Post # 1
My parents can’t contribute to my wedding. My FI has a huge family. His parents have offered to conrtibute, but haven’t told us how much- not sure why and that’s a whole other issue I have posted about 🙂
I’d be fine having a small wedding (probably b/c my family and friends are a small group) but I think FI (and his family) hope for a larger one. FI’s dad asked FI if my parents could contribute, and of course he had to say no. They’re nice about it and everything, but they are a bit traditional and conservative (at least compared to my parents).
I’m just feeling kind of…. I don’t know….. pissed? upset? frustrated? There isn’t even sample wedding invitation wording out there if the groom’s family foots the bill! It’s always assumed it’s the bride’s family, or both the families, or both of the families and the couple.
My mom commented about FI’s parents throwing a big wedding and them looking “trashy” b/c they can’t contribute. In a way, it pisses me off that she would say that, but in another I kind of see what she means….
I dunno, guess I just needed a place to vent.
Post # 3
If your parents can’t contribute…well, they can’t. I’m sure it had to be difficult for them to tell you that. No parent wants to be unable to contribute to his or her daughter’s wedding.
That said, there are more kinds of contributions than financial. Your mom can help you with writing out invitations, with picking out your dress, with just being there for you during what is often an emotional and stressful time. There are also inexpensive but meaningful things that they probably can afford to buy for you — your cake topper or maybe your bouquet for example. Maybe your mom could provide your “something borrowed.”
for the invites, I don’t know that they really indicate who is paying anymore. I’m not sure it is any guest’s business who paid for what. There is no reason the invites can’t read
Mr. and Mrs. Bride Parents
Mr. and Mrs. Groom Parents
request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children
(or something similar). Both sets of parents are contributing…just maybe in different ways.
Post # 4
i’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I have to say that these days the old traditions of who pays have really gone out the window. I think the people who should pay are the ones who want to and the ones who can afford it. I don’t think anyone will look down on you or your family for not being able to contribute, (at least I would never ever do so).
Post # 5
No one other than you and your parentals need to know the financial situation. I’m in the same situation – just reversed. My parents are contributing, his aren’t because the means aren’t there, and that’s ok. I think he should sit with his parents and make it clear that although they might not be able to give any money, they are still the parents and should still be involved. There’s nothing wrong with including both sets of parents (or neither) on the invitation, rather than singling out one side. No invitation wording is set in stone.
I know it can be very frustrating and I’m sorry you have to go through this. Regardless of what happens, make sure that both MILs ard FILs are involved where you want them to be, and always include both, instead of just the one contributing. Everyone involved needs to have the same understanding and things will get easier.
Post # 6
It’s small in the scheme of things, but I agree your guests don’t need to know at all who is financially backing the wedding. I think you can still do both of your parents names on your invites or else you can say “together with their parents”.
I think it’s even more appropriate that your FI’s parents are helping out if they are the ones that want a big wedding. Go easy on your parents, I am sure it isn’t easy for them either!
Post # 7
We might end up paying for it ourselves and decline any help from my FIs parents, especially b/c they have been very unclear about what “help” means.
I wish I could say that I think my mother is upset that she can’t contribute… but this doesn’t really fit her. My parents haven’t helped me financially in a long time- I didn’t ask for a contribution, and they didn’t offer.
They aren’t very good at managing money, but they’re not exactly poor. My mother has always chosen other things over helping me financially (renovating the garage into another family room, diamond ring, new computer) And that’s fine, b/c I don’t think they owe me anything. But its sort of annoying when she makes those comments…
She’s also not really the type to be involved in the wedding. I live in a different state from my parents (2.5-3 hour dirve) and know that she would complain if I ask her to do anything, or look at dresses with me. She actually made a (half-joking, I think) comment about not being sure if she could get off work for my wedding. And we haven’t set a date yet.
I guess I’m just rambling… wow this makes them sound really terrible, they’re really not that bad 🙂
Post # 8
I concur with everyone else. Neither of our parents can afford to contribute. That doesn’t mean we won’t recognize them in the ceremony. However our invitations said:
M + J invite you to celebrate their union… blah blah blah
Post # 9
You and your FI should go together to his parents (or just him if that’s more comfortable) and ask dollar amount. I know that seems a bit…uncouth…but you can’t realistically plan a wedding without a budget.
Of course it could be that they expect you both to pay for it and they offer to pay for certain things once they know the cost. So you might be better off figuring out what the two of you can afford first and then if they offer to pay for certain things you can add on later (more flowers or food).
This might end up being a better option because if you’re paying for it, it allows you to set limits (guest list, etc). Then if they insist that you MUST have certain things at the wedding you can simply say it’s unaffordable (at this point they could chip in or forget it).
Post # 10
Thanks for the suggestions ladies 🙂 I think sometimes its stressful b/c I feel like “society” expects the bride’s family to pay for the wedding and sometimes I get upset b/c its like I (or my family) can’t give FI his ideal.
I think you’re right on this… but I don’t know if it will happen…I find the way FI and his parents communicate to be sort of strange.
FI and I are comfortable paying for a small dinner (30 or less people). FI has a massive family that all live in the same town, so I get the sense the small dinner could be awkward.
FI’s parents said they wanted to contribute financially, and invited us over to “talk about the wedding.” Anyway, we go there “to talk about the wedding” and the parents wouldn’t give an estimate of what they wanted contribute. FI said “this is how they work.” FI’s dad has e-mailed brochures to him for wedding venues that just say “FYI” the mom responds “that’s interesting” and FI comments back “thanks.” Whaaat? I find it super-confusing and frustrating and I don’t really understand the way they communicate with each other. Obviously we would need a dollar amount before proceeding. Its just… backwards or something…
We have only been engaged for two weeks but b/c of these communication issues, I’m really leaning toward declining their “help” and just hoping that his family understands that they won’t all be invited b/c we aren’t comfortable paying that much. FI keeps saying whatever we decide is fine, but I know he would ideally like all of his family there and I want him to be happy.
Wow, I just went off on another tangent 🙂
Post # 11
My FI’s brother is getting married next month and they are paying for the wedding entirely on their own. Still though, they included both sets of parents names.
I think it would be appropriate to sit down with FI’s parents and thank them profusely but also ask how they would feel if you included your parents name on the invitation as well as theirs. Since they are offering to pay, which is not traditionally at all, they sound like very generous people and I’m sure they would be fine with including your parents names as well.
Post # 12
I agree with Neva. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t contribute financially for the wedding, but there are other ways to help. My parents are divorced, and my Dad remarried. My Mom couldn’t afford to help with the wedding, but she and her friend are throwing the bridal shower instead of my MOH because she wanted to contribute somehow.
I also think it’s a good idea (like everyone else said) to talk to FI’s parents about the invitation. That’s something I did with my parents, which understandably is less awkward than FI’s parents. I asked my Dad and Stepmom if my Mom could still be on the invitation even though she wasn’t contributing. It all worked out. My invites say:
Mr. and Mrs. TerpBride
Ms. TerpBride Mom
blah blah blah.
But theres also that style that’s like
Mr. and Mrs. Groom’s parents
invite you to the blah blah blah between
daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
That might work for your invites too, because it still includes your parents, but the in-laws are still the hosts.
Post # 13
Aww, and I’m sorry about your parents. My mom can be the same way. My Dad makes significantly more money so he bought my car and paid for college, but she couldn’t contribute even a little.. But then her and her boyfriend purchased NFL season tickets. Bleh. Oh well, I hope your situation clears up! Vague budgets are a pain because then you have to run every little thing past them instead of budgeting on your own..
Post # 14
it is your wedding after all. You are an adult and we don’t expect our parents to pay for our cars, our babies or our medical bills. It’s your day and you and your future should take care of it as adults. you can ptu his parents names as the ones to anounce the wedding. no biggie.
Post # 15
I have to tell you that as I started reading your post I thought I was reading something I had written. My FI comes from a huge Dutch family and since I got engaged my parents have almost gone bankrupt- good thing I saved while I was on my internship last year (junior) of college. Because of them not being able to contribute (after promising me they would be able to) my mom was so upset with all of it that she wasn’t able to even contribute emotionally or creatively. Anyway, I’ve found that I just accepted that my story wasn’t as traditional as most, but that’s ok. No matter what happens from now till next year when you’re married- what’s most important is that you’re getting married and starting a new life together 🙂
Post # 16
I completely understand!!! Except it’s a bit of a struggle for us, because FI’s family sa us down the day we got engaged and said that they would like to contribute 1/3, have my parents contribute 1/3, and us 1/3. My family is the large family, but they are also very poor, and are not working (either of them) as they are both battling cancer right now. We sat FI’s family down to talk to them about it, and have agreed that FI and I will pay for 2/3 of the wedding, and his family is still wanting to contribute 1/3, even though they have the small family, which is great! My parents have always struggled with money, so we just moved forward, and are okay with paying that amount.