Post # 1
I need advice and I apologize for the oncoming wall of text! My fiance and I have lived in the southern part of our state for eight years now. We are both in our 20s and about to finish med school which means we’re both tight on money. My family lives ten hours north of me and it’s difficult for me to visit home since flights are expensive and the drive is too long for just a weekend. Now that I’m engaged, my mom has made it clear that she refuses to attend my wedding unless I have it near my hometown. She says that she hates traveling but the kicker is that she is more than happy to travel to my part of the state to visit the popular theme parks!
My fiance and I have enough saved up to pay for our venue (ceremony and reception). By the time we get married in 2020, we’ll have enough saved up for the minor things like photo booth, music, etc. My parents are contributing $12,000 to pay for whatever else (catering) but I don’t expect to use all of it. The problem is that we found the PERFECT venue near us. It’s a gorgeous historical estate near the water with beautiful amenities and it’s well within our price range! But catering will cost around $10,000 for all of our guests so we need my parent’s contribution. What do I do? She hasn’t said their money can only be used for a venue in my hometown but she’s strongly hinted at it. There’s no way we can afford to buy a plane ticket every time we want to visit a venue or attend a tasting in my hometown. My hometown is also one of the most expensive areas in the United States and venues are insanely expensive for what you get. I’ve exhaustively looked at venues near my hometown and the ones within our budget basically include community centers at parks and other places I would not want for a wedding. It’s not customary in our families for the groom’s family to pay either.
My mom is not willing to compromise. I’ve begged in tears for her to reconsider but nothing has worked. Should I relent and let my mom choose a venue ten hours north of me? I feel like my only option is to give her my wedding savings and let her do everything. I feel like there has to be an alternative but she has so much financial leverage. Any thoughts/strategies on how to approach this?
Post # 2
laxbride9500 : Find a cheaper venue. As long as you’re accepting money from your parents (and $12,000 is a sizeable amount), they’re going to expect a say in your wedding. You say you’ve already saved enough for a venue. Use that but find a venue that includes catering. Or figure out a way to save a little more money each year.
Basically: have the wedding that you can afford.
Post # 3
llevinso : That’s great advice and I think you’re right. Having the wedding we can afford means cutting my parent’s guest list which will also upset them. However, they can’t have it all. I can’t include all of the family members they expect and also have the wedding I want. I just need to realize that I can’t please everyone. Thank you for the advice!
Post # 4
I say, have the wedding near you, and call her bluff. If she does indeed travel to your area then she is just throwing a tantrum. That said, she would probably pull her money, so you’d need to find an alternative venue that you can afford on your own. $12k is a lot and they WILL expect input/control.
This is you + your FIs wedding, feel free to remind her of that.
Post # 5
I like your assessment… keep saving your money, and book at the venue you want.
Your mom has two options: She can contribute to the wedding and have the guests she wants invited on the list, or you create your own list and pay for it yourself.
Post # 6
laxbride9500 : Plan the wedding that you and your fiance’ can afford that way you don’t have to worry about money that may or may not have strings attached. It sounds like you already had a plan in place of the timeline of when you want to get married and have funds set aside for expenses. You will be able to continue to save until that point but don’t depend on someone else’s money to fund your event. They may change their minds and then you are short.
I was just reading a person’s post on another site and her father had stated he would pay for entire wedding which is to take place in a few weeks. He has fully backed out of the paying any more towars her wedding and there is $10,000 that needs to be paid and the couple doens’t have the money. The wedding is in like 2 weeks. Her father signed all the contracts with the vendors who are also family friends. He isn’t paying any longer because he is engaged and his fiance’ wants an extravagant wedding and he told his daugher he needs the money for his own wedding. She is having to cancel the wedding and call all the guest to let them know. I don’t think her father has given her the money.
So don’t put yourself in a situation if you don’t have too. Plan what you can afford don’t stress yourself out.
Post # 7
llevinso : I agree 100%
Your mother is being very selfish sadly. If you accept their money she is the piper and plays the tune to which you and your fiance must dance.
Call her bluff, thank her for the generous offer of money but say you will do it yourselves, the way you want and can afford, and that you very much hope she will attend given she has never had a problem travelling for vacations.
Keep it small an beautiful in a place convenient to you both at a busy and critical time of your lives.
Post # 8
I’m sure you’ve read these boards, you’re not the first one who’s parents dangled a good chunk of wedding money in your face in exchange for control of your wedding. Sooo if you want to have the wedding that YOU want that means saying buh bye to that money. So yeah, what the other pp said.
I’m going to guess that mom normally pulls manipulation tactics to get her way. Seriously, think about it. Do you really think she’d stop at simply choosing the venue? I’m going to guess and say no.
Its called boundaries bee and its time you grew up and started setting them. Good luck!
Post # 9
laxbride9500 : You definitely can’t please everyone and your mom just sounds like she’s throwing a tantrum to try and get her way. Once you decide you won’t be accepting her money, it makes everything much easier. She sounds like the type of person that, even if she gave in and let you choose the venue you wanted, would hold this money over your head for a long time.
Post # 10
Unfortunately some parents use money to buy control, rather than to support their child’s wedding. It’s sad, and it’s not worth the drama if you haven’t even booked a venue yet and you’re already having problems! Book your venue, and save a little harder (or push the wedding back by a year, not ideal I know, but we do what we have to do), and negotiate with your vendors!
Post # 11
Have the wedding you can afford on your own, and then do whatever you want. If you take their money, you will be giving up control – the entire process will be miserable and you will be sad and resentful by the end.