Wedding Planning Update

Since January the wedding planning has gone into full swing. We were able to open the floodgates when my fiancee's parent agreed to pay for a large portion of the wedding (although amounts were not discussed). My fiancee and I agreed to pay $6,000+/- plus our honeymoon. My parents also agreed to pay for a portion of the wedding expenses.

My preference would have been to get all parties to tell us what they were comfortable spending and we could then set a wedding budget and spend our efforts getting the biggest bang for the buck. However, given the dynamics of all the people and relationships involved, I am just grateful we have been able to move forward.

Once we have the finance issue at least understood, my fiancee and her mom have done most of the legwork. We set our wedding date as October 20th, 2007. She has booked the ceremony location, reception (and catering) location, minister and premartial counseling, photographer, videogragher, DJ, her wedding dress, and 'Save the Date' cards.

I have no idea what kind of money is being spent on most of these items. We are probably spending a small fortune.

Related in Money And Relationships:

Smart Couples: Dreams Basket (Jan 18, 2008) My wife and I recently resumed reading Smart Couples Finish Rich. The book helped us discuss our different values, sync on our current retirement savings plan, and start talking about our insurance needs. The last section in the book...

Smart Couples: Security Basket (Jan 17, 2008) My wife and I recently resumed reading Smart Couples Finish Rich. The book helped us discuss our different values, and sync on our current retirement savings plan. The next section in the book was focused on security including emergencies,...

Managing Cash Flow (Jan 02, 2008) Wow -- I am still amazed at how complex managing personal finances gets once you get married. It's like that corporate project that gets extra headcount to speed things up, but yet everything slows down because more communication, more interlock...

Comments (22)

Wedding are ridiculously expensive, and I'm from the school that think people should pay for their own weddings. I'm not much a traditionalist or maybe because it's I'm Asian, but I think a parent's financial responsibility should end after college. Also who pays for the wedding can lead to bad power dynamics which wouldn't have to exist if the marrying couple paid for it themselves.

I think there is a typo in your update. You said 'small fortune' when you really meant 'fortune'. I just got married a couple of years ago, and even with a 'small' wedding with no real reception and friends doing a lot of the work, and things like home printed invitations and such, it still cost us $5k-$6k, not including the honeymoon. Gotta love the markups on all this specialized wedding stuff.

So, in other words, what you're saying is that I should be suspecting my wedding invitation within the next month or so?

I got married 4 months ago and it did cost me a fortune, but it was worth every penny of it. This is a one time event that you will both remember for the rest of your lives...enjoy it to the max and share it with your children (if you plan to have any). However, you have to draw the line between over doing it and having a great wedding... There is a whole economy rotating around weddings, people's expectations, and yours... In summary, don't be cheap, at the same time, don't over do it! Just my 2 cents... and please post some pictures of your wedding when it is all over!

Sorry, but I think you and your fiance should pay 100% of the wedding and honeymoon costs. You are far too advanced in your lives and finances to need/want assistance. You and your fiance are adults, with good incomes and savings. I know weddings are expensive. While I like the idea of someone else picking up the tab whenever possible, I just don't think it's the right thing to do under your circumstances.

You are getting married right? Why should anyone else be paying for YOUR wedding. It is your wedding. If you can't afford what you want for your wedding, plan something else. Do you expect anyone else to pay for you car, your vacation, your house, your health insurance. Grow up and take control of your life. If you can't afford something save your money until you can. You talk about saving you money and saving your fiancees money, what about saving your in-laws and your parents money. Also, you want to save your fiancees money by getting rid of her security system. Are you in the least concerned about her safety. Maybe she should find someone to marry that is a little less concerned with the bottom line and how much money he has in his pocket and look for someone that has her safety and piece of mind in mind. Good luck to you both. I hope the divorce doesn't cost you to much!

2 Million,

Will there be pictures after the wedding? All your loyal readers want to know!

Some of you people need to chill out. I've known 2million for a long time, and he's real good people. A little bit more frugal than I knew him to be several years ago, but still good people. Have you considered that part of the reason that he is saving so much now is that so that one day when he has a daughter of his own he can afford to pay for her wedding. It's a freaking tradition whether you agree with it or not. Have you also considered that perhaps his fiancee's parents WANT to pay for part of the wedding as their gift for the newlyweds. Frankly, it's really none of your business. 2million, keep up the good work. You keep me laughing everyday. I read your blog everyday and it cracks me up to think back to the good old days of Seven Oaks. I've never really been motivated to post until now, as it's obvious that morons read your blog and feel compelled to post idoitic responses.

Wow, I guess some people are never going to let the security system thing go. I'm also somewhat surprised at the comments telling you that you should pay for your own wedding. My Fiancee and I will be paying for most of our wedding ourselves, but our folks may pitch in a bit. If they offer, I won't turn them down.

I kinda agree with the posters who are telling you to pay for it yourself. You have a net worth of $336K+...Why burden your parents with this costs when you could easily afford it. Its not like your just our of college and don't have much money.

As one of the morons suggesting that 2million should pay for his own wedding, I agree that alot of times parents want to pick up the tab as gift to their kids (usually daughter), and that's a great gesture and not necesarilly one to be refused. It clearly depends on the individual situation. I don't know what 2million's fiancee's parent's situation is. Paying for the wedding may not be a burden at all. I just have a reaction because I've seen people plan these lavish wedding just expecting mom and dad to pick up the tab.

Thanks for all the comments. I am really surprised at all the feedback that we should pay for our wedding ourselves. Let me elaborate more on the thought process we had while working through this.

1) My fiancee and I established that we could afford to pay for the money and budget $6,000+/- for the actual wedding (not including engagement ring, honeymoon, etc). Given my net worth number in the upper right hand side of the screen that may look like alot to some, but if you dig into the details youll quickly realize most of that is tied up in retirement plans and real estate - I am still trying to rebuild some savings from the engagement ring purchase. I am certainly not someone who is willing to extend myself too far. For a bigger discussion on how we got to $6k - read this wedding budget post.
2) My fiancee (and I) quickly established that this would not cover the wedding plans. My fiancee felt it was very important to have the wedding in her parent's town; where wedding's cost significantly more than the area we live today.
3)I might have pressed harder to reduce the wedding expense so that we could fund it ourselves, but there are alot of other issues/dynamics to consider. In the end, perhaps we took the easy way out by having our parent's contribute to the wedding.

But lets face it, wedding planning is overwhelming, and there is alot to plan for after a wedding (buying a home, starting a family, etc) that this seems like the right time to lean on family a bit. We may regret it, but so far my fiancee is happier that she can plan a wedding that she wants without having all those tough money talks.

As a female who recently got married, I can tell you that "having all those tough money talks" right now is one of the best things that you and your fiance can do for yourselves. How you decide to handle difficult discussions around money and compromise during wedding planning is a precursor to how you'll handle them throughout your marriage. I highly recommend getting more involved and dealing with sensitive, uneasy conversations only gets harder from here. Plus, you'll both learn a lot more through the process than you already have.

I read your blog regularly and admire your discipline for saving money. However, this post just illustrates how hard it is to stay disciplined when a woman is involved. From your October 2006 post, you wanted to keep the wedding expense down to $6,000. Now, you have given in to the future wife's demands. This is just a precursor of things to come in your marriage. My unsolicited advice is to discuss the finances now, not later. If you don't set precedent now that you will only purchase things that you can afford, you will be toast in the long run. Generally, I think that we all want to please the women that we love, but unfortunately, sometimes you have to be the benevolent dictator and lay down law.

Also, if you take money from your in-laws, one way or another your in-laws will throw it in your face in the future or iwll expect that you owe them something. It has happened to a few of my friends. NEVER, ever, ever, take anything from your inlaws unless it is absolutely necessary.

One more suggestion, try getting married on a Friday or Sunday, instead of Saturday. Most places charge half price for those days.

Here's my 2 cents: I got married in St. Patrick's Cathedral, had my reception in the penthouse of the St. Moritz on 5th Ave in NYC, a honeymoon in Martinique. 9 years later I was divorced and got $75 a week in child support. Give me a break!
2nd marriage, hubby and I told no one, got married in the local town court, rented an RV and went to DisneyWorld (with my kids) That was 25 years ago. You figure it out!

My fiance and I were planning to do most of the legwork and try to pay for as much as possible help from the parents came later in the game but with them paying we discovered that they wanted to have a distinct say as to what happened. Be wary of this since it can cause tension (it did for us with the music).

Good Luck with the future planning.

i have to confess that i agree with the 'morons'.

- s.b.

If you truly don't know how the budget is being expended, you should rectify that sooner rather than later. No matter who is paying the bills, know where the money is going. :) The number always look intimidating as a solid block - much like one's net worth or debt - until one looks at the individual bits and bobbles of it.

I'm a bit offended by "anonymous" saying that, "morons read your blog and feel compelled to post idoitic responses", and that, "Frankly, it's really none of your business." I can't disagree more. First, name-calling is unnecessary. I thought we were all adults engaging in adult exchanges. Second, 2million posted this in his *BLOG* and *requested* opinions on the matter. 2million, I'm a bit disappointed that you permitted anonymous' post. I think it hinders the type of dialogue you have worked so hard to build. It's OK to disagree, but name-calling and nastiness is not OK. And this person claims to be your friend, 2million?

My 2 cents: Definitely work out money issues right now-lay the law down now. It is a slippery slope when you begin entering the emotional aspects of a wedding. just think of how emotional such issues as children, home, taking care of each others' respective eldery family, etc. will be in the future. You are now co-mingling the funds and if you set the bar too high too quickly, basic human nature dictates that your partner will expect such experience to repeat itself throughout your marriage. Bottom line, if you really don't want to spend on something, then don't or at least minimize the expense as much as you can. I did a big wedding and although it was fun, I was the least important person at my wedding, and i was the groom! bottom line, not worth it. it is all about the fantasy that this society has shoved down women's psyche. don't buy into it. marriage is a contract and there is constant negotiating going on. finally, pay it all yourself--you more than anyone knows that money is power. good luck and congrats on fining love!

I would say that I too agree with the morons, however, it might be a jealousy issue. ;) My husband and I got married 3 years ago, spent more than we should have and received no help from our parents. I'll admit, I would have taken it though.

I the end, I think it worked out well. We had a pretty large, though not extravagent wedding but still found it hard to say "no" to the parents when they wanted to invite so-and-so. I can only imgaine if they were footing the bill! I won't say how long it took us to pay off the wedding (it's rather embarrassing) but I will say it was a great learning experience. It's what has made us both frugal and smater in the long run I think.

I don't blame you for accepting the money, but I think that you may miss out on learning a thing or two. We enjoyed our wedding immensely but when I think of it now that we're out of La La Land, I know we would have been just as happy to have a nice backyard bbq.

Either way, best of luck to you! I don't think the cost of the wedding or who pays for it will have a bearing on how long it lasts. Enjoy your lives together!!

Post a comment

(Comment moderation enabled.)


A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,938,393


New Personal Finance Articles

PF Blogs