(Closed) Advice for negotiating the family contribution

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
12956 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would sit down with them and with you Fiance, and say you appreciate any help they can give you, that it’s unexpected, and very generous of them.  Carefully brooch the topic by saying you need to have an actual number of what they are willing to contribute in order to best plan your venues and make sure you and Fiance get the wedding you dream of — not halfway there and realize you’re way over budget for everytihng.

It’s important to have a solid number, and it’s also very important to be very appreciative of any help they can give you.

Congrats on finding some great venues!  (And you’re right, as a 2013 bride, my venue is booked!)

Post # 4
Member
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Normally I’d say you can’t ask, huge breech of ettiquette. But given their comments ( Maybe we will get this for you) and their past history I think you have a smart plan. Just know money comes with strings attached and decide if having a fancier wedding is worth having other people calling the shots.

and a side note I am also a 2013 bride and NO ONE around here is booking or even planning yet. People look at me like I have 3 heads when I mention looking at venues this early. Lucky you, I want to plan!

Post # 7
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MissCalifornia:  I didn’t ask my parents for an exact number, we just talked about things that are important to them.. For example, my parents want their ENTIRE family there so they’re picking up the tab for all of their guests.  Since our venue choice will impact my parent’s pockets the most, I let them have a huge say in where we’re having the wedding.  We looked at several venues and with a per person number in mind we chose our venue accordingly.

Needless to say, my mom was kind of surprised when I told her the **total budget**, but given the types of things she wants (and I want) she said it makes sense and we’ll make it work.

They’re picking up the tab for things like: ceremony venue, minister, all of their guests (70% of our guest list), my dress and accessories, flowers, invitations, and favors.  Fiance and I plan on paying for all of his guests and the extras.

So, as you can see.. we just talked about things that my parents are willing to pay for.  They definitiely didn’t say “here’s $50K spend as you wish”, but they chose those things that they wanted to pay for.  This made the money talk MUCH easier.  

Also, it might be easier for your Fiance to talk about it with his family.  I know that my parents don’t really like talking about money.. Even though they love my fiance, it’s just not something that they’re comfortable talking about, so it was much easier just the 3 of us talking.  Good luck with everything!  ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MissCalifornia:  By the way, I’m a 2013 bride and we booked our venue.. One of the venues we had in mind was already booked for the 2 weekends we wanted.. Kind of ridiculous.

Post # 9
Member
12956 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If you’re concerned about the etiquette side, have your Fiance bring it up independently.  When we realized how expensive the wedding was going to be, my Fiance separately asked his parents if they were willing to contribute and they came up with a number for us to work with.  Maybe it would add more pressure if you were both on the phone with them.  If it’s their kid, they won’t be as concerned with rudeness/etiquette, right?  Just make sure you and Fiance are on the same page before he calls, if this is how you go!

Post # 10
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

You are in a very fortunate situation to have their help and input, and they are also fortunate that you appear to be a very gracious and humble bride to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t understand the bees on here who act like talking money with family in regards to wedding is bad etiquette. After I got engaged I read at least 3 wedding etiquette books since I had no idea (as well as 10 others on how to plan your own wedding- all from the library ๐Ÿ™‚ and ALL of them said one of the first things to do is sit down with the parents and talk about who’s paying for what, how much they can contribute, etc. 

A good ol- fashioned conference call sounds great. If they want to gift you specific amounts, great! Get clear on WHEN they can give you this, since payments are due before the wedding, but it sounds like they know this stuff. Or maybe they want to be in charge of certain things, like the photobooth or whatnot. Either way, it’s awesome, be happy and don’t feel weird about it! Families love to come together over weddings, and just continue to be appreciative and all will be well. (unless they try to start ‘styling’ your wedding in a way you don’t want- then it’s time to gently say no, thanks!)

I recommend any of Sharon Naylor’s books (www.sharonnaylor.com) and The Anti-Bride’s Etiquette Guide. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
Member
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My budget has been set and all of my major vendors have been booked.  My mom made clear from the day we announced our engagement that *she* wasn’t paying.  That was fine.

Fastforward to this week and she called me to say that she and my dad intend on giving me money for the wedding.  I said thanks.  Then….I asked how much.  It felt so wrong.  But, I would have driven myself crazy with a random amount (it could have been a few hundred and it could have been a few thousand dollars) potentially knocked off my budget.  She responded that she hadn’t thought that far, but expects it to be in the range of XYZ.

Moral of the story, I would politely ask.  Say something to the effect of, “you recently mentioned the possibility of helping out with the cost of the wedding.  It would really help us budget, if you have a specific amount in mind.”

Post # 12
Member
962 posts
Busy bee

I feel that this is a conversation that should happen between your Fiance and his parents without you being there. On the off chance that something gets miscommunicated or misinterpreted, you don’t want to be misperceived as milking them for money. Please don’t misunderstand- I am not suggesting that you are milking them for money or that you are doing anything wrong. I’m just saying that people can be funny when it comes to weddings and to money. So, maybe leave this conversation to your Fiance. (Just be sure that he knows that he needs to determine for certain what they are willing to contribute. He needs to get a definite amount from them). Then, after he has had the conversation with them, you can bring it up to them casually to show your appreciation. Something like, “FI told me that you were willing to contribute $X to the wedding. That is so incredibly generous and I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.” At least that is how I would handle it. Good Luck!

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