Parents won't give me a budget number

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 2
Member
6325 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I think it all depends on the vibe you have with your folks. A lot of people will say that you should plan for what YOU can afford alone and then be grateful for any help you get, but if you are an open family, I think you ought to have them give you a ballpark figure for either everything of for certain things (venue, food, etc.). You can tell them that having some sort of limits will help you eliminate places immediately, thus making your choices and planning easier. But you ARE lucky to be receiving help, so even if it is stressful, remember that you could be going it alone instead!

Post # 3
Member
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Honestly, just plan what you can pay for. Way less stressful!!

Post # 4
Member
8783 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

peachbee23:  If you’re relying on them to pay, I guess you have to put up with their BS. Me, I’d say eff that noise and have whatever wedding I could afford without their help. Then if at some point they offer a certain amount or ask if they can pay for a certain thing, I’d take them up on it. But the way they’re doing it now seems ass backwards and I wouldn’t be down for that.

Post # 5
Member
9539 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Look in venues you want and give them a number. You would do that for yourself anyway. How much did they give your brother? Aim for that amount

Post # 6
Member
2021 posts
Buzzing bee

peachbee23: I’m always in the “plan what you can afford” camp because I don’t think parents should have to pay for your wedding however if they are happy to do it and you’re comfortable accepting the money then perhaps sit them down and explain why it’s such a hassle. You could also say something like, “It would be beneficial to all of us to have a set budget. If we know what we’re working with then we can plan accordingly. It would be horrible to fall in love with a particular venue only to find out it’s not doable. If we know what we have available to spend from the start, we won’t even bother looking at certain venues so we can avoid disappointment”.

Alternatively, set your own budget for what you and your Fiance can afford, plan the wedding accordingly and whatever is left over after your parents contribute will be a bonus. For example, if you guys can afford a $100.00 wedding and plan for one, your parents end up contributing $70.00 then you only have to pay $30.00 and have that $70.00 left over that you already budgeted for and saved that you could spend on a honeymoon or your home or something. Does that make sense? You also have the option of selecting certain elements your parents will cover as opposed to helping out with the whole wedding. For instance let’s say you guys are splitting the costs 50/50 then instead of that, you can agree that your parents pay for all of the catering, bridal party attire and photographer costs and you guys cover the rest which would mean you only have to go back and forth about three things as opposed to everything. I hope that makes sense too.

Post # 7
Member
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

I would just honor their wishes and get a few quotes for what you want and see what they say.  It’s really not that hard.  You have a vision of what you want, and they have no idea what it is or what it’ll cost.  Figure that out first, then talk numbers.  

Post # 8
Member
6399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY

Plan for the wedding you and your Fiance can afford on your own.  If they finally make a contribution, you can do upgrades.

Post # 9
Member
127 posts
Blushing bee

Just explain to them that having an overall budget will help you prioritize your spending. Deciding each thing one item at a time makes it very difficult to know when you should compromise on one item in order to afford something else that you value more. For example maybe you would pick a less expensive venue in order to afford a photographer that you really want.

Post # 10
Member
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Just plan what you can afford and whatever they gift you you can use for upgrades or a wonderful honeymoon

Post # 11
Member
453 posts
Helper bee

My mom did something similar with my brother and her reasoning (this may not be your parent’s reasoning, though) was that she was willing/able to spend up to $x on helping with his wedding but she figured that he, like anyone else, would say to that “Okay I’m going to have the best wedding I can for $x” and only be truly budget conscious to the point that it would mean spending out-of-pocket the extra himself. But $x was really the max she was willling to give and not her ideal so she wanted him to have to price compare and consider what was really important to him first before coming to her.

But then again, my mom can be very manipulative/the type to hold her past generosity over your head so maybe this is one of those moments for her and is totally irrelevant to you.

Post # 12
Member
2595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

peachbee23:  yeah, kind of a combination of the above. Usually I’d say plan what you can afford yourselves and then help is a bonus. But as you need to venue search anyway then start with that and weigh up the various pros and cons. Have them be different price crackers and don’t fall in love with anywhere super expensive. Show the venues to the parents and see what responses you get. If they’re still not forthcoming then plan on what you can afford. Generally parents don’t want to be taken advantage of, but nor do they want to be deemed cheap so without knowing what you have in mind they’re at sea too. I agree that whatever your brother was gifted would give you a fair idea unless their finances have changed since.

Post # 13
Member
3232 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I would suggest to them that if it makes life easier, you and your brother could receive the same amount. That way there isn’t any “favouritism” shown in any way.

Post # 14
Member
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Plan what YOU can pay for. That way if they aren’t able to help, no biggie.

Post # 15
Member
1710 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

That would seriously drive me nuts! My parents gave me a fixed dollar amount of what they would spend, and then let me plan from there. 

I guess you can make a list of places you like, what’s most important to you, and then present it to your parents and say “This is what we want ideally, will you help or not, and how much?”

I agree with everyone else stating you should plan a wedding based on what YOU can afford/set aside for it, and just accept their help with whatever they wish to cover. 

 

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