A Little Frustrated with Wedding Planning...

Updated on February 21, 2012
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
13 answers

My mom works 8-5, I work from home (plus maintain the house and run errands and take care of three kids), and my dad just lost his job (but he's busy with a side project), and my fiance just started a new job, usually 8-5 but not always. Our schedule's never match up. It seems like every time I have some downtime, they want me to find a sitter (that I'd have to pay), drive 40 minutes to their house, just to TALK about wedding stuff. Because they're paying for this wedding, I've been trying to work off their schedules for the past few months, while doing as much legwork as I can to take the responsibility off them (and to flat out get it done; my parents are notorious procrastinators). But ladies... I'M BEAT. It would be sooo much easier for them to come for dinner one night so I can get my stuff done, WHILE talking about wedding planning. They refuse to come to my house, and expect me to drop everything when they want to get together. Again, not trying to sound like a spoiled brat because I'm grateful that they're paying and want to help plan, but it's sooo much easier for them to come over as opposed to me having to find/pay a sitter (which I REALLY can't afford right now) or drag 3 kids 40 minutes away and get them off their normal routine/schedule. This is making MY life a mess. Is there any common ground? On a side note, 90% of the places we need to shop for wedding stuff are on my side of town... so if I drive all the way out there to 'talk', then they say 'oh great, let's check it out at [store name], I have to come back all this way for nothing, when they could have met me here, then driven the extra 5 miles to the store. I'm just frustrated and tired and trying to hold it all together and get this stuff DONE. I'm beginning to decline family get togethers at their house because I am driving out there ALL THE TIME for things that, quite frankly, can be done via phone or email. I can't afford the fuel to get out there anymore!! Ugh... what to do??

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So What Happened?

It's already a very small wedding and I only want the bare necessities... no extra something fancy for me ;) I've been super organized and sending emails with every detail they'd like to discuss, but for some reason they feel like we HAVE to do this in person and it's about killing me :/

@lucky... this is NOT a second wedding, this is the FIRST.

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answers from St. Louis on

Why dont you do stuff over the phone? I live in MO, and planned my whole FL wedding over the phone. Since you already have 3 kids, why not scale back the wedding and not have so much planning? My husband and I had .a baby before we got married. I gave up my big wedding plans for my kid. We had a very simple, non stressful wedding.

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answers from Norfolk on

Skype! With the cost of gas these days, that alone would be enough of a reason to stay put. Add kids and their schedules to the mix and it's just nowhere near reasonable for them to expect you to come out there for a conversation! Use the technology of the day (if you don't already have them, you can get very functional camera for your computer for $20 or so.) That is if they require the ability for show-and-tell. Otherwise, you can use the phone.

My mother lived in Italy while I was planning my North Carolina Wedding. E-mail and phone calls is how we did it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I like what AC said. Tell them what you have told us, You cannot afford another babysitter, you need to keep the kids on schedule and you just cannot keep going to their home. They need to meet at your home, where they can enjoy a meal with their grandkids and then fiance can watch the kids.

Do you think having the children around during the meetings is the problem? Do you allow your kids to interrupt your discussions with your parents? Can the kids entertain themselves for 2 hours AND go with all of you to these businesses to look and price items. Will the children allow fiance to take care of things or do they tend to just want you?

When I meet with brides, we have no interruptions. We focus on what we are doing and then I send them the notes of the meeting with talking points and further decisions that need to be made. I try to not have a bunch of little meetings, because I know their time is valuable.

Just be honest with them, that all of this running across town is totally stressing you out because you are exhausted and cannot afford the babysitting. Heck think of the money you could have spent on the wedding yourself instead of paying a babysitter?

Try to enjoy the process and be assertive of what it is YOU need.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

If they feel that it has to be done in person, then throw out 3 or 4 days/times over the next week or so, and tell them that you'll host them at your house and make them a nice dinner (or, maybe splurge and take them out to dinner). Point out the obvious: you're already on a super tight budget, so a babysitter for 3 hours is prohibitive; that bringing the kids would make it very very hard on the kids and throw them off schedule for days, resulting grumpy/crabby kids and family; that if they want to run to X store, the stores that you're likely to need to run to are already on your side of town.

Then, if they won't budge, I think you need to either just suck it up and make it work. ... Or, just thank them and respectfully decline their help.

If this is typical, where they want you to accommodate them (and/or are being manipulative or controlling), you might consider this second option very seriously, since by doing this yourself instead, you setting very clear boundaries. Yes that means that you'll likely end up just getting married by the minister with just your witnesses present, and that's it (maybe having a BBQ potluck later to celebrate, instead of a "traditional" reception).

Personally, I think that the BBQ potluck sounds like a wonderful, fabulous time and more fun than a traditional reception, but that is just my opinion. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

This will be over soon, thank goodness!

Here's what I suggest, even though it is still hard. Schlep the kids over there every time. If they ask why, TELL them flat out that you can't afford the babysitting fee. Let them have some of the pain of having kids off their schedules, and I'll bet these meetings lessen.

After the wedding, you'll be better able to put your foot down. Don't forget to invite them for weekend dinners and cookouts afterwards so they don't think youngest don't want to be with them.

Good luck!

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answers from Dallas on

They are paying and that is nice, but they are not being logical - logistically, they are wrong. I would suggest Wedding Planning Day every week where you put aside time SPECIFICALLY for them to come to you - fiance can watch the kids. You can all have dinner together, etc. They need binders or notebooks that they can write down the stuff that pops into their heads - you could even make something for them and present it to them. Make a fuss so they know you appreciate what they're doing, but get your fiance on the same page with you that the method of you bouncing back and forth is NOT working or efficient with time/money/stress - don't be emotional about it - you want to save time/money/planning/stress and make everyone's lives easier. Otherwise, elope :)

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answers from San Francisco on

Tell them everything you just told us. It's expensive paying a sitter, easier for them to come to you rather than drag the kids out, and the stores are closer to you. Hopefully your parents are reasonable people and agree. Resentment tends to build in situations like this. A wedding should be a happy time (although a lot of work!) so see if you can at least compromise if they balk at your suggestion. Good luck and best wishes for your future!

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answers from Washington DC on

Maybe it's time to decide what you need and what you want.

I would first try laying out a spreadsheet or list or something that you can pass back and forth electronically to save gas. I would be upfront that it's costing you money you cannot afford to run over there and see if they'll do the email thing for some of it.

If they keep insisting that you run over there, then maybe you need to decide if it's more cost effective to save the babysitter and gas money and have a smaller event that YOU pay for. You can still have a lovely day on a budget.

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answers from Glens Falls on

Well, first, you're going to have to tell them that the wedding planning is driving you a little over the edge with scheduling, babysitters and gas costs. Then you need to hear and listen to their concerns. Then use an excel spreadsheet for a budget, use a timeline that you can get off knot.com or marthastewartweddings.com, pre-schedule the things that require being physically together and have a weekly conference call to review where you are with everything. Then demonstrate that you can stick to the budget and timeline. My daughter and I got along horribly during wedding planning, it is a stressful time and I'm so glad it is over! From the parent side, I can tell you that what was frustrating to me was that I wanted it to be "her day", wanted her to make her own (well, their own) decisions about what they wanted but I was writing big checks without knowing what the next thing she wanted to work on was going to be, or whether late decisions were going to cost more, or whether something was going to slide through the cracks and thus end up costing more and she continued to throw out little detail things she wanted to add and I would be thinking "how much does that cost?". I really thought she was seeing the trees and not the forest. Our tax advisors told us to pay expenses directly (at least the big ones) to avoid gift taxes and I'll tell you, I didn't want to and did not get in the way of her decisions but it's hard to be in the backseat of a car someone else is driving knowing you're responsible for all travel costs. We started with a budget, added a timeline but it was tense and intense. Try to find out why it's important to them to keep getting together and come up with some methods that make everyone comfortable. Oh, and congratulations!

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answers from Norfolk on

Can they meet you at the store? that way no one has to wait to find out the cost of things



answers from Chicago on

No offense but why so much planning for a second wedding??? You already have three kids and what is the reason that Mommy and Daddy are paying for your wedding..I think at this point it is your responsibility....regardless of how big or small...As you've said it is a very small wedding so what is there still to discuss???/ I do like the post below...Elope or better yet do a destination wedding where you'll honeymoon.


answers from Tampa on

Tell them you can't go - and if they want to simply discuss stuff, to make a weekly dinner party at your house or phone conference. Parents are supposed to pay for the daughter's main stuff for the wedding - so they aren't doing you an completely out there favor, they are doing what most families all over the world do for their daughter.

You can't afford the gas, pay for a sitter or the wear and tear on your body after working full time and running a household. If your parents cannot deal with that and step up - maybe you should ask for a $3,000 check and pay for whatever is extra yourself?



answers from New York on

all that im reading seems to be from the bride. my daughter on valentines day. i am so frudtrated already. when parents are paying for thw edding the gas and babysitting you are paying for does not add up to what the parent is paying for. i looked up on the internet what i am to do first. i planned a really nice dinner for both sides of the family to meet. i will be paying for that. my daughter got very upset because i did not ask her. i am paying for this so what does it matter. i thought we would go to look for a banquet hall first, you need to book this one year in advance. my daughter wants to buy her gown now. i mentioned to her some banquet facilities to have thier reception. she wants it in this very expensive place that i can not afford.i have not even began and my daughter is bridzila already i can see that this is not going to be a fun event. i read some of the comments you cant wait till its over it seems to be more stress then the enjoyable event it is supposed to be a day of atime for bride, groom and family. it is getting very frustrating to me i have to set a budget. i still have my own bills such as rent water electric car payment car ins. all of these things are not going to be put on hold because a bride wants her parents to pay and they have no say so. i do not have my daughter long distanceut if i didi things would have to be handled differently. she lives 20 mins. away and i feel she wants what she wants and not what i can afford. we have to come to some uble daynderstanding but i do not see that happening. help me understand why a bride dont care about the parent who is trying to make this happy for all complaining about gas and babysitting. did you ever think your parents want to be with you thru all of this? how about sleeping over for a long weekend and be together. thats the way it is supposed to be planning a wedding, for a daughter. i am so upset that my daughter wants to do what she wants to do. everyting needs to be done and nothing is going to get done if everyone dont do it together. its supposed to be done together. happy joy love.

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