SPINOFF: Asking parents to pay for your wedding.

posted 2 years ago in Money
Post # 2
2455 posts
Buzzing bee


FutureMrsHodgy:  Absolutely not. I would be mortified if someone tried to get me to sit down and ask my parents or his for money for the wedding.

Like you, I don’t care about the party at all. I just want to be married to him. We’d elope today if it weren’t for our parents who want to see us get married. So we’re having a small, immediate family only wedding followed by a nice dinner that we’re paying for.

I think it’s great that some people have parents offer to help them out. But I would never, EVER ask.

Post # 3
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

Also, you should add a poll 😀

Post # 4
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would feel akward asking, but it’s just assumed that parents pay here. We went to the venue, they wrote the check, mailed the checks to the photog, DJ, etc. DH’s parents paid for the bar which my parents were a little offended by. We never asked, they just called up the venue and paid for the bar one day. I paid for some DIY stuff (centerpieces, invitations,etc). If you don’t want a wedding, don’t have it. If they offer to pay and you want it, then go ahead. I wouldn’t ask though.  

Post # 5
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

FutureMrsHodgy:  We didn’t want a huge wedding. We did have a fairly big one to make our parents happy. That we paid for. I’d never ask for money from either side. If we both didn’t care about pissing our families off, we would have eloped. It wasn’t worth the drama.

I see what you are saying, but it seems like a bad idea. If you already don’t want the wedding and you let someone else pay for it, it’s just going to be a big show that you have to put on with a bunch of crap you don’t even like. At least when we paid for our own wedding our parents didn’t have a say in the details.

Post # 6
230 posts
Helper bee

My parents and his parents very generously offered to pay for our wedding. We would have eloped or had a VERY small destination wedding paid for on our own if they hadn’t offered- which I would have loved and been totally fine with. They wanted the big summer wedding and it was beautiful.

The money they offered was for the wedding, it was not offered to be used for anything else, which I totally understand but we would have not been able to afford anything close to the wedding we had without their generosity.

We feel very blessed that they offered, we didn’t have to ask, and further we wouldn’t have asked. If they hadn’t offered anything, we would have gone to a courthouse and had a lovely dinner with immediate family only that we would have paid for. 🙂

Post # 7
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

If you’re not completely averse to a wedding and it’s extremely important to your FMIL, then I think it would be gracious of you to organize and host a city hall wedding and a simple lunch at a restaurant for immediate family only (Depending on family size, that’s like 10, 15 people, at most?).  Just as a “Thank for raising my husband for 18 some odd years and helping him turn in to a good guy”.

If they want something bigger, you can tell them it’s not in your budget.  They then have the opportunity to offer money.   

Post # 8
12870 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would never sit down to discuss and ask if someone was going to pay for something for me.  In your case, if I wanted to elope and either set of parents wanted the wedding, that’s where I would say, I want to elope and want to spend my money that I would spend on a wedding on a downpayment or car or retirement or whatever.  But if THEY want to throw/have/plan a wedding, I would graciously accept, but *I* will not be paying for one.

But for my wedding, that I wanted, I planned to pay for it all and never asked for a dime.

Post # 9
2501 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

FutureMrsHodgy:  “””Now, I was always under the impression you’re supposed to have a sit down with FI and each set of parents and talk about if they will be contributing anything, how much, etc. Is that not the case? “””<br /><br />

NO. Just no. I could not even imagine doing this, I feel like it would be a slap in the face to my parents and his parents. If you can get married you can pay for your own party. I can’t believe in this day and age people still expect parents to pay for it. ( If they offer money on their own terms great but to really EXPECT it just blows my mind) 

If you don’t want a wedding do not have one. If you let your FMIL push you into a wedding you can’t afford, and if you allow her to pay for it, you will be letting her have control over a wedding you don’t want. You will probably regret it. Just elope! 

Post # 10
805 posts
Busy bee

I agree with you to be honest, and feel the same way. My fiance’s parents want us to have a big wedding and are helping us with the cost. My parents didn’t care whether we eloped or had a big wedding, but are also generously helping with the cost. If we weren’t getting help then we wouldn’t be having a big wedding (and particularly not where we’re having it, i.e. an expensive city), because it’s not where we wanted to spend our money. I think it’s just pragmatic really!

Post # 11
637 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think it’s right to sit down with both sets of parents and ask what they’re contributing.

When we announced we were engaged, my parents told me that they were giving us $X to use toward the wedding – in other words, they weren’t just giving us money to use on anything else but a wedding.  Fi’s parents expected my parents to pay for our wedding because they paid for FI’s sister’s, so they haven’t offered us anything.

FMIL is upset that we aren’t having a huge wedding because she’s got like 200 guests she wants to invite.  But we don’t want a big wedding, and since she isn’t offering anything, she gets no say.

If you want to elope, then elope.  I too would rather elope but since my parents gave us this money, I’m having a small wedding as a compromise.  Have the wedding you can afford.

Post # 12
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Yes and No. 

I wouldn’t have a sit down and ask either set of parents if they’re going to contribute to the wedding. HOWEVER, if they bring up that they would like to contribute then I do think it’s appropriate to have a discussion about what that means and budget. 

Honestly, I would just go along with the elopement/very small wedding plan and if they offer to host a bigger bash, then you can always switch.

Post # 13
869 posts
Busy bee

Plan for what you want to do – if that means eloping, plan to elope. You are not obligated to feed ANYONE or hold any sort of party- no matter what anyone tells you. If your parents arent happy with that and offer money then great, if not then have a great time eloping! I always think no matter what you plan, someone will be offended by it, so do what you want to do! No pay no say 🙂 

Post # 14
3090 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

FutureMrsHodgy:  I think it completely depends on your family dynamic and the dynamic of your FI’s family. And I think this is what everyone loses sight of in these “debates.” How it went for you in your life with your parents is NOT how it always goes with someone else. For example, I knew from a pretty young age that my parents would help pay for the wedding. It had been mentioned in an offhand way several times, but until my oldest sister got married, I didn’t know how it would work. When my oldest sister got engaged, my parents sat HER down and said they would like to contribute to the wedding. Most importantly, they WANTED to do so and they could do so, but also because they felt like it was the bride’s parent’s responsibility to help pay for the wedding. Sister and her FI contributed 1/3, BIL’s parents contributed 1/3, my parents contributed 1/3. That’s how it broke down for them.

With me, FI’s mother doesn’t think anyone BUT the bride’s family should pay for ANYTHING. Even things that are traditionally left to the groom’s family to cover (i.e. rehearsal dinner). She told us early on that we were not to expect anything from her. Okay, cool. If that’s how she wants it to go, fine by me. FI and I have discussed that they won’t be mentioned anywhere on the programs, invitations, etc. because they didn’t help the wedding come to be. They aren’t even lending emotional support. We didn’t plan a sit down with them, because we had an inkling as to what their thoughts were ahead of time. Rather, FI asked his mom one day while he was over if they would like to contribute anything, please let us know if possible as we were making our budget. She told him maybe $150 or so, so he thanked her, but let the subject drop, as did I. FI’ s dad however, graciously offered us a small sum of money that we actually discussed using for a house instead. FI’s dad was very happy with that decision. My parents are pitching in the same amount they did for my sister and FI and I are doing the rest. We are okay with that. Could we still have gotten married without any help? Yup, but it would have been much, much more lowkey, and simply not what we wanted. Again, my parents came to us. We probably wouldn’t have gone to them and asked for money.

I see a lot of “I would never ‘dream’ of asking my parents for money” or “If you can get married, you can pay for your own wedding” or “It’s no one’s responsibility but your own to pay for your wedding” and I understand that. I do. And great for all the brides out there who do it 100% on their own. My parents graciously offered us money, so I don’t feel like I need to be ashamed to take it. I plan on helping my kids get married. Weddings are expensive and borderline obnoxious, so I would love to help out all I could.

Post # 15
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I intended to plan a wedding that DH and I could afford (and I did), but both parents came to us and offered to help pay in different ways. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have asked. I think a lot of bees do the “sit down and talk” thing when the parents have already offered to help in order to nail down the budget, not ask for help in the first place.

I would recommend you do the same. Plan the wedding you want & can afford – if that’s an elopement, that’s great.

If you think his parents will object, then tell them early on that you and FI are planning on eloping. If they protest, tell them you don’t want to spend your savings on a wedding. That opens the door for them to offer to pay if having a wedding is important to them. If they don’t, then you and FI get the elopement you want. It sounds a bit manipulative, maybe, but it’s less awkward than asking them outright to pay for a wedding, and it lets them know that you don’t want a big wedding.

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