#firstworldproblems, right? First of all I should start by saying that Eric and I are thrilled to be engaged! After dating for 6 years, we know each other really well and feel that we’re ready to make this big and important commitment to each other, yay!
Shortly after we got engaged, my mom (and step-dad) and dad (and step-mom), both said they wanted to help pay for our wedding. My first gut reaction was, “No thanks, we’ve got this.” I have to admit I’m a little prideful and I don’t the idea of taking money from my parents, even if it’s for a wedding (yes I realize it’s traditional for the bride’s family to help pay for the wedding.)
Although we’re incredibly thankful and humbled that they’d even offer to help pay for the wedding, we’re not sure if that’s something we’re personally comfortable with. Don’t get me wrong, we’re so glad that they love us and support us and want to be involved in the, “big day” (and even want to help foot the bill!), but Eric and I are both, “adults” and have been living financially independent from our parents for a combined total of several decades.
While it would be nice to have some financial support from my family, we certainly don’t, “need it” nor do we want them to feel burdened by having to pay for our celebration. Really, we’d rather they spend their money on themselves and/or save that money for their retirement.
Just to be clear, I’m not judging people who accept financial help from their families, nor am I saying that parents shouldn’t help adult children pay for their weddings (if they want to). In fact, I think it’s amazing when parents want to help pay for the wedding…We just want having my parents’ financial support would, “look” and feel like.
Here are a few of the things we’ve been thinking about:
- If your parents pay for your wedding, how much input should you accept from them? i.e. Do they get to decide who to invite/not invite? Do they get to choose the venue and caterer? Does it depend on how much money they give you e.g. the more they pay the more input they’ve “bought?”
- If your parents don’t pay (but want to) will they feel slighted? Some families are more traditional about this than others. If the father of the bride is, “supposed” to pay for the wedding, but the bride doesn’t allow him, will his pride be hurt (like I said, I know all about pride-wink).
- If your parents are divorced and both sides want to help pay for the wedding, how do you decide who pays for what?
- What if your parents offer to pay for the wedding but you want something more expensive or extravagant then then had planned on paying for? What if they *your parents* want something much larger and more extravagant then you want?
I’ve had friends who have come across the same questions/issues/dilemmas and they’ve all told me that honest and open communication, not who pays for what, is usually what matters the most (and I’m sure they’re right, so I’m going to take their advice and talk to the family about what we want and how they can be involved and we can all feel good about it).
And if you’re curious, we haven’t chosen a wedding venue yet, but have decided that we will most likely be getting married in Maine next summer/fall (2016). Some of our top choices for venues have been nontraditional locations like a small library and my parent’s backyard. I love the idea of all the personal touches we could put on either location, and of course it helps that the cost of both would be really affordable. Free for my parent’s place and inexpensive for the library rental.
That said, we’d still have to hire a caterer and bring in all the tables etc. separately, which can really add up fast. So we’ll run some numbers and figure out which location makes the most cents (pun intended). Since we’ll be planning from many states away we’ll also be thinking about convenience. A wedding that costs a little more but has less moving pieces and less headache is definitely worth a little extra cost it in my opinion.