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Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

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Valued Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Congrats on getting engaged! There's really good advice on this thread.

 

When we got engaged we thought about doing a destination wedding or a wedding at either of our hometowns (Puerto Rico & Alaska). We knew our parents will not help and we also don't like asking for money because we know it always comes with conditions and opinions. 

 

We went through our finances and set a budget but we just couldn't justified spending a ton of money for one day.  We decided to elope at the beach with just our mom's there.

 

My dress was from my favorite boutique, my mom did my hair, my MIL (who's a professional photographer) took all of our pics (we offer to pay her but she refused),  and a budget friendly makeup artist did my makeup. After the ceremony, we ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant. 

 

All of this was under $1k. We had an amazing time and loved our low-key wedding day. We have been married for 13 years and whenever a friend asked us about wedding planning we give the same advice: plan a day that doesn't affect your financial goals and that you and your significant other will enjoyed.


Message 11 of 22
Senior Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

First off, congratulations! Getting married is a huge step, but it’s worth it. I’ve never regretted it a day in my life Smiley Happy

We planned and “did” as much of our wedding as humanly possible (within budget constraints). Our savings were pretty considerable and by doing parts at a time, we spread the costs out completely out of paychecks. Some of the savings were from that, but some of it was pure dumb luck.

My wife bought her dress at a dress shop in town, locally owned. Wasn’t cheap but wasn’t eye-watering considering what some of those things cost. What we found out was that the series of alterations would cost multiples of the cost of the dress (I’m sure this is by design). Well there happened to be an older lady who lived about ten minutes from us who had been a seamstress her whole life. Shannon went there to have it done. Her dress was altered to perfection in one go, she had it back in a week, and the woman asked her for $25 for the work (we gave her far more than that and still saved a pile - we would’ve felt awful paying only that for a wedding dress alteration).

We made our invitations, centerpieces, much of the decor, and thank-you cards. We rented chair and table covers in our colors, as well as a couple of couches for some elderly family members.

A longtime good friend of mine is a photographer and gifted us the photography of the whole day as a wedding gift, including a beautiful engagement session and an album. He was a guest as well though, and we made sure he was covered the whole time.

I did the timing belt service on the DJ’s car in exchange for his services.

The two families have various religions, but a neighbor is the minister of the local Unitarian church, which was a good compromise, and he offered the church and his services in exchange for a donation to the church.

We had rented the mid-tier banquet hall at a local Doubletree for the reception. The Wednesday before the wedding, we went in to make the last payment. Our photographer was there and wanted to see the room for its lighting. We went in and it was awful - the room was very nice but it reeked of chlorine to a choking level. They were redoing the pool, one floor below. We were told that it should be fine by Saturday, but my wife’s mother has severe COPD and probably would have left in an ambulance within five minutes. The hotel stepped up and gave us their grand ballroom plus a cocktail hour for guests (while we did our photos) at no extra charge, without being asked. The only splurge we really made was that reception - we wanted it pretty formal in appearance and got that and then some due to the grand ballroom. It was the only considerable cost we paid for any part of the day, and even that was pretty reasonable considering the entrees and open bar.

How much it all ends up costing can depend a lot on how much if it you can do. I figure with what we did ourselves and the bartering we were able to do, we saved ourselves a couple grand at least. My parents donated $2500 to the day, no strings attached, and we funded or did the rest. Took us seven months from giving her the ring to walking the aisle. And instead of a limo, we used a gleaming parade of Audis owned by myself and some of the friends who attended to chauffeur the women to the church (my father-in-law drove my wife in my car, friends brought the bridesmaids in theirs). It was fun and lighthearted, everyone had a blast, and it was a very reasonable cost to give my wife the wedding she dreamed of. To do it over again, I’d do the same things - DIY everything possible and make the rest work out as it does.

Side note - if I never step foot in AC Moore or Michaels again, it’ll be too soon lol...


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Entering the garden 5/27/2019, staying until 2020
(Lol so much for that grand plan...)
Message 12 of 22
Regular Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

@ImTheDevil, excellent wedding planning. Your post is nice to read. I smiled when I read about the cars you chose to use. Years ago I had a car that went to more wedding than I did. It was always the bridal car. Some people still menetion it at their anniversary celebrations. 

 

Great job on the wedding!

Message 13 of 22
Senior Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Thank you Smiley Happy It honestly was a lot of fun, even if it got tedious at times. We both agree that we would definitely do it ourselves again even despite the work involved.

I hear you on the car - a past ride of mine served as a Homecoming Queen chariot at my old high school for several years when I was in my 30s. Those were fun times Smiley Happy


Rose Gold NPSL | BCP | Delta Gold | Hilton Surpass | Hilton Honors | IT Cash | IT Chrome | Quicksilver | Target | VS | Home Depot | Lowes | Firestone | Wayfair | Overstock | Kohl’s

5/24, 1/24, 76445/24, who cares #HappyWithAmex





Entering the garden 5/27/2019, staying until 2020
(Lol so much for that grand plan...)
Message 14 of 22
Established Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Thanks all! Lots of great insight and suggestions. I guess I have lots to discuss with my fiancé. We haven’t really talked about it yet and he hasn’t mentioned what he wants, so obviously that’s something to consider as well. Other than the expense though, I think I’m just averse to the amount of planning and work required, not to mention the stress! But I also think that if I don’t have some sort of wedding, I’ll regret it immensely, and so will our parents. Also, since I don’t feel comfortable asking for money (& I certainly don’t expect it), I’ll just skip that conversation and leave it up to them if they want to offer or not.


November 2019:

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Message 15 of 22
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Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

Just do a small wedding! I've known more than one bride who successfully planned a wedding in only about a month for less than $3k total! 

It can be done! Do whatever you can yourself--flowers, decorations, invites....

 

Congratulations and good luck!

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Message 16 of 22
Regular Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

7 days a week, 10 hrs a day. Every other week I took a Sunday off. For about 8 months.

Then 13.5 hrs a day for 6 weeks, no days off.

I was trying to pay off all revolving debt and for wedding at same time, came down to the wire but did it.

I'll file for bankruptcy before I do that again

Message 17 of 22
Regular Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

I should say it was a beautiful day, amazing honey moon and worth every minute of effort!

I just wouldn't do it again lol
Message 18 of 22
Valued Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations


@KLEXH25 wrote:

 

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?


Sounds like we may have been luckier than some. Once we were engaged, the father of the bride volunteered to pay for the venue, reception dinner (including tasting), and open bar. We felt that was more than generous, so we covered the remaining expenses and honeymoon. Not sure what you mean by "how" did we pay for it, though. Some expenses were paid via check, and the rest via a CC - is that what you mean?

 

No awkward conversation, no need to ask. Just kind of happened.

Message 19 of 22
Regular Contributor

Re: Weddings & Awkward Parental Conversations

A few years ago friends who babied their adults into incapacity were whining and moaning about cost of their over 40 son's wedding. Yes, you read that correctly.  He was over 40 at the time. Mom of elderly groom was all going on about how much they have to pay. Per said mom she (bride) should have the wedding she wants since it's her first. Second marriage for both, six kids between them. They went on and on until I was biting the insides of my mouth to avoid saying second trip to the padre you pay for your own danged wedding. 

Message 20 of 22
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