Etiquette

Budget planning/asking about money?

Hey folks -- just got engaged (yes!) and my fiancé and I are looking at venues.  We have an idea of what our budget will be if it's just the two of us paying for it, which we're completely fine with and expect.  We don't know if either of our sets of parents are wanting to help us with any expenses or not. 

In other words, if it's just the two of us paying for our wedding, we can afford X, Y, and Z venues, but if one or both of our parents want to contribute, we can afford A, B, and C venues, too.  So just for purposes of nailing down a venue it'd be great to know if our respective parents want to chip in or not.

Is it appropriate or is it rude to just call my parents and say -- hey, totally don't expect you to give me anything at all, but strictly for venue-reserving purposes, it'd be great to know if you were planning on contributing?  Or should I just wait til somebody offers/brings it up?  I really just don't want to pull a jerk move, especially since I'm not expecting anything from anybody and I don't want to make it seem as if I feel entitled to their money.

Thanks for any guidance, and if there's a more appropriate place to post this question please let me know!


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Re: Budget planning/asking about money?

  • Hey folks -- just got engaged (yes!) and my fiancé and I are looking at venues.  We have an idea of what our budget will be if it's just the two of us paying for it, which we're completely fine with and expect.  We don't know if either of our sets of parents are wanting to help us with any expenses or not. 

    In other words, if it's just the two of us paying for our wedding, we can afford X, Y, and Z venues, but if one or both of our parents want to contribute, we can afford A, B, and C venues, too.  So just for purposes of nailing down a venue it'd be great to know if our respective parents want to chip in or not.

    Is it appropriate or is it rude to just call my parents and say -- hey, totally don't expect you to give me anything at all, but strictly for venue-reserving purposes, it'd be great to know if you were planning on contributing?  Or should I just wait til somebody offers/brings it up?  I really just don't want to pull a jerk move, especially since I'm not expecting anything from anybody and I don't want to make it seem as if I feel entitled to their money.

    Thanks for any guidance, and if there's a more appropriate place to post this question please let me know!

    No, not appropriate at all. Plan the wedding you can afford, and if anyone offers to help you can take it from there. Key word is 'offers'.

    Got it.  Thank you!

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  • I would suggest moving forward as if it'll just be the two of you paying. If your families do want to chip in, they'll let you know. And then you'll still be in a great position.
    CMGragainMesmrEwe
  • I would suggest moving forward as if it'll just be the two of you paying. If your families do want to chip in, they'll let you know. And then you'll still be in a great position.

    That was my SO's instinct too.  Thanks!

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  • Yup don't bring it up. Even asking "hey we don't expect it, but if you were planning to help..." Can come off as asking. So plan what you can afford and if they offer feel free to take them up on it. One thing to remember is the adage "they who pay get a say" so be prepared to have your families make requests/strings attached in the event they do offer. 

    Congrats on your engagement!
    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueens
  • Yes, plan the wedding you can afford now.

    Do not ask or bring up money, unless they do. Even saying, "I don't expect anything, BUT...." makes it sound like you're expecting something ;).

    If you're close enough with your family to talk about money, I would assume you're close enough that they have a general idea that you're starting to look at venues, in which case, if they want to contribute, they are free to say, "We'd like to contribute to your wedding". If it hasn't been said, I would assume it's not happening.

    If they offer money later, take it to pay for things you've already covered, thus a savings in your pocket, or use it to upgrade items with your current venue in place- food, drink, cake, late night buffet, photography, transport, decor.
  • I'm going to differ slightly from PPs. As the MOB, my H and I had already told my daughter prior to her getting engaged that we would pay for her wedding. I had told her that several times over the years (mostly when talking about other peoples weddings and the cost involved). When she and SIL got engaged, I don't think H and I actually said we would pay for the wedding - we all assumed it. When DD asked for a budget, I wasn't offended at all. Moral of the story: I think it depends on you and your parents. Have you talked about weddings in the past? Have they said previously that they would pay for something in a wedding? If they have, I don't see anything wrong with approaching them. If they haven't then don't ask. 
    I agree with that. My parents had always said they would pay, and when we got engaged my Dad was all "just tell me what I owe". I will say even if it's been talked about prior to the engagement I think it's a good idea to wait and see if they initiate the money talk, and get any strings/requests done upfront. I didn't and my mother blindsided me with a ton of craziness all at the end. 
  • I'm going to differ slightly from PPs. As the MOB, my H and I had already told my daughter prior to her getting engaged that we would pay for her wedding. I had told her that several times over the years (mostly when talking about other peoples weddings and the cost involved). When she and SIL got engaged, I don't think H and I actually said we would pay for the wedding - we all assumed it. When DD asked for a budget, I wasn't offended at all. Moral of the story: I think it depends on you and your parents. Have you talked about weddings in the past? Have they said previously that they would pay for something in a wedding? If they have, I don't see anything wrong with approaching them. If they haven't then don't ask. 
    But you already told your daughter this, thus I think it's a different scenario.
    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueensSTARMOON44charlotte989875
  • Stop looking at venues!  The first things you need to do is to write up your guest list and figure out your budget.  Do not do anything until these two things are complete!
    Once you know your budget, then you can think about wedding styles.  What can you afford?  A small afternoon ceremony with cake, coffee and punch?  A morning ceremony with a brunch reception?  These are your best budget options.  The evening ceremony with a full dinner reception is the most expensive.
    NOW you can start looking at venues and making plans.  Don't put the cart before the horse.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MesmrEweInLoveInQueensfloridabride44
  • CMGragain said:
    Stop looking at venues!  The first things you need to do is to write up your guest list and figure out your budget.  Do not do anything until these two things are complete!
    Once you know your budget, then you can think about wedding styles.  What can you afford?  A small afternoon ceremony with cake, coffee and punch?  A morning ceremony with a brunch reception?  These are your best budget options.  The evening ceremony with a full dinner reception is the most expensive.
    NOW you can start looking at venues and making plans.  Don't put the cart before the horse.
    If you ask your (plural) parents for a guest list, that might make them to think about offering a contribution if they had been considering doing so. 
    MesmrEwe
  • SP29 said:
    I'm going to differ slightly from PPs. As the MOB, my H and I had already told my daughter prior to her getting engaged that we would pay for her wedding. I had told her that several times over the years (mostly when talking about other peoples weddings and the cost involved). When she and SIL got engaged, I don't think H and I actually said we would pay for the wedding - we all assumed it. When DD asked for a budget, I wasn't offended at all. Moral of the story: I think it depends on you and your parents. Have you talked about weddings in the past? Have they said previously that they would pay for something in a wedding? If they have, I don't see anything wrong with approaching them. If they haven't then don't ask. 
    But you already told your daughter this, thus I think it's a different scenario.

    Yeah, my parents haven't said anything one way or the other yet, so I'll stay mute and plan the whole thing assuming we're paying for it all.

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    ILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875SP29madamerwin
  • CMGragain said:
    Stop looking at venues!  The first things you need to do is to write up your guest list and figure out your budget.  Do not do anything until these two things are complete!
    Once you know your budget, then you can think about wedding styles.  What can you afford?  A small afternoon ceremony with cake, coffee and punch?  A morning ceremony with a brunch reception?  These are your best budget options.  The evening ceremony with a full dinner reception is the most expensive.
    NOW you can start looking at venues and making plans.  Don't put the cart before the horse.


    We have a guest list already because we knew it'd be the hardest thing (we both have large families and friend groups) and a very rough budget, but we should probably fine-tune both of those things.

    We got all antsy about the venue because we have very specific windows in which we can get married due to my job, so we wanted to make sure we can nail something down in a window that works and I can tell my work about it early.  But you're right about not putting the cart before the horse!  Thanks for the advice.


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    SP29
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    CMGragain said:
    Stop looking at venues!  The first things you need to do is to write up your guest list and figure out your budget.  Do not do anything until these two things are complete!
    Once you know your budget, then you can think about wedding styles.  What can you afford?  A small afternoon ceremony with cake, coffee and punch?  A morning ceremony with a brunch reception?  These are your best budget options.  The evening ceremony with a full dinner reception is the most expensive.
    NOW you can start looking at venues and making plans.  Don't put the cart before the horse.


    We have a guest list already because we knew it'd be the hardest thing (we both have large families and friend groups) and a very rough budget, but we should probably fine-tune both of those things.

    We got all antsy about the venue because we have very specific windows in which we can get married due to my job, so we wanted to make sure we can nail something down in a window that works and I can tell my work about it early.  But you're right about not putting the cart before the horse!  Thanks for the advice.

    I will add one additional factor to consider.  What type/size wedding do you and your FI want?  You have put together a guest list from the POV of you and your FI.  Are you willing to change the style/size of your wedding if someone offers to contribute money, with the caveat that you must add X amount of guests to the list?  You and your FI control all the variables at the moment.  While it might be nice for family to offer financial support, are you willing to accept the potential strings that may go along with the funds?

    Something to consider before you begin locking into venues.
    SP29InLoveInQueenssparklepants41OliveOilsMom
  • MobKaz said:
    CMGragain said:
    Stop looking at venues!  The first things you need to do is to write up your guest list and figure out your budget.  Do not do anything until these two things are complete!
    Once you know your budget, then you can think about wedding styles.  What can you afford?  A small afternoon ceremony with cake, coffee and punch?  A morning ceremony with a brunch reception?  These are your best budget options.  The evening ceremony with a full dinner reception is the most expensive.
    NOW you can start looking at venues and making plans.  Don't put the cart before the horse.


    We have a guest list already because we knew it'd be the hardest thing (we both have large families and friend groups) and a very rough budget, but we should probably fine-tune both of those things.

    We got all antsy about the venue because we have very specific windows in which we can get married due to my job, so we wanted to make sure we can nail something down in a window that works and I can tell my work about it early.  But you're right about not putting the cart before the horse!  Thanks for the advice.

    I will add one additional factor to consider.  What type/size wedding do you and your FI want?  You have put together a guest list from the POV of you and your FI.  Are you willing to change the style/size of your wedding if someone offers to contribute money, with the caveat that you must add X amount of guests to the list?  You and your FI control all the variables at the moment.  While it might be nice for family to offer financial support, are you willing to accept the potential strings that may go along with the funds?

    Something to consider before you begin locking into venues.


    Yeah, you're definitely right.  One thing I have in the back of my mind is that my father wants me to get married in my hometown and I want to get married in my FI's hometown (way prettier, hello waterfront), so if he offered me help it might come with that caveat. 

    Thanks. :)


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  • CMGragain said:
    Stop looking at venues!  The first things you need to do is to write up your guest list and figure out your budget.  Do not do anything until these two things are complete!
    Once you know your budget, then you can think about wedding styles.  What can you afford?  A small afternoon ceremony with cake, coffee and punch?  A morning ceremony with a brunch reception?  These are your best budget options.  The evening ceremony with a full dinner reception is the most expensive.
    NOW you can start looking at venues and making plans.  Don't put the cart before the horse.

    THIS!!!!  SO MUCH THIS!!!  "100 guests sounds about right!" - yea - no, once you put names together, SO's/guest of single guests, that 100 turns into 400 in a hurry.  DH's cousin booked a venue for 150 because "that sounds about right" until the MOG was calling 3/4 of the guest list to UN-invite people and/or see if they'd be willing to NOT come because the bride's side was paying and the venue was too small for the number of guests who RSVP'd "Yes".  Double-check your list OP and really write out EVERY guest's name then add it up.  Then, ask your sets of parents for any names of people they'd like to invite "if there is space" (with money comes strings!) BEFORE looking at any venues. 

    Presume 100% will RSVP as "Attending" before looking at venues even if your parents offer to help financially, DO NOT deviate from that budget.  Presume that you only have XYZ budget that you/FI can afford for venues because "sh** happens!".  You would NOT believe how many brides come on here and the fan is running full speed (parent falls ill, stock market drops and they lost everything, fire, parent got in a huff because you chose pink instead of their favorite shade of blue for your colors, parents need to grow up, B/G need to grow up, B&G not getting married in a church, B&G getting married in a church and parents don't approve of denomination, and yes, over the years all of these scenarios and more have played out on here!).  If your parents offer to help, remember it comes with strings.  Use the money for the specific to their "string" upgrades ONLY.  Save the money you'd otherwise spend as an investment.  Just because you have it doesn't mean you have to spend it!  Having that extra $10,000 will be nice when you're trying to pay for a home or the unexpected water heater or vehicle needing repair/replacement.  This is a one-day event, you DO NOT have to go crazy with the spending, you just need to host your guests properly for the time of day your wedding is. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    InLoveInQueens
  • edited September 2016
    So we started looking at places within our budget and what we could afford. My FI was pretty sure his parents would want to contribute something (based on previous conversations that were had before I was even in the picture). He said to them "we are thinking about booking X place and could afford to have Y people based on our budget" and their response was "hmmm, interesting. Hold off on that until we've had a conversation about how much we want to contribute." A week later they gave us an amount and the conditions the money came with. But he definitely didn't ask for money and their response could have easily been "ok, that sounds good." 

    ETA: I said something similar to each of my parents, mostly because paying or not, I want them to also be happy with our plans. When I told my dad  (I knew he wasn't going to contribute, just wanted to keep him in the loop) "we are going to book X location and have about Y number of guests" his response was "wow, that sounds really expensive. I've heard weddings cost a lot of money".....thanks for the tip dad. I had no idea that weddings cost money *rolls eyes* 
    SP29MandyMostMesmrEwe
  • As others mentioned, start with a guest list. Write down everyone who HAS to be invited (including room for plus ones for everyone, since the wedding is a ways out you never know who'll be in a relationship by then who is currently single), and another list of everyone else you'd LIKE to invite. 

    Most people consult their parents about the guest list to some extent. That's a great way to have the conversation about "Hey mom and dad, we're making a guest list for the wedding. I was thinking about inviting Aunt Sue and her kids, and Uncle Joe and his family, but not inviting Great Aunt Sally or Second Cousin Tom. What do you think about that? We need to figure out a guest list so we can find a venue within our budget for the right size". If they chime in with an offer for money then, great. If not, you don't bring it up!
  • MandyMost said:
    As others mentioned, start with a guest list. Write down everyone who HAS to be invited (including room for plus ones for everyone, since the wedding is a ways out you never know who'll be in a relationship by then who is currently single), and another list of everyone else you'd LIKE to invite. 

    Most people consult their parents about the guest list to some extent. That's a great way to have the conversation about "Hey mom and dad, we're making a guest list for the wedding. I was thinking about inviting Aunt Sue and her kids, and Uncle Joe and his family, but not inviting Great Aunt Sally or Second Cousin Tom. What do you think about that? We need to figure out a guest list so we can find a venue within our budget for the right size". If they chime in with an offer for money then, great. If not, you don't bring it up!
    That's funny -- that's exactly what just happened!  I emailed my dad to see if he thought it'd be okay for us to have a kid-free wedding in order to save money; a TON of my extended family units have small children so I wanted to see his thoughts.  He said it was a great money-saving idea and he totally agreed and said NOTHING else, so that's that!

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    SP29
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