Monday, November 30, 2009

Elegantly Navigating Family Issues: The Budget

This one is difficult.  The budget, and who is contributing what.
Remember the old tradition that the bride's family pays for almost everything?  Well, if we did that, we would be eloping.  My family has nothing to give, unless you count emotional drama.

Anyhoo, P and I are going to contribute what we can, which amounts to about 3,000 dollars.  MAX.  I will not go into debt for our wedding.  Let's repeat that, just to make sure.  I will not go into debt for our wedding. 
When we decided to have our wedding in Wisconsin to accomodate his family, we talked with them about what they were willing to contribute financially.  They were vague, but they assured us that they would help us out significantly.
Now, every piece of advice I've read or have been given about this says to just ask for a specific amount.  It gets tricky when people say things like "I will pay for the food at the reception, the invitations, etc".  I've tried and tried to side step around this, but future MIL really wants to just say WHAT they are paying for, not how much they are paying.  So, they have generously offered to pay for our reception.  Which I am VERY thankful for.
So what's the problem?  Well, our reception is where we are saving the most money because of my connections to the restaurant.  All of the other stuff is not hugely affected by our small number of attendees or this incredible deal (ceremony site fee, rentals (dance floor, cocktail tables), our attire, flights to Wisconsin, hotel room for several days, bluegrass band, rehearsal dinner, etc.).  When you add it all up, if they only pay for the reception, P and I are actually going to pay a lot more than we have the money for. 
So now I don't know what to do.  P's stepfather told us to just let him know when we needed money for things, but his mother seems pretty set on just paying for the reception.  Truth be told, we won't be having a rehearsal dinner, and we may be crashing on our friend's floors in Madison if we don't get a little more help from them.

So, what's a girl to do?  Any advice would be much appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. I would find out from them what they think the reception includes. From various other wedding blogs I would assume that it would include the band, the rentals (dance floor, cocktail tables, etc), and decorations for the reception space, etc.

    Also, you may want to discuss the wedding plans with them, sort of as a play-by-play of the weekend. And you may include things like "due to the budget we won't be having X" (be that the rehearsal dinner, etc). Not just saying we're not going to have this, that, and the other, but more like this is what the ceremony is going to be like, and the reception, and... Just like you'd be telling one of your friends (or the blogging community). But also let them know when things have been reduced or eliminated because of the budget. And though there's no guarantee, there's a definite chance that they'll offer to pay for those items.


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