (more) pictures and show him — time to get out the old inspiration notebook! (That’s actually what convinced my fiance that a picnic wedding could still be beautiful and elegant, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of that!)
I’m definitely going to try to sit down and talk more with them about it some time soon. I do understand some of their concerns, but I really don’t want to just give in and let my wedding become something that isn’t “me”, you know?
Post # 10
I would sit down with your dad and find out what exactly it is that he hates about your ideas. Preface the conversation by showing him your inspirations and talking about what is important to you. Who knows? Maybe he is laboring under some misconception of what a picnic wedding would be or maybe he’s thought of something you haven’t. I would try to get him on board idea-wise regardless of what you end up doing financially.
Post # 11
Good idea Jenn! And remind him ti could be even less traditional … I know someone who is having a pajama themed wedding? hehe.
Post # 12
Yeah, I would definitely see what he wants to do that doesn’t align with what you have planned. Maybe it’s something fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, and if he wants to contribute money to add it on, then it might work out in the end. (example: maybe he would like to have it catered instead of a make-your own sandwich thing)
Post # 13
I think it is a good idea to talk to your dad and find out what it is that he does not like about the wedding your planning. In my situation, this is my 2nd marriage but I did not have a wedding the 1st time. So, this time my parents are paying half and my mom has mentioned that as a parent you just want to give your daughter (or son I’m sure) a wedding she’ll remember. Perhaps that is all he wants for you. If you disagree with what he envisions your wedding to be, then you can use the polite rejection speech. I think wording it by saying that you and your fiance are excited to treat your family and friends to a celebration is a good way of putting it. I hope your dad would not get his feelings hurt but rather realize that you are trying to do this on your own and are taking responsibility.
Post # 14
Can you both put in equal financial contributions? If you do this, you become more like business partners than one person holding all the cards. I agree that you need to find out exactly what he’s not happy with. If it really is that he’s afraid of what people will think, stand your ground and tell him this is the wedding you want. I’m doing a rustic wedding and getting married on a farm. The ceremony will be in their orchard and the reception in their barn. When I first told my mom about this, she totally did not get it and basically told me she hated the idea. She kept trying to push me toward a church ceremony and a hotel reception, which doesn’t fit my peronality at all. After I showed her my inspiration pictures, she still wasn’t sold, but she realized how much thought I’d put into it and how much I really wanted it and backed off. We are spliting the cost of the wedding, btw. This way, I’m paying for things my mom might not want to pay for, and the things she doesn’t mind paying for she takes care of. It’s worked out pretty well so far.
Just out of curiosity, how many people are you planning on inviting? On 5K, if your guest list is small, maybe your dad is afraid you won’t be able to invite people he wants there. We purposely picked a venue that absolutely couldn’t hold over 150 b/c we knew our parents would want to invite people we didn’t care to have there. Maybe that’s where he’s coming from? Good luck!
Post # 15
@EngagedToPanda: A pajama-themed wedding! I love it! =D (Also, kudos for spelling my name with two Ns!)
@hotchildinthecity: He wants to move it indoors — church ceremony, reception at the golf club, etc. — but hopefully if I did manage to reason with him we could just change some aspects of my plan but keep the “picnic” semblance intact. We were going to cater, when we started with our budget of $10K, but the caterer my fiance and I liked did sandwiches, so that’s where the make-your-own-sandwich thing came up. Maybe we should go back to plan A.
@Miss Hot Sauce: I think part of it is that they want to “give me a wedding”. My grandmother mentioned that, at least, and my dad kind of nodded. And they have said that they respect that we’re trying to be responsible and shoulder the costs ourselves…but they still don’t really accept that we want to, I guess.
@Meggs604: I’ll bring that up next time we talk about it. =) I definitely like the idea of saying “you’re paying for X, so that’s what you have control over”. As for the number of people, my fiance and I did a comprehensive count and we have a list of about 80 (that’s immediate family, grandparents, aunts & uncles & cousins (and their spouses/kids), a couple family friends, and some of our personal friends). We definitely want to limit the guest list — no second cousins and parents’ coworkers/friends for us!