Q: To save on expenses, my parents want me to choose an inexpensive gown. ("You'll only wear it once!" they tell me). And they're insisting on a certain reception site (that I don't love) because, after all, they're footing the bill. Can I accept their cash but still get my way?

A: "It is important that the wedding be viewed as a gift with no strings attached," states Sylvia Bigelsen, author of The Ties That Bind...And Bind...And Bind (Element Books). "Just because your parents are paying does not mean they have the only say in how the wedding should be." In the end, neither of you wants to fight over such a happy day. So be ready to compromise (a bit), and try these techniques to navigate through any stormy financial waters.

See all questions about budget etiquette

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