(Closed) (ADVICE) FIL's gifted money for the wedding with a catch…

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 61
Member
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Okay so I apologize then, I saw your update to me (and didn’t read the initial update to your OP) so I misunderstood that the budget you showed them was for wedding items only.

If that’s the case, I’d just make it clear that you’re only spending their contribution on wedding stuff, and that you’re using your own money for the honeymoon which is in fact to Ireland. Then just go on your honeymoon. If they want to be upset let them but you’re not doing anything wrong and if they “win” this one and guilt you out of using your own money for something, they’ll think they can do it again. Enjoy your honeymoon! 

Post # 64
Member
626 posts
Busy bee

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futuremrs-s :  Yikes. “They have a history of manipulating my fiancé and his sister to get what they want  and I feel like this is just their way of controlling us.” That says it all. It sounds like it might go best if your fiance writes them an email. I drafted a few thoughts, hope it’ll help.

 

Dear parents,

Thank you so much for kindly offering to help out with the wedding expenses. We want you to know that we appreciate your support and involvement regardless of any money, and we are so excited to celebrate with you.

That said, I want to address something you said after you gave us the money – about not having a big honeymoon in Ireland with it. I am not sure if you meant that, but although we hadn’t told anyone yet, we are actually planning a honeymoon in Ireland!

We are very excited about the wedding and the honeymoon, but we wanted to let you know that if our travel plans make you feel uncomfortable about your contribution, we will be more than happy to return the check. What we value is your support, presence, and love. We fully understand financial considerations. We have already planned a modest wedding and a honeymoon that we can afford, and we will be completely understanding if you would like us to return the check.

Thank you for your love and support.

XX”

Post # 67
Member
626 posts
Busy bee

Yikes! I read all the updates and this feels like a very emotionally toxic situation. My advice is not to lie, as that’s only playing into it. Just be very direct, and matter-of-fact, and offer directly to refund the money (obviously it’s best if your Fiance talks to them, not you). If they make a snide comment, you can just say “we understand travel isn’t important to you, but we’re very excited about this trip!”

You don’t need to hide who you are or what your plans are to make them happy. You just need to be very clear and direct and don’t fall into any emotional traps. That means that if they tell you to keep the money but make snarky comments next month, you send them back the check and tell them that you are more comfortable covering it yourselves.

Sorry bee. They sound really difficult. 🙁

Post # 69
Member
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I think you’re making this way more complicated than it needs to be. Have your Fiance have a short conversation with them where he explains that you were already planning a honeymoon to Ireland out of your own pocket, that you appreciate their contribution to the wedding and that money would only be used for the wedding, but if they have any issue with your plans you’ll return the money and pay for the wedding yourselves as well. Bam! Done. 

For what it’s worth, I think they’re being absolutely ridiculous. We took our honeymoon in Ireland and it was AMAZING! 100% worth it. I’m sure you guys will love it too!

Post # 70
Member
13653 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Until proven otherwise, I’d  take their comments as merely strong opinion, not an ultimatum or conditional terms. From what you say, they know full well their money is going entirely to the wedding. I think it would be offensive and unnecessarily escalating of the situation to threaten to return the money if they are not happy with your plan. I’d focus on being respectful, but firm. 

Is there a reason they are especially concerned? How old are the two of you? Do you already have considerable debt or loans? Will you have anything left in your savings after this trip? What is your employment and housing situation? Will you have to rely on anyone for support after marriage? These are some concerns I can imagine his parents might have, even if your ultimate decision is none of their business.

Fiance should tell them that he knows they disagree, but a honeymoon is a priority for the two of you. I’d reassure them that you are otherwise financially responsible, and do not spend frivolously. The money for this trip has long been set aside and budgeted for. 

Is the money their only issue? Some people who never travel also have fears or anxiety related to flying or bad things happening away from home. It might pay to discuss. 

Post # 71
Member
394 posts
Helper bee

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futuremrs-s :  Correct me if I’m wrong, but judging by your OP, your Future In-Laws gave you 1/3 of the cost of the wedding, gave it to you to spend on the wedding, and told you not to spend it on a honeymoon…. As long as you apply the money they gave you to the wedding and then use different means to pay for your honeymoon, I’m not seeing what the problem is. You won’t be spending what they gave you on the honeymoon, as per their request. Why is there an issue? 

ETA: any money above and beyond what they decide to give you, they have no say in what you do with it, whether they feel they “freed it up for you” or not. I’ve never heard such silliness. They can say “here’s $X. Use this for flowers/DJ/venue costs/etc.” They don’t have control over any money you may be saving by them contributing. Go in the honeymoon and if they say anything negative, say “we appreciate your advice, but we really need to start navigating our finances together as a married couple. If we need any help we’ll let you know!” Quick and easy way to shut it down. 

Post # 72
Member
13653 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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valencia247 :  i think their attitude is that money is fungible. If they are giving money for the wedding, they want to see the money OP and her Fiance no longer have to spend on the wedding saved, not spent. 

As long as they have made no demands or conditions on the gift, the couple can do what they like. I think the Fiance ought to just be up front about it and explain that the honeymoon has been long saved and planned for.  

Post # 73
Member
394 posts
Helper bee

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weddingmaven :  I missed a few updates from the OP regarding that. I agree, they can’t tell them what to do with any money that they don’t give them. And I also agree that the honeymoon has been planned well in advance. 

OP, you might have to spell out to them that “we would be going on this honeymoon whether or not you would be contributing. Your money was not a deciding factor.”

Post # 75
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee

At the end of the day, isn’t all the money going into the same pot and used to pay for things at your discretion? How are they to know what the money was spent on? 

When it was time for our wedding contributions/gifts, my in-laws gave us a gift (in addition to helping cover 1/3 of the wedding cost b/c weddings in Los Angeles are ridiculously expensive) with the stipulation that it shouldn’t be used toward the wedding. So we decided to spend it on the honeymoon because that is what was important for us even though the honeymoon is technically still considered part of the wedding.

Of course, they can share their hopes for what their gift is used for, but money is money, whether it comes from them or you. You’re planning to take the trip to Ireland because that’s what you want, so why does it matter how it is paid for?

It’s not like down the road they’re going to ask what you spent the money on, because that’s a super awkward conversation to bring up. But since the money is for the wedding and the honeymoon is usually considered a “wedding expense”, it wouldn’t be that far of a stretch for you to use their gift as you see fit.

EDIT: I saw your responses to other people and realized my advice was irrelevant lol. Before and after you get married, you and your partner are a team that makes decisions together. His parents are going to have opinions about everything, from vacations to how you raise your kids, but at the end of the day, the only people that matter are you and your husband. Just because they don’t value vacations doesn’t mean you and your husband don’t get to. If you’re paying for it and the two of you decide that going to Ireland is important to you and something you want to do, why does their opinion matter?

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