Post # 1
My parents offered to pay a set amount to our wedding, which we appreciated. (I will confess it was less than I expected, because they are giving the amount they gave my siblings plus inflation, given they got married 5-10 years ago – which I knew they’d do – but according to online inflation calculators would be about 18% more than they calculated). We thanked them for the gift and budgeted accordingly.
Since then however, that figure has been eroded by things they have decided to pay for, which we did not anticipate. They plan to pay for two nights at the reception venue for themselves….and a room for two nights for my grandmother, and charge it to our tally. Their house is 30 minutes away so they don’t really need to do this, not to mention they’re taking one of the nicer (and pricer) rooms. Today I learned that any dress my mom buys for the wedding will come out of the funds that are promised (even though she has plenty of suitable dresses and can rewear it). I’m sure that other things will be added to that sum, only I don’t know what they might…just a $100? or another thousand or two or more before we’re done? It’s frustrating that I can’t plan for this or control these costs or others they might add on, but ultimately need to “make it work.” I asked for a definitive list of items that would be included in costs and I was told they couldn’t do that. **Agh!**
In the meantime, people my mother insisted needed to be invited, but swore would never attend have already rsvp’d yes…to the **unauthorized** save-the-date email my mom sent out to a lot of people (that included second cousins we weren’t originally certain we’d invite). I’m worried this guest resposne will continue to swell.
I realize this is not entirely reasonable, but I’m now resentful that I agreed two sets of friends of theirs could have a few of the the limited rooms at our reception site (which prevents close friends of ours – including some that will travel internationally – from staying at the site with us). I’m also bugged we spent the effort to ask FI’s family if they would be willing to NOT be listed on the invite (“together with their families”…) because my parents wanted to be the only ones on the invite, despite that not being factually accurate, because they felt “the brides family invites”. At this point, they aren’t even paying for half of the wedding, we are!
I just wish they had figured out what they meant to contribute (less any other expenses) and gave us that figure and stuck to it so we could budget appropriately rather than this vanishing figure. While we haven’t actually sent out invites, we’ve asked folks for addresses and they’re very well aware it’s for the wedding (I had a friend respond to an address request saying, “I’m so excited about your wedding!”). Changing the guest list at this point would be problematic, so we’re just sucking up the costs and hoping my parents don’t add too much more to it.
Post # 3
I’m so sorry, I would be upset too. When given a gift, it’s not really fair for them to have strings attached after they have given you the money.
I think in this case, you need to sit down with them and be honest.
Your wedding is going to get out of control if you let your mother keep doing this. If she needs to invite those people, then give her the money back and tell her to pay for those guest.
This is YOUR day and if she thinks that by giving you money and can take over, I really think that you and your Fiance have to reassess what you want and at what emotional and financial cost.
If you think she is done controlling aspects of your wedding, you’re probably wrong. The closer she gets, the more excited she will be about her event and suddenly you’ll have more centerpieces and details added. You really need to draw the line soon.
edit- Your international friends should get first dibs at the rooms. Tell your mom you already promised them and it is not up for discussion. I would be upset if I came to your wedding from afar and couldn’t stay at the venue like I had expected.
Post # 4
@MapleBecky: Fortunately we haven’t actually promised the interational friends a room at the site…that said, I absolutely agree with you that friends that make the effort to travel from that far away ought to be able to stay at the site if they want, and not a few miles down the road. And that’s not even thinking about the friends from the other side of the country!
I think I am going to email my dad and ask him to try to talk to mom again about providing a set list of things they will include as part of their “contribution”, so we can plan for it. It’s funny you mention centerpieces, because she’s creating part of them for me! and I’m now hoping they won’t go out of control. (After this fiasco, I asked for a rough estimate but she said she couldn’t do that.)
Post # 5
That would piss me right off too. : / While I don’t think it’s anyone’s responsibility but yours to pay for your wedding, THEY SAID THEY WOULD GIVE YOU X AMOUNT. And now they are changing that. And they are inviting people without OK-ing it with you?!
I think you should talk to them & tell them either they have to dis-invite their friends/stop screwing with your wedding plans, or stop using the money they told you was going towards your wedding for their personal expenses. (A hotel room? SERIOUSLY?!)
Post # 6
@kay01: I am also sorry to hear this! It seems like today’s society have forgotten what and who a wedding is suppose to be for. My FH and I are going through some of the same stuff (and more) with our upcoming wedding and are actually contemplating cancelling the wedding and eloping.
Post # 7
Oh honey, I feel your pain. My parents are divorced, so luckily my mom is very reliable and aware. My dad, however…he’s the man of big promises. I knew this going into it, but I didn’t quite expect the huge downward spiral much like you are saying. :/ It really sucks and I’m sorry you are having to deal with this, I know it is a huge stressor!
That being said, I agree with PP. You need to just sit down and tell them that there are other factors regarding your wedding and if they want to be the “hosts” then the money doesn’t necessarily go towards rooms for them and grandma. It isn’t their wedding. Now if they want to take that money back and use it that way? Fine. But they can’t consider it “paying for the wedding” if it’s really just rooms for THEM. I always feel that when people gift money, it shouldn’t come with strings attached i.e. “But we gave you money” as the excuse for borderline rude and frustrating behavior like adding guests, taking money here and there for their benefit that doesn’t actually benefit your wedding.
Again, sorry you have to deal with this. :/
Post # 8
@kay01: so did your parents already ‘give’ you the money and you put it into your wedding account or was this just a number that they said they would contribute? if you already have the money in the account, how could your mother be spending it? if it is not, maybe you could politely ask for a cheque in the amount mentioned so that you could put it in the account. you could tell her that it would make it easier for you and your budgeting if you had all of the funds altogether in one account. when she comes up with bazar requests, tell her, it is not in the budget.
if she feels that she needs to control her portion of the budget, then i would plan the wedding without their contribution and she can pay for her friends and other family members that are not on your original list.
as for your international friends that you want to be in the same hotel as you, can the hotel not offer you/them one or two more rooms onto your block of rooms? tell your friends to book the hotel asap before the rooms are sold out or your mom’s friends take them all.
sorry you’re going through this, i’m sure it sucks.
Post # 9
@mypinkshoes: It’s an amount that she promised, not an actual check. They’ve paid out some costs (so I guess in that sense we’ve capped the amount that they can “spend” away), but won’t give us the actual cash. It’s a small Inn – there are no more rooms to offer once they are gone. We’re renting it out entirely. 🙁
Post # 10
That would be like me saying to my friend “I’m giving you $100 for your birthday but I need a new dress to wear to your party so I’m going to take $50 out of your gift.” That is what a financial contribution to a wedding is, a gift. Other guests have travel expenses and need to get new outfits too, they aren’t considering themselves hosts of your wedding.
I agree with PP who recommended asking for a check in the promised amount. It’s very nice of you to ask them how much more they’re going to take out of the promised amount, but that’s kind of like saying “It’s right of you to tell me you’re going to give me X amount and then take money out of that amount to cover your own expenses, I just need to know what your expenses are.”
Have you talked to your siblings about this? Is this what happened with them too? If so, it might explain why they are taking such liberties with this; if not, you can politely point out that things were different with your siblings.
Post # 11
i agree that you should talk to them, and very seriously. each person’s relationship with their parents is different, so obviously you have to account for that, but i would try to be polite but very very firm. and perhaps rather than saying “okay you promised me x dollars, now give me a list of how many things you’re going to deduct from that” just say “okay i don’t care how many things you are deducting or what you decide to change along the way, tell me how many dollars you’re actually going to give to ME”. then that means that anything else they decide to buy or add is their own budget. you might also consider telling them no when they invite extra guests or add other things on for you. or say i’ve budgeted for this many people, this is how many i’m inviting, you are welcome to invite anyone else that you want to but you will have to pay for them. i know that’s an easy thing to preach to you, but when it comes down to it your family matters and that may not be something that will fly, but i do think that the situation you’re describing is pretty unfair and you should probably make an effort to head it off now before it escalates.
Post # 12
Thats really harsh, perhaps I would say to your parents that until they actually contribute funds rather than promising, then you will pay for everything yourself. No leverages, no them doing things without your consent. Take charge, take back control of YOUR wedding day.
Just out of interest, did your parents also do this whole promise a contribution then spend out of it way of things with your siblings?