Post # 1
I look at my bank account and worry that there is no way I will ever have enough money to pay for my wedding. It feels like a huge meteor is rushing toward the Earth and the only way I can stop it is by writing a check for $15,000! And, fellow bees, that check would bounce!
My parents have never really been involved in my life and won’t pay for anything wedding related. My grandparents raised me but aren’t in a financial position to help me. My FI’s parents are divorced. His mom is the ONLY parent who’s helping but she’s only able to do so much. She’s throwing me a bridal shower and paying for the rehearsal dinner. His dad is totally MIA and we’re still trying to contact him, but we’re getting married in six months and I’m kind of sort of panicking.
I work and have a good income, so does my FI, but we have bills unrelated to the wedding. And eating, housing, and transportation are kind of important too. I’ve already given up my dream of having fresh flowers for the bridal party and a limo for transportation. I’ve even decided to make the cake myself since I used to work in a bakery for my summer job during college. I’m making some of the other things myself too. But, it’s the reception that is killing me. I just don’t know how I can afford to pay $36.50 a plate. And my FI and his mom keep inviting people! I freaked out and yelled at them last week when the guest list topped out at over 200 people, but they acted like I was being selfish!
I finally told FI that if he and his mom wanted to invite any more than the agreed upon amount, I expected a check for $36.50 for each extra person. I’m so NOT that girl, but all this dollars and cents crap that goes into planning a wedding is making me way less generous than I ever had been before.
I just don’t know what to do. I want this to be fun, but I’m afraid that the tedium of watching every single cent will make this something I just want to get through. I’m exhausted with the process already. Advice, anyone, please?
Post # 3
I would sit down with your FI and make out a budget of what, realistically, you can afford. And then STICK TO IT. It’ll mean cutting out some things and doing some things yourself, but it’s doable. We were able to pull off a 150+ person wedding for just over $3000.
Also, when you guys talk about it, decide what aspects of your wedding are most important to you. Is it the location? the dress? Inviting everyone you want to? (which sounds like it might be important to your FI, or at least to his mom?). Budget more for what’s most important to you and then cut corners in the other areas.
Do you have friends and family that could help you DIY some stuff? We did a lot ourselves, but it was mainly just my husband and I, so it stressed me out some, but if you have friends that could help, that would probably make a huge difference.
Also as far as the reception goes, could you just do desserts? (that’s what we did) Or even just hors d’ovres? I’ve seen that done and it’s really classy, but a bit cheaper than a full meal.
Post # 4
weddingchannel.com has an awesome budget planning calculator. I have used it since the beginning of my planning and it has really helped. I also use Quicken to help me budget. I took what we owe to our vendors, tips, etc. and divided by how many months we have left and then put than in with the bills. You can move stuff around in Quicken to pay more or less and on different days as you receive or spend. I really like it because it has helped me stay focused and on track.
Post # 5
You can do a appetizer reception to cut costs. I think though that if you are paying for the wedding you need to set a budget and tell your FI and his mother that you simply can not afford to invite everyone.
Have a conversation with your FI. If you don’t have the money RIGHT NOW to pay for your wedding then tell him you need to scale it back. Itemize every single thing so that you know how much you’ll be on the hook for. There are tons of detailed guides so you won’t forget little things like linen rental, service fees or makeup application costs.
Post # 6
He and I did sit down and talk tonight. I told him that we need to take a realistic look at our budget and how much things cost. I also told him that this is OUR future and that we need to be in this together. He needs to be strong enough to be able to tell his mom that she has to let us plan the wedding and that she has to ask permission before she involves herself in a decision that should be made by us. He agreed and we set a time to look at what we can scale back on. The reception venue that we’ve chosen and already paid a few thousand dollars to is an all inclusive hall in the suburbs of Detroit. I know for a fact that there won’t be another place where we can get a better deal. I mean, the cost of the buffet includes an open bar. However, it is STILL 36.50 a plate. So, I need them to STOP inviting more people (which has been accomplished). I’m just nervous, I guess. This is a big deal and I’m afraid of screwing it up.
My FI is from the city and he’s used to big extravagant parties for weddings, birthdays, anniversarys, etc. I’m from the country and I grew up with what I would call “redneck chic.” The ceremony was at the local church and it cost almost nothing. Then the reception was at the local VFW hall or your parent’s backyard. You either had a potluck that the ladies of the church helped make or your parent’s hired somebody to roast a pig. I mean, I know that doesn’t sound very classy, but it’s the way people do it out where I live. I definitely wanted classy and nice, but I didn’t ever expect to shell out $15,000. My brother and sister-in-law had a “redneck chic” wedding with about 250 to 300 guests and paid (along with my contributions) about $3500. I could totally afford that!
I agreed to get married at my FI’s church because I’ve gotten to know the people there and they are so sweet! So, because we’re getting married down there, we have to have the reception down there too. That means that we have to do things the way they do them in the “big city” wedding industry. So, I’m going to do the best that I can with what I have. Thanks so much for the advice about how to track expenses. Quicken sounds like an awesome solution. It’s not like the wolf is at the back door. The wedding isn’t until February and so we have some time to figure this out. Thanks for your support and encouragement!