(Closed) SPINOFF: Why do people expect their parents to contribute to their wedding?

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 47
Member
7899 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Knowing my mom for who she is, I knew what to expect of her, but this is specific to us. I know she would pay for the dress and I knew she would pay for the reception. I also knew she’s pay for any spa stuff (hair, makeup, maincure, etc) since she’d want to do it together and that she’s pick up some accessories, but only ones she absolutely loved.

My dad on the other hand would contribute, but not much. We hit him up for small things as we went, like the deposit for photography ($300) and the final payment for the DJ (about $500). Then, he gave us a generous gift which he intended to be for our honeymoon (as that’s how we used it). He personally loved travel and puts a lot of value on it, but he thinks the expense of a wedding is unnecessary. I happen to agree, but my mother had a vision for the formality and scale of the wedding, so that’s the way it had to be… but she paid for the reception, so I can’t complain. We would’ve gone much smaller and simpler if it had been up to just us.

DH’s parents picked up the rehearsal dinner and also gave us some money that we could spend how we needed on wedding expenses. We spent it on the flowers and then the rest went to photography, but that left a balance for us to cover ourselves.

I think we were very blessed to have so much help.

As for why:

1) my mom wanted to dictate certain things we could NEVER afford on our own, so if she wanted that kind of party to impress her friends and family, she had to contribute.

2) affection: our parents love us a lot and can help so wanted to; some parents love their kids just as much, but can’t help, or they know the kids can handle it on their own so don’t feel they need to help.

Post # 48
Member
9821 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t think anyone should expect it. But many people’s parents do pay simply because of tradition and because they love their children and want to help them start this new chapter in their life.

Post # 49
Member
6738 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@Ill Be Mrs B:  The thing is that I know my parents.  My parents are not any one else’s parents, their mine and I know how they are.  I love and appreciate my parents for all they’ve done for us.  They’ve spent all their money on us (their kids) because they don’t see any happiness in life without us being happy, first.  It’s a wonderful way to raise kids and it’s how I intend to raise my kids.  So, if they were in a financial situation where they had extra money and could afford to pay for a reasonably-priced affair, but just didn’t offer it, I would be insulted b/c I wouldn’t understand why.  If they said, “Sorry, honey, we don’t have it because we need it for retirement” or “Sorry, honey, we don’t have it because we really want to take this vacation and we can’t afford both” or whatever – even without apologizing, if they didn’t have it, I obviously wouldn’t be upset.  But, if they had money and they just decided not to give it to me, knowing my parents, it would be completely out of character and there would have to be a reason why.  I don’t consider myself spoiled or born with a silver spoon, my parents are far from rich, but this is just how they are – they don’t spend money on themselves before spending money on their kids, first.  I love them for many reasons, but their selflessness is definitely one of them. 

Post # 50
Member
4474 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think it’s partly tradition, and partly that weddings are generally such big expensive events now that the family can help a couple starting out.  

 

Our parents are paying for most of the wedding, but they insisted on it, especially FI’s parents, since they’re so excited about it.  So we got lucky in that respect.  I don’t think anyone should go in expecting that since YOU’RE getting married, other people should pay for it.  I know of a bride that wouldn’t let her Mother-In-Law give a speech at the wedding because she didn’t pay enough.  Yeah, that’s not ok.

Post # 51
Member
10451 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I never expected it. I guess I could have since my parents have talked about paying for weddings for my sister and I since we were young, but still – if they had changed their minds or something I wouldn’t have straight up asked. They offered, so great. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been offended or said anything or complained. 

Post # 52
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We didn’t accept help offered by my FI’s parents because they offered way too much and we wanted the liberty to make our own decisions regarding the wedding. If we had accepted their offer (of 20K!), they’d then have the opportunity to add to our guestlist and veto some of our decisions.

Post # 53
Member
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

My husband and I would have been embarassed to ask for or expect our parents to pay for our wedding.  They paid for our entire college educations so we could enter adult life debt-free and independent.  We didn’t want a fancy wedding though, so we were happy to pay for the small wedding we wanted and could afford.  Our parents offered to help, but we declined because really didn’t need it and we believe the wedding is something we should be responsible for.

We will not help pay for our children’s weddings in the future.  We will put them through college, which will already be quite a hardship.  That just reflects our family’s values; we don’t think weddings are that important, and if a couple values a nice wedding, they should pay for it.  There are plenty of ways we can show that we support a marriage besides money.

A lot of people are saying that it depends on the parents’ financial situation.  Do most people really know what their parents’ financial position is?  I don’t know how much my parents have saved up for retirement, and I wouldn’t share that info with my kids.  But if my child asked me to help pay for a wedding, I would feel obligated to even if I couldn’t really afford it.  That’s why I think it’s just best not to ask and let the parents decide if they want to offer.

Post # 54
Member
6738 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@caritas:  Personally, I know my parents financial situation.  I think that I have a very different relationship with my parents.  They’re my parents and my best friends.  I have helped them throughout the years with their business and financial situation because they came here from another country and needed help b/c of language barriers.  I help them pay their bills, too.  They always tell me what big purchases they’ve made, how much things have cost, how much money they’re making, etc.  They are just very open and forthcoming.  My dad doesn’t make money for himself, he makes money for his wife and children.  He’s said it time and again.  If he could have afforded to pay for my law school tuition, he would have.  He did give me a weekly allowance while I was in law school to help pay for things like food and gas b/c he couldn’t afford to pay for my tuition and I couldn’t get a job (you really can’t work and go to law school full time).  A wedding is a lot more affordable than an education, especially the wedding that I would want (which would be at most $15k if I went “all out” – my law school tuition cost $135k before interest on my loans started to accrue – and I went to undergrad for free).  I think it’s great that your parents paid for your college, but I do think that it’s weird you would feel obligated to pay for your kids’ weddings if they asked, but wouldn’t offer.  I think if they asked and you felt like you valued education over a fancy wedding and you had paid for their education, why wouldn’t you just say, “We paid for your college.  If a wedding is important to you, you’ll have to finance it yourself.  We can’t pay for both.”  I think that’s completely reasonable. 

Post # 55
Member
6114 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think some people are set up for it.  Like if the parents pay for the first care, then college tuition, it kind of goes without saying parents will pay for a wedding too.  They might assume, yes.

 

I had none of that paid for.  Well my dad paid for my first care $2000 but I paid him back with monthly installments.  My parents were not in a good financial position.  I just knew I would have to take care of these things by myself.  All my sisters did.

Post # 56
Member
2780 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I feel like my dad should contribute to my wedding. I’m not saying i expect him to pay for the whole thing, but if he doesn’t offer up some sort of contribution I will be pretty pissed off. I promise you it’s nothing to done with feeling entitled, just wanting what is fair.

My dad and his whole side of the family have always helped my brother and his family out with everything and my sister got help with buying a house with her now ex.

So for me, if he doesn’t give me some sort of contribution I will be pissed and it will probably be the end of any communication between myself and anyone on his side. I’ve put up with enough favourism over the years from my dad to my siblings and for me my wedding is pretty much his last chance.

We are in no way planning anything outside of our means financially, but until recently I was still living at home taking care of his dog and house while my he was always gone for work. I know he can afford to help. He did so for my siblings, it just wouoldn’t be rioght or fair to not do the same for me.

Post # 57
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

 

I can totally see parents needing to fund their kids’ weddings if the children are very young and do not work. But once you start supporting yourself, I think you really should be covering that bill yourself.  Keep in mind this tradition started when the average life expectancy was a lot younger, and when people in general had kids younger. So a parent would need less money for retirement and would have more time to earn it (plus back then, they probably still had a viable pension, over and above social security). I think these days, if you’re in your mid-20’s and your parents are in their 50’s or 60’s, it’s really wrong to expect them to take $20k out of their savings.  You’ve got another 40 years in the workforce; they might already be retired, and if they’re not, they’re close to it. They need that money WAY more than you need a bunch of doves and a $4k dress.

I hope this tradition dies out soon, because it causes so much stress and animosity in families. If your parents want to make a gift of their own free will and good wishes that’s one thing. But flat-out expecting it… yeah that needs to end.

Post # 58
Member
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

i think it is too based upon tradition. i didnt expect parents to offer to pay because i knew our parents did not have the funds to foot the wedding we wanted but they have offered to help and i love it. and honestly, i wonder how many people could fund their own wedding without any help. if i couldn’t do it myself, i wouldn’t. but for those who have the funds regardless, my hat off to you!

Post # 59
Member
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

It’s tradition in my and my fiance’s culture. We’re both Indian but from different cultures within India-in my culture the modern practice is for the parents on both sides to split the cost of the wedding. The weddings in my culture are less ostentatious, or as my darling fiance puts it, boring and plain. My fiance is from North India and the big fat Bollywood weddings that are paid for by the family of the bride.  

Our parents have also dicated 90% of the wedding, which I think is fair. Because they’ve paid for most of it though we have contributed as well.  

But like I said, we are from a completely foreign culture. I do not see this as “my wedding” or just about me and the groom-we are very much introducing two families together and everyone feels ownership in it. 

I plan to pay for my child’s wedding as well. 

Post # 60
Member
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My family is dirt poor, so I didn’t expect anything.

ETA to add that my parents aren’t DIRT poor, but they aren’t great financially. They did what they could for my brother and me since we are both getting married this year.

Post # 61
Member
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I don’t think anyone should expect anything of anyone… then if something is offered, that’s a lovely surprise, and if not, you’re not disappointed.

A lot of parents work hard to provide for their children, no matter how old they get, and a financial contribution to a child’s wedding probably falls into that bracket for most parents.

Personally even if my dad contributed a penny towards my wedding, I would be grateful and glad he was there to give me away 🙂

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