“Money, money, money, must be funny in a rich man’s world.”
ABBA said it best. Money is one of the toughest topics to talk about in general, let alone when it comes down to wedding planning. Having the expectation that your parents will help cover costs for your wedding without discussing can put everyone in a really tricky spot. Whether you grew up with the idea that parents eat the cost for a wedding, or it’s completely on the bride and groom… It’s absolutely something to discuss.
But how do you even begin a conversation like this?! Being prepared before going into an uncomfortable conversation will give you peace of mind as you begin to navigate the actual discussion with your loved ones. As a wedding planner (and a recent bride), I’ve experienced the “awkwardness” of this conversation a time or two.
To establish your vision, ask yourself the following question – Is a celebration “Someone”, “Something”, or “a Group of People”?
To estimate all costs, think about every aspect of your dream wedding day. From hotels to rehearsal dinners, all the way to the little wedding day moments. You need to account for all costs and services – even if it’s scary.
For example: Think about your gift table. What goes on the table? You’ll want a guest book, which means you’ll need pens and a jar for the pens. You’ll want a sign that indicates that *this* is the guest table, or you’ll need a box for cards.
Yes, this will be awkward.
Here’s an example of what you could say: “So we’ve recently been trying to budget for our wedding before we start spending money. We are super excited about our vision for the day. Here is what we are thinking: *EXPLAIN THE VISION OF THE DAY. Don’t spare any details. Take them through the importance of each element and cost* After budgeting all that, we figured out that our overall budget needs to be ___. We will need to either eliminate some elements that are important to us like _____ or we may even elope since our budget we can afford is ___.”
If they’ve mentioned contributing say, “I know in previous conversations, you had mentioned being able to help us with our wedding. Is there something within our budget and expense list you would be comfortable helping with?”
If they’ve never mentioned contributing, say, “Do you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can accomplish our wedding vision without compromising it?”
Laying out options and even ultimatums is sometimes important. This will give them a chance to either help out with finding more affordable alternatives or will allow them to contribute. It should be very obvious that if you cannot get the funds (or find an alternative solution), there will be no extravagant wedding day.
Keep in mind allllll of the costs that you will be responsible for: wedding party gifts, travel accommodations, snacks, bachelor & bachelorette parties, etc.
If they have mentioned in the past that they are helping with the cost, ask to set up a time to sit down to discuss your vision and budget.
Set a date and time. If they hadn’t mentioned before that they would contribute, ask them if they would like to be involved in the planning process and if they are able to help with certain aspects. From there, there will be further conversations when those certain aspects arrive.
Keep in mind your families’ financial situation when asking them to help. Do not put them in a tough spot if they will be uncomfortable contributing.
Details to establish when accepting money are:
Ooof. It’s a lot, my friend. I know. And it’s not a conversation you’re looking forward to; I know that, as well. But if you can get through it, you can get through anything including Vendor consultations, being confident in your budget with vendors, telling loved ones ‘NO’ when they overstep, and so much more. You’ve got this!!
What are you most worried about when it comes to the $$$ Talk?!