How to Have the Wedding Budget Talk with Your Parents

The wedding budget talk with your parents is hands down one of the most intimidating things you have to do in the early stages of planning your wedding. However, it doesn’t have to be! Not if you go into the conversation with a solid game plan. So, welcome to “How to have the wedding budget talk with your parents” bootcamp, where we’ll teach you how to approach this not-so-terrifying subject!

Plan an Intentional Wedding Budget Talk With Them

how to have the wedding budget talk with your parents
Photo by Nick Morrison

Step one of making this conversation easier is planning to have it. Don’t just call your parents and spring the question on them! You want to give yourself and your parents time to consider what is in the realm of possibility. If you are intentional with your meeting and with your time, initiating the conversation will also be a lot less awkward! So, whip out your calendar, figure out what date works best for all of you, and get ready to get down to business!

Setting Expectations

wedding guests having a chat

Setting expectations applies to you and your parents. You may already have a sense of what kind of contribution your parents can make to your big day. Even so, it’s best to manage your own expectations and be flexible based on the amount your parents can chip in. With your partner, create a list of your ideal wedding “must-haves” that you would like to prioritize based on different potential budgets. This tiered comparison will help you if your parents are not able to contribute as much as you hoped. Be ready to share this list with your parents to give them full transparency into your vision for your wedding. They ultimately want this to be the day of your dreams and sharing your vision will help them feel part of making this happen for you. 

Be Ready to Listen

mother and daughter spending time together
Photo by Elina Fairytale

Let your parents have the floor if they have an opinion or idea during your wedding budget talk. They’ll feel a lot better about paying for some of your wedding expenses if they feel like their questions and concerns are being addressed respectfully by you and your partner. The last thing you want to do during your wedding budget talk is interrupt or talk over your parents when they’re trying to make a suggestion or talk through any of their concerns. 

Come Prepared

two girls planning the wedding budget before the wedding budget talk
Photo by Brooke Cagle

In addition to the “must-haves,” one of the best things you can do to prepare for your wedding budget talk is to create a rough outline of everything you would need to budget for. Knowing that you’ve thought of something like the cost per head of table settings will help your parents understand where your expected total is coming from. The more put-together your budget “pitch” is, the more likely your parents will be to accept your request! Parent’s love an organized kid, don’t they? So don’t shy away from creating a detailed power point just because doing so makes you feel “extra.” The more details the better. 

Be sure to highlight your research on the biggest expenses and provide alternatives as back up if they are unable to fulfill your “dream” budget expectations. The last thing your parents want to do is disappoint you, and we know the last thing you want to do is make them feel guilty if they can’t contribute your expected amount. So, showing them that you have a back-up plan will help them feel less pressure to offer you more help than they’re able to give. 

Create a Vision Board

Photo by Marissa Grootes

A vision board will not only help your parents visualize what you’d like for your wedding to be like, but it will also help YOU visualize what you would like for your wedding to be like. Showing your parents what your vision is will give them a better idea of why you need money for certain things. It will help them understand the big picture and how everything ties in together. Once they understand what your end goal is, they’ll feel more inclined to help you make that goal a reality. 

Creating a vision board will also help you determine which of your budget allocations are necessities and which are a bit less of a priority. Once you have everything on paper you may realize that the flowers you were hoping for will clash in color, or your dream dress won’t match your dream veil. Taking the time to look at everything side by side on a vision board will ensure that the final product is more cohesive. 

Quadruple Check That You’re All on the Same Page

written notes about wedding budget talk
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork it’s time for the most important step in having your wedding budget talk: Make sure that you’re all on the same page before you end the meeting. There is nothing worse than feeling great when you leave your budget talk only to realize months down the line that your parents forgot how much they promised to contribute and can no longer help as much as they initially thought they would be able to. 

To make sure that you’re all on the same page, we recommend taking notes throughout the meeting and providing your parents with an outline of everything that you covered during your meeting. Bonus points if you print this outline off for them so that they can stick it on their fridge or into a wedding planning binder. It is also important to put a plan in place with regards to how money will change hands. If the plan is to have your parents make payments to vendors directly, make sure you have a process in place for invoices to be sent to them. And don’t be afraid to check in with them after the meeting every once in a while to make sure that you’re still on the same page! 

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget to Include Guestie in Your Budget Breakdown

If you’re planning your wedding, you won’t want to forget to budget for an Guestie subscription! Guestie will make your life SO much easier as the couple-to-be and your guests will want it at every wedding they attend. Guestie is a digital party starter and guest book! What does that mean? With Guestie, your guests get to know each other before the ceremony, see how everyone’s connected and even play the name game. That means they’ll get to skip the small talk and get straight onto the dance floor because they’ll already be acquainted with each other. Not only that, but Guestie allows your guests to leave sweet notes for you both before and after the wedding. That way, they don’t have to worry about hunting down your guest book during the conga line!

We hope these tips help make your wedding budget talk significantly less intimidating! Check out the blog for more wedding planning tips, Instagram to keep in touch, Pinterest for aesthetic inspo, and TikTok that’s your jam!

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