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The uncomfortable budget talk

I am planning my June 5, 2010 wedding for about 75 people.  Back in April when I got engaged, my father mentioned that he would be able to "help" with the wedding and that he had a "little" money set aside for the wedding. (No actual numbers given.)  I should probably mention that my parents are wealthy and I am the oldest child and only daughter.However ever since he mentioned this, whenever I attempt to bring it up to him or my mom, they avoid the conversation. I sense that this has more to do with the fact that they are uncomfortable with me getting married at all, rather than the actual finances of the situation.I haven't pushed it because I don't want to sound/feel like I am somehow entitled to their help. I am the one getting married and am fine with footing the bill, however it will mean a smaller wedding and compromises.I have started planning a wedding that we can afford without and help, but my FI thinks they might feel like I am excluding them by never asking for help if they have offered. How do I approach this awkward topic? We've never been a family at ease discussing money.
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Re: The uncomfortable budget talk

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    You HAVE asked. They avoid the topic. My suggestion to you would be to talk to them about why they are uncomfortable with you getting married (are they reluctant to let their only daughter go? or something to that effect?).
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    You don't approach it. It's up to your parents to come forward with help if they're going to. Even if they said they had some set aside, it's not yours until they give it, if they do. And why are they uncomfortable with you getting married at all?
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    Your parents financial situation, your sex and sequence in which you were born have absolutely NO relevance, so get that idea out of your head. If your parents wont confirm an amount they are giving you, or give it to you directly, you need to assume they arent giving you anything and plan to pay on your own. If they end up giving you the money, great, but asking them repeatedly is just annoying. You have attempted, let it go.
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    [i]I have started planning a wedding that we can afford without and help[/i] This. Continue to do this. If your dad wants to help, he will offer again. If not, you cannot ask him for a dollar amount.
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    Just continue planning what you can afford.  If they come through later with some funds, awesome.  If not, you'll have everything covered.
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    [i]I should probably mention that my parents are wealthy and I am the oldest child and only daughter.[/i] No, you shouldn't mention it. Even if they are wealthy, it does not mean that you are automatically entitled to their money. Nor does the fact that you are the eldest or only daughter have anything to do with it. You have attempted to bring up the money issue before, and they obviously don't feel comfortable talking about it. Plan the wedding that you can afford. IF in the future, they OFFER money, then you can accept it and say "thank you." Remember, $ almost always = strings, so be prepared for that if and when you accept their money. Also, don't count on any money promised to you until the check is in the bank and it has cleared.
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    I have to say that I completely understand what you are saying. My dad luckily was willing to contribute and he came to me with a solid number. That was really nice for me so I did have to deal with something like this. I would continue as you are doing as things get moving along and you start booking things maybe they will ask you more questions about when, where, how, how much and so on and they will come forward and mention it. One thing I can say is my father felt that it was his role to pay for the wedding and wanted it to be from him (not my mom or my step dad). Money is a very hard thing to talk about and but I know that if I just went ahead and never talked to my dad about it (b/c I know that is the way he is) he would of been hurt. You know your parents best and how they will act and react (and I feel that you are being very open and not expecting anything) so best of luck. i am sure that I did not fuly answer the question for you but I know how hard this situation is and was from my own experience this year with my wedding!  
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    "No, you shouldn't mention it. Even if they are wealthy, it does not mean that you are automatically entitled to their money" I agree. FIL are wealthy as well, they are not giving us money for the wedding. they think my parents should pay, but that is another story.
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    Thank you for the helpful advice everyone! To answer your questions: They are uncomfortable that I am getting married because they feel at 24 I am still their "baby" and their "little girl."  This is why I said that I was the oldest and the only girl.  They have never really experienced "letting go" before and I even though I don't live with them, getting married is one step closer to grandparenthood, something I know they aren't ready for, haha. I mentioned that they had the funds available because I wouldn't LET them help if I thought it would be detrimental to their financial well-being.
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    I say just wait for them to bring it up again.  Plan the wedding you have saved up for and if they want to give you the money then great!Also, you need to sit down and have a talk with them about why it's so hard to let go.  They should be happy for you!
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    I also agree with Navy about talking to them about your plans, growing up, being your own person etc. This is going on continue to be an issue not matter who pays for the wedding.
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    Continue to plan not counting on any money from them. If they decide later that they want to help let them bring it up. You've already brought it up and they've made it pretty clear that it isn't a discussion they want to have right now (or ever) so don't plan on their assistance. If that means scaling back then that's what it means. I would be more concerned about getting the relationship back on track so that you are all seeing eye to eye regarding the marriage, but that's just me.
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    Going slightly against the grain here..Do your parents realize that you're at the stage of planning where your starting to put money down for things? It's entirely possibly that they are thinking "why is she bringing it up to us she has so much time" because they don't realize how far in advance weddings get planned these days. Back when they got married it was an entirely different story. Heck, my parents were shocked I was having a wedding at all!If they DO realize that you're starting to pay for things then I would just drop the subject with them and continue planning to pay for it yourself.
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    So far I think you're going in the right direction. Have they met your fi and seen (presumably) how nice he is and why you are marrying him? My dad cried a lot during the wedding process and had a few break downs because "his only baby was getting married." I just made sure I spent a lot of time during planning being with him and having lots of get togethers with all of our families. At the reception he gave a wonderful speech about how he now has a son, and another daughter, and a great friend in my mil and he's so glad this happened.You can try including them without bringing the money part into it. When you visit venues ask if they would like to come with. Then they can hear the venue is "x" amount due at "x date". I invited sil on a few expeditions and after I was bummed we couldn't afford the venue we both thought was awesome she told me she would take care of it. Turns out she and her mom had been saving for years for when/if Dh ever got married, but didn't want to step on toes by offering money.So basically ask them for help in a non-financial way, accept graciously if offered, and be prepared to pay for the wedding if they don't.
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    I understand your frustration with your dad, after all, he did offer his financial help.  But I guess you will just have to continue your planning as if you and your fiance will be paying for it yourself.  Why do parents have to make things so hard?  I have always believed that straight forwardness works the best.  Remind him of what he said, "exactly", and see what he says.  Tell him you need to know because it will affect some choices you are making.
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    I feel a little different then everyone else.  If your dad mentioned to you that he has a little money set aside then he should be able to give you the amount.  When planning a wedding you need to set up a budget before you start planning.  For my wedding all people involved contributed but before I started planning I figured out what my husband and I, and our parents could afford to contribute and planned my wedding off of that budget.  Even if it is $50 that he can give you then at least you know that...Good luck talking to your dad about this...   
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    another dumb question, but do your parents know how much weddings cost? my friend's parents originally sent her $2,500 to pay for a wedding with 300 guests. They weren't being stingy, they just didn't "get" it. Maybe they are just uncomfortable about money, but besides the money, do they talk about the wedding to you at all? Do they ask you questions about it? Do they express any excitement about inviting people from their families? Does your mom want to look at dresses with you? Does she brainstorm what your flowers should look like and what your "something blue" should be? Do they start doing things like breaking out the slide projector and giving a three-hour slide show of their wedding and honeymoon? If the answer to all of those questions is "no"... I think you have bigger problems than an inability to talk about money. Then again, maybe they're thrilled, but just don't feel the need to pay for anything. My fiance's dad is a corporate CFO bajillionaire, and with four months to go they've offered to pay for a cake. whoot.
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