Post # 1
I was wondering if anyone else out there had divorced parents who were paying for the wedding and how they went about splitting the bill? My dad wants my mom to contribute about 20% because he knows that he makes significantly more than she does and splitting it 50/50 wouldn’t be fair. My mom on the other hand thinks that the father of the bride pays for it all so she shouldn’t have to contribute what so ever. They both refuse to meet in person to discuss it or to even do a conference call so I’m stuck being the messenger for now. Does anybody have any suggestions on how your divorced parents handled this topic? Thanks in Advance!
Post # 3
Well, first things first – tell each parent to STOP thinking what the OTHER parent should be paying. Your dad thinks one thing and your mom thiks the other thing. They are not going to see eye to eye, and they don’t have to honestly.
Each parent should – separately – give what they feel they can. This is without any asking from you, it has to be their idea and their figure. And if a parent doesn’t think they can give anything – then that is TOTALLY FINE. No one is under any obligation to pay for your wedding.
Your parents don’t really have to meet on the subject I feel. Say your mom wants to give your $500 and your dad wants to give you $5000 – there you go.
So you have $5500 (gift) + your money = YOUR BUDGET.
Post # 4
My divorced parents are contributing to the wedding. What each person is giving is completely separate and private. What the other person is giving has no bearing on what the other person can or should give.
My dad demanded to know what my mom was giving. He pitched quite a fit about it exactly. I told him I wasn’t willing to tell him that, given our history with money issues between them, and if that meant he wasn’t able or willing to contribute, I understood.
He came around. They each gave what was an appropriate amount for their budgets and have let me manage it from there.
Post # 5
@sienna76: Agreed. It’s nobody’s job, aside from the couple, to pay for the wedding. Clearly your dad has expressed interest in paying for some of your wedding. You should speak to him and ask him what he is planning on contributing, and that should be the end of it. If your mom can’t or won’t contribute, that’s the way it is.
FWIW, my parents are divorced as well and my dad remarried. My dad/stepmom gave me $xx towards the wedding. My mom gave nothing, nor did she offer. My dad was actually a little surprised she didn’t at least offer anything, even something small, but I shrugged it off and just said that I wasn’t expecting her to. It wasn’t an issue, and he didn’t make it one. Our budget consisted of dad’s money and our money.
Because of that, my invitation didn’t read “Mr. and Mrs xxxx & Mrs xxx invite you” it read “Mr. and Mrs invite you”. Mom did pay = she wasn’t hosting = not on the invite.
Post # 6
@sienna76: Thank you for your advice. I can say that I’m ok with my mom not donating anything to my wedding because I know it is a gift. I can’t make my Dad accept that and be cordial to her at the wedding. It’s just stressful that they can’t talk to each other like adults. haha I think I’ll just elope and save myself the headache for the next year of them making me be messenger!
Post # 7
Thanks for the advice ladies! I really like the points that what they are each contributing is not the other’s one business. It was just a messy divorce and they are trying to still punish each other with who is or isn’t contributing to the wedding cost. My mom would be furious if her name wasn’t on the invite, as would her entire side of the family, even if she wasn’t contributing to the wedding.You have all made some great points and given me some things to think about. Thanks!
Post # 8
My parents each came up with their own amount that they were contributing. They didn’t consider what the other person was contributing. If the wedding cost less than they gave, then the rest was supposed to be a gift. They’re seperated not divorced though.
Post # 9
@Spade504: Yeah, we went with “Together with their families, Nicole Lisa Allen & John Michael Doe invite you…”
It got really messy trying to include both of my parents & step parents, and then I wouldn’t want to leave out his mom. I did clear it with both sets of parents, and while I’m sure my dad would have preferred to have their names on there, this was the most logical thing.
My parents have been divorced for over 10 years, live across the country from each other, both remarried, and are still stupid about money and being able to get along. It’s ridiculous – honestly, I thinking being an adult child of divorce is worse than being a child of divorced parents.
I’ve told them several times – I had no control over this being the situation. It was your choices that put us here today where we have to fight over this. I shouldn’t have to be the one to bear the stress of the divorce. I am going to do what I think is right for everyone. Please know that if it feels like I’m stepping on your toes on an issue, it’s because I’m trying to avoid stepping on someone else’s. You’ll get some of you want, they’ll get some of what they want, and ultimately we’ll all get together and have a great day regardless of these details.
Post # 10
That probably would be best if you kept their final contribution ($ or not) just between you and that parent. They really don’t have to know and it sounds like they are still bitter towards each other. I am so sorry you are dealing with that.
If you are thinking of eloping, come to the elopement board! We are pretty active and I also have eloped! 🙂
Post # 11
@NAvery: I’m glad I’m not the only one! My parents have been divorced for 14 years and my mom still refers to my step-mom as “that slut who stole my husband” even though they are both remarried! I think by trying to not to step on toes I’m making myself miserable and it’s only the beginning. My mom doesn’t get why I’m budgeting and thinks that if I just book a bunch of vendors somebody will magically (my dad)pay the final bills after the wedding.
I’m glad I posted this because I think I was getting into a spoiled brat mood and expecting them to pay the entire thing and I really appreciate the comments that brought me back down to reality!
Post # 12
@Spade504: Oh man, we should talk. I can COMPLETELY relate. My dad is relatively well off (not rich or anything but does well for himself) and I just figured he’d write me a check and that would be that. I even made a trip across the country right after getting engaged to discuss it with him.
WRONG. I had no idea his wife had basically taken over finances, totally out of character for my dad. He couldn’t make any commitments and we had quite a few tense moments during that trip.
I had to COMPLETELY remove myself from expecting money from him. I just started moving ahead with my budget on what I could afford. I can’t tell you how much peace it brought me. Suddenly wedding planning became a lot easier and more fun when I was just relying on myself and not waiting on him to dictate what I could afford.
A few weeks later, he came through with a generous amount (not as high as I had thought, but plenty). I was able to tweak my budget a little bit then, but honestly, I just reduced what I planned on contributing.
Budgeting as though I was paying for it all and then just reducing my portion as contributions came in was definitely the best thing I did. I know that won’t work for everyone because of income/bills, etc, but it is pretty empowering.
They get to dictate how much they are willing to give, but you get to dictate the terms under which you accept it and the attitude you take towards it. Once we focus on what we can control, instead of those crazy parents, it gets easier.
By the way, I promise there is more crazy coming. When I told my dad I wanted my stepdad to have a role in walking me down the aisle – melt down. When I asked my dad if he wanted to sit in the second row or the outside of the first row – melt down. He got oddly picky about the tuxes. And my dad isn’t a melt-down kind of person really. He KNEW all these things were coming, but he still acted crazy when it happened. Better to have it all come out early than later, at the rehearsal dinner, etc, right? My policy has been to bring up ANYTHING I think might cause issues – with everyone. I’d rather have it out there early than causing drama the weekend of.
Hang in there!
Post # 13
I would just tell your dad to contribute whatever he can afford, and what he feels is fair, then you and your Fiance cover the rest.
Post # 14
@Spade504: I agree with the advice you’ve been given in allowing each parent to inform you separately what he or she is willing to give to you as a gift for your wedding.
However, I will say that if one parent — in this case, your father — ends up footing the entire bill for your wedding, and the other parent — in this case, your mother — chooses not to contribute at all, it would be very unfair to the parent who is paying to have both parents listed on the invitations as hosts of your wedding.
Post # 15
I was in a somewhat similar situation. My parents are divorced and my dad and stepmom are basically paying for the whole wedding. My mom doesn’t really have a lot of spare cash to throw into the wedding. My mom is contributing by buying the decorations that we need for the venue (she’s a big decorator so this is perfect for her) and she will decorate the day before the reception.
Maybe you could ask your mom to pay for specific things. Like the photog or something? I am also asking my mom to work on some different crafty things that aren’t very costly, but take time and talent which my dad doesn’t have (at least not with a glue gun!)
Post # 16
@Brielle: I went through this dilemma with how to word the invitation since my dad is footing the bill for all vendors and my stepmom bought my dress. My mom is still my mom and she is contributing a lot of time and craftiness to the day. We came to the conclusion that money isn’t the only way to contribute.