Snarky Brides

My groom is cheap!!

My fiance and i just set our wedding date for june 2011.  we've been together for 3 years and I know he's a major penny-pincher.  Now that we're starting planning the wedding, everything I suggest for the wedding he automatically shoots it down and thinks it's an extravegance.  (ie: real flowers, string quartet)  I've tried to explain to him I don't need a platnum wedding, however, I want this to be a reflection of us. 
Any suggestions on how to compremise?  I'm getting stressed just from him!!

Re: My groom is cheap!!

  • Personally, I feel that a string quartet wasn't an extravagance.  I'm a music teacher and having live music was extremely important to me. 

    I do admit that many groups over charge, so you could look into some local colleges or even high schools that have good programs.  Our quartet was a group of college kids, one of whom I have played shows with in the past and I knew that she was a kickass cellist.  I trusted that her friends were at least as good as she was and that made me happy.

    Other than that, I agree with Sarah that doing some research before you really set the budget is a good idea.
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  • Look for music students on craigslist.  I got an acoustic guitarist for really cheap.  
  • Use Excel and make a budget.  I don't think a string quartet=extravagance/platinum wedding.  Make a budget and try to stick to it, but he has to keep in mind that a nice wedding is going to cost some money.  Maybe have one of his married friends talk to him about that. 
  • Even if one item on your list is a little expensive, remember that you can get away with it by cutting corners elsewhere.

    One thing that helped me plan was making a list of the things I HAD to have, like a dance floor and an open bar.  Other things like live flowers and a sit-down dinner were less important to me. In the end I'm still going to have them but setting some priorities helped me set a budget and make some big decisions.

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    First Comment
    We're auditioning musicians we found on Craig's List. They are significantly less expensive. Boutineers on Etsy are less expensive then getting them from your florist and there are LOTs of great discounted places for wedding dresses/BM dresses.

    Every couple has things that are more important to spend money on and what they want to be the splurge of their budget. As long as you guys are on the same where to spend and where to save pages, then you should be OK. Good luck and remember to have fun with you FI while you're planning!
  • If he is cheap- is a string quartet a refection of "us" as you say or a reflection of you?
  • edited March 2010
    I'm with anne.azano here - look for music students or contact high school bands and see if you can't get a quartet together.  A few years ago, my friend played at a wedding as part of a quarter, but since they were under the auspices of being part of a school band, they couldn't accept money for it (I don't know if that's how it works everywhere, but it's worth checking into!).  If you can throw a few more names on the catering list, you have yourself a quartet.

    I agree with everyone else - start with a budget, but give yourself a range of how much you'd like to spend up to how much is the absolute most you'd spend.  It's rough to try to shoehorn in the last little details just because it might put you a tiny bit over that ironclad number you came up with.

    Also, Etsy will be your best friend.  You can get some SERIOUS steals on that site, on top of being able to place custom orders and have DIY mavens bid on it and pick your price.
  • Meh, live cermeony music was something that I felt very strongly about. I don't think having a string quartet (we're actually having a trio) automatically means high-end everything. It means you want to spend a few hundred on some good, live music. If anything, my DOC was a splurge. I never considered the music to be. I'd need to hire someone to play a CD, anyway.

    Anyway, what does your FI want to spend money on? How much money does he want to spend on the wedding total? Use the Knot or Wedding Wire's budget manager and see how much they suggest you spend in each category. If something fits into the overall budget, go for it. Would your FI be happy with a courthouse ceremony and dinner at the Olive Garden, whereas you'd like a premium bar, live band, and 250 guests? If that's the case, you'll have to compromise. Do a small guest list, but have nice flowers. Or have pretty bouquets and DIY cernterpieces. He might also think the money is better spent on a cool honeymoon or downpayment for a house. Think about it.

    You also have to come to an agreement about money in general. Are you a spender and he's a saver? How do you manage your money now? Separate finances or merged accounts? If you share your money, you might want to think about putting a select amount in individual accounts for "fun" money to spend any way you'd like, no strings attached. That way you don't have to okay every DVD or latte you buy with him for all eternity.
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  • so's mine.   I feel your aggrivation. find as many diy things as you can, especially since you have more than a year left.  we're printing our own invitations, and programs, im also using artificial flowers in the bouquets,(not only cheap but i won't have to be doped up on benadryl either Laughing).
     Also if you can find a cake design that doesn't require fondant, that will save you hundreds too.
    then when you do have something you want to spend money on, show him the list of everything that you're doing free or at cost.  Let him know that since you are compromising on those things, you expect him to compromise and let you get what's important to you.

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  • We are getting married June 2011 also! And I feel your pain. He is a little cheap when it comes to certain things (he is upset that I keep buying things to decorate since our venue provides basic vases and such), BUT if its something HE wants well then price is no problem! He is my little groomzilla haha. I think if you just sit down with him and make a budget he will see you aren't being extravagent.
  • My groom is also frugal about the STUPID things but wants to go over the top on others. Here's how I cope. For every choice I show

    Option 1: (totally over the top for us, but totally within the realm of reality for others)
    Option 2: If we could have anything, this is the type of thing we would prob want.
    Option 3: This is what I'm suggesting, see how it is kind of similar to Option 2?
    Cost Savings: See! This is how much we saved over option 1 - we can now splurge to get option 2 on a different item!

    Invitations (note - we both was like "yeah, we need them, we care how they look, but they are not our wedding"):
    Option 1: Elegant assembled, engraved programs, invites, Save the Dates, etc - Price point - approx $10/card+
    Option 2: Raised font, framed panels - Price point approx $3/card
    Option 3: DIY Panels where we can have multiple fonts to get just the look we want - Final cost after printing less than $1 per card w/ envelopes and seals
    Cost savings: $9 per card. See - we can now spend the extra on photography!!!

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  • I agree with the previous poster. 
    Give him options!

    String quartet= $500
    guitar + flute duo= $300
    harpist= $150

    You cant walk down the aisle to nothing!  And the church organist charges a fee too!
    call your local university music department to find an accomplished master's level student and see if they will do it for what you can afford!
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: My groom is cheap!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: My groom is cheap!! : SHOP around! If you find a string quartet that seems really high, keep looking and I promise you'll probably find something cheaper.
    Posted by Angelamama[/QUOTE]

    Check around your local universities!! A lot of Music Majors would probably be willing to play at a wedding to get professional experience (and get video footage) for a cheaper price... Just know, they will probably want the footage to add to their portfolio when they pursue a full time career within an orchestra, symphony, private tutor organizations, etc.
  • Sometimes guys tend to freak out. Compare the costs such as fake flowers... they really aren't that much cheaper. Meet with different florists and get quotes and have the numbers. They freak out before seeing the numbers, so if you two work together(or shop for flowers with your mom and show him the details.) He will have to be more open minded. Discuss what IS important to you both. Having seat covers may not be the most important thing in the world to you, but having beautiful centerpieces might be. Remember it's overwhelming in the beginning- but once you both start meeting with people you will get a feel and be able to make decisions together. Have the discussion about what is most important to both of you and how you can incorporate that into your budget. Good luck!
  • Just remember that this man is a frugal man. Throwing a wedding or getting married aren't going to change those things. He's probably shooting down the ideas, not because he's unwilling to talk about them, but because the big expense of a wedding is making him nervous. Respect that. 

    When you talk about money, say, "I understand that these expenses are making you nervous. I'm not suggesting these things because I want to spend a lot of money, but because I want to make this a really beautiful day. Maybe, before we say an idea is out-of-the-question, we could talk about possible ways to make it work?" 

    Using your string quartet idea, you could say, "I know a professional quartet is probably out of our budget, but maybe we could research some music student quartets that might be a little more manageable." 

    And then reassure him that, if even that ends up being out of budget, you'll respect that. Say, "If it doesn't work out, maybe you could help me find some really good recordings of the songs on iTunes."

    Make sure you're actually willing to compromise before you have this discussion. You need to address and respect what's important to both of you, not just you. He'll be a lot more willing to compromise when he knows and sees that you are willing to compromise. (ie, he'll be more willing to look into possibilities for string quartets when he knows that you'll be willing to let go of the idea if it ends up being out of budget.)
  • First, start with a budget. You can always hire students from the fine arts departments of university to play classical music. They'll be less than pros and more grateful for the exposure. My groom tried that 'no real flowers' nonsense. I shut that down immediately, lol. As long as he feels like he's getting some input and that there are alternatives, he might be easier to work with. How about a solo pianist/violinist as opposed to a string quartet? Using the bridesmaids bouquets to double as cake/head table decorations. Always give them options...
  • My Fiance' is being cheap also. He thinks our budget of $10,000.00 is too much and I told him THATS CHEAP FOR A WEDDING!  Here's what I did.. You actually don't have to have real flowers unless you just must ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE THEM. I've done my research and have found some beautiful arrangements that I thought were real but weren't and they will do the same job. People will actually be shocked that they are'nt real.  I am doing my own decorating (with help from FAMILY). Try going to a fabric store/ Linen store and buying your own material. Do you know anyone who does catering, or can you get a referrall? When it comes to venues ..DO YOUR RESEARCH AGAIN AND AGAIN!!  We actually found a beautiful ceremony and reception site right here in our city for dirt cheap, and its EXACTLY what we want. See what you can comprimise with when talking to vendors, DJ's, Cateres,etc.  My point is do as much as you can on your own, you will come out way cheaper!! Happy Wedding Planning! and CONGRATS!Wink
  • Your fiance and mine sound a lot alike! I was so stressed out when we initially starting planning because he shot down all of my ideas. I quickly learned not to even start a conversation with him about anything for the wedding unless I had looked all over town and the internet to understand our options and costs. Then he could not only see what I wanted to spend, but how it compared to costs for the same services in our area.  we are footing the entire bill, so he feels a lot better knowing we are being as economical as possible, while also getting the things I want Wink
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  • Music is very important to both my fiancé and I, so I don't see a string quartet as an extravagance! These ladies have great advice — talk overall budget, and decide what mood/theme/vibe you want your wedding to have.  Then it becomes easy to call thing things that are important to your day.

    Example: We are both very poor, but we're having a morning wedding to cut on food costs.  It's very important to us to have all live music.  We want to include EVERYONE — as many as the church can hold — and we want it to be a festive, light-hearted morning of music, fellowship, and love.  So we compare every decision we make with our end goal.

    We're getting married June 11, 2011.  Good luck!  ^_^
  • Mine is stressing about pictures. He wants to give someone our camera and let them take the pictures. I told him that I want some pictures of us getting ready, and the formal ones done professionally. He still thinks that 1700 for pictures is ridiculous. So far for the package I want, and the amount of time that is the cheapest. On the other things like catering and venue he is not as upset about. I agree with the ladies that suggest to discuss what he wants and see if there is a middle ground.
  • Haha...  I'm glad I'm not the only one!  I sat down and told him this...  Please do some research on the average price for the main items.  Then we can sit down and talk about what you think is appropriate and what I think is appropriate and come up with a compromise.  Besides, isn't that what we need to start practicing. 

    It worked!

  • To help get perspective on a budget, look at a website like  There you can see a break down of what people are spending for each part of their wedding and average costs in your area.  Average US wedding is 20,000.  Average range is 15,000-25,000
  • Think local!
    Do you have a music school in your area?  Get in contact with some of the performers and their professors to set up a try-out.  Four starving students don't cost nearly as much as one venerable old violinist.  If you are willing to trade some of the experience for less of a bill, it would benefit you AND the up-and-coming musician.
    Do the same with florists, crafters, and caterers.  (Hel-LO culinary arts school near you!)
    When you employ students, they are eager-to-please and eager to get that experience on their resumes some will perform for almost nothing for this very reason!
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