Post # 1
Fiance and I are paying for the entire wedding. We will be greatful if we get help from our parents, but we aren’t expecting anything. Mother-In-Law has asked twice now what she can do to help financially. We have told her our approximate budget, figuring that would give her an idea, but I think she is looking for a number that we want her to pay. I think it would be very RUDE of us to say “OK, please give us $6000”. I think she should decide how much she is willing and able to contribute, and let us know. We have told her that we will be very greatful for whatever she gives us, but she keeps asking what she can do to help financially! We are considering giving her a list of all our major expenses (catering, venue, rentals, photographer) with prices and letting her choose what she wants to pay for, but part of me thinks she doesn’t really need to know that much detail since she is not involved in planning at all. How to approach this?
Post # 3
Give her items to pay for.. So instead of saying–Okay Give me $6k, say, “would you be willing to pay for the cake, venue and flowers?”
Post # 4
I’d say you could pick something and ask her whether she’d be willing to cover the cost of it. You might say flowers or cars or whatever.
So you could say, for example, “oh, that’s a very generous offer, Mrs Future Mother-In-Law, we’re tremendously grateful for the help. We’d be delighted if you could pay for the flowers?”
Post # 5
Maybe ask her to pay for something specific – like the cake or favors. It seems like just having the big numbers (venue, food, etc) may be out of her reach and she doens’t know what to do.
I’d break down what you still have to pay for and an approximate price: Cake – about $700
photobooth – about $500, etc. That way she can pick something in her pricerange and still feel like she’s contributing.
Post # 6
TIP # 1
Remind her that it is the Groom’s Family that hosts the Rehearsal Dinner… then do a quick count of the key players
Both Sets of Parents – B&G – Officiant & their SO – Maid/Matron of Honor, Best Man, Bridesmaids & Ushers / Groomsmen & their SOs – Flower Girl & Ring Bearer & their Parents – Your immediate family Sibs and their SOs… along with anyone who is going to be contributing to the Service itself… Musicians, Readers, Soloist etc… and their SOs
Most families and the number is probably in the 20 to 30 person range
And if wanted, one could also add on…
GrandParents, GodParents, and any Special Guests (say Aunt Martha & Uncle Bob who flew in from Australia).
That could easily add up to another 10 or 20 people !!
I say this BECAUSE, it does seem that many don’t think this all thru… or plan out the situation far enough in advance to realize that it isn’t a “small venture” or an inexpensive one to undertake.
— — —
IF there is any money left over that she’d like to spend after that…
Then YES you’d be happy to accept it to help off-set costs for the Actual Wedding Ceremony & Reception.
Hope this helps,
Post # 7
Totally agree with the PP’s that you should have her contribute to specific items (if you are allowing her to contribute money). Personally, I would go with smaller but still meaningful details like cake, flowers, or favors. If your Fiance has siblings who will be in the wedding party, another option would be for your Future Mother-In-Law pay for their attire. Whatever you do allow her to contribute to, be prepared to accept her input on it. So if you don’t want her input on the venue or catering menu for instance, don’t let her pay for it.
Post # 8
@This Time Round: That is a lot of details–but we have no wedding party, Fiance and I are both only children, and for our rehearsal “dinner” we are planning to get one of those huge sandwiches from Subway to eat while we are setting up tables and decorations LOL.
Thanks everyone, it makes sense to give her specific items to pay for.
Post # 9
@Pumpkin_Bee: Why not pick one item that’s relatively affordable and ask her to pay that? If she wants to contribute more, or pay for something else, then she can offer to do so.
Or maybe just suggest a few items she could pay for as in, “The open bar will cost around $1,500, the DJ $900 or the limo whatever. If you would like to contribute toward any of those, that would be great. “
Post # 10
TO @Pumpkin_Bee: – “Your Plan” sounds like fun…
BUT you have to remember this is not your party to host traditionally… it is the Groom’s Family… so in order not to step on any toes here to make for bad feelings (people tend to get a little pee-d off when they are usurped) you need to talk this all over with your Hubby’s Parents… if you haven’t already.
Post # 11
@This Time Round: I think that is silly… we are grown adults who have been independent for years, own a home and live hundreds of miles from either family. I would never expect other people to pay for a party that WE have decided to have. If they want to host, plan and pay for something more formal and traditional, they can let us know. But again, I would never plan something then expect someone else to pay for it.
Post # 12
Maybe silly to you… BUT it is a well established social custom.
As I said, you might want to check in with his family just to see what their expectations are… it would suck to offend them or have them feel that they are losing face over this… especially if they are aware of the custom, and fully expect to host it / pay.
Also you said…
I would never plan something then expect someone else to pay for it
True, but by the same accord… you should allow them to plan it and pay for it if they wish to do so. As that is the norm.