It’s funny how a little bit of time can change things. When I originally wrote my post about my parents and my financial situation surrounding our wedding, it was not too long after we’d gotten engaged and I think my parents, even though they were happy for Mr. Hummingbird and myself, were kind of weirded out about the idea of me, their only child, getting married.
After we made our announcement, as if it was almost a reflex, the first words out of my mother’s mouth were “We’re not paying for it,” even though I hadn’t expected or asked my parents to. I’m not sure exactly which emotion motivated the reaction. Maybe it was surprise at our big news. Maybe it was confusion because I once announced as a teenager that I would never get married. Maybe it was fear after seeing the increasingly elaborate and expensive wedding plans being staged by her friend’s daughter. I don’t know. All I knew was I made my announcement, my mom said no and I immediately figured that was the end of it.
Until recently, when my parents suddenly announced that they WOULD be helping out with the wedding after all. I have to admit, I was completely shocked by this change of heart because I honestly thought there was a greater chance of Satan strapping on ice skates than my parents giving us money to put towards our wedding.
Now, to make things clear, by no means do I mean to imply that my parents are cheap. They are very loving and generous people and I have nothing but the deepest respect for them. But I know my mom and I know that she is one of the most stubborn people in the known universe and even when she gets something completely ridiculous in her head, there is very little chance that she will ever change her mind about it.
Weddings are no exception to this rule. Because her wedding to my father back in 1981 (complete with 40 person guestlist, booze and honeymoon) cost $1,000, therefore, in her mind, this was how much weddings should cost. She was completely unwavering in this belief, even after her delusion was tested by entering a boutique and perusing wedding dresses with me.
As soon as we walked in, she became completely enamored with a dress that cost over $500 and began brandishing the hanger at me. Although I laughed and pointed out that, in order to purchase the dress on her budget, I would need to get married in a public park and serve my guests Chicken McNuggets and Orange pop from McDonalds, she refused to see the light, insisting that we could just make a few sacrifices here and there.
My brain literally ached.
However, after this dress shopping incident, a lot changed. My mom saw us working and budgeting to make our dreams a reality and in turn, I began to appreciate her frugal (if not inflation ignoring) eye.
Happily, the next time the subject of money came up, realizing the other person’s view on it made things much easier and I think we actually better understood where we both were coming from and it was actually kind of awesome to have such an honest dialogue about something that can be so taboo in families.
How has planning your wedding changed your view of money? How has planning your wedding changed your view of your parents?