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What to Do When Your Parents Won’t Help Pay for a Wedding

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A wedding reception could mean different things from one person to another. Some would view it as just a simple celebration to honor couples who decided to share their lives. Others perceive it as sacred and must adhere to specific rules or traditions. No matter what the definition, holding a reception requires some capital.

The budget could also vary depending on how small or big the wedding is. For the lucky ones, they have more than enough to splurge on their dream wedding. Parents often don’t mind chipping in some money to help ease the burden on their sons or daughters.

Close-up golden coins and wedding rings.

But what about people whose parents cannot or decide not to help pay for the wedding? Some people have to raise money for their wedding budget, whether it is a matter of financial restraint, disagreement, or other family issues. So, here are some of the things that you can do if your parents won’t help pay for a wedding.

Start Saving Early

woman putting money savings in a jar for wedding

As with any big decision in life, you should plan properly and start early. The best time to start saving for your wedding would be a year or at least five months before the big day. This will give you enough time to have not just an amount to spend for the reception but an extra amount that can act as a buffer for emergencies.

Have a set amount of money you want to save. It will be easier for you to gauge how much of your salary you should set aside for the wedding. You can also set up a joint savings account with your partner and make a monthly contribution until you reach the target. Then, automate the account to deduct the amount you want to save.

The earlier you start saving, the more chances you have to accumulate enough money for your wedding.

Set a Wedding Budget

Wedding budget planning on workplace with laptop

Practicing a good saving habit is only the first step. You must also know how to budget and balance your spending with your savings. Have a significant portion of your salary that you swear not to touch for the wedding.

Then, be consistent in keeping the money flowing into your savings account. For instance, if you need around $20,000 in the next 12 months, you will need to save at least $1,600 per month. Discipline is the key.

You can’t afford to have a varying amount of money saved from one month to another. As time passes, if you think the amount is too significant to have in just a short time, revise your plan and cut down on the things you don’t need for the wedding. You can also browse for wedding deals from vendors offering promotions or early bird discounts.

Cut Cost on Any Unnecessary Items

Once you have started saving and planning your budget, you must review your day-to-day spending. Although it might take some sacrifice from you to cut back on expensive lattes, dining out, and nights out with friends, you have to be persistent and stay on track. Minor tweaks to your spending habit could make a significant change in the long run.

For instance, you can replace your gym membership by running at the park or around your house, cancel your subscription to an online streaming service you rarely watch, and pack your food at home for work. Also, you will have to avoid spending too much time scrolling through online shopping stores to prevent impulsive purchases.

Start a Side Hustle

woman using laptop computer to work part time at home.

There is no quick way to raise more money than by increasing your earned income. You could start a side hustle that usually requires little to no upfront capital during your spare time. These include freelancing, babysitting, pet sitting, selling your old stuff, cleaning houses, ridesharing, and other part-time jobs.

You must manage your time wisely between your current job and your side hustles during this period. Take a break every once in a while if you feel like you’re on the verge of burning out.

Have Clear-Cut Goals

flat lay of wedding checklist with a cup of tea and flowers

On your way to save and accumulate enough money, there will be a temptation from your environment. You might attend a reception and notice that their ceremony is much bigger, the decorations look prettier than what you have set for your own, and many guests make their wedding look so much more fun and happening.

Don’t compare your situation with others. Don’t be swayed by other people’s choices. You must be honest with yourself and have clear-cut goals that align with your current objectives.

Choose the Right Venue

The beautiful wedding venue setting with flowers, floral decoration on arch with panoramic ocean view in background

Your wedding venue would be one of the most significant expenses you need to watch out for to avoid overspending.

Aside from cheap and affordable wedding halls, the best option that requires no money is to have your wedding outdoors. Many public beaches and parks allow people to hold a reception. However, the only downside of organizing an outdoor wedding is that the weather isn’t always in your favor.

So, avoid the rainy and cold seasons and opt for periods when the weather is much brighter and calmer. If you want to have your wedding indoors, choose to have all the activities in one place. This can avoid the extra costs needed to book and rent more than one place.

Hire a Wedding Planner

Couple having meeting with their wedding planner

If you’re thinking that you are wasting more money by hiring a wedding planner, then your assumption might be wrong.

This is because planners have years of experience navigating their clients’ finances and requests through professional services. Of course, there might be some wedding planners with prestige and premium fees. So, you will have to avoid the expensive ones and find a sensible wedding planner that can cater to your needs and wishes.

Be upfront about your situation and see if they can rearrange the reception based on your budget.

Limit the Number of Guests

hand writing his and hers wedding guest list

At this point, having a big reception with hundreds of guests is not an option. You will have to manage your expectations and the expectations of others, especially those of your parents. If they insist on inviting more people to the wedding, decline their wish politely because you are on a tight budget.

Since they aren’t giving any financial aid, they should understand that they don’t have a voice in how you want to organize your wedding. You can also limit the number of plus-ones for every guest. Filter the guest list and only allow certain people or the closest people you care to bring their significant other.

Ask for Help

Son visiting his parents and talking to them

If your parents won’t help pay for some of the wedding, the least they could do is offer some help in another form.

Communicate with them and explain what you can and can’t afford to have during the reception. Ask for suggestions on affordable vendors, cheap catering services, and more if possible. You can also contact your relatives or friends and ask for their help.

If you have a friend that is good with make-up, you can cut costs by not outsourcing to a professional make-up artist. If your aunt can bake a delicious cake, pay her a reasonable price to bake a wedding cake. Be creative, and don’t be shy.

Take Out a Loan

This is probably the least favorable option out of everything listed above. You could view this as your last resort.

But, if you can’t fork out any more cash when the wedding day is just around the corner, you can take out a loan. However, there are dos and don’ts to abide by when borrowing money. Ask for a loan from your parent, siblings, and family if possible.

Tell them this is just a loan, not a way for them to support or pay for your wedding. Then, reassure them that you will pay the total amount each month after the wedding. This is because borrowing money from the closest people around you is much safer than taking out a loan from the bank that will accrue interest on your loan payment.

If your parents and family aren’t finally sound, then you can try and ask for help from your closest friends. The last thing you should avoid is carrying a large debt on your shoulder after the wedding.

cropped view of manager pointing with pen at loan agreement

Final Thoughts

Overall, receiving monetary help from your parents is a blessing. Having them help you pay for some parts or the entire wedding would allow you to have some wiggle room in your wedding budget. However, if that doesn’t happen, there is no reason why you should put the wedding on hold. There are alternative funding ideas you can explore.