(Closed) We’re paying unequal shares for our wedding-driving us apart, long rant (sorry)!

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Wow, this is pretty complicated.  Is there any way that you can tone down the wedding somehow?  Or since you are the one who wants the more extravagant wedding, could you pay for it since you are the one making more?  He is probably just worried that he doesn’t have a lot of cash on his own (which really isn’t good that he doesn’t have savings).  Obviously you two need to have a serious talk about this because it can become a huge problem in your relationship later if it isn’t resolved.  I wish I had more help for you!

And welcome, btw!

Post # 4
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

It sounds to me like the two of you need to really sit down and have a discussion about this wedding. From what you’ve said, it sounds like he doesn’t really care too much about the wedding itself and he just wants to be married to you – this is the case for a lot of men, and sometimes they have a hard time wrapping their mind around the idea of spending so much money on one day. 

I can see that it’s bothering you that you’re the one contributing more to the wedding, but he’s made it clear to you that he wants to have a more “budget-friendly” wedding than the one you’re planning, so is it really fair to ask him to sell his collections for a wedding that he doesn’t really want? (Just to be clear, I’m not saying that he might not want the MARRIAGE – it sounds like he truly does want to marry you, but it sounds like maybe he had a different idea as to how your WEDDING would look.) 

I would advise that you try to talk to him about it and see how he’s truly feeling. He may feel like you’re putting too much focus on the wedding and is starting to feel a little like it’s more important than him. Or maybe he’s just shell shocked because he was expecting to spend much less on the wedding. You need to come to a compromise that you are both okay with. Maybe you can agree that he’ll be in charge of paying for X (like the flowers, dj, whatever) but you’ll also have to agree that he has 100% choice in what you do – if what you want is too expensive for him, he should be able to veto it if he’s the one paying.

I definitely don’t think it sounds like your engagement is over – you two just need to have a serious talk about what you both want and what you’re willing to pay to get it. And you’ll BOTH need to compromise on some of the decisions! Good luck, and keep us posted!

Post # 5
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I am going to take the advice of the all-knowing Suze Orman when it comes to this.  I don’t think its healthy for any one person to pay any one bill.  What she wrote in the amazing book of hers that I have is that you each pay whatever percentage of the whole that you bring in…for EACH thing.  That way no one can say this is MY photographer I want him to do this.  So add up what you make and figure out who makes which percent and then apply that to the wedding bills and your actual bills.  It is supposedly the healthiest way to live according to a financial guru. So for example if you make 65% of the income and he makes 35% of the income, that is how each bill should be split so you aren’t robbing one person and leaving them with no spending money.  If you split the wedding 50/50 and he makes only 35% he is going to struggle and that is not only unfair but it’ll put you in unnecessary debt which is never good to have in a new marriage.  Best of luck!

Post # 6
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

Also, I just wanted to add that I know if my fiance were in that situation, he would probably be very frustrated that he wasn’t able to provide what I wanted. My Fiance is a very traditional guy in the sense that he likes to be able to “take care of me”. So if he was suddenly not able to afford this wedding that I want, I know he would begin to get resentful and frustrated about it. This could be part of the problem with your Fiance.

Post # 7
1154 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t understand why you don’t want to pay more than 50% of the wedding when you make more money, have more savings, and want the more expensive wedding.  I don’t think that’s fair.  You’re insisting he drain his savings in order to have a wedding he might not feel comfortable with even though you can easily afford the deposits yourself, if I was him I’d feel threatened and like you don’t care about my financial wellbeing. 

How are you planning to combine your finances after the wedding?

What is your motivation for not paying the catering deposit when he has already paid other deposits?

Post # 8
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Okay I feel like I can sympathize a bit because I’m in a similar financial situation. I made about twice what my Fiance did this year (but it changes bc my income is not as steady), and I put 100% of the downpayment down on the house we just bought and paid for all the furniture, and will be paying for all incidentals (paint, moving truck, etc). I have a big savings account, he does not (although to be fair, he drained his savings account to buy my ring so how could I be upset about that? lol). 

Honestly— I don’t care at all. At this point I feel like 100% of my money is his money and vice versa, even though we haven’t yet merged accounts. So I don’t feel like I’m “keeping” him because I paid for certain stuff. Maybe I would if he was sitting at home on the couch every day instead of working but he works just as hard or harder than I do, and its just pure dumb luck that my career (law) makes more than his (accounting). Are you two planning on merging your finances after you’re married? At that point, would it really matter what each of you had coming into things? 

It sounds to me like you’re not really ready to merge with this guy financially because you’re still concerned with your money vs. his money. Maybe some premarital counseling to help you make the transition? 

Regarding him…. guys don’t get the wedding thing. My Fiance about flipped his lid when I told him how much I wanted to spend on centerpieces… which was a super budget number in my mind ($400 total!). Don’t blame him for not wanting to spend tens of thousands on one day because if we take the emotion out of it, it IS a bit silly right? Not to say you shouldn’t do it… but girls get the emotional connection a lot more than guys do. 

Post # 9
2143 posts
Buzzing bee

Honestly, in my opinion, which some people may not like, if you want the nicer stuff, you should have to pay a greater chunk of it because it is beyond his means. I can totally understand that he’d be upset that his small savings are gone. If it bothers you now that you as the woman is paying for the wedding, how are you going to feel down the road as you’re married and you’re still the bread winner? Will you resent him for that? If you guys ever end up having kids, what if he quits work to be a stay at home dad? These are potentially big issues that you guys need to talk about. I know I paid for the majority of the wedding. I was making a bit more money than hubby, but he was doing all the bill paying so he had much less money left over each month. I was buying our weekly groceries and that’s it. It doesn’t matter who pays more as long as it gets paid. You are entering into a partnership that doesn’t consistet of her side and his side, but it’s combined into one now. Engagements ARE stressful, but it helps prepare the couple for the stressful times of a marriage, imo.


In regards to his sports memrobelia, I also think it’s unfair that he should sell it to help pay for the wedding, and I can see why he’d be afraid you’d make him spend it. After all, you have basically made him spend all of his current savings (at least thats what it sounds like from your post). Weddings just aren’t as important to a guy as they are to the woman. It’s just a big fancy party with people dressed up in fancy clothe where they have to be on their best behavior, and most guys just don’t get jazzed up about that sort of thing. They really looked forward to actually BEING married, but they only go through the whole wedding deal because they know what’s what the woman wants.

Post # 10
4 posts
  • Wedding: April 2010

I don’t post on here a lot (more of a lurker here), but I wanted to respond to this since Fiance and are in a very similar situation.  He took a 50% pay cut after being laid off a year ago and I now earn more than twice as much as him.  I also grew up in a “nicer” environment than he did. It took him a while to get any kind of work in this economy, so when we got engaged his savings were nil. I don’t even have a “real” engagement ring, just a nice blue topaz ring he gave me so that I can have something on my finger (which I love, by the way, because HE gave it to me).

When it came time to figure out money for the wedding, I had a nice chunk of savings put away, and of course he had hardly anything.  I wanted a nice wedding, he could care less and would have been fine with a City Hall wedding. So I am paying for pretty much the entire thing out of my savings.  He shouldn’t have to pay for something that he doesn’t necessarily want or need.  He has been picking up more of the household expenses along the way (like utility bills and paying for groceries) to make up for the fact that he can’t contribute much to the wedding, which he does feel bad about.

It sounds to me like there are bigger financial issues at play that you guys need to work out.   If you can’t agree on how to manage the money for the wedding, what about when its time to buy a new car? pay for a vacation? move to a different house?  You have to get past this idea of having a “kept”man.  In this day and age, that is such an old fashioned idea, and I’m guessing there are a ton of women who make more than their husbands. You should just be thankful that you have a job that allows you to live a nice lifestyle. 

By the way, my Fiance is similar with all of the sports memorabilia that is sitting around collecting dust.  I would never in a million years ask him to sell this stuff that means a lot to him so that I can have my dream wedding that he doesn’t really care about.

Post # 11
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Agree with other posters that the two of you need to have a serious discussion about finances, wedding-related and non.  It sounds as though you’re on totally different pages with regards to your priorities for spending and saving.

I apologize if this comes across as harsh, but you’re also being pretty insensitive with regards to your FI’s (justifiable) feelings of insecurity.  Asking him to part with objects of great sentimental value for the sake of a party that he doesn’t want is also way out of line.  Would it feel fair to you if he suggested that you pawn a valuable piece of family jewelry for a pair of season tickets to the Yankees?  Probably not.

It doesn’t in the end, matter, if your wedding isn’t extravangant by NYC (or Buffalo, or Rochester) standards.  If it feels like too much to him and he’s supposed to pay for it, then it’s extravangant – full stop.  You can’t have it both ways.  If he’s “the man” and it’s his job to pay for things then he has the right to decide he’s not going to spend money on purchases he deems unnecessary.  If it’s important to you to have specific things at the wedding then paying for them becomes your responsibility (assuming you continue to keep separate account books). 

Post # 13
1154 posts
Bumble bee


Your previous divorce certainly explains some natural hesitancy and it is hard to move in together and make space for each other and often causes friction.  Also, while I don’t agree at all that a man should pay more for the wedding or a house this is not a bizarre idea that you’ve come up with on your own but part of weird societal expectations.  I think if you remember it’s those same societal expectations that expect him not to wash the dishes it might be easier for you let go of them.  I think it sounds like you want to make it work and that it will work!

My strong advice for right now is to go home and write the check for the caterer, after all he has paid other deposits and there will be plenty of checks in the future to write that he can contribue to more.  But this will be a gesture of good faith and allow you to say, Honey I know we need to talk seriously about X and Y but just know that I love you and want to marry you and I’m willing to discuss and compramise too.  Let’s celebrate New Years Eve.


Post # 14
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

If you are always going to make more than you are going to have to shed your idea that the man should pay for things. Maybe it would be a better idea to start thinking of the money as your collective money (“ours”) rather than “his and mine.”

I make more than my SO… there is another thread that’s probably easy to find, but there seem to be A LOT of us here who make more than our male counterparts for whatever reason. So, if you are worried that your situation is not normal, it is. 🙂


Post # 15
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I agree with h4baine. When the Fiance and I moved in together we were each splitting everything down the middle. I make signifigantly less than him and began to struggle. We consulted Suze Orman and started splitting things based on the percent of total income we each brought in. It was way better (then we just combined everything together in one pot). It also sounds like you should sit down and talk about what you each want.

Post # 16
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I totally agree that the big issue is that you seem uncomfortable being the bigger breadwinner in your relationship. Thus it seems like you’re asking your fiance to make bigger sacrifices than you are making to pay for the wedding. You want him to sell his sports memorabilia, you want him to spend every cent in his savings account…meanwhile, you play your cards a little closer to the chest because you have sensitivities from your divorce and needing to take care of your daughter, he’s encroaching on your space and changing your way of doing things… Even if you say “he asked for this big wedding” I doubt he really knew what he was getting himself into.

Like others have said, I don’t think you’re being fair to him, but you do seem insightful and willing to change your tune. I would talk about your financial future with him, definitely. Most though I would work on your partnership skills. You don’t want to spend your marriage quibbling over who is paying for what and what is mine and what is yours. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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