Post # 1
I am planning on getting married in October 2015 so I have time to plan.. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to budget for the wedding. I want to lock in a venue soon so I don’t have to worry about that later.
Right now my mom has offered to help pay, as well as my FILs. But neither side has given me a number. I don’t feel comfortable asking his parents for an exact number (or even ball park number!!) but if I tell my fiance to ask then its obvious I did since I am the only one that communicates with his family anyways LOL.
My mom keeps giving me vague answers because she doesn’t really want to worry about it right now since the date is far away. She’s told me a few numbers – first its $5k, then $7k, then half of whatever I contribute. I told her realistically I would want a wedding of between 15-20k (I live in an expensive area so this won’t go that far) and she said she understood and again would contribute half.. But how do I budget half?! What does that even mean? Do I just pay everything and hope she gives me a check for half of everything I pay?
The reason I am so concerned is that my venue decision needs to be based on my budget obviously. I can’t get a venue for a 20k wedding if I can only afford 10k wedding.
Do any of you have advice for how to go about this? If I talk about doing a cheap wedding my mom will say things like “No, you want to have a nice, small wedding with around 30-40 people”. I’m thinking “no, I want 50-75 people and will host those people regardless of budget..” I don’t mind a cheap venue I just need to know soon…
Post # 2
Don’t count any contributions until you have them in hand. Honestly, I think the best way to budget for a wedding is to simply plan on what you can afford on your own, it will save your sanity.
Post # 3
I would put together 3 rough budgets. One where just you and your FI pay, one where you factor a small contribution from your families, and one with a larger contribution.
If you can show your mother the different weddings you can have with different budgets, it might help her decide how much to give. I will say that weddings bring out strong emotions in family, and allowing parents to contribute can create a lot of drama.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Plan a wedding that you can comfortably afford on your own. Then, whatever money you happen to receive from your families will be a bonus, and you won’t have to stress if the money that is promised never actually arrives. Everyone wants to think that promises are guarantees, but things change, circumstances change, and people change. Money promises for weddings get broken all the time. Don’t let that happen to you.
Post # 5
mrsjmd124: until you have the money in your bank account, don;t count on it.
Post # 6
I agree with MsGinkgo. Don’t count on any contributions until you have the money in hand. I would budget on what you can afford and if additional monies come in you can upgrade things, i.e. flowers, photographer, get a limo, transportation, alcohol. I paid for my wedding and it was based on my on savings with family contributions as upgrades and it worked out well.
Post # 7
I agree with some of the PP here. I was also in the same situation and after 6 months of no firm commitments from either side, we booked a venue that was one that we alone could afford. This venue didn’t require a commitment from us regarding the time of day for our events and would do afternoon tea receptions and five-course Italian dinners; none of which had to be finalized at the time of booking. Once we had a venue chosen, both parties were much more communicative about costs when provided with information about what sort of money would provide what sort of meal.
I hope you feel supported in your venue search. If you’re able to involve families from the beginning, all the better. Good luck!
Post # 8
mrsjmd124: I have to disagree with PPs, based on my experience. My parents and FIs parents are paying for our entire wedidng, but they have also not given us a firm number. We have a general range from his side, and my parents have said they’ll pay half or more. But it’s not like anyone has given us a check for 25-30K (each side’s estimated contribution) – and I would never expect them to; that would be ridiculous. They’ve each paid for deposits and things as they’ve come up, and they know the overall costs of what we’re looking at and are okay with it.
I think that as long as you keep the parties informed of what things are costing you, they’ll let you know if they think it’s reasonable and are willing to pay for it. Obviously, if you have flaky family members, this system probably wouldn’t work, but it can and it does work out if you have reliable people who know what they can and can’t afford. We’re also not really paying for any of our wedding, so it is different.
Post # 9
I am planning a wedding for October 2015 too! I am in a similar situation with unknown contributions from family. My FIL’s are committing to covering specific expenses (the rehearsal dinner, send-off brunch, and possibly helping with decor and favors), and I’m comfortable letting them make the decisions on those items. My mother has a floating number, like yours! She said 5K, then 7K, and keeps saying she’ll cover some additional things too. I know she’ll contribute, so I’m not going to budget without it completely, but I’m counting on the minimum she’s offered. Additional funds will be a pleasant surprise when it gets closer! One of the nice things about planning in advance is the time it gives everyone to keep saving!
Post # 10
So I have definitley been in the same place as you. I have been engaged since Feb. 2013 and my wedding will be May 2015. Right away I kind of knew that the cost of the wedding would be on my fiance and I and my parents. However, my parents brought it up first that they wanted to contribute and my dad wanted to hear the full amount i thought i woud need, but my mom and stepdad were really vague about what they wanted to contribute. I came up with the overall budget and from there my dad told me what he felt he could contribute. He said he could do half and then I made a deal with my mom that we would split the other half. My advice would be to let everyone that wants to contribute know what your total budget will be and let them tell you how much they are willing to give you. It could also help if you have specific numbers for different parts of the budget like the venue. Some websites really help with this, you can put in the total budget and then they use percentages to allocate. This may help when talking to your family because you can show how you will spend the money. Also if someone wants to just take care of one item in your budget they will know how much they would have to contribute for that item.
Post # 11
Don’t fall in love with a venue. But narrow it down to two venues. One venue that you can afford on your own and the other that would require help. Present the one that requires help to your parents and itemize parts of the wedding. Perhaps your parents want to write a general contribution check or want to cover specific things like entertainment, bar, decor, photography etc. Know exactly what how much you need to from your parents to make it possible.
Post # 12
I made sure that we could comfortably cover the budget for our entire wedding. My family’s contribution just allowed me to upgrade some things like a better photgrapher and live music during the ceremony. That said my fiancé and I both have established careers and make enough that we didn’t need to rely on contributions. One perk of getting married in your 30s. 🙂