BeeLovesMTB : Here’s my perspective: expecting your parents to pay (or taking advantage of them) is wrong. That goes for weddings, dinners, anything really.
However, some parents want to pay for (all of, or part of) the weddings of their kids. I think in that respect, it’s essentially a gift. My parents paid for 80% of our wedding, and DH’s parents covered the rehearsal dinner in full, and Darling Husband and I paid for our bridal party’s attire, some decor, our rings, legal costs for license etc., bridal party gifts and parent gifts, and we also contributed straight cash to my parents to go toward the overall cost. My parents had always said they would pay for our wedding, and were excited to do so. Like I said, we would save up and then give money to them to do with as they wished in covering costs, and we were extremely careful not to go overboard either with their generosity.
Additionally, as they were paying, we used money we would have spent on wedding items and put it towards other things–mainly student loans–and paid aggressively on those. Our parents felt like that was a fair “trade.” We also paid for our own honeymoon in full, even though that meant waiting 8 months to go. We did it how we could afford it.
So to answer your question/post: no, I don’t think it’s shameful for your parents to pay as long as they’re offering. I think it’s shameful to assume they’d pay, and it’s awful to take advantage. And of course, if your parents were like on disability or other fixed income and you’re making a big salary then YES obviously it would not be okay for them to pay (but that would be an instance of taking advantage).
I think the problem in the other thread where people were saying “don’t have a wedding you can’t afford” was that, the person–if I’m thinking of the right thread–was literally saving up thousands of dollars to pay off debt, and then was going to spend almost that same amount on a wedding. Obviously, it’s her money her choice, but the vibe I got was less “you shouldn’t have a wedding unless you can pay for every penny right now” but more like, “hey you just spent all that money to get out of debt, why not take the money you’d spend on this wedding that you’re saying you need to save money on anyway, and save that money, opt for a smaller more intimate ceremony, or save half and spend the rest on a trip for you and Darling Husband.” I think that’s the key difference.