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What to do with having issues in planning a wedding

I am engaged and will be getting married in August 2016. My groom to be lost his job in January 2015 and became employed October 2015. I would like to know if we should continue to plan for the wedding or hold off until we can manage our bills again. Recently, we had a argument about him making a commitment to change and begin to assist with the saving of the wedding. I was able to help with his bill management for the month of December so that it will allow him to have an extra $200 which was suppose to go to the wedding account. My groom to be did not put the money in the saving account but spent the money on Christmas gifts instead for me. I would like to know if I should be angry at him for not following through with the plans or just be calm about everything. I just do not what to do because I feel a little betrayed about him not saving any money and I have been saving the whole year without his assistance. This was the only time I asked for his assistance since he started working. Please help me with organizing my financial planning for my wedding as well as budgeting for my household bills.   

Re: What to do with having issues in planning a wedding

  • I recommend you both take Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. It's a 9 week course taught once a week and it will help you learn how to talk about money, how to save, and how to budget. Google it and find a class near you. We took it as newlyweds and even though we hadn't had any disagreements about money or priorities, it was still immensely helpful as it gave us a reason to talk about financial issues in a non-charged format. 

    Are you going to be doing any premarital counseling? This type of counseling is sooooo helpful for getting on the same page about how you want to handle money and children and all sorts of other things. I highly recommend premarital counseling to everyone. If you're getting married by a religious officiant, you could ask them about counseling options.

    Have you both agreed to a certain level of wedding and set out a budget with a plan for saving the money? If you've just been telling him he needs to save or if you two have different ideas about how much to spend on the wedding, you need to resolve that first. 

    As for the specific instance you mentioned with him spending the $200 on christmas gifts instead of putting money in the wedding account... It's hard to judge him based off this one thing. I could see a situation where he's felt bad for the last several months that he wasn't able to treat you to anything and he saw this as an opportunity to show his love with gifts. OR he could just be a spendy-pants who doesn't know how to save money and has trouble thinking a few months ahead. I would tread lightly but still approach him about it. "sweetie, I love the gifts you gave me and it was so sweet of you to want to treat me. But it makes me a bit anxious that we need $X to pay for the wedding next year and we can only save that much if we cut back our spending on wants and work together to develop a saving plan." 

    The only for sure thing here is that it for sure won't get easier to communicate about money after the wedding if you don't do something to change the dynamics. And the dynamic cannot just be you telling him what he can and can't spend. That's too much pressure on you and puts him in a child role in the relationship. Take FPU and get on the same page before the wedding.
  • If you haven't already, also check out The Knot.  They are sister website of this one and it is totally geared toward everything wedding.  They have a Budget Brides board that has good tips.

    But back to your main issue.  I agree that, in this day and age, brides and grooms should both contribute to having the wedding they want.  To be fair to him, that was a long time to be unemployed and I'm sure it was impossible for him to save anything.  And, hey, that happens.

    If you would prefer some of the gift money go to savings instead, can you talk to him about returning some of the gifts?  After all, they are your gifts, so I would hope he wouldn't be too bent out of shape if you want to return them and put the money toward the wedding fund.

    It seems to me like your two general choices are 1) Continue with your plan to get married in August 2016.  Look at the current savings.  Look at your budget and his budget and prepare a realistic plan for how much more can be saved.  Plan your wedding with that.  And if it needs to be scaled back, than scale it back.  There are lots of ways to have a low cost wedding.  If you haven't already sent out Save-The-Dates, keep the guest list small.  Or if you want a big guest list, keep it to an afternoon reception at a non-meal time.  Serve cake, veggie/fruit trays, with punch and/or soft drinks.

    2) If you want a more elaborate wedding with a large guest list and will not be able to afford it by August 2016, than you need to postpone the wedding until you can afford what you want.

    It's easy to get caught up in the wedding industry hoopla that makes you feel like you HAVE to do this or you HAVE to do that.  Or you fall in love with the idea of flying turtledoves or a champagne fountain.  But, logically, keep in mind that a reception after a wedding is essentially a party.  What $X do you want to spend on a one-day party.  Always keep that in mind and in your focus.

    For me personally, that number was not much.  I threw a backyard wedding at my mom's house for 32 guests.  I still splurged a little on beautiful flowers and having a photographer.  It was catered, but the restaurant brought the food and left...no waitstaff or bartender.  We had some sig cocktails set up, a couple coolers filled with beer/soft drinks/water, and champagne bottles.  I think I came in just under $5K.  But could have easily done it even cheaper than that, if I had wanted to cut some of the items off the list.

    It's fun and it's an exciting time.  But...the next day and the many days and years following...you will be just as excited you married your best friend whether you spent $30 for a marriage license at the JOP or threw a $200K shindig at the Waldorf Astoria.

    Disneygeek77
  • It is hard to say about the Christmas gifts.  Did you specifically say you didn't want any gifts this year and to instead put it in savings ?  It could be he didn't want to disappoint you by not having anything under the tree on Christmas morning.  

    I also agree with the PP about the Financial Peace University.  It is a great way to learn about how you spend your money and to set about the same goals.
  • Your greater problem:

    A guy who cannot spend money prudently.

    I suggest you ask yourself if you can live for a potential 50 years with a guy who acts like this.
  • I am engaged and will be getting married in August 2016. My groom to be lost his job in January 2015 and became employed October 2015. I would like to know if we should continue to plan for the wedding or hold off until we can manage our bills again. Recently, we had a argument about him making a commitment to change and begin to assist with the saving of the wedding. I was able to help with his bill management for the month of December so that it will allow him to have an extra $200 which was suppose to go to the wedding account. My groom to be did not put the money in the saving account but spent the money on Christmas gifts instead for me. I would like to know if I should be angry at him for not following through with the plans or just be calm about everything. I just do not what to do because I feel a little betrayed about him not saving any money and I have been saving the whole year without his assistance. This was the only time I asked for his assistance since he started working. Please help me with organizing my financial planning for my wedding as well as budgeting for my household bills.   
    Did he know he was supposed to do this?

    It sounds like the two of you need to sit down and have a discussion about your financial planning and expectations. Figure out your priorities together. If it's wedding expenses, fine, but be sure that you can afford it and that you're willing to cut somewhere else. Also, you both need to be on board with any decision. These are your combined finances, and you both have equal input.

    Honestly, this sounds more like a communication issue than a financial issue. You know how much money you have together, and you need to discuss and agree together about what to do with it.
    image
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