and it is getting ugly.
The best way to reign in extravagance, is to decide upfront how much you can afford, and let that dictate everything.
I agree with sabr the first thing is to set a budget and take it from there.
I know for some folks weddings are a huge expensive deal. I would mention however, they don't HAVE to be. I have a nephew who got married on a beach. Talk about cutting costs. I have a friend in KY who had her food catered by friends at KFC, (yes, chicken), and the reception in the church hall which cost her nothing as an active member of the church. Both weddings were charming, though granted, not huge, lavish affairs. The point is merely that a wedding can be done NICELY on ANY budget, so set yours where you are comfortable.
So far as our boys are concerned, I told them a long time ago we would give them a flat dollar amount to be spent whatever way they saw fit, on wedding cost, wedding rehearsal dinners, honeymoon or other. It WON'T be 15K!!! OUCH! This puts the ball in their court, and becomes THEIR responsibility.
In the case of 23s, he won't be getting a huge check from us. Sorry, but tickets alone for that Indian wedding will run us $2700 or more, plus hotels and other. They'll get something, but not nearly what we would have given them had we not been faced with this trip overseas for the wedding. He knows this and accepts it as part of his decision to marry in India. He will be helping the bride's family with the wedding budget, not us.
Weddings are a special day. Everyone wants input. In the end, all that matters is where the bride and groom stand on the matter, and if they are staying within THEIR budget, (whether handed down by parents or not). Keep your cool. There is plenty of time to work the details out yet. Simply tell others you will keep their wishes in mind, but the bride and groom will decide on their own, and based on their budget, how the wedding will be conducted.
Step back, breathe, and enjoy being a part of their joyous occasion. :)
How successful you are at reining people in will depend on how well you've done it in the past and what kind of expectations you've set about other things you're asked to pay for, such as college, grad school, vacations, etc.
Young people who insist on a dream wedding often have no idea what that means.
Congratulations to your dd. What a shame that things are already going south. I'm sure that you will get the players in line eventually.
Does your dd have a book on wedding planning? She can get a quick overview of the etiquette, who is responsible for what, guidelines on budgeting, etc. If the groom and his family are not able to pay for the things traditionally paid for by that side then she and he will need to cut back somewhere or he will need to start saving like mad. Maybe a book will help her/them to understand those realities better than hearing it from her parents.
I know of a few couples who used TheKnot.com for some of their planning and online registries etc. The Knot has some books out including a wedding planner, and a book for the mother of the bride. It might be worth it for you to check them out.
Meanwhile feel free to vent here...the BTDT moms will have advice for you, and the rest of us can get advice for the day that we are in your shoes!
One of the best ways to reign in the opinion-aters is by not telling them any more than absolutely necessary when it's non-family.
Hi Cheryl - I have had a little difficulty figuring out how to reply to you because of our situation, i.e., with my older dd divorcing,
Calmama54, from the beautiful
Oh, I know it is a red flag.
I am going to respond here to everyone...
I hate to say it, but other than the food, the gown, flowers and decorations are some fairly big ticket items, unless you're in a position to do them yourself.