- 3 months ago
- Wedding: May 2019
Again, if it’s not affordable or convenient to some guests they don’t have to attend, no one is forcing anyone to attend anything, it’s an invite to a party not a demand. As I said before, I’ve declined plenty of events in the past that weren’t affordable or convenient to me, it’s disappointing, but I don’t expect anyone to plan their event around me and my budget.
The other bees talked about the demands and entitlement issues well, so I am not going to rehash it. However, if you want to stick to your guns, that is fine. But it will isolate your daughter even more and push her even farther away. Does she want kids? (If not, that is perfectly fine) But if she does, you may want to reevaluate things to avoid resentment from rolling over into that.
I also agree with pp’s. You cannot afford to contribute anyway if you have to withdraw from your retirement.
I think you need to move away from things like “The inlaws took over”. Even if it’s true, you’re now talking about a plan that the groom’s father wanted to help make happen before he died so recently. You’re making it into “sides of the family” but there’s a new family growing in the middle here and you are asking them to choose and keeping tally of which of the two original sides is winning and losing. Its not good.
Just like your daughter might have agreed to renact her wedding before she really thought about it, you agreeed to pay too much money towards this wedding before you really thought about it. Its ok for everyone to have a second thought. There’s no law against changing your mind. Its time for everyone to re-group. I don’t think you should give your daughter money towards the wedding or spend anything you can’t afford. It sounds like you offered up this amount because the other side wanted to pay it and was like “what are you putting in” so you offered half. Step back and be realistic, don’t keep up with the joneses. Have a heart to heart- tell her you and your husband cant give her that amount of money for the wedding. Say you wanted to be that generous but its not practical and don’t imply in any way that it’s somehow because she’s not doing what you want.
I also think you aren’t really listening to what people are saying and that illustrates what your issue with your daughter might be. You are hung up on what was promised and how you feel. Its not wrong that you feel how you feel, but a lot of other people have feelings in this too and yours are not the only ones and they’re not the most important ones. I’m sorry to say it so bluntly, but you really need to get that, or you will forever leave a bitter taste in your mouth and your daughter’s about this wedding. My Father-In-Law did this during my wedding and while I’ve chosen to forgive him so we can move on I also can’t just forget how he put himself first, not just over me which was rude as heck, but more importantly, he picks himself and his wants over his own son’s happiness. It affected forever what I understood him to be about.
You’re saying “I hope its everything she wants….BUT”. Its in the BUT that you are showing that you still don’t get it. You’re acting like that joke from fraiser:
Frasier: Daphne, just don’t let you mother guilt you into having the wedding she wants instead of the wedding you want.
Daphne: Oh, don’t worry, mum already promised me I could have the wedding I want, as soon as I have a daughter who gets engaged.
You want to “present your daughter and her husband” to your friends, but they’re not a pair of statues or a big cake on a tray, they’re human beings and they get to decide how and when they present themselves and to whom. They’re not your kids anymore who you can make perform in recitals. They’re adults and you are making choices right now that will eventually affect your relationship with them later in life, when they are the people who are going to visit your nursing home. You better hope they come and bring the grandkids. Not everyone does.
They’re husband and wife even if they don’t wear a bridal gown and suit. Your friends aren’t going to be like “I can’t figure out if they’re married because I never saw the gown” I also suspect your friends care a lot less about going to this wedding than you care about them being there. We both had people where our parents were like “OH YOU MUST MAKE SURE AUNT SO AND SO can come or her little tiny dying heart will break!” and we did things like find an ADA accessible venue and arrange a special driver to get her there and arrange the special food she needs, and so on to take care of all her special needs and then Aunt SoandSo bailed. I think everyone i know who got married has a story like that.
I’m sorry if it sounds harsh but I think you need to hear it. Because your daughter is probably so upset this is how it’s going. And you’re clearly upset. And you are the only person right now who can fix this and you can fix it if you take a deep breath and move forward and ask her what she wants and say you’re sorry and take a minute.
What does present themselves as husband and wife even mean? They are married so anytime people see them they will be presenting as husband and wife by definition of marriage.
Also hard pass on taking out money on your 401k. Hard. Pass.
Bee why have you cried for three months? What are we missing so we can try to help you? I say this with love and compassion, are you okay? As someone who has suffered from mental health issues, it sounds like there might be a bigger issue here. I really don’t understand what your daughter has done wrong, apart from request funds which you then agreed to give. I understand that it isn’t the local wedding you wanted, but it isn’t your wedding at all. Her being an only child doesn’t change the fact that it is her wedding and not yours. I think that the deeper issues here need to be found and helped so that you don’t push your daughter away (and vice versa).
In regards to the post itself, I’m going to play Devil’s advocate here, as I find trying to see things from another perspective can be really helpful. If I was your daughter I would be feeling very hurt right now. I imagine she feels like you are making this all about you and what you want. It sounds like you have been overbearing and she feels like she needs to take a step back. Although I understand when people contribute they want a say, personally I would never tell my child I would only help pay if I can also throw an additional party that they don’t want. That seems very manipulative. FWIW I would also never ask my parents to pay for my wedding, but as I said I’m trying to see this completely from her side. I know you are citing money as an issue but then why would you want to spend 6-8k on a party that only you want? Of course you are welcome to spend your money on whatever you like, but your daughter might not realize money is tight in regards to her wedding when you are willing to spend that much just for you. ” I had originally told my daughter we had a 15,000 budget knowing it would probably go higher.” You offered 15k, if you back out it will hurt things as your daughter would have budgeted for this money. If you cannot afford this, you need to sit down with your daughter and tell her ASAP. You need to make it really clear what you can and can’t afford. If you tell her this is a money issue and then still try to force her to allow you to throw a big party, it won’t go well. This just says, I can’t afford to help with your wedding but I can afford to help with the wedding I want.
That said, I also feel the OP should not risk her relationship with her daughter on something as petty and ridiculous as imposing a dress requirement on the home based celebration. Throwing it oas a suggestion is one thing. Making it a condition is not OK.
Definitely, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT!!! take money out of your 401k for this. You’re not setting a good example for your daughter. Money from a 401k should never, absolutely never, go to something like a wedding. I’m shocked to be reading this is your plan. Everyone is telling you this, but you don’t seem to be hearing it, so maybe we need to be more blunt? It’s financial stupidity to do this. Don’t.
You should never ask for, nor expect, any gift.
If you choose to gift, do so without expectations, otherwise it’s a purchase. Keep that idea clear
People can choose any kind of wedding they want. And should not feel pressured or obligated
If you have a concern about someone’s choice, you can offer unsolicited advice ONCE, and not again. They heard you the first time. We all have freedom to choose
And with that freedom to choose, don’t accept a guilt trip neither as a gifter, nor as a recipient
I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior.
That is my algorythm. Lol
There’s a simple solution to this whole thing…..you obviously don’t like their plan for the wedding – so withdraw your financial support and let them do as they wish. You can then either choose to attend, or not.
I’m a firm believer that when you pay, you play. And for that reason once they agreed to take your money they are agreeing to your input. BUT it sounds as though they were making concensions to keep you happy but you keep pushing the limits. However, I’m even more a firm believer that you shouldn’t go into debt for a wedding. Taking money from your 401K is literally one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in a long time.
I suspect there is FAR more to this complicated relationship than you’re letting on. Your posts make it pretty clear that your desire to have an at-home celebration is all about you and what YOU want in regards to showing the couple off to your family and friends….and really nothing to do about the wishes of the couple. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole thing blows up in your face and greatly affects your relationship with your daughter. I agree that you’re playing the victim, and you’ve turned this into a crusaid on why the ILs have “taken over”. In reality it sounds like the ILs are the only ones actually listening to what the couples wants in regards to having a destination wedding.
As I’ve said before, an invitation is just an invitation, there is no expectation or pressure from me (or most couples I know who have had destination weddings) for people to accept. If it doesn’t suit the guests to attend they won’t attend, which is usually what happens with a large proportion of invited guests at destination weddings. If there are people out there putting themselves under immense pressure to attend weddings or any event when there is no pressure from anyone else that’s their issue, they should have enough about them to decline if it’s inconvenient, that’s part of life, you can’t always do everything you want. Saying that, I can see your point somewhat with immediate family members as there are strong emotions there and naturally they won’t want to miss the wedding of their son or sister etc., however, my argument is no one is entitled to watch anyone get married, and no one should have to cater their wedding to anyone else. If it’s someone’s dream to get married in Japan and they live in the US why should they sacrifice that because it’s not convenient for their family to attend? Who is this wedding really for? The couple or their guests?
That’s the crux of the argument for me, a wedding is for the couple, if the couple are hosting something that is too inconvenient that will be reflected in the numbers of guests attending, but they shouldn’t have to host for and pay for a wedding they don’t want just to make it more convenient for everyone else.
My view is is if couples want an exotic vacation so badly they should either elope or take one themselves.
We’ll have to disagree on that.
It honestly doesn’t matter who is in the right or wrong here. The cold hard facts are that the OP cannot afford to contribute anything because taking money out of one’s 401K for a wedding is absolutely bonkers. She mentioned a bonus, but given the mere cost of attending as a guest for the destination wedding, that’s what the bonus should cover.
Even if her daughter was doing it exactly as the OP desired with no in-law involvement and locally, the OP would still have to say “I am sorry, but I do not have much to offer you, because I’m not not irrational enough to make a disastrous financial decision for an optional luxury party!”