Post # 1
I have been engaged for about a month and my fiance and I just decided on a date and venue for our wedding. We’re ready to book and put down our deposit, but I am concerned about how to bring wedding plans up with my dad and step-mom.
For some background, my dad is very traditional and is the type who would expect to contribute towards his daughter’s wedding. When my sister got married 7 years ago he offered to pay a certain amount towards it and she graciously accepted. However, I’ve been engaged for a month now and have talked about looking at venues in front of him (to other people but he was in ear shot) and he did not say anything to us about finances. When my fiance went over to ask for my hand in marriage apparently my dad said something to the effect of “I hope you guys wait until next June because I can’t afford to pay for a wedding until then.” However, he has not said anything directly to me. I don’t feel comfortable assuming my dad will pay unless and until he directly makes the offer to me, not just in passing to my fiance.
I am more than happy for us to pay ourselves and we have budgeted accordingly. The venue we want to book is well within our budget and if nobody helps us we will be able to afford it and will be fine with that. My preference is to continue planning our wedding as we would like and not bring up money to him. My dilema is I am afraid of offending him by not coming to him for financial help. According to my sister he made his offer to her without her asking, so I am confused as to why he has not brought it up to me 4 weeks into my engagement. Also according to my sister he loved being involved financially because it made him feel needed and he would be upset if I “cut him out” financially.
If I call up my dad and tell him we have set a date and are ready to book our venue, will he be offended that we made the decision of when/where we’re getting married without consulting him? I just don’t know how to bring this up to him and how to word things so that I don’t offend him and make him think I am trying to leave him out or don’t need/want his help. But I also absolutely do not want to ask for money or ask if he will be contributing. If he wants to help, I believe he should let me know and initiate that conversation with me, and since he has not done so I should not be consulting him prior to making plans. I just do not want to put my planning on hold and sit around waiting for him to get around to bringing it up with me, but also don’t want to hurt his feelings by moving forward with planning on our own.
I hope this makes sense, I am very confused by my own thoughts and having a hard time processing them! Any advice is welcome 🙂
Post # 2
if he doesn’t offer to pay for the wedding, it’s his perogative. don’t expect anything from him. go ahead with your planning, and plan a wedding you can afford.
Post # 3
hohat18: It’s only been a few weeks! Call him up to say hello and in the course of conversation mention that you’ve found and think you’re ready to book a venue. Maybe ask if he’s heard of it or ask if he would like to see it. At that point, the ball is in his court.
Post # 4
hohat18: How far into her planning was your sister when he offered his financial contribution? As you said, it has only ben a few weeks. It might not even occur to your Dad that you are moving ahead with your planning this fast.
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
Did your dad have a lot of say in the decisions of your sister’s wedding? As in, did he help choose the venue?
I think you should book the venue you want and let your dad know. If he offered money to your sister he will offer it to you as well. If he doesn’t, I would assume he can’t afford it and not take it personally.
Post # 6
If he remarried between the time that your sister got married and now, that may explain the change. He may have financial setbacks. He may think you have the money to pay, and your sister does not. There are a lot of reasons he may no longer be offering. I agree, plan on him not helping.
Post # 7
I can’t imagine any parent being ‘offended’ by not having to pay for a wedding. If anything, I think he’d be happy to know he raised a child who would no longer depend on him financially. Lots of things may have changed for him in the 7 years since your sister’s wedding, so unless and until he offers, I’d plan on doing it all myself.
He already set the stage by saying what he did to your fiance, so I really wouldn’t think he said it in jest.
Post # 8
Thanks for all the feedback. I am fairly familar with his finaincial situation and I know he has a large (very large) sum of money coming to him in about a year (I only know this because I was his attorney for the transaction that is bringing him the money). So I do believe he wants to use some of that money to contribute towards my wedding, but I just wish he would SAY that to me. If I knew for a fact he wanted to contribute, I would never book a venue without running it past him. On the other hand, I feel it is rude and presumptuous to consult him on the venue when he has not said anything about helping out, and I am afraid he will think I am running to him for money. My dad has a bit of a complex where he thinks all anyone ever wants him for his money and he seems to think spending money = being needed = being loved. I hate that mentality and just don’t want to perpetutate his feelings that people only need him for money.
That leads to why I believe he would be offended if I were to cut him out financially from the wedding…yes I know, it’s dysfunctional.
According to my sister he pretty much offered right away when she got engaged, and then she came back to him with the cost of the venue and he was pleased with what a great deal she got so he ended up offering her a few thousand more than originally offered. So no he was not really involved in choosing but he was definitely kept in the loop.
My finace says I’m overthinking it and he’s probably right. He says I should just let him know we set a date and make sure the date works for them and let him take it from there if he wants to. I can’t help but be nervous though, due mostly to our relationship (we’ve just never been close and I’ve never felt comfortable going to him). Anyway, thanks again for the insight, it helps to have objective viewpoints.