Post # 1
Hive I am so confused and angry. This post is partially just to blow off steam, but also to get some advice. In the last 11 months me, my mother, and my father were laid off and my fiance’s mother left her job. My fiance and I have managed to save almost half of our meager budget and my parents have pledged to either use their credit cards or severance packages to pay the money they promised us.
I don’t think I should take their money-they need it. I am mad at myself for not being able to pay for this wedding myself (I am 31 for gosh-sakes). People have told me to just scale back the wedding. I feel we have already scaled it back and cut as many corners as I can. And I feel that since this is the one time I am getting married I deserve to have at least a semblance of the wedding I want….so I was thinking maybe we should postpone the wedding so I don’t have to use my parents money and so I can have the wedding I want.
This whole situatation has upset me to the point that I hate to talk about my wedding, I hate to talk with my friend who is also getting married this year, and I hate reading or watching anything bridal. Any advice?
Post # 3
How far along in the planning are you? Have you booked any vendors, left any deposits? If you postpone how will it affect these costs?
If you have already invested money that could be lost by postponing the wedding I would suggest cutting down your guest list so that it is close family and friend only. The larger your guestlist the more wedding favors you need, the more tables/centerpieces you need, the more invitations that need to be ordered/mailed, etc.
I’m in a similar boat, where my father has been unemployed since June. My job isn’t as secure either and I’m afraid of the costs but we are scrimping where we can and cutting everywhere else.
Post # 4
I’m sorry to hear that everyone’s having such a tough time…sad but true that this is a common story these days.
Maybe you could have a private ceremony and a nice dinner now, and then throw a bigger reception a little down the road? That way you could have your cake by getting married now and still eat it, too, by having the party of your dreams later.
If your parents’ employment situation is unforeseeable, it could be risky to spend severance money on the wedding, especially if that could be their only source of income for who knows how long. The good news is that weddings are, at their core, about family and love — not about money.
Best of luck!
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
I’m sorry to hear of your financial issues. What a pain. I would probably either postpone it, or scale it back. Personally, I’m really excited to BE MARRIED, so if it was me I’d probably get married anyway, perhaps at the courthouse with just the close family, then have a vow-renewal on the 1st or 3rd anniversary. The vow renewal would be the "wedding" celebration – with the reception and everything that I’d want.
Post # 6
Have you booked any vendors or sent out your invites yet? If you haven’t sent your invites, I’d say this is a perfectly valid reason to postpone a while, and I honestly think it’s admirable to do so rather than relying on money you and your family don’t have to do the wedding you want (which you should definitely get to have!).
Most vendors would probably be willing (depending on how much time you have left) to release your date and let you pick up a later one, especially if you’re willing/able to help them find someone to book your vacated date. Booked venues usually have a cancellation policy, and if you contact them and let them know what’s going on, they might be willing to work with you.
When was your original wedding date, and when would you postpone until?
I hope this helps! Good luck!
Post # 7
I second marquisemiss. If you want to get married do something small. Go to Vegas, the courthouse, or just have a small reception in the church or outside. Invite just your closest friends and family members.
Then have a huge renewal. What an amazing idea. You could have that small quaint garden wedding that everyone dreams of but knows they can’t pull off with all of the people they know and love. And have the huge party… Have your cake and eat it too 🙂
To save even more money you could have a freind or family memeber get ordained and marry you. It’s free on the internet!
Post # 8
I am so sorry to hear about your situation–that must be so stressful. And, it sounds like it has turned such a happy time (your engagement and planning your wedding) into something that makes you anxious. It’s good that you’re letting off some steam!
If it were me, I would do a destination elopement type wedding, and then maybe consider doing a vow renewal a few years down the road. Maybe we’d go to Jamaica with our immediate family, and then on our fifth year anniversary, we’d invite everyone to the same resort for a vow renewal. Gosh, just talking about it makes me want to do that. I get anxious about our budget too. I am fairly new at my job, and things are slow… it’s a scary time!
Anyway… what you guys should do really depends on what’s most important to you and your fiance… do you want to have a wedding with everyone there? If so, it may make more sense for you to postpone for a little while to save up (so long as it actually does save you money–think of the deposits you might lose, tax break you’ll get for filing jointly, health insurance premiums if you have to pay for your own insurance but it would be free if you were married, etc.–there’s lots of things to consider!).
Please keep us updated–I would love to learn what you decide to do and how we can help you out more!
Post # 9
Everyone has given great advice here! I think you need to think about the goal of the wedding, which is to marry the man you love. You can do that without the big hoopla and it still means the same. So, I would get married, and then start saving. You can throw a big reception or get "remarried" later when yhou have the money!
Post # 10
Wow, what a difficult situation. I agree with everyone that it’s very admirable of you to consider your parents financial stability rather than just forging ahead with the wedding plans.
I agree that you should consider postponing the wedding if your vendors will work with you so you don’t just lose your deposits. If you postpone your wedding, even for a year, a lot can change in that time. It will give you more time to save, and hopefully it will give all this economic craziness a change to level out, for good or for worse, and you will have a better idea of where you and your parents stand financially. I think the hardest part of your dilemma is not knowing what the next year will bring. You can still get married and have a close family/dinner reception, and then have the big shabang later.
Sorry for your tough situation. I sort-of feel the same way right now …
Post # 11
This is one reason why my parents did not promise to help us in the beginning. Their take is that if you want to get married, you should be able to pay for it yourself. Now that the wedding is a little more than a month away, and most of the vendors are fully paid, my parents came out and said that they will be gifting us with a large sum of money, the money which they would have help us with but want us to know the value of money and have a wedding by which only we can afford. Luckily, we were able to save aggressively and not go into debt, so that money they’ll be gifting us is solely for us to use as an egg nest for the future.
I’d say, have your wedding, but do it in a way you can afford it and go big when you can afford a bigger one.
Post # 12
I don’t think it’s a good idea to take your parent’s severance package or credit card to pay for the wedding. The job market is tough these days so they would need a fall back plan if they can’t find a decent job soon.
This is a really difficult situation but it’s actually not uncommon. I know at least two couples that were planning to get married this year now decided to postpone the wedding until next year due to the economy.
Maybe you can use this time to research on more things about your wedding. After I got engaged, I noticed a lot more things when I go to other people’s wedding. I would take mental notes and remember to apply the likes/dislikes to my own wedding to make my even better than the ones I attended 😛
Post # 13
I like the idea of getting married at the courthouse with just immediate family. Whenever the time is right, you could have a reception to celebrate your marriage. A popsitive of this option is that you’ll save money by not having to use the "W" word in planning your reception party. These are hard times, so this is just a thought. We’ve thought about doing it ourselves.
Post # 14
I’m so sorry to hear about the layoffs in your family, that must be so incredibly stressful for you.
When I first got engaged I was pretty heartbroken to find out that my fiance and I were pretty much on our own financially. It took me a couple of months to wrap my head around the enormous cost of the wedding that I had dreamed about. After a while it occured to me that it really is just a huge party for just ONE day, that the best thing about the whole celebration is walking out of it married, surrounded by the people you love.
In a way I’ve discovered a strict budget to be exciting and liberating. My whole list of "must haves" has been reduced, and every step of the planning process in an exercise of intensive research to find the best deal. I’m learning to adore Martha Stewart and her craftiness, and trying to utilize craigslist, ebay, and second hand shops to my best ability.
If you do decide to keep the wedding on track, I hope you find the same joy that I’ve discovered with planning a small budget wedding. 🙂
Post # 15
Hive- thank you so much for your advice. It’s given me a lot to think about. Shortly after posting my original message, I talked to my fiance and my mom about my feelings about everything. Both of them were very much against postponing the wedding, so in the immortal words of Tim Gunn, it time to "make it work!"
Further stressors that I did not share with you before is that my fiance and I have 5 other weddings we should be attending before our own this year. 1 of my fiance’s 2 groomsman is getting married within the state with live, so we will be attending that wedding. 1 of my fiance’s 2 cousins (yes,he only has 2 total) is getting married in Puerto Rico- to a puerto rican woman-my fiance will be attending that wedding alone to save money. We have decided to skip the 3 weddings scheduled on my side of the family that will be happening 3 states away from where we live. *By the way, all but our grromsman got engage AFTER my fiance and I*
I appreciate the suggestion about having a destination wedding, but we will not be pursuing that option for several reasons: (1) my fiance’s cousin is already having a destination wedding in puerto rico, (2) we do not want to pass any more costs of our wedding onto our immediate family, which is really what we would be doing having a destination wedding and (3) since my hometown is 3 states away from where we live, and my fiance’s entire immediate family will be flying in for the wedding, it is already like a desination wedding. We also will not be getting married in Vegas for the above mentioned reasons and because my fiance’s older brother got married there 3 years ago. We want something to be uniquely ours as we celebrate our marriage.
So…I guess the only option is to start cutting and redouble our efforts to save where we can… Thanks again Hive, and I will keep you posted.