A: In a fantasy world, your family would cough up the dough and say magnanimously, "Use it as you will, dear." After all, you're thinking, this is your wedding right? But if your parents are footing the bill, then it's their party, too, and as the official hosts they have every right to dictate a few details. (In all likelihood, they've been dreaming of this day even longer than you have.) The best plan is to sit down and talk with your parents (or both sets, if both are making contributions to the cost) before you book a single thing. Tell them how grateful you are for their kind and generous gift and that you hope they'll let you plan the wedding of your dreams. If they don't agree to give you your wedding—your way—you'll have to decide if you want to turn your back on the dough and plan the whole thing on what you and your fiancé can afford, or accept the cash with all those strings attached.