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Budget Weddings

FILs with high expectations

I got engaged in April and am planning my wedding for July 2016. My mom has offered FI and me an amount of money to pay for our wedding, and will give the rest to us as a cushion in our newly married life. Before doing much research, FI and I thought we would aim to spend about half of what my mom offered to keep half for ourselves. Since I have actually started researching, it looks like the wedding that we want to have is going to be about 75% of what my mom offered, and now FI is saying we can't do that, but when I offer cheap suggestions (my local community center, courthouse, etc.) FI says his parents will scoff if we have our wedding at a community center. My response is that his parents need to help pay if that's the case.

(I know, if we're getting married, we should be adults and pay for it all ourselves. FI and I have both recently graduated from college and have no money saved up, and if we pay for it ourselves, we are in the same boat where we would be at the community center and his parents won't approve.)

Any tips on how to break it to the future in-laws that if they want us to have a fancy wedding, they're going to need to contribute?

Re: FILs with high expectations

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2015
    I got engaged in April and am planning my wedding for July 2016. My mom has offered FI and me an amount of money to pay for our wedding, and will give the rest to us as a cushion in our newly married life. Before doing much research, FI and I thought we would aim to spend about half of what my mom offered to keep half for ourselves. Since I have actually started researching, it looks like the wedding that we want to have is going to be about 75% of what my mom offered, and now FI is saying we can't do that, but when I offer cheap suggestions (my local community center, courthouse, etc.) FI says his parents will scoff if we have our wedding at a community center. My response is that his parents need to help pay if that's the case.

    (I know, if we're getting married, we should be adults and pay for it all ourselves. FI and I have both recently graduated from college and have no money saved up, and if we pay for it ourselves, we are in the same boat where we would be at the community center and his parents won't approve.)

    Any tips on how to break it to the future in-laws that if they want us to have a fancy wedding, they're going to need to contribute?
    To do the bolded is very rude.  Never ask for money for a wedding.  Never hint that you need money for a wedding.  You need to be adults and deal with the cards life has dealt to you.   Have a small wedding wherever you choose, or wait and save up until you have more money.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • I got engaged in April and am planning my wedding for July 2016. My mom has offered FI and me an amount of money to pay for our wedding, and will give the rest to us as a cushion in our newly married life. Before doing much research, FI and I thought we would aim to spend about half of what my mom offered to keep half for ourselves. Since I have actually started researching, it looks like the wedding that we want to have is going to be about 75% of what my mom offered, and now FI is saying we can't do that, but when I offer cheap suggestions (my local community center, courthouse, etc.) FI says his parents will scoff if we have our wedding at a community center. My response is that his parents need to help pay if that's the case.

    (I know, if we're getting married, we should be adults and pay for it all ourselves. FI and I have both recently graduated from college and have no money saved up, and if we pay for it ourselves, we are in the same boat where we would be at the community center and his parents won't approve.)

    Any tips on how to break it to the future in-laws that if they want us to have a fancy wedding, they're going to need to contribute?
    Just don't talk to them about the wedding.  They can't scoff what they don't know about.  And nobody can tell you how to spend your money, so they shouldn't be so rude as to say anything anyway.  Just make sure you and your FI are on the same page with any decisions you make, especially since they're his parents.
  • It is rude to ask for money.
    Likewise, it's rude to suggest to people they should contribute money.

    Your options:
    1. Plan the wedding you can afford and be happy with that.  If you decide you only want to spend 50%, then you plan on that.  You do not plan for 75% hoping or suggesting that FI's family will contribute.  If they contribute of their own free will, then so be it, but you still shouldn't budget for more than you actually have to spend.

    2.  Sit on the money you do have and save up for the wedding you want - meaning you come up with the other 25% of your 75% and if that means you postpone beyond July 2016, then so be it.  That's the opportunity cost of choosing the 75% wedding.

    And if they aren't contributing, then you don't need to discuss your plans with them.  And if they ask, then provide them the least amount of details possible and move on to a new subject.  If they choose to get upset about it, then get real comfortable with the phrase "We are planning within our budget and are happy with our choices."
    CMGragain[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • Depending on the looks of the buidling a Community Center building can actually be very nice. My sister got married in the senior center which while it didn't have a formal venue feel, it did have a very nice elegant look to it thanks to how the tables were set up & the decor use. What I would do is price out options and basically make boards for your FI. Find out the cost of the community center or other similar type of venue, the cost of any decorations you would want including linens, plates, etc and a caterer. Then go to a traditional venue and price them out too and compare the prices. Make sure you compare apples to apples. Like for me, my reception per person price included all linens including chair covers, my cake and a card box, bar & food. If I went to a place like a community center, I would have had to find a caterer, possibly a baker for the cake, rent linens and depending on the types of tables avaiable, rent tables & chairs & done all the set up & clean up (unless you can get caterer to do that). Then once you figure out the pricing for both options you can figure out which is the best price option for your money. Then you figure out how many people you can afford to host and then figure out of that list how many people you want to invite, how many your mom can invite and how many FIL can invite & let them know accordingly. Then it comes down to, if FIL ask, well we would like to invite xx number beyond what you've alloted us for, you tell them, I'm sorry but that's all we can afford. Be prepared that if they offer you money to help pay for expenses if they can invite more guests on what you plan to say for that. If you are going to say yes, be prepared to a per person price and include the following when figuring out the price: per person food/bar cost, cost of invite, cost of favor, cost of additional tables/chairs/linens and depending on how many more people additional centerpieces.

    MesmrEwe
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Yes, just plan the wedding you can afford on the funds you have been allotted. If they comment, your fiancé should tell them this is what you guys can do within your budget. If they want to contribute, they will.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • I think y'all are making assumptions about FILs. They may scoff, or they may realize that if they aren't paying, they get no say. There is no need for a proactive conversation - to ha e one would come off as presumptuous and rude.

    Just plan what you want without worrying about your FILs. If they scoff at things they aren't paying for, they're rude and just ignore them. If they say, "we'd like to help you financially" (without prompting by y'all), then you can decide if you even want their help. (Because keep in mind, if you accept their money, they get a say in planning.)

    If you decide to accept money from them, my advice would be to let them pay for finite things - like the cake, or flowers, or the photographer - that way, they only get a say in that one thing. If you accept a lump sum, its hard to draw a line.
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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    PPs have it covered.  I'd also like to point out that you shouldn't count on your Mom's money until you have it in hand.  


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  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited June 2015

    One thought is that you're FI is PRESUMING that they will scoff - you haven't formally invited them to visit the Community Center with you as a venue option - so it's entirely possible that your FI is the one who is scoffing at the idea of the Community center and not your actual FIL's who might very well take a look and say "this is AWESOME!"... 

    Plan the wedding you can afford, not the fancy one you can't and use the "extra" money to get some savings built up.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with a Community Center as a venue and many up here are nicer than halls you rent out!  Even if not, really, since when did Weddings become gala's.  There's nothing wrong with the local KC, Lion's, Elk's, VFW, Community Centers, etc.!!!!

    I think it's your FI more than your actual FIL's if you haven't personally talked to them as a couple about that option for the venue if it's fitting your budget the most of any options in your area.  Yes, it is your FI's wedding too, so he does get some say, but if it's an issue of him assuming his parents may scoff, bring them into the conversation so you don't stall out the planning out of fear.  If they scoff, it's a simple answer "this is what we can afford at this point in our lives with our budget." and move on. 

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