Post # 1
This is a vent and a request for some advice on how to handle this situation:
My parents and my fiance’s parents are splitting the cost of the wedding. My parents already got a large check from his family to help pay for everything. I have been really good about shopping around, finding deals where I can (e.g., we’re having our reception at a venue that allows us to bring in our own alcohol, I’m buying the wine at cost, bought my dress for $400 at a sample sale). However, there are certain things which are just marked up – like wedding cakes and flowers.
My mom is being an unreasonable penny pincher about this stuff. For example, she wants me to shop around at a local grocery store to see if they can do the corsages cheaper — this would save maybe $5-10 per corsage. Part of me understands — I don’t like to "waste" money. However, this is a wedding! It’s a once in a lifetime celebration and I think it’s just weird to ask me to go all over town looking for strange deals at grocery stores.
What really bugs me about it is that my mom and dad had a beautiful and I’m sure expensive wedding 30 years ago, and her parents bought her a car as a wedding gift! It’s not like my mom grew up impoverished or anything. We just have different attitudes about spending money and it’s coming to head with this wedding stuff.
I feel ungrateful making these objections to her though because she is partially paying for the wedding. Fiance’s parents do not have input about anything, as they are out of state, but they are the type of people that would just let us do whatever we want. I don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat, but at the same time, I think she is being unreasonable. Any advice?
Post # 3
First, you should sit down and have a budget converstation. You need to know how much they are willing to contribute, an actual dollar amount not just "half of the wedding costs." Once you have this dollar amount, you should start estimating how much everything will cost. This might make your mother more comfortable with spending more money on certain aspects of the wedding.
I think kids tend to have high expectations these days. Your parents might have had a beautiful wedding 30 years ago, but you don’t know what the costs would translate to now. I don’t know your whole history, but did you parents pay for your college? Did they buy you a car? Do you have other siblings? If you have been blessed in other ways, then maybe you could offer to pay the difference in what your parents are willing to contribute.
Post # 4
I agree with having the budget talk. Once there is a set amount they are comfortable paying that should allow you the freedom to purchase whatever you want/need within that amount. That’s what I’m doing with my family and it definitely saved us some fights over me spending $1500 on the dress. I just cut expenses elsewhere, and as long as I dont ask them for more money, they’re happy 🙂
Post # 5
I would advise for you to get a flower budget from your family (the total amount that they are comfortable contributing), and then use your own savings to pay for any upgrades that you want. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for your parents to want you to shop around a bit– just call a few places, get three or four quotes for what you would ideally want, then work from there. If traditional florist corsages are important for you to have, maybe you could cut from other areas of the flower budget, like have smaller bridesmaid’s bouquets, or smaller ceremony arrangements.
Post # 6
A beautiful wedding 30 years ago was a much different cost than today. I mean, my parents spent $500 on their top of the line photog and $50 on her dress 33 years ago. It’s a different wedding industry now and you both need to remember that.
First off, just remember that you’re families are being incredibly generous to pay for anything. They are not obligated to do so, it’s a gift to you.
Sit down with her and talk numbers. look at how much you’ve already spent and how much is actually left. You need to get specific together so you both know what you’re working with.
Post # 7
I actually don’t think your mom’s suggestion is a bad idea. Talent and quality services can come in any package. I would humor her and look into what they can do. If you then decide you don’t want to go that route talk to your mom. I think since they are paying you owe them a trip to the store to check out what they can do before dismissing the idea.
It is a wedding and it should be special, but rationally it is just one day. Many people have problem dropping big bucks without looking into more budget-y options.
Post # 8
Keep the lines of communication open and don’t fall into the trap of getting all worked up about not getting exactly what you want. Keep reminding yourself how generous your mom is to be paying at all and hopefully that will put the grocery store flowers (if it ends up being that) into perspective.
Post # 9
I would certainly have that budget talk. And along with that, get a feel for her expectations for the wedding. I don’t mean get your flowers at the grocery store, but what does she want to see at the wedding? Certain photographs of the family being taken? A videographer? A sweets table? Then maybe you can try to see how you can piece all the things you all want, together. You might find her ideas, come in handy and use them to save a few bucks. You might find ways to get everything done, without feeling like you’re penny pinching.
Maybe your mom was able to have some of the nice things she had at her wedding, or that nice car, because of the penny pinching she did. Or maybe your grandfather did it too, and that’s how he was able to pay for the wedding.
Post # 10
At first my parents just agreed to pay for the wedding outright – but wanted to do it on a "Goodwill budget". This frustrated me to no end. I had no cnocept of what they imagined spending, so everything I picked out seemed to be too expensive! I finally explained this to them, so they gave me a rough estimate. I think the number they gave me is actually about $5k less than they really wanted to spend because they knew I’d go over. 🙂 But it really did help me make wise decisions about where I wanted to spend the money, and i didn’t feel quite so guilty at every turn. Good luck!