Post # 1
My parents, love them to bits, will not give us a budget or any kind of number to work with. They are planning to help out, as Fiance and I would not be able to cover the entire wedding on our own, but they want us to find prices, share them with them, and they’ll decide if it’s doable or not. We are in the very early stages of planning, haven’t even set a date yet, but this method is going to be very challenging. My brother is about to get married and they did the same thing with him. He said it’s been really annoying and created a lot of extra work and stress for him and his Fiance.
I hate asking my parents for financial help with anything and as we figure out all the pieces of our wedding, I feel like we’ll constantly be asking and creating a very uncomfortable vibe around the whole planning process. They seem to think that they’re being helpful by leaving it open ended, but they’re really not.
Anyone else ever dealt with this? Do I try to force a number out of them? Is there a way to make the process easier if they still won’t give us one?
Post # 2
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
Honestly, just plan what you can pay for. Way less stressful!!
Post # 4
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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
Just plan what you can afford and whatever they gift you you can use for upgrades or a wonderful honeymoon
Post # 11
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
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
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
Plan what YOU can pay for. That way if they aren’t able to help, no biggie.
Post # 15
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.