(Closed) One parent richer than the other, who should pay?

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

That is the situation we were in for my wedding.  My family actually wanted to contribute even though they couldn’t afford it, but did chip in for a little something here and there.  The hubby’s family wasn’t interested in contributing whatsoever even though they could afford it and they had more people invited from their side, but they didn’t contribute a cent.  Just because they can afford to pay for some or all of your wedding doesn’t necessarily mean they will or even that they have to.  Except for a few small gifts from my family, we just paid for the whole thing ourselves.  We figured it’s OUR wedding and no one else’s so it’s not like they should pay.  And we only paid what we could afford and that was it.

Post # 4
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

My FI’s dad is WAY more well off than my family.  However, since his daughter just got married and he payed for the majority of that wedding, he didn’t feel the need to contribute much more than for the traditional rehearsal dinner and some small other things.  It’s really hard to say, but go in with no expectations.  That way you aren’t let down if they don’t want to help out.

Post # 5
677 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My family can’t afford to pay for our wedding and while his parents could do the whole thing in grand style if they were so inclined I would not be comfortable with them doing so. We’re going to plan the whole shebang on our dime and if either set of parents says they want to help with costs we’ll just use their money to add extras or upgrade (could include things like adding Out of Town bags, going to a open bar or getting my dream photographer depending on what price point they’re talking about).

Post # 6
2459 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

My Family has all passed away, however I inherited enough money to put a large deposit on a house and put $15k towards a wedding, Fi has saved $15k allready and his parents have offered $5k so we will have plenty $25k for the wedding and 10k for the honeymoon.

Post # 7
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

It’s not really appropriate to ask for money from either set of parents.  See what you can plan with the budget you have now.  If that means having a 50 person wedding with a restaurant reception and some ipod dancing (which can be really nice, that’s basically what I’m doing!) then plan for that.  Undoubtedly the grooms family will ask about the plans at some point, and you two will explain it to them.  When they ask “why so small?”  or “why aren’t you inviting great aunt mildred?” you can tell them flat out that you simply don’t have the money for anything else.  If at that point they offer, on their own, some additional money, that’s great.  If they say “Oh, ok, well I’ll call aunt mildred and let her know”, then you have your answer.

Post # 8
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

Greenleafmountain, traditionally, the bride’s parents do pay. It’s not inappropriate to ask your own parents if they’d be willing to help with some of the costs. It’s also not inappropriate to ask if the groom’s parents can help.

So I’m the same situation as the OP, but the groom’s parents are only paying for the rehearsal dinner.

Post # 9
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think you pay … and IF either set of parents offer any money you greatfully accept the help. I am a big proponent of paying for your own wedding and not trying to pin your parents down for money.

Post # 10
1955 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

I agree with diorable, traditionally the bride’s parents cover what they can for the wedding so it is more than appropriate to ask them to contribute…

However, in this situation, it is the FH’s parents who are able to contribute, have they mentioned anything to you about helping out with the wedding? I was in a similar situation, Mr Trail Mix’s family is in a much higher income bracket than mine and they have been incredibly generous without me or the mr asking, thank goodness! In essence, they are splitting the cost of the actual wedding/reception with my parents but also volunteered to cover the Rehearsal Dinner and the brunch the next morning, plus transportation to and from the nice hotel they picked for their guests to stay in…It’s not an easy convo to have but it might be worth having your FH approach his parents about what they had in mind regarding the wedding! 

Post # 11
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m going to agree with the people who said neither parent is obligated to pay. You’re an adult when you get married so you should handle it if you can. But that doesn’t mean you can’t think someone is being stingy. 🙂 My parents are helping as much as (actually more than) they can, as is my FI’s mom. Both offered without being asked and we are incredibly grateful. FI’s dad (who has more money than the my parents and FI’s mom combined probably) has already made comments basically saying: I’m not helping. I think that he should at least offer to do a rehearsal dinner bc he CAN afford it so easily and bc he never helped Fiance with anything else in his life…. but I”m not shocked that he’s not. 

Post # 12
2000 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

That’s sort-of the situation we have with my family. My soon to be sister-in-law’s dad got laid off & is having trouble with money right now…so when they decide to get married, my dad is willing to contribute a little (although he admits he won’t be able to do as much as he is doing for me). But, it’s tradition for the brides parents to pay for the wedding and for the grooms parents to pay for the rehersal dinner, and whatever else they feel like helping out with. But a lot of traditions are broken now-a-days, so basically, it all depends on how your family is and what they’re willing to help out with. I’ve known some of the grooms parents to help out with the majority of the wedding & I’ve had some friends who have had to pay for their wedding themselves. It all depends on the situation.

Post # 13
1565 posts
Bumble bee

We’re in this situation too, and just paying for it ourselves. It definitely depends on what kind of a relationship you have with the groom’s family and what they feel like doing. It was a bit disappointing for me, honestly, but you can’t expect anything from anyone. It doesn’t hurt to ask, though, in my opinion.

Post # 14
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t think its poor etiquette to approach either set of parents and simply ask if they are willing to contribute and if so, to have a frank discussion of how much they could help out so you have a set figure not to go over if they are willing to assist financially.  Where it might become a problem is if you go into the discussion – asking or discussing amount – with a feeling of entitlement.  I think you can inquire if they want to help out, but don’t go in with the expectation that they will help just because you asked, otherwise you might be disappointed if they decline (for whatever reason).  They do have a right to decline (either set of parents, the bride’s too) if they can’t afford it or simply if they don’t want to contribute financially.  

Post # 15
3226 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We haven’t asked our parents to help at all, and they have not offered. I know neither can afford it really. So we’re just gonna try and do this little thing on our own!

Post # 16
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We’re in that situation as well only in reverse.  My family can afford to contribute more than his family.  We just said to both families, “whatever you can give us is great”, they each came up with a number and we worked from there.  We’re including them both in the planning process though my family does have a bit more say.  For instance, my parents coming with us for the menu selection since they are paying for the entire reception.  But we’re not putting only their names on the invites.  Our invitations will still say “Together with their parents….”.  We don’t want anyone to feel slighted because they just don’t have as much money. 

So, I think the families should both contribute if they can and if need be, you guys can cover the difference. 

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