Post # 1
As a Future Mother-In-Law, I need some guidance please. In your planning, is it helpful to get a specific dollar amount or maximum dollar amount to go toward wedding costs? Or maybe an offer to cover the cost of let’s say the photographer or flowers?
Our side of the family is large (approx. 40 people). Our dear couple would like a fairly small wedding of 80 attendees. Needless-to-say, our family would be too much for this scenerio. So, maybe I could offer to pay for a reception to be held the week or two following the ceremony or honeymoon (whichever would work better) so we can invite family and close friends?
I want to be helpful and want to honor their wishes. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
I think you agreeing to host the second reception is a great idea- just make sure you want to do all the planning. As a bride I wouldn’t want to have to plan two events.
My parents gave me a dollar amount. My fiance’s parents are covering specific items (OOT bags, rehearsal dinner, and Sunday breakfast). Both ways have worked fine, as long as there is communication about it (especially when you are covering specific items).
Post # 4
I would sit down and talk with the couple and see if they are having 80 people because of the expense or that they would like to have a smaller wedding. Personally I would hate to have another wedding after I got back from my honeymoon. If and only if they are only having 80 people because they can’t afford more people, then why don’t you tell them what you can offer, an amount is usually most helpful and then see if they think this amount will cover all of your additional guests.
Unfortunately as the mother of the groom you usually don’t have much of a say. For my brother’s wedding they chose a venue that held a limited number of people so even if my mother paid for additional guests there would be no where to put them. Since she only had 20 invites (this didn’t even include immediate family) she made her apologizies and just explained that her son and his fiance wanted a small wedding.
Post # 5
It’s a space issue, and they have many friends they want to invite. You have brought up some excellent things for me to keep in mind when we discuss our support. I do know that as Future Mother-In-Law I don’t have much say, which is fine, because I realize this is their day and don’t want to add stress to the planning.
With you both close to your weddings, I can imagine the details you must coordinate are substantial and appreciate your honesty in not wanting to plan or be bothered with an additional reception after your wedding. Thank you for your responses and best wishes as you prepare and enjoy your weddings.
Post # 6
I guess it couldn’t hurt bringing it up, maybe your future daughter in law isn’t as burnt out as we are LOL. If they do have a lot of other friends that did want to invite then they might be open the the idea of having some type of cocktail party to celebrate and since you woule be paying, you could offer to do most of the planning.
Thank you for the well wishes!
Post # 7
I’m a MOB and I have to disagree with the thought that the Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t have much say. I think they SHOULD be as involved as they want to be! It’s both of our children getting married and planning the wedding,and I think its great to have the extra imput,help and support and especially to toss ideas around. Since we’ve had 2 weddings this past year,I have to say I would have welcomed anything from the first set of inlaws (but got nothing). This second wedding (just 3 days ago!) was great in that the FIL’s paid for several things…invitations,DJ, photographer,wedding night suite,and gave them first class seats with their travel miles for their honeymoon. We planned an after party and day after breakfast,and they even offered to split those costs with us. It was wonderful that they were so interested and generous.
If you’re more comfortable offering a monetary amount, that’s great too. Talk to your son and see what they think. Good luck and happy wedding!
Post # 8
Our parents just contributed what they wanted to, and told us to spend the money however we wished. We considered going the “I’ll pay for the dj, you pay for the bar” route, but that gets complicated as most couples decide there are a few things they want to splurge on, and are willing to scrimp in other areas in order to get it. Say that the parents were expecting to pay roughly the same amount for flowers and photography, so grooms parents offer to pay for one, and bride’s parents offer to pay for the other. Now if the couple falls in love with a photographer that’s twice their budget, but want to do DIY centerpieces, or non floral centerpieces that are much lower than the florist budget, then you’re left in an awkward situation. Having the budget in a pool frees everyone from that awkwardness and also puts the responsibility for sticking to the budget on the couple. I know that if I want the pricier DJ I have to find another place to save in order to afford it, it’s not a question of trying to convince my parents that he’s worth the extra money.
Either way, it sounds like you’re really trying to help the couple and not step on toes, and that’s really the most important thing 🙂
Post # 9
I would suggest paying for a service like photography or reception, especially if you feel like your family would dominate the guest list.
Post # 10
My parents gave us a specific dollar amount. His aunt and uncle offered to pay for our flowers. His grandparents offered to pay for the cake. I thought both ways worked out well. Maybe just offer them your assistance and talk to them about what they would prefer 🙂
(Side note: although various people paid for parts of the wedding – ex. flower and cake – my Fiance and I still made all the decisions about it. For example, his grandparents didn’t help pick out the cake or even see what we chose.)
Post # 11
I’m thinking that only ten family members will be invited so there is enough room for friends. Thanks for your suggestions!
Post # 12
if what you want to do is host a reception for teh married couple later and invite all the folks you wanted to invite, its a good idea – as long as you do the planning yourself and pay for everything.
as a bride that wants a small wedding (and with in-laws that dont quite understand that part) i would definately talk to the couple and find out if they want a small wedding because of price or because of they are uncomfortable with large crowds.
for me its both. since my parents are paying the majority of the reception i feel bad having this huuuge wedding, and not to mention i dont want people there i dont know (its our day). so i purposely picked a venue that had a limited amount of folks. no way we would have anything but a “small wedding.
keeps the costs down for my mom and dad, and doesnt force us to socialize with people we barely know (and mind you i have a HUUUUGE family – 18 aunts and uncles and their spouses and their kids….most of whom are NOT invited)
Post # 13
Like others have suggested, first find out if they’re having a small wedding due to cost or desire. Ours is smallish because we wanted it to be more intimate/personal and because the venues we liked had limits (in part because we were drawn to smaller venues!) We could have paid for a larger wedding, but it wasn’t what we were envisioning for the day.
So if that’s what’s driving their desire for a small wedding, I think a second reception is a great idea—but I wouldn’t call it that. I’d just offer to host a party to celebrate their marriage (which isn’t uncommon at all; I know lots of people who’ve done that after having small weddings, eloping, or having destination weddings in order to include everyone they wanted to celebrate with). And, again, just make sure it doesn’t involve significant cost or planning on the bride’s part.
As far as contributions, we had one side offer a dollar amount and one side offer to cover certain items. It actually ended up being about the same dollarwise (and in the end we’ll be splitting the wedding costs 30-30-40 between Future In-Laws, my parents, and us). If you have a dollar amount you want to contribute, though, I’d just go ahead and offer that—costs can be variable, and can often be adjusted based on the overall budget (e.g., spending less on a photographer in order to spend more on cake or flowers) so that gives the couple the most flexibility.
Hope that helps!
Post # 14
Yes, I agree with some of the other comments – I would suggest that you discuss this option with the couple. If they would like a “small” reception (I don’t know the definition of small or large anymore when it comes to weddings), they may be doing that for a particular reason, for example, if that’s as much as their budget allows. If you are will to foot the bill for a separate reception for your side of the family only, then the money you would be spending may be best used with their budget so that the guest count can be $120.
However, I do not know if this is the case, but if they would rather only celebrate their wedding with 80 guests and no more (meaning that they are not interested in a separate second reception), I think that should also be respected. Communication here is key.
Post # 15
Their desired location can only hold 80 and cost is not really an issue. They have become very close to many friends who have supported them during their college and graduate school years while living away from home. That is why I fully understand their choosing friends over family. There are no issues with family, just that friends have become so close. They also love a party, so large crowds are not an issue either.
You have all given me such good information to work with, and I am very grateful.