(Closed) Parents paying for wedding but taking too much control…

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
9115 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’m a big believer in “They pay, they say.”

My in laws & parents are paying for our formal wedding and in compromise, I have allowed them (Not that they needed my allowance considering they are paying) to invite whomever they wanted. They sent me a guest list with addresses and I’ll simply send out the invites.

If you don’t want these people at your wedding, you’re going to have to start kicking in your own money (Pay for the food that way you can say you can’t cover their plates) or, you can just try talking to them.

Generally, though, if the person who pays wants to invite them, it’s polite to let them.

Post # 4
1112 posts
Bumble bee

I think 25 extra people is totally fine, especially with them paying entirely.

Post # 5
46600 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Is it worth it to give in to dad and be comfortable financially, or put in more of our own money to regain control?

Only you can decide this. Living in Vancouver, I know that it takes a healthy amount of $$$ even for a down payment, but if you end up with a wedding you don’t want it could be a high price to pay.

Have you taked with your Dad? Does he know that he is proposing a much larger wedding than you want? Is your FI’s family going to host the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, that is the responsibility of the groom’s family. If they are and your Dad knew that, it might help him to be more comfortable with the wedding finances.

If my Dad had offered to pay for the wedding, I know I could talk to him  and have the wedding I wanted, but not all Dads are so easy going.

Post # 6
2539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I agree with PP.. thier money thier choices. If you want to make your own choices then pay for your wedding your self.

I’m sorry your going through this.

Post # 7
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@emeraldcity13:  Let’s try and break it down. In these kinds of emotional situations, it can be hard not to lump everything together, but I find it helpful to break each thing that annoys me into pieces and see which ones are valid and I should try to fix, which ones I should let go.

Guest List: I have to say, if he’s paying, I think he does get to add people to the guest list. Now, I don’t think he gets to say your FI’s side doesn’t get to add people, so I would just answer that question of “Yes, we’re trying to be very inclusive. Let me know if you have any concerns about the cost and we can work something out.”

Discussing Money: I flat out refused to discuss other people’s contributions to the wedding with my dad. You have to know your own family, but for my dad, that would have caused hurt feelings and drama. I just told him he was welcome to give whatever he would like, including nothing, but that I didn’t think it would help anyone to be sharing that kind of information.

Small vs Big Wedding: If you really want a smaller, more intimate wedding, I do think you should pursue that. But I think you need to be prepared that your dad won’t want to pay, and that’s okay.


Here’s how I handled it with my money-dysfunctional family. My dad is also paying the majority of the wedding, but it took awhile for him to get there in a way that I was comfortable with. Whenever any one of our parents volunteered money, I was very grateful and then said, “Okay, let’s talk about the expectations for this event.” They will claim there are no expectations. No one thinks they have expectations. They do. I went through a very specific list of questions with each parent. Things like – “Do you expect me to invite certain people? Do you expect me to wear something specific? Do you expect a certain kind of meal/music/entertainment/bar? Do you want a certain form of wording on the invitations?”

I REALLY pushed them on the questions. I would throw out really far-fetched situations (like eloping or wearing a bright red dress or whatever) and then back in from there. They might say they don’t care but then when you start backing into it, they find their tolerance level.

Ultimately, my dad decided to give me a set amount of money and allow me to manage it, although he has wanted to be kept in the loop. It did take awhile to get there, but it is very good for our relationship for me not to have to clear decisions with him. He DID get to add people to the guest list though. And I did a detailed budget and shared it with him and we went line by line discussing each expense.

If you think your dad would be open to it, I’d totally suggest making a rough budget, sitting down with him and explaining your vision, and seeing if he is on board with that. From there, ask him what kind of decisions he wants you to check in on and what kinds of things you’re empowered to do yourself.

I think you have to set out clear guidelines from the very beginning or people have these hidden expectations they didn’t even know they have and then end up with hurt feelings. No one is a mind-reader.

They get to decide the terms under which they give the money. But you get to decide the terms under which you accept it.

Post # 8
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

If they’re paying then I think the size of the wedding – if they choose to invite a lot of their friends or not – is really up to them. As long as you don’t have to sacrifice having your own friends there, then I don’t see the problem. I think you should sit down with them and talk to them about the way you envision the day, what you want the flowers to look like, the ambiance, etc. the things that make the day special for the bride and then they can help you achieve your vision. But as far as the guest list, if they are paying, I think they have a right to invite their friends. Also, communication is really key here and if you don’t do that openly and honestly then you probably will have more drama and won’t get a lot of what you envision. 


Post # 10
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

if you want to find balance, pay for what you want. if you want a small ceremony, offer to pay for the venue so you take away control. but if they are going to pay for the entire thing, then you can’t say much.

Post # 11
31 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

The only downside to extra guests, really, is the whole “greet and speak to each guest” thing that brides and grooms are supposed to do. If you don’t really know these people… well… awkward! Plus it takes a lot of time to make small talk with people, time you could be spending dancing or having fun enjoying your wedding. Cause it goes by sooo fast… really over before you know it.

But! 25 extra people doesn’t sound like too many to me. If you wanted 80 people at your wedding and your dad’s guest list had 250 on it, then yikes. But 25 extra heads, imo, is no big deal.

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