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Which is more meaningful - larger wedding, or honeymoon?

Hi everyone!

So, FI and I are working with a pretty tight wedding budget (like most people!), and we are debating whether or not to go on a honeymoon. I could really use some opinions!

My mom is paying for our reception, which is incredibly generous of her. She has JUST finalized her divorce from my father, and is not super financially stable. Paying for the reception is really important to her, but FI and I have shortened the guest list by about 50 people in order to make it more affordable...we don't want to put her out anymore than is absolutely necessary if she insists on paying for the reception.

FI's dad is also contributing to the wedding, and his gift will cover our photographer and DJ for the event. Hence, FI and I will cover the rest of the costs ourselves.

Here's the issue: we are able to either accomodate inviting the 50 people we cut from our guest list (we would pay the difference), OR go on a honeymoon. We can't afford to do both. Part of me feels really bad for wanting to go on a honeymoon when our families are already helping us pay for OUR wedding...I have a case of the guilts! I dont want to seem like we are "blowing money" on a honeymoon when our families are already being so kind and helping us pay for the actual wedding. If we dont go on a honeymoon we can afford to pay for the reception cost that we dont want my mom to have to cover, and would therefore be able to invite our cousins, etc. which we are cutting from the list.

Do you think it would be tacky / selfish / ungrateful to use our extra funds to go on a honeymoon? Or should we pay for our extended family to attend the reception? OR, should we use our funds to lessen the financial cost for our parents? Do you think starting a marriage with no distractions / work / everyday life while on a honeymoon is super important, or is it okay to just go back to 'real life' right after?

(*if we dont go on a honeymoon we aren't taking vacation time off work right after the wedding...we will save it for our first anniversary...our vacation days roll over year end...and use the extra time for our 'one year anniversary trip" instead of a honeymoon)

THANKS!!

Re: Which is more meaningful - larger wedding, or honeymoon?

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    *Barbie**Barbie* member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    one option that you didn't mention is contributing a portion of the money towards the wedding costs and taking a shorter/cheaper honeymoon. you could always just take a few days and go to a B&B or nice hotel that's in driving distance.

    it's really what is more important to you and your FI. what is his opinion?

    if it were me, i'd spend the money on a vacation/honeymoon rather than a wedding - but i don't know your financial situation. if there are areas where this money is better spent (buying a house/car, paying bills, paying down debt, etc.) I would suggest applying it there before paying for a vacation.
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    RaptorSLHRaptorSLH member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    "Which is more meaningful" is an incomplete question.  It should really read "Which is more meaningful to me," and only you can answer that.  I know that in my case, it would really depend which 50 relatives got cut.  Uncle Jim that I last met when I was 5?  Cut, no question.  Dad's friend who has been to every family gathering since I was 5?  I'd have a problem.Plenty of couples survive without a proper honeymoon, so don't let that be the deciding factor.  My parents "honeymoon" was delayed due to finances - they finally took one when I was in high school.
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    redheadtmkredheadtmk member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I understand the guilt however I do not think you have any reason to feel that way if you take a honeymoon. There are a ton of posts on these boards about parents who contribute to the wedding. Parents like to be able to do things for thier children and helping out with your big day makes them feel good. It is pretty standard for those who have parents pay for any portion of thier wedding pay for the honeymoon themselves. Not everyone can afford or chooses to take one but they are a traditional part of the wedding ritual. It would be nice to have your cousins and others there but IMO you should keep the guest list as it is and take a honeymoon. I like the PP's idea about a shorter/smaller honeymoon and helping your mom. I think that would be the best of both worlds.
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    edited December 2011
    Several girls on my month board put off their honeymoon until a later date, so you could definitely do that.  Although I imagine it would be a little difficult to wait.  ;)  Or like a PP said, just do a smaller, more local honeymoon.  I know of several couples who have done that.

    Personally, I'd rather have a honeymoon rather than a larger wedding.  We opted for a small wedding so we could go on a nicer honeymoon.  We see relatives all the time, so spending a week just the two of us on a nice trip seemed more important.
    PitaPata Cat tickers Anniversary
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