Post # 1
My parents and my FH’s parents have generously offered to split the cost of our wedding. However, FH’s parents are giving us a check that we can do with whatever we want, including a down payment on a house or anything else, rather than strictly “funds for the wedding.” There are no strings attached.
My parents are taking a more traditional view — that their pay means their say, at least on guest list (TBD on everything else…but I think they’ll be reasonable).
My FH wanted a small wedding. My dad’s family is close and large, and my parents have firmly drawn a line in the sand about the substantial number of people that need to be invited on their side. They’re willing to pay to “match” the number on my FH’s side, too, so that we don’t end up paying for extra out of our check (which is really generous of my parents).
My FH is throwing a fit, saying he can’t believe my parents are holding money over our heads and that he is the only one forced to compromise on his own wedding. And that we should only use his parents’ check and cut my family out of paying for the wedding.
I don’t know what to do…I needled my parents to get their list as low as possible, and they did. I recognize everyone on that list and why they need to be there. I, frankly, think they are right at this point. Their pay, their say, especially since they’re not even forcing us to cut our (large) friends list to accommodate the extra family members from their side. I think it’s completely ridiculous to turn down my parents’ funds when we could use the check from his parents for other life goals, as that would also really, really upset my parents to leave out most of their family.
Any suggestions on how to get through to my FH? It’s not helping that he’s already very justifiably upset with my parents over something unrelated (I’m upset with them on that issue, too).
Post # 2
Your fi doesnt want a big wedding. It’s actually very mature of him to realize that the two of you should turn down the money and not be under your parents thumb by using their money. Why does what your parents want matter more than what your fi wants? It sounds like youre asking how to manipulate your fi for money – keep your parents happy so they pay for most of the wedding and keep his parents money as leftovers.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2025 - City, State
Ignoring the money and your parents’ wishes, is it important to you to invite these relatives?
Post # 4
It sounds like the OP would like a bigger wedding. Why is your fiance insisting on a small wedding? Seems it’s because he has issues with your parents rather than the actual wedding. In this case, that doesn’t seem fiscally smart, at all. He’s sounding maybe a bit petty.
Post # 5
Sorry but I’m in the small wedding boat myself so I totally get where your fiance is coming from, and I would be livid if my fiance’s parents held money over my head like that. That being said, if it’s important to YOU, without the influence of your parents, to have those people from their guest list at your wedding, then yeah of course your fiance definitely needs to be more flexible and understanding. You won’t be able to hide behind your parents in marriage so it sounds like maybe this will be good practice for you both anyway.
Post # 6
You haven’t mentioned at all what YOU want. Did you also want a small wedding? It sounds like this is all about what your Fiance wants and what your parents want. What about you?
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2019 - City, State
What if the tables were turned….Say you wanted a small wedding and now Fmi and Ffi were your parents. Think about it that. I know damn well if the tables were turned and it was me I would be very very upset!!!!! I would think my inlaws were controlling and were to involved in the planning. Yes it’s very nice of your parents to help you guys out as is his parents. But your FH has a say also. It’s his wedding as well…Not the parents ( both sets ) they already had their’s. I’m sorry I totally agree with your FH. He has a say also Bee. Your wouldn’t want his parents being able to control who is invited now would you?
Post # 8
I agree with a few other posters- do you want these extra people there? If your parents had the same attitude as your inlaws, would you still be lobbying for these extra invites? I understand your Fiance wants a small wedding, but if you really want these people there, his wishes aren’t a higher priority than yours.
Post # 9
I certainly agree with no pay, no say as a general rule.
But I also don’t disagree with your fiance. What he is saying is that he values his autonomy more than he values the money you get from your parents. And I think it probably speaks to a difference in your upbringings. His parents give unconditionally. Your parents puts strings on their gifts. It’s certainly their choice to do that, but it’s also his choice to decide whether those strings are acceptable and accept or decline the gift. Do your parents have a habit of trying to control with money or is this a one off? Or is this a matter of you secretly (or not-so-secretly) don’t agree with your fiance and you don’t want a small wedding like he does, so this is a convenient way to get what you want and blame someone else for it instead of actually compromising?
I mean, I get that obviously it is more fiscally sound and convenient for you to accept the money and not have to pay anything for yourself. It just sounds like he values autonomy and the ability to make decisions for himself and doesn’t value that money as much as you do and that’s something you’ll need to reconcile and try to see if there is a compromise in there.
Post # 10
Sorry, I’m on Team Fiancé here. You’re marrying him, not your parents.
His parents have offered a gift with no strings. Your parents have offered a gift with strings. I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t wondering if boundaries will be an issue with your family for the next several decades.
You also mentioned, “Any suggestions on how to get through to my FH? It’s not helping that he’s already very justifiably upset with my parents over something unrelated (I’m upset with them on that issue, too).”
Is it really unrelated? Does it have anything to do with boundaries or your autonomy as a couple?
Post # 11
I would have to agree with the small wedding! I’m kinda in the same boat as you because my parents want to pay. FH and I both want to have a small wedding and the pressure coming from my parents to let them pay is too much! Keep in mind once they pay, there goes your say! At the end of the day once they start putting money into it, whether it’s part or in whole they unfortunately will want to do what they want! What makes this more unfortunate is that they have every right to do this because it’s their hard earned cash, not yours. You and your fiancé should try to find a middle ground and stand for what you as a couple want! I would say cut both families from paying (use the check for a house deposit etc because they didn’t necessarily want it spent on a wedding) and stick together as a couple and plan a wedding that you both want within your means. X
Post # 12
busybeetobe : OP, it sounds like you want a big wedding with all your relatives invited but you haven’t communicated that to your fiancé truthfully. Instead you are letting your parents take the fall and blame for the large guest list with your fiancé. That is entirely unfair to your parents and is adding further strain and stress between your fiancé and his in-laws. OP, you need to be honest with your fiancé about you liking the idea of a wedding with all your family. Apportioning the blame to your parents is adding unnecessary fuel to the fire between you fiance and your parents.
I’d sit down your fiance and tell him your true feeling and work our a comprise between you and the venue etc. To do anything other than that would be unfair for all involved
Post # 13
Thanks all, I appreciate the input. To answer the question — I’m indifferent between a big and small wedding, as long as all our friends are there (which he also wants). I don’t care about having these particular incremental family members there, but it also doesn’t bother me to have them there. What I care about is avoiding hurt feelings with my parents and grandparents, and I know turning down the money (and their additional family members) will have that effect. I honestly think I would have the same viewpoint if it were his in-laws who wanted more people.
Post # 14
also, to the very astute bees who picked up on the larger family dynamics…it is true that they’ve used money as a control mechanism in the distant past. However, I also haven’t accepted money from them in 5+ years and don’t anticipate doing so again after this, so it isn’t really relevant for the future.
As for the unrelated issue…that actually is the opposite of a boundary problem, lol. Rather, it’s that they seemingly ignored our engagement; they wouldn’t drive an hour to celebrate with us that night (his parents drove 2.5 hours) and didn’t even send flowers or anything. We were hurt. It was mostly a misunderstanding that has now been worked through, but it certainly left a taste of “wait, so you care about not offending all these people by not inviting them, but you didn’t care about offending us..?!”
Post # 15
How was ignoring you a “misunderstanding”? If you plan to have children then the whole money-control issues are not going to go away and will get worse…you need to respect your fiances view it’s his wedding too not your parents.