Breadwinner Bride: Brides pays for wedding herself

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 16
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

Also this:
“This wedding planning process is starting to foreshadow our future that all the financial burden will always be on me and I dont know if I’m going to be happy with that. Again, we knew I’d be making more but I never knew he’d be making so much less.”

I think it would help to think about it as what is your joint income, rather than what do you make vs what he makes.  It sounds like your mindset assumes your income is contributing to you and his income is towards his loans/etc. That mindset makes sense if you both make the same amount and can contribute equally towards progressing your lives together.  However, since your incomes aren’t equal, you should think about your joint income.  You both together make x.  That means, together, you can save X amount for a wedding, put Y into savings for a house, contribute Z towards his loans, etc.  It’s not all on you, but his money is going to be tied up until his loans are paid off.  Your funds have to go towards supporting two people, which means a lifestyle adjustment may be in order.  Personally, Fiance and I are comfortable renting right now and are taking maybe 2 more years than we’d like to save for a house.  This makes sense for us since we’re able to manage our rent pretty well, our commutes are super short so we save on gas, and we’re in a good place towards saving for the wedding.  Eliminating the whole ‘saving for a house’ thing while saving for the wedding was a huge stress relief.  It depends on what your priority is and how much of a strain renting is on your income right now.  If we were in a region where rent was astronomical, we probably would have saved for the house first and delayed the wedding.

Post # 17
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I completely understand! I also make significiantly more than the Fiance and I supported us financially while he was getting his Masters.   If 20K is your absolutely limit where you feel comfortable and won’t hurt your savings at all, then make your wedding budget 15k – unseen costs always creep up and that way you’ll have a buffer zone.  You don’t need all of the bells & whistles to have a great wedding – don’t let tradition get in the way of economic stability.  As PPs have said, there are tons of ways of skirting tradtion to save money, whether it’s a non-wedding-y venue, cutting out flowers and using paper fans & ferns, or having a buffet instead of plated 3 course dinner.  Hang in there and keep your marriage in mind 🙂

Post # 18
426 posts
Helper bee

I am in a very similar situation!  We are having a small wedding in Maui which I am paying for (just our immediate families).   Then, he insisted on having a “wedding celebration” for all of his family so I said he could save up and pay for that.   

At the end of the day, I am really paying for both, since all of the money he is saving for the party he wants could have been goign to pay down his student loans.  Once we marry,  I will pay for everything and his salary will go to pay off his loans. 


TOTALLY sucks sometimes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post # 19
1495 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

maystaurus :  Your parents and his parents can’t invite people without your permission if they’re not paying for them. Don’t stress yourself out if your fiance really wants a big wedding than either he contributes more or you have a small intimate wedding with all the extras like beautiful flowers, DJ/band, photographer/videographer.

Post # 20
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Is it just the wedding or are you realizing much of the finances in your marriage are going to be on you and your responsibility?

As far as the wedding, have a wedding you can actually afford where, during the planning, you won’t feel scared, worried and stressed.

If you’re paying for the wedding NO ONE has any say-so in the guest list.  Both sets of parents are each giving you a list of 200 guests?  That’s ridiculous.  

You got this far financially and in your career because you are smart and strong and saavy.  Right?  Apply those skills to your everyday life.

Post # 21
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

This is pretty much my fiancé and me. He’s in grad school, and while I don’t make a ton, I make enough to afford a $15,000 wedding (with some creative saving) on my own, which I’m doing because neither of our parents are helping. And actually I think it bothers my fiancé waaaay more than it does me. He keeps trying to contribute with his student loan money, and we’re having a two year engagement (which I don’t really mind, it helps with the craziness). Both of our families are also huge, and early on in the planning, my mom (who, again, is not contributing financially, although we are hosting the wedding at her house which I do not discount at all) decided to invite ALL her extended family when we weren’t planning on doing the extended family thing. So I feel you, it’s stressful being the one who has to say no. Can you ask your fiancé to step in and be the bad-news man? Can you set some guidelines together as a couple? What does he expect from the wedding? Anything to take it off solely your shoulders will help with this all.

Also, I agree with others in that don’t set a budget higher than you can afford. Set a firm budget and do not go past it no matter what happens. Debt is just not worth it.

Post # 22
3837 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I totally don’t buy that you can’t have a wedding for less than $25k! I am having a $20k wedding myself and plenty of brides spend less than that. Your parents do not get to invite people if they are not contributing. Simple as that. Stay in control and work to a budget. 

As for your fiance, are you planning to keep finances separate? I don’t really understand how that can work tbh, although others seem to manage it. The wedding needs to be a joint effort, if no money can truly come from him he can still help to plan and research options and ways to save. Figure out a budget and guest list and make the decisions together. 

Post # 23
1597 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Gabrielle91 :  Seconding this – Fiance and I are getting married in Koh Samui, and eloping so it’s even cheaper. OP, I also earn more than my Fiance and while he is contributing, I am contributing more (he saves roughly $250 a fortnight and I put in $420). We have set a budget that suits us both and won’t go over it – if there is money left over, it just goes back into my savings considering I’ve put up more money. 

Sometimes being the main breadwinner can be REALLY frustrating. I cover so many incidental expenses like mid week grocery shopping, and last week Fiance asked me to pay half of the brunch he bought us (like $40 in total) and I thought that was so tight of him. I really cracked it. Your Fiance needs to understand that if he increases the budget, he makes up the $5k difference.

Post # 24
5894 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

maystaurus :  I’m sorry you’re feeling stressed alone!  A few points that I’d think about:

1) You are getting married.  IMO, it’s time to stop thinking of you money as “mine and yours” and to start thinking of it as “ours.”  This isn’t about how much he contributes vs how much you contribute, but instead how much you can afford to pay for a wedding together.

2) If spending $20k on a wedding feels like a mistake, look at what you can do to scale back now.  If it’s too late (can’t see how far you are from the wedding) then chalk this up to a learning experience and in the future make different decisions.  As my dad would say, “call it tuition.”  You dont’ mention debt, so I assume you at least have the savings to pay for all of this, right?

3) Feeling stressed about being a breadwinner is perfectly normal.  It feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.  I would focus on a few things:

  1. Do you have faith in your DH’s intelligence, work ethic, and hustle?  Is it reasonable to think that while right now he’s not earning a lot, he’ll have prospects in the future?  Is he the type who’ll always be solid and be there for you?  Since you’ve got the better career, are you two open to the idea of him being primary parent if you decide to have children?  One parent almost always has to take a step back to make a family work.
  2. Focus on controlling your spending.  For many years I lived alone, so I was, of course, the sole breadwinner.  I also always worked for very financially unstable start ups, so my job was never super secure.  I created my own sense of security by keeping my spending low so that I had a good emergency fund and wasn’t living pay-check to pay-check.  In fact, I lived on only 50% of what I earned.  You don’t have to go that extreme, but the more you can take the day-to-day pressure off of feeling like you “need” your pay check the better you sleep at night.
  3. Challenge yourself to take gender roles out of the equation.  It’s pretty normal for couples to have a signifigant income disparity – heck, the US income tax code was designed around the idea!  Usually the lower income earner makes a lot of non-financial contributions to the couple that are extremely valuable (cooking, cleaning, holding down the home front).  Often these are the sorts of things that have to get outsourced to maids and restaurants when both partners have “big” jobs.
Post # 25
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

maystaurus :  

I’m a breadwinner bee so I can sort of relate to where you’re at.

First thing your partner needs to be contributing even if he makes less than you, he still needs to contribute. It’s a matter of self-sufficiency and both Partners should contribute proportionally to what they make. My husband and I both total our expenses and then multiply by the percentage we make. So in this case, if u make 90% of the money, you pay 90% of the bills.

Also things are expensive, so don’t ask your family for advice or help or input if they can’t be realistic. And what I mean by this is if you were buying a new dress it was pricey or a new pair of shoes, or even up throwing yourself birthday bash you wouldn’t ask for input because you are funding it. Your husband-to-be if he’s helping contribute should get a say, but your parents and his parents shouldn’t. Why? It’s because it’s far too easy to spend other people’s money.

You shouldn’t go into debt over this. And if people are not willing to be realistic and they’re not paying. they don’t get a seat at the table.

A large Fortune 500 company has this motto:

She who has the gold makes the rules.

In essence, Don’t be afraid to insist on things bee. You work hard for your job, and you work hard at work. enjoy the fruit of that labor.

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