Post # 1
My youngest child became engaged last December to a very nice young man 4 years older than herself. We told her we would pay for the reception and expenses and gave her an idea of alloted amount. She seemed very happy with it. She has been very stressed by the wedding as there are some conflicts between the two families. R is the youngest male in his family out of 11 kids. His family is not contributing to the wedding. They are not against it, they just do not wish to pay for it.
My daughter has been very stressed about the future, the experience with the blended families, she is in college, and we have a close family member that has cancer at this time.
I cannot seem to sit down with her to discuss the financials aspects of the wedding to get an idea on what her father and I should be contributing and when without her getting upset. I have asked for a list of dates by when she needs the funds and how much. I did ask for receipts not bc I do not trust her, but that is how I do my finances. She is my only daughter and I want her to be happy and have fun with the whole experience, but she just seems so overwhelmed.
How can I stay involved without overwhelming her? Any ideas?
Post # 3
Just tell her you’re so excited about her upcoming wedding and would love to sit down with her and figure out the wedding budget/financial aspect whenever she has some free time. And let her know that if she needs help with any other aspects of planning you would love to be involved, but no pressure.
Post # 4
@emilygrace07: Thank you Emily Grace. I have tried to do that but it usually has to be on a weekend as I work IT during the week. DO you have a way I could bring it up that I would not be a nag? How long should I wait in between or do I set a timeline?
Post # 5
I think you’re doing everything right! It IS an overwhelming experience for her and she’s just got to accept that and work through it step by step. If you are footing the bill, then she needs to respect that and help you help her. Why don’t you book a time in advance for her to come around (with her Fiance if that’s what you’d both prefer) for lunch or afternoon tea specifically to work through some plans. It should be fun, but yes it is also a serious thing to plan especially when it comes to finances. Think of a few things you can discuss so as to not try to do too much at one time (eg working out the list of dates and discussing one or two aspects of the wedding costs), and then do this every week or every two weeks, depending on your timeline until everything is figured out.
This is her wedding and she’s got to help plan it, it’s as simple as that. Don’t doubt yourself, I think you are absolutely approaching this the right way and it is all going to work out in the end.
Post # 6
@mominlaw2b: I would change the way you approach the wedding finances, not because you have done it wrong (because you haven’t) but just because this is the way our parents are doing it and its working so far.
Say we plan on giving $X for the wedding (I would stick to the number you gave before because shes probably planning on it). We can give it to you in portions on these dates:
Then write checks for those amounts and give them to her on the days you said you would. You can give it all in one check, divide it up further, given different amounts on different dates, ect. Whatever works for you. That way you know when the money is due and can budget how you are saving for it (I’m assuming the money isn’t just laying around, but if it is then thats great). She can then figure out which deposits she can pay with each check. Tell her that you are open to changing the dates and amounts within reason if you are. (So if she wants the money later because most of the money isn’t due until later and she doesn’t have to worry about holding on to the money for too long). And tell her that if the wedding costs more, she needs to pay the difference. If the wedding costs less, then she can consider the remainder a gift.
This should make it easy for you to plan how you are saving, and easy for her to budget the money. You don’t have to worry about receipts because you will have the checks to keep track of instead. And you don’t have to worry about her blowing all of the money on her dress, because if she does, thats her problem.
ETA: I just saw the last line about you wanting to be involved. I would tell her that while there are no strings attached to the money you’re giving (because I don’t think there should be strings attached to a gift) you do want to be involved in the planning process. Let her know that you would love to go on venue tours, dress shopping ect. with her. Also it would be good to tell her that you are available on the weekends for those types of excursions.
Post # 7
I honestly don’t think she should be setting your budget. I would let her and her Fiance know what the budget is and let them go ahead and make decisions about how they spend it.
Be prepared to hand them a cheque for about 25% of the budget at the time of that conversation so they can make deposits,and tell them that you will advance the rest of the budget as they request.
To hedge my bets, I might tell them the budget was a few thousand less than I was actually prepared to spend. That way if they go over budget, you will not be in pain. If they don’t spend the reserve, that could be your wedding gift or you could put it towards their honeymoon as a surprise.Or not, as you choose.
I think they might feel that you are treating them as mature adults and would be a great boost for her confidence.
Tell her that you would love to work with her if she wants any ideas, or wants you to serve as a sounding board, and ask her what you can do to help.
Post # 8
Maybe talk about other things first — like what she envisions her wedding to be, what themes and colors she would like, etc… Then bring up money later. I was the youngest girl and my mom hasn’t had to deal with weddings in over 30 years so it was rough and she couldn’t give me much insight because times had changed so much. She gave me a budget and I worked with it.
Maybe you find out if she has any Wedding Timelines for what should be done at each month. Make it like a daughter/mother day out. Go get lunch someone and sit down with Wedding Timelines and Checklists and just find out what she has been thinking, how many bridesmaids, etc…But I would do the financial part at the end and then determine if there is anything that maybe you could do for her. I live a few states away and I researched venues, and she went and checked them out and gave suggestions about each place but let me chose which one I liked the best.
Post # 9
You sound like a great mom, and you’re doing everything right. I was that overwhelmed daughter/bride. And I didn’t even realize it. I flipped out at my mother, cried, moaned about my Future Mother-In-Law, all for silly non-reasons. And thankfully my mom could see from afar that it was because I was wedding planning from across the country alone, going to grad school full time while working full time, and that she (my mom) was battling cancer on the other side of the country. Yeah, it was horribly overwhelming, but I didn’t even realize how much it all got to me.
I really didn’t like it when my mom would send pictures or ideas she found online and fill up my inbox before I even woke up. That was overwhelming. My mom gave me the total budget she would pay for, and then stepped back. I told her along the way which vendors I was choosing and how much each one cost/deadlines/deposits, etc. She actually sent the checks directly and I would email her the receipts and confirmations.
Of course that method only worked because I was willing to plan it and do the work for myself, and she was willing to pay out checks when needed within the total budget. And also because we were 3,000 miles apart. And because she was retired and sitting home with cancer. But the more she let me do for myself, the less tears there were between us.
Post # 10
I agree with others first determine who much you afford, second how much you want to spend then set a budget. I would say call acknowledge she is busy and ask her to email or text you an update of when you will be able to call. From what you said I assume that they aren’t in too deep in the planning process. So I wouldn’t stress or push it until she ready to meet. I seen some parents on the bee demand a lot of things from their kids, what you are asking isn’t too much!
The balls in her court then if she doesn’t do when she suppose too it will will hold up plans for her wedding and she as an adult will have to deal with that.
Post # 11
@mominlaw2b: tell her you need to sit down and give her the budget so she can know what to plan. Thats what our parents did, we all sat down and each couple went around the table saying how much they were willing to put into the wedding, even my now husband and I gave a #. Then that was that, that was our budget and we could do whatever we wanted with the $. It was much less stressful once the budget was on the table, b/c then I knew what was worth spending $ on and that I could not go over budget.
You really need to sit down, its sad that her fiances parents dont want to help 🙁
Post # 12
i would just give her a cheque for the amount you can afford and let her allocate it as she needs (rather than receipts etc), in 3 installments if necessary. once she has it she can figure out a budget
offer advcie if she wants it, but dont make the money dependent on your involvement in decisions, gifts shouldnt have strings attached