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Budget Weddings: Big Family, Little Wallet

A bride and her in-laws come to blows regarding the size of the wedding

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There is a budget for every wedding — and expectations to match. Unfortunately, sometimes other people’s expectations don’t quite work with our wedding budget. What to do?

A Hudson Valley bride asks: “My fiancé and I [have a limited budget]. My parents can’t afford to throw us a big wedding, nor would I expect them to, so they’ve kindly offered to pay for our honeymoon. Here’s my problem: My fiancé’s family is very large and tight-knit, and their tradition is to invite even extended family to every wedding. They expect us to do this for ours. They’ve offered to cover the expense of renting a venue — but that still leaves us having to pay for all the other things, like flowers and music.

As a way of saving money, my future mother-in-law suggested we cook at home and bring food to the venue. (I think this is distasteful — I’d rather have a small wedding than a tacky one.) We think if we “give in,” it’ll establish a bad precedent with them in the future. We agree on saving our money for other things. What can we do so we don’t alienate my fiancé’s family, but still stick to our guns?”

(Our answer on next page)

» More on weddings on a budget
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About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.

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