Post # 1
So, we announced our engagement to our folks yesterday. Yay!
Here’s the thing: we had been planning to pay for the wedding ourselves, with a budget of $5000, because at almost 30 I don’t want to expect anything but love from my parents. I actually have some great ideas that I think could be done for that amount. But my mom said they want to pay “as much as they can”. Now, I couldn’t talk to my mom a lot longer since she was on skype from the Congo and on top of that she wasn’t expecting it so I’m sure she doesn’t have a good idea of how much money they can contribute. And she’s definitely the type to say “do what you want, we’ll find a way to pay for it” (and I wonder why I’ve had trouble with finances!) and not tell me what they can realistically afford. And I’ve heard so much from people on weddingbee about how parents get crazy-overinvolved and want it their way – which I would have a hard time saying no to if they were paying.
So part of me wants to let them pay for the dress and take care of the rest ourselves. On the other hand, well, any money we save goes to our future life together, that’s a pretty big incentive. How much should I let my parents pay/ ask them to pay? Should I add that to our $5000 or stick with the budget and keep some dough for us?
ps His parents, btw, bought the house that we’re living in rent-free, so I’m not expecting any extra money from them!
Post # 3
I think that since they offered, it would be ok to ask them to pay for a particular thing. Perhaps the food? (that’s a biggie!)
Post # 4
We also budgeted 6K for our wedding, of which were our own savings. My parents contributed 2K because they wanted to, and because we paid for most the wedding ourselves, my parents 2K didn’t provide them with “free range” to demand certain things. In fact they were a little peeved about the guest list, but we just couldn’t afford any more mouths & since we were paying for most of it, it was our money, our decision.
I will say beware, if your parents are control freaks, they will try to control the wedding esp if they give you money. My husband’s parents at first were going to give us a “gift” then they decided that we should use the “gift” to by a certain type of food for the wedding that I didn’t want to serve. After we told his parents we wanted to serve X type of food, his dad got upset, and ended up calling my parents to ask them why they weren’t paying for my wedding (even though I never asked husband’s parents for a dime.) So needless to say, we graciously accepted NO money from his parents and had a great wedding w/o their money & drama.
Post # 5
Hmm. Are your parents the type that would get annoyingly over-involved? If so, I’d accept money for something like the dress you mentioned because that’s something that they are going to want YOU to love, whereas if you go with decorations or food or something like that, they may want their own personal opinions to have more sway. With the dress, they aren’t going to make you buy something you hate just because they are paying for it.
Post # 6
I agree, I’d “assign” them something to pay for if you don’t want them to get fully involved in having a say in every little aspect of the wedding.
With a budget of 5k I think you will appreciate having the extra cushion of their financial help… I know a 5k wedding can be done, but once you start pricing everything out you may be surprised. Just my experience, but my initial thought of a 5k wedding for 30-40 guests has turned out to be more like a 10k wedding…
Maybe they could pay for the photographer or the catering – those can be biggies.
Post # 7
I totally agree with AnnieAAA. Be ready to give up some control on whatever they end up paying for.
Post # 8
The Congo? Awesome!
Agree with other posters that it would probably be easiest for all involved if you earmarked a specific item, rather than a dollar amount.
Post # 9
It is great that your parents are offering you some help. I would however still plan the wedding like you are going to pay for everything yourselves and then accept what they are will to provide to you. Let them know what you are planning, but keep things in perspective. They have a big heart, but may not have a big budget.
Post # 10
If you want total control over it, ask them to pick up very specific items, like a dress, the flowers etc.
Post # 11
@noritake22: Exactly, I really am afraid their hearts are bigger than their budget (and I have two little sisters!)
@teaadntoast: Awesome if it were safer!!! (it’s the DRC) We worry a fair amount… she’ll be home in a few months though. But yeah, I love Africa, I wish I could visit! Actually, her being away does free me a bit from a certain amount of control-freakishness since it’s just not possible.
@kittyachi: That’s the thing – I can’t tell! They’re usually pretty reasonable, but then I thought my best friend’s parents were the most laid-back ever, and there was actual crying over the caterers! I’m worried about the wedding-crazies.
Thanks for all your responses. I probably will have them pay for just one or two items I don’t care as much about. That’s a great way to let them control the dollar amount, since I know they won’t just give me a number.
One thing I didn’t say is that they offered the use of their beautiful house and garden. If that is what I decide, I’ll let them spend the money to fix things up (maybe suggest one or two places that need some help). Otherwise, maybe the dress and portrait photos, since I know my mom will go nuts for those!
Post # 12
We are totally struggling with the same thing. We are trying to keep things in perspective for them, and letting them know that we are paying for the wedding and planning it as we want it, and if they choose to contribute, it would be greatly appreciated, but not required, and it wouldn’t change what we are planning.
One option that we offered my parents (who are trying to control our guest list and fill it with people neither of us even know!) is that they can choose one thing (band, photographer, day after brunch) and pay for that, and be with us in the process of choosing that item. It will hopefully help keep their controlling grip at bay!
This is much easier said than done – as I have learned the hard way! Best of luck!
Post # 13
Maybe try asking them if there is a specific aspect of the wedding that they would like to pay for? Like photography or the your clothing or the alcohol or something like that. That way it’s a defined contribution, it’s for something that they know you need rather than just generally going for wedding expenses, and you can tailor it to what they can afford.
Post # 14
I think you should keep your budget at $5k. I’ve seen a lot of posts where parents say they will pay, then have to back out at the last minute and the couple is left with the bill. If you were willing to have a $5k wedding, I would stick with that and let your parents help where they can and save the rest. It keeps the pressure off your parents, and you may save some money for you and your Fiance.