Real Wedding Inspiration

Pep Talk Tuesday {When Money Falls Through}April 19, 2011
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!



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