Post # 1
I am the mother of the groom, my husband and I are in our mid 40’s.
When I see what is being spent on weddings, it blows me away……we are “middle class” I guess you could say or a bit above. But we don’t have thousands and thousands of dollars in cash laying around. They say the AVERAGE wedding is $25K?
All our money is tied up in our 401K.
We are able to give him some money….but….do these larger amounts usually come from several different people (the bride and groom, parents/both sides, grandparents etc)?
I guess I am just venting and feeling bad….
Post # 3
I think this day and age a lot of weddings are being paid for by the couple. We had a bit of help from my husbands family but we didn’t expect it. I think the thing to keep in mind is if you’re making big demands for a lot of extra people and fancy food then you should contribute enough to cover the cost of it. If not, the rehearsal dinner and a donation towards the wedding would be a really nice gesture. My in-laws gave us $4,000.
Post # 4
@CoffeeandCream: Times are tough. Don’t feel so bad. At least you’re contributing something. Just make sure there is a communication between you and the couple. Set limits if needed. I know my FILs offered to help pay for the wedding, but never really sat down to talk about how much, what they were willing to pay for, etc. His mother actually kept adding to our guest list. Before I knew it, she pulled out of paying for the big wedding. It wasn’t until last week did she realize that she still wanted to do something for us. She has offered to pay catering and having the wedding/reception at her house. That would’ve been perfectly fine to me if they were willing to discuss it firsthand before getting our hopes up.
Post # 5
Since weddings are very expensive now, it is pretty common for the couple to pay for most it and families of bride and groom to contribute what they can. Give them what you can comfortably afford and be conscious of budget issues if the couple doesn’t plan the wedding exactly the way you would like (ie food, guest list, day of the week, etc)
Post # 6
My fiance and I are paying for our wedding. I wouldn’t panic about how much to help out financially, I’m sure they’d be grateful for any help. My parents are wanting to contribute, so are putting some money towards the honeymoon and paying for my sisters bridesmaid dress 🙂
Post # 7
I do not have the answer to your question… but I’m interested to hear this also. We are not having a fancy wedding by any means… my parents have helped out with what they can (well my mom has…. my dad hasn’t helped at all… and its kind of awkward- i just assume he can’t or he would???? ) and his parents have given us a little money each month- which will help out a lot. Our wedding is probably going to be closer to the 5k mark… Nothing huge and flashy… But that’s what I wanted.
I’ve read that the 25k average is a figure put out by the wedding industry to make everyone feel that they “must” spend more than perhaps is needed…. I read that the source of that info is including a lot of weddings of the VERY rich (100k+ weddings) with some of the less extravagent (sp)… so if you average in all of those amounts (just an example —10k+100,000k+5k+1k=116k/4 makes it a 29k average…. soo that one big wedding throws off that figure a lot!)
ON the flip side… when I was figuring out all the details of our wedding… I can see where 25k could easily be spent. I was at one venue that required their rental fee for the room and then a 5k MINIMUM for catering. That’s just a room and food. No decor, no officiant, no dress, So basically that was 7500 just for my guests to be fed and have somewhere to sit. Needless to say- we couldn’t afford that- and I ran into that with almost every non-church venue. The costs just added up VERY quickly…. I was so stressed and upset for quite some time.
Do you know what your son and his fiance’s plans are?
Post # 8
@CoffeeandCream: Don’t feel bad. Many weddings can be effing expensive, but that doesn’t mean they all are – though based on what you see on TV or read about or based on other people’s weddings you may have been to, it sure may seem like every single person getting married is spending several tens of thousands of dollars. But it really will depend on where you are located, how many guests are invited, and how formal or traditional it is.
I really think anything you contribute to your son and his fiancee for their wedding will be appreciated (as well it should be – as adults they shouldn’t have an expectation that you’re going to pay for anything or everything). I remember my mom being very sad and expressing to me how bad she felt that she couldn’t contribute a lot of money for my wedding. It made me so sad because that’s not something she should have grief over.
Our wedding is one of those that’s effing expensive. We’re in Los Angeles and have a guest list of 200+. I can put $10K towards my own wedding. My dad is very generously contributing…well, alot. But say my dad hadn’t offered to do that and I had to put on a $10K wedding. I would have cut the guest list pretty drastically, for starters, which may have opened up many more options for venues and allowed me to stretch my dollar as far as it would go. There are ways to make it work.
Post # 9
If you want to help financially, keep two things in mind:
-what can you afford? Frankly our parents’ priority should be on financing their retirement, not our weddings.
-I’m sure they would love it if you took on the traditional repsonsibility of the rehearsal dinner. Tell them your budget and come to some agreement on what style of dinner would work for all of you.
Post # 10
@CoffeeandCream: Don’t feel bad! My parents are not contributing at all, so I think giving just a little is perfectly fine! My fiance and I are paying for everything ourselves with a few thousand coming from his parents.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2012 - Historic Lougheed House
We save around 1000 a month from our own paychecks. To do so, we live in a really old retro apartment and cut back on going out. So by the time our wedding is here, we’ll have saved around 15K ourselves.
Our parents are each putting around 10K each into the wedding.
So really, in our case, its a combination of efforts. And a whole lot of sacrafice on everyones end.
Post # 12
Just a word of caution about the “average” wedding price – those stats are not terribly scientific. They’re based on surveys done by the wedding industry, usually using a sample of women who have registered at wedding websites, gift registries, etc., and who are more likely to be having a bigger wedding. Couples who elope, or have smaller weddings, are underrepresented. And since the surveys are conducted by the industry, there’s a strong incentive to get inflated results, since people will spend more if they think it’s “average.”
All of this is just to say, do not let those numbers, and all the weddings on TV, movies, etc., shape your expectations. NO ONE is owed a $25,000 wedding. You give what you can, and everyone makes do.
Post # 13
Neither of our families contributed any money when we got married. We had a very small courthouse wedding and breakfast after with friends. It was all we could afford and I think couples should only do what they could personally afford unless their families have set aside savings for the wedding.
Post # 14
I think that as the average age of the couple getting married rises, so does the responsibility of the couple. My parents gave us less than 10% of what our wedding cost. We make a lot more than my parents. It wouldn’t make sense to make them pay.
Post # 14
Everyone I know, my age (mid 40’s) and younger, paid for their own weddings. In my world, no one even expects their parents to help. Any help from parents is a gift. I’ve been married twice now. Once in my 20’s and again just last year. I didn’t ask my parents for a dime either time. They offered an certain amount or to pay for an expense of their choosing (ie: a specific dollar amount or something specific like the food) and I accepted, though it wasn’t at all expected. I have teenagers. I don’t think they expect me to pay for their weddings. It is my intention to offer them each X amount of dollars when they marry. That’s it! They can do what they want with it. I’m certainly not going to jeopardize my retirement or take a second job to pay for something I cannot afford. If they want the moon and the stars – they will have to pay for it!
ETA: I am very budget minded. I suspect my kids will be the same when it is time for them to get married.
Post # 15
PP’s make a good point about the “average cost” statistic. It’s really easy for a couple of super expensive weddings to skew the average. The statistics would be much more helpful and informative if they included more detailed breakdowns, or even just the median and mode in a given geographic area.