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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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The Wedding Guru answers: Oh boy... this one’s tough. I understand your concern that “giving in” might lead to “being stepped on,” but compromising allows both sides to give a little — without setting a bad precedent.

A scaled-back wedding reception is very appropriate, particularly in a time of recession. Could you ask your parents to put some of the honeymoon money towards a reception instead? You can also consider trading your reception hall for a restaurant with a private room. These are usually more reasonably priced; plus, you can go without the extras like flowers, music, and decorations without sacrificing a lovely party atmosphere. Another idea is to host the wedding at the reception venue (even while the guests are in their seats for dinner). Talk to the restaurant manager for details on the logistics.

Once you’ve decided which options best suit you, sit down with the groom’s mom and explain how you’ve compromised — and that they also need to do so. Based on your budget, give your future mother-in-law a firm number of guests that she can invite and explain that she must work within that number.

If none of these ideas work, you can always consider eloping — but I hope it doesn’t come to that!

Read more articles on budgeting at’s Wedding Guide: “Your Wedding Budget and Budget Issues” might be helpful.

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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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