Post # 1
Been pretty upset for the last 24 hours and decided to post here to ask for advice. We got engaged in May last year and shortly afterwards booked our beautiful (but pricy) venue, having had discussions with both sets of parents about budget and decided to split the cost three ways between us, my parents and his parents. The total cost of the wedding we have planned is about £20,000 so Fiance and I needed to contribute over £6000.
Fiance earns 4 times as much as me so it was always likely that the majority of our contribution would come from him. He is in the Royal Navy and went away to sea from September until March, before he went he said he would save about £5000 while he was away on deployment. I found out yesterday that he didn’t save the money while he was away and not only that but he was actually overdrawn at the end of last month so the car insurance payment bounced (It got paid after he got paid a few days later). While he was at sea he would occasionally tell me how much money he had saved so far and at one point he had £3000 so he was saving but apparently he managed to spend it all. There is definitely a culture amongst the officers of spending big every time they go into port so I assume he must have just frittered it away that way. He has always had issues with just spending money and not really thinking about whether he can afford it, but he is not in debt so I don’t consider him to have serious money problems. I would just say that he is careless with money. It has certainly highlighted that when we get married I am going to have to be in charge of the finances.
Obviously I was pretty upset after this discovery and was having major freakouts about how we would pay for the wedding. I spoke to my parents about it and they very generously offered to loan us the money so we can still have the big fancy wedding. However I am now questioning whether I really want this big expensive wedding if it means we start our married life with no savings and in debt. I still definitely want to marry this man but I want a marriage not a wedding and am considering calling off the big expensive wedding with 150 guests and just having a small registry office ceremony with only our immediate family. Obviously we would loose our deposits but it would still be much much cheaper in the long run. The whole decision making process is complicated by the fact that Fiance is back at sea again for a month and I haven’t been able to speak to him properiy since I found out other than a quick 10 minute phone call.
What would you do in my position? Any thoughts very much welcomed
Post # 3
@Askja: First thing – you don’t have to downgrade the venue to reduce costs. An obvious way would be to reduce the size of the guest list.
Anyway, I take it that the issue is not really whether you will be able to pay for the wedding – as family will cover the costs – as to being concerned about entering married life in debt. That is a completely reasonable way of thinking, but even that may not be a problem either if FI/HB is able to actually save up at some point.
I woudl think that – unless he is a uncontrolled spendthrift or complete arsehole – the fact that he owes money to your parents due to his failure to save money in the past would be impetus enough for him to seriously save in future. But he needs to be serious about it, which he doesn’t appear to be right now.
I also wanted to check whether you would be wanting to downsize for the right reasons. By all means – if you don’t need or want the big wedding then there’s no need to go into debt for it. But if you were doing it as kind of punishment for him for not being able to save, I’m worried that you would ultimately be resentful towards him for not having the wedding you wanted (assuming it IS the wedding you wanted), not to mention the fact that he might be upset as as well.
EIther way, this isn’t a decision you can make without him. When is your wedding date? I’m assuming that it is far enough in the future that you could wait a month until he comes back to have this conversation.
Post # 4
@Askja: I think it’s very responsible of you to be concerned about this! I agree with@clairebbbear: cut the guest list in half and borrow half from your parents. I would worry that if I cancelled everything I may hold a bit of a grudge against my husband , but that’s just me.
Post # 5
i agree, keep the venue, cut the guest list! If you had 50 people, as opposed to 150, your wedding would be literally 1/3 of its origional cost! I had this same thing happen (for different reasons). i had a 189 person guest list, and was getting so stressed out over it i was breaking out in hives daily.. i decided (4 mnths into planning) that i would keep my big, beautiful church, and vineyard reception.. but reduce my guest count, drastically. Now I only have 41 guests, the cream of the crop, the VIP’s, and im able to spend money on better food, and keep my pretty venues!
Cut the list girl, and that will fix the problem. Other than hunnie bunnie needing to start keeping track of the finances! But Im sure he will, they learn, eventually 😉
Post # 6
Just FYI – sometimes cutting the guest list isn’t always an option to save money. My venue has a minimum amount you have to spend on food and beverage, regardless of your guest list – so in my case, cutting the number of guests would do absolutely nothing. Not sure if this is the case for you, OP, but wanted to throw it out there that slashing guests does not always equal instant savings.
As the PP said, this is decision you should probably make with your Fiance (if you can and have the time to) since it is his wedding too. I’m assuming your main concern is the fact that he ultimately didn’t keep his promise and that you’re worried about his spending habits and how that will effect your married life, which is completely understandable. I think making the decision to cancel everything while he’s away and unable to discuss it with you will cause some issues between you two – he will feel like you’re doing it to “punish” him and (if you’ve always wanted a big wedding) you might feel resentment towards him for having to cancel.
If, at the end of the day, you had always wanted a small wedding and got caught up and things got bigger and bigger (happened to me but I’ve just decided to embrace it), then maybe canceling and doing something smaller and more intimate is the way to go. I just think you should think about it a little bit more rather than make a rash decision when you’re emotions are high.
Best of luck!
Post # 7
@tigergrrl2008: Agreed. Cutting the guest list for my wedding would result in my venue being about $1000 cheaper because I have to pay my minimum no matter what.
Did your parents pay the deposits? If so, I would probably feel uncomfortable just calling the whole thing off unless I was planning on paying them back. In that case you might still end up being in debt.
I think you should think through this with your Fiance before you call it off and figure out how much money you will lose (that I personally think should be paid back to your parents if they made the deposits) and how much you would go into debt by continuing with your original plans.
Post # 8
Lol I’m only laughing because I’m struggling with my wedding the joys of being unable to work in modern britian, worried that I was taking the food from our kids mouth, worried that people would look DowN there nose, worried that my dress is bought from china…now it’s only 3 months till my wedding and I kid you not I’ve hardly slept, my hair Is fallen out and the weight is falling off me.
what I do know is that I’ve put my heart and soul into organising this wedding, trying to do everything on the cheap but make it nice and personal to us, I’m still struggling financially but I keep telling myself ill get there.
i only have 60 guests and my budget is £3000 that’s why I lol’d….Im not out to impress anyone I only want to impress my h2b and our sons coz that’s what it’s about at the end of the day some people are fortunate and others are not, but we still love the same.
I hope everything works out for you, if you cut your guest list DowN you’d save yourself a few quid and less grey hairs lol x
Post # 9
@clairebbbear: Thanks for your sensible words. You totally woke me up to the fact that I was ‘cutting off my nose to spite my face’ as we both really want the big fancy wedding and that is why we have been planning it that way so far!
@tigergrrl2008: You are totally right my venue has a minimum number of guests that we have to pay for so drastically cutting the guest list isn’t really an option, plus I am inviting all these people because I genuinely want them to be there to share in the day.
Thanks to everyone else for your comments. For any of you that are interested, after taking a little time to cool off and having had long conversations with my parents and my Fiance we are going to go ahead with the planned wedding and borrow money from my parents. We have slightly revised the budget to cut some of the items that I would have ideally liked but aren’t actually essential, to bring the costs down slightly, so the loan won’t have to be as big as I originally thought. We have also moved a few people from the ‘day’ guest list to ‘evening only’ guest list (which is pretty normal to do at British weddings) which saves a bit.
Also when Fiance gets back from the current trip we are rearranging our finances so I manage the money and give him a monthly allowance which is all he will have access to, so he won’t be as tempted to overspend while we pay my parents back!!!
Post # 10
@Askja: So glad you were able to work it out! Sometimes all we need is to vent and then take a breather and re-evaluate. I hope your wedding day is everything you ever dreamed – and hopefully your future Darling Husband can learn to be a bit more of a saver