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Central New York

How much do you share about your budget to those contributing? (kinda long)

Or in other words, how do you dodge direct questions about your budget without offending anyone? My mom is contrubting about 15% of the total cost (a set amount) while the rest is coming from my FMIL, and FI and myself. She keeps asking how much we're spending on everything and while she has a right to SOME information, she tends to dwell on the negative and I don't want to fuel any potential flames between her and my FMIL.

For example she's already said to my sister "If Lauren wants a certain flower for her centerpieces than she should be able to get it and her FMIL shouldn't tell her she can't!" This is a totally fabricated scenario! I haven't even begun to pick out my flowers or have I even discussed it with my FMIL in any way!  My FMIL is just giving us a lump sum and saying "do what you want," but my mom is already looking for conflict with my FI's mom over money!

I tried to avoid this by telling her exactly what her $ was covering, but she still wants to know things like the cost per head and how much we're spending on wedding party gifts so she can compare with her coworkers' daughters' weddings.

Has anyone else had to deal with a similar situation? What do I tell her when she asks direct $ questions?
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Re: How much do you share about your budget to those contributing? (kinda long)

  • raes19raes19 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Do you think maybe she is jealous that FMIL might have more say in the wedding than she does? Maybe she feels like she is missing out on a special time in your life because she isn't able to contribute more financially. 

    If they each aren't paying for set things (caterer, dj, ect.) maybe you can use the money from your mom to pay for the less expensive items so you can spread it across more items and she will feel like she has more input.
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  • sbolger17sbolger17 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    That's tough.  If you really don't want your mom to know, then you could just say something like, "We're going to have a very nice wedding, but I don't really want to talk about the money specifics.  We are very appreciative of your gift and will be putting it to good use.  What do you think of these invitations/BM dresses/whatever?" 

    If it was my mom, I'd probably just tell her the numbers.  My mom is paying for half of our wedding, with FILs paying for about 15% plus the rehearsal dinner, and us paying the rest.  They both gave us checks that we can use however we want, but I did send my mom my budget because she was interested.  I used the Knot Budgeter as my sample budget and made an Excel sheet out of it with 3 things: Sample Budget, Estimated Budget, and Paid.  I think the sample budget breakdown is good because then she can see the standard percentage breakdown for everything. 

    It sucks that she's going to compare with her coworkers' daughters' weddings, but maybe she just has no idea what weddings cost and just wants to know (I know that my mother and I didn't really know until right before I was engaged and we started researching).

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  • edited December 2011
    Much of my anxiety stems from the background on my mom. She tends to hold grudges-for life. Even for "slights" that only happened in her head/interpretation of events. She hasn't met my FMIL yet since they live in different states. I feel like she's already looking for reasons to dislike her!

    The other problem is my mom is the only one who has a real idea of how much weddings actually cost (because she's been comparing with her coworkers! lol) My FMIL is giving us the money as a wedding gift and has said it's up to us if we want to "blow it" on the wedding or invest it. The amount she's giving us, while generous, is actually below the "average" amount spent on a wedding in our area. My dad and step-mom are not contributing because they want us to elope on the cheap. FFIL is broke and will probably just get us a nice gift.

    So I feel a little like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place because I can't talk about money with anyone!
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_central-new-york_much-share-budget-those-contributing-kinda-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:621Discussion:7b971389-9fc4-4c2c-ab5e-6fc2edfcbfebPost:88be119c-3777-4bce-9d2e-ab7b569683bc">Re: How much do you share about your budget to those contributing? (kinda long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Do you think maybe she is jealous that FMIL might have more say in the wedding than she does? <strong>Maybe she feels like she is missing out on a special time in your life because she isn't able to contribute more financially.</strong>  If they each aren't paying for set things (caterer, dj, ect.) maybe you can use the money from your mom to pay for the less expensive items so you can spread it across more items and she will feel like she has more input.
    Posted by raes19[/QUOTE]

    As for the bolded part-She could contribute more, but doesn't want to because she feels my dad should be forking it over. A grudge- again. I don't agree since he paid for 100% of my private college tuition and she paid zilch. I kinda think he's done giving me money and I'm okay with that.

    The rest is a good idea since she'll get to help me make lots of little decisions about things it will make he feel like she's helping a lot!
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  • sbolger17sbolger17 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    That stinks.  Well, I guess just try and reiterate next time something comes up that FMIL hasn't put any restrictions on the way her money should be spent, so you'll be the one making final decisions.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the words of advice! I guess this isn't really a wedding problem as much as it is an all-the-time problem with a wedding theme. Oh family! lol.
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  • edited December 2011
    I know I'm a little late to this one, too.... but the girls on the ettiquette and WP boards use "Pass the bean dip" all the time.  It's kind of a nice way of saying "none of your business" while changing the subject. 

    All of the family money mess is a big part of the reason why many couples (Kevin and myself included) decide to pay for it themselves... then you are not at someone else's mercy or obliged to answer any financial questions... after all he who pays, says... and I guess in some ways does have a right to know how their money will be spent.  I think, though, questioning how someone else's money is being spent is crossing the line.

    Hopefully things will settle, but you might want to prepare a few "pass the bean dip" lines of your own b/c most likely, with a year left, there will be a few more intrusive questions from both sides that you will have to either answer or divert.

    I agree with one of the PPs suggestions of finding several smaller pprojects or vendors for your mother to help with.  This may end up being a good distraction technique, but I would still be prepared for some more nosy questions... some people just have to know it all.

    As for comparing with her coworkers... do you think she is digging for info or using your wedding as bragging rights?  ("well at myyyyyyyy daughter's wedding, there will be xxx and xxx").... either way, if it bugs you, you might want to talk to her about it now.  Tell her that you are very excited to be planning your wedding and are thrilled to have her help, but that you would like to keep your plans hush hush until the big day and you would appreciate her help with that.  And how about that bean dip?

    Good luck!!
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  • edited December 2011
    Good idea! I'll work on a few vague phases to divert these excessive questions. It's just annoying that I can't talk about money with anyone. I've also lined up some DIY projects for her to work on for me so she can feel more included.
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