April 2013 Weddings

Tuesday Night Meltdown: vent

Everything for our wedding planning has been going reltively smoothly. But when I came home last night, fi was acting like something was bothering him and I couldn't figure out what. I thought it was just his back, which is reletivly normal. Two hours later he finally opens up about what's going on. Turns out he'd called his parents today to talk and it had turned into a big thing. The main topic was how much money we're going to spend on the wedding and all the other exspenses we have in our lives and how that's going to affect us long term. It's not like we haven't talked about this before. And it's not like I don't think about it all the time. But what am I supposed to do about it? You and I know that $15k is actually a really reasonable amount for a 200 person wedding in SoCal. We very easily could spend twice that if we had it. Then there comes the whole guest-list thing. Fi's family thinks 200 people is a lot. Fi thinks it's a lot. Other people I've talked to think it's a lot...but I don't. What everyone seems to forget, or not to care about, is who my family is in our church. My dad has been the choir director at our church for over 35 years. EVERYONE at the church knows him. Most have sung with him, played for him, worked with him, or been on a commitee with him. And those that haven't have probably been in Bible study, quilting, or book club with my mom. And whoever's left has probably had a kid in my choir or a Christmas pageant I've directed. And most of those people think they should be invited. And a lot of them I actually want to invite. So cutting people is like cutting family to me. Not to mention all of my actual family as well as friends who live out of state or people I've known since I was born...We went back and forth last night a lot. Fi and his parents are trying to be practicle, I know. They're concerned about my student loans, the fact that fi and I really should have new cars soon, a nest egg to get a house, and how we're going to support kids within the next 5 years. I appreciate that and understand where they're coming from. But my family didn't buy a house till I was 9, and that was only with help from my gradmother. I've grown up living with a certain level of debt, and I'm comfortable and used to it. But fi's family is used to living practically debt free. He walked out of college with no student loan debt. He pays off his credit card every month. I love that he is so financially responcible,but I wish he were more comfortable with a little more debt than he is. And all of this ties back into the fact that I haven't finished school and don't have a full time job. And if I had done that already, all of this would be a lot easier. I'm planning on graduating right after we get married, so I can start paying off my debt and helping to save for a house. But there really isn't anything I can do RIGHT NOW. And I feel like that's what fi's family wants. I know they're not trying to, but all of this makes me feel guilty and bad about myself. I love them, they're really great people, but I wish they would leave fi and I alone about planning our wedding. They're not even contributing financially, so it bothers me that they're trying to tell fi we're spending too much. Especially when I feel like I'm cutting everything I can. I just want them to be supportive and get excited and stay out of our finances unless they plan on helping.
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Re: Tuesday Night Meltdown: vent

  • vk2204vk2204
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    I am kind of in a similar situation as you. I have a very large family, so that means we are having a very large wedding. Right now our guest list is at 270. My side is at least 190 of that. We are spending A LOT for this wedding. More than I even want to, but I would rather have my family there instead of saving a few bucks. I am one of the younger cousins on my moms side so we have been to many weddings since FI and I have been dating; so he knew what to expect with me lol. We are trying to cut costs down elsewhere to help out a little.

    I am sorry you have to deal with this, maybe just say to your FI, 'I would never ask you to cut out a family member, so I don't know why you would ask me?'
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  • That's a tough situation. I don't consider that to be an overly huge wedding, especially if you consider most of the guest list to be people who you are close with. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but honestly if I were in your shoes I would wait to get married until graduating college and saving a little. This is actually what I did myself. Debt is never a good thing in my eyes like your FI I'm very money conscious, even if you don't consider it to be a big deal. I would assume your too far along in the planning process to put off the wedding, so I guess I would have the big wedding that you want and save money wherever you can.

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  • I'm really sorry you're going through this and that these issues have caused so much frustration. I get what you're saying about not wanting to cut family and church friends who are like family to you, but at the same time, I think it's really unfair to expect your FI to accept going into debt for the wedding when he's clearly not comfortable with it.

    Clearly you and he have different attitudes towards money and debt and it does sound like you've been talking about it, but I'm honestly leaning towards your FI's stance on this. Of course it's difficult (and maybe seems unfair) to cut friends from the guest list, but I think it's even more unfair and inconsiderate towards your FI that you wish he were more comfortable with some debt.

    Luckily there's still a lot of time before invitations have to go out, for you to hopefully iron out these issues. Good luck!
  • That's certaintly frustrating. While we have been pretty concious about the number of people we are inviting (we left some distant family out to allow for friends that are more like family anyways) so your situation is probably not as flexible, however, are their any compromises that can be made? For example, my mom had wanted to invite many of her friends from church, but my parents are helping as much they can, but not paying for the reception. I told her to choose those that are closest, ended up being 2 couples, so not a huge deal and def better on our budget than the 10 or so couples she wanted. While I understand that the situation isn't exactly the same are there some people that you are inviting only because of their closeness to your parents and not you? You might feel better about cutting those people than others that you are more personally close with. Another thing we did to keep the guest list down was only inviting cousins that are first cousins with either myself or FI and our parent's first cousins (with two exceptions, I have two second cousins that I was very close with growing up). That slimmed the list down dramatically and no one on either side was offended. I know it's not what you want to hear, but something to think about. 

    Good luck and like PP said you still have plenty of time to figure it out.



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  • I appreciate everyone's oppinions. I know it would be more fiscally responcible to wait. It has been suggested already. But we have already put down a deposit, and loosing that money is not worth it. Fi and I actualy talked about waiting months ago, and I said I didn't want to. I have some selfish reasons: I don't want to be 30 when we get married, I want to wait a few years after marriage for kids, and I don't want to be too old when we start having kids, and I don't want our engagement to be any longer. At least on my side, we are not inviting 2nd or 3rd cousins on the 1st round of invites, but both my parent's arefrom families of 5 kids each. With the deaths we've had in the family, and my uncle who's not involved with us at all, the amount of family I'm inviting is smallish. It really comes down to church people. And even though there are a lot we may invite that I don't really want to, there are even more that I would like to invite that we're not. I'm not inviting anyone I currently work with, and only one I ever have... FMIL called the day I originally posted and we talked for about an hour. It seemed like she was checking to make sure I'd really thought everything through, and I was trying to convey to her that I have and how important all these people are to me, as well as the fact that I'm being very budget conscious and saving money everywhere I can. I don't know if she really gets it, and I'm sure she thinks I don't really get it. And I don't think we're going to go into debt for this, we just won't have very much by way of savings after. Anyway, for now it's at rest. I'm just hoping as we go along and my parents start contributing everyone will calm down about the money.
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  • The number 1 cause of divorce in this country is money problems.  That being said, I think the issue here goes way deeper than the size of your guest list.  You and your FI need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart about how much debt you're BOTH comfortable carrying at any given time throughout your life.  And if your large guest list causes you to go over that amount, then you need to cut it.  It's not fair to him to throw all this debt onto his shoulders when he has obviously worked very hard to keep debt at bay.  He will only come to resent you if you do.  What happens if you end up with, say, $15k in student loan debt, $7k in wedding debt, and you get pregnant on your honeymoon?  While YOU may be OK with that, it's going to freak HIM the heck out and turn his world upside down.  That's not fair, just as it wouldn't be fair of him to saddle you with all of his debt when there was a way to avoid it.

    There is absolutely no reason you need to invite every last person who has ever sang in a choir with your dad in the past 35 years, or every last person who has ever said hello to you after Sunday services.  That's a LOT of people!  know you care for them, but you have to draw the line somewhere.  If they can't pick you out of a lineup, or if you haven't spent more than an hour with them in the past year, cut them off your list.  They'll understand that you just can't invite every single person your family has ever met to your wedding.  My family is involved in local politics as well as heavily involved in our church, and we just couldn't do it.  We had to decide - invite them all and have to wait another year to save up enough to pay for it, or cut them from the list and get married when WE wanted to get married.  We chose to cut them, and although it was a hard decision, it's one that I do not regret one bit.

    Would you consider a pre or post wedding celebration at the church for the church members only - something small like a cake & punch thing or a dessert reception?  That way, you can still celebrate with them, but it won't put you into so much debt?  Would you be willing to take on a PT job, donate plasma, etc to earn money so you can pay for everything with cash?  FI and I both took on extra work after we got engaged, and we've been engaged since 2008, because that's how long it took to save up for the wedding we wanted while avoiding debt all together. 
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  • Thanks for the imput Chi. You're right that fi and I haven't talked nuts and bolts about how much debt we're willing to carry.  And at some point we will. One of the reasons he doesn't have debt is that his parents paid for his education. Mine were out of work when I started school, and have only been both employed for a couple of years, and at a lower rate than previously. A lot of this is on me because I have dragged my feet on finishing school, and I already have alot of shame and guilt surrounding that, but all I can do at this point is to motivate myself to finish. I can't go back in time and change things. I already have student debt, which my parents and I will be paying off. That's debt I had before I met fi, so it's not his responcibility. After successfully not getting pregnant for the last 3 years of dating fi, I'm confident  will not be getting pregnant on the honeymoon... I have a job already, have been taking all the extra hours I can. I just did a 12h shift last night. I talked with fi about selling body fluids, and he is very against it. Besides which, I tend to pass out from even having a vial or two taken for testing. I'm in my low income period, with it being summer, but once fall rolls around I'll have my income from voice lessons and choir directing as well. I'm hoping I can get a couple more students than last year, and that will make a big difference. Most of the people I'm inviting from church I spend more than an hour with every week, or are the spouces of those people. The rest are old family friends and actual family. And again, we already have a deposit down, we will not be postponing. I know some people are ok with that, but I'm not. I don't want to be engaged forever, I want to be married forever. We will probably have a coupl of non-reception celebrations, one with his family who can't come from Texas, and one for the families of the children's choir. I have been through this a dozen times. I can't cut the list any more; my parents won't let me and they are contributing about half. I'm cutting costs everywhere I can, it's just never going to be something everyone will agree on.
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