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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Default Can I afford it? - Honeymoon

    Or do I just deserve to go on a honeymoon anyways?

    I'm getting married next year and agonizing whether or not to plan a honeymoon. Our parents are helping us to pay for the wedding, however, they are also giving us an increasingly large guest list, meal requirements, decorating requirements, etc.

    I am not getting the wedding I wanted (something small with just my closest friends & family) but I'm still trying to keep a tight rein on the spending because I don't want to be in debt afterwards.

    I'm worried if I try to cut costs on the wedding but still go on a honeymoon, everyone will think I'm so cheap and selfish. (You couldn't afford an open bar/chair covers/professional decorating but you're spending a week in a tropical resort???)

    I'm also not sure there will be any money to go on a honeymoon, which would mean we borrow $$ to be able to do it. If all the guests give us lots of money, there should be some extra. If everyone buys us a gift, we're screwed.

    We won't know until after the wedding. So we can plan a honeymoon and hope for the best (line of credit as back up plan) or wait until after the wedding to decide. I keep hearing if you don't go right away on your honeymoon you won't end up going.

    I kind of think we deserve it; I feel like I would be able to afford it if I wasn't being forced to make this such a big wedding and inviting all these people I don't know.

    Any input?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2010
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I am in a similar situation. We're planning a wedding for November of next year and are unsure if we will be able to afford going on a honeymoon at all. Our parents will be covering most of the wedding - but my fiance recently lost his job and I am entry level. We will probably end up doing something close to home and more like a long weekend than an actual vacation, but I plan on packing it with romance so it still feel like a "honeymoon".

    As far as the decorations go for the wedding, I am a graphic designer so from stalking wedding blogs (stylemepretty.com / ruffledblog.com / theknot.com) and my own personal creativity, I've realized beautiful things are possible at the DIY price tag! Don't think that because you aren't hiring a decorator or wedding planner that you can't have a magical, beautiful wedding.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
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    7,783

    Default

    Scale back on 'dream' honeymoon and plan something less expensive. There are MANY options for honeymoons that are romantic and don't put you in debt. I think everyone deserves a honeymoon, but it doesn't have to be a cruise in the Bahamas or a trip to Europe!!

    Camping can be fun, lots of interesting places to visit, cheap overnights. Doing a "beach honeymoon" could be on the Great Lakes instead of Florida or other pricy locations. Sitting under the stars with a campfire can be quite cozy!

    If a fancy honeymoon is your fondest desire, then cut expenses in other places so you can afford what you WANT.

    I would cut the open bar, save yourself the money. Liquor is NOT required at wedding receptions. Many times no alchohol is BETTER for good relations among family members!!

    You do not have to follow the "common" plan of other weddings, drinks, hired decorator etc, make it your OWN special event with your desires. Close your ears to the comments, keep things reined in firmly in the cost areas. Brides are ENTITLED to have things done their way at weddings.

    You can have a great wedding, but you have to put your foot down on additional guests, expenses that are eating your honeymoon fund. I went for the beautiful dresses, which my mother made. Loved them then, still like the photos. Reading what an "average" wedding cost now, is more money than we spent buying the house and land!!

    Have a good time, that is what weddings are for, celebrating the new start of your life. Not worth being in debt for a party.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 8, 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default

    I'd be pretty indignant if I had to pay for a wedding that someone else planned for me. But I'm also butt stubborn and I don't care if I make my inlaws angry about that kind of thing!

    I had to pay for my wedding, I knew exactly how much I had to spend, and planned accordingly since it was VERY important for me to stay out of debt. We had a short honeymoon at a place very close to home because that is what we had money for, and it was wonderful. Personally I believe having some kind of honeymoon is important, but it does not have to be a super expensive proposition. Long romantic weekends totally count!

    My suggestion is to look at what you have, decide what you can/want to spend on the wedding without making yourself crazy, and don't budge. If that means canceling some plans others have made for you (without agreeing to pay for it themselves), then so be it. If you arrange it so that you can also have a modest honeymoon, that's your business, because it is your money. It is your wedding, not theirs. Maybe explain about the importance of avoiding financial strain so early in a marriage. If others say you "need" more, then maybe they should pay for it. If they don't want to pay for it, obviously they don't really think you need it.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    LOL, many issues in the same problem:

    Open bar, around were I live I don't think it happens, if you are even able to serve alcohol. I think there are also legal ramifications - possibly - in serving potent beverages freely, but I am not a lawyer.

    Decorating...
    It does not have to be done professionally. I wish I could ship my MIL to you, she should be Scottish, she is so cheap But she can decorate like nothing on a dime! Same with most foods.

    Also, you will have to come to terms with what the parents want and what you want. Then again, if they pay for it, wash your hands off it

    honeymoon...I have no idea if you deserve one, but it certainly has it's place in tradition. There are many nice destinations to be had for cheap, too, cruises etc...you will find something to get away for a week or 2!

    besides, it's nobody's business how you spend your money, earned or gifted...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
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    GNU Terry Prachett



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
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    8,192

    Default

    If you can have the wedding on Friday night instead of the traditional Saturday or Sunday affair you may be able to save a good percentage of money all the way around. Costs for catering, flowers, reception hall, etc tend to come in lower on that night. If you go with a good DJ that will bring it down some more. Bargaining is going to be your best friend here. That and the traditional stag party, which is held to help offset the honeymoon costs, should take a bite out of the honeymoon tab. If you are both employed and are reasonably comfortable that you still will be so once the wedding rolls around, then I would begin to search out great deals on places you want to go.

    Another idea to keep the guest numbers down on this whole thing is to do a destination wedding! Get married where you want to honeymoon, invite a limited number of people, reserve a block of rooms for them ahead of time (let them know the price per room so they get the hint that they are picking up the tab here), see if you can score a good deal on a wedding package, and then leave them to their own devices after the affair.

    If this whole thing spins out of control and you have had enough, do what my cousin did: fly to Hawaii, have the wedding on the beach, honeymoon right there on the island, then post the pictures on FB.

    As for the parents helping to pay for the wedding, that is usually a nice way of getting themselves into a position of at least some control over these matters (expand the guest list, class up the menu to equal what their friends have offered at their own children's weddings, open the bar, etc), and you will have to decide if this is how you want to do things, and how far to allow this to go. Speaking from experience, the more they are paying, the less control you will have over the finished product. Mine started out as a quiet garden wedding for 50 with the reception at a nice restaurant, and bloomed into a 250 person affair, held at high noon in a large church with singers, musicians, candles and a ceremony that lasted an hour and a half. The long white dress I had purchased suitable for a garden ceremony was deemed not fancy enough, so it was returned and a more appropriate gown with looong train and veil was purchased instead.There were decorations here and decorations there, my mother tried to comondeer the wedding cake as well, and the menu went from buffet to top of the line sit down dinner. Instead of walking down the garden path, I arrived at and left the church in a classic Rolls Royce. Most of the guests were family members and friends of my parents. I think you get my drift.

    See if you can do a serious sit down with them sooner, rather than later, and keep reining it in. Good luck!
    Last edited by Chief2; Sep. 2, 2010 at 05:56 PM.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2000
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,891

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    ... Our parents are helping us to pay for the wedding, however, they are also giving us an increasingly large guest list, meal requirements, decorating requirements, etc.

    I am not getting the wedding I wanted (something small with just my closest friends & family) ....
    These two sentences are the most relevant parts of your post.

    I would warmly encourage you to sit down with both sets of parents and tell them that what they are planning is not what you want. You don't have to be a bridezilla about it, but you do have to express your wants / desires clearly. If the 'rents are planning this as a big social do to impress all their friends, then suggest that they host something else ... an 'after the honeymoon' reception or some such thing, and you keep the wedding to the people and style YOU want.

    Wedding planning is great fun and it is very easy to get carried away with all the fru-fru, which is great if you like and can afford fru-fru. If if is not your thing, put a stop to it now.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    A couple of thoughts from a recent bride:

    1. It's YOUR wedding. Not the parents', not the families', not the friends'. Yours.

    2. For the love of little green apples, don't start a marriage with wedding/honeymoon debt.

    3. Go back and re-read the first point.


    Regardless of whatever load of horse-doddle you might be hearing, all your guests really care about is having a reasonably decent time. Feed 'em something edible, have okay music and a place to sit/dance, and drinks (if appropriate) without making them drive all over the place, wait, and otherwise be bored and uncomfortable. Because, really, a lot of weddings are just painful for everyone involved. And what's the sense in wasting money on THAT? You guests aren't going to give you bigger gifts because you sprang for pleated chair covers...

    Spend the savings on a nice honeymoon. Anyone who judges you for scaling back the wedding so you can have a honeymoon is an asshat. These are YOUR memories--make 'em good ones!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    27

    Default

    There is no rule that says you're required to go on a honeymoon immediately after your wedding.

    Hubs and I waited a year, and made it an anniversary celebration/honeymoon/fabulous trip. We saved money to go on the trip so that we wouldn't go into debt and who gives a flying flip if you didn't get married the day before, you can still tell everyone its your honeymoon!

    Also, tell your family to buzz off about the wedding. If your parents are paying for it they're allowed to have some input, but its YOUR wedding.

    I've done two weddings.

    Wedding #1(bowing to my mothers demands) - 500+ guest list, open bar, custom dress, professional catering, art gallery reception, two photographers, imported flowers, custom invitations, horse drawn carriage, dozens of pre-wedding parties, limo, expensive hotel, the works.

    Wedding #2 (my wishes) - courthouse, wednesday afternoon, two friends and the DH, wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

    Wedding #2 was BY FAR the better of the two and I'm still glowing from it two years later. It's about -what- is happening not how fancy you can make it.
    “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2006
    Posts
    3,381

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post

    I'm worried if I try to cut costs on the wedding but still go on a honeymoon, everyone will think I'm so cheap and selfish. (You couldn't afford an open bar/chair covers/professional decorating but you're spending a week in a tropical resort???)
    Ummmm it's your wedding, you are supposed to be selfish! If someone doesn't like that you picked Tahiti over an open bar, screw 'em!
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
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    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
    Ummmm it's your wedding, you are supposed to be selfish! If someone doesn't like that you picked Tahiti over an open bar, screw 'em!
    I tend to agree here. Have the wedding and honeymoon you want. It is YOUR wedding.

    We didn't do an open bar, didn't do loads and tons of decorations, etc., but we went on a honeymoon (Colorado Springs - stayed in an Econo-lodge and did everything fairly cheaply, but we had fun).
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Location
    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    Default

    If you have to pick between more guests/decorations/wedding expenses or a honeymoon, pick the one that will make YOU (and your new spouse) happy.

    DH and I had a fair number of people at our wedding, but it wasn't fancy. We liked it that way.

    We also didn't go on a honeymoon, we put our money towards the down payment on a new house. Don't regret that decision one bit.

    Though as a PP mentioned, maybe a destination wedding would be great for you. Small and intimate, and you'd already be on your tropical vacation!
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,964

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies.

    The hall is already booked and I believe I have limited some of the extravagance by arranging the ceremony to be held at the hall immediately prior to the dinner. So, only one place to decorate, and no shipping people all over town.

    I don't want a super fancy honeymoon, but I would like to go somewhere kind of nice. I lol'd at the suggestion of the Great Lakes beach honeymoon, not going to happen in May!

    I tried to be firm about what I wanted for my wedding in the beginning, but I wear down very quickly I started out with the idea "Well, since I can't make everyone happy, I might as well just make myself happy!" but that's gone right out the window and now I'll just do whatever I need to do to keep the peace. I can't handle the pressure from my own mother and her friends.... and let's just say I have learned from the mistakes of my future mother-in-law's other daughter-in-law (don't cut her people off the guest list or she will hold a grudge for a LONG time!).

    And if one more person tells me this is going to be the most special, most important day of my life, I'm going to throw up. I just want : A) to be married at the end of the day and B) for people to have a good time.

    One thing for sure, I will ONLY be doing this ONCE!!!!



  14. #14
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    Elope!

    Have Elvis perform it in Vegas, or see if the old law of wedding at see still stands, your mom can heave her party without you
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    8,749

    Default

    My daughter is getting married in June 2011. I was hoping she would elope, but no, she wants the whole fancy wedding. Since we are paying for it, I try to keep the reins on the budget. The hall is rented (beautiful place at her university with beautiful gardens - so, only one place and the rental was very cheap!). The university does the catering and the decorating, working with us. She insisted she wanted the horse drawn carriage. No problem and our BO has the horse AND the carriage. The photographer is a very good friend of the groom who does weddings on the side (beautiful portfolio and he did their engagement pictures for free). DJ, groom's BIL, since it is his business. She found the dress, loved it and it was very reasonably priced. She only has 3 bridesmaids and the search is on for the dresses. We are trying to design our own invitations and since my husband is in the printing business, getting them printed will not be very costly.

    I am trying to keep the MIL-to-be (one of them) on a tight leash. My husband does not call her Martha Stewart for nothing, but she has offered to pay all the flowers for the wedding and of course, the rehearsal party. The groom's mother has not said a word yet (not even congratulations!). The bride and groom will be paying for some of the expenses. I still want them to decide on the menu, the guests, etc. I keep reminding the MIL to be that "it is THEIR wedding". They are planning their honeymoon in B.C., but the car rental will be expensive. They want to have fun, but they cannot afford luxury. They are lucky that they know an aunt will give them a big fat cheque towards the honeymoon, but still they are being reasonable.

    I heard of a couple who had a wedding list at Sears or some big department store, then returned all the gifts and exchanged them for a honeymoon through Sears Travel. I find that very tacky though.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2001
    Location
    Queens, NY
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    Default

    Also there is no rule you have to go on a honeymoon right after the wedding (arguably this is the worst way to do it because right after the wedding you just want to pass out from exhaustion for 3 days,and you don't need to be in Italy to do that!). We got married in Sept, and went on our honeymoon (in Costa Rica) in January.

    By delaying your honeymoon a few months, you don;t have to plan it, make reservations, etc, without knowing what your financial situation will be.

    There are many wonderful places to visit for not too much money. Some friends of mine who are NOT swimming in funds are going to Thailand. Another set of friends went to Vietnam. Costa Rica can be an amazing deal, especially in the rainy season or "Shoulder season" (rains intermittently but is shifting towards the dry season) and I've heard great things about Argentina.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
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    After talks of doing a wedding for 50-100... and realizing that by the time we invited "required" family most of the people we WANTED to invite wouldn't be able to come. We decided to do a TINY wedding with my mother, stepfather, and brother and his mom, dad, and brother... that's it. We did it at a really cute bed and breakfast on Amelia Island in FL. I still had the dress, we still had a cake, and flowers. We still had pictures taken. And we spent FAR FAR less than we would have and it was also FAR FAR less stressful lol.
    We came home and few weeks later had a BBQ party at our house as a "reception".
    I will also point out that EVERY SINGLE person we talked to said they'd wished they'd done the same thing lol. Not one person said they would repeat the big wedding. It comes down to you try to make everyone else happy and in the end you're not happy (and to be honest lots of people STILL won't be happy about something).
    PICS (you may have to "sign the guest book"): http://www.pictage.com/825339

    By the way we did not go one a honeymoon right away, BUT we have more than enough from not doing a huge wedding that we can take an awesome trip!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
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    1,879

    Default

    I second the destination wedding idea:

    http://www.yourwaytravel.net/

    Or just a special honeymoon.

    Who cares if the hall is booked? You might lose a deposit, but that is going to cost less that the fiasco that seems to be brewing.

    My DD started out wanting a small wedding, it got blown all out of portion by her future MIL, so now they will just elope, at a time and place of their choosing. I'm all for it It is THEIR Freaking day. Do what you and your fiance want.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    349

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    Or do I just deserve to go on a honeymoon anyways?


    I am not getting the wedding I wanted (something small with just my closest friends & family) but I'm still trying to keep a tight rein on the spending because I don't want to be in debt afterwards.

    I'm worried if I try to cut costs on the wedding but still go on a honeymoon, everyone will think I'm so cheap and selfish. (You couldn't afford an open bar/chair covers/professional decorating but you're spending a week in a tropical resort???)

    Any input?
    I'm in the process of planning my wedding, too. My fiance are having some issues with our families, too, though not quite to the extent of yours it sounds, but we've learned to put our feet down- it is OUR wedding, just like it is YOUR wedding, not anyone else's. Make it the wedding YOU want and will love. I agree with the others that a sit down discussion with all involved sounds necessary. Talk with your fiance first, make sure you are both on the same page, and then present your wishes with a united front so neither one of you will be singled out for any blame.

    As for the honeymoon, think of it this way: Would you rather spend the money on 1 chaotic day that will be stressful though hopefully joyous, or spend it on a week (or however long) of relaxation and fun with just you and your new husband?? My fiance and I are opting for the latter, and frankly don't care what anyone says or thinks about us skimping on the wedding and splurging on our honeymoon! It's your wedding, your marriage, your happiness. Go with what you want and not what everyone else thinks you should do. Good luck!!!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2007
    Location
    Central,PA
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    Default

    This is a great thread and you have gotten some good advice !! I am in the same position. And it is an overwhelming feeling.

    My fiancee and I have no help finacially. I have never even thought I would get married. I never even dreamed about what my wedding would be because before him I had no desire to wed.

    Every one asks on a date and how is planning, well ummm see. I just feel so overwhelmed with the whole process I dont even think about it !

    This may not be an option for you but I would like to do a brunch. Get married early in the day ) think sunrise and serve brunch. Your average person will not get tanked at 11am. So we could cut cost by just serving a signature drink, Think mimosas and screwdrivers. I found an omlett guy who makes them for you but that is still 7.50 a person ( FOR EGGS!! ? ) but... What are you going to do ? One thing I am worried about is how *fun* the reception will be if doing it late morning.

    I am very on the fence with not even having a reception, and doing the honeymoon WE want to do ( specifically IRELAND !!!! That is serious cost in itself. Call me selfish but you can make some serious bank having a reception and I would hate to miss out on any of that. I like to hope if we do have a reception the money recieved will either pay for the reception itself or a good part of the honeymoon............ Ughhh see what I mean about me not even knowing where to start ?? LOL
    Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t



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