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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

Did you feel a little shiver run down your spine just reading this post’s title? If so, you’re not alone! For many brides, talking to their parents about paying for their wedding is one of the most squirm-inducing parts of wedding planning, period. Not many of us love talking about money, anyway, and when you add in all of the emotions, hopes, and expectations around an event as significant as a wedding, well, things can get complicated fast!

The good news? As with most things in life, a grateful heart, a kind demeanor, and an insistence on believing the best about everyone involved will go a long way. Unless you’re set on paying for your wedding yourself or your parents have already told you they’re not able to contribute, this conversation is a must-do, so let’s get to our tips!

Photo by Sawyer Baird with styling and flowers by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald from our ninth issue

First, unless they’ve told you otherwise, it’s helpful to start with the mindset that your families may or may not be willing or able to contribute, but that you are asking because it’s better to ask than to miss out! Here’s how you might start the conversation:

“Hi Mama! Now that we’ve been engaged for a few weeks, we’re excited to begin planning our wedding! We are really hoping to have a memorable celebration for all the people we love most. I’m not sure if you’ve given it any thought, so no need to answer today, but I was wondering if you and Dad are planning to contribute in some monetary way to our plans? We would be so grateful for whatever you’re able to offer!”

It could also be helpful to lead with what y’all are planning to pay for, so they understand you two are also invested in this experience.

Repeat this conversation with both your parents and your fiance’s parents – more than once if anyone is divorced – as well as grandparents, if applicable.

If your parents are looking for further direction or aren’t comfortable giving a lump sum, suggest they pay for a specific item or portion of the wedding (bonus points if you know it’s one that will be meaningful to them!). Try this: “Would it be possible for you to pay for the florist? We haven’t chosen a vendor yet, but the quotes we’ve gotten range from $1,500-$2,000.”

One final tip: It’s best to leave comparison out of this conversation – either with your siblings’ weddings, or your friends’. Trust that your parents will do their best to make things as fair as possible!

As you speak with each supporting party, make a note of their commitments (we have a handy worksheet for this in our wedding planner!). Once you’ve spoken with everyone and noted how much you and your groom will be contributing, you’ve got the beginnings of a budget!

I’d love to hear: if your parents helped pay for your wedding, did you initiate this conversation, or did they?

P.S. Looking for more wedding budget advice? I wrote our wedding budgeting e-book just for you!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar liam smith reply

    This is an interesting article is it is seldom discussed.

    My now wife and I had the same discussion with our parents, however we decided to approach it differently. We put together what we could afford and culled our guest list to just close family and friends. We then told our parents that any guests that they wanted to add they would have to pay for. It removed the awkward discussion of ‘how much can you give us’ and also placed the politics of who to invite in their hands.

  2. avatar Kirsti Cook reply

    My sweet mama initiated the conversation with my fiancé and I about two weeks after we got engaged and started looking at venues. The funny part during this process is that we are trying to stick as close as we can to our budget and my mama, bless her heart, always says “If it will make your day perfect, then just do it!” While we want to be gracious hosts to our guests, we also know that spending an arm and a leg on our wedding won’t effect our marriage so we are trying to keep it from spreading like kudzu!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Have y’all been following along with Erin and Ben Napier’s story? It’s a really good one, and we’re tickled to be a small part of it! You see, three years ago we published a tour of their home – one of the first in our Southern Newlywed column! – as well as the sweetest interview with Erin. (Seriously, go read it – it makes me smile so big every time!) An HGTV producer happened to see it on our Instagram, and got in touch with Erin and Ben to see if they’d possibly be interested in making a TV show (!) about small town Southern life in their sweet hometown of Laurel, MS.

Things snowballed from there – shooting a pilot, opening a store, the pilot airing and then being picked up for a full season – and now, we’re all eagerly anticipating the premiere of season one of Home Town! If you’re as excited as we are, you’ll love taking a peek at the home of these HGTV stars-in-the-making. Hopefully it’s enough to hold you over until March 21 at 10pm!

We’re so proud of Erin and Ben and hope you’ll join us in cheering on these two sweet Southerners as they step out on their great adventure!!

Thank you to Jean Allsopp for these wonderful photos!

For more from Erin and Ben, check out Erin’s full Southern Newlywed interview, including her thoughts on cooking, decorating, date nights, and budgeting!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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It’s no surprise that so many of our favorite weddings of all time took place under the gracious canopy of a Sperry Tent. They’re the perfect classic backdrop for events of all aesthetics, with their beautiful sailcloth canopies, expert construction, and lyrical lines (plus, those flags atop each tent peak!). Today, we’re sharing nine of our favorite Sperry Tent weddings that show the range of celebrations where these tents are at home, and how many creative ways they can be used.

If you’re thinking of booking one for your own wedding or event, be sure to check out Sperry Tents Southeast!

No. 1: Alex and Trevor’s wedding was one for the books, from their candle-lined ceremony in the woods to her overflowing bouquet and their sugar flower cake. A twinkle-light draped Sperry Tent was the perfect setting for dancing into the night! Photos by Clark Brewer, styling by Caroline Brewer, and planning by RT Lodge. See more of their Sperry tent wedding.

No. 2: Continuously ranked one of the best all-time from our archives, Callie and Jamie filled their wedding with meaningful details inspired by their love story. For their reception, they chose to dine al fresco at long tables, then headed under the tent for dancing, late-night snacks, and a confetti blast! Photos by Nancy Ray, planning by RiverOaks Charleston, and design by Rebecca Rose Events. See more of their Sperry tent wedding.

No. 3: When I think of the ultimate Southern Weddings wedding, Whitney and Clark’s celebration pops to mind first. From their classic attire to the graceful way they hosted their guests under a tent and inside Pippin Hill, it doesn’t get much more lovely than this. Photos by Patricia Lyons and planning by Easton Events. See more of their Sperry tent wedding.

No. 4: I mean, I’m making this list, so I guess I get to include my own wedding, right?! It is most definitely one of my favorites :) Our tent added the perfect indoor-outdoor feel to our garden reception, and was the perfect classic backdrop to our pink and navy details. Photos by Tanja Lippert. See more from our Sperry tent wedding.

No. 5: Anne Sydney and Jesse might win for having the larger tented wedding in our archives, clocking in at 470 guests. But I think they also might win for best tent location: on top of a mountain! Photos by Melanie Mauer and design by Jaclyn Journey. See more from their Sperry tent wedding.

No. 6: Georgia and Charlie’s tent was the perfect classic backdrop for their colorful, floral aesthetic. I love the patterned curtains they added at the tent’s entrances – such a pretty touch! Photos by Eric Kelley and planning by Easton Events. See more from their Sperry tent wedding.

No. 7: Landing yet another Easton Events wedding on our list (we told you she was the Sperry queen!), Lauren and Rob’s classic coral celebration always stands out as such a joyful one. I loved how simple and vibrant their color scheme was! Photos by Jen Fariello. See more from their Sperry tent wedding.

No. 8: A petite tent is a perfect way to gather in an intimate crowd and make the space feel intentional! I love this pretty anniversary party on Snippet & Ink (her pink dress!). Photos by Tec Petaja and planning by Calder Clark.

No. 9: Jen and Shane turned to a tent when thunderstorms threatened their outdoor ceremony – such a great Plan B! :) We love the lush greenery lining their aisle as well as the custom monogrammed Moscow Mule cups. Photos by Katie Stoops and planning by Easton Events as seen on Style Me Pretty.

If you’re considering a Sperry Tent for your wedding, here are a few other posts you might find useful…
Tented Weddings 101
How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding
Expert Advice for Sperry Tents from Easton Events
7 Ideas for a Tent at Your Wedding

This post is brought to you by Sperry Tents. Thank you so much for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar Kylee reply

    Where are the Moscow mule cups from?

  2. avatar Jess reply

    It’s no coincidence that these are some of my favorite SW weddings, period!

  3. avatar Kristin reply

    So. Many. Magical. Days!!!! I can’t even try to pick a favorite.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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