(Closed) Why do people expect their parent(s) to contribute to their wedding?

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 3
495 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I guess in some families it’s traditional or more of a cultural thing.

My grand parents paid for my parents’ wedding, so if my parents had zero interest in helping with mine it would seem kind of “unfair” (I only say this because I know my folks are doing fine financially).

And I hope to do the same for my kids one day if I can…

Post # 4
1449 posts
Bumble bee

I did expect my parents to contribute money to our wedding, but that was because it had already been discussed before I got engaged.  They and I both knew they would be paying for the majority of the wedding.  We talked about it and they gave me a budget and we went from there.  I stayed under budget but it wasnt that hard either because they gave me a great number to work with, which was around the amount that I thought they would. 

I think for me at least, growing up, it was “tradition” for the brides family to pay for the wedding and maybe thats what others think as well.  Granted its not necessarity the norm anymore but its the idea thats pushed upon people.

Post # 5
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We’ve always intended to pay for our own wedding. I’m an only child and my Fiance is the first out of him and his sister to get married.  We haven’t asked our parents for help, and they haven’t offerend anything yet.  We’re putting aside savings each month not only for the wedding, but our future house, car, and retirement.  Because we want to pay for everything in cash, this is why our engagement will be almost 2 years long.

Post # 6
1369 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

we didn’t expect our parents, they offered, and we offered in return to pay for 50% so that their portions were only 25% each.

i’m not sure it’s that ppl expect it, but it’s kind of a mix between culture/tradition/and wedding “norm” … anything to make it easier right? ppl can only hope, but i guess during planning time the worst comes out of everyone in the midst of stress.

i am sure most of the hive here appreciates what they do get… the only times i’ve seen complaints on here are when parents are not contributing yet demanding rights to guests/decisions/etc.

or if they’ve contributed to a sibling, etc.


Post # 7
1 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

Personally I don’t think you ever really know someones finances. Unless you’re handling them yourself.

My mom gave us some money to help pay for our wedding and my In-laws offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner. We’re paying for the rest. I think it’s sweet for people to offer to  help if they can but I don’t expect them to in any way. I think it’s kind of rude to EXPECT them to help out. 

We’re already married but finally planning the big wedding. We were in the middle of planning it in 06 but then found out we were pregnant with our son. So of course we wanted to wait.

Post # 8
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Does anyone really expect that anymore? Maybe hope and want their parents to help but expecting it seems a little odd to me (unless their have been older siblings or conversations that set a expectation)

Post # 9
2492 posts
Buzzing bee

No clue. As an adult, if you are old enough to get married in the first place, you are old enough to be responsible on your own for all the expenses of a wedding. If people are old enough to get married, they have been on their own awhile and parents don’t pay their other living expenses for them. A wedding is a luxury that parents are never obligated to finance. But unfortunately alot of folks feel they are entitled to others paying for it for them. Why is anyone’s guess. If you can’t afford to pay for it yourself, figure out what you can afford and skip the rest or save until you can afford your dream wedding. Alot of folks have no grasp of the concept that all you need is a minister, a licence and two witnesses. Plus, you don’t have to serve anything beyond dessert and coffee to have a legitimate reception as long as everyone is treated the same and courteously.

Post # 10
1511 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

We didn’t expect our parents to pay for anything. My mother offered to pay for my dress and for the guests that she is insisting we invite (who we barely know) and his parents are going to give us some money, but we didn’t expect it at all. We planned on paying for the whole thing ourselves.

Post # 11
6980 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think that a lot of people expect it because historically it was traditional for the parents to pay and a lot of parents DO still pay. I didn’t expect mine to, but if I had gotten married earlier before they had helped me out with school I guess maybe I would have assumed they’d help with the wedding (For the record– they did offer a sum to us to help with the wedding which was VERY unexpected and I’m very grateful for it!)

Post # 12
1261 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I think the expectation comes from tradition. We personally planned to pay for everything ourselves, but Mom wanted to pay for half. Eventually that didn’t become very practical because of the economy and I don’t want my parents going into any more debt than they’re already in.
My Mom offered to pay for half because she and my Dad had paid for a portion (maybe all I don’t know I was pretty young) of my sister’s wedding. Why they paid for that I think was because she wanted to, but Mom is very generous.
With the economy being what it is, we’ve paid for everything and half of what Mom wanted to pay for originally (I just ask Dad what they paid and put half of that in their bank account).

Post # 13
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I think a lot of times it is because the parents expect a large wedding so they can invite a lot of relatives and their own friends, or expect a more formal event.

Post # 14
1106 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

Like others have said, it’s expected bc that is traditionally what has been done…The bride’s parents pay for the wedding (not saying this is right or fair, just what’s traditional for a wedding…)

But I will say, it seems like a lot of posters are borderline snarky about people whose parents are contributing some or the bulk of wedding contributions and for the most part, I don’t think it’s irrational to expect one’s parents to help with the wedding, regardless of how independent financially you are.  It’s a big family even for most people and usually when one has a child, especially a daughter, a college fund and a wedding fund are things that are commonly set up when the child is young.

Both of our parents offered and were adamant that we not spend any of our savings on the wedding (that didn’t really pan out, us not spending anything but it was a sweet thought on their part!)

Post # 15
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House

I expected my parents to pay for the wedding because they set that expectation themselves.  Growing up, they talked about saving for my wedding.  We watched “Father of the Bride” and laughed about poor George Banks going to the poor farm.  When Lambster and I got serious, they talked about needing to dip into the wedding fund soon.  I never thought, “Oh, I deserve for my parents to pay for my wedding.”  When I got engaged, one of the first things my parents did was start talking about budgets.  My parents were really happy to pay for the wedding.  Lambster’s parents unexpectedly contributed also.  We didn’t ask either set, but both set of parents really wanted certain items or traditions.  In our case, it was our parents who set the expectation, not us.

Post # 16
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Hm I don’t know. In my situation, it was more the opposite….my parents EXPECTED to contribute to/pay for the wedding. In their generation, it was traditional for the bride’s family to pay for it, so they have actually been a little uncomfortable at times dealing with the fact that my in-laws, as well and my Fiance and I, are contributing as well.

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