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

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 77
1656 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

LOL I forgot to mention earlier that it’s a running joke in the fam that my Dad is getting so much pleasure out of footing the bill because since I’ll be starting my own family it’s the last thing he’ll ever have to pay for 😉  We joke that I won’t be “on the take” anymore and now I can start saving up for the beach house I’m going to buy them if I ever make a ton of money. LOL don’t know if that will ever happen but if it does you can be damn sure I’m buying them that beach house for everything they’ve done for me and given me in my life!

Post # 78
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

wow, such heated feelings about others’ finances!  I do feel some hostility and self-rightiousness from the “I would never allow my parents to pay” side; that’s great that you are paying for your wedding, but let’s not make rash judgements about those whose families are helping.  Every family’s dynamics, socioeconomic situation, and cultural history are different, and I think all should be respected.  Having a financially comfortable and generous family is not a bad thing, and accepting a gift from your family does not make you a lazy and dependent person.  

Post # 79
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Hmm well for us, we told our parents before hand that we couldn’t afford to have a big wedding so if they felt that they absolutely had to have x amount of people come then they would need to help out. We ended up having our parents contribute the same amount each, but Fiance and I are still paying for the majority.

Post # 80
128 posts
Blushing bee

I’m a MOG and I am contributing to my son and FDIL’s wedding because I WANT to do so!  I think it’s kind of funny that I have gotten some criticism from some friends and family that question why I would want to help pay when it’s the “bride’s family’s responsibility” according to them. My parents foot the whole bill when I got married (except for the rehearsal dinner) and I remember really trying to keep the cost down. I am lucky now to have the financial means to relieve some of the pressure off my son and the bride’s family.  My FDIL is a doll and has included me in much of the wedding planning which has been fun since I have 3 sons! I am still acutely aware that it is HER wedding, and I am happy to help her achieve her vision with some financial help.

Post # 81
5259 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

It is a long standing tradition.  My mom wouldn’t take us to the dentist, but she will contribute to our wedding- crazy, huh?

Post # 82
2689 posts
Sugar bee

I am curious on why people EXPECT their parents to contribute $$$ to their wedding and are upset when they cannot or won’t contribute $$$?
I’m not sure why people expect parents to pay and get upset when they don’t or cannot contribute. Maybe the parents told them and took it back. Maybe they just see it on tv or with other friends and expect it from their parents. No idea why. 🙂 I think it IS rude to get upset if someone can’t give you money. Heck, I think it’s rude to ASK for money.LOL  You never know someone’s financial situation unless you are that person or married to them.

Post # 83
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Here’s the thing with me…when we decided to get married, FI’s parents told us they would pay for the dinner, have the reception at their home, pay for alcohol PLUS give us 6k as a gift.  When I told my mom we were getting married she didnt offer a cent.  This DID make me mad. NO i didnt throw a fit but when i decided to ask her to help and she only offered to pay for flowers(500), I was dissapointed in her. HERES WHY. My step dad owns a buisness, they make good money. They always talk about how much money they have, how much my mom just spent on makeup and 600 they just dropped on video games, and they only take care of the flowers??? If i knew they couldnt afford it, i wouldnt be upset, but as it is, they can afford it the problem is that they are just too cheap and selfish to do so. PLUS they offered to pay for our invitations nly because they could “write it off on the business” i said no because if you are only going to help out because you profit, dont bother….just my honest opinion

I know that when i have kids I will pay for their weddings and my Fiance agrees.

Post # 84
472 posts
Helper bee

  i feel that whatever is correct for the couple and their families is correct.  i don’t think there is a wrong or a right here – i simply never expected any help from my family b/c i have been independent from them since I was a very young girl – my mother who is my only immediate family (and who I don’t speak to any longer)never paid for my education so thus, why pay for anything else. 

my partner did say something hurtful to me once in the heat of an argument which was “normally the bride’s family does pay” and of course, i don’t have a family to do this. so he had that expectation – of course, he apologized for saying this.

i am also a bit older than your typical bride so i have a larger salary and savings that goes with that. 


Post # 85
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I think it’s just a tradition. I never expected anything because my parents are all about “If you want it, work hard, save up, and pay in cash for it yourself”. But they generously offered to help out where they could.

Post # 86
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think it’s tradition.  I have never expected or even thought my parents would be able to contribute financially to my wedding.  They have never been very financially sound, and I have worked very hard, paying my way through University, buying a house etc, so I never expected such.  However, my Maid/Matron of Honor is getting married, and we have had a few struggles because she completely expects her parents to pay for everything (and they are!) and is not concerned about the cost, she is just booking everything she wants and they are paying for it… I have a hard time with it.  I like that we are paying most of our wedding (FIs parents contributing some!), I also love that we get all the decision making final say, and that the day can be celebrated with our family and friends, knowing that we did it!!

Post # 87
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with MightySapphire 110%.: “… a lot of “tradition” comes from socioeconomic influences rather than culture.”

I don’t think it’s really about tradition as much as it is whether or not your family can afford it….because, if you say it’s about “tradition,” and then your family falls on hard times and is unable to financially contribute- does “tradition” then go out the window? I definitely think it’s more about financial means…I don’t really think it has to do with tradition. My grandparents paid for my parents wedding. My parents can’t afford to pay for my wedding. But that doesn’t have anything to do with not having “tradition”- it’s about not having the means to do so.

Some people’s families can afford to pay for their weddings, and some can’t. Just like some people’s families can afford to pay for college, and some can’t. I don’t think that makes any of us any better or worse than the other. It is what it is. Why get so upset about it?

Post # 88
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I didn’t expect money. I did ask my mom IF she and my dad had planned on contributing and how much so that we could figure out our budget, because their contributions would make a difference in what we could afford. We would have had to cut a LOT of corners if we were paying for it ourselves. We both make decent money but I’m paying off student loans and we’re saving for a house and didn’t want to ditch our house fund in favor of a wedding.

I also told my mom that we didn’t need a gift and if she was planning on giving us one, it would help us more to contribute to a portion of the wedding.

She and my dad are contributing. They paid for my dress (which was a bargain) and offered to pay for the photographer when I showed her the proposal we got from him. She also gave me $250 for “odds and ends”. Anything that they give us is greatly appreciated. I’m also an only child and my mom wants me to have a nice wedding, maybe nicer than we could/would do on our own. I’m keeping it very budget conscious and my mom has made it clear that they’re happy to contribute because we’re being smart about how the money is spent.

FI’s stepmom offered out of the blue to pay for our cake. Not sure what else she has planned but again, I’m grateful for anything they offer. It’s a huge help.

I haven’t asked my parents for financial help since I was in college 6 years ago, not even when I was in grad school and living on $800 a month. I don’t think it says anything about me as a person because I’m accepting their help in putting this together now.

Post # 89
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I did not expect it, or even care that they couldn’t. The thing I got mad about is that my dad said he would pay for it (and he is pretty well off) and then a week later called and told me he wouldn’t. I have a major pet peeve when someone tells me they will do something and then don’t. If he would of first said “Hey listen I’m not paying for your wedding because personally I think it’s your responsibility to pay for it.” I would of been fine and understanding, but when I told him me and Fi got engaged a week later he asked me how much I wanted to spend, and I told him around $5,000, and he told me he would pay it, and then seriously a week later called me back, and said “I’m not paying for your wedding.” and didn’t even say sorry that he had orginally told me he would and then decided not to. So that’s my problem right now, haha.

Post # 90
1485 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Wow, interesting post! I do wonder how age is a factor in all of this.  I would expect families who financially can contribute would, if their children were getting married in their earlier 20’s but maybe not so much, if they were in their late 30’s.

I guess I did assume that my parents would contriubte to my wedding, since they never said they wouldn’t.  Our family has been very lucky, financially, and to my dad it was always more important to him that I save my money for a house etc. then pay for my wedding (granted he also started an IRA for me when I was in middle school so the guys been planning!)

Alls good, except that my FI’s family has been adament about wanting to help contribute to the wedding costs. But to my dad, he sees this as not being able to provide for me, and so has flatly refused.  He just as adamently shot down any idea that me or Fiance contribute significantly since I “shouldnt have to pay for my own wedding.” I bet this will come up a few more times, and maybe he will conceede a bit. (Which I think would be a great idea, but we’ll see)

That said, I am also very frugal with his/my/FI’s money.  I think that many people assume that just because parents are contributing, that those brides have a free pass to have ‘platinum weddings.’  Personally I have always been of the mind that if you can get the same thing for $5 dollars why spend $35? But that’s just me.


Post # 91
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Tradition for who? Sorry I don’t follow tradition. I know in my family parents paid for the wedding but that really didn’t matter to me. Saw the drama it caused! Also even if my family or Fiance family had the financial means, which they did, it just was something we both wanted…to pay ourselves. Yes we were grateful for the help they did offer but we never asked and they did it to help us, not so they could have a wedding they want. Also I don’t think it has anything to with whether your family has the financial means or not. I’ve seen plenty of parents go in debt for their childs wedding. I do want to say strongly that I disagree with the comments that bc some don’t agree with parents paying, they are in anyway jealous. Seriously? Get over yourself. Its snarky for someone to have a differing opinon but its not rude or snarky to make a highschool comment like that? We all have different views and not everyone is going to agree with you. It bothers me with the expectation that the parents will pay and then the bride or groom are so ungrateful. I guess being gracious is a lost virtue.

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