Post # 1
I am a preschool teacher and have been for many years. Basically my salary I consider abysmal, especially with what the cost of living is in my area. (2000 a month might get you an apartment slightly bigger than a shoebox.) As such I am used to practicing frugality. My fiance on the other hand makes a very high salary in the tech field. I began planning with a wedding budget of 15,000. I wanted to stick to this budget. However his idea of a wedding budget is more like 40,000. While it is spread out over two weeks (destination wedding) with various activities, guest excursions, etc. (And also involves flying family in and paying for hotel rooms even tho I thought it would be fine for them to pay their own way) I am still aghast at the sheer amount of money (an entire year salary for me). I tried to cut corners but the expenses went up. I wanted an AirBnb, but when he said, we only get married once, why not ocean front suite? And on and on til it snowballed. It didnt look so bad til I started confronting the excel sheet and flipping out. Fiance is not so worried and is hoping I will begin to relax but is it even an ethical amount of money? If it’s not going to hurt our financial future should I just try to enjoy the process? Has anyone else gone through this. Words of comfort bees?
Post # 2
I also wanted to add that expenses are spread out over 6 months so a lot of it was pay as you go so I’ll admit I should have kept better track of the spreadsheet
Post # 3
Engagements are a great time to talk about budgeting, priorities, distribution of responsibilities.
If we talked about it and decided that this really would be a one time thing and that he wasn’t going to be insane about every one of our kids’ birthdays, our honeymoons, etc (I mean, assuming those things bothered me, which they absolutely do), then Id’ just let him pay. If and only if he weren’t asking for a 50/50 split. It’s his wedding, too. I totally get the “ethical” argument BUT, at least it’s a vacation so it’s not a total waste on STUFF STUFF STUFF.
Post # 4
If you are financially more than comfortable and he wants to splash out a little more then why not. You work hard and will be married once so celebrate that and treat yourselves.
Just find a nice financial compromise between both of your wants, it will probably be quite a few discussions but it is important you start your marriage right healthy communication and fair compromises on both sides.
Post # 5
Agree with pp. This is actually more important than a wedding budget IMO. This is one of those important discussions about your individual approaches to finances. Its a subject that can quite easily become a major point of contention in your marriage so its important to have a sit down and communicate EFFECTIVELY. That means keep your emotions to a minimum and express exactly what your concerns are so that you can come to a compromise.
Post # 6
For me it wouldn’t be about salaries. Frankly, I would rarely use savings for a wedding as two young people first starting out, not even the amount you were talking about. The exception would be if we were well beyond on track for savings for people our age, had a hefty inheritance or were getting a substantial gift and also had stable careers, no debt and adequate insurance coverage.
Both H and I had good careers when we were married, but had our parents not been extremely generous to offer to host, we were talking about something very small and simple. We had savings, but it was earmarked for a home, for the future and for starting a family. A one day party, as much as we enjoyed it, would not have been our priority.
Post # 7
Are you saying that the budget is now beyond the $40k he initially wanted? (a weeklong destination wedding where you’re paying for other people and your SO likes to splurge will quickly get out of hand).
If you sit down together and each pick your top 3 priorities and then narrow down which ones are shared and which ones are personally non-negotiable, that might help you get a handle on this. A lot of people who haven’t ever planned an event like this tend to lose the thread and start going GET ALL THE THINGS!!! But if you are clear about your priorities and non-negotiables, then it’s a lot easier to make sure that your wedding feels the way you both really want and need it to feel and that you haven’t gone overboard and ending up with a lot of (expensive) regrets.
Post # 8
Why is it unethical? Extravagant maybe. But not unethical. Hell, you are paying people. Nothing wrong with that.
Post # 9
If he can afford to pay it and is not making you pay for things you yourself can’t afford, I don’t think it’s crazy. The average wedding in the US is around 30K. I know it doesn’t mean that’s how much you have to spend, but if it makes your fiance happy and he can afford it (i.e. not take out loans or use credit cards or completely deplete savings), then I think that it seems ok. Hopefully it is once in a lifetime and you can both enjoy the memories for the rest of your lives.
Post # 10
Also, culturally people have a lot of different expectations for weddings. His desires are equally as important as your own. Maybe look at things from his perspective and it won’t feel unethical.
Post # 11
Speaking as an Old People, I would be very careful about throwing all that money around. Even if the high earner is comfortable and confident, you never know when Life can pull the rug out from underneath you, such as a catastrophic accident or illness or something more simple such as getting laid off. Just a thought.
Post # 12
I’m like you: modest income, and want an inexpensive wedding; I’m frugal. My fiance makes significantly more, and wants a nice wedding. He’s paying for it, so I’m like, “Knock yourself out, Daddy Warbucks.”
If your fiancé is responsible with money; he can comfortably afford a nice wedding without financing anything, and he’s not borrowing money from a smart purchase, like a home, I would let him have his dream wedding. You could probably convince him to combine the destination wedding with your honeymoon, and you might not feel as nervous about the overall cost.
Post # 13
I would not be comfortable with a wedding so far beyond my personal means and lifestyle. And I find his plans ostentatious; no way I could feel like half of that extravaganza or hostess to all that.
You need to have serious conversations about money, who earns it, who decides how to spend it, what gets saved and for what, how much it private to each of you, and so on.
Post # 14
Ok, so 40k is significantly more than I make in a year and it’s such an obscene ammount of money that I will never ever in my life be able to save that even with hard work. So I’m always horrified when people spend so much money on weddings.
But your partner makes good moneys and 40k won’t cause you financial hardship (for the near future at least). I think the key here is to think why you don’t want to spend the money? Is it because you personally cannot afford it? Because you feel like it’s unethical? Or perhaps because you just see it as a waste? I feel like these give a different feel to what you are feeling.
As for 40k destination wedding where you pay for the participants. It doesn’t give you that extravagant wedding that it might be “embarrassing”. It’s actually a really nice gesture if you can afford it.
Post # 15
I think I need to understand the split more to know how to respond.
If he wants to split the cost of the wedding 50/50, but you two have very different incomes, I would be very uncomfortable with that expectation and dynamic.
If he is simply saying he wants to have these nicer things, and he is the one who will pay for a majority of those costs, then the issue is really more about you wrapping your mindset around allowing having a nice wedding without being concerned about whether or not it’s frugal.
An addendum to that scenario is: will this wedding be paid for in cash (aka — you and your fiance will not go into debt trying to make the wedding he is envisioning happen), or would you have to go into debt to make it happen?
– If it’s the former, and everything will be paid for and he is paying for most of it, and there’s no weird dynamic where he will hold this over your head somehow (commenting about how he pays for everything, for example) then go with the flow and enjoy having a beautiful celebration for your wedding.
– If it’s the latter, then you really need to sit down with him and be firm that you have a personal goal to make sure the wedding does not incur any debt and that you two do not “live beyond your means” for this celebration. A $15k wedding budget is tight but it is very doable and you can have an incredible wedding if you are creative with your budget and very good at finding deals (airbnb is a GREAT idea — why not look for a house to rent by the ocean instead of a hotel suite??).