Merry Christmas! Lots of Sales!

Some great sales are starting already…

– Lord & Taylor — tons of shoes and bags, including Cole Haan, for under $200…

– Saks Fifth Avenue – designer brands up to 70% off

– Bloomingdale’s – After Xmas clearance sale is on, up

– Boden – 50% off (and lots of silk blouses included in the sale)

– The Limited – up to 70% off (Red Hot Sale)

– Macy’s – After Xmas & Clearance Sale

– Endess – Year End Savings, up to 50% savings select items across the site

– Net-a-Porter – New arrivals up to 70% off

– Neiman Marcus – Save up to 60% off regular prices, take an extra 25-33% off already reduced prices, and take 50% off “holiday glories”

– The Outnet – Up to 75% off

– Naturalizer – Take an extra 20% off sale items plus free shipping

– Reiss – Up to 50% off Merry Christmas

– Sierra Trading Post – Extra 25% off select items

– Target – Save $10 on your $50 Order with code TGTGFT2U (today only)



  1. for K in NYC :

    for K in NYC and others who said they would be having a quiet day alone . . .

    Here is what I have done so far:

    * read NYTimes print edition
    * balanced checkbook
    * paid bills
    * paid last installment of property taxes (so I can deduct them from 2010 taxes)
    * collected, opened, read, digested, organized and filed all documentation from recent home refi
    *reconciled Flexible Spending Account documents
    * made and ate scrambled eggs with mushrooms
    * ate Frango mints

    Still on the to do list:

    * laundry
    * thank you notes
    * some additional paperwork

    Yes, it is gorgeous outside (southern Cal) and I could and should go for a walk. But I have “homework” to do and it feels good to get it done.

    Just didn’t want you to think you were the only one not carolling and mistletoeing and yulelogging etc.

    • Frango mints! Are you in SEA, or do they have those elsewhere?

      • for K in NYC :

        You can now buy these at virtually any Macy’s (since their parent bought Marshall Fields). Yumm.

  2. for K in NYC :

    Equally glamorous: my fiance just got off the phone with Citibank’s credit card fraud people. It seems that someone has used his card to purchase almost $3,000 worth of merchandise today.

    The kicker: the purchases were all made online. It shouldn’t be too hard to find this genius; just send the police to the address where all the merchandise is going.

    • oh no!! that is ridiculous. I hope the cops get it together and get this idiot! good luck.

    • Aaaaah! At least they track spending patterns.

      I got a call from my Nordstroms Visa card about a week ago asking about some items I bought. I bought a few “angel tree” gifts at JC Penney (not a store I normally shop at, but they had free shipping to the angels) and I donated money to a bunch of charities (some overseas) in lieu of buying gifts for my family (all of whom are very financially stable adults). When I answered the phone I laughed and said they were indeed my purchases, and thanked them anyway. :)

  3. I am in love with this… what a lovely lovely surprise!

  4. Today I slept in, fielded texts and calls from friends whose families are making them nuts, tried to find a place open to get delivery from (no luck, so I’m scrounging), am burning a candle, watching the pup sleep. I watched some episodes of House on an online network, am listening to some music now, browsing the website that advertises here, even though I can never afford anything on it.

  5. Am playing a game with myself called, “if you had to spend $1000 on yourself in the next hour or you’d lose it, what would you buy?” since I almost never buy things for myself and I typically buy really plain clothing items and change the look with scarves and such, it’s actually a tougher game than I’d thought.

    So far, I’ve come up with: a comfy bathrobe, OPI Muppets nail polish, and some take-out food. Maybe something from that modcloth website too, dunno. What would you guys buy?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think I’d buy some beautiful silk scarves! Or maybe $1k worth of M&Ms?

      • fun! what kinds of scarves? and more importantly (hehe) what kinds of m&ms?

        • AnonInfinity :

          I’m loving these:


          So, maybe I’d buy those and then spend the left over (appx $230) on the m&ms. Plain ones! The candy probably isn’t logical — I’m having a rather melancholy day. My only serious boyfriend besides my husband got married yesterday, and I’m feeling oddly weird about the whole thing. I don’t know why — I’m happily married. Weird feelings.

          • this isn’t about logic, so spend your $230 on m&ms!

            I’ve only had a few serious relationships; my HS boyfriend married the person he dated immediately after me (weird to find that news out), the one after him I have no clue what happened to (jerk), and the most recent ex who is still in my orbit.

            Your feelings are understandable!

          • another anon :

            Hermes scarves are my shopping weakness. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
            About the ex, it’s natural. Feelings just are, they’re usually not logical.
            $1000? Those Hanadamas at PearlParadise look really nice!
            And on topic, this year I promise to remember that being on sale does not make an item fit better or look better on! I will do my future self a favor and not fill the closet with junk to sort through, mourn, and give away.

          • hey, I’m gay and still feel a little weird about one ex boyfriend who got married and (weirder) had a kid. It’s understandable.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            The last guy I had serious feelings for, and would have been with if it weren’t for some major long distance just got engaged. To the person he decided to date instead of me because she lived in the same city. After 4 months together. Bring on some M&Ms because I feel totally weird about it. Not upset, just weird.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Awww, man! My comment is in moderation bc I posted links to some beeeeautiful Hermes scarves. They’re $385, so I think I’d buy those two and then spend the leftover on plain m&ms.

          The candy probably isn’t logical — I’m having a rather melancholy day. My only serious boyfriend besides my husband got married yesterday, and I’m feeling oddly weird about the whole thing. I don’t know why — I’m happily married. Weird feelings.

          (Sorry for the multiple postings of that last paragraph — posted again bc who knows when my OP will be moderated!)

          • Always a NYer :

            Those scarves are beautiful!!! I bought one this year for my birthday. It was my first splurge after getting my first real job in June and I love it. The scarf, for those of you who are interested, is a limited edition Central Park theme. The colors are dusty rose and light grey with a dark navy border that matches my wardrobe perfectly =)

            K in NYC – If I were playing your game, I’d buy the Simple 85 Louboutins in black and Clea de Peau makeup.
            Hope you had a great Christmas with the pup!!!

          • another anon :

            **Swoon.** That scarf is gorgeous!

          • another anon :

            For the Hermes Fans among us:

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been lusting after a Cole Haan purse and my speakers for my laptop are dying so I’d buy a new set. However, if I had $1000 and was a size 4 and it was 2 years ago, I’d buy an Alexander McQueen dress that I just can’t get out of my head. I like to dream big :-)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Actually the McQueen dress is from the McQ line, so its cheaper than I remembered. So my list is the dress, the Cole Haan purse, and new speakers.

        Here is the dress:

        And the purse:

      • do you have a pic of the dress? and PS, who in the world is a size 4 anymore anyway?!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I posted it, but its in moderation. If you google “Alexander McQueen gray tuxedo dress” it will pop up in google images on Polyvore.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I figured since I was dreaming of having $1000 to spend on fun stuff without guilt that I’d like to be a size 4 in that world!

          • AnonInfinity :

            Yes! Beautiful!!!

          • hehe I don’t know if I’d want to be a 4, I don’t think I’ve been one since I was old enough to have hips, but things -do- seem to come in that size much more often than in the 8 I am. Sometimes I’d like smaller feet though… not too many cool shoes are 9/10s!

    • Definitely a jewelry armoire, a new standing mirror for my bedroom that is less bulky than the one I have, and if I had money left over, the Kate Spade grey flannel tote (I’ve been a little obsessed with it although it would not be practical in this climate). Or, if I were being more practical, the new light fixture I’ve been eyeing for my bedroom.

      • Practical?! There’s no room for practicality here hehe Unless the light fixture is super unpractical, then it’s totally an option :)

        • It’s really pretty! Nickel finish and a scroll pattern with a semi-flush mount. It was supposed to be my Christmas present but we found out too late that it was internet-only. I’ll get it soon. Instead I got a beautiful green amethyst necklace (pyramid shaped dangling from a little silver cube).

    • This pair of black Laboutin pumps that have been coming up in ads on this site and others.


    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      Boots! I would buy boots. All kinds! Tall ones, short ones, flat ones, ones with heels! None of them would be really expensive, but they would all be fun.

      • Always a NYer :

        Have you seen the Stuart Weitzman 50/50 boot? I’ve been lusting over them since college, drool… They’re flat with a stretchy back panel and I’d wear them with everything!!!

        Good call on buying boots ;)

      • *I* would buy boots!! I would buy the $200 pairs that I can never let myself buy… so I guess I would only get a few for the $1000. Wow, that went fast!

        Or maybe a couple pairs of boots and a couple sparkly ball gowns or slinky, sexy cocktail dresses for the opera tickets I have in the spring. … The only thing that makes me sad about gaining a few inches is that I can’t fit in any of my sparkly fancy dresses.

        Or maybe I would spend the $1000 on amazing new furniture for my apartment…. I really need a couch….

        man, this is hard! Can I have and imaginary $50,000 to spend in my imagination? ;o)

        • sure, why not hehe…

          Sparkly dresses sound wonderful… I don’t own any since the ones in my price range are in the forever 21 category and always look cheap but I have a dream of someday finding someone who lets me take her cast-offs and finding awesome ones even just to wear at home (so I have a reason to wear them all the time) hehe

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Massage, facial, haircut, pedicure, etc – basically the most awesome spa day that you can get with $1000.

      I’ve been working a lot lately.

  6. I went to the Matzo Ball in NY City last night and 4 men were after me to date them! CAN you beleive it? I gave 2 of them my DIGIT’S.

    No more ALAN for me! FOOEY on him!

    • I didn’t know such existed… I’m just recently single in NYC for the first time. It sounds like you did pretty well last night! As for the rest of us, I guess it’s match dot com or something…

      Wish we had a corporette dating pool or something, I’m sure people know lots of great, successful men whom they aren’t dating but one of us might want to! Hell, I’d be happy with a corporette clothing swap though!

  7. My SO received an incredibly generous but incredibly frivolous (IMO) gift from his parents. They are able to afford the gift and my SO really likes the gifts but I am feeling really surprisingly conflicted about it.

    It’s a gift worth several thousand dollars and frankly I can think of about 50 things more worthwhile to do with it (like maybe max out SOs 401k for the year – we do not combine finances completely.) I’m not really one who lusts for high end luxury items though. He also works in a do goodery field and I can’t imagine wearing this $$$ item in a meeting where it’s probably worth more than people get in salary for the month.

    Also, I just can’t help but feel that it’s a bit much given the recession and how far south of 40 we are in age. It just seemed wrong somehow like we were cheating and jumping ahead in life

    I am not really sure what I am looking for in terms of response here, maybe just confirmation that this is kinda insane? I come from a very comfortable home life, but a good Xmas was like three jcrew sweaters, not insanely big dollar gifts.

    I am thinking that I just need to smile and be happy for SO about this, yes? I expressed some shock about it earlier (to So only in private) and it didn’t go over great and I changed the subject.

    • Not sure what the item is, maybe a watch or something? Regardless, if his parents gifted it and he enjoys it, you have to let that be. If he didn’t, the rest of the conversation would be logically valid (do we exchange it, return it, etc.). Your issue is then an emotional reaction. Are you guys hurting to the point where not returning it for money elsewhere will make or break you? If not, it sounds like you just have to be happy for him and possibly guide him in when it is appropriate to wear and when it might be offensive to others.

    • Is it a durable good, something he will have and use for years? My dad gave me a wristwatch worth several thousand dollars when I graduated from college at 20. 25 years later, I still use it and enjoy it and has kept its value. At the time, the money would have been more welcome (but not critical), but over the years, the watch has meant more.

    • I don’t think it has anything to do with you so I’m not sure why you feel so strongly about it. They wanted him to have it so they got it for him. It’s not like they were going to give him the money to put in his 401k or something. You just come from different family backgrounds with different expectations about XMass. Try not to be so judgey (terming it insane) and try to be more graceful about it because I’m sure it shows through even if you’re being nice about it.

    • I think you just need to accept that his family has different traditions and values from yours. It’s unreasonable to expect every family will be the same. Everyone has the right to spend money as s/he sees fit. Some parents will prefer to have the big house, others the nice cars, and still others prefer luxury durable goods. No good can come of making snap judgments about how people choose to spend their money.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I agree with your sentiments – I’d way rather have a few grand in my 401K than a fancy briefcase or watch – but that’s what I would do with my own money, not with a gift. It’s rude to be ungrateful for a gift, and even ruder to bring someone down who clearly loves a gift he received, so keep your feelings to yourself.

      If SO starts spending his own money on luxury items instead of on practical things, that might be a sign of potential future problems in the relationship. But having generous parents is not a problem.

    • A gift is the prerogative of the giver. I would leave this one alone. If the parents can afford it and the SO is happy with it, that’s all that matters. Everyone has different family traditions and none are more or less valid than others.

    • I understand feeling weird about it. I think every person has a price point beyond which gifts seem like “too much.” Your point just happens to be different than your SO and his family.

      My husband’s parents gave him some seriously expensive gifts before I met him, mostly watches. Unfortunately, his parents have made clear that because they are expensive, the watches are therefore extra special and have strings attached. DH is not allowed to ever sell, give away or otherwise dispose of them. His mother went so far as to say that the watch given to him 35 years ago must be returned to her if he decides he is done with it. This was a commercially available watch, purchased new, not an heirloom. We attend one or two events per year where it might be appropriate to wear, and then he has to choose between four (!!!) different overpriced timepieces. Oy.

      It is very hard for me not to convert that box of guilt-laden watches into current market cash value. At least we were able to convince them to stop giving us physical gifts so we can all enjoy shared experiences instead.

    • I feel ya. My husband’s fam is a lot wealthier than mine and they often purchase things as gifts that me uncomfortable b/c of their value. You just have to let it go. It’s their money and their gift. Being judgmental about this is really not more acceptable than being judgmental about something being too cheap. It’s hard for me to accept it too.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you all for your really reasonable replies. I love having a community of ladies out there to give me advice. I think that I am going to end up having a family with my SO so I am careful not to share such issues in my real life.

      One issue that I left out in my original post is that SO was a really frivolous spender before we got serious and is still working through sorting out some issues. I am very careful about my finances and before we combined some finances and moved in together we had a serious money discussion. After that convo he got real about his spending and wiped out his credit card debt (he left big law a couple years ago but never stopped his big law spending resulting in cc debt.) I then moved in and two huge financials came up for him which I was unaware of previously (and he had been completely ignoring so was unaware of their scale.)

      He basically let two small problems go for several years and they mushroomed into big $ problems. I have been saving to go back to grad school (which i plan to do within the next 6 months) so had cash on hand to help with the problems.

      After running the numbers a couple times, I realized that it made the soundest fiscal decision for us as a couple to use my cash to pay off his issues since they were compounding at an alarming rate. We talked it through, discussed payment agreements, etc and got to a point where we both felt comfortable with the plan. I cut a check for more than 10k a couple months ago to pay for issues number one. He got an unexpected windfall and paid me back for that already. I am going to have to cut a check for another check for 15-20k in the next 6 weeks to resolve problem too.

      My SO is not close with his family and they are unaware of this whole story. I am not at all looking for his parents help with this financial issue and neither is my SO. They try to control the family through underwriting their kids lavish lifestyles. My SO wisely removed himself from this cycle years before I met him .

      Ut just annoys me that I am raiding my grad school fund to pay off his debt while he is enjoying the $$$ present. I scrimped for years to save this money and I was happy to loan it to him to ensure our shared financial future but now it just seems like he is not being a team player.

      A couple years back when my sister was just out of college she totaled her car the day after Christmas. She needed the car to get to work but didn’t have the cash to get a new one. So, she went to my parents and asked for them to return all of her gifts and give her the cash to help pay for the car. I wish my husband would do something similar now but I don’t see him coming to this decision on his own.

      Any wise advice corporettes? I really appreciate thoughts on how to handle this. I am getting tired of being the financial bitch telling him he can’t afford things.

      • another anon :

        Could you have this conversation with your SO?

      • I think there are two separate issues here
        1) you resent that he was financially irresponsible before you met and that you have bailed him out
        2) you don’t like that his parents have enough money to buy him an expensive gift

        I’d give it a week and concentrate on each issue separately (because they are not the same issue) and not bring up your jealousy or resentment right now. Holidays are emotionally loaded times and bring out the worst in a lot of us, and you don’t want to say things you’ll regret.

        re #2, you really can only control how you respond to his parents. You can’t change them, so if this is how they show love to their son, it is always going to be so. You have to determine whether you can live with that.

        • another anon :

          I respectfully disagree (that’s what we do here, hopefully usually).
          Seems like issue 1 is that OP resents that she sacrificed to help her SO out, but he won’t do the same, and issue 2 is that they can’t talk about it honestly.
          Agree 100% however that holidays are the time to be careful what one says and does. Holidays are only ever All About You when you’re 4 years old. After that it’s all compromises and challenges.

          • But how do we know he won’t do the same? Just because he won’t ask his parents to return the gift and give him cash? Maybe that’s not acceptable in his family.

      • Mmm, just as note, if my SO brought this up “why don’t you ask for cash instead of this gift so you don’t need me to loan you money” I would politely decline the loan and make it work on my own (probably without returning the gift) and never agree to financial help again. Unless I was starving. And it would be a big negative for me in the relationship.

        It is up to you if you give him the loan to help him out. However if you are going to put strings on it (you must do this, this and that) you need to be clear about it upfront – because I at least would not be happy to have them show up later. For me, if we agree on a loan – the only thing you’re entitled to is the money back on the schedule we agree to – you are not entitled to start running my life.

        If he is too financially irresponsible to marry and combine finances with – that’s a reasonable reason to not do either of those. However, trying to run someone else’s finances? Especially when they don’t want you to? Especially when it involves gifts? And family? Hugely bad ideas all around. IMO.

        If you can’t give the help and “detach” I don’t think you should give the help. Of course backing out after offering would be difficult but might be less damaging in the long run.

    • anon again :

      FWIW, you definitely can (and did, yay!) get some affirmation of your feelings regarding what would be a more practical use of the money here. But like other commenters, I don’t think you should seek it from your SO. It’s a happy feeling to be simply delighted by something you would never have sprung for on your own, and perhaps they wanted to give him that feeling considering that his do-gooder line of work wouldn’t have provided him the occasion to spring for this luxury item on his own. He’ll feel great to have your support for this happiness, and if you had received something just as insanely luxurious, I’d want your SO to contribute to your delight, not detract from it.

    • I think you should call the MOTHER and tell her that since you are MARRIED, you should get GIFTS that both of you can enjoy, not just youre husband.

      If they respect you, they will send you a PROPER gift that can be used by BOTH persons.

      FOOEY on in-laws that do not RESPECT Marriage! FOOEY!

    • Thank you all for your advice. I omitted one fact from the initial message because i didnt want to share too much on the internet but i think it could change what people have to say though.

      My SO encountered two big, unanticipated financial set backs right after we moved I together a couple months ago. They were financial issues that started out small a couple years ago but then he ignored and they suddenly need to be dealt with ASAP. I have been saving up to go to grad school in the next 6 months and so have cash on hand. After running the numbers repeatedly it makes better financial sense to use my money to pay this debt off for him given the compounding interest rates on his debt. I have been paid back for debt number one (about $10k) but am about to write a check to cover debt two in the next 6 weeks for another $20k.

      My SOs parents do not know about any of this financial stuff and frankly i do not want them to since I consider our finances to be private. It’s just not sitting well with me that he’s enjoying this $$$ gifts which he could probably sell or have his parents return and paying his dIebt with my $$. It doesn’t make me feel like we are a financial team.

      • Ok, sorry apparently my original second comment did post. Apologies for the update

      • The concern for me is whether you’re getting everything in writing between you and he. SO may mean not legal partner, which could be an issue someday.

        As for the gift, what if you talked with your SO and made a deal that he doesn’t get to use/wear the gift until he’s financially back on his feet? It’s an incentive for him and may make you feel less frustrated.

      • It sounds like he needs to take a loan. Don’t do the second check and get the first arrangement in writing.

      • In search of Bunkster's Bark :

        I think one difference between you and your SO is that you see a connection between the $$$ gift and the fact that he needs you to bail him out at some sacrifice to yourself and he doesn’t see a connection. Emotionally, I get why you see a connection, but unless taking some action that turns the $$$ gift into actual $$$ is an option, rationally I don’t see it and I bet he doesn’t either. You, being female, see the symbolism of it all and all he sees (being a guy) are two unrelated transactions (loan from you and gift from parents). Note that he’s on the receiving end of both.

        He needs to at least try to see your side of it, because if he doesn’t he won’t get that you’ve sacrificed for him. Even if he makes you whole on the $$$, you’ve put some plans on hold and sacrificed your peace of mind. Agree maybe you shouldn’t do round two of the bailout – have his parents kept him from facing the consequences of irresponsibility? (And yes, that’s what 2 out of sight, out of mind sudden financial emergencies sound like to
        me, esp after what sounds like voluntarily downsizing from Big Law without working out the imapct on debt or ability to keep spending.) It might be costly to him financially which will impact you, but your resentment and questions about his judgement will be costly too.

      • no more string-free loans. there are very few people in this world i would lend money to without strings attached – and it sounds like SO already took a bite out of that apple with the first financial emergency. if you keep lending him money / repaying his debt, i would insist on a clear repayment schedule or other financial terms as a condition of the loan. if you guys are thinking about getting married, i would tread very carefully – one consequence of marriage is that his debts become yours and vice versa, and if you’re not of same mind on financial discipline that could become ugly.

        leave the parental gift alone, though. it’s between him and his parents. b/c of the sensitive money situation you’re in it’s become a flashpoint for your anger and resentment, but you need to find more productive ways to work through those (very valid) issues. i think lending money with conditions is one way to start – e.g. showing the lendee that debt has consequences.

        good luck.

        • It seems really simple to me. You should stop loaning him money and realize that your finances are separate and each of your own responsibilities until/unless you decide to marry. You are enabling him if you continue to loan him massive amounts, resent him for it in the meantime, all while he accepts extravagent gifts. Whether he accepts the gift or not is up to him, but you control you. Let him figure his way out of his mess, and worry about your own financial future and education. If I were you, I would resolve not to commit further, relationshipwise or moneywise, until he gets himself in check.

          FWIW, my husband and I had separate financial issues (including 6+ months of unemployment for me), and we kept them separate until we got married. Sharing bills does not mean taking on others’ financial burdens, especially those caused by willful “mistakes.”

  8. why not be honest with his family, it sounds like they can help him out instead of you? or redirect their good intentions to a more useful target for the money?

    • Disagree with this. Finances, sex, problems are issues best kept privately within the marriage unless both parties agree to share. Granted there’s not much privacy in marriage but there still needs to be trust and boundaries.

      • sure, it’s up to each couple on this matter- but she doesn’t have much ground to complain if she isn’t willing to communicate the facts- the parents don’t even know the need and that giving this gift isn’t ideal at this time.

        • i’m with [email protected]:05 on this one. the couple needs to sort this out themselves, and not bring anyone’s parents/family into it. and OP definitely should not be discussing it with SO’s parents without him around.

          “she doesn’t have much ground to complain (to OP’s parents) if she isn’t willing to communicate the facts” – she doesn’t have much ground to complain to OP’s parents, period. the couple needs to work this one out themselves, and if part of the solution involves SO voluntarily changing the nature of his relationship with his parents, so be it. but OP can’t force that decision.

          • agree, wasn’t suggesting she do anything unilaterally, of course. But if she wants to raise it with him/them, that’s a seminal piece of the puzzle.

  9. I just tried the tip for removing glitter nail polish from last week’s Weekend Open Thread. It worked! I was skeptical but when I pulled off the foil, all of the polish came with it! Awesome. So much easier than trying to scrub it off.

  10. Anon for this :

    It’s probably too late to post this but I could really use some advice. My fiancé and I got engaged this summer. In August we started thinking about locations/dates for the wedding and had a very long conversation about how to pay for it. He is pretty traditional, as are his parents, so it was only a slightly surprising when he said he and his parents thought that my parents would be footing most of the bill. His parents helped him with the ring and helped pay for the lovely trip we were on when we got engaged.

    Fiance and I decided to keep the costs down and have a destination wedding and, in my initial conversation with my parents, they offered to contribute to our wedding. Not the whole thing (I didn’t ask them for that) but about 1/4 of it. Of course, I was grateful for their offer, but also a little saddened. My parents have great jobs, they’re just horrible with their money. At any rate, fiancé mentioned this to his parents and his mother cut him a check for the remainder of the wedding. Meanwhile, I’ve spent the last 5 months chasing my parent’s contribution down and when it finally came on Saturday it was only half of what they’d said it would be. It would maybe cover the flowers? I should point out that my parents make considerably more money than his but, again, they are very fiscally irresponsible.

    After thinking this over for the last few days I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable about keeping fiance’s parent’s money. It’s especially, I don’t know…disheartening when it’s clear that they are feeling like my parents are letting us down on this.

    I also want to point out that fiancé and I are not in a position to pay for this ourselves and have offered to just go to the courthouse. This was unacceptable to both of our families so, we will be having a ceremony. The money piece of it just makes me uncomfortable. Has anyone else been in this boat? Is there anything I can do to paint my parents in a more positive light here?

    • Well, if going to the courthouse (which you could afford) was not acceptable to either family, then I think you need to be comfortable with accepting their money because they are then dictating the scale of the wedding. If it is unacceptable to your family, then perhaps your answer to them should be that you could not do what they are insisting on without more help from them. I just don’t think your family has any right to object to anything if they are not helping to pay (and you don’t have to tell them that your fiance’s family is willing to pick up the slack).

      Keep things simple and keep to your budget (or under) on everything. My Dad gave me a reasonable but not lavish budget for my wedding and I came in under budget and he was thrilled. Just swallow hard and do it! and try to have some fun with the planning without being guilt-ridden.

    • Can his parents afford it without going into financial distress? Will it make them happy to see you have a traditional wedding? If the answer to both questions is yes, then accept their generous gift, and acknowledge it gratefully (a heartfelt thank you card and an album of photos would be a nice way to show your appreciation).

      You mention that both your future in-laws and you feel like your parents are letting you down. While that may be true, you can’t get blood from a stone. If you know your parents have the cash available to pay for it and they just won’t give it to you, even though they want you to have a certain kind of wedding, then it’s fair to have a sit-down with them. However, if they don’t have the cash available for whatever reason, even if the reason is financial irresponsibility, you have to let it go. Have the wedding that makes you, your fiance, and his parents happy, and don’t let your own parents’ lack of contribution eat away at you.

      • Let it all go. The marriage is about you and your husband. We went to city hall precisely to make it about us, then had a reception months later. Take what people want to give you, don’t expect more. The wedding industy, and people’s expectations, have gotten so out of hand. You can have a backyard party or something, really… the idea that it has to cost thousands and thousands of dollars is a social construction designed to take money. You can reject this. You say their money can pay for maybe the flowers. Well, you can get creative with a friend and make centerpieces out of fresh herbs, galss and rocks or whatever (saw this at a very elegant wedding- gorgeous). Point being: work with what you’ve got and be happy with it. Get a little perspective.

        And yes, if they want something more but you don’t, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it on their terms but your own. I’ve seen people do multiple ceromonies per location. If it really bugs you, have a super minimalist ceremony near your parents to ‘show them’ while checking the box- but only if that’s what you want. I agree it’s also about family- that’s ultimately why we had a big wedding reception- but I didn’t feel like myself much during that whole planning and day. You are the one who will have to shell out for your own getting ready, little details, take care of it all. It’s up to you, not societal norms, not the parents. You can get a nice dress from Jcrew way less than the classic wedding stores. Do electronic invites/website. Etc. People do a lot of things like this these days to keep the exorbitant costs down. Really, even if your parents wanted to shell out more, isn’t that money better spent on debt reduction, savings, down payment on home, etc.?

    • Let it go. My parents gave me a whopping $2,000 for our wedding, and I appreciated every cent of it. I hear that’s what many people pay on flowers or photography alone. Honestly, I didn’t expect them to pay a single cent. Pay for what you can afford, accept any support or gifts graciously, and don’t count your parents’ money as if it was your own.

      We had a wonderful, yet very frugal wedding and ultimately spent more on our amazing honeymoon in Costa Rica.

      It’s nice that your fiance’s parents felt an urge (and had the ability) to contribute. Don’t let your parents’ choice impact your feelings toward them or the event. They do not owe you anything except emotional support, so get the money you think they owe you out of your head….

    • This is coming a little bit late, but I would like to give my two cents, here, because H and I were in a similar situation when we got married last spring, but it was his parents that broke the promise to give us money for the wedding. They did give us money, but it was after the fact and much less than we had discussed.
      First, I think you are in an awkward situation because it sounds like your future in-laws and your parents have the same wedding expectations. So, even if your parents don’t chip in, they are still getting the wedding they expect you to have. My advice would be to pare the wedding budget down to strictly the amount that your in-laws contributed, your parents contributed and what you are willing to contribute. If your in-laws have a preference about a wedding detail, they have a controlling interest because strings are attached to the money they gave you. If your parents ask for something to be upgraded, you will have to explain to them that such an upgrade is not in the budget, but no need to share specifics, unless they want to know how much more money it will cost to get “their way” because they are willing to pay for it. I am sure I don’t need to tell you this, but don’t upgrade to something out of the budget unless the money is in your hand or your parents pay a vendor directly. If something is important to them, but not to you, they can and should respect that.

      As for painting your parents in a better light, I think you might be SOL on that. I don’t think it’s your in-laws’ business what your parents’ financial situation is, so no need to explain that they would have contributed more if they weren’t so financially irresponsible. Put on the happy face and say “They contributed to the wedding fund an amount they felt was appropriate, and we are going to have a great wedding on our budget.”

      Lastly, at the end of the day, you and your H will be married. You will be your own family. Try to focus on that if you feel like you are losing control of the wedding details or if you feel like you are going to have a meltdown. Wedding planning and the family drama that goes with it is stressful. But if you can focus on the most important thing, it will be just fine!

    • I am somewhat surprised that you feel your parents owe you a wedding.

      • By the time my husband and I get finished paying for our kids’ educations, we will be so broke and close to the end of our working careers that there will be very little left for weddings.

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