Post # 1
I am planning a wedding with a relatively low budget in mind – $10,000 for around 130 people.
The budget is made up of funds from my fiance’s parents, my parents, and me and my fiance. We technically could contribute more ourselves, but decided we don’t really care about an expensive wedding, as long as there is food and drink for all the guests.
I originally considered the $10,000 to include pretty much everything except the honeymoon.
My mom, however, has very different plans. We have very different ideas about what is counted towards our budget amount, which means she is planning to spend a lot more money than we had intended on things that she thinks are important, like live musicians and floral arrangements.
So I am wondering if I was not mistaken in my original considerations of the budget, and we need a separate budget for some of these things.
Here are some things I had originally included in our budget:
– The domain name for our wedding website
– Makeup I will buy specifically for my bridal look
– The dry-cleaning of the dress after the wedding
– Our wedding bands
– Materials and postage for both invitations and thank-you cards
Do you consider any of these things to be not part of the actual wedding budget? How do I know what should and shouldn’t be counted in the wedding budget?
Post # 2
niahc : Any and every purchase related to your wedding is part of the budget. Dress, invites, band, etc. All part of the budget.
Post # 3
I didn’t count make-up or personal services for myself in the wedding budget (waxing, facial, ect). We are paying for the wedding ourselves but those expenses come out of my account not the joint account. I think what you have listed is reasonable to include in the wedding budget.
When you say your mom is planning on spending outside the budget do you mean that she is spending her money for things that go over or are you expected to make up the difference?
Post # 4
niahc : If it was for the wedding, we counted it in our budget–stamps for invites, ribbons for invites, flowers, table cloths, venue fee, photographer, etc.
We had a separate honeymoon budget and saved for that separately. We also sort of thought of rings as being separate, but that’s only because we bought them early on and I want to convince myself that we spent less than we did–so I categorize those in the “gift” category, hahaha.
Post # 5
niahc : I think you mean are there things you and Fiance should plan on paying outside of the budget with the 4 contributors? In that case, yes. Why should anyone other than you and Fiance pay for a honeymoon or your wedding bands? The same for cleaning of the wedding dress…you wore it, you are responsible. That comes out of your pocket.
Everything else is splitting hairs. It sounds like the bigger issues are the scope and nature of the desired wedding. $10k is a good budget for a wedding, but would be pretty hard for a black-tie dinner for 130. I think you and the other members of the wedding finance team need to get on the same page…or decline money from both sets of parents and pay for what you can afford.
Post # 6
We did not count our rings or my hair/makeup in our budget as we paid for those out of pocket and saved up separately, but I think you should include anything in your budget that you need to plan ahead to spend money on. It will vary for different couples depending on what those things are!
Post # 7
I totally expected that me and my fiance are expected to pay for at least some of the wedding. The $10,000 includes our contribution. I never really thought to have 2 seperate budgets, I just lumped everything all together.
I find the distinction of what is my responsibility and what isn’t difficult to see. Like is the wedding dress, alterations and shoes not part of the budget? Why not the cleaning? If I didn’t have a wedding, I would not need to get the dress cleaned, so that money has to come from somewhere.
I suppose the issue is bad communication. When our parents decided to help with the cost of things, I fully expected them to have some say in the wedding, but I didn’t expect them to only contribute money to the things they wanted that make us over-budget.
And don’t worry, I still get along great with my parents and my fiance’s parents, and am grateful that they are willing to help us out (they specifically are helping because they want us to have a nice, big wedding). I think it was my mistake for not setting the ‘budget’ lower and having a separate fund for things we would just take care of on our own. Just because we CAN spend more money doesn’t mean we really need to.
Post # 8
If you are spending someone else’s money, I don’t think any of the first four ought to be included; those ought to come from your pocket alone. The website isn’t necessary at all, and the rest are personal items, IMO.
Post # 9
When Darling Husband and I were planning our wedding, we got money from my mother and step dad, my dad, and DH’s parents.
What we did was request a check for their agreed amount of the budget. We put the checks in our bank account and spent it how we saw fit.
We kept our parents opinions in play; however, we did not let them overrule what we wanted to do for our big day! They were very respectful. You just have to get guidelines our super early and establish boundaries!
Some things that we included in this budget money: dress, venue, food, music, favors, decor, flowers, photographer, officiant.
Some things that we paid for ourselves (even though that budget above was had money we included as well): rings, shoes, DHs outfit, alterations for my dress, hair and makeup, invitations, thank you cards, bachelor/bachelorette, and honeymoon.
(I’m sure I’m forgetting something!)
Post # 10
niahc : My fiance and I have separate bank accounts and I make quite a bit more money than he does, so I did not count my hair/makeup/beauty stuff in the budget. I also did not count our marriage bands, as I paid for them, or the honeymoon, since we are taking our honeymoon next year. Other than that, everything is counted in the budget. I highly recommend A Practical Wedding; here is their article on budgets with a spreadsheet that might help: https://apracticalwedding.com/creative-sample-wedding-budgets/
Post # 11
My mom is planning on things that are outside our budget, she sees it as her money to be spent on the things that she wants, which is partly right, but we still have to be able to pay for all the important things like food and drink. I suppose she just expects us to spend more of our own money on things that she doesn’t consider part of the buget, but it looks like those thing will get pretty expensive for us.
Considering we already need to set aside a separate budget for honeymoon, hotel room and gifts for the bridal/helping people (which I didn’t include in the budget), it is starting to become more than we had planned to spend. Just taking things out of the budget doesn’t mean they no longer cost us money. Really wish we had just eloped, lol
Post # 12
I guess I’m confused, your parents want to pay for specific things like the musicians and flowers, right? So they pay for the items they want, and you pay for the rest. Whether you dry clean your dress or not doesn’t affect their items. And if they are paying for something, they decide how much they want to spend on it. If your mother truly wants to pay extra for upgraded flowers and music, why not let her?
Post # 13
Our budget is partly our money already – technically, all those items cost less than what we are contributing to the wedding. I just mistakenly gathered the whole lump sum of money from all 3 contributing parties and considered that the budget, rather than having certain people paying for specific things. I did not even think to distinguish what we were contributing into a separate budget.
The domain name was only $15 so hardly a big deal – but I did assume that even little things were included in the buget.
Post # 14
niahc : I can see that it is hard. The line we drew could unkindly be phrased “us vs. them”.
Anything that was only for “us” came out of our of our pockets separate from event budget (e.g., buying and cleaning of his suit, buying and cleaning of my dress, makeup, hair, wedding rings, stationary, website, officiate, day of jewelry bought for occasion, my little purse for the day, my shoes for the day, honeymoon, gifts for attendants and family, marriage license, etc.).
Anything that was for “the attendees of the event” or the “event space” was in a separate budget (e.g., catering, site fees, tables, chairs, decorations, harpist during processional/ceremony, beverages, handicap ramp for event space, desert bar, beverages, etc.).
We were gifted: flowers (all I said was no stargazer lilies or roses, no plastic holdy things), our dads built a chuppah and mom’s decorated it, my mom sewed guys matching vests, we were gifted a funny 1-tier wedding cake. DH made a bunch of mix tapes (on a professional digital deck) for the entire reception.
What was gray? Photographer (was that us or them)?
Post # 15
Our parents are both contributing lump sums of money – they are not specifically paying for certain things. So it is getting a bit tricky to say what they can and can’t have because what one side wants will undermine something else in the budget, and the money all has to come from somewhere.
For example, my mom doesn’t want alcohol at my wedding, but me and my fiances family think that is important. So my mom is planning a wedding for $10,000 but with no consideration for how much alcohol will cost us.
Technically, if you just ignore parts of the budget and act like certain things don’t count, we are planning a $10,000 wedding that will actually cost $15,000 or more. Sure, we can technically say that our budget is $10,000, but that extra $5000 will come from somewhere – and me and my fiance will be in school and have very little money. We are only having a big wedding because our parents insisted that they could pay for it, else we would do something much smaller.
To think – I used to scoff at couples who went over-budget on their wedding, I suppose this is my punishment for ever thinking that I could do any better 😛