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Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

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Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Hello all! I recently got engaged last month, and of course we are now faced with the prospect of planning a wedding. Part of me wants to elope, and the other part of me wants to have a wedding, but none of me wants to go into debt for it. My fiancé has excellent credit (800’s), but he is still paying off his credit card debt through a consolidation loan he got through his credit union, and he is still a few years from paying that off completely. There is also the possibility that he may need a newer car in the near future. I’m currently debt free (with the exception of my auto loan) and working on building an emergency nest egg should I ever lose my job or anything. I should be set to meet my goal by February 2020, and then start putting money towards a wedding fund. Of course, at this rate it’ll be YEARS before we can afford to get married.

 

So my question is this – how did you pay for your wedding? Did your parents help? And if so, how did you bring up THAT conversation? I have hinted and joked to our families that we want to elope, but that was not taken well. I obviously don’t expect anyone to pay or give us anything, but I’m of the mindset that if you’re going to have an opinion, you better chip in! Is there a good way to broach this subject?





Message 1 of 28
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Valued Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

We got married in Vegas (yes cliche, I know lol).  Invited everyone, gave them less than 2 weeks notice and were married at 5 PM on a Friday.  Had the reception at the Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood.  Still had 40 people there.  Total cost was about $4k.  

 

You do whatever fits in your budget.  Rather than paying a lavish wedding off for years we used the money for a down payment on our first house.  

 

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Established Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

 

My $0.02: the only must have is the license. Everything else comes down to your expectations about what a wedding should be, and how much permission you give your parents to dictate the planning.

Message 3 of 28
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Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations


@VanderSnoot wrote:

Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

 

My $0.02: the only must have is the license. Everything else comes down to your expectations about what a wedding should be, and how much permission you give your parents to dictate the planning.


Thank you! Well I guess that's my question though. Is it rude to ask if they want to contribute in any way (monetarily) or just wait to see if they offer anything? I don't mind having a celebration, but I'm not looking at anything traditional or overly extravagant. If it's on my dime, I have no problem saying no to others' imput. I'd much rather put that money towards a house, especially since we live in an expensive area of the US. 





Message 4 of 28
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Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

I think you should present it them same way you did here.
Let them know you're not willing to get in debt (it will ruin marriage faster than anything), let them know what you feel you can afford, and if they have strong objections, they can cover the difference if it means that much to them.
If you want a more "extravagant" wedding than what you can afford right now, maybe wait a little bit longer
Bottom line, it's your wedding and you should have it the way it works for you and your fiance.

Congratulations on your engagement
Message 5 of 28
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Established Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

I agree. Let them know your budget and the scale of your plans, e.g. sign at city hall and have a nice dinner with 10 people afterward. Best to manage expectations early.

Just make sure you're ok with them being fine with it, and aren't lowkey hoping they'll foot the bill for your dream wedding. It sounds like you're expecting pushback, which happens, but hoping for it is the first step towards Bridezilla.
Message 6 of 28
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Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

You have gotten great insight. 

 

I must say I went to a beautiful wedding this past summer a dear kid got married, he is like my "other" child and I have known him forever and he basically lived at my house throughout his childhood  anyhoo.....

 

They had a cabin and a little land , they did they wedding there renting some cheap tables and chairs, got really nice and adorable little things at the family dollar and some dollar tree items which they decorated the tables, trees, porch etc.. We all brought food, a relative made the cake. And I have to tell you it was one of the most prettiest wedding I have been to. There were maybe 50-60 people total all wanted to be there and enjoy the day and all pitched in.

 

This was so much better than those fancy weddings cost a small fortune for overpriced small portion food and  put you in debt, you invite people you haven't seen in years and probably won't see again.

 

I think simple can be just as elegant.

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Message 7 of 28
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Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Ditto. Attended a lovely, small, backyard wedding, immediate family only. The food was great and I had a good time. Couldn't tell you what the bride wore or what kind of plates they had.

Message 8 of 28
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Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

The thing is that the licence and ink to fill it out are the only things mandatory for marriage. The government might even offer you the ink for free as a gift if you fill out the form right then and there, I am not sure. Everything else is extra. You should first look at what you want for a wedding between the bride and groom and then set a budget. After that go back to figuring out what you want inside the budget. In the end keep bouncing between wants and budget until it works out. You can ask for help but do not expect any. Family and friends will find a way to help if they want to.

 

I know a friend who's mother rented a party bus for his wedding because she did not want to drive. Was happy to pick up others that needed/wanted lifts. Came with alcohol.

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Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

We rented a restored house in town (lots of historical homes around here available for this kind of thing) for $200. It was small and not the "it" place for weddings in our town but it was very pretty, it suited what we wanted & they allowed rentals to use their working kitchen. I (very luckily) got a wedding dress I tried on (retail: $750) for $99. It was a return. Otherwise, I would have just paid for a cute $100 to $150 dressy dress. We paid for food, friends cooked/warmed up stuff at the house we rented, photography provided by a friend - nothing fancy (no filters or airbrushing). A local printer did the invites (nothing embossed). A friend's father did the ceremony, we paid him a $50 "love gift."  We paid about $1,500 for everything.  We just had our anniversary recently - 19 years. 

 

We did not ask for help from anyone. $1,500 almost made me choke but I knew if we eloped his mother would be hurt, she would want to see her baby get married so I bit the bullet. I would have married at the courthouse and had a BBQ in the backyard later if left to solely my own choice. I could have gotten away with a much smaller budget.

 

 So, if they gifted money, would they want a say? Are you prepared to deal with that?  Money from family always seems to come with unspoken expectations and rules so I try to stay away from it. 

Message 10 of 28
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