The moment you get engaged there are a million things swirling around in your head. Happiness, excitement, and love are probably a few. When all the craziness settles down the thought “how in the world am I going to pay for a wedding” might cross your mind.
If someone offers to pay for your wedding or at least supplement your own funds, your immediate reaction might be “OF COURSE.” I would caution you to take a moment before formally accepting this incredibly generous offer. Often when someone is paying for your wedding or at least helping, they believe that it entitles them to some creative control. It is one thing to deal gracefully with wedding suggestions when someone isn't paying, but when they are it can get even more complicated! Follow these easy steps to make sure that while accepting the gracious offer, you still have your dream wedding.
Sit down with your fiancé and figure out exactly what you want your wedding to look like. Be very clear about the things that are important to you, and know exactly what you are not willing to compromise on. Once you have these ideas mapped out you are ready to approach the person who wishes to pay for your wedding
Tell the person paying for your wedding what your vision is. Be clear and thoughtful. Don't just say “I don’t want a big wedding,” be very clear as to why or what exactly that means to you.
- For, example my mother (who is paying for half of my wedding) and I spent around a month battling over guest list size. Right now we tentatively have 170 guests. My mom felt that it is already a big wedding so it wouldn't matter if we invited 40 extra guests (with plus ones) some of whom I have never met. She thought the wedding was already big (and she is paying), so she didn’t understand why it bothered me. When I finally sat her down and told her that I have always wanted my wedding to feel intimate and having people I don’t know there would take away from that she backed down. She said that she kept fighting me because she didn’t understand why it was important, but now that she does, she is helping me have the intimate feeling wedding I have always wanted.
Find out if their vision greatly differs from yours. If the person paying (or who wants to pay) has an entirely different creative vision than yours it might be good to establish that before you accept their offer. If you have already accepted their offer when you realize this, then be sure to sit them down and tell them what you are willing to accept from their vision and what you won’t. Remember at the end of the day it is your wedding and your vision is most important!
Decide whether or not you are willing to give them some control (if they even want it). If there are some things that aren’t so important to you, like what kind of tables you have, or what band or DJ you pick, then delegate those tasks to them. If you know you won’t be disappointed no matter what they choose, they might appreciate the trust you are putting in them!
- When my mom and I started fighting over the guest list I thought it was going to be a battle over creative control to the bitter end. Thankfully my mom generally has good taste that is similar to mine. She really wants to pick out the table and chairs and has a pretty distinct vision of what the reception area will look like. I am happy to let her do it, as it is one less thing I have to worry about, and I trust her to make good aesthetic decisions (she used to be a graphic designer). By giving her control of this, she has relaxed more on other aspects of my wedding (like the fact that I want a blue wedding dress!)
Sit back, relax, and be thankful they so generously offered to help you have an incredibly special big day!
Lauren Sinton is a recent graduate from UC Davis with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing. She is a prolific poet and loves absolutely everything about writing and reading poetry. She has also been planning her own wedding since she was in the 2nd grade, which is now finally coming in handy since she is recently engaged.