(Closed) HELP! We can’t pay what’s owed on our wedding

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 134
3040 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Caterer:  $3500 – CANCEL, you may lose your deposit, but that’s a lot of money left to go! If you lose your deposit, see if they can change to just have appetisers using the money from your deposit.

Beer and wine:  $1000 – CANCEL, just have punch or ask people to BYOB.

Wedding dress alterations:  $200 – Should be ok, since its already in the process of.

Fiance Suit:  $200 – Any way he can go with a cheaper option?

Plane tickets:  $500 – Call the airline & see if you can cancel & what the pentalty would be. If you’re just visiting, gas shouldn’t be that much to get there & back. DH & I drove 12 hours STRAIGHT after our honeymoon, so no need to sleep in a hotel. We left really early & I would have taken turns driving, but he wouldn’t have it. We made maybe 2 or 3 stops & that was just for food, or to get gas & he had an energy drink to help. Its doable. Gas will be MUCH cheaper when you’re not moving. Figure out the miles roundtrip, divide by MPG your car gets & multiply that by the cost of gas per gallon & that should be less than $500!

what we’ve paid for:

Wedding dress:  $900 – ok.

Shoes:  $150 – Try to return them & then just wear shoes you already own.

Save the dates:  $300 – ok.

Invitations: $500 – ok.

Postage:  $300 – ok (yea postage was like the most expensive thing about invites for us, it was kinda crazy how it all adds up!)

Band:  $1500 – Cancel! You don’t need a live band. Just have an ipod & some speakers, or even a computer hooked up to speakers. It’ll be MUCH cheaper. You could even buy an ipod & a speaker system for it & it would still be much cheaper!

Cupcakes:  $500 – Cancel if you can. If you lose your deposit, than see if they can make less cupcakes for the same cost as the deposit was. Then get COSTCO sheetcakes. I had 4 & only used 3 & it fed about 200 people. It was like $40 for all the sheetcakes, so that should help you there.

Tables, chairs, table cloths, silverware, plates:  $2400 – I think you posed earlier that you’re kinda stuck with most of this. Cancel as much as you can. If its all from the same place, see if they’ll let you lower your package. You don’t NEED table cloths, you can just wash the tables off when you’re done. We only had 2 tables, 1 for the cakes & 1 for the punch & cups. Everyone just sat in chairs.

Wedding favors:  $150 – Cancel or return if possible. If you DIY, you may be “stuck” with them. You could list them on CL?

Lights (for outdoor reception):  $500 – Try to cut back here. Do you NEED lights?! Can you cut back or do without them? What time of day is your wedding? Will it be light enough without them?

Candles & Votives:  $100 – Cancel/return these. Its ok if you don’t have them. No one is going to be upset because there weren’t candles :).

Good luck!!

Post # 137
919 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

thats what im going through right now! we are like do we pay for our house or do we pay for the wedding?? we are already in the process of closing on the house so we cant back out of that but all our contracts are signed!!! last night i went though all my wedding stuff and my clothes and my daughters stuff and our stufff in the house and started listing things on craigslist. one peice at a time it wont make much but it will add up. hopefully we can get enough to not need a loan in the end.

Post # 138
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

What about cancelling the caterer and doing a potluck reception? Do you have items in your home that you can sell on craigslist? I agree with the pp’s that recommended cancelling the band. It is a very unnecessary expense when you are in a bind. The IPod hookup would be perfect. Good luck!


Post # 139
2393 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

One last thing:  do not post date checks. 

One, it’s legal for banks to process the check anyway, no matter when it’s dated.  Most will do so, leaving you with on overdrawn account and a bounced check, or charge you a fee to hold the check until the specificed date.

Two, writing checks when you don’t have money to cover them, particularly several checks for large amounts, can easily get you into serious trouble for passing bad checks.  Your bank may stop honoring your checks at all, and can report you to databases used by merchants and landlords.  Worst case scenario you wind up in court.

Stop relying on future money and work with what you have now.  Crossing your fingers and assuming that money will appear has not worked for you so far.  Don’t make abad habit worse by hoping your guests will give you enough to cover the difference.

Post # 140
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

View original reply
@7-9-11bride: << THIS!!!! As a guest buying you something for your honeymoon I’d be upset if I “thought” I bought you something and you didn’t really do it. My cousin just purchased a kayak trip for her brother and his wife on the honeymoon regsitry and she got really excited thinking that they would do it on their honeymoon. I’m not sure how she would feel if she found out they just took the cash?

Post # 141
3456 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

View original reply
@mhackney21:Let me state this – it’s not that we are irresponsible people when it comes to finances….I don’t feel that we are a case for needing tons of financial counseling.  It’s not like we frivolously put ourselves into debt.

Actually, by planning a wedding for 400 without having paid off other high interest debt from payday loans, you are putting yourself frivolously in debt.  Something like medical debt is a non-frivolous debt because it’s a need – this is just a want.

I’ve moved a LOT in my life and I know you can do it cheaply if you pack yourself, ask everyone around you for boxes and enlist friends’ help with moving boxes.  In general it seems there are a lot of areas in your life you can learn to economize on.

I know this sounds harsh, but that’s because I want you to understand that when the wedding is over, you still need to work on your financial planning skills, particularly given his commission-based job is your main source of income.  (In the future, budget using the worst month statistics, not the best or even the average.  Then you can be pleasantly surprised when he does better.  He should also keep better track of his sales so you know before the paycheck arrives how you are doing – there’s really no reason you should have been surprised by this.)  Not having debt before the move isn’t enough – you need an emergency fund as well.  Savings are also good.  Having a career is not an indicator of responsibility or good financial planning, because you can lose that due to a layoff or injury.  You NEED to fix these issues before you’re in too deep.

And your friends that won’t understand the lack of alcohol at the wedding, aren’t really your friends.  Better to learn this now.

Post # 142
3521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I wanted to add that eloping is NOT the end of the world. DH and I were headed toward a bad financial situation until we had a frank, honest discussion and realized that saving money was more important than a big wedding. We cut everything back (invited a total of 17 guests instead of our previously planned 70), canceled our venue (lost the deposit, but that was all), and decided to go with a small, intimate restaurant reception for those 17 people. All of this saved us tons of money–our original plan, as small as it was, would have cost well over $10k. Instead, we managed to have a nice, very intimate and small wedding and reception for under $1k.

I realize it’s a bit late in the game for you to scale back THAT drastically. But you’ve been given fantastic advice for cutting back, and if that’s not enough, elopment is always an option. At the end of the day, we were happier with 1) not having to deal with the stress of a big wedding and 2) not having to deal with the stress of having spent so much money on one day. No matter which way you go, OP, this is going to be a tough decision for you and your fiance. But I think at this point, financial stability should trump a wedding. If you think the money stress is bad now, wait until your wedding day is over and you’re thousands of dollars in the hole. All you will have left is some pictures and some memories, but as another poster said: a wedding will not put a roof over your head or keep the lights on. It’s time to take a deep breath and a step back, then look at what you want your future to look like.

Post # 143
204 posts
Helper bee

Just thinking more about the drive vs. fly thing – a lot of folks figure the cost of driving based on gas alone, but my dad always told me to calculate it the way the government does when reimbursing folks, figuring in gas, wear and tear, everything (the current rate is a little more than fifty cents a mile, I think).  If you work it out that way, the roundtrip drive from CA to TX is actually more expensive than those the OP found.  Plus, then you don’t have to worry as much about car trouble wrecking havoc on the budget (I mean, sure, it could always happen at home, but a long, hot drive seems to be tempting Murphy’s Law).  I’d fly.

And  @mhackney21: just want to say again that I’m sorry you’ve got this stress in your life and I hope when you talk to your Fiance you’ll be able to use some of the suggestions in this thread to come up with a plan.  Good luck!

Post # 144
3456 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

See if any of those 400 friends has speakers they can bring out to the wedding and put up with the ipod, as their wedding present to you.

Post # 145
1919 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

View original reply
@7-9-11bride: Agree. I know you’re going through a lot right now and probably had to resort to using your honeyfund money as cash for the wedding. But I do think you should let you guests who bought off that know. 

And in terms of the second job, I understand that your wedding is soon so it might not solve your problems but even a little bit of money at this point will help. And as I stated before, after the wedding you will still be in debt that needs paying off. Therefore, you can continue on with a second job to pay this off. Getting a second job isn’t always fun but might be necessary.

Post # 146
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Wow. Definitely a predicament, OP, but it sounds like you kind of steered yourself in the direction of disaster.

You said you went into all of that debt when you moved from TX to CA, and then you got engaged 3 months ago. You HAVE put yourself frivolously into debt. You absolutely should not have started planning such an expensive wedding (your $14K already spent + $6K more you want to spend!??!) when you already had maxed out CC’s and 3 pay day loans!! And buying $150 shoes when you have all this debt too? Sorry, it just really does not make sense to me at all. If you guys were so much in debt from moving why didnt you work on that before starting up all of this wedding stuff?

I have to say too, you really do not sound like you are 30, you sound like you are 20. Saying that your friends would die if you cut out the alcohol – are they really as good of friends as you think they are? I think if they were they would understand.

Sorry if I’m being harsh, I do feel bad for you for the situation you are in, but you seem a little immature and unrealistic.

you said this:

“I commented that I feel frustrated with $6000 still owed on our wedding, only 50 or so days to go and taking a part time hourly job wouldn’t make a dent in much between now and then.”

..umm yea, it might not make a dent in what you need to pay for the wedding, but what about all of the other debt you need to pay off?!? This PT job could and should continue past the wedding to pay off your other debt.

Post # 147
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I feel you OP, and i’m sorry you’re experiencing this so close to the wedding date. It scares me to be spending so much money on our own wedding with the date getting closer..the cost is more real near the wedding day.  Fortunately for us, we don’t have any debts and we have at least 1 year saving tucked away)…though we’re going to borrow a few grands to cover some unforseen things, but boy I feel guilty about that and I’m still finding ways to not have to resort to that.  Please don’t get another loan..it’s just not worth it!!!

I think everyone’s advice is really great.  Since your invitations are out, you can’t really un-invite, but at 400+, you must have a dozen or TWO really close friends and family that would be willing to help you with the food and drinks (especially if you can cancel all those things).  If I were friends with someone in your situation, I would be honored to help contribute some special dishes or drinks (actually I would totally volunteer to help you make strawberry/cherry/mango lemonades..and spiking them for the adults..I make the best lemonades and it cost me hardly anything to make…so have it here in CA! :p).  Seriously, you obviously think highly of your family and friends, which means they feel the same way about you..so you’d be surprised how far they’d go to be involved in your day.  You really should consider asking the people you’re comfortable asking to see if they would make a few dishes and bring a few cases of beer (or get the guys (like his bestfriends) to chip in for a keg or two).  It won’t be completely potluck and the people who love you will be honored you asked them! 

There are some things that are pretty pricey on your list that you can totally get for WAY cheaper (unfortunately you already paid for them).  If you can either return them, do it!  My shoes cost $20! 

And finally I don’t mean to offend, but I think you and your Fiance should take this as a hard lesson.  It is always a good idea to save for rainy days.  It will make life so much easier not going through “freaking mode.”  I truly am sorry for you having to go through it, but learn from this so that you are more financially sound in your future together.  I hope you get a lot in gifts (money) and please pay off your credit card…the interest on those things are scary!

Post # 148
257 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

i read through all four pages of comments and i don’t recall seeing this suggestion.  do you have an engagement ring you can sell? 

i know planning a wedding is really stressful. i also know how tough it is to compromise. 

my only other suggestions (that have already been mentioned here) is to get a part time job, sell items on craigslist, have a garage sale, cancel the caterer and do a backyard BBQ, or ask some close friends if they would like to pitch in pay for alcohol or any other part instead of a gift…

i’m sorry. 

Post # 149
10354 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m sort of not understanding how you would max out credit cards with a move from TX to CA. We are moving from MA to CA and the cost of a POD move was roughly $3000. TX is half the distance. Hardly a bank-buster. Is it possible that you guys didn’t scale back with the move as much as you should have? Because taking on debt for the fancier move where they come and pack for you sounds like a seriously irresponsible decision when you knew you would be taking on the debt directly.

Really, look at Dave Ramsey. And make sure you are living within your means for the worst case scenario of your husband’s commission being very low. Everything else is just a bonus.

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