Feb 21, 2008

Minnie's Money Musings

Wedding Budgeting can be quite the challenge. It's a common place for resentments to build up. Here are a few tips to help you keep the peace, avoid as much trouble as possible, and keep everybody focused on the Marriage that is being created, and not the hassles of the Wedding Finances.

It used to be expected that the bride's family would pay for the Wedding, the groom's family pays for the Rehearsal Dinner. (Of course, before that, brides were actually "paid for". If you're a couple who wants to buy the bride and her dowry with a flock of sheep, this article may not pertain to you.)

Anyways, nowadays it's not nearly so clear who pays for what. Some couples pay for everything themselves, and some couples have everybody chipping in various amounts. This can be great, but it can also create headaches. This is a stressful time for everybody, even though it's happy.

When the people in your life are making generous gestures towards you and your sweetheart, the number one thing to remember is to be grateful. They might not be giving as much as you'd like, or maybe they're giving more than you think they are comfortable with. Everyone should remember this is a gift, and not a contract. Some people can be very nit-picky about how they want their money spent. Fights over whose side is bigger, whether or not to do an open bar, whether you "need" an ice sculpture, what the invitation should look like or what they say.. all of these can get very unpleasant.

Try to go for the most diplomatic approach you can. If people are a little more relaxed about how what they are giving is being spent, try telling them "because of you, we get to have the wedding we really want, and we get to have..." and tell them something about what their contribution is going towards. (Saying your contribution helped us purchase photos, etc. is also great for "Thank You" notes) Don't tell the people contributing to your Wedding what other people are giving. Everyone's incomes, expenses, and comfort levels are different. With two families coming together, it's best to avoid resentments this early in the game.

Diplomacy is key. Even if they're driving you crazy, remember this is your family. Take some deep breaths, say thank you, and do whatever you have to do to avoid fights. It'll be much better in the long run.


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