There are few things more likely to make a grown-up cringe than the thought of asking for help from their parents or prospective parents-in-law to pay for their wedding.
Talking cash is something most of us would rather avoid in any situation but weddings are expensive and most families are only too happy to help shoulder some of that burden. If you’re plucking up the courage to speak to your family, here’s some tips
Do what’s right for you as a couple
Tradition says that the bride’s family pays for the wedding ceremony and the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner. But times have changed, we now have blended families, divorced and separated parents who may have remarried and this tradition also doesn’t address couples in same-sex relationships. We say ignore tradition, or at least disregard the bits that don’t apply to you.
Couples in 2020 should absolutely not feel bound by tradition relating to any part of their wedding, whether that’s what you wear, the vows you make, how you do your first dance or the number of pre or post celebration bashes you choose to have.
Be honest and open
It’s likely that you’ll have ‘the money conversation’ early on in your engagement. Once the first flurry of excitement has passed and you get down to brass tacks, if they offer to help and you want to accept financial support from them, it’s a good idea to find out how much they are offering and, very importantly, when they are going to make the deposit.
Vague conversations that include phrases like ‘I’m sure it will be fine’ and ‘we’re happy to help’ are not actually that reassuring if you then go off and spend like there’s no tomorrow but then no money is forthcoming. We’re not advocating that you make demands, but if they are offering help, you can politely enquire about numbers. It’s really important that everyone’s on the same page here. It will save arguments or heavy silences later on.
Are there strings attached?
Being clear about the amount of financial help your parents or parents-in-law are offering is one thing. It’s also important for you to know if they have expectations as a result of that. Are you willing to compromise on your plans for your big day just to please them? It’s a good idea to find out now rather than further down the line. It’s too late once the cheque has been cashed and spent and you discover that you were expected to do or not do a certain thing in return for financial help. Find out now and if you’re not willing to compromise, say so.