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Just Engaged and Proposals

Engaged... And Now Lost...So Now What?

My 'hubby-to-be' and I just got engaged this past month.  We are both really excited and are looking forward to everything.  I know we need to decide a budget and a date...but we are finding it hard to figure those out.

The budget will be the most difficult, since I know my parents will be chipping in some money; however, I can't get an exact dollar amount.  Also, according to my mom, I need to invite the entire family (list up to over 200 people...my 'immediate' family only [the ones who come to all family functions]).  I know that is crazy!  It's not even close to the amount of people who will be 'deemed important' and invited; if I follow my mom's ideas.  This is really difficult because I do know that it will be a small budget.

Next, the date is next to impossible to figure out for us!  Between work, and my grad school program, it's hard to find a date that won't be booked.  I know we could wait until I am done with my grad school, but we are also trying to work it out so that he can move out of his current apartment and into a place for us.  His lease is up in about 10-11 months.  Any suggestions would be welcome!

Re: Engaged... And Now Lost...So Now What?

  • I straight out asked my mom for a budget. She said ..... not including your dress.
    We are both teachers and decided the Sat b4 spring break in 2011. I had a friend ask last night if we were waiting too long. I explained that this summer would be too hot (in FL) and not enough time for our families to plan a vacay (both are out of state). You need to sit down and decide what is good for you. If you have to follow your mom ideas ask how much she is willing to spend on her ideas.

  • That's so awesome your mom thinks you should invite minimum 200 people *sarcasm*-- but only if she's going to pay for them.  Tell her that.  You are not obligated to invite anyone.  Also, think about how you feel with the idea of your parents taking some sort of control away from you by giving you money.  He who pays; says.  So if you don't feel like you need that many people, decide to pay for the wedding yourself.

    Things will work out for you, but don't stress about stuff.  I would decide what time of year would work best, think about how much money you would be able to save and be comfortable in spending for the wedding, how long it would take- etc.  THEN decide year, etc. 

    Don't bet on anyone giving you money until it's actually in hand.  Then, it's great and all, but you've already saved up your own money, and you can use the extra for additions to the wedding or to just pay something else. 

  • The truth of the matter is, if you don't have the budget for 200 people, you just won't have 200+ guests!  It does sound like your mother will try to take a bit of control over the guest list if you take money from her (and she will have a choice, if your parents are contributing at all). 

    My advice?  Save up and pay for it yourselves.  Chances are, it will take a while to do, especially with you in school, but it also means you'll probably be graduated and have more free time to plan afterwards.  We ended up have an almost 2 year engagement bc we saved for pretty much the whole wedding.  Did FI and I really want to do that?  Heck, no, but to me it was worth having the wedding of our dreams, and not my mother's.

    Also- there's no law that says you can't live together before marriage, unless you're really against that kind of thing.  I did receive a delightful letter from my FI's aunt about us living in sin, before we were even engaged, though.  We laughed our @sses off, and moved on. 

  • Congrats on your engagement! I agree with the PPs; you need to discuss with your mom how you can't afford to have all those people unless your parents are paying for it.  You need to decide who's most important to you and your FI.
  • Congrats to you and FI on your engagement :)

    Yeah, to echo PP's, unless your mom is actually going to PAY for those 200 guests, you are not in any way obligated to invite everyone your parents want. And even then, if you did not want them, you can turn down the money and pay for it yourself (which is what I would do personally...).

    This is your and your FI's wedding. Not your parents. Personally, for our wedding, FI and I paid for it ourselves and ONLY wanted people who really have been close to us there. This made for a very small guest list, and this even meant a lot of family was left off, as they were close by blood but not emotional connection. And we are super excited about it as it is OUR wedding.

    And, despite our own busy schedules, we managed to plan a wedding within a 2 1/2 engagement by choosing a date in the "off season" and so on, being flexible and working together.

    However, if you want to plan a bigger affair, or don't want to add in planning to other life stresses right now, or have certain dates in mind, then there is nothing wrong with planning a year or two out.

    I have lived with my FI for a while, before we even got engaged, so our outlook on that area may be different, but I would not rush something to match with lease dates, unless that works for you.
  • The easiest way for me to build my budget was to first get the average price of everything. Its hard to say you are going to spend x amount on one thing and realize the average is way above that. Start calling around places you may be interested in, I called/emailed about every photographer, florist, and dj in my area before I found the ones I was interested in. In my opinion budget takes a back seat to picking the date and the venue. You'll need the date before you can book the venue and that is the most important thing since those are what books up first and FAST. Sounds like with everything going on you'll want at least a year out, maybe more. Decide when will be best for your schedule and then start calling venue's you are interested in to find out if they are available that month. Maybe just pick the month/year and not the exact day until you see what your venues have available. Our date has no significance, its just the season we wanted and the day our place was available which is fine by us. Don't stress, you have plenty of time to figure it all out. Take it one day at a time! Find your venue, pick your day, then the rest of the things will fall into place.

  • I'm not sure how you can do much planning without a specific budget.

    Your budget and type of wedding you want (small, large, formal, more laid back) will help determine how many people you can ultimately invite and then once you have an idea of size you can narrow down venue choices.
  • Thanks for all the advice!  We may have picked a date/weekend-ish... or at least we are seriously considering it.  After writing this, I started thinking it would be great to have it on a date/weekend that my family (both sides...since they actually all get along *for the most part lol*) usually gets together.  A great part is that the time is usually in the late afternoon, so we wouldn't have to do a full meal for the guests, which would save money too! (:

    We are trying to look into finding a home for us after we get married, as we both agree that's more important to us than having a huge wedding.  It's a little difficult since we will most likely have to buy a place, thanks to my two medium-sized dogs who are use to 20+ acres.  I think it might slowly be coming together!

    Thanks again for all the advice! 
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