Pep Talk Tuesday {When Money Falls Through}

Happy Tuesday blogettes! I have a little treat for you today. Last week when I made my call for help, a reader of mine (an incredibly sweet reader of mine), sent me this little dilemma and it was too good not to share with you guys. Here's the little rut she's in:

"The backstory: we got engaged, a few weeks later my mom tells me she has saved x amount of dollars aside for my wedding. I've been on my own since 18. Paid for anything and everything for myself since then. We were definitely not expecting this gesture and were so thrilled! So I began planning with my x amount budget. Now, 2 months before the wedding, my mom lost her job. And as it turns out, the dollar amount that I was told was mine is not actually tangibly there. It was just what my mom thought she could give over the next 6 months. I am so torn. The money is not there and I am not prepared to front it all myself. I want to be a little angry, but then I feel like a spoiled brat. I'm sure other brides have had this problem. Money is always such a touchy subject, I mean I know what I would have done differently now. Asked more clarifying questions, ask for money upfront perhaps. I don't know, thoughts?"


You know what the crappiest part of wedding planning is? It's money. And I've said it before and I'll say it again but unless you have a money tree growing in your backyard, it's easy to let your budget, and the amount of money you can actually afford to spend, dictate what you can and can't have for your wedding. Wrap that up with the things you want (but may not necessarily be important) and throw in the saturated market of blogs, shows and magazines telling you what's pretty and trendy, and wedding planning can absolutely make you want to feel like a spoiled little brat, who is a little angry. And that's OK. Let it all out, be a little angry. But then you hafta move on.

Financially, if there are things you have paid hefty deposits on like a DJ, caterer or photographer, that you really can't or would regret backing out on, then those vendors should take precedence over other vendors like say a videographer, a baker, a florist or some other area that you could skimp on or make do without. Square away those payments, if possible, and if not talk with your vendors to see what can be done. Perhaps your contract can be revised, if the vendor is a friend maybe they'll be willing to offer their service as a gift or create a payment plan that you can manage post-wedding. Avoid using credit, do a lot of soul-searching and make what needs to happen, work. It might get messy and uncomfortable and require some clever maneuvering on your part but if having the wedding go on is important to you then the show must go on (regardless of your decision here, the good news is your marriage will still go on).

Emotionally, I would (and did admittedly) feel like a huge brat when I couldn't front half the junk I wanted to for our big day (I am still whining and struggling over our videographer fiasco, but more on that later). We seem to think we are entitled to our specific wants and desires so when we're not given them, we feel like we've been given the short end of the stick. It's like a "How dare you! This is my wedding day we're talking about," kind of feeling. We feel hurt and blindsided. Like the carpet's been pulled from underneath us. Wedding pros and mags throw out industry standard numbers on what's appropriate for a wedding and everything that makes em happen and we feel panicked when our own numbers don't measure up. And blogs! Wedding blogs. My own blog. Imagine walking into Coach trying to buy a bag with 20 bucks? That's how wedding planning felt to me. Talk about knocking the wind out of your sails.

Two months before the wedding, for your Mom to lose her job when she told you she would be contributing x amount of money; that sucks. But, and here's the big but, you and your fiance will make it work. You and your family will come together and persevere through these final eight weeks to make your wedding day happen. It might not be exactly what you had envisioned in your mind but it's still going to be magical, meaningful and essentially everything a wedding day is really supposed to be. Spend money on things that you care about, don't be afraid to say "no" and be OK with the decision to not have _____ {insert wedding item of choice here} at your wedding. I promise guests will be OK with an iPod belting out music during the reception. And even more comforting should be the fact that, guests won't mind if you're not the DIY goddess every bride and groom seem to be these days. But probably the best advice I can give you is to remember how priceless this experience will be for you and your fiance as you start the rest of your lives together.

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Now one important thing that I wanted to add to avoid getting in the above predicament is to be more prepared on the whole money subject from the get-go (and this is one thing the bride-to-be above and I discussed initially after I wrote this post). Sitting down with your parents, your fiances parents or whoever else may be contributing financially to the big day is something that should be done during the beginning stages of your planning process so boundaries and expectations can be set and let downs and surprises can be avoided. If x amount of money is to be given or offered for you to use, hashing out how and when that money will be provided gives you a foundation to make better calculated choices (cash, cheque, money order, direct deposit, paid directly to vendors, all up front, in chunks as needed, the month of the wedding, etc). Keeping the lines of communication open with whoever may be assisting or contributing towards the bill part of the wedding will keep your expectations and happiness in check leading up to and on the big day. 

Alright chicks, let's hear it. Help a girl out!

15 Lovely Comments:

Piril Maria said...

Thanks for the talk. Going to take it with me.



♥ Love,
http://thebookness.blogspot.com

Claire Gallam said...

When it comes to weddings, budgets are NEVER as black and white as they seem. There is always something going on that complicates it, and this story REALLY showcases that. And it just shows that life happens and it doesn't stop just because you are getting married or having a kid or moving. You have the right to be upset at the situation, absolutely. It's a sucky situation. But like Rhi said, you will find a way to make it work. If you have to cut things from your budget, talk through each vendor/aspect with your fiancée first and really really narrow down what matters most. If in the end, you don't really care about fancy stationary but a nice photographer is a must, find ways to save on paper so you can have that ultra fabulous photographer. It's give and take, really. Your wedding will be gorgeous, beautiful and perfect, no matter how much is spent on it. It's your wedding, about your love, what could be more beautiful than that?

Like Rhi said, you have to be honest, upfront and willing to negotiate, especially when it comes to weddings. It's not an easy discussion, but once it's had, all parties feel so much better afterwards because they all have an idea of how much is going where and how they are helping.

Jennifer said...

Great advice to share! Thanks for posting!

Erin*Sparkle&Hay said...

i wholeheartedly agree. the dreaded B word -budget - is the WORST part of wedding planning. but it is also the most stress-relieving part of planning to have that conversation, and establish priorities early on. it might not be fun, but it will make your planning that much more enjoyable.

for the bride who is going through this situation right now - my heart goes out to you. that is so tough, and emotional on so many levels. like rhi said, establishing your priorities is key, but i'd highly suggest NOT putting yourself into crazy debt by fronting the money yourself. while it's easy to get caught up in the design/decor of the big day, it really is just one day - and you will be so deliriously floating on air happy that day no matter what. (plus, you don't want to look back on that day with any negative thoughts as you're still paying a floral bill 6 months later.)

*also a tip to people attending weddings - if you can afford to, why not send the bride & groom their wedding gift (check) a few weeks before their wedding? having a little extra cash come in before the big day would be a nice surprise.

The Vintage Modern Bride said...

budgets are hard. especially when we're all reading wedding blogs and have to have all of the latest stuff. i don't know a single bride who lately hasn't added a new DIY project just because she saw it on another blog. the point is...it's never easy. but if you don't get everything you want, at the end of it all, you'll still be married..and isn't that what it's all about? :) your wedding will be amazing if you use an ipod, though. a lot of people are doing it lately so technically you're being completely trendy! ;) also, just try to save from where you can or take an extra side job like babysitting or something easy like that. although you're only a couple months away, you can definitely make it work!

Shawna said...

Hubby to be and I took a long, hard look at our priorities before determining how much we were willign to spend.

We are getting some help but are adamant that we are only making the kind of wedding that we would be able to pay for on our own if something changed and we were not getting help.

This is working well for us thus far!

My tip - choose 2 or 3 things that are most important to you and spend on those. Cut on the other things & don't worry about what you think other people will be think. It will be beautiful!

Miss K said...

great answer R! the fiance and i are planning and paying for our wedding ourselves and don't count any money that someone is gifting us until it's in our hands.

to the bride: you'll totally make it through this. it's going to be tough, but realize what the day is about and what you really want you/fiance and your guests to walk away with. having a gigantic cake- no one will care. having expensive favors? no one will notice. switching the centerpieces to all floral to a mix of floral/nonfloral? it will look beautful. don't sweat the small stuff!

Koru Kate said...

I'm so sorry you're in this budget nightmare situation. The advice is good & I don't have much to add. What I can say is while this is the biggest deal in the world right now, it will work out & you will have a beautiful wedding. Nobody will ever notice what sacrifices you made to make your wedding more affordable. They will remember your love, your joy, your smiles & your laughter; that's what you'll carry with you forever about your wedding too. Keep smiling & hang in there!! Best wishes~

postcards and pretties said...

such great advice Rhi! love your pep talk posts

Kirby said...

Such a good question! I have to admit that we didn't get an exact number from my future inlaws and I didn't want to push, they weren't sure, blah blah. they more so wanted to pay for something specific like the cater... but when the guest list went beyond the amount we could fit with buffet (which was the estimate that they were okay with) my FMIL wasn't sure about paying plated for 200 people (not that all 200 invited will come, but still). I did the math and pretty much half invited were my family/friends and half were my fiances' so I suggested we split the catering bill down the middle. I also told her that I was fine with them inviting all these people, and that if they or my parents weren't pitching in money, I wouldn't have asked them who they wanted to invite. I would have cut the guest list in half in order to afford the wedding we want. but as much as our parents can cause us some headaches during the planning process, they can also be very helpful and resourceful.

xo

Shana said...

Oh paying for wedding...This is not a topic that I enjoy personally. Infact I must admit in me and my future husbands relationship it is only thing we argue about ( well and him leaving dirty clothes on our stair rails ...so annoying) We are paying for our own wedding for the most part. My parents paid for my dress but I have stopped them from contributing after that as they have helped out so much in the past when we bought our house. We are however waiting for an inheritance to come through from my future husbands side of the family. It has been held back for two years because certain individuals don't think that it should go towards the wedding. When did it become other people's choice of how you spend an inheritance? No I'm not sure either... Money brings out the worst in people in my opinion. We are just trying to not let it.

I love the idea of sending a wedding gift early! I think I will start doign this for brides and grooms in our lives!

Anonymous said...

While I can appreciate the situation this bride is in and agree with everyone's comments about figuring it out and not sweating the small stuff, I can't help but be frustrated with this story and how the bride is more concerned with her own wedding than with the fact that her mother has lost her job. A wedding is just one day after all...

la petite coquine said...

Uch-that's such a difficult position to be in. I think this sweet bride is totally entitled to feel upset and frustrated (because really, who wouldn't?) but there's nothing to be done. If you've got a problem you can fix, have at it. If it's something you simply can't change, keep breathing and reassess that budget-it won't be so bad!

Anonymous said...

Budgets for a wedding are not fun but they are so very necessary! My fiance and I are 4 mo. away from our wedding and the budget has been the only thing keeping us sane! After we got engaged we sat down figured out an average cost for each vendor, based on research and we came up with a cost for what we wanted. Then we brought that to our parents and asked what they may be able to contribute. After that it was easy to say "yes", or "no", or "can you do better?" to the vendors that we wanted. And believe me, they will do all that they can to help tailor their services to fit into your budget, especially in this economy, and remember, there are always other vendors out there!

Another thing that helped my fiance and I out was that, after we figured out (a)how much it would cost (relatively), (b) how much our parents could contribute, we then planned (c)how long we should wait actually get married, so that we would have enough time to save. Most vendors will want to be paid in full before the wedding day. We gave ourselves 1 year and we are going to be right on point with our budget, and we didn't have to stress too much because we allowed ourselves enough breathing room to save!

I hope this helps! Good luck!!!

Wild and Precious said...

i am so glad you share stuff like this! it is a voice rarely heard in the wedding blogging world i feel! love your honesty -- and just the way you express yourself. you are fun to "listen" to!

xo