Daughter getting married

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westie
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Daughter getting married

Post by westie » Thu May 01, 2014 12:21 pm

Our youngest got engaged about a week ago. My wife and I have come up with a budget figure of 25K for the wedding. I don't believe the guest list will be that large and that should cover everything. In fact any money not spent, they can keep it. My inclination is to put the 25K in a separate account and they can draw from it. She's 30, level headed, has a good job, and we have no concern about her acting imprudently.

Does anyone have any other ideas on how to administer the cost.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by chaz » Thu May 01, 2014 12:28 pm

Your inclination is the way to go.
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Crimsontide
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Crimsontide » Thu May 01, 2014 12:32 pm

westie wrote: In fact any money not spent, they can keep it. My inclination is to put the 25K in a separate account and they can draw from it.
Does anyone have any other ideas on how to administer the cost.
This is exactly how we did it. The incentive for them to keep any left over cash worked like a charm :happy

MathWizard
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by MathWizard » Thu May 01, 2014 12:32 pm

Congratulations!

Most of the time the bride is very involved in lots of matters. You might want to ask whether
the bride to be would like either your or your spouse to keep track of the budget, or perhaps help
with negotiating pricing. Weddings are emotional times, and businesses can easily take advantage
of people. She'll probably be quite amenable to watching the budget if the new couple gets the
balance as a wedding present.

Andyrunner
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Andyrunner » Thu May 01, 2014 12:39 pm

I agree with mathwizard. We were very stressed when we were married.

My only concern would be that, as your laying out the money, your daughter might think you want some say in decisions. For example, my parents gave us a good amount of money (maybe covered 40% of the cost), and they 'recommended' on an open bar over a cash bar. We didn't plan on that but I think they would have been upset if we didn't go with an open bar.

ubermax
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by ubermax » Thu May 01, 2014 1:06 pm

Our daughter got married in 2012 & we opted for a fixed price open bar rather than consumption based open bar ; we'll never know if that was the best decision financially but we had piece of mind.

Luke Duke
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Luke Duke » Thu May 01, 2014 1:26 pm

This is exactly what my in-laws did for my wife and I when we got married. We were able to also pay for the honeymoon and had a couple of thousand leftover that ended up being used as part of a downpayment on a house. It was a great gift.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Agwapijaw » Thu May 01, 2014 1:36 pm

From the other end of the coin. For my wedding several years ago we were gifted 10k into our own account and left to budget accordingly.
We pulled it off for just under 7k for ~80 people in a semi-HCOL area. Its not hard to isolate where fat can be cut and still have an amazing experiance... just takes planning.

I only hope my Daughter is as fiscally sound as we were.


Congragulations!

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You're doing it right

Post by davebarnes » Thu May 01, 2014 2:22 pm

We gave our daughter $5K and she (age 28) is in control of the entire wedding.
I think her budget is $18K.
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Raymond
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Raymond » Thu May 01, 2014 2:48 pm

OP, your plan is exactly how my wife and I intend to proceed when our daughters get married (hopefully not for a while, one is still in high school, the other in elementary school.)
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Thrifty1
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Thrifty1 » Thu May 01, 2014 3:06 pm

I just did recently what you are planning. I gave my 25 year-old engaged daughter 20,000 dollars, telling her that she could spend it on a wedding, a house, or whatever the couple wanted. The wedding is in June. She has arranged the entire thing. I have not given any advice or made any requests. She did end up using some of the money for a down-payment on a house.

So far, it has gone well from my viewpoint. She seems to be happy. It is a good experience in budgeting and setting priorities for her.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by barnaclebob » Thu May 01, 2014 4:06 pm

I could see myself doing something like that with the provision that there has to be alcohol for the guests, no cash bars allowed.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by jeffyscott » Thu May 01, 2014 4:16 pm

Our daughter just got engaged, we are giving $10,000 and told her to use whatever she likes for any sort of ceremony they may wish to have and the rest is our gift. Also told her that it would be perfectly fine by us to have something modest and use the bulk of the money for other things (we knew, and she confirmed, that would be her general inclination).

I do not expect to have any control over the event or other uses to which they may put the money. If we wanted some say over things we would have said we will provide this money provided you do x, y, z.
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Retread
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Retread » Thu May 01, 2014 4:19 pm

We're another that did the same thing. Gave our son and his wife a significant check and told them it was a combination of a contribution toward the wedding expenses and a wedding gift. Worked fine, and took us out of the wedding planning.
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BuckyBadger
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu May 01, 2014 4:38 pm

My dad did the same sing for us - wrote us a check and said, "do with this what you will, but this is all you're getting."

Had we eloped, we could have kept the cash. (He mentioned this a few times :happy )

I think it's the perfect solution, personally.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by lowerleisureclass » Thu May 01, 2014 4:51 pm

I got married in 2011 and while I have no opinion on parental gifting, thought I would mention for the bride's benefit if she is reading that I found APW - A Practical Wedding very helpful in planning and budgeting -- it was one of very few sites out there that had anything useful for a couple planning a $5K wedding, including sample budgets at different price points in different parts of the country and what you could get for that: city hall/backyard/food truck vs church/community hall/caterer vs all inclusive wedding venue, etc. etc. Definitely the only wedding site I visited that featured a $10K wedding dress with the caption, "That's a good price. For a car."

Two others that were useful were Offbeat Bride and Broke-Ass Bride, but for me APW was the most helpful.
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by mickeyvee » Thu May 01, 2014 5:59 pm

Where do you get the extra money to give daughter that much money when you are scrapping & scrimping to save for retirement? Everyone at this forum says stash as much as you can for retirement and don't have any debt...then you have a daughter that says "show me the money" and you say OK??? Where does it come from!!! :confused
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by maroon » Thu May 01, 2014 6:12 pm

When I got married, my parents contributed $500 toward wedding expenses; my spouse's parent contributed $0. (And this wasn't too long ago.) We got married at city hall and took everyone out to a chain restaurant afterward. The thought of anyone offering me $25K, or $10K, or $5K is just mind-boggling. Seriously.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu May 01, 2014 6:14 pm

mickeyvee wrote:Where do you get the extra money to give daughter that much money when you are scrapping & scrimping to save for retirement? Everyone at this forum says stash as much as you can for retirement and don't have any debt...then you have a daughter that says "show me the money" and you say OK??? Where does it come from!!! :confused
You should spend more time on this forum. You're ignoring many of us who follow BH principles to a point, but live quite well. There is no greater pleasure for me, for example, than paying for my kids' education. I will give them money to elope, or half as much to have a wedding.
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by carolinaman » Thu May 01, 2014 6:26 pm

I gave my daughter a fixed amount for the wedding and. strongly recommended that she get at least 2 bids for everything. My DW was not crazy about that because she was helping my daughter plan but it worked out well. It was a great wedding and reception and we had more than 200 people there. My daughter got married in August, 3 months after graduating from college. Since it was summer, very few of her fraternity members RSVP'd for the reception. I gave the caterer a count based upon RSVPs and a little extra. About 40 of her fraternity brothers and sisters showed up. Fortunately we had plenty of food but I am sure the caterer thought I lowballed her.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by stoptothink » Thu May 01, 2014 7:42 pm

maroon wrote:When I got married, my parents contributed $500 toward wedding expenses; my spouse's parent contributed $0. (And this wasn't too long ago.) We got married at city hall and took everyone out to a chain restaurant afterward. The thought of anyone offering me $25K, or $10K, or $5K is just mind-boggling. Seriously.
Ditto, well we were offered nothing (this was last November). I did offer to use a significant portion of my EF for a wedding, she chose to elope and max her Roth instead. I think the entire day was like $155, including the fancy room at Sundance Resort. These and the "how much to give for a wedding gift" threads always blow my mind; I certainly was not raised in an environment where it was expected to give your children five-figures for a wedding or give your co-worker's daughter several hundred in cash for their nuptials. People prioritize different things, even on Bogleheads. I may not understand, but I could think of a lot worse ways to spend hard earned and invested money.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by mickeyvee » Thu May 01, 2014 8:14 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
You should spend more time on this forum. You're ignoring many of us who follow BH principles to a point, but live quite well. There is no greater pleasure for me, for example, than paying for my kids' education.
Totally irrelevant. I asked a Boglehead question...HOW do you swing it (other than those that live "quite well".) I live quite well too but 10k - 50k isn't in my bank account for a wedding and it has nothing to do about loving my children.
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Zabar
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Zabar » Thu May 01, 2014 8:30 pm

mickeyvee wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
You should spend more time on this forum. You're ignoring many of us who follow BH principles to a point, but live quite well. There is no greater pleasure for me, for example, than paying for my kids' education.
Totally irrelevant. I asked a Boglehead question...HOW do you swing it (other than those that live "quite well".) I live quite well too but 10k - 50k isn't in my bank account for a wedding and it has nothing to do about loving my children.
Actually, TomatoTomahto's comment is quite relevant and well-put. The purpose of BH-style financial planning is not to maximize assets like a miser, but to maximize the flexibility we have in our lives. Spending money on one's children, a hobby, a vacation, etc. is not anti-BH. Rather, the ability to make that choice is a result of prudent saving, investing and spending over a long period of time. Ten years ago I wouldn't have been able to write a check for $20K without worrying about its long-term consequences. Today I could do so freely if I chose to.

By the way, I really like the OP's idea for supporting his daughter and future son-in-law. My wife and I saved money on our wedding 25 years ago by eloping and hiring a justice of the peace to do the officiating. (It was a second marriage for both of us.) The total wedding party was five, including the JP. Then we threw a great party at our home when we returned. I cringe at some of the overpriced, overblown weddings I've attended.

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dm200
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by dm200 » Thu May 01, 2014 8:39 pm

ubermax wrote:Our daughter got married in 2012 & we opted for a fixed price open bar rather than consumption based open bar ; we'll never know if that was the best decision financially but we had piece of mind.
Would you elaborate or explain a "fixed price open bar" vs. a "consumption based open bar".

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 01, 2014 9:16 pm

Please stay on-topic, which is helping the OP administer the costs of the wedding. How he got the funds is not the point of this discussion.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu May 01, 2014 10:33 pm

dm200 wrote:
ubermax wrote:Our daughter got married in 2012 & we opted for a fixed price open bar rather than consumption based open bar ; we'll never know if that was the best decision financially but we had piece of mind.
Would you elaborate or explain a "fixed price open bar" vs. a "consumption based open bar".
For a "fixed priced bar" you pay a per head fee for every person at the event and the attendees can drink as much or as little as they like form an agreed list of drinks. Sometimes you can pick between different lists for different prices. I believe I was offered three levels, ranging from "house wines" and a few domestic beers on the low end, a middle option with generic mixed drinks and a wider choice of beer and wine and a high option for anything they had.

For a consumption based bar you pay per drink. The bar tender keeps a tab and you settle up based on the number of drinks actual poured. It's not a cash bar, the host settles the tab at the end of the night.

The consumption based bar is good if most of your guests are light drinkers or have exotic tastes you wish to accommodate. The fixed price is good if all your friends chug gallons of bud lite. :sharebeer

Some venues may include softdrinks with the food, and may or may not include children in the head count for a fixed price bar, you'll want to ask.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Dandy » Fri May 02, 2014 7:49 am

I would say that the wedding is usually viewed as a gift and I think giving a fixed amount and letting them manage it - is not the nicest way to go. I faced the situation and wanted to cap my expenses but found that some discussions and compromise got us to an acceptable number. It's ok to say I can't afford that. If your daughter is level headed I'm sure you can be happy with this approach.

There are times when being properly frugal is viewed as being cheap. Weddings are emotional events and expenses can easily get out of line but I'd rather say we can't afford the great reception hall and the expensive live band then say here is a lump sum do what you want. They might get both if they got married on a Thursday instead of Saturday etc.

The only thing I would really fight is a distant destination wedding. It really jacks up the cost and vacation time for those who attend and I feel getting away to a lovely place is what the honeymoon is for.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Meg77 » Fri May 02, 2014 12:02 pm

I'm the oldest of four girls and just got married a couple of weeks ago. We are all married now, and my parents had a similar outlook as far as "you each get X amount." They doled out the money in different ways though so my experience may be helpful to you. Bottom line though is that putting the onus on your daughter to manage the funds will be the best lesson in budgeting and cost/benefit analysis she will ever have the opportunity to experience, not to mention a great head start in cooperative budgeting and priority setting for the new couple. I highly recommend it. Plus they will undoubtedly spend less once she has seen the big balance in their new joint checking account.

Pay As You Go
My parents (mother mainly) spearheaded the planning effort and paid for my first sister's wedding as deposits were due and costs were incurred over a year. They found it to be stressful, time consuming and much more expensive than they anticipated when it was all said and done. It was a relatively simple daytime wedding and reception for about 150. Afterward they rounded up and announced to the other three of us that we would get X amount for our weddings to spend as we wanted and that we could keep anything leftover. I think they spent upwards of $30K but didn't keep careful track.

Pay but Don't Plan
The next sister to get married (last year) got her formal budget figure and was responsible for her own wedding planning. My mom wielded the checkbook or credit card when the bills were due though so my sis never actually saw a pot of money. As such her budget ran over the allotted amount, and my mom finally had to put her foot down and started taking funds from what was left in her college fund at the end of it all (she'd already graduated). She went all out on an event hotel ballroom party for appx 200. She spent $55K when it was all said and done (including honeymoon, wedding bands, and rehearsal dinner).

Just Hand over a check
My next sister to get married was handed a check for the total amount within weeks of getting engaged. Wouldn't you know she planned a small immediate-family only wedding and elegant steak dinner at our parents house for about $8K (half was for the photographer). Later she had a reception for friends and extended family that probably cost a similar amount, and they pocketed the rest.

Delighted, my parents did the same for me and just gave me a check soon after I was engaged. We used it all (and then some) to buy a house a few months ago, and then we footed the bill for our own elopement and 2 week Hawaiian honeymoon last month.

But also please keep in mind that there are many costs associated with a wedding that people overlook especially if they've never planned one. A modest dress might cost $2000, but you'll spend $600 on alterations, $160 on tax, $200 for a rush fee if you need it within 6 months, $185 on a veil, $100 on a special bra/corset, and suddenly that $2000 dress has cost $3245 and you haven't even bought shoes or jewelry. Every line item in the budget will swell like this - trust me. The $3000 photographer (if you are lucky) will charge another $1000 if you want digital rights to your photos; the $500 cake will add a $250 delivery fee; the shuttle driver from the hotel to the venue will require a 20% tip; and so on. Just be aware of this before you throw out a budget number - especially if you are going to be wanting them to invite your friends or relatives.

The sooner you do this the better. She's probably already Pinteresting wedding dresses, and if that $25K is the max dollar amount available to her and has to cover EVERYTHING (especially honeymoon, etc) then she and you both may find that a very tight budget.
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ThatGuy
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by ThatGuy » Fri May 02, 2014 12:31 pm

Growing up I always heard "If you can't afford to get married, you're not ready to get married".

The implication being that if one can't manage to find a way to pay for their own wedding, they're not ready to be an adult.
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HomerJ
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by HomerJ » Fri May 02, 2014 12:41 pm

Zabar wrote:
mickeyvee wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
You should spend more time on this forum. You're ignoring many of us who follow BH principles to a point, but live quite well. There is no greater pleasure for me, for example, than paying for my kids' education.
Totally irrelevant. I asked a Boglehead question...HOW do you swing it (other than those that live "quite well".) I live quite well too but 10k - 50k isn't in my bank account for a wedding and it has nothing to do about loving my children.
Actually, TomatoTomahto's comment is quite relevant and well-put. The purpose of BH-style financial planning is not to maximize assets like a miser, but to maximize the flexibility we have in our lives. Spending money on one's children, a hobby, a vacation, etc. is not anti-BH. Rather, the ability to make that choice is a result of prudent saving, investing and spending over a long period of time. Ten years ago I wouldn't have been able to write a check for $20K without worrying about its long-term consequences. Today I could do so freely if I chose to.

By the way, I really like the OP's idea for supporting his daughter and future son-in-law. My wife and I saved money on our wedding 25 years ago by eloping and hiring a justice of the peace to do the officiating. (It was a second marriage for both of us.) The total wedding party was five, including the JP. Then we threw a great party at our home when we returned. I cringe at some of the overpriced, overblown weddings I've attended.

I bought a lake condo and a boat last year. This doesn't make me less of a Boglehead... The REASON I could afford those things is BECAUSE I have been living below my means for many years now.

As for marriage, we'll probably give a straight $10k, and tell them they can keep what they don't spend. My wedding cost $2000-$3000, and what was good enough for me is certainly good enough for my kids. $10k (even adjusting for inflation) is more than I spent... They want more than that, they can spend their own money.

(Hope my wife agrees with this... We mentioned the $10k number once, like 3 years ago, but she's made hints about spending more since then - and our niece is getting married in Greece next summer - first of her generation to get married, and she's going to blow the curve I can tell)

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 02, 2014 6:24 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
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Watty
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Watty » Fri May 02, 2014 8:18 pm

Thrifty1 wrote: telling her that she could spend it on a wedding, a house, or whatever the couple wanted.
My son got married last October and that is what the inlaws did.

They decided to get married in our large backyead and since the costs were low they ended up having about 120 people(instead of the 40-50 they origionally planned) and the only major costs were the trays catered BBQ and chair and table rental. I may be biased but it actually turned out really nice and was felt like a big party and it only cost a few thousand dollars. We live in an average subdivision but the subdivision has a pool with a nice clubhouse which was their backup in case it rained but it was not needed.

They used the money to buy a house that they just closed on this monday and they used the rest of the wedding money to help with their downpayment. (We live in a moderate cost of living area which helps)

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sat May 03, 2014 1:54 am

mickeyvee wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
You should spend more time on this forum. You're ignoring many of us who follow BH principles to a point, but live quite well. There is no greater pleasure for me, for example, than paying for my kids' education.
Totally irrelevant. I asked a Boglehead question...HOW do you swing it (other than those that live "quite well".) I live quite well too but 10k - 50k isn't in my bank account for a wedding and it has nothing to do about loving my children.
I'm sorry but IMHO he gave a boglehead answer. BH philosophy is living "below your means" and long term steady planning.

You are raising a different issue, which is the adequacy of means WRT children. Opinions on this vary widely. To some having children is simply a lifetime /financial decision. Others make the decision without financial analysis, or have the decision thrust on them ( I had a friend who at age 30 & recently married "inherited" his deceased brother's 3 kids.)

hope that helps

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by HIinvestor » Sat May 03, 2014 2:15 am

When we got married decades ago, we paid for our guests and all the other costs of the wedding. My folks paid for their guests and the inlaws paid for their guests. The per head cost was fairly high, but that seemed the most logical and reasonable solution and one we were all ok with.

For our kids, not sure how we will handle it. Giving them a check and telling them they can keep the balance as a wedding gift sounds like a very sensible solution to me. It takes you out of the planning and leaves it to the couple, where it should be.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by LH » Sat May 03, 2014 7:09 am

barnaclebob wrote:I could see myself doing something like that with the provision that there has to be alcohol for the guests, no cash bars allowed.
Heheh, my father said the same thing.

The repeat alcohol stipulation is interesting. I certainly understand it. But its very interesting nonetheless.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by bluemarlin08 » Sat May 03, 2014 11:31 am

When our daughter married 7 years ago we owned a catering company so that drastically cut the costs. Had wine and beer and a cash bar at the facility. Biggest cost was the band, 5000.

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by dm200 » Sat May 03, 2014 8:36 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
dm200 wrote:
ubermax wrote:Our daughter got married in 2012 & we opted for a fixed price open bar rather than consumption based open bar ; we'll never know if that was the best decision financially but we had piece of mind.
Would you elaborate or explain a "fixed price open bar" vs. a "consumption based open bar".
For a "fixed priced bar" you pay a per head fee for every person at the event and the attendees can drink as much or as little as they like form an agreed list of drinks. Sometimes you can pick between different lists for different prices. I believe I was offered three levels, ranging from "house wines" and a few domestic beers on the low end, a middle option with generic mixed drinks and a wider choice of beer and wine and a high option for anything they had.

For a consumption based bar you pay per drink. The bar tender keeps a tab and you settle up based on the number of drinks actual poured. It's not a cash bar, the host settles the tab at the end of the night.

The consumption based bar is good if most of your guests are light drinkers or have exotic tastes you wish to accommodate. The fixed price is good if all your friends chug gallons of bud lite. :sharebeer

Some venues may include softdrinks with the food, and may or may not include children in the head count for a fixed price bar, you'll want to ask.
Thanks for the explanation. I do not have any daughters, but you never know when knowing about such "details" can come in handy. When my wife and I got married, several decades ago, we had a reception in a church Hall. We hired a bartender and provided the beer, wine and liquor, etc. [cannot remember the details/choices]. The company from whom we hired the bartender suggested (based on the number of guests we planned) that we "needed" two bartenders. We decided one was sufficient - and I don't recall that the bar line was that long. As I recall, this part of the wedding/reception turned out very well -

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by lowerleisureclass » Mon May 05, 2014 12:58 pm

HomerJ wrote:
As for marriage, we'll probably give a straight $10k, and tell them they can keep what they don't spend. My wedding cost $2000-$3000, and what was good enough for me is certainly good enough for my kids. $10k (even adjusting for inflation) is more than I spent... They want more than that, they can spend their own money.
While I couldn't agree more with your general sentiment, it's interesting to note that wedding inflation is actually *much* higher than actual inflation. There was a story a couple of years ago about a woman who priced out what her parent's wedding in the 70s in San Francisco would cost today. They had a fairly fancy wedding for $4,000. In today's dollars that's $15K, but she found that to actually get the same wedding today you'd have to spend $80K. They paid $100 for the cathedral, for instance, which would be $500 with inflation -- but the actual current cost for the same church is $5000. So if your kids have trouble getting something as good as you did, even spending more money, there's a reason why.
"At either end of the economic spectrum there lies a leisure class." -- Eric Beck, rock climber

rbwb
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by rbwb » Mon May 05, 2014 1:46 pm

I have four daughters. Two married. One engaged.

The budget is the way to go.
The amount will vary by family and means but having a ceiling figure is a must.
We had zero problems and this "father of the bride" had a wonderful time at both weddings.

Oldest daughter, first married, is very frugal and set a high standard for fiscal responsibility.

I believe having this budget talk very early in the wedding planning stage is important to reduce stress on everyone.
Putting budgetary cuts on wedding plans at the last minute is a recipe for a disaster or bridezilla.

likegarden
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by likegarden » Mon May 05, 2014 3:14 pm

My inlaws did not have to pay anything for our wedding. They did enough for my wife by paying for her education. We had jobs as engineer and school teacher (wife), we both paid the $500 for the reception. Actually guests brought $500 cash gifts so we had not to pay anything either for the wedding reception at the mansion restaurant of a NY state park in 1971. We are still married and happy, and that counts, not how much someone pays for a wedding.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by JupiterJones » Mon May 05, 2014 3:26 pm

Funny how a couple who spends $25,000 on their wedding doesn't wind up 10 times more married than a couple who spends $2,500.
Stay on target...

wseadoc
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by wseadoc » Mon May 05, 2014 3:41 pm

My husband and I married 5 years ago. He comes from a lot of money, and I come from very little. This colored a lot of our decision making in wedding planning. I had been financially independent since age 20 so the thought of asking my parents for any money made me cringe. My father was very generous and paid for a live band. My in-laws paid for the rehearsal dinner in their backyard. The rest was on us. We are a doctor/lawyer couple and have attended our share of $50-100K+ weddings. But we are also smart, frugal, and I was in training during our wedding. Most importantly, I don't try to keep up with the Joneses. We pulled the whole thing off under $20K and not a penny was on credit. Some of our fancy friends may have turned their noses up at the pies from Costco and the kegs of beer, but people were in tears over our heartfelt vows and danced all night to our amazing band! 5 years later some of those fancy friends have already divorced. We are happier than ever, have a beautiful son with a college savings account, and bought our forever home.
I know it is a bit of a downer to consider when choosing your colors, but blushing brides need to take into account the 50% divorce rate...

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LowER
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by LowER » Mon May 05, 2014 3:47 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote: <snip> I will give them money to elope, or half as much to have a wedding.
I love this!!

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon May 05, 2014 3:59 pm

LowER wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote: <snip> I will give them money to elope, or half as much to have a wedding.
I love this!!
It's a long-standing offer. My kids are honest, so they won't take the double-money and have a surreptitious wedding. I've always said that a fun but low-key party for family and friends does not violate the spirit of the offer.
Zero Net Carbon by 2019.

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dm200
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by dm200 » Mon May 05, 2014 5:38 pm

I always believed (and still believe) the "marriage" is more important than the "wedding".

One of the things that has always puzzled me (and upset me when we were planning our wedding) is that any type of function that you have related to a "wedding" seems to cost more (sometimes a lot more) than an identical function without a being attached to "wedding". So, a group dinner for 20 friends on a Friday evening at a restaurant might cost $X, but an identical "wedding rehearsal dinner" for the same 20 people might cost $2X.

hmw
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by hmw » Mon May 05, 2014 11:22 pm

I like the set budget plan of the OP.

We got married 5 years ago and I (the groom) paid for the wedding from my savings because beings Chinese, the guy was expected to pay for the wedding. :happy I can't remember exactly how much was spent on the wedding. I think it was somewhere between 30 to 35k.

Leemiller
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Leemiller » Tue May 06, 2014 7:09 am

I think the separate account is a great idea. Also, congratulations! Your daughter is lucky to have such a generous father.

Professor Emeritus
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by Professor Emeritus » Tue May 06, 2014 8:12 am

ThatGuy wrote:Growing up I always heard "If you can't afford to get married, you're not ready to get married".

The implication being that if one can't manage to find a way to pay for their own wedding, they're not ready to be an adult.
OFGS that is the kind of advice you give a kid who drops out of high school, or a kid you want to kick in the teeth to show who is boss.

I married a medical student the Day after I graduated from law school. That was 39 years ago. I paid my way through college and law school. DW was on a med school scholarship. My in-laws were delighted to pay for the modest wedding we had. They told me so. My MIL paid for a honeymoon.

We repaid them many times over. My older daughter was a Ph.D student and My younger daughter had just finished law school. We paid for both weddings (with the groom's family)

It's called "investing in family"

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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by maroon » Tue May 06, 2014 10:32 am

I think it's more aptly called "wealthy people investing in family" or perhaps "financially secure people investing in family" (or perhaps even "non-financially secure people going into serious debt investing in family").

My parents did not have a spare $25K or $5K to spend on my wedding; this doesn't mean they didn't invest in the family.

To the OP, I think your idea about a separate account is just fine. That's likely what I'd do if I was in your situation. You're getting lots of good comments/feedback on this thread!

nwbum
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Re: Daughter getting married

Post by nwbum » Tue May 06, 2014 10:57 am

I took a little different approach. I have two sons, one married and the other a bit of a playboy, and he may never be married. I offered each $5K toward their wedding, and they could spend it anyway they wanted. I also offered $25K toward a down payment on their first house. My married son took both offers, and the other son has not taken either.

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