It is such a blessing to have someone contribute monetarily to your wedding! Chances are, it’s a parent or grandparent who has set aside a chunk of money just for this occasion. As happy as they are to contribute, things can become weird and awkward when money is involved. There are some things you can do to prevent any tension or guilt creeping into your relationship because of money. Before you spend a dime of it, here are 3 questions to answer when someone else is paying for your wedding.
1. What does this money pay for?
Does Grandma really want to buy your wedding dress? Is she not too happy about the open bar at the reception? Maybe she doesn’t care and doesn’t want a say at all in what her money pays for. In that case, great! As long as that is established at the beginning of budget planning, you’ll avoid any frustrating conversations later.
2. Who makes the decisions?
Does the person contributing to the budget also get to contribute the decision making? Does he get to make any decisions regarding your wedding? If not, consider asking him to be a third, tie-breaking vote in the case of a disagreement between you and your fiance. He might appreciate you including him, even in this small way, in appreciation of the gift.
3. Is it a gift or a loan?
Speaking of gift…don’t assume it is one. When someone contributes money to your wedding budget, make sure the terms and conditions are clear from the start. You don’t want to enter your marriage with unexpected debt! If you do decide to take a loan from someone for your wedding, decide on the repayment terms right away. Write them up and have the involved parties sign so the repayment terms are clear to everyone. Even if it comes from family, taking a loan is a business transaction and should be treated as such. (And remember, you can always politely decline to accept a loan!)
Answering these three questions ahead of time will hopefully put a stop to any awkward conversations later…after you’ve spent the money! Hiring a professional wedding planner that can help you navigate your unique scenario is also a good idea. If you are in the Detroit or Ann Arbor, MI area, I would love to speak with you and see how I can help plan your wedding!