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How To: Talk Budgets With Your Parents

Don’t try and do this without us. Our guide will avoid any awkwardness and get your budget sorted with your parents in no time!

Bridebook.co.uk - Bride and mother both in white smiling at the camera
By Chris Giles Photography

Preparation:

Once you and your beloved have thought about the kind of wedding you want, as well as some of your must-haves, try figuring out how you can achieve this dream wedding with just your finances. That way, whatever help your families are able to offer you will be a great surprise, making you that much more grateful!

Why not prepare some estimates for your families to look over – so they can see how much is needed where. Prices for weddings have most probably changed drastically since your parents got married and while they may want to cover the entire event, giving them an idea of what your wishes are will be hugely appreciated.

Another great move is to consider your parents’ interests when deciding what they can help you with. If your mum is the owner of a gorgeous flower garden, she may want to be involved with the wedding flowers. Or if your loved one’s father is a keen musician, with more vinyl records than a record shop, then he will enjoy helping with the music. Cater to their interests and it will make them feel involved in a special and thoughtful way – not just needed for their wallets!

Bridebook.co.uk- Groom carrying the bride over his shoulder across a field
By Chris Giles Photography

The Talk

When you are ready to talk budgets with your family, it is best that you sit down with your parents alone and your fiancé  does the same with theirs, separately. This way, the parents involved will not feel awkward or obliged to pay for anything! They will probably only feel comfortable discussing something as sensitive as money with just you, their lovely child!

Once you’ve sat down, the best way to start the conversation is to tell them of all the things you would like and show them the estimates you have prepared. This gives them an opportunity to organically offer their help, in the areas that they feel particularly strongly about. However, once your parents decide on an area, make sure to clarify; “food” or “reception” are very broad categories, that involve a lot of exciting little details, so be honest and ask what they are comfortable doing.  Make sure you show them how grateful you are, for any amount that they are willing to contribute. Donations to the budget are not a competition between families!

After you’ve discussed your ideal budget and the contributions, give your families the time to think about these suggestions. They will appreciate the space to do some thinking and consult their own budgets.

Bridebook.co.uk- Father giving away the bride during ceremony
By Guy Hearn

The After

After accepting financial help from your parents, they will have a measure of control over the proceedings. Your parents are guaranteed to feel strongly about certain aspects of the wedding; like that annoying cousin you didn’t want to invite? Yes, your parents might make you anyway. The best way to avoid hurt feelings is to take into consideration all requests but also clarify that you will make all the final decisions as a couple – within reason. If something means a lot to your parents, it’s nice to oblige unless you seriously disagree.

It is also worth clarifying with your parents whether the money they offer you is a gift or a loan. Most families will present the money as a gift; however, it is always best to check! Equally as important, once you have your final budget with all the parental contributions, make sure you don’t come back asking for more money, #awkward! Instead, come back to them with a beautiful Thank You note, to show how much their help is appreciated.

Bridebook.co.uk- Bride father and bridesmaids walking to the ceremony
By Ross Harvey

Good luck and Happy Planning!

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