Money is always a contentious issue. Add in the stress of wedding planning and possible parental oversight and it can lead to some serious disagreements.
In a perfect world, your parents would let you do whatever you want for your wedding. After all, it is your wedding. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. Your parents have been waiting 20, 30, or more years for this event. They want a piece of it too and they’ll have their own opinions. About everything.
Their opinions about your spending may or may not have consequences depending primarily on one factor: Whose money is it?
If you’re spending your money, your parents might still have an opinion but there isn’t much that they can do about it. It’s your money. You earned it. (Or you got the bank loan, which is also earning it in a way.) They can nag you and give you a hard time if they want. It’s up to you if you listen to it. Doing what they want can keep the peace in your family, but is that worth it to give up doing what you want? That’s a question you’ll have to ponder for yourself.
If your parents are chipping in some dough, or all of it, and they have an opinion on how it’s spent, that’s a whole new ballgame.
Relatively small demands can be easily met. If they want exquisite linens, a photo booth for the reception, or a specific dinner option that goes along with ones you’ve already picked, just do it. Your effort is better saved for another day.
Larger demands can be much more difficult. If they want you to get married in a ballroom but you want to get married on the beach, then there’s a serious disconnect. If they want to invite 100 of their friends to the festivities but your budget only allows for 75 total guests, then something’s got to give.
Parents don’t always have a grasp on wedding realities. Sit down with them and try to help them understand that the eight tier cake of their dreams isn’t practical for 25 guests.
Finally, it’s possible that your parents might give you a sum of money with the expectation that you’ll spend it on a certain purchase and only that purchase. If that’s something you don’t want, you have a decision to make. You can accept the money and buy what they want, turn down the money and be free of the expectation, or accept the money and talk them into permitting you to use it in a more desirable way.
Good luck hopping across the parental financial minefield. It shouldn’t be part of your wedding planning but, unfortunately, it probably will be. Do your best to navigate the politics that come with family and money and then you can come out happy on the other side.