(Closed) Suddenly Dad won’t pay for wedding, hands us the bill. How to handle?

posted 11 years ago in Family
Post # 32
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Just food for thought on the per-head price. To compare venue costs across the board with other locales across the country is simply apples to oranges. I am outside of NYC and that price is outrageously cheap for this area, as other PPs have said. Regardless, if your father’s not willing to pay for anything outside of the reception, it may be case closed.

If you TRULY want your wedding in TN and feel like NY is settling, there is no amount of money I would pay to have it in NY. I think it’s in your best interest to politely decline your dad’s money and pay for the wedding you can afford in TN, even if it’s tremendously scaled back.

However, if you feel you want/need your father’s money for the wedding of your dreams, then camrie is making a lot of sense.

@MissBella, in another life, I had booked a reception at Blue Bell country club … so, yes, $55 sounds very cheap!

Post # 33
27 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I feel your pain on this one…luckily you guys have a lot more time on your side…this is happening to me 3months out…I don’t know what to do either the only difference is my dad is now only paying for oh well pretty much nothing!

Post # 34
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

8 grand on your part is prob what you’d pay in TN, but now its in NY and you get nice venue with drinks. Take it. Be up front with your dad and see if he can pay everything and you and your husband eventually can make no interest payments over time back to him. Good luck.

Post # 35
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’m thinking that Today is a bad day to talk about anything. Sometimes all parents need is to realize THEY are important and that you really appreceiate them. My suggestion would be to scale the guest list down. Head over to the country Club and see if you can negoiate a lower price by having a beer and wine bar.

As far as everything else goes. You probably won’t have to pay for linens for the country club. Most packages come with that. You can negogiate with DJ’s to lower prices and also with florist. You can DIY your  get decorations and given enough time have all that paid for before the ceremony. Your photographer is usually a large expense but you can also limit that by not having e-pictures and possiably shortening the amount of hours they are at the event. Do your research and approach your father when you have better numbers and he has had time to calm down fromt he sticker shock! Just remember that “Daddy’s little girls” only married once and this is a very difficult time for fathers. Patience is an area you are going to have to practice and then re-address this issue later.

Post # 36
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2006

In Dec 2006 we got married for $3000.  That was all the money my widowed Mom could afford, especially after loaning me the money for grad school.  That includes the dress, the stationary, the sit down dinner (we had roast beef and ham with about 6 different sides), the flowers, the cake, EVERYTHING. 

Stationary you can buy at Staples/Walmart/Target.  Print your own on a standard printer or ask your boss if you can borrow the office laser printer after work. It’s super easy!  While I couldn’t “match” the cardstock to my colors as it only came in cream or white (craft stores now have stationary in colors), I actually had the wine-colored script typeface that I wanted, which would have cost a fortune to do professionally.

We supplied the tables with disposable cameras and got great pics of the reception.  A relative took the posed shots at the alter in the church and a Maid took the shots of me getting dressed.

Did you know many grocery stores will do wedding cakes and flowers?  It is a lot cheaper than having a professional baker do it.  Plus a wedding cake slice is defined as a 1 inch by 1 inch piece, so you don’t need that big of a cake even if you want to save a tier for your first anniversary.  A friend of the family who’s a florist did our flowers,  but she used greenery that was available right here at our house to cut down on the cost. (We got married near Christmas and have lost of blue spruce and other evergreen trees.)

We had the biggest savings of all by having the reception in our house.  We cut the guest list to about 100 people, 60 of whom actually came. Two days before the day my finacee and brother piled all our furniture into two of the bedrooms and the basement .  We rented champagne flutes, tables, chairs etc.  We bought “crystal look” plates etc from a party supply store, but you can rent that stuff too.  The total rental for us was about 300 bucks.

My favors were an idea borrowed from a bridal magazine that we made.  They cost about $40 for everyone.

Two months later a friend of mine walked down the aisle in a dress that cost more than my entire wedding.  In fact she let it be known that her parents spent about $30,000.  His parents then footed the bill for the two weeks in Italy. 

Know what?  She’s not any more “married” than we are and we were able to use the wedding present money to do imrovements to our house!

Post # 37
516 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I think you should ask your dad what his alloted budget would be and try and stay within that range if at all possible. That way everyone is happy 🙂

Post # 38
45 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

Hi.  Like @Mattel, I’m from Buffalo and recently had my wedding there.  I may be able to offer some suggestions, as I visited many sites and have an idea of the various costs of catering.  For the Buffalo area $55 is on the high-side, but when I went around it was very typical to find the basic food and drink packages in the $40-50 range.

I had a rather ‘frugal’ wedding and may be able to offer some suggestions on budget-friendly vendors.  PM me to connect.

Post # 39
45 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

Frugal in that I was able to get catered food for $13 a plate, plus the cost of bar and appetizers.  This was in downtown Buffalo this past July.

Post # 40
683 posts
Busy bee

I think this is an easy problem- just continue searching for venues. You seriously can talk this out- with your Dad and not sound disrespectful- even if the contract is signed- I’m sure you can back out for waaaay less.

If anything- you’ll come across as mature for figuring out a budget.

Post # 41
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

LOL, is anyone else thinking they should get married in Buffalo? I am shocked to hear that $55/pp is considred “high” -anywhere in NY. But I guess the bees who live there would know better than the rest of us. I would LOVE for my wedding to be $55/pp.

Did your Dad put down a deposit? If he didn’t, then I think you and your family need to sit down and have an honest discussion about this situation and see what your options are. Your Dad should have said “I have X amount of dollars I can afford to contribute to the wedding,” and then you should have all gone around, visited vendors, gotten price quotes, etc, to see what would work. Also, your parents shouldn’t be looking at venues without you. What if they booked it based on what they like and you hated it?  I think your whole issue boils down to lack of communication. I think the situation can be worked out. Planning a wedding is stressful, and initially you will have sticker shock about how much things cost. That’s why you need to shop around and you make decisions based on what you can afford. Also, take advantage of all the great tips and advice you can get here on WB. This forum is an excellent resource to get ideas on how to DIY, cut costs, etc. Good luck! 🙂

Post # 42
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

“LOL, is anyone else thinking they should get married in Buffalo?”


we moved ours to indiana from chicago because we needed a cheaper option and we’re at $55/pp.  that was the cheap option!! 🙂

Post # 43
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Wow, my first thought at 55 a head was “seriously? That’s dirt cheap!!”  Of course, I live in and am getting married in wine country, so prices are inflated for everything here.  We’re paying $90 a head, not including booze, plus a $1500 site fee.   We’re also paying for the whole thing ourselves, which is why we cut the guestlist down to 50 people.   And we’re considered to be getting a “bargain.”

Be grateful for what you’re getting, not all of us are so lucky, and pare down whatever is necessary to pay the remaining costs yourselves. 

Post # 44
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I understand why you feel greedy asking your Dad to pay for more, but he honestly put you in a position that you aren’t comfortable by changing his mind about what he was willign to pay for after strong-arming you to change the venue. I’m wondering though, when it was going to be in TN, were you going to pay for the whole thing? Because you still would have had to fund all the things he handed you the bill for.

Post # 45
27 posts

I know this is a somewhat old posts, but had to comment.


PROPS TO CHICAGOBRIDE! Completely agree. The idea of only the bride’s parents paying for the majority of the wedding is ANTIQUATED. It is like a modern dowry. Aren’t we past that? I think “tradition” gives people an excuse to be cheap. After all, no one wants to pony up for something they can get out of paying for.

Post # 46
2643 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

It looks like it’s been awhile, so hopefully you have been able to work out.  On the bright side of the situation, it looks like you got the good end…because all the stuff you have to pay for now, in my opinion, is definitely the cheaper stuff…

*Stationary/invites:  I made mine for a grand total (including postage) of $.98/invite

*  Flowers:  You may have to give up “real” flowers, but using fake flowers is way affordable.  I’m making my sisters bouquet for her wedding and it will cost about $30…in stores, it would be about $200.

*Centerpieces:  Get creative, look around, especially here on weddingbee.  I’ve seen some GORGEOUS centerpiecs for anywhere from $5-$15.

*Photographer:  If you don’t feel comfortable having a close friend act as a photographer, check out a local college art department.  Many students are willing to do work for affordable prices in order to build their portfolio…check out craigslist, newspapers, etc.

*”The Dress”…do the same as the others, research, research, research!!!  Check ebay, craigslist, weddingbee, sale racks..everything and everywhere.  Many brides have found their dream dress on sale!


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