My daughter and my relationship is being ruined over wedding plans

posted 1 year ago in Emotional
Post # 61
14057 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

For the love of all things holy, don’t take money out of your 401k to pay for your daughter’s wedding.  First of all, that’s batshit crazy, and second, she’s not even appreciative. You’re hurting your own financial future for a wedding reception you don’t want to finance in the first place.

Post # 62
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

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motherofbridez :  I know it can be fursterating when you’re daughter doesn’t agree with you (especially about the grandparents not being able to attend) but she is an adult and can make her own decisions.  If you’re not being included in the planning then don’t feel obligated to pay (especially if you’re taking money out of your retirement). Just let her plan the wedding and attend as a guest. It may hurt your relationship more if you try to be overbearing and controlling. It might not seam to be a big deal to ask them to wear their wedding attire again for your friends and family back home but that reception would be for you not the bride and groom. She may be more comfortable in a more Casual white dress or cocktail dress. Weddings are stressful enough without people holding grudges and disagreeing! (Also you may be jellous/annoyed with the in laws but they will soon be her family too so if they want to help plan/pay they are just trying to help! Many in-laws refuse to pay so be grateful for that!) just put everything in perspective and remember its about your daughter and her new husband being happy! It’s their day and go with the flow so you can preserve your relationship! 

Post # 63
10545 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

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ariesscientist :  

l thought  perhaps your experience with the relative inexpensiveness of travel to Europe when you live in the UK was colouring your argument pro destination weddings , which is understandable l guess. But then you go on to say that if, say, a US couple want to marry in Japan then nobody should have any objection to that either. Here in Australia a destination wedding is always going to be a far bigger deal than popping over to France too.

I think saying nobody has to attend, it’s not a summons etc is of course true, but really wilfully ignores the painful emotional (and financial for most of us) decisions involved. 

l will be really happy when and if we return to the pattern of as local a wedding as possible, and the couple going to the exotic destination ‘of their dreams’ as a honeymoon.  

Post # 64
1149 posts
Bumble bee

Why couldn’t you have just said you can’t afford to pay that much and offer whatever you can afford (which can be minimal to nothing) and be done with it instead of adding all these conditions and complicate things? 

I also don’t get what your daughter (or was it the Mother-In-Law saying this? If so it’s even more rude) is saying about you being a guest not a participant if you don’t pay, what? What’s the difference? Are you no longer mother of the bride if you don’t pay? Are you not going to be included in family photos with both sides parents? Are you not getting a mention in speeches as the parents of one of the couple? I don’t get it.

If it simply means you won’t be invited to participate in the planning, I think that’s ok. Plus it doesn’t seem like you currently are anyway.

Post # 65
14030 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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ariesscientist :  That’s a false dilemma in my mind. They could attend a non-destination wedding with a lot less expense and more convenience. But I agree we are totally going in circles now. 

OP, What gives a slightly different spin on all this, if I’m reading correctly, is that it was the in laws who suggested the idea that everyone could wear the wedding outfits to the delayed reception, not yours. It was meant as an inducement when you were not on board with a destination wedding or paying for one and had not at that point agreed to contribute. 

So it does appear manipulative to get you to agree then rescind the offer. However, we really don’t know the context. It could have been meant as a suggestion or a possibility, not a promise made in stone. Even if promises were made, as I said, you need to keep the much bigger picture in mind here if you want a good relationship with your daughter. 

So once again, forget about the dress, and your rigid idea of what it means to introduce them as a married couple. That ship sailed, it’s not important. Tell them you went over your finances again and realize you can’t afford to contribute to both parties. Let them pay for the destination wedding and plan it as they see fit. You aren’t involved as it is. You can host a party within your means and take all the family photos you want at a party you host. 

Or better yet, and what I’d do in your place,  contribute a lump sum to your daughter as a gift to use how she wants, destination wedding, dress, home celebration, home downpayment or savings. 


Post # 66
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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motherofbridez :  I don’t think you’re actually listening, but I’ll say it one more time for those in the back.

Go to her wedding in Mexico as a guest, and do not pay a single dime. You are purely along for the ride on this one. Stop making demands – it isn’t your wedding, and you sure as heck shouldn’t pay for it.

Post # 67
570 posts
Busy bee

I feel like weddings become a battle of the families. Putting money down isn’t what will make you a winner. You’re outnumbered and won’t win so it’s best to not play. No one should play this game. Plus it’s her wedding. It’s got to be what her and her fiancé want. Tradition and who can make it doesn’t matter. Those people matter but it’s not what the day is about. It isn’t a show! I like what lou18 said. And I feel bad that you’re hurting over this. I hope you can move beyond it. Stress is not good. This is all about one little day. Please don’t lose money and sleep over this. You aren’t any less important to your daughter just because you’re not running the show or aren’t the major contributor. That’s all for show. Just go and be there for her the way she wants you to be, that is the best thing you can do for your relationship with your daughter and for yourself. And also! Don’t ever give a crap about what other people think. Don’t worry about them thinking ohhh but they went there and so and so wasn’t there and it was more her in-laws doing this or that, don’t even go there with those thoughts. 

Post # 68
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

  Wow I’m sure many people would love for something like this, to be their biggest heartbreak, and worry.  You promised a certain amount of money for the wedding follow through with it.  Try to turn this around, and enjoy your daughter’s choice of a wedding. Don’t let this be your hill, to die on.  Tell the rest of your family that she is choosing this way for a wedding and doesn’t want to be in wedding attire at a future reception.. You get to see your daughter’s wedding, let it be. Don’t ruin your relationship with your daughter over this nonsense. Please change your attitude, about this and tell your daughter you want to hit the reset button.

Post # 69
1163 posts
Bumble bee

I had a turbulent relationship with my mother growing up, but we have patched things up and are quite close now.

But it would be a chilly day in hell before I (or either of my brothers) would ever demand money from her for ANY reason or before we would let her dictate to us about any part of our grown adult lives.

I admit my family are not the best in all things, but one thing we do have right is that we respect each others’ autonomy as adults, whether that’s how we spend our money, what kind of wedding we have, whatever the case may be. 

OP, how long has this unhealthy dynamic with your daughter been going on? Where you each dig your heels in and then try and manipulate and force each other? It’s absolutely toxic. Why have you allowed your daughter to speak to you this way? And why are you trying to tell her what to do? At a certain point, you just need to let other people be. Don’t put up with disrespectful, demanding behaviour, but don’t try to control people either, no matter how reasonable or loving your requests/demands sound.

Post # 70
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2019

I agree with what many others have said that this is her day and she should be able to do what she wants.  That said, I wouldn’t pay towards it.  I just got married for the second time and we had a small wedding that we paid for all on our own, but the first time, my parents paid.  I took a lot of input from them and didn’t mind because they were kind enough to pay for my wedding which was wonderful of them.  If your daughter can’t go to a party after her wedding in her wedding dress, then it’s clear that she doesn’t appreciate what you have offered to do for her.  Don’t pay for any of it.

Post # 71
2165 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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bradsgirl :  I’m sorry but this is terrible advice.

DO NOT take money out of your retirement plan to pay for your daughter’s wedding if she can’t even be bothered to put her wedding attire on for you. She sounds extremely ungreatful to be quite honest and I wouldn’t give her a cent if it means sacrificing your future. 

Post # 72
290 posts
Helper bee

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motherofbridez :  OP, I think you should go as guest. Aplogize to her that you can’t give her this huge amount of money, and don’t ask her for any favours. Do this early so she does not think that you are maliciously doing it at the last minute. Apologize for your expectations as well. Take some pics in the wedding and make a small slide show for the rest of the family. Move on from this. It’s just a party. 

Post # 73
3083 posts
Sugar bee

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motherofbridez :  I am sorry but you are both being childish. 

It is rude of her to expect you to pay for things, it is rude of her to go back on what she originally agreed to, it is rude of her to cut you out of shopping etc.

But it is rude of you to dangle money with conditions attached and take it away if you dont get what you want. It is rude of you to demand that they have a second reception and it is rude of you to assume that you have any control of the wedding. 

NOW – what you need to do is stop playing tit for tat and figure out a compromise. It is unclear on if you plan on attending the destination wedding at all or if you only planned to go to the reception at home?

1. Figure out what you can actually afford to give

2. Use that money to travel to the destination wedding and any extra can be used towards the wedding.

3. NO second reception. It doesnt matter if your family and friends wont be there. She has decided how she would like to celebrate and if it doesnt include who YOU want there, then so be it. 

Your daughter is not innocent here. She is making very rude demands of you regarding money. You need to be upfront with her about your finances. If she gets upset, that is awful and she needs to grow up. You offer her what you can and if she chooses not to accept it, then thats on her. 



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