Post # 1
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I’m trying to help out a cowoker who just got engaged. Her FI is incredibly controlling in terms of the wedding, but her dad is paying for it. I mean, the FI is demanding the location (east vs west coast), guest list and other things. She thinks that since her dad is paying, he should have some say in what happens. Most importantly, she’s concerned that her FI isn’t showing any gratitude at all toward her dad and doesn’t want to take advantage of his kindness. They are in the early, early planning stages, and she’s already super frustrated. Everyone (friends and family on his side) has told him that he doesn’t get to make all of these demands if he’s not offering to pay for them. I know that this is proper etiquette, but I can’t find documentation supporting it.
Do you guys have any links she could share with her FI explaining the whole etiquette situation?
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
FI sounds like a creep and she should probably just not marry him. Just from what you said. Plus shouldn’t it be the decision of the couple together, not the groom vs father? Sorry it just sounds like there’s a bigger issue there. But yes, look on any wedding blog or ettiquette site, he who pays chooses. But even then they’re supposed to defer to the bride AND groom….
Post # 4
does she agree with FI on location, etc? It’s their wedding – not her dad’s.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
It’s really just the wedding stuff that they’re having trouble with.
They disagree on location and several other things. I totally agree that it’s the the couple that should make the decision with the dad’s blessing.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Traditionally, the planning should be done by the bride and groom, with final approval being made by the financer. When the 2 parties can’t agree for matters related to the ceremony the B&G should get the final say; for the reception, the person writing the check should get the final say.
But it sounds like there’s some communication issues between the B&G here– and the problems with her father are secondary. I would encourage your friend to talk to her FI about what they each envision for the wedding FIRST, then start working with Dad to figure out the money side of things.
Post # 7
In an ideal world, if a parent decides to give money to pay for a wedding, they just give it and the couple may do what they please. However, it is gracious for the couple to get the parent’s input regarding large decisions. And if the parent insists on something, it is their right as wedding-funder to do so.
I think your friend’s FI needs to realize that money comes with strings attached, even if they are loose strings. The couple needs to compromise – this decision making process sets the stage for how they deal with conflict in their relationship for the rest of their lives.
Post # 8
It seems that Martha agrees that whoever foots the bill makes the decisions.
Personally, I agree with PPs that a couple should plan the wedding they want, and the person(s) helping to pay or paying completely should go along for the ride. I guess I’m living in the clouds though, it never happens that way in reality.
Post # 9
It’s nothing to with wedding etiquette. It’s common manners. When someone offers a gift, you can accept or reject it. To haggle over the gift is rude, whether it’s a wedding or anything else. FFIL has offered a gift: a wedding in a certain location. The FI can accept the offer or reject it.
Post # 10
I do agree there should be compromise, and the paying party dont get to call all the shots, but this seems a bit far. Im more concerned about a controlling groom – even if its only about the wedding, HUGE red flag.
Post # 11
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, I guess I’m just saying, “Gifts should be accepted gratefully” and FI doesn’t sound grateful.
Post # 12
Why oh why must we always tell someone to LEAVE their SO when we know nothing about their relationship? I so hope this changes soon.
So, if I was friends with her, I would probably tell her to sit down with pops and make some boundaries. By boundaries, ask his budget and preferences and then clarify that his contribution is a GIFT, not a contract. Ultimately, the B and G will always give concessions to their folks. Not because they paid, but because their egg and sperm created their lives. B and G get ultimate say because, again, it’s a GIFT. If Daddy wants to control everything I would think long and hard about how painful the experience in the next year will be and plan accordingly($). FI probably understands the hell he is about to endure and is cynical. I don’t blame him, honestly. Sounds like Dad is already throwing his controlling weight around. And then I would buy the bride a tequila shot, give her a hug, and tell her good luck.
ETA- eating my words as I didn’t read the OP correctly. Sounds like they haven’t yet discussed preferences for parents yet. They should do that.