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.