Wedding Etiquette Forum

Wedding planning order + family helping pay questions

What order did you plan your wedding in?

I was planning on assembling a guest list (ball park not finalized) to get an idea of how many people we'd be talking about and then look at my budget and pick a venue that we can afford while factoring in the number of people we'll need to accomodate. 

My mother seems to think that we should look at the budget first, then look for a venue that fits with that budget and then make a list based on how many people the venue can hold. Given the large size of my family, I'm not sure that's the best approach. 

Also both of our parents have offered to help us pay for our wedding, which is really nice of them, but I'm unsure of how/when to ask them for actual numbers. If they've offered to help is it ok for me to ask them what they would like to contribute?

Re: Wedding planning order + family helping pay questions

  • What's more important to you, having a specific venue or having certain people there?  If the venue is important, figure that out first and build your guest list based on how many people you can fit.  We made a list of people first and then figured out somewhere we could fit them.  We did come up with a ballpark number that we didn't want to go over, though, for budget reasons. 

    Since your parents have offered to help, I'd just ask them what they are comfortable contributing.  Just be careful, money can come with strings. 

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We did it like you suggested.  Having certain people AND properly hosting them we more important to us than a venue.  

    So we figued out the guest list (added 10-15% just in case) and then picked out the venue based on the list and how we wanted to host the event.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-planning-order-family-helping-pay-questions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:46f1f37e-0c08-41c6-b2ec-20606efe3efcPost:de363648-c71a-4106-8a97-5bd1869f0dc2">Re: Wedding planning order + family helping pay questions</a>:
    [QUOTE]We did it like you suggested.  Having certain people AND properly hosting them we more important to us than a venue.   So we figued out the guest list (added 10-15% just in case) and then picked out the venue based on the list and how we wanted to host the event.
    Posted by lyndausvi[/QUOTE]

    Ditto all of this exactly.
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  • I first decided I wanted to fill my small church. So that set an approximate headcount. We looked at reception venues and made the guest list about simultaneously.

    I communicate with my parents either very matter-of-factly or so passive-aggressively as to be useless for something like wedding budgeting. They had offered to pay before we even got engaged. After we got engaged, we had a conversation about the faintest outlines of the budget factors - number of guests and full meals. Then they went on vacation for a few weeks, to visit one of my relatively recently married cousins. We knew when they got back, they'd have an idea of how much the outline we'd sketched would cost.

    But because we're spreadsheet-happy, my future husband and I prepared a full budget presentation for after they got back. Mostly, their eyes glazed over, as they're not spreadsheet-happy. A few weeks later, they offered a lump sum 15% less than our proposal total, and we accepted.

    Yes, I'm very lucky, and yes, maybe a full proposal wasn't the greatest, most respectful idea. But it worked within my family dynamics.

    Planning tip: Our photographers, which were the second venue we hired, after the reception venue (not counting the church; it doesn't sell/vend anything), wanted our day-of schedule. The caterers want even more detail. All the planning guides I've read have you write your day-of schedule just a few months out. Nope. A year or more, in outline, depending on when you hire your vendors.
  • We made a general guest list first, then factored in about 15% more in case we changed our minds or people entered into relationships.

    My parents then gave us a budget, and we booked a venue.
  • Thanks for all of the advice!
  • We knew our budget when we got engaged (my younger sister married first and they told me when she got married how much she got and how much I would get), so we figured out what we wanted out of our wedding (guest list size, where, what time of year, etc). 
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  • We worked on a guest list and budget at about the same time.  It helped since there were a limited number of venues in our hometown and we needed to know pretty quickly if either had to be re-evaluated.

    My parents offered help financially and DH's threw our rehearsal dinner.  DH and I decided how much we could afford to put in ourselves and then talked to my folks about how they wanted to pay for things - if they wanted to give money to particular aspects or if we were pooling the money (we did this in the end).  I will say that this conversation helped a lot since it established that there would be no strings attached to the money.  I don't think we would have taken their money if it was attached to certain conditions.  As long as the parents have already offered help, I think its okay to ask what their help would look like.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-planning-order-family-helping-pay-questions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:46f1f37e-0c08-41c6-b2ec-20606efe3efcPost:0b3e3ad3-caef-4664-b7a9-efa8c03132aa">Wedding planning order + family helping pay questions</a>:
    [QUOTE]What order did you plan your wedding in? I was planning on assembling a guest list (ball park not finalized) to get an idea of how many people we'd be talking about and then look at my budget and pick a venue that we can afford while factoring in the number of people we'll need to accomodate.  My mother seems to think that we should look at the budget first, then look for a venue that fits with that budget and then make a list based on how many people the venue can hold. Given the large size of my family, I'm not sure that's the best approach.  <strong>Also both of our parents have offered to help us pay for our wedding, which is really nice of them, but I'm unsure of how/when to ask them for actual numbers. If they've offered to help is it ok for me to ask them what they would like to contribute?</strong>
    Posted by Megan+Adam[/QUOTE]
    I asked also. Soon after we were engaged I started tryin to make a tenative guest list & budget. As I was discussing it with my parents, they mentioned that they would contribute. I said 'great, I'd really appreciate that,' and the convo continued. A few weeks later I casually asked, 'So when you said the other day that you'd contribute to our wedding, around how much were you thinking? The only reason I ask is because that significantly changes where I may book a venue.' They told me and about 1 month later gave me the money. They never felt pushed or awkward. Hey, they offered!
  • edited February 2012
    I asked my dad what the budget was like.  My mom told me what the limit was.  He had me put together a rough estimate of a guest list so that we knew what size of venue we wanted to look for, bearing in mind that the more we spent on guest-related items, the less we had to spend on me.  Then, based on the size of the guest list, we knew how much was typical to spend for everything else.  Personally, I think this is a good model.

    Bridal shows really helped in the budget department as you can win or negotiate discounts from vendors which help make things a little easier.  I won $500 off DJ services that way.  Thankfully, my dad has been fairly flexible with planning order.  If I could lock in a better deal than usual, I did it.

    As for asking for the contributions from the future in-laws, I had my fiance ask.  That is not a question that needs to be coming from me.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-planning-order-family-helping-pay-questions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:46f1f37e-0c08-41c6-b2ec-20606efe3efcPost:0b3e3ad3-caef-4664-b7a9-efa8c03132aa">Wedding planning order + family helping pay questions</a>:
    [QUOTE]What order did you plan your wedding in? <strong>I was planning on assembling a guest list (ball park not finalized) to get an idea of how many people we'd be talking about and then look at my budget and pick a venue that we can afford while factoring in the number of people we'll need to accomodate.  </strong>My mother seems to think that we should look at the budget first, then look for a venue that fits with that budget and then make a list based on how many people the venue can hold. Given the large size of my family, I'm not sure that's the best approach.  Also both of our parents have offered to help us pay for our wedding, which is really nice of them, but I'm unsure of how/when to ask them for actual numbers. If they've offered to help is it ok for me to ask them what they would like to contribute?
    Posted by Megan+Adam[/QUOTE]

    The bolded part is what we did.
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