A wedding AIBU- DP and I can't agree!(76 Posts)
So DP and I are beginning to make tentative wedding plans- we'll be paying for the whole thing ourselves so won't have a huge budget. We're hoping to keep it at around £10k- half of which is coming from the inheritance I received when my Grandma died, which is all being put towards the wedding.
I took my DP to the church I've been a semi-regular at for a while now and he liked it well enough (he's not religious so it makes very little difference to him) however I kept looking because a- there's no guarantee that church will be available around the time we want to get married and b- as a church it doesn't have a great deal of character or atmosphere. We're getting married in London so no shortage of churches to choose from! I However DP is pissed off with this because he says I just can't make my mind up and will never be happy.
Similar situation with the reception venue- we've found a pub which as yet has no bookings next summer and would work within our budget. One downside is that whilst there is space outside there's only a couple of benches to sit on- we're getting married in summer so if it's a nice day people will want to spend time outside, and won't necessarily want to stand up all day. Also it is a courtyard surround by buildings so not very bright. So I kept looking around because I didn't want to just stop at the first place we like the look of. I've found a venue which is lovely, still in a convenient location, and has a gorgeous outside terrace with plenty of seating and a lovely view of the city. It is more expensive (not ridiculously so), but I think it's worth the extra for a much nicer venue, and nicer food. Again DP is saying that I'll just never make my mind up and I'll just keep looking and looking and won't be satisfied. To me, he just seems to be saying 'yep, that'll do' to the first church and venue we look at!
Basically we can't agree on certain budget aspects. My DP is insisting on putting a fairly hefty chunk of money behind the bar- (in his words, "otherwise what are they coming for?" I responded that if people are only coming to our wedding for a free piss-up I'd rather not have them there.) To me that is literally throwing money down the drain. I'd rather pay the extra for a better venue and not have a free bar than downgrade just so we can pay for everyone to get pissed. He says if we go for the more expensive venue we'll have to make sacrifices elsewhere- like having a video. I really want a videographer- the whole day passes in such a blur and I think it would be really nice to have a video to capture the day. I'm feeling a bit resentful that I'm putting my entire inheritance into this and he wants me to settle for the first place we look at that's in our budget just so we can spend a load of money on booze. I'd rather have memories of a gorgeous venue than a literal piss up in a brewery!
I'm trying to be as un-Bridezilla about this as possible- I'm not stamping my feet and insisting we do everything my way- I'm just saying let's not stop at the first thing we look at, let's look around see what else might work.
So, who is BU- me or DP? (dons flameproof hat and clutches at G&T)
I would say your DP IBU. It doesn't sound like you're being overly fussy. I don't think people go Ro a wedding just to get pissed.
id never go to a wedding and expect a free bar but some venues do charge a fortune for drink which i would be pissed off about but still go and enjoy myself........nothing worse than going to a wedding and having to pay £5 for a drink
its finding a balance imo but you do need to consider guests and their postition
Maybe keep your inheritance out of it so you won't feel resentful and you can both have equal say.
Can you compromise and put a certain amount behind the bar, and after that, guests pay for their own? That's what we're doing.
About not just settling for the first place with space if you have time to choose - YANBU
About not wanting your DP to put money behind the bar - maybe YABU. If that is one of the key things that he wants to see at the wedding, then it should get prioritised as much as your key things (like a video, nicer venue, whatever). You should maybe each start off by individually writing down what you think a wedding looks like and what your personal three non-negotiable are, and then work from there to make sure they get covered in your budget?
Your DP is right that if people are hungry and bored and cant afford to buy drinks they will not care one bit about the nice views and light in the courtyard. You are right that it is a wedding, not a piss-up.
I think he is being a bit U. You need to look at a few places to get an idea what's available.
It sounds like you need to decide whether you definitely want a church. If you're not fussed which one, I'd decide on a reception venue and then pick a local church that's available. It sounds like you also need to properly work out a budget so you know how much you can spend on your venue.
Personally I don't think many people expect money behind the bar so if you're on a restricted budget I wouldn't do this if it means sacrificing another element of the day. Based on what you've mentioned, I'd rather be sitting in a nice venue with a drink I've bought myself, than somewhere a bit more dingy with a free pint
You don't sound bridezilla to me. I totally get where you are coming from. As a pp said, can you not put an amount behind the bar then when that's gone people get their own? We did that and it was fine. No complaints. Tbh, I personally don't think a video is necessary. How many times do you think you'll watch it? I can't tell you when I last looked at my wedding album.
Your dp doesn't sound into choosing the wedding stuff. My dh wasn't, he just wanted the being married part. So I looked around venues with mil and friend. Picked one we liked the best then took dh. Same with all the other bits. Showed him to get seal of approval but pretty much picked everything with mil and friend. Saved lots of stress.
If he wants a free bar then I would be suggesting he puts extra in to cover that
We didn't put any money behind the bar, had a glass of fizz per guest before dinner, 3 bottles of wine per table (one of white, red and rose, 10 guests per table so about a large glass each), a glass of fizz for the toast. That was all included in the package, which was around your price range but for a large amount of people (Irish wedding). We then brought some more fizz over from France and the venue charged us q small corkage to put that out with our evening buffet. People commented that it was a generous amount of booze, but plenty still bought from the bar and didn't feel hard done by!
Our venue was the second we saw but we still went through every venue on our list. It wasn't a case of not being satisfied but of making sure we'd seen what was out there!!! It's a once in a lifetime day so you want it to be as perfect as possible, nothing wrong with looking at loads of places as long as you book somewhere!
Thanks for the responses- glad nobody thinks I'm being a bridezilla (so far!)
SisterMoonshine that's not really an option- it would take us a really long time to save up enough without it, and seeing as we want to be married before we have DC and we're already both over 30 we don't really have the option of waiting a few years!
Magstermay I definitely want to get married in a church- I'm a Christian and it's really important to me. If anything that's the only non-negotiable as far as I'm concerned. Luckily DP really liked one of the other churches I showed him. We're getting married in the City so there's hundreds of churches and reception venues to choose from.
My approach would
Be lets focus of having the wedding the way we want it as much as possible within our budget constraints- if there's anything left over, sure, put it behind the bar. But to say if we have the nicer venue then you've got to give up the video (for example) so we can pay for drinks just seems a bit shit to me.
It's not so much that he's not arsed about the planning, more that he likes the first church and first venue so why keep looking?
I think he is BU. Agree with you that it would be a shame to miss out on some things you'd really like at your wedding in order to pay for the bar bill.
However, does he really want to be deeply involved in planning the wedding? My DH booked the wedding car and honeymoon and was extremely glad to leave the finer details (ie. Everything else!) to me, my mum and mil. He almost had a meltdown when I dragged him around John Lewis to put together a gift list!!
Another thought... If the bar bill really bothers him, is there any chance of a contribution from his parents?
(p.s. The inheritance is a red herring. You will soon be married and what's yours is mine/mine is yours etc. I don't think it helps to see it as 'your' inheritance in terms of dictating wedding spend)
You need to both work out what is important to you, and what you feel you can compromise on.
If a free bar is important to DP, what would he cut back on? Numbers? Food? Stag do?
If the second pub with nicer views and more seating is more important to you, what would you cut back on? The video? Your dress? Serving a second meal?
Then you both get what is really important to you, even if you have to let go of some less important stuff.
Personally we had a free bar, but we had a big budget and it is expected in dh's culture. I said as long as we provided wine and champagne for cocktail, dinner and speeches we'd be okay. Most weddings we've attended have either been entirely free for guests, or have provided the champagne and wine, with a bar where you need to pay in the evening.
I've been to one wedding where guests had to buy the wine for the dinner. That was a surprise but I know the couple had a tight budget. We didn't mind, we were just glad to be part of their day. I don't think it's a big issue.. We just always remember to take cash, just in case.
Like the post above's idea about writing a list of what you each think a wedding looks like, with your priorities.
He is being no more unreasonable than you.
Personally, I'd look at lots of options for the reception, because I like to get value for money whilst providing plentiful good food for the guests, so I'd say YANBU in that.
However the 'looking at different churches' thing sound really strange to me. If you go to a church, then you either get married there, or you don't get married in a church - looking for a 'pretty one' makes you sound very unreasonable to me about that.
Re money behind the bar - personally not what I'd do, and, in the hundred or so weddings I've been to, I've never come across it either, however, if its something that is important to him, why is that somehow less important than things that are important to you?
Nobody at the wedding will notice the light, etc.
If you want, but can2 afford a professional videographer, then look for solutions - a friend or even an art / photography student.
The first reception venue sounds unsuitable because of the seating issue.
He is BU to use the "you'll never be happy" line to seek to get you to comply: that seems manipulative.
YABU for making marriage in a church non negotiable when you're marrying an atheist and seeking the nicest church for the ceremony.
I'm just at 3 bottles of wine between 10 people at a wedding. Were lots of people pregnant/driving/teetotal?
It just seems like you have different priorities really - a free bar is something he obviously feels strongly about and it's probably not helpful for you to dismiss it as a 'bit shit', I can imagine he might think of it as being hospitable and generous to your guests so it's not an entirely unreasonable wish really. You're not just throwing you money at a few drinks, you're throwing it at something your fiancé thinks is important. Maybe you have to compromise on the videographer or ask a friend to do it in order to accommodate the one thing he's asking for - or could you ask him if he'd be prepared to put a limit on the amount behind the bar rather than just picking up the tab at the end (I mean, who can really agree to that unless you're a 'money is no object' type of couple). Otherwise, if you're feeling that since it's your money you should have the final say then you should tell him that, but it's not really in the spirit of a marriage to do it that way!
I think it is wasteful and short sighted to fritter away a £5000 inheritance on a wedding. Could you maybe use a bit of it but keep some back for your actual life and future?
Don't you find it worrying that the pair of you can't even discuss your wedding and reach a compromise without resorting to character assassination? You might need that £5000 when it all goes tits up.
What other Big Decisions have the two of you made together?
There are fundamental differences in your views about how to make a decision & what things influence your decisions. I'd be taking a good hard look at that befire gettng any deeper into wedding planning.
Who is right (you!) and who is wrong (him!) is FAR less of a concern than your inate differences & values. It's not going to only apply to a wedding.
Kind of both being a bit U
His needs and wants are just as important as yours
I totally see your point about how guests shouldn't have to stand around
But I also see his point re free bar
Also if you feel the day passes in a blur, doesn't that make the pretty thing less important? The key points are that you get married and that you ensure your guests enjoy the day.
Def make a list of priorities, both of you.
It is hard when one person is invested in the details and the other isn't, a mate of mine nearly lost her mind while her now husband got worked up about the venue and the decorations...they had lots of rows and then a few days later she realised shed forgotten a bouquet, sent me a bunch of emergency pics and told me to choose! With hindsight, I think she wishes she'd just let him crack on alone and agreed to whatever was in budget.
My Mum is buying my wedding dress so that's not part of our budget- thank heavens!
His parents have offered to pay for the cake- DP has been engaged before and they gave him quite a lot of money for that wedding- in the end they broke up and he used the money as a deposit on his flat instead. So they've already done their bit.
The reason I looked at different churches is mainly because the one I go to is very popular with a huge congregation, so is likely to be unavailable round the time we want to get married.
It's true the DP is unlikely to give a crap about the smaller details (I don't either, to be honest) but this is where the largest chunk of the budget is going to go so of course he has an opinion. I think he'd have just been happy to go ahead with the pub as it fit the bill and not bother looking any more.
My thoughts too Hedda. I was trying to be a bit more subtle 😁
I do not like the manipulation that's already going on.
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