Hold on to your hats...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    L is buying a house with her boyfriend. He seems like a very nice man and money will not be a problem. It will be a much nice house than mine, and mine is not bad. She's also asking me to help plan a wedding next year in the South Pacific. He is from New Zealand and they would like to meet somewhere in the middle. He's very quiet and well employed and seems to love her very much. Her dad and I agree that she is doing well and that this is a very positive outlook for her. It's a bit stressful for us, as we have only met him a few times, and he really doesn't talk much but seems to genuinely loves her. I hope that if here is money in the budget that he will pay someone to clean their house because her apartment was slimy gross when we went.

    I'm a little anxious about the idea of funding a wedding in Tahiti or Fiji. We really don't have the money for that. I was hoping that with two adult people who are well to do that we won't be expected to pay our way there, pr perhaps not for all of it. She wants us to stay at least five nights, and that seems like about $6,000 - $8,000 for husband and I and that's not exactly something we were planning for. Being in he financial position that they are in, and at their age, if they were getting married in the area I would not expect to pay for their wedding. She's not a little girl she doesn't need a dowry. I'd be happy to get the dress or something but I'm not in a position to borrow to pay for her wedding.

    Oh, well. This isn't going to happen for 10 months or so, so we can work our way up to that.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Cultural differences here, Witz. What is convention in your area is not the same convention in other parts of the world. Also, times are changing and some people are keeping up while others still have old-fashioned expectations.

    What happened in our family - we told our kids, "We can give you $10,000 towards the wedding. After that, you pay for it."

    With difficult child 1, his wife's family also kicked in $10,000. The wedding was done on the cheap at our local church (on the beach in the village). The caterer donated her services, we just had to pay for the ingredients. The booze was bought on appro, what wasn't used the store bought back. Serving staff were also friends and volunteers. The wedding "car" was the bride's uncle's boat, they moored at the village wharf and she walked across the beach barefoot in her beautiful bridal dress. Total costs - about $2000 max including the dress (which was made by a friend of mine). So our rule - the kids got to keep any leftover cash.

    easy child was next. She and SIL1 organised everything, paid for everything and accepted the $10,000 from us to put a deposit on a house. SIL1's mother was unable to contribute anything, she's on welfare in public housing. But the kids knew that, which is why they worked hard to pay for it themselves.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 - her in-laws were unable to contribute much if anything, so she budgeted to the limit of the $10,000 and saved and scrimped for the extra. She cut costs where she could, called in favours, did deals, shopped around. I was with her for a lot of this. She made all the bridesmaids' dresses (with my friend helping again). My seamstress friend was also MC (for both girls' weddings) and we made it work.

    Three weddings - $30,000. If husband had not made the offer that he did, we would have saved about $8,000 on difficult child 1's wedding and the full $10,000 on easy child's. Kids these days, especially when they are managing on their own independently, tend to pay their own way. At least in our neck of the woods. But for example with easy child 2/difficult child 2's wedding, her in-laws were taking the old-fashioned approach which is that parents of the bride pay for the reception, the dresses etc and the groom (or groom's family) pays for the cars, the flowers and the booze. And the photographer. As it happened, we provided our own cars (saving money) and a friend of SIL2's mother was the photographer at a discount rate.

    You need to talk to the kids, find out what they expect. Before you talk to them, work out what you can afford.

    Now to other weddings in our family - my sister has just had one wedding (her son) and in a few weeks, her daughter is getting married. They live in a beautiful part of the country, in the sub-tropics. My nephew's wedding was on the cheap, where possible he and his wife paid for what they could but both parents' families also covered what they could too. My nephew and his bride have been living together for 13 years, they live on a cottage on my sister's property. None of them are wealthy. My sister and her husband cover their costs by working as cleaners. But it was a beautiful wedding. Because of my experience with my own kids' weddings, I saw where corners were cut. They hired professional caterers, my sister's twin made a mound of cupcakes which became the wedding cake. The wedding cars were provided by friends, the bridal party were the couple's four kids. Best man was their oldest son, 12 years old.

    We had to travel to that wedding. We decided to have a holiday in that area, we used time share (saves money). Other family members also stayed in the area at least for a few days. Family who lived near enough (one brother and another sister) commuted from home. My sister (mother of the groom) organised a local villa where three families stayed for a couple of days.

    Accommodation - B&B tends to be cheaper, check it out. Resorts can be expensive and cheaper hotels/motels are often really not that comfortable or nice. Like flop houses. You want somewhere nice, but not necessarily ridiculously luxurious. B&B is a good compromise.

    Now, my poor sister - her daughter wants to get married on Magnetic Island. I've never been there, so I'm looking forward to it. But the last wedding was in March plus difficult child 3 has exams coming up, so we can't stay for a holiday. We're flying up for three days only, staying at a B&B. I'm sharing the B&B with the brother of the bride (another brother, not the newlywed from March) and another sister of mine and her husband. Our younger brother (who has plenty of money and doesn't understand those who don't) is paying twice the price for an apartment down the road. WE get breakfast thrown in and our place looks just as lovely (from the photos).

    The wedding reception will be in a top-range hotel on the beach. My sister (mother of the bride this time) said it's about $180 a head. The kids are paying at least some of it, I believe, plus the guest list has been whittled down. difficult child 3 is coming with us but is not a guest. He will stay alone in the B&B probably (supplied with pizza), unless my sister wants him along to keep his younger cousins entertained as he did at the last wedding. The cost for us to go to the wedding - about $1000 for three days including accommodation and air fares.

    If the wedding is held at a mid point between NZ and the US, everyone has to travel. The advantage is, costs are equal, everyone is equally inconvenienced. They are also already on the spot for their honeymoon and you can enjoy a holiday too. The worst cost is often getting there.
    The disadvantages - everyone is inconvenienced. Your guest list is curtailed. If you've forgotten anything, it's too late now.

    My vote - suggest they hold the wedding either in two separate places, or in one only. For example, a NZ wedding would mean you and your husband would have to travel but you're up for travel costs anyway. You might be able to be billeted with groom's family in NZ which could cut your accommodation costs, and you could also have a bit of holiday while you're there. NZ is a beautiful place to visit. Or you could host the wedding, billet the groom's family, show them around. The kids could then fly off to their tropical island (entirely their expense, the honeymoon) and everyone is happy.

    Seriously - if you have time share, or you have a friend with time share, see if you can access a gift certificate for a time share place near where the wedding will be. Failing that, look for B&Bs and check out prices. We've found time share costs for a week, what a similar place would cost for one night. And depending on what sort of place you book, you can share it with others to cut the cost further. For my nephew's wedding in March (when we thought the other kids were coming too) we booked a three bedroom place. With only three of us as it turned out, we rattled around in it. But it still only cost us about $350 per week because we own time share. We bought bonus weeks. We did the same four years ago when we went to NZ (which is why I'm really recommending you consider flying the extra air miles, you would love the place).

    Sorry this is so long, but I hope there is stuff here that can help you work out what is best in your situation.

  3. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    As someone who eloped herself to tie the knot, coming from a family that would not have contributed to a wedding expense anyways - it seemed the sensible thing to do - I am always mindboggled when I hear about the costs of fancy weddings etc - especially with todays divorce ratings and in todays economy, LOL. I would absolutely refuse to beggar myself or cause myself a financial setback that would take me years [if ever] to overcome to finance a wedding.

    But then again - I don't have much family either and we are not religious - so a quiet civic wedding, a nice dinner for close friends afterwards, and a honeymoon to remember - is all that would come to mind if my son were to tie the knot. I'd expect for the couple to come up with the majority of the expenses, and me helping out a bit or perhaps paying for their honeymoon. It would also - quite honestly depend on how mature they are and if I feel they have a chance of "making it". Life - if nothing else - has taught me to be practical.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Congrats to L. :)

    I could care less about socially acceptable. I have my own rules, always did, always will.

    I told my kids if they want to get married, they'd better be able to fund it lock stock and barrel. I figure if you can't pay for your own wedding 1. maybe you should reconsider getting married as you probably don't have enough cash flow going on to live together 2. perhaps you're budget is set way too high and you need to scale it down a notch or ten.

    easy child did not pay for her wedding. It was a wedding present from sister in law's grandparents so the kids would marry before Darrin was born. And they did too, easy child was 9 months gone and praying to not go into labor during the ceremony. Nichole and her husband paid for their own. The reception was a wedding gift from his parents as the kids had already set up housekeeping and there wasn't much to get them.

    I understand not everyone agrees with me. Heck probably most people don't agree with me. That's ok, doesn't bother me a bit.

    Witz even after saving before time if you can't afford the 5 nights, then simply explain it to her and she'll have to deal and compromise. When planning a wedding that will be at a distance......you have got to realize that it's going to make things complicated.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    First, congratulations! To L, to you, to the family! I hope it's genuine. Regarding the money, I agree that you need to first discuss and decide between you and H what you're able and willing to contribute BEFORE discussing it with them. Theirs is considered a destination wedding and a lot of people find them too cost prohibitive to attend, so if a majority of the guests are from one particular area, it may be best to decide on that location, Know what I mean?? What nice news!
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just so you'll know how romantic I am, lol, I'm thinking about the house. Joint ownershp by unmarried couples can be a bit hairy. Do encourage her to see a real estate attorney before closing the deal. Yes, I know they are in love and have been together for awhile but still...it's better to explore potential problems even when you are positive there could never be a problem.

    I'm amazed how populare destination weddings have become. It's great that all of our kids married in their hometowns. We had three daughters get married within eighteen months. Two weddings were within three weeks of each other. easy child's was the smallest with only fifty guests. SD#1 had a huge elegant wedding with a top of the line reception overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami. SD#2 had the large wedding she wanted but it wasn't our cup of tea.
    We gave X dollars for each one (told in advance) and any overage was up to them. The good news is that all of them have been together for 25 years with pretty steady happiness.

    I wish my very best to you all. DDD
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Congrats to her!

    I'm blown away by what people pay for weddings sometimes. husband was amazed at how expensive our wedding was. (snort) Granted, the bridesmaid dresses were rented as were the tux's and each person paid for their's but including my dress, cleaning and alterations, husband's tux, the reception hall (we were married outside), cake, punch, snacks, booze, DJ, photographer AND the honeymoon (which my mom paid for), the entire wedding/honeymoon cost less than $3500-$4000.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My first and only wedding cost $45 and that was $10 more because the justice of the peace came outside to do it in front of the old courthouse so my mom and xMil could take pictures...lmao.

    My inlaws did pay for two nights in a Holiday Inn as a honeymoon. It meant we didnt come to Thanksgiving...lmao. We got married on the day before Thanksgiving.

    So far, I havent had to pay for a wedding. Jamie paid for his first one. It was $300 at the Little Wedding Chapel in Dillon SC. Thats the name of it. Complete package for that price. She had a dress that was just a Sunday dress and he wore dress blues. I think he and Billie went to the courthouse for their marriage. I didnt know about it till after it was done. He wanted to get married before the end of the year for tax purposes....sigh.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'd love to go to NZ for the wedding! I've always wanted to go, and I'd be just as happy there as Fiji or Tahiti. husband is a big LOTR fan, so NZ has been on his list for a long time. Maybe I can suggest... We'll see.

    Marg - Holy Cats! $10,000 is "on the cheap"? I got married at the courthouse and had one night at the Holiday Inn! I had planned a more formal wedding which would have been about $500 but nothing like $10k!

    We're the church mice of of the group, her dad's a lawyer, her sister married a dentist, his family owns a giant software company. We NEVER spend more than about $1,000 on vacations, then about $300 a week in food.

    I sent L some ideas for places in Tahiti and suggested she come to dinner one night to surf the web. She's only thinking it will be us, her dad and sister, and maybe an aunt or uncle (also filthy rich) on her step-mom's side. I'm also thinking that if we can use an agent we can get a "group rate". That would be ideal.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    How exciting!
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I vote for BAY OF PLENTY - and take your friend Star.........

    Congratulations on both occasions.....or all three - international traveling counts as a third.
  12. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Congradulations on your pending mother in law status :)

  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Why do I suddenly feel 20 years older?
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Alternatively, a gold-plated stepladder might be cheaper...

    Seriously, do find out who among your friends or family has time share. Then see if any of them will help organise buying bonus weeks for you. There are places all round the world. We stayed in a couple in New Zealand, we had hundreds to choose from. If you travel out of season for that country, you get more availability and often cheaper rates.

    When are they planning to get married?

    And don't worry about feeling old. I've been a mother in law myself for nearly three years now, and I'm about to be a grandmother.

  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would seriously have to attend my Skype...lol.

    Congratulations though...Im sure you will love being a mother in law. I hear its much more fun when its your daughter...lol.
  16. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Congrats to L---glad to see she is beginning to grow up---