If you have a son or daughter getting married this year, you’re likely excited about the big day and how you might be involved in it. If you plan to pay for some or all of the wedding, though, it’s important to be careful that you don’t end up investing more than you can afford, or spend so much money on the nuptials that you end up feeling stressed or taken advantage of. Follow some financial tips to ensure the wedding is a day of pure love, not wallet-widening worries.
Set a Budget in Advance
Start by setting a budget for your contribution. Many parents get stuck by saying yes to every monetary request their child makes before a wedding and don’t realize just how much the gifts have added up until it’s too late. Avoid getting yourself in this situation by coming up with a total number you can afford to spend and feel comfortable giving to the bride and groom. Then, convey this number to the couple and be firm that it’s the finite amount they’ll be receiving from you.
Doing this also helps to avoid some difficult conversations during the wedding planning. When your child knows how much they have in the “kitty,” they won’t keep asking for more and pushing you to go beyond your limits.
Pay for Expenses Yourself
Another tip is to pay the wedding bills yourself as they come up, rather than handing over a lump sum of cash to the bride and groom to manage. However, this decision depends on how financially competent they are and how comfortable you feel, giving them a large amount of money at once.
When you’re the one making payments, you can keep an eye on expenses, ensure your gift is used how you intended, and even have more time to save. If you don’t already have the final figure sitting in the bank, paying bills only as they arise will give you more lead time over the months before the day to contribute bit by bit.
Watch Out for Scams
The wedding industry is a multi-billion-dollar one. Many fraudsters try to take advantage of couples and their families and cash in on all this business. To keep your costs in check for your child’s wedding, be careful not to be scammed.
Make sure the bride and groom have met with vendors in proper places of business or go along yourself where possible to get a feel for things. Help the couple research suppliers online, too, on social media sites and other platforms. If companies or individuals haven’t received a variety of reviews (decent ones in particular), this may be a sign they’re not legitimate.
Also, be careful when it comes to handing over cash online. Don’t give out more financial details than necessary and look for the best and most affordable way to send money that is secure and won’t cost you a lot in fees. This is particularly important for destination weddings when you’re sending money overseas.
Take Advantage of Connections
A great way to cut costs on a wedding and not need to contribute so much to its budget is by taking advantage of any connections you have. Many suppliers in the wedding industry charge more for services just because they’re for nuptials. If you can hire relevant people you know, though, whether they’re in the wedding sector or not, you shouldn’t have to pay such a premium.
Make a list of everyone you know who offers a product or service that might relate to a wedding. For instance, are you friends with any stationery suppliers, calligraphers, photographers, videographers, dressmakers, venue hosts, dressmakers, tailors, florists, or musicians? If so, you may be able to get discounts on goods and services.
Get Creative and DIY
Perhaps you can offer your own services for the wedding. Family members often volunteer their homes to hold ceremonies or receptions at, help out with making cakes or doing other catering, decorate venues, or make clothing or accessories for big days.
If you have skills you can put to good use for your child’s nuptials, this will cut costs. Plus, this gives you a chance to be more involved in the wedding and to make the day even more special for your child.
Seeing your son or daughter get married is one of the greatest memories a parent can have over the years. You want to enjoy the day without worrying about financial matters, though, so follow the steps above to limit fallout and keep relationships – and your savings – intact.