Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weddings

I have a friend who's daughter just got engaged and is in the planning stages of the wedding.  I have to say, at this point, I am not envying my friend at all! While she and her SO (not the daughter's father) can afford to and will give her a very nice wedding, she still wants to have a budget! My friend makes a very good salary but she's also very smart with her money. She drove her old car almost 15 years. Her new car is nothing fancy or showy. Friend is not into showing off her money.

Daughter (who is 26 and makes a very modest salary) has very champagne tastes and friend is quickly seeing how this can all get out of hand quite easily and has had to put the brakes on once she started adding this all up. They went to a bridal show recently and she saw a dress she liked.......price tag (on sale) was $8500.  The venues she is looking at are pricey and many make you pick from their list of approved caterer's, etc.  Daughter and her fiance have a guest list already at 200, so I can imagine how much that would cost to cater a reception that includes wine and beer.

Then throw in a future MIL who is ALL about designer labels and what a fiasco I see this turning out to be. They took her with them over the weekend to look at venues. Daughter complimented her on her cute rain boots..."oh, they are Michael Kors...." (seriously?) At one venue they walked in and daughter commented "well, this wasn't what I expected it to be" and future MIL says "it's just gross" (seriously?). My friend (who at this point can still laugh) said she just had to turn her head and walk away to keep from laughing out loud! MIL has also told daughter she really should hire a wedding planner, too.  Well, there's probably another $5000. And then she made a comment when they were comparing prices of venues "well, that place is only $500 more than the other place, so I'd just go with that place".  Daughter did at least have enough sense to say back "well, $500 here and $500 there really starts to add up".

After this weekend my friend just sat her daughter down and said "ok, here is your budget (I don't know what the amount is, but I'm sure it's very generous). If you want to spend more, you and your fiance will have to pay the difference. If you want a wedding planner, it will have to come out of this budget amount".  Future in-laws (who have lots of money for $200 rain boots) are not contributing a dime (not even for a traditional rehearsal dinner) but apparently are having no trouble spending my friends money! What I also find very sad is friends ex (daughter's father) is also not contributing a dime. This is a guy who, as long as I have known him, makes very good money (usually in the 6 figures) and says he is flat broke and can't help.

I'm sure my friend is glad she only had one child, LOL.  I told my DD about all this and I said "sorry Charlie, but when you get married, unless you are older and can afford to pay for most of it yourself, you will have a very low budget/DIY type of wedding!".  DD said she has never wanted a big fancy showy wedding and wouldn't even know 200 people to invite.

12 comments:

  1. Well nowadays it's normal for both families to contribute to the wedding so unless Miss fancy pants rain booties wants to write a check, I wouldn't even include her in any planning/shopping/etc.

    My parents always joked that when I got married there would be Kool-Aid and Nilla Wafers in the backyard. And since my parents were embroiled in a very bitter divorce that lasted 10 YEARS when I got married, that joke wedding was almost what I had. lolz
    $8500 for a dress for one day? Geez.....

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    1. That's what I said to friend "for one day?!" I thought it was getting very common for both families to share in the costs these days, too. Friend (who is also an accountant) told her daughter that at this point the wedding was costing $5000 an HOUR! Wowzer! Somewhere I have the list of what my wedding from 30 years ago cost, my mom found it awhile back and gave it to me. I should try to find it.

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  2. I always fear the size of my daughter's wedding, she has an Irish family and her boyfriend is Serbian. Thankfully, I have several years to wait on this.

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    1. eeek! sounds like you should be scared :-)

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  3. My DD is engaged and in absolutely no rush to start planning or even set a date. Not that she and her fiance are not looking forward to being married, but they want to purchase a home first (they presently live together). I have told her the amount we will provide for her event, and we are perfectly okay if she would prefer to take that money and boost their down payment. DD wants a very low-key event, but her fiance is from a HUGE family and there is an absolute expectation that everyone will be invited and will attend. I am now imagining a courthouse event, just the two of them and strangers for witnesses, and I think that I am going to be okay with that as well if that's truly what she wants.

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    1. My friend offered her DD this option too....as they are looking to buy a house when they get married.

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  4. At this age, I have a bit of trouble understanding why parents are still paying for their kids' weddings as a matter of course. I understand having student debt and not making that much money, I've been there and I suppose I'm considered part of this friend's daughter's peer group in my early 30s but what that says to me is that your taste has to fit YOUR budget, not that of your parents'.

    In my opinion, we're adults now and once you're in your mid-20s, and parents should only be contributing what they would like, IF they would like.

    We went with a courthouse wedding first and a long while later we hosted a reception for family and friends. There's nothing wrong with some sort of compromise!

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    1. I totally agree. If I had gotten married in my late 20's, had career's (they both do) I would have had a hard time expecting my parents to pay for the whole thing. My step sister was 29 when she married and they both had very good jobs and they paid for most of the wedding themselves and my folks chipped in for part of it.

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  5. I only one have one daughter, thankfully. We do plan on helping the boys as well, but not paying all of it at all!

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    1. I really don't get the guys parents not willing to chip in. If they expect to go the "traditional" route with the bride's parents paying for the wedding, then at least they could do the traditional thing and pay for the rehearsal dinner.

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    1. It sounds like a very beautiful wedding! And just proof you don't need to spend a fortune.

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