How much should we pay my stepmother for planning our wedding?

She does not do wedding planning for a living, meaning she is not a professional. But she is going to plan our wedding because she is really creative and she made her own wedding look so beautiful. She is going to plan our wedding. She does not want money for it. But we want to give her money anyways. My budget is 3000. We were thinking like 300-500 dollars. Is this enough? If not, what are your suggestions?

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10 Responses to “How much should we pay my stepmother for planning our wedding?”

  1. seamstress said:

    Because she said she did not want money, you would be insulting her if you did so. Instead, why not buy her a piece of jewelry, a flowering tree for her yard for her to enjoy for decades, or plant dozens and dozens of spring blooming bulbs in her yard. Something she can enjoy which will remind her of your appreciation. Money can be deposited in the checking account and used to pay the electric bill and be forgotten. Besides, she clearly does not want money.

    So, to show your appreciation, give her something special that you can afford. Your suggestion of three to five hundred dollars can buy a really nice gift which she will certainly appreciate, I am sure.

  2. PuppyMom said:

    Well i personally think its rediculous that you want to pay your own step mother to help you plan your wedding! I hope she doesnt take it, that is just silly. And your budget it already really tight.. she should(and seems to be) more than willing to help you with your wedding simply because she wants to. So let her, and enjoy the time you get spent with her!

  3. Liz said:

    SInce she is your step mother, she really shouldn’t be looking to charge you. You said she didn’t want any money. Rather than give her cash, why not take the $300 and buy her a really nice gift, something for herself that she can treasure. A nice piece of jewelery, or even a spa day. Massage, mani and pedi, that is always nice. Then you can tell her that it is time for her to relax.

  4. HIS! said:

    Families do things to help each other and help the ones we love save money. That is what she is doing. Obviously she enjoys it, and wants to help you. If you offer to pay her it could be viewed as an insult, like you don’t consider her family. Please don’t do that.

    Instead, after the wedding and things are calmer, take her and your dad to dinner. Better yet, invite them to dinner in your new place and tell everyone the dinner is to thank your stepmother for making your wedding be so special. At the dinner, thank her in person, possibly give her a bouquet of flowers that you have in the center of your table, or somewhere in your living area. She will be thrilled that you care enough to go out of your way to thank her. Your dad will be thrilled that you honored his wife for her hard work, and all will be well. (Except for other parents, who also should be invited to your home for other dinners.) 😉

  5. Blunt said:

    She doesn’t want any money, besides, with your very limited budget, you can use $300 for something else.

    I suggest you mention her help during the rehearsal dinner an give her a thank you card and a small gift, the same value as those given to the parents and GM/BM’s.

    Good luck

  6. fizzy stuff said:

    Is that 300-500 coming out of your wedding budget? That is a huge portion. If so, I would reduce to maybe 100 and get her a foot massage or something.

    I also liked the idea of a tree or plants for her home. No matter what you spend, I think a gift is the way to go. She already said she doesnt want to be paid, cash might make her uncomfortable.

  7. Dee said:

    Buy her a meaningful gift. She will be pleasantly suprised.

    For example: My mother in law was a professional and our wedding was the last one she did. She has a lot of jewelry and loves charms for her charm bracelet. So my husband suggested getting her an engraved jewelry box (which also plays a song) and i bought a few charms to put in it. She had us running around until the wedding, but we managed to get this to her before our 4 day mini-moon. It was sweet and she didn’t suspect a thing. From what my father in law told me she always shows off that jewelry box, when company comes over.

  8. Miss Kitty said:

    It is very sweet of you to want to pay her, but everyone is right. It is better to give her a great gift to thank her for her help. Maybe you could pay for her dress, mention her in the programs as a special attendant, give her a beauty day at the salon the day on the big day with you, or something else.

    I am sure she is having the time of her life doing it, and it isnt like work at all. Otherwise she would have stepped up.

  9. Halo Mom said:

    Do not give her money

    Give her a thank you gift

    It could cost 300 to 500 dollars
    Or it could cost less, if you fine something she will love
    I think she would like this more
    Look for something that will mean something to her

  10. Margot said:

    As a bonus mom of three can I give you my input?

    Don’t give her money. Would you pay your mom, sister, aunt or MOH as a token of appreciation for planning your wedding? Probably not. So, by giving your step-mom money, it becomes a business transaction and indirectly keeps her outside of the family circle.

    What I would suggest is that you buy her a thoughtful gift. In addition, make sure that the photographer takes a photo of the two of you together. If you can arrange it ahead of time with the photographer, have him take an unscripted special moment between the two of you such as her helping you with your necklace, hugging each other, touching foreheads, etc. Anyway, put that in a beautiful frame and give it to her. As a fellow bonus mom, I can tell you that something like that will mean more to her than a check.

    Also incredibly meaningful and special to her will be a handwritten letter from you that speaks from the heart. I can absolutely guarantee to you that these kinds of things are treasured by us bonus mom types.




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