Money is a delicate matter for all families regardless of how much is in the bank. Some families have saved up for a long time, while others may be looking to you as the couple to independently fund the celebration. Regardless of your situation, we’re giving you tips on how to have the budget talk with your family and fiancé!
Budgets & Families
There is no “one right way” to have the budget talk. You are the person who knows your family best, therefore you will know the best approach based on your relationship with each parent and how they best react. First, you’ll want to decipher if each of your families are on the traditional side or the non-traditional side. Do they each want the bride’s family to fund the entire nuptials while the groom’s family covers the rehearsal dinner, or are they each looking to chip in equally or not at all? Knowing this will help to guide your approach.
We recommend having a casual dinner or talking to one parent first to feel out the situation as a start to discussing the wedding planning and budget expectations. Having read Budgeting Part One and by now you’ve established a starting ground for your guest count, you’ll already have an idea of the average costs associated with wedding planning so that you go into the budget discussions well educated.
Once you know from both sides how much money you’re getting from your families, and how much you are chipping in yourself, congratulations – you officially have a total budget (or budget range)!
Fight it out now and fight less later.
We’ve come across this quite a bit as a philosophy in the wedding industry when it comes to couples and their budgets. The idea is simple. Imagine your top three wedding “must haves” – those things or people you see immediately when you enter into your wedding. Is it a couture gown, gourmet food, and a live band? Or is it an open bar amongst all of your family and friends with lush flowers?
You and your fiancé should start the planning process with this discussion. Both of you will develop your top three wedding must haves. Then you will reveal them to each other and explain why these are important to you. Be kind, but honest! The hard part will come next as you compromise to focus in on the ultimate top three categories. Once you come to this conclusion, you will know how to prioritize your budget and even splurge a little more in those categories. Everything else that was not a priority will not get priority status when it comes to your budget. This means if extravagant dessert bars wasn’t on either of your top three lists then you cut back here. If designer attire was not in your top three then you opt for attire that is a little more affordable. Make sense?
Chelsea + Tatiana