Post # 1
Warning – this is a long vent-post…
My fiance and I will be holding our wedding-on-a-shoestring next October, and I’m still in the first stages of planning, but I’m already starting to feel a little overwhelmed. FI and I are paying for most of the wedding and reception ourselves (my Mom will be making our cake and finger foods for our reception – we’re not doing a meal or alcohol). We’ll probably be able to save a couple thousand dollars (maybe $3,000 if we reeeally succeed) to use toward the wedding, which will probably be able to cover most of the expenses since we’re not doing flowers, have a great deal on a photographer because she’s a friend, and are getting married in FI’s family’s church and using their fellowship hall for the reception. I know I can do this — right now it’s just really intimidating realizing how hard it’s going to be.
I think the most difficult money-related issue for me is that my Mom and my FI’s family are contributing in as many ways as they can, even though they don’t have much money, but my Dad, who is pretty well off, isn’t going to contribute at all. I don’t want to ask him outright if he has any plans on contributing, but he hasn’t offered, and I don’t even think he knows that a lot of dads do contribute to their daughters’ weddings. Even though he and my Mom are divorced, he’s a very active presence in my life – we talk a couple of times a week on the phone. He thinks my FI is great and really is happy for us — he’s just extremely protective of his money. He fought my Mom over paying child support for me when I was little and didn’t want to help put me through college at all, so it’s not like this is a new thing… that still doesn’t really take the sting out of it, though. FI and I are living in my Mom’s basement while we save up for a house, are struggling to make ends meet and save a little bit for the wedding at the same time, and I know that my Dad could fund the totally un-fancy, low-key wedding that we’re planning without the slightest difficulty — if he wanted to.
I know he wants to be involved in the wedding in terms of walking me down the aisle and doing that sort of father-of-the-bride thing, but I’ve already noticed that we’re getting further and further apart than we already were because I’ve just quit telling him anything at all about my financial situation. He knows that FI and I both make minimum wage and struggle and he just has the attitude of “well, kid, that’s life, suck it up” — and I don’t expect a handout or want him to think that I expect that of him, so I just don’t tell him about it. But it has put a distance between us that I don’t know how to fix. I don’t want to be open with him about how I feel because it will hurt his make him feel like I’m expecting something from him and make him angry (the same way it did when I asked him about helping us pay for my college), but holding all this in from him makes me not really want him to be involved in the wedding at all.
Have any of you dealt with family situations like this? How did you resolve it? Do you have any advice?
Post # 3
Your dad sounds like a butthead (sorry for the term :). I can see not putting your kid through college (my parents didn’t pay for my school and they do very well)- but childsupport? I’d casually mention your mom is helping pay for [insert item here] and then innocently ask if he would like to get involved. If he says no- maybe it’s your cue to consider having your mother walk you down the aisle.
Parents aren’t obligated to give you money for the wedding, but with his track record (the childsupport thing got me- you were his financial responsibility and he was trying to avoid it) I’m all for minimizing his role in your day. You don’t get to be the prominent father of the bride and still dispute child support.
Post # 4
@BlueRidgeMere: Forgive me for being blunt but…your Dad doesn’t owe it to you to contribute toward your wedding. Some parents do, yes, a lot don’t. You need to get over your expectation that he should contribute and stop resenting him for being someone he’s not. A guy who argues over child support and paying for an education isn’t going to offer up money for a wedding.
Post # 5
The child support issue also threw me off. you are his daughter, and he outright refused to pay child support? that’s called a dead-beat dad. i don’t think you’re going to get any support from him. I agree that maybe you shouldn’t let him walk you down the aisle, either. I agree that parents aren’t responsible to pay for their child’s wedding, but this dad just sounds ridicioulus.
Post # 6
@maureen9004: So Dad has to pay for the privililedge of walking his daughter down the aisle? C’mon now.
The OP said herself he’s been an involved father and while, yes, he does sound like a bit of a tightwad she didn’t say he failed to meet his financial obligations toward her.
Post # 7
The child support thing is crazy! I don’t see how someone can justify that. The wedding and college, with as much as it sucks there really isn’t anything he owes you. You said, “I don’t expect a handout or want him to think that I expect that of him” but isn’t that what you want? You want money from him to pay for your wedding. Whether or not he has a lot or a little, its his decision what he does with it.
Post # 8
@BlueRidgeMere: To answer your question, yes. But it was hubby’s parents.
I’m sorry you are hurting, but there’s nothing you can do. The only thing you can do is when all is said and done you can take pride in knowing that you guys did it on your own (and with the support of the others you mentioned including your mom, of course) !
I don’t know if it’s a cultural or regional thing, but I am in the boat that expected the parents to WANT to contribute. My side did, his, nada.
…and I look at it this way, I don’t feel like I have to be nice to her because of any money she gave us lol…(the history is that she uses a broom stick to ride into work 😉
Cheer up ! You’re gettin’ married ! CONGRATS !
Post # 9
I agree that your dad isn’t at all obligated to contribute…but of course, you know this already. I have to say, based on his previous behavior, even if he was aware that it’s often traditional for the brides’ parents to help out, I would think that he probably wouldn’t. I guess I would question how supportive he really is of you if he doesn’t even seem able to sympathize that you’re in a tough financial position (not necessarily offer you money, but just sympathize and give you emotional support). At the same time, if it were me, I would still let him walk me down the aisle, if that’s something he wants. Weddings are stressful, and it may be that after the wedding you guys will regain the fairly close relationship that you seemed to have before.
Althouh I gotta say, I don’t get not wanting to help out with college or pay child support. What’s his reasoning behind that, if you happen to know?
Post # 10
I’m sorry you are hurting. Sometimes parents don’t recognize the consequences their actions have on their children. Arguing to not pay child support? I’d imagine that is more painful that not helping with the wedding.
I think your wedding sounds great and you should be able to do it within your budget.
Post # 11
Please don’t let money and 1 day come between you and your father.
I’m sorry your hurt 🙁
Post # 12
Its nice if the dad contributes but he doesnt have to. If he can afford to contribute and he doesnt thats very sad, but given his record I wouldnt lose too much sleep over it, cos he’s made it clear he doesnt want to spend money on you. Personally if my dad didnt want to pay child support I wouldnt even keep him in my life and would not let him walk me down the aisle. He cant just be a dad when its glamorous and get all the dad “glory” and then not be there to support you
Post # 13
You need to sit down and talk to your dad about why you’re not connecting with him as much lately. He (and everyone else) has no obligation or responsibility to pay for any of your wedding and you need to be okay with that. If you are having trouble with the budget, you have a few options, A) get married in the courthouse, have a reception later when you’ve saved enough, B) take out a loan, C) go to websites geared for budget weddings…this is not the place for price shopping. Check out Craig’s List, ebay, Off Beat Bride and other such places to score your items at a cost. yes, you might be getting used/off beat ideas…but then you can still have your reception and pay for it all ON YOUR OWN.
Post # 14
@lisa105: Like I said in my post, with his track record I feel differently. Not wanting to pay child support is sort of a mark that sticks. Even if he was “emotionally” present, bailing (or even wanting to) financially on a child (especially if you have the means) isn’t something I can overlook. The posters knows her father didn’t want to pay child support if it wasn’t that big of a deal it never would have come to her attention.
It’s how I feel, not the general consensus. I’m not really sure why you feel the need to call people out who do not agree with you. State your opinion for the OP and let her make up her own mind.
Post # 15
Have you asked him outright if he is “able” or going to contribute?
I’d rather just put it out there, face value and ask him instead of wondering. Just explain that you are working on the budget and as the father of the bride, you figured you’d just ask. Don’t be accusatory or malicious, just a simple question.
Unfortunately, based on his past behaviour, I wouldn’t expect anything 🙁
But like others have said, don’t let this get between you and him.
Post # 16
I have a question, you said you were little, are you sure you know all the details of the childsupport issue? Sometimes parents can run a smear campaign even if they don’t intend to, and it’s very possible that there were other issues going on, not simply that he just didn’t want to pay to support you.