Just Engaged and Proposals

Educating the Groom

Okay, here's the situation:

We're not yet engaged.  We're ring shopping, know when we want to get married (Aug 2012), have joint bank accounts, etc.

Obviously, with the ring shopping comes the initial conversation about the wedding - budgets, location, venue, etc.

We're very lucky that my parents are going to pay for the wedding - not only that, they're going to sit down with us, figure out a fair amount, and write me a check.  No micromanging, no strings attached.  There will definitely be budgeting, but I can afford to have a really nice wedding.

So far, it sounds great, right?  Here's my small problem - while I have been very aware of what a wedding costs, and what sacrifices I'm willing to make in the name of budgets, my boyfriend has no idea. 

I'm sure many of you have been in the same situation - your fiance goes, "How much did you say will this cost?!!!" In my case, he wants to do the whole wedding for $10k, no matter the sacrifices, and take the rest for an awesome honeymoon. He believes he can find a venue that will host the ceremony & reception AND include all the catering for $4k. He also believes his family (who will be driving several hours to the event) should be able to stay with my family and friends who live in the area rather than pay for hotels.

How do I go about educating him about how much we can rationally expect to spend, where we can reasonably compromise to cut costs without quality, and how an out-of-town wedding for some of the guests is handled (hotel blocks, etc.)?  I don't want to turn him off from the whole process, or get freaked by the amount of money we're about to spend on one day.

Anyone have any fun stories of how they brought their fiance up to speed and included them?  Thanks!
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Re: Educating the Groom

  • May I also note that I'm sure a wedding can be wonderful and classy for $10k, but as I have a bit higher budget, I don't think it's fair to my father to take his money that was intended to bring our families together and spend it on just us.  Not to mention it will be nice to have the flexibility to not make too many sacrifices on venue, dates, vendors, etc.
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  • Explain to your FI that you think it is inappropriate to spend the money your parents are generously giving you for a wedding on anything other than a wedding.  Explain that the gift is for the purpose of hosting your friends and family at a wedding to celebrate with you, and that to spend it on something else would make you very uncomfortable.  

    But if the number your parents agree to is $10K, it is more than enough to have an amazing wedding.  
  • I was hoping to have the recepiton for no more then 10,000, but quickly found out that would mean having frozen mini pizzas and pigs in a blanket ( which i would love any day other than my wedding).

    Why don't you take him around to a bunch of places that he is interested in and let him see for himself what the prices are like.
    imageimageVacation Till our honeymoon!!!
  • I'm doing my entire wedding under 3K (but i'm also in a state with one of the lowest costs of living) so can't really help ya on whether or not 10k will do the job but just have him start looking at venue prices with you. My FI was pretty shocked when he saw how much a wedding can cost but I think if you just sit down and talk to him and have him help with the research then he will understand better. Also if you feel uncomfortable using your parents money for the honeymoon when they gave it to you for the wedding let him know that and he should respect you feelings
  • Welcome to marriage!

    This will be one of your first experiences in handling money, budgeting well, and planning for something that is much bigger than rent and utilities.  Tell him the truth about the budget and the costs. 

    My fiance didn't really know, either (nor did I).  We looked, we laughed (how can you not when the hotel you want is $650 a night and you clearly wanted to stay ten nights?) and then hunkered down and made a plan to save. 

    You'll do just fine!
  • Yeah my FI has this idea of things that "are just too much money."  50% of the time he's right - the other times he might be right but I stomp my foot and say "Its my Day!!!"  Ummm but really - its a long process - a marathon, not a sprint.  Start with budgeting the e-ring and thinking in grand schemes about venue.  Once you get a little closer have him do some google searches about the average cost of a wedding.  He'll wise up really quickly.
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  • like PP, have him actually look at some venues/catering and their cost. Show him common cost breakdowns and hopefully he will get it. Maybe also, start looking for a honeymoon option that gives a great honeymoon, like he is envisioning, but wont take away as much of the budget?

    as for the blocking of hotel rooms, I'm not certain how this relates to the budget. yes, he needs to get that most OOT guests wont even WANT to stay with friends/family (unless they are poor college kids-lol). However, all you have to do is block some rooms off and let the OOT guests know where you did that. You don't have to pay for hotel rooms and most hotels shouldn't require you to put any $ down on the rooms (most will just say that if the rooms aren't booked by such nd such a date, then they wont be reserved anymore)
  • I had no idea how much weddings cost, much less my fiance. I'm also in south Florida (Tampa area). It is expensive here. It's important to decide what you want first, meaning about how many people do you plan to invite, are you interested in an outdoor wedding or a church wedding, are you flexible with the date?

    I took my fiance to a couple places. The Sunken Gardens (St. Pete) would have been my favorite, but when we sat down and started looking at it, they required use of certain vendors, we had to use their bar, and the fee was non-negotiable (even though it is tax-payer supported, as a Pinelles resident, he got no price break). He preferred this place as well, but when we sat down and looked at price, he did realize it was more than my parents wanted to spend without cutting out some of the things I wanted.

    So we began looking outside the cities, and found a place called Cross Creek Ranch (outside Brandon) and for the same price as Sunken Garden, we got all our ceremony and reception decor (custom designed), day of coordinator, wedding planner, and a few other nice little things (such as beverages for our guests when they arrive). We can bring in any vendors we want and provide our own alcohol.

    Maybe you could talk to your parents and see how they felt about you using some of the money they gave you for the honeymoon (you did say no strings attached). If they don't mind, maybe you should compromise a bit and set some of it aside for your honeymoon.

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