Dream Wedding OR First Home Down Payment?

posted 5 months ago in Money
  • poll: Would you exchange your dream wedding for a larger first home down payment gift?
    I’d rather have my dream wedding and take the original down payment gift. : (12 votes)
    10 %
    I’d rather have a larger down payment for my first home and seriously downsize my wedding plans. : (77 votes)
    63 %
    I’d rather just go to the courthouse and receive all the allocated funds for the down payment. : (29 votes)
    24 %
    Other : (4 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 2
    882 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I just went to a wedding. The couple blew through less than 30k

    3 kids and a dog

    they rent the house they live in 👀

    Post # 3
    160 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2019

    Down payment for sure. That’s what we did. Still had a decent size wedding, but put extra money into the house. We bought our house 1 month before the wedding. 

    Post # 4
    9737 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    I would 100% have a small wedding with immediate family and closest friends and use the rest of the money for a house.

    Post # 5
    4533 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    laureng1 : her offer is very generous but I think you should talk numbers with your mum before deciding. I’d determine the trade off by what sum of money was being offered. If what your mum is offreng isn’t a significant amount that will make your ability to purchase sooner a reality, I’d probably not forgo a nice wedding with all the things I’d enjoy including on our day whether that would be people or little extras that would make me feel happy for it.

    Also like to point out that your preferred venue is only  $1200 more and your mum baulked, she also didn’t give you a figure when you asked and told you come back with figures. That to me feels odd and like the amount of money she is kindly gifting  you is dependent on factors. It’s like the way she set it up, if you give the wrong answers, she’ll gift you accordingly. It sounds like she has conditions with how and which she gives. I wouldn’t give up on a wedding you want without more concrete information and I wouldn’t accept money that may come with conditions attached.


    Post # 6
    5732 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2018

    If they wedding is important enough to you then just pay for it yourself. There are more options available to you than mom paying for your wedding or down payment. 

    I think in 99% of cases sacrificing a down payment for a wedding is stupid so if it was a choice I would always choose downpayment. 

    Post # 7
    871 posts
    Busy bee

    cmsgirl :  Yes, all of this. 

    I initially voted “larger down payment/ seriously downsize wedding’ but something vaguely wasn’t sitting right with the way OP’s mom was handling things- and cmsgirl articulated it so well. So I think ‘other’ now- a conversation with much more details with mom first before any decisions. 

    Post # 8
    1406 posts
    Bumble bee

    How much money is she talking? And is this enough for a down payment for a house in your area? I wouldn’t sacrifice my dream wedding for a couple of thousands of pounds if it won’t make that much of a difference to when you can buy a house. 

    We are engaged and just bought our first home which is a doer upper and my mum originally was going to give us £2500 towards our wedding, but she asked if we would prefer it to go towards our deposit. We used of all our savings plus this money to buy our first home and I have no regrets at all, a wedding is one day and a house is for life. We’re in the predicament now though of not being able to save for our wedding because we’re spending all our money on home renovations, so if you can do both I would.  

    Post # 9
    6447 posts
    Bee Keeper

    laureng1 :  Nope, downpayment hands down.  House builds equity a wedding does not.  I wouldn’t have done a wedding because it was too much for us.

    Post # 10
    819 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2020

    cmsgirl :  I agree on being hesitant regarding conditional money and what’s actually being offered. The knee jerk reaction always seems to be downpayment instead of wedding, but I’d want to know what the actual options are. I know you should never look a gift horse in the mouth and all that, but I personally wouldn’t want conditional money affecting my decisions.

    For example, if she was willing to offer a lower amount for the wedding and you paid more yourself to still use one of the venues you wanted, would she rescind her offer for the larger downpayment?

    And as other PP have suggested, the amount being offered does matter. Something like $1200 might be more meaningful towards a wedding than a downpayment, depending on the costs of each.

    Post # 11
    2892 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    laureng1 :  House over wedding anyday… but I also didn’t have a “dream” wedding in mind so it’s a no brainer for me.

    my wedding was similar to what you’ve described and it wasn’t any less special of a day just because it wasn’t a big traditional wedding.

    Post # 12
    1147 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

    I’d 100% do a smaller/courthouse wedding and opt for the biggest downpayment on a home that I could get. No question.

    Our wedding was definitely a “budget wedding” costing roughly $5k including venues (which handled all flowers/decorations at no added expense to us), catering, dress, suit, photographer, and DJ. It was still a beautiful wedding and we have zero regrets on choosing to go the budget route. I would do it again in a heartbeat, but even $5k seemed like a lot to me hah. If it weren’t for my wife’s family, I would have been just as happy with a courthouse wedding and dinner afterward!

    If someone offered me an offer like yours, I would absolutely downsize to a courthouse wedding/dinner and take the down payment! Even though our wedding and reception were lovely, part of why we went the budget route was so we can focus on buying a home and save for that.

    I just think it’s smarter to invest in your future together than to host an expensive wedding and lavish party afterward.

    Post # 13
    974 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2019

    I split the money 50/50 when my parents gave us that option. We had a very nice, but not excessive wedding and we were able to put down the required down payment with the extra bit they gave us. Is there a middle ground between dream wedding and courthouse?

    Post # 14
    1558 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2017

    Down payment over a large wedding all day every day. 

    Post # 15
    1025 posts
    Bumble bee

    laureng1 :  In general, I would much rather put money down on a house than a wedding.  But it depends on a few things:

    Do you have downpayment money on your own, without your parent’s help, to put on a home to purchase after the wedding?

    If you don’t, how much disposable income do you and your Fiance have that can be directly committed to a downpayment and how long will it take to “rebuild” the financial contribution you would lose if you spent your mother’s money on a wedding instead?

    Do you plan to stay in your area renting or in a home for more than 4 years?

    If it would take you more than 6 months to rebuild those funds, I would say no to the wedding. If you and your Fiance plan to stay in the area you will be living/renting in alternatively for 4-5 years, I would say no to the wedding. If you don’t already have a significant downpayment for your further home and will be spending all of your savings and future assets for a few months on a wedding, I would DEFINITELY say no.

    I think a lot of people, especially US bees (not sure of your location) underestimate how much money buying a home costs upfront (closing costs, downpayment, inspections, earnest money, origination fees on loan, PMI). While they simultaneously overestimate their ability to save.

    I would never trade the ability to have a home, or upgrade my home, based on a single day’s party.

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