My daughter doesn't want me to be included in planning

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 46
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

DaniGirl03 :  If she is an adult wanting to make her own choices, then she needs to be paying for them. Quite frankly, I feel that a 38 year old man should be able to pay for his own wedding. 

Post # 47
Member
1755 posts
Buzzing bee

catimitch :  I’m starting to think there is more going on here than meets the eye and what you’ve told us. Have you at previous parts of your daughter’s life, tried to make or control her decisions, things like school, college, jobs, housing and partners? 

Because in my opinion normally when an adult child is telling you to leave them alone, it’s because they really don’t want you butting in on their life, they don’t want you to trying to make their decisions for them or controlling their decisions. If you’ve raised her to act entitled and brat like and you’ve always given her what she wants, then really this is on you, you’ve created this dynamic. 

Why did you offer to pay for their wedding? It’s beginning to sound like it was for power and control, to dictate what your daughter should do and because she isn’t playing your game your unhappy. 

Either tell your daughter you want final decision making abilities on every decision you pay for or just gift them the budget you stated you would give minus any deposits you’ve already paid for them. It doesn’t sound like anything is going to make you happy except for your daughter bending to your will and including you in every step of her wedding which should be between her and her husband. You don’t get to dictate terms to a gift.

Post # 48
Member
1755 posts
Buzzing bee

lh526 :  Why would anyone tell their parents no don’t pay or contribute to my wedding? That doesn’t mean they need to run their decisons through their parents. A gift is a gift, and you can’t dictate a gift.

Post # 49
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee

DaniGirl03 :  I think your reasoning is a little extreme. The gift of the money for my wedding certainly includes having my parents involved in the process. Even if they had written me an outright check, I would still wnt them to feel included. But maybe for other families where they aren’t very close that isn’t the case? You drive such a hard line, but I think many people would see it as a gift, with the hope from the parents that they will be included in some way.

Post # 51
Member
2453 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m generally not a fan of “whoever pays, says.”  It’s a little too close to the idea of fnancial control for my taste.  (And should they get a proportionate say? For example, if your parents contribute 20% of your werdding budget, does their opinion only count for 20%?)  I also don’t like the idea of weaponized giving.. where gifts are conditional and have strings. 

However…  I think there can be a way to handle this without dangling the purse strings as a method of control.  You could have said “your father and I would like to take care of the caterer and the florist” rather than “Here’s a bunch of money for your wedding.”

What sort of agreement or expectations did you set with your daughter and her FI?  Was the expectation that you and your husband would be hosting or co-hosting the wedding, or that you would gift them a certain amount of money towards the wedding?

I can certainly understand that you are feeling hurt and like an ATM, but I’m also wondering if perhaps you might not be underrepresenting some things, there. For your daughter to be at the point where she is point-blank telling you that you are stressing her out and asking why you always want to know all the wedding details… I have to admit, that makes me wonder if you’re coming across as  controlling to her.  

Is your vision for the wedding significantly different from hers? That may be another source of stress. And she may be trying to proactively avoid some of these stressful situations by not involving you. 

FWIW, I’m a little older than your daughter’s Fiance.  Among my friends who married when they were in their 30s or older, very very few involved parents in the wedding planning.  They may have taken mom on a dress shopping appointment or two, but even that generally caused a lot of stress.  I think when you’re older and you’ve been accustomed to making your own decisions (and may have even had to struggle to get your parents to recognize you as an adult capable of making our own decisions) and generally running your own life, it’s really hard to revert back to dynamic where you seek your parents’ approval on your decisions and involve them intimately in your life, again.  

It wasn’t cleasr if she was or wasn’t going over budget. If there’s risk of her going over budget, perhaps you might let her know that if she blows through the budget, she’d better find a way to fund any additional expenses herself.

Post # 52
Member
47203 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You have not responded to any of the queries re how you phrased the financial aid? Did you offer to pay for the wedding? Or, did you tell them you would tribute $____?

Post # 53
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

sbottoms :  I was going to say something very similar! 

 

It is her wedding, so it seems strange that you should dictate what they can and cannot choose (as long as it stays in the budget you outlined). Just give her a few things you’d love to be included in. Dress shopping, looking at flowers, helping choose or diy decor. BUT make it clear that the choice is ultimately theirs. You just want to be along for the fun.

Post # 54
Member
1755 posts
Buzzing bee

sweet844 :  I get that. We’re also only hearing one side of the story. We have no clue what the daughter’s side of it is. I base my advice on bearing that in mind. A lot of parents view their financial gift in a wedding as them deciding how it should go and making it about their priorities rather than the couples.

If we saw a bride posting that her parents were trying to control her wedding because they’re paying for it, and keep trying to butt into every decision, even though she know’s what she wants and she’s keeping it on budget. The advice we would see is keep it up, you’re doing great asserting yourself. Just don’t tell them plans so they can’t meddle. 

I think we’ve all seen post after post here and elsewhere, my parents are paying and they want me to do everything they want and it feels like it’s not about me. It’s a gift, so if it came down to daughter’s choices or her parent’s choices and they’re both within budget. Who chooses? If it’s the couple’s choices because it’s their wedding then why do they need to run the decisions through her parents. If you need permission to spend a gift a certain way, then it’s not a gift. It’s a gift of a wedding, as long as it’s spent on a wedding and it’s not over budget, and they’re not asking for more. Then it shouldn’t be an issue. it may have been the norm in the 80s to run every single thing through your parents it’s not now. 

Post # 55
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

Hmmm…sounds like she needs to be better at communicating. I’m also 28, and my parents are paying for the majority of the larger costs. We have always made planning a very family oriented process. However, I can tell you the downside of that – it is very stressful to coordinate between 6 different people who have 6 different tastes and opinions, and who live in different states. There have been a lot of arguments and missed deadlines between everyone if you try to make everyone feel involved. Perhaps disorganization will just cause her and you more stressed at the end of the day? I know that’s what’s happening to me. Trying to coordinate my, my fiance’s, and our parents schedule, costs, and preferences has been a major time and energy suck for me. But at the end of the day I know I will be really grateful for their involvement and patience with me. 

In short: Your daughter should NOT treat you like an ATM. BUT, maybe she has heard stories from friends and is trying to make this an easy and less stressful process as possible, especially since it’s a short time frame and there isn’t a whole lot of time to ask everyone their opinions on ever decision. Just a thought. You’re right in that wedding planning has changed a lot since when you got married – there are WAY more options now with online vendors and it can be very overwhelming. If your daughter is working full-time, she might have a stressful job and other stuff going on too.

Post # 56
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

sweet844 :  Same here. In my family, a wedding is a very family affair. It’s NOT a right to a blank check. My dad has seen that happen with their family friends’ kids really really hates that. We run almost all our major decisions by our parents. But then again, we are in our mid-twenties and also from an South Asian background so in that culture everything is very group and family oriented.

Post # 57
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee

As much as my mum can stress me out, I wouldnt be spending her money without inviting her. At the very least i would take her to meetings with vendors after I’d made up my mind but before paying. Its not her money and if she’s just sending you the invoices the money isn’t even a gift yet.

She probably thinks money isn’t a problem despite your budget. I think you should sit her down and reiterate your budget and explain that you dont want to feel like an atm for her.

Either that or when she goes over budget, send the following invoices back

Post # 58
Member
569 posts
Busy bee

Absolutely you should have some input if you’re paying for the wedding. 

We are paying for our own wedding but I still run ideas off Future Mother-In-Law & my Mum. 

Post # 59
Member
746 posts
Busy bee

Maybe she thinks you ‘being involved’ means you think you get to choose. Where as when I plan my wedding I want my mom with me to enjoy the process, not to tell me what I can and can’t have-and she understands that. 

Write a cheque for x amount and anything beyond can be their responsibility.

Maybe invite her out to pick your outfit for the day and see what her reaction is?

Post # 60
Member
2084 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I am a 44 year old woman and my parents are contributing a generous sum to the wedding budget. I am gladly accepting it and involving my mother in planning because she enjoys it. However, the final decisions are up to me (as are any costs above and beyond what they are contributing). If I thought her gift had strings attached (as in she gets approval or veto options) than I would have reconsidered accepting.

I think if monetary gifts have conditions, they should be stated: “daughter, dad and I would love to contribute X to your wedding. However, we are asking for 40 invites, venue approval, and participation and input in the food and cake choices.” Otherwise, give her a set amount (don’t go over. As you said, you aren’t an ATM) and let her plan it the way she chooses.

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