We have been approached by several of our brides’ parents on how do we set a budget and how do we tell our daughter or son we do not have enough money. This is a touchy subject for parents…setting parameters.
First it is going to be hard to overnight change a life time of habits you have set for your children. If you have always paid for everything they have ever wanted it is going to be a touchy subject now that you are wishing or needing to set parameters for them.
As parents you need to first to discuss your finances among yourselves. You know what income you are bringing in, what debts you currently have and any hardships you may have now or can see in the future. From there you must decide can we afford to give our daughter or son $1000, $5000, 10,000 towards their wedding. Never go out and mortgage your home, dip into your retirement accounts to pay for a wedding. Weddings are luxury and one should never go into debt.
You need to set the couple down and discus of your goals that you want for your daughter’s wedding and what the couple’s goals are. Explain to them that you are going to give them x amount of money towards their wedding and that is all.
These children have to remember they are adults now and planning on getting married is a huge responsibility and budges are part of what comes with marriage and it is not a fantasy game. Explain to them that they can use the money how they see fit. The couple should do some research first before they just go out and start buying stuff for the wedding and contracting vendors. If you have given the bride let’s say $10,000 for her wedding and she goes outs and spend $2500 for a wedding gown then she only has $7500 left to purchased, a venue, flowers, catering, invitations, centerpieces, gift for their wedding party, decorations, honeymoon, transportation, alcohol for the wedding, rehearsal dinner, tuxes, favors for the guest, DJ or band, linens, I’m sure I missed some items.
I always recommend each couple to decide what is the most important part of your wedding is for you as a couple? Venue? Gown? Flowers? Meal, get my point? I would research cost in your area. Please don’t go by what all the bridal magazine that say, the average cost of a wedding is $25,000, $50,000 and so on. We have witnessed very low budget weddings and very high-end weddings and both were done with grace and style.
I’m sure the grooms family will help pick up some of the cost but again this should be discussed right up front as family who’s paying for what. When putting a budget together don’t assume anything.
If the family needs help with a budget I would recommend hiring a wedding planner. I know you are thinking just another cost but they can help you with your budget and in many cases save you money.
Weddings can be stressful time for all involved and no surprises “Make for a Happy Wedding and Family.
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Loveland, Colorado 80538