Edit: Yikes, the comment section on this forum is rough, huh? Lol - to clarify, we don't plan on ASKING for the help. That's 100% not our style and it's never something we'd expect. HOWEVER, we WOULD like to know at what point do parents typically offer that sort of thing. If they never bring it up, we would NEVER in a million years ask. We just need to know for example, if they haven't said anything within the next 2 months, do we decide "okay, we have $10k, let's work with it"? Or how did that discussion go with anyone else in a similar situation?
Hi all! First time poster here looking for some budget advice relating to unusual family dynamics. My fiancé and I just got engaged 2 weeks ago. We’re both really excited to start planning but wanted to take a few weeks to relax and just celebrate being engaged first. But of course – I can’t help myself and have been doing tons of research on venues anyway. I knew weddings were expensive but I guess I never realized HOW expensive. We live in the suburbs of Chicago and are expecting between 125-150 guests and I can’t seem to find a venue that would cost less than $10k (food, drinks, ceremony, etc. included). We’d love to pay on our own but can only afford between $10-$15k without going into debt (this would have to include venue, photography, DJ, dress, etc.) so we’re considering asking for help but not sure HOW to do it given some weird family dynamics.
Both of our moms as well as my dad would give us the world but aren’t in a place where they could help financially so we don’t even want to ask. His dad and step-mom on the other hand do VERY well for themselves. When my fiancé’s grandma passed away 2 years ago, they sold her house and his dad divided what would have been his portion of the money between my fiancé and his sister but specifically insisted we save it for big things like a down payment on a house or a car (which is 100% what we intend to do with it and don’t want to use it for the wedding). His sister seems to think he didn’t even mention weddings because it goes without saying that he would help. BUT he’s always been very traditional and I’m worried he might just expect to pay for his daughter’s wedding but not his son’s.
The part that worries me here is that for a few years, my fiancé and his dad had a very rocky relationship. When his parents divorced, his dad moved to Florida, quickly married his new wife and moved in his step-daughter, leaving my fiancé and his sister to feel sort of left behind. They actually went a few years without talking and only over the last 2 years have been working hard to repair their relationship. I know that if we were to get married and didn’t have financial help and then a couple years from now his step-sister and her boyfriend were to get married and his dad helped, it would throw a HUGE wrench into their relationship. He feels like if his dad would pay for his step-son, in-law’s wedding but not his own son’s, it would say a lot. And I can’t really disagree.
Anyway - we got engaged the day before we went on a 5 day vacation with them, his sister, step-sister and her boyfriend and kind of figured at some point they would bring up the wedding and that they’d want to financially help but that never happened. His step-mom did mention a few times to let her know when we start planning but I couldn’t tell if that was more of a “we need a date so we can make sure we’re available” since they live in Florida and are both busy people OR a “once you have a better idea of timing, we can talk finances”.
So my question is, how do you go about asking for help? We likely won’t see them in person until closer to Christmas (we’d like to have the venue booked by Oct.) so it would have to be via phone call. I’m thinking we call/message them (they’re super busy people and always prefer texts but this feels like more of a call convo) and let them know we’re thinking of an Oct 2021 time frame (Covid dependent, obviously) but final date depends on the venue and we’re still trying to determine our budget and what we can afford. Hopefully this will give a big enough hint and they’ll bring up whether or not they plan on helping.
I know we should just come straight out and ask but it feels SO weird to do that with in-law’s that I’m not close with and it feels weird for my fiancé since he’s still in the process of repairing that relationship and doesn’t want it to feel like he’s using them for money (not that we have any inclination that they’d ever think that).
Any advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation (or just someone who is good at advice lol) would be really helpful! Thanks