Wedding finances(38 Posts)
My friend has 2 daughters. They are 5.5 years appart in age. The 27 year old (eldest) has been seeing her fiance for 4 years and are getting married next summer, they announced it about at Easter.
My friend and her dh have been working with their eldest daughter on plans and paying for the wedding. It worked out they would be paying a good £10k+ All good and the plans were going well, quite posh and up market.
Two weekends ago the youngest daughter announced her engagement to a boy se has been seeing 18 months. They have decided on a wedding next year too.
My friend can't afford £10k+ each wedding. She had assumed there would be a number of years between the girls' weddings in which to recover financially.
She had 'the talk' with her eldest daughter at the weekend and said each daughter now has a budget of around £5k each. It didn't go well. Her daughter had a feeling this would happen as soon as her younger sister announced her engagement.
Her wedding plans have to change and my friend feels terrible.
Was I unreasonable to tell my friend that £5k for a wedding is a lot of money and they should feel lucky?!
Can appreciate why the daughter is disappointed to have her wedding contribution halved without much notice. However, as adults they should be prepared to pay for their own weddings and any parental contribution is an extra. My parents paid zero to mine but dh parents gave a very generous contribution.
Understand why your friend feels bad but she did make some incorrect assumptions and unfortunately it didn't turn out that way, halving the wedding fund does seem the only sensible option.
They should feel more than lucky!
Me and my DP are getting married with a budget of £4500 and are getting loads for that money really. We have been given around about £2500 from my DP's family (grandparents and parents) as a gift which we were really greatful for and had never factored in - when we first got engaged we had a budget all sorted using our own money.
Sounds like this older daughter is a bit spoilt.
Both daughters should feel lucky and not be in grateful.
I don't see why the parents are paying anyway, mine and dh parents both offered but we declined both as we were adults and wanted to pay for our own wedding.
Feel for your friend but its definitely fair to split the sum available between the 2 daughters. Maybe if there was any chance that they could save a bit more for the following year a quiet word with the second daughter saying if you are prepared to wait a year we would be able to donate £X + Y instead of just £X. You never know - once daughter 2 starts to realise the cost of things she may be prepared to wait.
That's a really tough situation. If I were the elder sister I would probably be quite annoyed with my younger sister to be honest. I don't think there would necessarily be anything wrong in your friend saying to her younger daughter that she will be able to give her 10k in a couple of years time (by which point the younger daughter will still only be about 25) but that if she wants to get married earlier than that it can't be such a big wedding.
I think your friend was in a catch-22 situation. It is a bit unfair that she had promised the elder sister a certain amount of money and plans had been made on that basis. However it would also seem unfair to the younger sister if she didn't have the same amount of money spent on her wedding.
Ultimately however I think I still feel that the younger sister has behaved a bit badly and I don't really see why, at 21 and with somebody she has only known 18 months, she can't be expected to wait a couple of years if she wants significant financial assistance with the wedding.
Others will probably disagree though!
I can see both sides. An offer of money was made wether it's a lot or not doesn't matter.
That's now been halved because the younger is getting married.
I can understand the mothers decision though too.
I can't help wonder why the relationship between the sisters is like.
My best friends sister decided to get married the same year as my friend. She has form for pulling all sorts when my friend is getting attention. The sisters wedding ended up not going ahead and lots of money was lost. She didn't even really want to marry the man she was engaged to.
Hmm, I'm not sure! Going against the grain here a bit I know. If DD1 had stamped her feet right at the start, then yes she would be spoilt, but to be told someone is giving you something, actually start planning it, then have it taken away?
Seems a bit harsh on her. Won't she lose deposits etc? I'd be annoyed with DD2, tbh.
Yes i wondered if a bit of attention seeking/sibling rivalry was going on here too.
18 months is awfully quick - I'd do what's been suggested above, tell DD2 she can have a fancy wedding in 2 years, or a basic one now. I'd guess she'll choose to wait...
Actually, if I were your friend I would probably have worked out what I could save in the next 2 years, and then split the fund on that basis - ie expect the younger daughter to wait a little longer, but also expect the elder daughter to understand that she can't have all of the fund to herself. So if the total in 2 years would have been 14k, elder daughter gets 7k now and younger daughter gets 7k in 2 years. Might that be a compromise?
andinto agree with you re the younger sister's behaviour. No reason why she should have the wedding exact same year as older sisters, what's going on there?
I'm sorry but I think it's really really unfair to have promised the older daughter a sum of money based on which plans have been made and to then take that away.
If I were the mum I'd be saying to the younger daughter "sorry but we can't afford to contribute if you get married next year, happy to help out next year/two years when we've had a chance to save".
She's 21, it's unlikely she has an urgent requirement to get married, can't she wait a year or two?
I wonder if dd2 has pulled this sort if still not before. Yes any offer of money is generous and should be expected but to them have that halved because of a younger sibling just hurt. It's like being offered an all inclusive holiday but because someone else also wants to go you can now only go self catering, not bad in itself but not what was originally on offer.
The mother has done the only thing she felt fair... Just a really hard situation
They could of course consider a joint wedding.......
I think this is unfair, I would never offer something to one child that I couldn't to the other. The older daughter was offered money for her wedding and made plans accordingly, it's only on MN that you can't support and help your children the day after they turn 18.
The parents here just didn't think this through well enough, and whatever the outcome there will be upset surrounding both weddings.
If someone told me they were giving me a gift of £10k and then changed their mind and said they would only give me £5k, I would fall at their feet in gratitude.
So the elder daughter will have to change some plans (that she has had for less than two weeks).
The mother has been more than fair and is clearly trying to do the right thing by her grabby daughters.
Her daughter had a feeling this would happen as soon as her younger sister announced her engagement
There's history here. I'd bet that the elder sister feels that the younger is the spoilt favourite and is trying the rain on her parade.
With regard to the money, I wouldn't be giving anyone £10k. Five is generous but perhaps your friend should've thought about the possibility of the younger getting married and made some kind of plan if she wanted to help them both. I'm a firm believer that all off spring should be treated equally. Perhaps the two siblings haven't been treated equally before and now the shit has hit the fan?
What if the eldest has paid deposits based on the 10k?
What an awkward situation for the eldest and your friend.
It's a shame your friend hadn't thought before offering the 10k, and encouraging the couple to plan with that as part of the budget.
I think it would have been more reasonable and fairer to explain to the youngest that friend would be happy to contribute an equal sum to her wedding, but it would have to be in a couple of years.
This situation is just going to exacerbate sibling rivalry.
21 is awfully young to get married and if she isn't mature enough to understand the parents predicament then maybe she should have a think. Maybe the younger sister is blissfully in love and can't wait, or maybe she's a jealous cow. It's irrelevant really as the parents have offered the money and I think £5k is very generous.
I feel weddings these days are ridiculously prices. DH and I were married in 1999 and the whole thing including honeymoon was about £5k and we had a very nice honeymoon. No evening do though which puts up the cost.
Yes both girls are lucky to have any contribution but this doesn't help the DM's predicament. I don't see how being disappointed means being ungrateful.
The younger sister could wait if she wanted her parents to contribute.
She knew her older sister is engaged and is getting married next year and now she is getting married in the same year??
There's history there I reckon. Definite sibling rivalry - underneath the surface if not out in the open.
I would have offered 5k and suggested the couple save/contribute the other 5k (assuming only 10k was needed/budgeted) and then offered the same again for the second daughter.
Although pretty pointless worrying about the barn door now when the horse has gone.
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