Parents, money and weddings: how did your conversation go?

posted 2 years ago in Money
Post # 16
317 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I know my parents gave a cash gift to my brother and sister before the wedding, I don’t expect it from them and will just have to wait and see without getting my hopes up. 

In retrospect, my parents paid for my sisters dress and told me they would pay for mine, I have my dress already and my parents contribution to it has not come up, and I will not ask. I always feel like money is such an awkward subject. 

Fiance is not relying on his dad for anything.

Post # 17
13594 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Once we said that we were engaged, my parents volunteered a number they were willing to contribute.  We didn’t ask or beg for money.  If they hadn’t volunteered, we would have had a much smaller budget wedding than we did. 

Post # 18
2139 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

apresallday :  My parents never ever ever talk money so I was worried I’d need to bring it up. But one day when I was over we were chatting about our plans and I mentioned our saving plan for the wedding my father stopped me and offered to contribute. He told me he plans to do the same with my sister and brother. He did the same this with college too. 

I think it has a lot to do with socio-economic privilege though. My family has disposable income/big savings. I know this isn’t the case for all bees. We were very grateful to my father but actually ended up saving so much on our own and with 2nd jobs that we almost didn’t need it.

I will say it didn’t initially come with strings but my parents did feel passionate about table arrangements and invites. Other than that my, normally painfully shy, father wanted to attend everything with is. Venue tours, menu tasting, cake tasting. He even got dance lessons for him and I. It’s been a really wonderful time with my family and my soon to be Darling Husband. 

Post # 19
14947 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

This is probably quite different from anyone else, but for me, it never really came up and it wasn’t really discussed.  When I mentioned looking at venues and stuff my mom just said pick whereever you want, your dad will pay for it.  And I said oh ok.  That was it until a year later when the wedding was coming up and my mom asked me when payment was due and to tell my dad the balance so he could get a cashiers check.   We never talked budget, and I picked something that I thought was reasonable and was fully prepared to pay for it had she never brought it up again cause I wasn’t about to go ask them for money.

Post # 20
257 posts
Helper bee

Once my Darling Husband and I got engaged and started seriously talking about dates and potential venues, we had to ask them how many people they’d ideally want to invite so we could get a sense of size (knowing full well that we may have to have a super small wedding if we had to pay for it ourselves). I went to my folks place one night and they broached the subject and told me what they were willing to put in and that they hoped his folks would match it (his folks are legit millionaires and the amount was modest, about $12k).

His mom wasn’t willing to talk dollars until I brought up what my parents had offered us and then basically said she wouldn’t give us any money unless we put in more. She wanted us to pay a third, we don’t make a lot of money so that wasn’t really an option and my parents were quite adamant that we not take on debt for a wedding. It ended up fine in the end, she gave us more than we asked for, which we were grateful for, but at one point, it looked like my parents were going to be funding 90% of the wedding and us paying for the other 10%. I was straight with my Darling Husband and told him, your mom isn’t getting half the guest list if she isn’t paying for anything, we’ll accomodate immediate family and important relatives but if we had a guest list of 30-40 people, her list wasn’t going make the cut (a controversial opinion on the bee, I know). He completely agreed and I think he may have had a conversation with her and then she calmed down about the whole thing.

I think this really depends on what kind of people your parents are. My folks ultimately wanted us to have the wedding of OUR dreams, not theirs. They had a few stipulations, like food had to be excellent, open bar was a must, but besides that they gave input when asked but didn’t force their own wants on us. In the end, his mom was the same way, but she definitely caused some drama MULTIPLE times throughout the process.

Post # 21
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

apresallday :  My parents are well off and quite traditional. I’m their only daughter, so it was always kinda just assumed that they would foot the entire bill for my wedding. We never even discussed it honestly…it was a given. I know that sounds privilegy AF, but that’s kinda how it goes in my family circle. 

I consulted with my parents on all major decisions about the wedding…guest list, venue, budget (obviously), caterer – everything except designing the ceremony, they were involved in. That said, the only things we ever really disagreed on were some guest list issues, but since they were paying I deferred to them and didn’t stand in the way of them inviting every Tom Dick and Harry they ever met on the street to our wedding lol.

If I had a tumultuous relationship with my parents, I probably would have gone about this differently (i.e. not taken their money), but thankfully that’s  not the case with us.

Post # 22
1631 posts
Bumble bee

They offered and came to us with a flat $X. No strings attached. 

Post # 23
681 posts
Busy bee

My dad offered a set amount and said we could take the money and use it for a house down payment or a wedding. There were no stipulations, and it was ours to spend how we wanted.

Post # 24
9172 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

I didn’t bring it up.  My mom came to me and said she would be paying for our wedding as her gift to us. And we had final say in everything so there were no strings from her.


Post # 25
3844 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

apresallday :  We didn’t bring it up at all.  Less than a week after we got engaged, my parents called me up and asked what the average wedding cost in our city (they live several states away in a LCOL area while we’re in a very HCOL area) and that’s what they decided to pay for.  Shortly before the wedding, DH’s family offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner and we accepted.  There were no strings attached – my parents only asked that a couple of people be invited after we asked if they wanted to include others we hadn’t thought of.  Had our families not offered, we would’ve had a much smaller wedding in a budget we could afford. 

Post # 26
128 posts
Blushing bee

My parents were the ones to bring it up before I was even engaged (safe to say my mom was chomping at the bit for my fiance to propose haha). They told me the set amount they had set aside to pay for my wedding. When I shared the budget with my future Mother-In-Law, she stated they wanted to pay for the typical “grooms family” things (i.e. day of transportation for bridal party, certain flowers, etc.). We were blessed that we didn’t have to ask, and there were no strings attached! (Well… my mom did ask we didn’t go behind their back and elope, but given their generosity, I was ok with that haha 😛 ) Generally parents who want to contribute will bring it up… at least in my experience, and my friend’s experience.

Post # 27
352 posts
Helper bee

I am not engaged yet but for all of my friends who have gotten married- their parents brought it up first, either before they got engaged or shortly after and said what they would contribute (if any). I am not expecting my family to contribute, but if they do, they’ll have to speak up! 🙂

Post # 28
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Just sit back and see what happens. We asked for nothing. FI’s family offered to host a rehearsal dinner. My family gave $1000 but strings were attached as they had a few guests they wanted to invite.

Post # 29
4509 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We didn’t approach them – when we saw our in-laws next, they sat us down and offered us a lump sum, plus (optional) use of their time-share for a honeymoon. 

My parents kept picking up the tab here or there (like I picked a venue, and they offered to put down the deposit or when I bought my dress, my mom paid for it). Finally, I did have to ask what their limit was, so I knew what amount Darling Husband and I would be responsible for, but by that time, it was understood from their actions that they were contributing, so the conversation wasn’t awkward,

Post # 30
3545 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

apresallday :  We approached wedding planning without the expectation of financial help from our families, so there really wasn’t any need to bring up money. When I was planning on keeping it small (>30 people), my mom offered to help me with the DIY decor, one of my aunts had a beautiful space I could use in her apartment building, and one of my other aunts offered to pay for my dress. We ended up changing plans a bit, but my mother and father-in-law graciously paid for our reception brunch and dinner the night before our wedding. If your family intends to contribute, they will make it known once you start talking about planning. But I would continue to plan the wedding that’s in your budget, and any extra help you get is a nice bonus. Also, don’t count on any funds unless/until they’re in your posession. Best of luck! 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors