(Closed) The Big Budget Conversation

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
2765 posts
Sugar bee

Wow that’s a tough one.  If they don’t step up their contribution, can you and your Fiance pay the other 50%?  I ask because that would definitely affect  how I would approach the conversation…

Post # 4
Member
152 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

The Budget conversation is a hard one. My parents are "taking care of" my wedding, and when we were talking budget, it was quickly apparent that what they thought was "plenty" of money, was just not realistic.

At first I got upset, not becuase I want a huge and lavish wedding, but becuase I want it to be nice. I also didn’t want them to think I was trying to take advantage of them (which they already knew, and told me). So, the solution was to do some research together. My Mom really helped on this. We checked with some venues, caters, etc. And then we came back together and using that information as a guideline came up with a reasonable budget.

WIth my overall budget in mind, I am now trying to determine priorities for spending. I don’t have set amounts for catering, flowers, etc at this point, but as my Fiance and I make decisions on what is most important we work it in.

MrBee makes a great point as well- if want your parents can contribute can’t cover the costs of your wedding, are you going to cover the difference? No matter what, I found that being open with my parents during the Big Budget Conversation helped in the end.

Good Luck!!

 

Post # 5
Member
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t know what your parents are able to contribute. But they shouldn’t feel strong armed into giving more than they feel comfortable with. 

I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around whether or not they are out of touch with prices today.  The fact that your sister had other contributers and still had to take a second mortgage on her house tells me she paid too much for her wedding.  If you are thinking over the top too, maybe you should reconsider. 

You could be honest and mention that you don’t have your in laws help.  I like what hirsche said.  Have her go with you to the vendors to see how much stuff is.  Also that way she’ll be able to see the nice looking "whatevers" are more expensive than the others.  But keep in mind if you go this route she will have more of a say in things you have in your wedding.

Post # 6
Member
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Are you and your Fiance able to cover any portion of the wedding? 

The budget talk wasn’t super fun with my (divorced) parents – my mom had a specific amount of money that she wanted to give us, and my dad said to "let him know how much things were going to cost and then let him know – then he’d decide if he wanted to pay".  Um, ok.  What we ended up doing was taking my moms money, got some money from FI’s parents, and paid for the rest of it ourselves. 

If that’s not an option for you, you may want to consider cutting things out – the last thing you want is for your parents to feel like they can’t give you the wedding of your dreams, but at the same time, you don’t want them to spend their last dime on just one day!

Good luck – the budget process is never fun!

Post # 8
Member
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Have you thought about checking out some venues that have acceptable roofs and tables and chairs and such?  That’s a really easy way to save some major cash (and maybe save your parents from heart attacks).  Tent weddings are easily the most expensive sort.  You don’t want to overextend yourself financially at the very beginning of the planning; there are a lot of little expenses that can creep up on you….  a couple hundred for postage, extensive alterations on your dress, travel fees for vendors…. Ugh!  My own beautiful budget has been shot to hell.  Picking a reasonably priced, yet pretty venue with lovely chairs, linens and plumbing is what has helped keep me sane….

Post # 9
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Breaking the Budget to the ‘Rents

My advice: start with the old "cost of an average American wedding," which is somewhere between 25,000-30,000 depending on where you live. (Try googling "average cost of a wedding" for your area.) Once they are comfortable with this amount, budget accordingly. This number may not be realistic, but it is "the average" and somehow, parents can relate to a statistic better than some number you pulled from out of your hat. (Worked for mine!)

Then break down the dollar amount in percentages. Wedding websites, magazines and books have these breakdowns all figured out for you. Say your dress is supposed to be 10% of your total budget. Go look for dresses with your mom and adjust the budget accordingly. If you fall for a $6000 dress, the rest of your budget needs to reflect the style (and cost) of your wedding. If your dress is under $1000, maybe you need to lower your budget. If your mom is on board with a $6000 wedding dress, but doesn’t want to spend more than $40,000 on a wedding, then she is in denial! Use this rubric for every component of your budget, and if going over budget is not an option, push and pull in areas that are more flexible. (It’s as simple as spending more on the dress and less on the flowers.)

One great (not so obvious) way to save money is to choose a venue with natural beauty, otherwise known as a venue that is already decorated! An outdoor location, like a beach or a garden, comes with its own lovely decor where tons of flowers and other elements are unneccessary and even take away from the natural beauty. There are tons of other ways to have a budget-friendly wedding. I see at least one great article per magazine, and there are entire blogs dedicated to saving money on weddings.

I agree with bluegreenjean: pick a venue that doesn’t require a lot of rentals or upgrades to suit your style! We chose a LOVELY golf club that is charming on a regular day. Add flowers and it’s perfect for my wedding. Of course I’d love to add lighting, modern event furniture and luxury rentals, but the venue doesn’t need it, and neither does my budget!

Be patient, be grateful, and be courteous. It won’t be easy, especially if your parents are opinionated and view themselves as hosts of this grand party. They will have a lot of say-so and rightfully so. Respect their opnions and thank them for everything. Remember, it is a great honor to have your parents pay for your wedding!

Good luck!!!

Post # 10
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Would you be willing to show us your budget sheet?  Forgive me if the question is rude (it is not considered rude to take about the cost of weddings in my area, but I know that isn’t the same for every where). 

Post # 11
Member
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

After mentioning the average cost for a wedding in your area to your mom and step-dad (you can find this city-specific!!)

I would list your most important aspects (dress, photographer) and explain why your budget is the way it is. 

If you’re not willing to rearrange your budget, show them what you have (your spreadsheet) and tell them you and your fiance are planning to contribute some to your wedding because you want it to be how you imagined.  Tell them to get back to you about how much they think they can contribute, and go from there. 

I think it’s important to be flexible with your budget, because there are usually ways to get exactly what you want for cheaper than you think. (i.e. get married on a Sunday, in an off-season, at a unique location, etc)
But at the same time, most brides underestimate the budget, and spend significantly more than they planned, so be prepared! 

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