Wedding Woes

Wedding Advice Needed

Hi Everyone, 

I've never posted on here before, but decided that it was about time I asked for advice, advice from other brides, mothers, or anyone else that can offer some positive suggestions. I'm not looking for mean comments just honest opinions. I guess I'm a little bit upset right now so moral support would be super!

So, my fiancé and I got engaged three years ago (yay!!!) and we just recently (in December) set a date. We are in our mid-late twenties and wanted to get our careers stable before we planned a wedding. I have my own small business and he's an accountant. We've been saving the past few years for the wedding, and although it's been hard we've gotten some saved away. We set monthly goals for how much we can save and what we "need" to buy. No movies, no take-out, we don't drink so no alcohol, etc,etc. We started saving heavily once we set a date. The wedding is this December. 

Problem #1. 

At the beginning, when we set the date, both families were happy about it. They had been kind of nagging us about setting one so we sat down (him and I) realistically and figured out what we could afford. To be honest, I wanted to elope and then a few years down the road have the wedding we've both dreamed of. I'm not big on flashy expensive decorations or flowers, but I wanted something simple, nice and cozy (winter wedding!!!). 

So, my parents offered to pay for the wedding. Well, most of it anyways. The rings, honeymoon, tux and a few other things my fiancee and I were paying for. I was so happy. I never asked my mom for money for the wedding, nor did I expect it. But when we set the budget they said "we will do whatever it takes." So, my family and my fiancee and I set a budget. We figured out how much it would cost from the dress to the cake, to the vendors. 

We decided on a destination wedding, only 4 hours from where we live, in a different country. The reason we are doing it out of the country is personal, but in short there is someone where we live that would destroy the wedding if he found out where it was. It's a extremely serious situation so my fiancee and I decided it would be safer for us to get married where they couldn't go. We cleared it with our family and close friends, so it's not a problem for them. 

Back to problem #1. My fiancee and I found a venue and booked it. Since we are having it at Christmas we decided to buy the decorations after christmas time (everything was 90% off). (I decided to do most of the decorations and all the invites by hand because we both wanted it to be uniquely ours. The cost was minimal and my fiancee and I paid for it.) 
So, my mom said that when we bought the decorations that we give the receipt to her and she would reimburse us. So we did. My mother in a fury (i'm still not sure why) freaked out and got my dad to go to the bank and give us the money. My dad literally threw it at me and said "that's it, you're done. We're done. We're not paying for anything else.) The decorations were below the budgeted cost. 

I should add that during the time when I was looking at venues, my mother forced herself to come with me. My fiancee and I wanted to look out of town so I said I would go since he had a lot of work to do. My mother refused to let me go myself, even though I'm in my mid twenties, and she paid for it. I wanted to drive but she wanted to fly. She paid for the hotels, tickets, food, which I said I would. Then, halfway through the trip she said "this comes out of the budget you know." For everyone's information the places we visited where NOT on the other side of the world. They were within driving range. Instead of it costing me hundreds to go myself, it ended up costing thousands. I didn't want her to come because I knew it would cost more, but she didn't listen. 

So, here I am at midnight almost every night trying to make decorations, figure out how to cut more costs from the wedding because my parents, cut us off. I'm upset because if they couldn't afford to help with the wedding, they should have said BEFORE booking the venue. BEFORE booking the caterer and before they sat down and budgeted exactly what they could afford. I wouldn't have been upset if they said she couldn't help us, but they did (my father got the money to give to us and my mother paid off her credit card with it). 

Yes, we are in our mid twenties (he's almost 30), but no, we don't have that much saved. I guess we've had bad bad luck the past few years. Refrigerator blew up, furnace broke down in the middle of winter, I broke my foot, we have to attend three family weddings this year (he's standing in them all), found out there were wasps in the attic and had to get an exterminator (yes I totally sat on one in the morning), the dryer's element decided to stop working on us and it would have cost more to replace the element than buy a new one, my business computer decided to become a lemon after two years and it wasn't under warranty anymore and other small things. We budgeted incidentals the last year and a bit, but there always seems to be things popping up that are out of our control. So when my parents said they would help us it really lifted a weight off our shoulder. 

But now we're stuck. His parents have another son getting married this year and they've contributed equally to both of us. We keep cutting things from the wedding but I would love some more advice on how to get out of this sticky situation. Venue is half paid for, so we can't cancel. I'm up late at night doing invites and decorations and have super exhausted after working during the day as well. I've tried asking bridesmaids to help and family members to help make stuff with me, but they are all "busy". 

So does anyone have any idea on how I can talk to my parents. I don't want to because I hate asking for money, but it really upsets me that they offered to help, and then once things started happening (e.g., a few receipts came in) they backet out completely and won't help anymore. Any positive advice would be great

Last Problem: 

I asked my sister to be a bridesmaid. I made a nice card and gave it to her. She said "no". My mom came out of her room and was happy to see my sister would be a bridesmaid but my sister won't be one. My sister threw my card on the table and scoffed (she's older than me by three years). I told her I didn't have anyone else I wanted and my mom said "you gotta be one. She's your sister". My sister then proceeded to curse at my mother and saying "no one asked me about this wedding. I don't want to go. No one asked me about it." The cursing really bothered me and I felt terrible for my mom. The curses weren't minor either, it was pretty intense. 

So, now i'm feeling like I don't want to invite my sister to the wedding. She's a bit of a selfish person (I know that sounds terrible but she leeches off my parents still), She threw the card I made at me and threw a tantrum and I don't know if I want that kind of drama at the wedding. What would you do? i know I'm being completely wrong by going about this so before I don't invite her I'd like some suggestions. My sister and I haven't been terrible close, and she's always treated my parents poorly if she didn't get what she wants. I'm not trying to "stick it to her" I just would prefer to have people there at the wedding that are happy about it, not someone who's going to drag the day down for the people involved. 

So those are my problems and I'd love some kind responses if there's anyone out there that has had a similar situation. I've never been married before and don't know etiquette on how to approach parents backing out of helping with the wedding or how to deal with a unkind sister, so advice would be awesome


Re: Wedding Advice Needed

  • Is there cliffnotes for this?
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Heffalumpsouthernbelle0915[Deleted User]
  • KatWAGKatWAG member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited March 2015

    Hi Everyone, 


    I've never posted on here before, but decided that it was about time I asked for advice, advice from other brides, mothers, or anyone else that can offer some positive suggestions. I'm not looking for mean comments just honest opinions. I guess I'm a little bit upset right now so moral support would be super!

    So, my fiancé and I got engaged three years ago (yay!!!) and we just recently (in December) set a date. We are in our mid-late twenties and wanted to get our careers stable before we planned a wedding. I have my own small business and he's an accountant. We've been saving the past few years for the wedding, and although it's been hard we've gotten some saved away. We set monthly goals for how much we can save and what we "need" to buy. No movies, no take-out, we don't drink so no alcohol, etc,etc. We started saving heavily once we set a date. The wedding is this December. 

    Problem #1. 

    At the beginning, when we set the date, both families were happy about it. They had been kind of nagging us about setting one so we sat down (him and I) realistically and figured out what we could afford. To be honest, I wanted to elope and then a few years down the road have the wedding we've both dreamed of. I'm not big on flashy expensive decorations or flowers, but I wanted something simple, nice and cozy (winter wedding!!!). 

    So, my parents offered to pay for the wedding. Well, most of it anyways. The rings, honeymoon, tux and a few other things my fiancee and I were paying for. I was so happy. I never asked my mom for money for the wedding, nor did I expect it. But when we set the budget they said "we will do whatever it takes." So, my family and my fiancee and I set a budget. We figured out how much it would cost from the dress to the cake, to the vendors. 

    We decided on a destination wedding, only 4 hours from where we live, in a different country. The reason we are doing it out of the country is personal, but in short there is someone where we live that would destroy the wedding if he found out where it was. It's a extremely serious situation so my fiancee and I decided it would be safer for us to get married where they couldn't go. We cleared it with our family and close friends, so it's not a problem for them. 

    Back to problem #1. My fiancee and I found a venue and booked it. Since we are having it at Christmas we decided to buy the decorations after christmas time (everything was 90% off). (I decided to do most of the decorations and all the invites by hand because we both wanted it to be uniquely ours. The cost was minimal and my fiancee and I paid for it.) 
    So, my mom said that when we bought the decorations that we give the receipt to her and she would reimburse us. So we did. My mother in a fury (i'm still not sure why) freaked out and got my dad to go to the bank and give us the money. My dad literally threw it at me and said "that's it, you're done. We're done. We're not paying for anything else.) The decorations were below the budgeted cost. 

    I should add that during the time when I was looking at venues, my mother forced herself to come with me. My fiancee and I wanted to look out of town so I said I would go since he had a lot of work to do. My mother refused to let me go myself, even though I'm in my mid twenties, and she paid for it. I wanted to drive but she wanted to fly. She paid for the hotels, tickets, food, which I said I would. Then, halfway through the trip she said "this comes out of the budget you know." For everyone's information the places we visited where NOT on the other side of the world. They were within driving range. Instead of it costing me hundreds to go myself, it ended up costing thousands. I didn't want her to come because I knew it would cost more, but she didn't listen. 

    So, here I am at midnight almost every night trying to make decorations, figure out how to cut more costs from the wedding because my parents, cut us off. I'm upset because if they couldn't afford to help with the wedding, they should have said BEFORE booking the venue. BEFORE booking the caterer and before they sat down and budgeted exactly what they could afford. I wouldn't have been upset if they said she couldn't help us, but they did (my father got the money to give to us and my mother paid off her credit card with it). 

    Yes, we are in our mid twenties (he's almost 30), but no, we don't have that much saved. I guess we've had bad bad luck the past few years. Refrigerator blew up, furnace broke down in the middle of winter, I broke my foot, we have to attend three family weddings this year (he's standing in them all), found out there were wasps in the attic and had to get an exterminator (yes I totally sat on one in the morning), the dryer's element decided to stop working on us and it would have cost more to replace the element than buy a new one, my business computer decided to become a lemon after two years and it wasn't under warranty anymore and other small things. We budgeted incidentals the last year and a bit, but there always seems to be things popping up that are out of our control. So when my parents said they would help us it really lifted a weight off our shoulder. 

    But now we're stuck. His parents have another son getting married this year and they've contributed equally to both of us. We keep cutting things from the wedding but I would love some more advice on how to get out of this sticky situation. Venue is half paid for, so we can't cancel. I'm up late at night doing invites and decorations and have super exhausted after working during the day as well. I've tried asking bridesmaids to help and family members to help make stuff with me, but they are all "busy". 

    So does anyone have any idea on how I can talk to my parents. I don't want to because I hate asking for money, but it really upsets me that they offered to help, and then once things started happening (e.g., a few receipts came in) they backet out completely and won't help anymore. Any positive advice would be great

    Last Problem: 

    I asked my sister to be a bridesmaid. I made a nice card and gave it to her. She said "no". My mom came out of her room and was happy to see my sister would be a bridesmaid but my sister won't be one. My sister threw my card on the table and scoffed (she's older than me by three years). I told her I didn't have anyone else I wanted and my mom said "you gotta be one. She's your sister". My sister then proceeded to curse at my mother and saying "no one asked me about this wedding. I don't want to go. No one asked me about it." The cursing really bothered me and I felt terrible for my mom. The curses weren't minor either, it was pretty intense. 

    So, now i'm feeling like I don't want to invite my sister to the wedding. She's a bit of a selfish person (I know that sounds terrible but she leeches off my parents still), She threw the card I made at me and threw a tantrum and I don't know if I want that kind of drama at the wedding. What would you do? i know I'm being completely wrong by going about this so before I don't invite her I'd like some suggestions. My sister and I haven't been terrible close, and she's always treated my parents poorly if she didn't get what she wants. I'm not trying to "stick it to her" I just would prefer to have people there at the wedding that are happy about it, not someone who's going to drag the day down for the people involved. 

    So those are my problems and I'd love some kind responses if there's anyone out there that has had a similar situation. I've never been married before and don't know etiquette on how to approach parents backing out of helping with the wedding or how to deal with a unkind sister, so advice would be awesome





    First and foremost, if you elope that is your wedding. You don't get a re-do a few years later.

    Second, it sucks about your parents but you cant really do anything about it. This is why we always tell brides not to spend any 'promised' money until you have it in hand. It also sounds like you have some serious communication issues with your parents. Since they are not contributing anymore, I would leave them out of the wedding planning. If they offer an opinion, just polite say "thanks, we have it covered." There is no reason to approach you parents. They have made it clear they wont be contributing anymore. So plan a wedding you and your fi can afford.

    It is not your family or bridesmaids responsibility to help you with your DIY. If you need help, ask your fi. If you need more help than that, its time to change your plans.

    It sounds like you dodged a bullet regarding having your sister in the wedding. I would wait to decide to invite until your are closer to your wedding date. Not inviting her could permanently damage your relationship, are you okay with that?

    And you cant tell people how to post. ie " no mean comments."

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Cliff notes: Bride and groom save for wedding, set a date. Bride's parents offer to pay, so they set a budget together, decide on DW in another country (that is 4 hrs away). Bride tries to save costs during reception venue search by offering to drive to location, MOB wants to fly/rent car/have hotel then tells bride it's coming out of budget. After booking reception venue, MOB throws cash at them for purchased venue decorations and tells them that they are not paying for anything. Groom's parents cannot help. Bride cutting costs where possible. What to do? THere is also something about the sister.

    Anyways, here is my advice.

    Something happened and you aren't giving us the full story. That wall of text was nice, but you are telling me that a complete 180 occurred and your parents went from excited to angry without warning? Not buying it. Either your parents have a history of it, or there were some extenuating circumstances. I'm not saying you specifically did something, but take a good hard look at what happened to get to this point.

    As for the wedding, cancel everything and plan the wedding you can afford. So if that means you elope- do it. Do not go into debt for this. Obviously you've made smart financial decisions by saving what you can and prioritizing important personal expenses. Continue to do so by not jeopardizing your situation by paying for a wedding you can't pay for.
    rcher912[Deleted User]
  • I absolutely agree about not getting the full story.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • One other point:

    You said your mom forced you to have her come. It was her fucking money for the wedding- she should get to see how you use it. Involving your parents, who are funding the wedding, is required. Would you hand over a couple thousand dollars to someone, even if you knew them, and just said "here you go, spend wisely!" Probably not, you'd want some oversight. If you don't want their input on those things, then politely refuse their money. It's just proper etiquette.
  • HeffalumpHeffalump member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2015
    So. Much. Ugh.

    OP, don't take any more money from your parents, and sure as shit don't ask for any.  Supposedly their attitude took you by surprise; at this point, it is no longer a surprise, so consider that avenue closed.  For good.  Have the wedding you and your FI can afford.  Especially in light of your other expenses.  Once you and your FI are covering all the expenses, you can stop doing things you don't want to do, like flying instead of driving.  And voila, 90% of your problems are fixed, just like that. 

    As for your sister, she sounds awful.  I wouldn't invite her. 

    And ditto PP on 1) once you are legally married, that was, by definition, your wedding; you don't get more weddings to the same person.  (Unless you divorce and remarry.); and 2) of course your bridesmaids and relatives are busy, everyone is busy; it's the responsibility of the couple getting married to handle the details.  
  • Reading between the lines of what you said (IMO thanks for the detail you did provide) - I'm guessing given what you mentioned, BSC Sister made your parent's life holy heck to the point that they threw their hands up instead of being adults and putting BSC sister in her place (after all, that's money they're NOT giving HER!).  From what you said, they aren't giving you the full story on why they decided to say "no more money even though we promised it", so that's why I'm guessing BSCS had something to do with it, HOWEVER, you need to open up the lines of communication in a neutral way to ask because they are your parents and you're an adult.  BE NEUTRAL - it's o.k. that they aren't giving you any additional money, but it's worth being curious about because this may come up again years down the road (There's an old saying: "Weddings, Funerals, and Babies bring out the best and worst in people"...)..

    Yes, I agree with the PP in that you dodged a bullet on BSCS not agreeing to be a BM!  Yes, invite her to the wedding as a guest, but nothing more about the wedding to her unless you truly can't avoid it.  She didn't want to be involved for her own reasons, if you want to see real BSC, don't invite her!  It sounds like there may be some mental disorder type stuff going on there, but only you know your family, so I'll leave it at that..

    Finally, as others have mentioned, from here on out, plan the wedding you can afford, 90% off doesn't mean you can afford it!  DIY =/= Savings!!!!  REALLY, DIY can end up costing you FAR more than hiring something out.  There is a real world value to your time and stress.  Also, have you considered going through Customs/Border Patrol and such with these items that you're DIY.  Just something to think about before you get to the big day!  A way to cut down on the expense of the meal is to work with your caterer on either a simpler meal choice or buffet setup.  Many places include a basic cake/dessert with the meal for I've even heard $1 or $2, go with that instead of hiring out a cake then just get a small cake for the two of you.  Stop purchasing any additional add-ons from here, you can't afford more window dressing nor DIY projects given the stress the current ones you're trying to do have you completely stressed out!

  • First: I agree, you dodged a bullet with your sister. I'm not sure she should be invited at all, but that is a SERIOUS move that WILL have consequences, so don't take that decision lightly, and it's definitely not one we can make for you, or even really advise you on. Your family  - you know them best!

    All in all, it sounds like you want to and could better afford to elope. Go for it!!!!! You can have a wonderful wedding with just you & FI in a safe and beautiful place for you two. Don't throw a big party at all, even a few years down the line (unless it's an anniversary or vow renewal), just elope because this is getting to be wicked weird.

    Do what you want to do. On your budget, on your time, on your decisions. Go for it.

    Good luck!
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