(Closed) RANT: "Pay = Say" and Bridal Parties.

posted 5 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
8695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would ask another question (why do you care) but go ahead and rant away. LOL

1. I had a bridal party with no issues and wouldn’t change that for anything. Yes, they could’ve been there as guests in their regular clothes but it was my choice. I don’t criticize others for not having a Bridal Party.

2. My parents paid a large portion (over $40k) so I respected the few requests they had and let them invite who they wanted. On that day it made no difference to us with over 150 other guests there.

to each his/her own

Post # 4
13249 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

1) If you don’t want their opinion, don’t take their money.  Once they provide the money for the wedding, they are now viewed as the hosts.  As the hosts, they get to make the decisions.  There’s a simple solution: Pay yourself.

2) Parents should be able to invite their friends, even if those friends are not close to tbe bride and groom.  Shockingly enough, the wedding is not all about you and the groom — it’s a celebration of love and happiness, and your families have played a big role in that.  A wedding is about uniting two families, and so, the families and their friends should be included.  Your parents want to share their joy with their friends.  If they are paying, of course their friends should be invited.

3) The point of the bridal party is to honor the bridesmaids and groomsmen as very, very special people to the couple who have ideally played a big role in their lives.   For me, I didn’t care about ther pictures, I only cared that these four very special girls were standing next to me, giving me any support I needed during the wedding day, just as they do every other day of my life.

Post # 5
709 posts
Busy bee


Well, not saying that it’s right, not at all… but I assume for a lot of parents /ils the wedding day of their kids is a big celebration where they want to show of… (there are not really any other occasions they can show off anymore, right? okay…maybe a big party for your 50th, 60th or 70th birthday… but usually you can’t do those to the extent of a wedding) 

 – that’s the reason for having strangers to the B & G at the wedding, because those are people the parents feel close to / want to impress 

– also with this impressing / showing off comes their wish to dictate what the wedding should be like (rustic-themed wedding might not be percieved that impressive by the parents… they want to impress those people with some classy, over the top champagne & caviar thing… or maybe the other way round… maybe they think the choices made by the B & G are too lavish)

I really do understand the say = pay… and that’s why i’d rather pay for things myself, then have others contribute to it and then have to include their wishes… 

Isn’t that the same with a lot of things? most of the bd / christmas etc. presents we get are decided by the gift giver. if they spend the money, they get to decide what to get you. 




Post # 6
9667 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

@Kili:  yes the gift is ultimately the decision of the gift giver but they choose what they think the gift receiver would like, or what the gift receiver has told them they would like.

I disagree with you OP about bridal parties, I think as long as it includes those nearest and dearest to the bride and/or groom and no obligation invites it should turn out ok. Yes there may be drama but that’s life.

I agree with you about the pay = say thing though. I think that even if the parents are paying it is still the bride and groom’s wedding, so I don’t comprehend why on earth there should be complete strangers who don’t know the bride or groom there, just because the parents are paying. My parents and FI’s parents are paying for the wedding but Fiance and I will be inviting those whom we want there. So no friends of the parents that neither of us knows. A few family friends of my parents will be invited, but they are family friends that I have known my whole life, including my godmother. I am not sure about my Future In-Laws whether they will want to have people there Fiance doesn’t know, I hope not! 

Post # 7
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@prahajess:  The good news is that even if someone offers you money, you don’t have to take it.  Some parents choose to gift money for the couple to use as they see fit. Others are willing to pay but also expect to be included in the planning. If you don’t want to include them, then you politely refuse the money. Easy.

No one is obligated to have a bridal party but a bridal party are also not employees to be “fired.” Their only obligation to the bride and groom is to show up to the ceremony on time and dressed appropriately – that’s it.

Unless you choose to elope, weddings aren’t just about the bride and groom. When you involve guests and families, you do need to take them into consideration.

That’s not to say they should be able to plan your entire wedding and set the guest list, but it’s a special day for them as well so if they want a reasonable amount of people there to share it with them, that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.


Post # 8
11271 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@prahajess:  i think you are confusing these two options:  the gift of money vs hosting the wedding.  these are very different and parents or other relatives do offer both to the couple.  this decision is completely individual and unfortunately the b&g often mistake the hosting gesture as just simply a gift of money. 

parents inviting their friends is simply a tradition to show off their newly married son or daughter.  it’s a very proud moment for a parent.  some cultures are still very big on this tradition.

bridal parties, again an old tradition.  i do however feel that the job description in some cases for this group has evolved into more of a ‘beck and call’ role.

Post # 9
7271 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@abbie017:  I agree with all of those points.

OP- I think the biggest thing to remember is that the wedding is not all about you. We had some strangers at our wedding but they were our parents friends. Although I never met my mom’s coworker, she watched me grow up through the pictures my mom got to work. 


Post # 10
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@abbie017:  +1  to everything ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
8446 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@mypinkshoes:  +1

To OP, if you don’t want people trying to change your wedding, pay for it yourself.

Post # 12
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

If they offer money they are seemed as the hosts. We are lucky that we had them assign the money for a part of the event and they got a say in that. One choose the venue and they wanted it to have an outdoor area and easy to move around since some people are older. The other chose my photography and they just wanted gorgeous high quality so we got that. My dress, semi modest was the request kinda no clevage but I can have my open back if tasteful. I don’t see the issue and so far we haven’t had any problems and stuff is already booked. Now with the wedding party most don’t have the hosting skills to know how to plan these parties or help a bride stay organized while planning. It’s true most would scramble putting together a party that was pizza and kegs in a backyard at times. We took that off the table as older adults offered to throw them and we can enjoy fun stuff with the bridal party: spa days, happy hour to chat etc. I understand parents wanting friends there. If it was larger I would allow it but my parents have friends that always ask about us, stay up with info and feel like they have heard of all the good and bad. I neccearily wouldn’t think of adding them to a list and would view them as a guest of my parents but I also know them if I didn’t and it was just to show off to friends I would definitely say no way. fi and I will both know each guest and that’s how we like it. 

Post # 13
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

For us my Future In-Laws are contributing and they are inviting a bunch of people we don’t know that well. But they are close friends with my Future In-Laws and they have attended the weddings of their friend’s kids and are returning the invitation.

Even if they weren’t paying we would still be getting input from them are they are excited and want to be a part of the wedding. We don’t have an issue letting them know where we will budge and where we won’t. You pick your battles.

The bridesmaid thing I don’t get at all and is why I’m not having any except for my Maid/Matron of Honor. She’s my best friend, any one else would just be there for decoration and could bring drama I don’t need.

Post # 14
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My parents are very generously paying for a large portion of our wedding. They have not been pushy at all but there are a few things my mom wants that we felt neutral about (like passed appetizers in addition to station apps during the cocktail hour) that we are doing to make her happy since they are being so generous with us. In return for the money they’re contributing I feel more than happy to do a few things like that. They’ve been very helpful and supportive so far during the planning process and have not tried to influence our choices or take over anything. I feel really lucky to have their ideas and opinions to consider when forming my own.

My parents are also each inviting some of their friends. Most of them are people I’ve known for many years but there are a few friends I’ve only met once or twice. They didn’t go overboard and invite every person they know, they just invited people they’re close to. I do feel like they are co-hosting the wedding with us since they are funding the majority of it, and I’m perfectly happy inviting a few of their friends for them to celebrate with.

Honestly, I don’t think that their contribution should allow them to take over and make all the decisions without the bride and groom’s input, but I do feel that if they’re paying for a large portion of the event then they are co-hosting the event and can have some input. I guess I’m lucky that my parents are not trying to hijack my wedding and impose all their ideas on me. My mom is great at this kind of stuff and I am thrilled to have her input. So far if I don’t like something she suggests she has been totally cool about it and let it go.

You don’t have to have a bridal party. If you don’t see the point then don’t! NBD. I am having one because I want the friends I’m closest with to not only be there for me but to be recognized for all the love, support and friendship they’ve given me throughout the years. I’ve always known I’d want my sister and best friends by my side and that I’d want to honor them for the role they play in my life.

Post # 16
9671 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I slightly disagree with you, but that’s okay, you can rant if you want but I don’t think all of those things are that big of a deal.

There’s a difference between giving you a gift (to use for whatever the hell you want) and paying for the wedding.  If they’re paying for the wedding, they are hosting.  So it makes sense that they have some say.  Some people are different than others, my parents paid for a little over half of my wedding (mostly the reception) and they mostly told me to do what I wanted (though my mom had opinions on the food).  Some people want more control, and I think that’s fine if they’re hosting.  If you don’t like it (if your parents are extremely demanding and dramatic), pay for it yourself.

If these friends are helping you out and helping you get ready on the day, helping with DIY stuff, throwing a bachelorette or bridal shower….well they deserve some recognition, don’t you think?!  You can let them wear whatever they want and still have a bridal party.  I think it’s kind of a way of recognizing these special friends/people that helped you along the way and are close to you.  Someone you want standing up in front of everyone to support your wedding.  You don’t have to have cousins you don’t like as your bridesmaids…  I had 0 drama with my 5 Bridesmaid or Best Man.  Furthermore, you don’t have to have any bridesmaids if you don’t want to.  So I don’t see why this is a big deal.

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