Dilemma with Dad!

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katyscott08 Posts : 3 Registered: 3/7/08
Dilemma with Dad!
Posted: Apr 11, 2008 6:57 PM

This is my first post but I've been browsing these boards since my engagement on Valentine's Day! I'm really struggling to figure out how to deal with my dad as far as our wedding budget is concerned and could use some advice.

Here's the situation: when I told dad about the engagement he offered to help (without my asking). I was so appreciative because I knew we wouldn't have a lot to spend. It took weeks to get him to actually come up with an amount for how much he wanted to contribute. I had no expectations and didn't want to be pushy but I needed to know so we could set our budget, we're getting married in August and needed to get the ball rolling!

Dad finally came up with a number (10K) which I was blown away by! If we had to pay for it all on our own we probably would have only had 2-3K at best. I was ecstatic and did everything I could to make sure he knew how much it meant to me! However, I have never figured out how to ask dad how we're going to get the actual money and he hasn't offered on his own. When I found a dress I liked, I called him to see about paying for it (because I didn't have the money laying around at the time) and he gave me one of his credit card numbers so I could buy it but since then there's be no offer for further help. I have tried to bring this up several times but Dad has more or less blown me off and doesn't seem as enthusiastic about helping out when I bring up the budget now.

From reading other posts in similar situations I am well aware that he isn't obligated to pay for anything and that, if I am really concerned, I should stick to what me and FH can afford. The problem is, when I was excited and my only worry was a short time frame, I made several purchases on my own and deposits with our limited funds, the balance of which we won't be able to cover. Not smart, I know, but I was assuming on dad's word that he would cover up to his offered amount and I was worried about not being able to book vendors if I waited. If the money stops now I will have lost all the deposits I made and have no money left to recoup the wedding plans! Any advice? We have thrown around the idea of postponing but the reason we planned to have it so quickly in the first place is so my terminally ill grandfather (dad's dad) would be able to attend, which is highly important to me.

Sorry if this was long for a first post but any help is appreciated!


Message was edited by: katyscott08

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Dilemma with Dad!
Posted: Apr 11, 2008 7:49 PM Go to message in response to: katyscott08

Hi,

First, have you formally thanked your dad for his generous offer? Maybe you should write him a sincere thank you card just telling him in writing how much you truly appreciate it. I am sure he knows, but you can never thank someone enough for something like that. My parents covered half of our costs for our wedding, and to this day Im still grateful as hell for it.

That being said, maybe Dad is unaware that you need some of that money now. Maybe he has no clue as to how it all works. What do you actually need now and what do you need later? If you have put down deposits on most things, Im assuming the balances are not due until closer to the wedding date,right? Simple write out a list of your wedding budget so you AND your dad can see it in writing ... list everything from vendors to dress to anything that costs money. Put the cost down and whether or not you have paid it yet, and when it is due. Then give a copy of this to your dad and just casually tell him, "Oh here Dad..Ive been meaning to give this to you. Its the list of all the Wedding expenses and what Ive paid so far..what still needs to be paid and when. This way we know where our money is going and so do you." If he is having any sort of change of heart about contributing, he will most likely say something at that point.

The bulk of the money though is normally for the reception and food, etc. So maybe you could just talk to your dad about him taking care of the balance on the reception ... and youll try to cover most of the other stuff.

The key word here is you need to COMMUNICATE with your dad. I know its a bit awkward, but you HAVE to know what youre dealing with. Present it as information for him and HIS budget. If he offered you the money, there isnt any rreason for you to assume he is backing out unless he says so. So go to him with a specific plan of action and see what he says.

By the way; when my parents offered to pay for half, they did sort of what your dad is doing; except they were even more vague lol. So I did the same thing. Put down all the deposits. My parents eventually would say things like, "We will do what we can.. we can probably cover the cost of the reception. If you can take care of the money youll need now, we can cover stuff that is due the week of the wedding." So basicall,y I just kept my mom informed with EVERYYTHING that I was doing, paying for, etc. I would call her and tell her "Im going to book this DJ I really like. His fee is X amount and he wants this much now and the rest the day of the wedding. " She would say, "Okay, well if you can pay the DJ we can pay this" or whatever. I found that the more I kept them informed, the better it was. So talk to him. Be specific. If he is no longer interested in helping, Im sure he will let you know that. I have a feeling he is just clueless as opposed to backing out lol.


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TakeBackYourWed... Posts : 139 Registered: 4/5/08
Re: Dilemma with Dad!
Posted: Apr 11, 2008 10:46 PM Go to message in response to: katyscott08

Clarifying questions for you:

you say your have brought up the money and he has 'basically blown you off'.  Tell me more about that - what have you said, what was the situation, what was his response and how did you respond to his response?

Do you have a sense of the delay in telling you the 10K was because of some reason - like he doesnt have that sitting around?  Or is he married to your mom or a stepmom and did he have to talk with that person?  Is he a 'researcher' and wanted to get a sense of how much weddings cost before he came up with 10K?

Is this 10K a big deal for his financial situation, a drop in the bucket, or somewhere in between?  And is he any particular flavor of frugal or something with money?


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XYZ1 Posts : 367 Registered: 1/7/08
Re: Dilemma with Dad!
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 2:20 PM Go to message in response to: TakeBackYourWed...

Katy, I have similar issues with my dad -- he hates discussing money with me.  In his case, he feels strongly that "kids shouldn't worry about money" and apparently at 26 I still qualify!  (I should add that I'm 100% self-supporting and have for a while now, but when I was in college this was kind of annoying.)

I think you're going to have to bite the bullet and ask him, point-blank, if the money is still available.  I always feel really awkward asking questions like that, since I know people aren't obligated to give me money and I feel like I'm being greedy when I say "hey, about that cash you promised ...", but sometimes you have to do it.  If he can't follow through on what he offered you need to know ASAP.

If he says yes, he can still give the money he offered, I'd print out a list of what I'd already paid for, what still needs to be paid for, when the money is due, and I'd show it to my dad.  That way he has specific information on where the money's going and a better sense of the time frame.  It could be that he's waiting for you to hand him a bill and say "pay this" and hasn't been very involved because he doesn't have enough information on when the money is supposed to be paid and who it should be paid to.

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KateS Posts : 208 Registered: 7/14/06
Re: Dilemma with Dad!
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 8:33 AM Go to message in response to: katyscott08

Katy: How about -  "Hey Dad, I really appreciate you contributing to the wedding.  How did you want me to work it?  Did you want to give the 10k in a lump sum that we draw on for expenses, or should I call you each time I have an expenditure for your credit card number until we get to the $10k limit?  Also just wanted to check to make sure you still felt like this was a realistic amount for you to contribute - is that still ok?"  He needs to be pinned down.  You shouldn't stress about spending money that is supposed to be "a gift" to find out later may not be there and you have to find out where to get it. 

Best of luck!

Kate

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katyscott08 Posts : 3 Registered: 3/7/08
Re: Dilemma with Dad!
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 10:59 AM Go to message in response to: TakeBackYourWed...

Thanks to everyone for their replies! I have always had a hard time being assertive which is, unfortunately for this situation, a trait I got from my dad!

To claify TakeBack's questions: when I have brought up money with dad, I get the same answer everytime "I'll help out with that." then the topic ends and nothign more is said. I think I recognize now from other posters that this is probably the point where I again thank him profusely for his help and hammer out exactly what the "help" will look like (credit card use, cash, etc.).

My dad is really well off, he owns a huge business and a lot of real estate so 10k is not an unrealistic sum, I would never have agreed to something that I knew to be outside his means. That said, it is tax season and, although he comes out shining every year despite his worries, he does stress out a lot about money when taxes are due. I probably should consider that a factor.

In any case I know I just have to "bite the bullet" as one poster said and encourage a little more effective communication. I don't want to seem like I am "pestering" or pressuring him because it is a gift but that is exactly how I feel when I have to call everytime I find some little piece of the wedding that needs paid for. It looks like I am going to have to be the one to change the situation so I don't have to feel that way!

Thanks again for all the responses. I am much clearer now on what needs to happen to make this a smoother process.

Katy

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