Wedding Etiquette Forum

money changes, what to do?

playtntsbpg30playtntsbpg30 member
Eighth Anniversary 500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
edited May 2014 in Wedding Etiquette Forum
What would be the appropriate thing to do regarding  something that comes up that you can not control and have to pay for that now interferes with all the planned/deposits of the wedding? What about having to now cut the guest list after Save the Dates were mailed?

This is not a for sure thing until after today. My soon to be step son got into major trouble and may be going to a program we will have to pay for and it will put a hardship on us with money. We already talked about cutting out limos, and me not paying for the girls' hair. To Clarify on the hair I'm not making them get it done nor asking for any particular way.

I'm really stressing out. Not to mention this may cut into bills and SO could loose his car so we don't loose the house. The mom should have to pay as well but she hasn't been involved in years and it gets slapped through domestics like child support. The lawyer yesterday stated that this was the only recommendation so chances are high the judge will sentence him to this program. Soon to be Step son will be 18 in Jan but if placed in this program he can be there until age 21 and we will have to pay until then.

Thanks for any advice. I understand you should invite everyone that had gotten a Save the Date, but what do you do if you just can't do it? How do you explain it to them when some are expecting the invite and are excited to be at the wedding.
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Re: money changes, what to do?

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with HGF suggestions. But i would also consider postponeing the wedding until things have calmed down a bit. Then you might have a better understanding of what you can afford.
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  • emmyg65emmyg65 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I'm sorry you're in this situation! If you're at the point where your FH might lose his car to save the house, then I'd follow mellowmarshmmallow's suggestion and cancel the big wedding. Have a private ceremony at the courthouse or postpone it.


    melbelleupLDay2014lc07
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    emmyg65 said:
    I'm sorry you're in this situation! If you're at the point where your FH might lose his car to save the house, then I'd follow mellowmarshmmallow's suggestion and cancel the big wedding. Have a private ceremony at the courthouse or postpone it.


    Agree with this. I'm sorry!
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'm very sorry for your situation.  I agree with @mellowmarshmallow about how to handle things.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm very sorry that this is happening and I am hoping for the best possible outcome for your family. I agree with the PPs suggestion of canceling the wedding as planned and having a private ceremony or postponing. Perhaps your vendors will be accommodating? For example, if your photographer cannot refund your deposit, perhaps you can hire them just for an hour or however much time your deposit that is non-refundable would cover on the day of?
  • Thank you for everyone's suggestions. I have wrote down different ones and will talk to SO tonight if need be. We have to be at court at 3 (eastern). We will know more after then.
    We already talked about cutting the guest list to family only other then wedding party friends. I will let the girls know I will no longer be able to pay and we are back to them doing their hair how they want and with whom they'd like. We will call Limo company Monday (pending outcome of today) to cancel Limos. Photographer was one of the most important thing to me so we won't do much changing there however, we will end up changing where we have our e-pics taken. We aren't having flowers (fake bouquets) and we already have our centerpieces bought and are working on those and also our favors.

    Our centerpieces are from the dollar tree, we're making lighthouses out of flowerpots. And our favors will be candle. We're using baby food jars and bought wax plus use t-light wax for scents to mix in. We were going to do something else so have a bit of t-lights to use. The block of wax was $20 and our son eats baby food so that's a must buy. We have been going extremely cheap, Just to have an open bar, limos, band, and great photos. We also discussed canceling the band (loose $100 deposit, which isn't bad at this point) and set up the computer to play songs but I'm totally against this I rather hire a cheap DJ or something. He even made suggestions of inviting people to ceremony and not reception which I am totally against, they are invited to both or not at all. (if he wants this so bad, he will talk to the person and deal with them not me).

    OK Sorry for the rant.
    Thank you all again!
    Fingers crossed!
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  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    All the best in court today. Know that no matter what happens you are strong enough to handle the outcome. Be kind to yourself.
  • Thank you for everyone's suggestions. I have wrote down different ones and will talk to SO tonight if need be. We have to be at court at 3 (eastern). We will know more after then.
    We already talked about cutting the guest list to family only other then wedding party friends. I will let the girls know I will no longer be able to pay and we are back to them doing their hair how they want and with whom they'd like. We will call Limo company Monday (pending outcome of today) to cancel Limos. Photographer was one of the most important thing to me so we won't do much changing there however, we will end up changing where we have our e-pics taken. We aren't having flowers (fake bouquets) and we already have our centerpieces bought and are working on those and also our favors.

    Our centerpieces are from the dollar tree, we're making lighthouses out of flowerpots. And our favors will be candle. We're using baby food jars and bought wax plus use t-light wax for scents to mix in. We were going to do something else so have a bit of t-lights to use. The block of wax was $20 and our son eats baby food so that's a must buy. We have been going extremely cheap, Just to have an open bar, limos, band, and great photos. We also discussed canceling the band (loose $100 deposit, which isn't bad at this point) and set up the computer to play songs but I'm totally against this I rather hire a cheap DJ or something. He even made suggestions of inviting people to ceremony and not reception which I am totally against, they are invited to both or not at all. (if he wants this so bad, he will talk to the person and deal with them not me).

    OK Sorry for the rant.
    Thank you all again!
    Fingers crossed!
    You'd rather offend people close enough to you to be invited to your wedding originally by uninviting them than to make these sacrifices?
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Good luck in court!

    Given the circumstances, I would postpone the wedding. If you're worried about losing FI's car, the circumstances are sufficiently dire to postpone the wedding. If the current situation is this bad, I don't see how downgrading the wedding is really the solution- you need to take the additional expense of a wedding off the table.

    I'd personally be uncomfortable with the etiquette breach of downsizing the guest list so I would probably postpone the wedding. I see too many hurt feelings as a result of uninviting people- and I'd imagine that you want as much support as possible given how much your family is going through. In addition, your vendors are more likely to agree to postponing than cancelling- particularly since you may need to pay out a lot on contracts in order to walk away.

    Hold off on the wedding for now and have a smaller wedding down the road when you can afford it.

    Good luck!
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  • Thank you for everyone's suggestions. I have wrote down different ones and will talk to SO tonight if need be. We have to be at court at 3 (eastern). We will know more after then.
    We already talked about cutting the guest list to family only other then wedding party friends. I will let the girls know I will no longer be able to pay and we are back to them doing their hair how they want and with whom they'd like. We will call Limo company Monday (pending outcome of today) to cancel Limos. Photographer was one of the most important thing to me so we won't do much changing there however, we will end up changing where we have our e-pics taken. We aren't having flowers (fake bouquets) and we already have our centerpieces bought and are working on those and also our favors.

    Our centerpieces are from the dollar tree, we're making lighthouses out of flowerpots. And our favors will be candle. We're using baby food jars and bought wax plus use t-light wax for scents to mix in. We were going to do something else so have a bit of t-lights to use. The block of wax was $20 and our son eats baby food so that's a must buy. We have been going extremely cheap, Just to have an open bar, limos, band, and great photos. We also discussed canceling the band (loose $100 deposit, which isn't bad at this point) and set up the computer to play songs but I'm totally against this I rather hire a cheap DJ or something. He even made suggestions of inviting people to ceremony and not reception which I am totally against, they are invited to both or not at all. (if he wants this so bad, he will talk to the person and deal with them not me).

    OK Sorry for the rant.
    Thank you all again!
    Fingers crossed!
    If I'd gotten a Save The Date and got cut, only to find out it was more important to have those things than to keep me on the list I'd be pretty damn offended.  Cash bars are a no-no, but you don't HAVE to have an open bar- dry weddings are perfectly fine.  DJs are a luxury, not a necessity.  If you are at a point where to pull this off you have to sell a car, you can't afford a DJ and open bar.

    I'd postpone the big day or do something private with just your FI and immediate families after sending out the "our wedding will not take place as planned" mailers to everyone who got a SaveTD.  Or keep the date and city (since that would have been on the SaveTD) but change to an earlier wedding and possibly a different venue that doesn't require a meal- cake and punch at 2 pm is a well hosted affair that allows you to invite lots of people for very little cost, particularly since you have so much of the decor purchased already.
    pinkshorts27
  • OP, I realize this is a stressful time, but you need to be careful with how you handle this. If you keep your band and your photog and your limo at the expense of guests who received STDs, you are making a rude choice with the potential to really offend friends and family. People will understand if you need to change your plans because of what is going on with your family, but cuttng guests so you can have the band you wanted is not going to go well. In that case, you are choosing things over people and that is a recipe for etiquette disaster.

    If I were in your shoes, I would ask myself what was most important. If being married was most important, I would cancel the plans and go to the JOP or have a private ceremony. If it was more important that I have the wedding I had dreamed of (band, limo, photog), then I would postpone until it was financially reasonable to pay for that wedding. You need to ask yourself which is most important to you. There's not necessarily a right or wrong answer, but trying to have your cake and eat it, too, will only cause more financial and emotional upheaval.

    Wheaton's Law: Don't be a dick.
    InkdancerSP29adverb1129
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
      OP, here are some guidelines for cutting wedding costs:

    Non-negotiable: bride, groom, officiant, license, witnesses.  This can be done either at a courthouse, or at a romantic destination location.

    1st tier: add wedding dress, guests, invitations, cake & punch, attendants, photography, ceremony music, flowers, venue with seats for every guest.

    2nd tier: add dancing, DJ, sit down meal (brunch is economical) wine and beer.

    3rd tier: add live band, plated dinner, full open bar, tuxedos, limousines, videographer, champagne toasts, expensive honeymoon.

    You were obviously planning a large, spare no expense wedding.  Here are things you can cut, in order of their importance.  Nowhere does it say that you can cut your guest list, now that you have sent STDs.  If you have cut down to level one (which describes my own wedding) and you still can't afford it, you must cancel the wedding and get married in a private ceremony with immediate family only.
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  • How can a judge order you to pay for a program at all, never,ind when he's 18? What would happen if you couldn't pay?

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    How can a judge order you to pay for a program at all, never,ind when he's 18? What would happen if you couldn't pay?
    I am a social worker.  When children become part of the system (which is what is essentially happening here) the parents are not automatically relieved of their responsibilities.  The state can and will go after them to pay for their child's care and then it is on the parents to show that they cannot afford it.  Which would be based on their income, not on the fact that they have a wedding to pay for. 

    If they could prove financial hardship then the burden of paying would be shifted to the taxpayers and it's possible an alternative program might be found. The alternative may not be as good for him.  
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  • mysticl said:
    How can a judge order you to pay for a program at all, never,ind when he's 18? What would happen if you couldn't pay?
    I am a social worker.  When children become part of the system (which is what is essentially happening here) the parents are not automatically relieved of their responsibilities.  The state can and will go after them to pay for their child's care and then it is on the parents to show that they cannot afford it.  Which would be based on their income, not on the fact that they have a wedding to pay for. 

    If they could prove financial hardship then the burden of paying would be shifted to the taxpayers and it's possible an alternative program might be found. The alternative may not be as good for him.  

    That makes sense, but is his true even if the child is 18? Why should they be responsible after he is legally an adult?

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It sounds like the program is part of sentencing recommendation for a criminal/juvenile proceeding.  He's not 18 yet, so the parents can still be held responsible.

    Even if they aren't responsible, if it's this or jail, the parents are going to pay for it.  
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2014
    My sister paid the equivalent of a college education to try and rehabilitate her teenage son. He was arrested for dealing drugs on school property at age 13.  When he turned 18, he fled the state and went to California to be a pot farmer.  He is still trying to stay off the federal government radar.  When he inherited some money from my mother's estate, it had to be in cash because he's afraid to open a bank account.  The IRS would pounce.  He was high at Grandma's funeral.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • mysticl said:
    How can a judge order you to pay for a program at all, never,ind when he's 18? What would happen if you couldn't pay?
    I am a social worker.  When children become part of the system (which is what is essentially happening here) the parents are not automatically relieved of their responsibilities.  The state can and will go after them to pay for their child's care and then it is on the parents to show that they cannot afford it.  Which would be based on their income, not on the fact that they have a wedding to pay for. 

    If they could prove financial hardship then the burden of paying would be shifted to the taxpayers and it's possible an alternative program might be found. The alternative may not be as good for him.  

    That makes sense, but is his true even if the child is 18? Why should they be responsible after he is legally an adult?
    Children are eligible for "children's" services until they reach the age of 21 in certain circumstances.  For example they can opt to stay in foster care until their 21st birthday provided they are still in an educational program. I'd need more details but my guess is that this is an alternative to juvenile detention and the parents are being held responsible for him until he is out of the juvenile system.  The theory is probably that they were responsible for him when he did whatever it is he did so they are responsible for his consequences as well.  
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  • Did you send your save the dates to everyone or just the the more important people? If you decide that you need to downsize but continue with the wedding as planned, I would send hand written notes explaining, to the extent you feel comfortable, that due to some unexpected difficulties you and FI will not be able to have the wedding as planned. If you decide to still have it and downsize let them know it will be immediate family, etc. or if you plan on changing the date, and still have the wedding you were planning, that you will inform them of the new date when that time comes. I would just make it as personal, honest, and sincere as possible. IMO, if they are important enough to get a save the date in the first place then they should understand.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Cutting your guest list after you've invited someone is a friendship ending move.

    I would change your reception around. Options include:

    1) Talk to the venue about a cheaper meal option. No alcohol, or at the most wine and beer only. Talk to the venue about shortening the length of the reception (our dinner started at 6pm and reception ended at 1am, no reason we couldn't have ended at 10pm and still did "everything" we wanted), same with vendors. Cheaper to pay for 6 hours versus 8.

    2) Completely change your reception time. Switch from an evening reception to a lunch reception or a cocktail reception or cake and punch in the afternoon. You'd still have your photographer, but a much cheaper meal and a shorter time at the reception venue, shorter time with a DJ (or create your own play list!). 

    3) Change your reception venue to one that is generally cheaper.

    4) Cut the limo, cut the open bar, get a cake from the grocery store, purchase a cheaper wedding dress (such as a recycled dress), do your own hair and make up.

    5) Cancel the wedding and have a private ceremony if you still can't swing the wedding with your guest list.

    6) Postpone the wedding so you can have the wedding you want.

    Good luck with everything. I'm sorry this is happening to your family. 
  • I want to clarify a few things first. I was not choosing to have an open/cash bar or limo or band over my guest. I had stated I was already going cheap to have limo, band, open bar for the guest in the beginning of planning. I also stated we discussed *and will be doing today* going to one limo and not two, and we went with a DJ and canceled the band. No where was I trying to do anything over the guest list. I of course was asking for advice of how to be able to do just the wedding along with the downsizing (entertainment) with all the guest since the STDs were mailed out. I saw some highlight certain parts of my OP and the comment left was totally opposite then what I had said.

    Court went ok to what we had expected. He will be in a program that we will have to pay for. A min of 6 months but can be up to 18 months. He is 17 yrs old, and got into legal trouble is not in this program through Children and Youth. (if he was through CYS we'd also have to pay but it is court ordered) it does go through domestic relations as well.

    As mentioned we went with a DJ and that cut the amount in more then half of what we'd pay the band. We are going with one limo and not two and will not be cutting the guest list at all.

    I want to thank everyone for their comments even those that may have misunderstood what I was stating before. Thank you for suggestions and the support of this.
    Now to hope we're not slammed bad with a monthly/bi-weekly payment for support of the program.

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  • I had said about having an open bar not a cash bar and also was willing to downsize band to DJ not to an auto-computer play list thing my FI was talking about. It was just very cheezy. Also we wouldn't have to sell FI's car, we'd be subjected to losing it from the loan.
    But hopefully we have all this under control now and praying we don't have to worry about the loan or other bills with downsizing the wedding. We did not cut guests, and no cash bar, DJ no band.
    Thank you for your imput. Just wanted to clarify some things.
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  • What are you doing for the open bar? Can you make it just beer and wine? That will save you some money.
    Anniversary
  • What would be the appropriate thing to do regarding  something that comes up that you can not control and have to pay for that now interferes with all the planned/deposits of the wedding? What about having to now cut the guest list after Save the Dates were mailed?

    This is not a for sure thing until after today. My soon to be step son got into major trouble and may be going to a program we will have to pay for and it will put a hardship on us with money. We already talked about cutting out limos, and me not paying for the girls' hair. To Clarify on the hair I'm not making them get it done nor asking for any particular way.

    I'm really stressing out. Not to mention this may cut into bills and SO could loose his car so we don't loose the house. The mom should have to pay as well but she hasn't been involved in years and it gets slapped through domestics like child support. The lawyer yesterday stated that this was the only recommendation so chances are high the judge will sentence him to this program. Soon to be Step son will be 18 in Jan but if placed in this program he can be there until age 21 and we will have to pay until then.

    Thanks for any advice. I understand you should invite everyone that had gotten a Save the Date, but what do you do if you just can't do it? How do you explain it to them when some are expecting the invite and are excited to be at the wedding.
    OP- I'm sorry if you felt misunderstood, but the bolded sections above are what led me to the conclusion that you were considering changing the guest list. I am glad you think you will not have to change the guest list and that you will still get to celebrate with family and friends. Best of luck with the wedding and with your future stepson.
    Wheaton's Law: Don't be a dick.
    Fran1985 ashley8918
  • This is aimed more at lurkers than you, OP-- we sent save the dates to out of state VIP guests, wedding party, and family only. No local friends/acquaintances, classmates, or colleagues got them.
    This left us with a lot of invitation flexibility up until it was time for things to go out. If we had needed to cut people for some reason, there were probably 100 or more guests we could consider not inviting.
    If you're sending STDs, I would try to avoid sending them to your entire guest list in most cases.
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