Post # 1
My dad is being incredibly generous and paying for almost our entire wedding; I should make that clear right away. My FH and I are both graduate students with very little disposable income, and we’re really, really grateful to my dad for offering to do this.
Now, here’s the thing: I realize that since Dad is paying, he gets the final vote in a lot of respects, and I can roll with that. I’m really pretty easy-going. But he has selected the venues, the caterer, and the menus for the barbecue (taking the place of a rehearsal dinner) and reception. Last week he called to tell me what music we would have at the ceremony; today he told me our save-the-dates and wedding website were juvenile and embarrassing, and he didn’t want any of the guests he’s inviting to see them. He’s over-ruling many of the details we wanted to include because he thinks they’re tacky (we wanted the groomsmen to wear brightly colored kicks, for example, and to include some old-school country duets like "You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly" in the second hour of the reception). I understand his point of view, but the wedding he wants is straight out of Emily Post (no offense to Emily), and not really reflective of us at all. My dad is a perfectionist and very controlling, and has always made me feel like nothing I do is quite good enough, so he tells me something is tacky and I feel myself regressing to a 7-year-old being lectured for getting 95 on her spelling test, you know? I just cave and do whatever he wants.
Any advice? I mean, is that what I should be doing, since he’s footing the bill?
Post # 3
the short answer is you have to be prepared to give up the money. Tell him that you appreciate all of his help and input but you would like XYZ instead of QRS. Explain that its not just a party that he’s throwing but your wedding and you’d like for it to reflect who you are. He may agree and that would be great or he may say well I’m paying for it take it or leave it….and that’s when you call his bluff. Thank him for his contribution and then have a quiet small wedding that you can afford. Maybe he’ll give and let you have what you want, or maybe he’ll be stubborn and you will have the simple wedding. But I bet he’ll respect you more for not being obsessed with the money and for sticking by your guns. Walking away from money is a difficult and very adult choice.
So I say if you aren’t really willing to give up the money then you will have to let him dictate a lot of the wedding. I know if I was laying down my own money on something I’d probably want a say in how it was spent.
Post # 4
I kind of agree with BaghdadBride. I can relate because my Future Father-In-Law has made several snarky comments about what he thinks might be tacky about our wedding and he is contributing some of the dough. But my fiance and I have always always stuck to the fact that we’d rather not have the money than to let Future Father-In-Law dictate certain things about our wedding. It’s OUR wedding and it should reflect us. Now, to me it sounds like you’ve already let him do more than his fair share, even if he’s footing the bill. But I would handle future decisions in one of two ways 1) like BB said, call his bluff or 2) have a third party (Mom? Grandma?) overhear him ranting about what’s tacky and intervene, pointing out that its tacky of him to state what he thinks is tacky. We know he probably has the best of intentions, his heart is in the right place, but he’s overstepping his boundaries. Maybe he just needs a third party to help him realize it (because it puts you in an uncomfortable situation). Good luck!
Post # 5
That’s a really tough situation you’re in, but I do think that if your dad’s footing the bill, then he has a right to make a lot of the wedding decisions (even if they seem unfair). I have trouble standing up to my dad, so instead of taking him head-on, I would try to convert him to my way of thinking. For instance, you could try explaining that you and your fiance want to include personal touches to make your wedding unique, and ask what areas he would be willing to give up control on. You also could try showing him pictures from wedding magazines of other couples who included unique details in their weddings. Your dad may not realize what is acceptable in terms of weddings these days. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to tell him how it makes you feel when he shoots down your ideas. He may not realize he’s being so insensitive. I’m sure your dad would never deliberately hurt your feelings.
Post # 6
ITA with the other girls above.
Post # 7
Poor Taye! I can completely relate — my dad is also a control freak. But fortunately, he’s not that interested in wedding stuff and hasn’t dictated much aside from wanting classical music at the ceremony and absolutely no rap or hip-hop at the reception. Also, we’re paying for a big chunk of the wedding, so he realizes he has to negoticate rather than dictate.
I think you’re right that since your dad is paying, he has the final say on a lot of things. If you’re not willing to reject his money (which would probably turn into a big family drama, so I understand why you might not want to go that route), your best bet is to talk to him one-on-one (maybe with Mom or an aunt or a grandma as backup?). Tell him you’re so grateful that he’s been so generous, and that you want him to be proud of the wedding he’s putting on for his daughter, but you and your husband only get one wedding and it would mean a lot to you both if you could incorporate some details that reflect your personalities.
You could also compromise on some things — for example, maybe the groomsmen wear dress shoes during the ceremony but put on the colorful sneakers for pictures and dancing, and you print two sets of save-the-date cards (a more conservative set for his guests and yours for the friends your age).
Post # 8
I do not envy your situation. Here’s a phrase that may or may not work, but important to practice either way: "Dad, I know you love me, and I know you would never do anything to hurt me or hurt my feelings. So I am sure that you will support me during this important time in my life."
Post # 9
wow i really feel for you also, but it sounds like the issue goes beyond wedding planning. if your dad has always been controlling then it sounds like its not going to be easy to sit down and discuss the whole entire wedding with him. maybe try to tackle one small issue at a time first to slowly soften him up and to avoid a big altercation before the wedding. good luck to you! make your wedding your own because they’re your memories forever!
Post # 10
I, on the other head, do not think that just because someone is giving you money for a wedding means that they have the final say. It is YOU AND YOUR FIANCE’S wedding! Their money is a gift to you to make your special day a reality. When I give someone a gift card or cash for their birthday, I am telling them to use it in the way they want. I do not expect them to take me to the store with them to approve what they are going to buy or else I would have bought it for them myself! I always like when they do show me what they got though!
At the same time, I do not think it is appropriate to just totally ignore or not work with the person who is giving you the money. I agree with the girl’s advice above about bringing a 3rd party with you. You do need to talk to him about this as it is apparently been something you have been dealing with for a long time and should not have to. You may have a little blow up but those are usually the best times to get your feelings out about how this is not the way a father should make his daughter feel.
Good luck and I really hope you get to have the wedding of your dreams, not just your father’s dreams!
Post # 11
The problem with your theory, LittleBear, is that it doesn’t sound like Taye’s dad has "given her" the money. If your dad has already written you a check for $15k (or whatever your budget) then you don’t so much have to worry about his opinion on how you spend it. If what your dad is doing is paying the bills as you go along (paying the deposit to the caterer and the venue and the florist; typing in his credit card number on your order for the invitations) then he absolutely gets veto power, unless you are prepared to foot the bill for that item yourself. After all, he just has to refuse to pay!
I agree with everyone who said you need to have a long talk with your dad, and in the end you have to be prepared to walk away from the money. Your dad is using his checkbook to control you – and I would bet this isn’t the first time he has done it. And I totally understand, because my mom is the same way. When we decided to get married, we planned a very small wedding that we could afford (about $5k). Of course, she wanted something bigger and fancier. So we had the conversation up front, about how we would be really happy to accept her generous offer to pay, but honestly it had to be on our terms, as we know from the start that we have different ideas and different taste. And we had more than a few of those "But that will look like crap!" moments. But what I did, all the way through, was to write all my own checks, and hand her copies of the receipts. That way she could pay us back (as per her offer to pay for a certain percentage of the wedding) or not, as she chose.
Your dad clearly sees this as his party (or he wouldn’t be talking about "his guests!") So you can try to reach a compromise position, where it’s not just his party, but also your wedding. However, to get there, I think that you do need to be willing to walk away from the money, and throw the wedding you want on your own, to the best of your ability. For people who use money as control, nothing is as effective as the ability to turn it down, and nothing else will ultimately earn their respect. I wish you the best of luck, and a lot of strength, because I think you will need it. However, in the end I think you’ll be glad you did it.
Post # 12
when alot of parent’s pay for a wedding, i think they see it as a gift for their child. it’s sounds like you dad is giving youthe money then wanting to make all the decisions. you should tell him there are some things that are not exactly how yo uhad pictured and if you can compromise with each other, it would make it more your style. if he says no, then you should decline they money, if you don’t get the wedding you want, you will blame it on your dad and it may cause problems between you guys in the future.
Post # 13
I agree with littlebear. At this point, it sounds as if your dad is throwing HIS party, not yours. I understand that since he is paying the bills he has some say, and there are certain things that he may put his foot down on that he has very adament feelings about but he should not have the final say in every single decision. Ultimately he offered to help pay for your wedding, not take over.
You need to sit down with him and have a frank conversation and tell him that you know he means well, but with all of the recent decisions you don’t really feel like it is your wedding anymore. Thank him for his generous gift, and ask him say for his top 3 things that are most important to him. Make sure to try to work with him to make those things happen. Also, I would try to show him examples of other weddings that had things incorporated that make it more your own–that, that is okay.
If your dad is still not willing to just have input in decisions (and not the final say) you should decline the money. It’s your wedding and money doesn’t buy a happy day. Ultimately, if you use the money–and all of his ideas–your wedding won’t feel like your own. Good luck!
Post # 14
You need to give him your ideas or he will take over the entire wedding planning. This is your special day, make sure he knows that!
Post # 15
I find humor to be best way to deal with my dad. Jokingly call him a Dadzilla. (Note: will not work with tears in your eyes or venom in your voice)
Post # 16
I have to agree with suzanno on this one. Your dad is using money to control you. Clearly, he sees this as his opportunity to create the day he envisions. I would suggest you politely and calmly have a conversation with him; but try and be firm and stand up for yourself. Like others have said, you need to be willing to sacrifice walking away from your dad’s financial assistance. If not, there is not much you can do or say that will get him to stop his controlling behavior.