Saving money for our wedding ends in a fight

posted 2 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
716 posts
Busy bee

Maybe taking him to a wedding fair and have him talk with vendors will open his eyes on the normal prices?  Sure you can sometimes get a deal (newly opened site, budding photographer, someone sells their wedding decor on craigslist, etc), but I think even finding that takes (most likely your) resources, such as time and money.

Other way is to have him go around the pinterest and pin what is his ideal wedding (+expected results of photography etc) would look like, then give him est. prices on them. That might open better disscussion than him just shutting you down.


PS: there is no fixing cheap. Make sure you know what you are getting going into this marriage. Hopefully he is just unexpectedly cheap only on the wedding and not his normal mode of operation.

Post # 3
2346 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
nataliesawitch :  I’d probably get several different quotes from each type vendor (DJ, florists, etc), then show them to him and maybe he’ll realize that the dollar amount you threw out there isn’t uncommon or over the top for weddings. 

Does his friend take photos? Perhaps you could compare some of his amateur photos with professional wedding photos so he can see the difference?

You also might need to compromise, maybe see if you can cut costs on some stuff, it is both of your weddings and you should both feel good about how you’re doing it.

Post # 5
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

It sounds like this isnt a budget issue, but rather a prority issue. Its very important to you to have a certain caliber of event. Its not important to him.

My FH and I dealt with this a little bc I was adhereing to some norms that he thought we could skip. I thought it would look gauche and he thought it was no big deal.

Rather than talking about how much it all costs, I would talk about how important this day is to you and how you want to have professional photographer and rented linens so you can have a fancier/more traditional wedding. You can tell him you realize it can be done “cheaper” but youre concerned with the look and feel of the event and not just finding the cheapest option.

Maybe there are other things in life he has spent a little more on to get a better quality product/service and you could use that analogy.

I suspect he intellectually gets it, but he needs to know this is emotionally important to you and factor that into the more logical decisions like budgets etc


Post # 6
2237 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Generally I hear of people having conversations like this early on, agreeing on a budget both people are comfortable with and then they save together (either half and half or equitably based on income). 


I don’t think your expectations (or budget) are out of line, many people want their wedding day to be just as they imagined it (within reason). But it sounds like your FH has a different day in mind and you both need to come to a compromise before any more planning can be done. You can’t force him to save up money and spend it on things he doesn’t want but (IMO) you also shouldn’t have to pay for it all yourself. Luckily you have plenty of time to talk things out before the wedding so I would make sure you come to an agreement on visions and costs before you put your own money down on things. 

GL bee and congratulations on the wedding date!

ETA: my husband was also a bit taken aback about how expensive weddings are (heck so was I!) and we had a wedding budget of about $35,000 for 150/175 guests. I found it’s stressful to talk about spending so much money on one day but if your priorities are the same, you should be able to come to compromises that you can both be happy with.

Post # 7
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I can totally feel you! My husband is similar and while I too was shocked at the prices of things, I just knew what I wanted to compromise on and on what not. We had a budget in mind, but as neither of us was married before, there were just things we didn’t think about or I began to fancy, because I saw them on pictures.

I paid for most of the things in the end and my parents helped me out too, so when the push came to shove I just decided as I’m paying for it, I’m going to get it. Obviously not for things he wouldn’t want, but for things he might have thought that it was too expensive.

Post # 8
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

These seem to be reasonable conversations to have and compromises to make. Instead of looking at one lump sum, take it issue by issue. Ask him to have real conversations and make real compromises with you instead of outright dismissing them as needlessly expensive. This day is for the both of you and it sounds like you will both be contributing money to it. Could you prioritize in order the things that you really want to hire a professional or go the expensive route for vs. the things that you’d be willing to compromise and do a budget version of. He might be more open to splurging on a few items if he knew that you were also hearing him and being willing to save some money on other items.

Post # 9
6815 posts
Busy Beekeeper

View original reply
nataliesawitch :  ours, and I’m a cheap person, was $7000 for 35 guests, including rehearsal dinner for all, brunch for all and a couple of cabin rentals. Let’s take off two for unnecessary UTV rental. So 5000. My dress was under 100, he just wore slacks and a button down from Penney’s. We self-catered, made our own centerpieces from grocery store flowers (I did florist the bouquets though), used an iTunes playlist, had a half-day photographer who was ‘good enough’. Our venue was $10 per head and the ceremony location free (state land). Rented chairs for a buck each and a set of speakers for the computer.

There are definitely ways to compromise here, but he does need to grasp a little bit of reality too. Things cost money (and again, I’m a cheap person). You can do the half day photography because realistically you don’t need pictures of your shoes or dinner or a bunch of drunk people dancing for three hours. A few snaps will do there, the ceremony and family shots are most important. You can go for something less than a standard florist or get plants instead of cut flowers to plant later at home or give as gifts after (I put succulents in my bouquet to plant). You definitely don’t need newer trends like late night snack or cocktail hour, but don’t skimp on the real meal! That’s what guests will really remember. 

As to things like spotify, well, I made my wedding playlist the day before. I listen now and then and there is a breakup song in there I totally missed. It’s harder than it seems, but no harm in letting him find out for himself. 

Post # 10
13887 posts
Honey Beekeeper

It’s easy to assume that he’s just being cheap and irrational, but just because the “average” wedding or vendor is much more expensive than what you are proposing, it doesn’t always mean that even a relatively modest wedding is an appropriate expense at this time. 

Taking into account your personal circumstances and finances, short and long term goals, salary, career expectations, debt and savings it’s possible that, as you imply, he’s being stingy and unreasonable, but it’s also possible that it would be foolish and irresponsible to spend any real money at all. Merely having the money doesn’t make something “affordable.” 

Can you elaborate?

Post # 11
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

I would hire a pro to take your pictures. I cut many corners and regret only the lack of professional pix. (I was quite happy without gift bags, favors, centerpieces, linens, chair covers, photo booth, dove release, bridal party–especially bridal party. Food, drink, and a place to sit down–music and a few flowers–and the dress cost $100.00.)

Post # 12
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

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nataliesawitch :  Are you and I marrying the same person!? My Fiance literally suggested that people can pack their own dinner to come to our wedding.  Everything was a huge struggle and we fought a lot when we first started planning. 

It came to blows when I told him that his reluctance to spend anything made me feel like he wasn’t excited about the wedding or marrying me.  I think it finally clicked to him what this day really meant to me.  For him, he just wanted to be married and didn’t even care about a wedding.

One thing that helped before we worked through it though was me pricing out options. I would say “this is who I want to hire, and these are what the rates are from other vendors” and let him have a say.  Explain why it’s important to you, and be prepared to compromise.  My Fiance was not into buying flowers at all, so I am just getting my bouquet done and we’re DIYing the centerpieces with flowers from Sam’s Club. 

Good luck, I know it’s so difficult and frustrating to not agree on the wedding costs, even if you have the same vision for the day!  

Post # 13
1151 posts
Bumble bee

Personally, I don’t think there’s a need to spend heaps on linen or flowers. I did DIY baby’s breath in jars. The jars were free, used. The baby’s breaths were $28 a big bunch (for a bigger jar you probably need 3-4 bunches). Linen, yes you don’t need expensive ones. Do some research and see what you can find (as long as it doesn’t look cheap). I would also just hang some nice fairy lights up in the backyard, that should look quite nice and dress up the whole place and won’t be expensive at all.

We also originally planned to do just Spotify, until we saw an acoustic duo who were fantastic, and surprisingly, priced very cheap because they’re not typically wedding related, they just play at restaurants and bars. They even learned the ceremony, signing and recessional songs for us. For dancing, we switched to Spotify after the music duo left around 9pm, people loved the music. I would suggest looking for similar bands / musicians that are not typically wedding related and get some quotes. Alternatively accept a playlist (I spent quite a bit of time curating the playlist). 

Pick one or two things you won’t compromise on, like photographer and or videographer, other things spend as little as possible. Let him know your compromises and what you won’t budge on and why it’s important (a good photographer is so worth the money). I would also offer to pay more than half if he’s really not on board with these two expenses.

With all the things we saved on, we still spent $15k for a small wedding of 56 guests, with food and drinks costing the most ($5k), followed by photographer ($3.8k and worth every cent) being the most expensive. And his suit and my dress plus alterations costed almost $4k together. If you remove the dress cost and venue cost and food and drinks of your in laws are hosting, that makes $5-8k very do-able, with most of the money going to photographer and videographer.


ETA: does he realise how much it cost to feed 100 people? Even at a very cheap $50 per head that’s $5k? Not sure where he got $2k from…was he actually expecting to get down to the super market and get some sausages and patties and do a bbq? Lol..

Post # 14
9361 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
nataliesawitch :  you have to come to a compromise on what’s important for you to have at the wedding. You can’t force him to save/pay for all of the extras that are important to you. If he wants to have a laid back, un-fancy backyard BBQ with spotify playing that’s perfectly legit. As is a black-tie ballroom with all the glamour. And anything in between. Literally everything besides the marriage license is “extra” so you both have to give a little. 

Post # 15
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

My vision and budget for a wedding was much much bigger than my hubby’s. It actually became twice the amount of the original budget. LOL. 

I ended up paying the majority of the parents also helped offset with monetary gift to go towards the wedding. I assigned small costs like transportation and DJ that my husband was fine paying for. I didn’t really get upset at him, since I wanted the big fancy wedding, I was also willing to pay for most of it myself.  

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