Family Funded Weddings – A Blessing or a Curse?

Without going off and doing some research, as far as I’m aware, the rule used to be that the Bride’s family paid for her wedding.

Great news for anyone who’s just got sons ey?! 😉

I’m not sure when this tradition
started to phase out, or even if it was ever actually upheld by anyone other than the wealthy, but to me it’s really quite bizarre. Especially in the modern world. What happens if there’s two brides? Or two grooms?

Myself and Ste both have jobs, we live in our house together and we have our savings. We buy the things we want and expect no help from anyone else, but we know our family would always be there to support us if hard times fell. I think I’ve just described most couples!

It was never an option, nor a thought even, to expect my family to foot the bill for our wedding.

It wasn’t until we stared planning and booking that people began saying things like “Aren’t you glad you’re paying for this yourself?!”. I realised having your wedding wholly or partially funded by someone else is both a blessing and a curse.

Yes there’s little or no financial stress and you’re not the one constantly worrying about the budget. You can use your money for other things like a house deposit or a stellar honeymoon. Half the problems that crop up for the wedding aren’t your problem. Who cares if the caterer just added an extra £500 for nicer linen? No big deal if the harpist is charging an extra £100 to learn the song you want.

But the curse sets in when you find yourself disagreeing with the budget holder. If your family have kindly offered to foot the bill they will expect some kind of input. Yeah it depends on personality types but doubtless they will still want a say on who is invited, where the wedding is and what they are eating on the day. Even if family members are just making a contribution, they’re likely to have an idea of where they’d like their money to be spent. That is a lot of pressure. Your family handing you hundreds or thousands of their hard earned or hard saved cash, all to help towards one day. £500 from your Gran was spent on the singer that everyone will enjoy but £500 from your Aunt was the damage waiver for the venue. Conversation killer.

I know I’m stereo typing but the point I’m trying to make is that, while we would all love a helping hand with the costs of a wedding, it’s never that straight forward!

I feel for the bride with the pushy mum/aunt/sister interfering all the time just as much as I feel for the bride with no help/input who is likely to wrack up some debt for the wedding of her dreams.

It’s so easy to say the words “It’s YOUR wedding do what YOU want” but in reality it’s a whole different story.

Regardless of who’s paying for your wedding or who is planning it,You will offend people unintentionally and people will offend you unintentionally.

Best advice I have is to just crack on and remind yourself that the only person stopping you enjoying your day is you.

Lots of love :)

The Year of The Wedding

2015 is actually The Year of The Goat, according to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, but this year happens to be the year I get married. I like the zodiac calendar; it’s telling me this year is my year, being that I was born in 1991, and I’m not going to argue! Either way it reminds me of the cool roll up calendars Chinese Takeaways used to give out. Do they still give these out?

Our wedding is September 2015. That used to seem so far away, now it’s closing in quicker than I can handle.

I am excited of course I am. But I can’t deny the rising panic every time someone asks me how the planning is going. Truth be told it started off great, super organised, loved every minute spent planning. Everything was going grand and we were sorting things out super early giving us plenty of time to sort a honeymoon.

Then we hit a bump in the road. It was a slightly major bump and it knocked us both and really took all the wind out of my sails for planning. I didn’t even want to think about the wedding and for three months I completely ignored all planning that needed to be done. It just felt like we were being taken for a ride by someone we should have been able to trust.

We’ve always said from the moment we decided to get married in England that we wanted to source everything as local as possible. And we did, we sourced so much locally and from small and family run businesses, it was a great organic feeling on top of the wedding bliss we were in. Why wouldn’t you put your money back into local economy?

We soon learnt the hard way that going local and family run isn’t always the best way to go. We were blinded by people talking the talk with rustic looking websites and grand promises. In our naivety we paid huge amounts up front to pay as much off the wedding costs as soon as possible and begin saving/paying for the honeymoon this year.

Well it came back to bite us on the arse and the three months that followed were the most stressed I had ever been. I always said that I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to never experience real stress before. When I finally tasted real stress I really didn’t like it, I lost my apetite, I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I lost almost a stone in a month and I started to feel pressure and guilt because I had chosen the particular company that were at the the root of this problem.

The pressure wasn’t to make the wedding happen, that happens when it happens. The pressure was to avoid losing thousands of pounds 12 months before the wedding.

With no ounce of begrudging, Ste and I are funding our wedding ourselves. It was never a question and in all honesty it seems bizarre that it can be any other way in this day and age. It’s not a secret that Ste earns a lot more than I do and to pay for the wedding we want he’s spending most of his time away from home and all its comforts. He works so hard and he does it for our future and I cannot thank him enough. Yet here we are facing losing thousands, we were devastated.

I’d love to say the issue has been resolved, but the route to resolving it is looking like court. I was genuinely in a rut and I was beginning to resent my own wedding.

Just before Christmas we were forced into a harsh realisation of what life is really about. Life is too short and family is too important! What brought this about is not my story to tell but never has anything kicked me into gear so much in my life before.

The new year has brought a new outlook. The money we are currently losing will come from somewhere else, our deposit for a new house or our equity in our current one. Either way we are moving on, booking with someone else and forgetting all about the pesky company. We will pursue it after the wedding, who wants a court battle over money while you’re planning your wedding?!

So here I am in January, at the start of “my year”, trying to remember where I left everything when all this mess began. I’m behind on everything, but I’m slowly looking back through it all remembering where I left off.

So bear with me while I hide my panic when you ask me “How’s the planning going?”

Lots of love, the worst bride-to-be in the world.