Post # 1
I am trying to budget with my FH for my wedding, which I hope we can bump up to October 2012. The problem is: FH and I are just legal assistants, so we don’t make much money. Also, my family adds up to be 87 people. These are family members who absolutely MUST be there (according to my dad/grandma.) My family keeps adding more people to my list and no one is offering to help us. How do I bring up the subject of money with them? I don’t want to be engaged forever, and I just can’t afford the wedding they are planning in their heads without some help.
Post # 3
I would start researching where you want to have it, and then show them some numbers. Unless parents got married recently, they don’t really know how much things cost. Maybe find a venue that is bigger to accomodate your growing guest list, and then a smaller one for the number you want to hit, and show them the difference in price.
That’s my advice, just start showing them numbers for different things, and make them realize that each person adds approximately $XX to your budget
Post # 4
Honestly you really can’t ask for money from your parents. They can offer but it is considered rude to ask for money. All in all if you are old enough to get married then you are old enough to pay for it.
Post # 5
@MrsSl82be: Thank you! That is an excellent idea. We are headed up to my hometown to scope out venues in January, so that would be the perfect time to gather figures and make my presentation.
Post # 6
I’m a pretty blunt person, so I would just tell them that because you and your FH aren’t made of money and know for a fact that with your combined income you’re simply not financially able to accomodate that many guests. Just be honest with them. If they say boo about that, then straight up tell them that if they want any other guests to be there, then it’s only fair that they pitch in financially as well.
Post # 7
In my family, I’d just jokingly say, “ha…. that’s fine with me, but do YOU want to pay the extra money for all those people? Because we can’t afford it …. ”
Of course, my family would just laugh that off and I wouldn’t get an offer.
That being said, I agree @MrsSl82be 🙂
p.s. I’m a legal assistant too 🙂
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I would tell them exactly what you told us, “I cannnot afford the wedding that YOU want/expect me to have. So if this is the kind of wedding that YOU want and the guest list size that YOU want, then YOU need to pay for those guests at that level of style and service.” If your family cannot/will not contribute, then you are free to slash that guest list and do it your way, on your budget, and in your timeframe. It’s “put up or shut up” time.
In My Humble Opinion, it’s far better to have a small wedding done your way and within your budget than it is to deal with family expectations and family money and strings attached. This is the next step in establishing your own little family with your Fiance, and taking that step as a unit that is independent from your family’s issues and demands is a good way to establish firm boundaries that will nurture and protect your relationship/marriage.
Edit: If they offer money, get it in cash, upfront. I have seen a few too many stories on the Bee about $$ that was promised and never appeared, leaving the bride and groom who signed the contracts on the hook for way more than they could actually afford. I am not saying that your family would do this, but is it really worth the risk?
Post # 9
I would draw up a budget based on what you and your OH can afford. Then draw up your own guest list based on this budget. Then show your parents. If they say ‘Oh well you need to invite x and y’, then clearly say that you have set your budget based on what you can afford, and have drawn up your guest list based on that. If you don’t mind inviting the extras (we’re having a strict policy in that we’re only inviting people we know well and are close to, we’re not inviting all and sundry just for the sake of it), then simply say that if they would like x and y to be there, they are welcome to pay for their places.
Sounds brutal, but IMO they are being incredibly rude in demanding you invite certain people, so it isn’t unreasonable for you to ask for a contribution.
Whatever you do, do NOT agree to extras or go over budget until you know exactly what they are prepared to contribute.
Post # 10
@MrsSl82be: This is a good idea. Be honest with them about how much money you have to work with and how much things cost. I made a spreadsheet with my full wedding budget and showed it to my mom. That seemed to make a pretty big impact because even though there wasn’t anything extravagant, it still added up to a lot of money.
Post # 11
@Sassygrn: I am aware of the fact that I have to pay for my wedding as I am an adult and I pay for all the other “luxuries” in my life; I just can’t afford all of the people they keep tacking on to my list and the venues they are constantly suggesting (and I have communicated this to them.) Personally, I’m all for eloping. I’m not into fancy dresses or flowers or anything like that. It’s my family who is pressuring me to have a huge wedding. I guess I feel if that’s what THEY want (not me or FH), it would be nice if they helped out.
Post # 12
hoenstly, with my parents. I asked my dad right after I got enegaged. I said, I dont want this to be awkward however I want a realistic expectation when I start looking at vendors and venues. I dont want to find a location that is 25k and that be completely out of range. secondly, i dont want to look only at places for 5k if we can do a 10k wedding… he understood my perspective and gave me the limit that my parents would be able to assist us with. My Fiance family on the other hand we did not ask as we think its more tradition the brides family assists with the wedding. we did ask/offer if they would like to assist with the reception dinner the night before or not. my Future Sister-In-Law never asked his dad so he didnt pitch in a dime for her wedding last year, and I spoke with his stepmom and she said he was just waiting tobe asked, and didnt want to intrude. So I told my Fiance that it doesnt hurt to ask.
So we asked without expectations but wanted to gain an idea so we could actually plan for what we had available.
Post # 13
I think that PP have a good point that you should just lay out the situation to show them what the expenses are versus what you can afford. I would put it something like this:
“Mr. Sbott & I can afford $X,000 for our wedding planning. That would include Venue A, Menu B, and $XX for incidentals like invitations, flowers and my dress. I love our extended family and want them to be able to attend, but that would mean we need a bigger Venue, like C, which ups the total to $XX and dinner at $XX/head will add an additional $XXXX which we can’t afford. If you’re able to help with expenses then we can do this, but otherwise we’ll have to keep the guest list small.”
Although, honestly I think if they were going to help they would have offered, so don’t get your hopes up.
Post # 14
That sucks! Been there. We made it so each of us was responsible for dealing with our own parents. I agree with MrsSl82be, parents just don’t know what it costs. Have some hilarious stories about that. Also, rather than waiting for them to offer, if you involve them in the planning then they may chirp up about one or two areas they would be most interested in helping to cover. IE: if one parent is a recovering alcoholic then making a concession about drink tickets rather than an open bar may make them suddenly aware that they want to help out with your decorations. Everyone’s different!
Post # 15
- Wedding: May 2012 - Salvage One, Chicago
@sbottiani: I think you can definitely feel your parents out. It’s hard to know each persons situation, and you’ll know the best way to approach them, but for instance, I was pretty sure my parents would be paying for the wedding, so I broached the subject as ‘we’re trying to set a budget, what do you think?’ and went from there. If you start a conversation saying that you fear you won’t be able to afford all the people they want to invite, their response will be pretty telling of their intentions to help out or not. It’s better to know before you plan!
Post # 16
@sbottiani: I definitely don’t think it’s “rude” to ask you parents to contribute, or ask if they plan to. They’re your parents, not strangers- maybe it’s just my family, but they don’t care about etiquette. We asked our parents directly- are you planning on contributing anything? If not, that’s fine, but we need to know for our budget. Both our parents were just waiting for us to ask before they offered.
In your case, I’d approach them similarly but tell them the kind of wedding you want and that unless they are contributing, you will not be able to invite as many people as they’d like. It’s your day, and if they’re paying nothing, then the decisions are all yours.