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

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 47
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - Heinz Chapel Ceremony, Museum Reception

I think you also have to differentiate between “expect” as in “anticipate that it will happen” and “expect” as in “feel entitled to.” I didn’t feel entitled to have my parents contribute a big chunk of our wedding budget, but I did anticipate that they would. Mr. O and I have been out of college and in our careers for a while now, so we could afford a wedding, just not the wedding we’re having. My parents knew that if Mr. O and I funded the entire thing, we wouldn’t be able to have the type of wedding they’d like, and we especially wouldn’t be able to invite my entire, gigantic family. So, they offered, and we gratefully accepted.

Post # 48
1770 posts
Buzzing bee

I didn’t expect anything and my fiance and I are paying for it ourselves.  His parents are really generous and as a wedding gift are paying for our photography!  Mostly b/c they can’t handle not having pictures…

It helps that we are able to decide what exactly we want out of our wedding instead of someone else who has the purse strings.  So we’re able to have a smaller wedding which I really wanted 🙂

Post # 49
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

fi and i didn’t expect any of our parents to pay for anything.  we’re adults and we kinda feel like if we are old enough to get married we are old enough to pay for it ourselves…

that being said, when we were talking to my parents about the wedding my mom and dad were slightly bummed when we suggested we would be paying for everything…they want to pitch in as much as possible and were ridiculously excited about going “looking for wedding stuff” it was adorable how excited they were!

Post # 50
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I did have an expectation of my parents helping.  I sat down with them and went over our options and budget. 

I’m sure this sounds bad to some, but the level of their help was going to determine where and when we had the wedding.  The more they helped, the more likely it was going to have it closer to home.  A small destination wedding would have been much cheaper than what we ended up doing- which was all we could afford alone. 

My in-laws offered to help out wherever we needed, which was great!  We also didn’t want to tax them too much since they just finished up with my SIL’s wedding when we got engaged. 

We ended up splitting it up fairly well, so everyone was fairly happy (although I had a year of grousing from my parents about how much these things cost)- my folks paid for food and venue, my inlaws paid for rehearsal and alchohol, and we paid for what was left- dj, photographer, etc.

Post # 51
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

yeah i agree with @lemondrop that the amount my parents contribute will dictate what kind of a wedding we have. if we get nothing it looks like we’re going to the courthouse…

Post # 52
697 posts
Busy bee

I couldn’t tell you.

BF and his family are all “oh but the bride’s family pays for the wedding! glee!” so really, I don’t expect his side to put much anything in.  

and I’m like “well I am not going to ask them for it, they already paid cash for me to stay in school for 6 years…”

I’d rather pay for it myself, just so I can do it the way I want.  I’m certain that if/when the time comes, my mom (being my mom) will most likely bestow me with some crazy sum of money, but if she doesn’t, no big deal.  She’s already offered up the $30 for us just to go down to city hall and get it done, for the love of ham.

Post # 53
608 posts
Busy bee

I definitely think this is a cultural thing.  But actually, I would wonder why they wouldn’t want to celebrate your marriage.  Weddings are the joining of two families, and have been traditionally supported by the root families.  Most traditionally, the bride’s family has hosted and paid for the celebration of their beloved daughter wedding, and the groom’s family hosts the rehearsal… which often is the first full fledged meeting of the bride and groom’s whole families as well as taking responsibility for some of the early post wedding expenditures.  I get the whole … well I can pay for it because I make my own money, but I think the contribution is represents the family’s joy!  They are literally joyful to see their legacy of love, marriage, and family continuing to the next generation. 

Post # 54
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

It’s the cultural/familial norm for us. My parents treat all my siblings fairly, and so they paid for the same things in my wedding that they did for my sister.

Post # 55
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

its a culture and tradition thing. its always the tradition in the family that the bride’s parents pay for the bulk of it. Grooms parents pay for Rehearsal Dinner and alcohol for the wedding and groom organizes the honeymoon. we are traditionalists like that.

for people that didnt grow up with that tradition it might seem odd, but thats what you were taught from when you were young – your parents throw you a wedding. its one of the last things that your parents do for you before you become part of a new family of your own.

mind you i have my own job and so does FH and we make good money – so we were prepared to pay for it ourselves, but my mom and dad insisted and really would have been very offended if we didnt allow them to do it so we compromised, and FH and i are paying for about 40% and they are paying for the rest.

Post # 56
4 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

My parents are giving us some money–about $1,000.  It’s what my sister(s) will get; it’s what I get.  My mom (the pants in the family:) ) really doesn’t see the point in an extravagant wedding.  She and my dad were married almost 30 years ago for probably $500.  They had a nice wedding and were (major point) MARRIED at the end of it.

Because of this somewhat limited gift, I won’t have my DREAM wedding.  I won’t have any photographer I want, or be able to pay for evey one to eat dinner.  I will be beautiful. I will end up married, but it won’t be like the weddings of friends or even, of my sister, who’s fiancè’s family is able to contribute. (My fiancè was raised by a single mom who has, literally, NO means of helping…which is fine.)

Honestly, as I think about it though, I’m totally okay with it. Whatever disappointment in not getting x photographer or an actual florist, my parents paid for my college education, provided I attend the state school. I have a job (I’m a teacher, so I’m definitely not well paid by any stretch) and I’ll manage.  If my parents have an extra $10,000 sitting around, I WANT them to pay off their mortgage. I’m grateful for everything they’ve given for the last 26 years…this wedding “stipend” is like the “last gift”. 🙂 Kind of sweet actually. 

If they have extra money once their mortgage is paid off though, I’d love some help with mine. Haha!

Post # 57
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think the expectation of the parents paying or help paying for the wedding comes from the tradition of dowry, which was practiced in most cultures at some point in time.

In the past, the bride’s parents payed a sum of money, property, livestock, etc to the groom in order to start a household.  From what I’ve read (and there isn’t much to go on), historians think this tradition slacked off at some point after America’s founding and a new tradition was started.  The bride’s parent’s paying for most or all of the wedding and feast since the husband would be financially responsible for his wife after the wedding.

I don’t know if this is really the case or not, but ever since I was little my mother always said she’d contribute $5,000 to the wedding.  Or I could elope and use the money elsewhere. 😉 At this point she’s not only contributed the $5,000 but she’s also paid for my dress.

His parents have rented the english double decker bus that will transport our guests from the reception area to the ceremony area and back again and his mother has put some money towards our cake.

We were prepared to pay for everything on our own, but we really appreciate the help because we can make this a bit more luxurious for ourselves and our guests. 😉


Post # 58
10 posts
  • Wedding: March 2011

My parents are paying for the wedding because I didn’t want a wedding in the first place.  My fiance and I wanted to elope but we’re being roped into a full-on formal wedding at my parents’ insistence.  I don’t see any reason why I should be expected to spend thousands of dollars of my own hard-earned savings to pay for something I never wanted.

Post # 59
453 posts
Helper bee

Because I was engaged before and they were going to pay for that one. I called it off (luckily before we put down any deposits.)

Honestly, my parents have always assumed and let me know that they would pay for my wedding. It is what is traditional in their circle, in our families. Even though I am eloping to Thailand when they said they wanted to throw us a party when we  got back, I knew they meant a full wedding reception. They did not give me a budget, but I know the type of wedding they wanted to throw, and what would be acceptable. They have pushed me to spend when things seem too high to me.  

So we are eloping and then having a 250 person reception at home a few months later.

Post # 60
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We never expected our parents to contribute to the wedding at all. The thought never even crossed my mind. I am a very independent person and I absolutely hate to have to rely or depend on anybody for anything as far as finances go. I have always been like that. My hubby to be is the same way and I love that about him.

I think his mom felt a little threatened by that in the beginning and that was one of the reasons why she and I didn’t get along. Everything that she said she would purchase or give us. I just went out and bought it. I think she may have felt I was trying to one up her which I wasn’t, I just am not about to sit and wait on someone to buy me something when I’m perfectly capable of buying it myself.

I think it may have been last month or maybe the month before my mom asked me a question about what still needed to be paid off and I told her really there’s nothing. We’ve paid for everything. At that time, we were in the beginning stages of house shopping and so she was just like well, I’ll pay your earnest monies and all of your closing costs on your home as my wedding present to the two of you and that’s what she’s doing.

Post # 61
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011 - Anthony’s Fine Dining

I suppose it’s a cultural/traditional thing, but in hindsight I don’t know why I expected my parents to pay for everything.  My parents have paid for necessities my entire life.  If I wanted something more, I had to buy it myself.  I’ve had an after-school job ever since it was allowed and I’ve always worked for what I wanted.  But when I started thinking about getting engaged in the near future, I just expected them to pay!  It turned out that both of my parents were laid off right before we got engaged, so when it became real, I didn’t expect anything.  I completely flip flopped!  I was floored with gratitude when they could contribute anything at all!

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