Post # 1
So, here’s the deal, bees. I need your help.
My step-daughter is getting married this summer. She texted her father to say something like “wanted to let you know the wedding is _____.” She didn’t consult us, but simply informed us. 🙁
She and her fiance live far away and are pretty much planning the whole wedding themselves. We (her dad and I) want to help out. We would love to do something meaningful like pay for the honeymoon (they’ve already booked it, but told us we could “make payments”), or host a rehearsal dinner (it would be tricky, but we could do it). To be honest, we really want to show our support and be involved in the wedding, but we don’t want to be pushy about it. Their response seems to be “sure, send money.” I am really trying to put myself in their shoes.
We want to do something meaningful for them. Ideally, something that they will always remember. Alternatively, we would like to get them a special gift. They are registered, and we’ve thought about getting them one of the high ticket items, but that just seems insufficient. We are trying to think of something really special we could do for them or buy for them that they would have forever.
Post # 3
I’m a little confused – do you mean she didn’t consult you about the date? The location? The price? What does the blank line stand for?
It’s very kind of you to want to do something meaningful, even though it sounds like you’re also feeling a little left out. Weddings are tough that way.
Post # 4
She did not consult us on the date at all. She just sent a text and basically said “FYI, the wedding is this date.” DH wrote back and said “that date isn’t good for me” and she said, the location is already booked and the deposit is paid. Obviously, nothing is as important as her wedding, but yes, it stung. The blank line is the date. I’m not including too many details just in case she reads this board.
Yes, we feel very left out. The rest of her family lives near her (the kids and mom moved away 5 years ago). We are trying to be mature about the situation and not take it personally, but it is hard. We are really trying to be cognizant of the fact that this is *their* wedding and it isn’t about us. But still…
Post # 5
I think you just need to ask them what they want- money or a gift or to pay for a part of the wedding.
Traditionally the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner, not the brides.
DH’s parents were pretty passive about what they would pay for, etc. We didn’t find out until after the wedding what amount of money they gave us. A lot of stress and hassle would have been avoided if they just would have told us how much and what they’re paying for.
My parents just gave us a flat amount and told us to do whatever we wanted with it (and we liked that a lot).
Can you help split with the bride’s mom? My friends who recently got married had 4 sets of parents (both parents were divorced and remarried) and each set of parents paid 1/4.
Post # 6
I’m not going to lie… we didn’t consult anyone on our wedding date. It was SO difficult to get a date at our venue that we jumped at the first one we could get (the only date they had in 2 years). What is more important to your husband than his daughter’s wedding? I think my parents would have missed anything to be at my wedding.
Post # 7
The only person I consulted with was my husband on the date. It turned out it kind of worked for a lot of people, but not others because there are a lot of educators in the family so school vacations fell around our wedding date.
As for wanting to be a bit more involved, your husband should talk to his daughter and tell her that you both would like to be involved somehow. Can you plan a rehearsal dinner? Or maybe a morning after breakfast for immediate family.
It sounds like she is being careful to maintain control of her wedding so I would be careful about offering unsolicited advice- even if its with the best of intentions.
Post # 8
I didn’t consult my parents about my wedding date, either. There were only two dates available at our venue, and one was my fiance’s birthday, which was a no go.
It seems that you want to contribute, but you want to contribute to something specific and special, something that they can remember came specifically from you, rather than just “My dad & step mom gave us $X, and it got used for something wedding related”. Have you offered to throw the rehearsal dinner specifically? I think that would be a nice, generous contribution. Do they already have their hearts set on a rehearsal dinner location? If not, you could search around and find somewhere within your budget, and say “We’d love to host a rehearsal dinner for you at XYZ, would that be something you’d like? If so, please send along your guest list and we will make all the arrangements for you so that you can focus your energy on planning the wedding! Love, bestforlast and Mr.bestforlast”.
If you think they already have a rehearsal dinner plan in mind, you could also host a morning after the wedding brunch for OOT guests. I would do the same thing as above, find a place, offer to host, and ask for a guest list from the bride.
You could also offer to arrange a nice hotel & room service for them after the wedding. Or a limo if they haven’t arranged one yet for the wedding day? Or, if they’re using a travel agent, perhaps contact the agent and see if you can’t pay for some upgrades/excursions for their honeymoon?
Just make an offer and be specific about what you’d like to contribute and how. I’m sure they’ll appreciate your generosity.
Post # 9
@bestforlast: Just tangential to you question about a meaningful present (I’ll get there), I wanted to ask if perhaps your stepdaughter doesn’t have the best relationship with her dad? You don’t have to answer, but I’ll just share my experience, and it can be food for thought. DH didn’t have the best relationship with his dad, but they’ve been working on it over the years (now they’re friends and things are really good). When it came to the wedding, it brought up a lot of bad memories for him, and I think in some ways he was jealous of my family and our close relationships. It was hard for him and as a result, he really didn’t want to involve his dad much in the planning process. So maybe just be sensitive if there are any underlying issues in the relationship, and just be as supportive as you can.
That being said, we really didn’t ask any of our parents what they thought of the date, we just told them and that was that. It was far enough off that they were all fine with it.
Back to your question, my FIL and his wife ended up getting us an awesome present. They talked to the resort we were staying at and booked us a spa day, and a really romantic dinner afterwards. They sent greeting cards down that we opened (one at breakfast and one at dinner) that gave us clues about the day, along with a couple of photos from the wedding. They put a lot of thought and care into it, and it was SO sweet. It was our favourite day of the honeymoon, and one we’ll never forget. We were both SO surprised and thrilled with it, it was really above and beyond.
Post # 10
Thanks for the advice, ladies. I really appreciate it. I will give it some thought and figure something out.