Breadwinner Bride: Brides pays for wedding herself

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 2
Member
552 posts
Busy bee

You are not alone. This is a very similar situation to my Fiance and me. I am pretty much paying for the whole wedding by myself, but Fiance contributes when he can.

Post # 3
Member
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I make twice what my husband does and I also knew this going into it. We bought a house and paid for our wedding with 90% of the money coming from me. It’s stressful sometimes so I can understand where you’re coming from. My best advice is go with what you are comfortable affording. Don’t plan your wedding for other people. They do not pay your bills. You can have a lovely wedding on a budget but it can involve making some hard decisions especially on the guest list.

You say you’re doing this wedding to keep him happy. Talk to him and tell him your concerns on spending so much on a wedding and see if you can find some middle ground that will make you both happy. 

Post # 4
Member
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

I also am paying our share of the wedding (our addition on top of what my parents pledged and have contributed), while Fiance focuses on paying down his loans, so I get the pressure.

However, I don’t understand how you first said you could afford a $20k wedding, but now you can’t.  If you cannot come up with the $20k by yourself, then maybe your budget has to be revisited.

Post # 5
Member
9728 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

While thankfully my dad handled our wedding, I am the main breadwinner in our home so I do understand how it feels to feel like everything lands on your shoulders. 

My advice is to be kind to yourself. You do not need a 20K wedding and can have a perfectly nice wedding for much much less so I would sit down and decide what you can comfortably afford on your own without stressing yourself out and then work within that number. I found when planning my wedding there were so many extra things I really could care less about and I saved a lot of money by cutting those things. All that mattered to me was that we had a place to get married, someone to marry us, food and drinks for our guest and someone to play music. Everything else was just extra.

Post # 6
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Hmm, if this were just about the wedding I’d suggest a longer engagement so he can contribute a smaller amount monthly that would add up over time. But it sounds like this is a farther-reaching issue that may become a marital issue if you don’t address it now. Focus less on the wedding planning and saving for that right now and more on this deeper issue. It sounds like you’re looking at this as a “my money” and “his money” type of situation, which often doesn’t work for couples. Do you live together? Do you have a joint account now? If so, do you not consider your money pooled for household and life expenses? Some couples can make this situation work and some can’t. It sounds like you’re already developing anxiety and resentment and that will likely build up over the years.

My ex-husband and I made vastly different amounts of money when we married, and there was no sign that I’d eventually end up earning more. It wasn’t an issue because we had a joint account and didn’t take into consideration that he made more when paying our bills or spending money on ourselves. I’m grateful that he didn’t consider it to be “his” money that I was using to buy clothes or makeup for myself. We lived within the means of our joint income. If he’d kept his money separate but wanted to go out to eat three times a week, go on vacation twice a year, and live in a $275k house I wouldn’t have been able to keep up even though he could have afforded those things. He would have been doing those things on his own. Instead, we looked at how much we made jointly and lived our life according to that.

At the very least, if that’s not the type of wedding you want then don’t have it. Just because you *can* afford something doesn’t mean you have to choose to spend your money on that. Finances aside, if you’d prefer a smaller wedding then speak to your Fiance about your desires. Be willing to compromise, of course, but if he wants a big blowout wedding and you prefer a courthouse wedding then maybe a middle ground would be a small wedding with 50 guests. People on this site have all sorts of weddings so find the type of wedding that’s right for both of you.

Post # 7
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

In my opinion, you definitely have a reason to feel frustrated, especially considering that he is the one who mainly wants the wedding. I know you say your family wants it too, but the harsh truth is that if they are not able to contribute and if it isn’t something that YOU yourself wants, then they need to realize that it is your decision, not theirs.

I have a few thoughts about this. First of all, even though you make significantly more money, I don’t understand why you would have to take on the entire cost of the wedding yourself… Let’s say you make $100,000 and your fiance makes $50,000. That should still enable him to pick up some costs of the wedding, maybe the photographer or the caterer… At least SOMETHING. My fiance makes 7x what I do, but I am still planning on contributing by buying my own dress and then possibly paying for the photographer or another similar expense. 

If you feel resentful for shelling out a bunch of money, that is going to be a BAD way to start a marriage. If the big wedding is important to him but not you, I would perhaps say something to your fiance along the lines of “I understand the wedding is important to you, but it is putting too much of a financial strain on me right now and I don’t want us to start our future like this”. You could also suggest instead doing a very small elopement or courthouse wedding and then on your 5 or 10 year anniversary when you are both more financially stable and able to contribute, you could do a big and extravegant vow renewal. That would be a good compromise in my mind.

Also, if you are the one who is constantly shelling out more cash, does he offer you support in other ways? For example, if you pay more bills, does he then do more household chores or cooking? If he started taking the burden off of you in that way, it might help you feel more satisfied about being the breadwinner in the relationship.

Post # 9
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

maystaurus :  Well, then set a budget (if you’re OK with $20k then make it $20k) and stick to it. You don’t adjust your budget for any element of the wedding; you adjust those elements to fit your budget. Sit down together and pick the things you’ll prioritize. Contact venues and find one you like that fits your priorities. Then you’ll know how many guests you can afford to host. Regardless of who’s paying this is your wedding too so don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want and about what’s practical and do-able. If you don’t have the money in the budget for 300 guests then you cut the list down until you can afford it. Simple as that. Our initial guest list had twice as many people as our final guest list. That’s just how wedding planning goes so don’t be intimidated by that.

Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for this. There is no reason to go into debt for a party. Have you spoken to your Fiance about any of these concerns? Guest list size, financial burden on you, his future inability to contribute much to your finances, etc.?

Post # 10
Member
913 posts
Busy bee

Your marriage is infinitely more important than your wedding. I say focus on that right now. Cakesniffer is right–your feelings about financial imbalance between you may (will) become a marital issue if you don’t take this opportunity to deal with them. You two need to sort out your feelings on how to do money as a family and how to make sure you feel like a team working together for your joint future and goals. Maybe he needs a new job! Maybe you two need a new budget and savings plan. Maybe you need to see a financial planner and/or a therapist. But focus on that first.

Next, scratch this out-of-control wedding and plan a wedding that will make you both happy within your means. Again, approach this like a team–if you don’t want a big wedding, tell him how you feel and ask how you can both get the wedding you want. You want fifty guests, or ten? You want to go to a courthouse? Great. Be honest and work out a compromise between you two. This isn’t just about planning a party, it’s clearly also about learning to communicate and plan/implement goals together as a couple, not two individuals. That should be the priority, because it can make or break your marriage.

Good luck and congrats on your engagement!

Post # 11
Member
257 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Im in the situation roles reversed. My fiance makes double what I do and I am the one paying off loans, yet I contribute whatever I can as much as possible until my loan is paid off, which wont be for another few years. It is hard and I feel stressed for my fiance, so yours might also feel the same way. Coming from the other side of the equation, give it time it will all work out.  If he could pay for the little things like his Tux, the cake etc it will take less stress off you, and only pay for a wedding your financially and emotionally comfortable with, after all its just a big party.

Post # 12
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I paid for our entire wedding (and my ring) myself.  If you are getting married to this person, does it really matter who pays?  Once you are married it’s joint money anyways so no matter what portion from each you combine, it’s the same number at the end of the day.  Don’t do more than is comfortable for you and if you really don’t want a big wedding, talk to him about it and ways you can have something smaller that satisfies both of you.  See if he can help in other non monetary ways, with the planning, DIY items, etc.  If you love him, and his situation isn’t going to change money wise, you may just need to accept it.  I did long ago and don’t regret it for a second.  Good luck Bee!

Post # 13
Member
644 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: A restaurant on the beach

How do you feel about a destination wedding? I’m getting married in the Caribbean next year and with the exchange rate (1 Caribbean dollar = almost 4 US dollars) we aren’t expecting to pay more than $10K for around 60 people. That would cut your expenses in half and you’d have your honeymoon at the same time which further cuts expenses. If all of your family isn’t able to attend, thats ok. You can have a party when you return so everyone has the opportunity to celebrate with you! 

Post # 14
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

It’s definitely not fair that you are shouldering an expensive wedding that everyone else wants but is not contributing to. I know you want to make everyone happy, but please don’t spend more than you are comfortable with. If 20K is your budget, the guest list and other expenses need to be cut accordingly. If your fiance disagrees with this approach, he should get a second job and help you by saving up the difference.  

Post # 15
Member
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

maystaurus :  If your families want to invite 200+ people, and you can’t afford to host that many people, either they have to contribute the $cash-money$ or cut people.

Weddings can totally be pulled off for $20k, so your budget isnt unrealistic if you can still afford to come up with that dollar amount, but your vision will have to change.

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