Advice about Fiancé’s parents/money for wedding(35 Posts)
Quick overview: my fiancé and I got engaged recently and are planning a wedding for next year. His sister is getting married this October and his parents are contributing a large sum to pay for the costs. His mum had said they would like to contribute to our wedding but did not say how much. We just sat down to work out the budget so went back to his mum to ask (very appreciatively!) how much they were thinking of contributing so we could take that into account. Fiancé’s mum says his dad has said he does not think they should contribute because tradition says that the brides family should pay... my parents are not in a position to pay (they are making a kind contribution but dad owns his own business which is struggling so I would not expect or ask for any more than they have offered!). Of course we can get on with the wedding without their contribution, but my fiancé is so hurt by this decision and feels it puts me and my family in an awkward position. Fiancé and I don’t believe in these old fashioned gender traditions so him saying something like this doesn’t sit well with us anyway! But fiancé is also upset that his dad doesn’t wish to treat him fairly with how they are treating his sister. His dad has also not spoken to my fiancé about this, just relied on his mum to be the messenger. To some extent this is not about the money but on fiancés dad being so hurtful to fiancé, but would it be our of line to speak to him about all of this? I feel it will massively impact on their relationship and not sure if fiancés dad is quite realising the significance of him “not wanting” to support his son in this way. (Note - his parents are well off and can afford to contribute, hence the initial offer). Any advice about what I or fiancé should do would be much appreciated!
Theres nothing you can do
just have to pay for the wedding yourself
We are planning to pay for it ourselves (plus the contributions from my parents). I'm just after some advice about whether the impact of the decision by his dad should be raised or if that is likely to get too messy to be worth it...
I don't think you should do anything; keep out of it, and plan your wedding without a contribution from your fiancé's parents. If your fiancé wants to take it up with his dad, you shouldn't be there when he does so.
I can understand how in this day and age with sexual equality that this could hurt your fiancé.
Especially with the initial offer being given without prompt and then taken away.
I would though perhaps both pay for it yourselves and fit budget around that.
If it’s brought up again just explain not everyone is in a financial position to pay for such things, and would appreciate it if they didn’t mention such things to your parents as if would be very embarrassing... but thank them for their well thought out advice and that you have worked out how you will pay for it yourselves.
It’s the point of it being unfair but I wouldn’t repeat it to your parents so they don’t have to feel like they are in an awkward position.
He should talk to his dad. My parents contributed to my wedding, but my husband paid for most of it. I think the new ‘tradition’ is for couples to pay for most with a contribution from each family - the bride’s giving more, maybe the groom’s family paying for something specific like the booze at the reception. I know at my stepson’s wedding the brides family paid for all of it.
Maybe your future in laws are feeling the pinch if they are contributing a substantial amount to their daughter’s wedding. You don’t know how their finances work - maybe they didn’t budget for another large outgoing so soon.
Agree with pp that your fiancée needs to raise this with his dad - I wouldn't get involved. Agree that it is not fair that the contributions are so unequal but it's ultimately their money.
He needs to discuss with parents about how it makes him feel if he wants to x
I can understand why you are disappointed but in terms of what you should do there is nothing you can do.
You could ask them to reconsider in the grounds your parents can't contribute much but that could be an awkward discussion. Depends how much you eNt their money whether you persue it or not? 2 children getting married and both wanting money sounds expensive perhaps they hadn't budgeted for that or perhaps they want to keep so e for their retirement?
How old are you and are you both working?
Thanks for advice so far. I don't want to raise the money thing again at all to be honest - if that's how he feels I wouldn't want to persuade anyone into giving us money! Plus I'm more than happy to pay for it myself without their support - it is my wedding after all!
I suppose I'm just worried about my fiancé not airing these things with his dad. His dad has been doing some things that my fiancé has found quite difficult recently but doesn't say anything because (with a dad like his!) he was taught not to say anything so essentially ends up building resentment. And now this happens and I'm really worried the impact of this decision (and the way it's been done) could have a real influence on their relationship. The reason I'm asking about it is because I'm the open one who always thinks talking things through helps any situation but am a bit scared of pushing that and meddling in what can be complicated family dynamics!
Thanks @Newmumma83 I think you've hit the nail on the head. It's a combo of things I feel very strongly about - my fiancé being treated (in my opinion) unfairly, pressure/embarrassment for my family and gender stereotypes/traditions! And I think when something pushes so many buttons at once it's hard to figure out what to do (if anything!) xx
Confused, you're asking what to do but saying you don't want to anything, so sounds like that's decided.
When you say you're not sure whether you should raise the impact of their decision, what is the impact? You and your bf being disappointed? You could but you may regret it. I'd leave it for now. Mull it over.
Also how much were you asking for and how much have they offered?
It's really sad when parents don't treat their children fairly and make such obvious distinctions between them.
The 'tradition' excuse is just that - fil has cottoned on to something he can use to get out of contributing, probably because he's over committed to his dd's wedding. The fair thing would be to reduce what he gives to your sil so that he can help out his son, but since that's not going to happen your best bet is to look at the positives. You can plan your wedding with no obligation to take ILs opinions into account at all. You don't have to invite their friends or their extended relatives and you won't have any guilt about doing exactly as you please.
I don't think you can do anything about your fiancé and fil's relationship -it will be damaged by this and it's entirely on your fil. You can't make it better.
What you can do is tell fil that you don't believe in the bride's parents paying for everything - in this day and age where couples live together etc, it's ridiculous to cling to this particular tradition and therefore you don't want him trying to guilt your parents into doing more than they can afford. It's not his place to say anything anyway.
I think your sil will be making lots of compromises since her dad holds the purse strings. You are lucky to escape that in a way. Try to encourage your fiancé to not let this affect his relationship with his sister.
My sons getting married and despite not having a lot we are giving them some money, they never asked we just said we will give this to you. Her parents are paying more, again never asked for. I'll probably give a similar amount to all my children, no differentiating because of their sex. It doesn't seem right to give more to one than the other (unless I come into some money in the meantime).
Imo starting married life without strings from ils will be much better!
And they get absolutely no say in any of the arrangements /guest list. Bet sil has to invite mil's hairdresser...
@Hollowvictory I think you misinterpreted what I was asking for advice about - it's not the money, it's just the worry I have about the impact of how he is treating his son.
@IWannaSeeHowItEnds I think you have summed it up perfectly, thank you. I really hate those underlying family dynamics which bubble away and ruin relationships - I've seen it too many times and I think this has just made me imagine where it might go and what I can do to stop it going that way. But you're right, it's not actually my responsibility and I probably can do nothing to resolve it. I can deal with my stuff and my family and leave his dad to it. Lucky fiancé is so on the same page as me about all these things, but unfortunately he's not quite the person who will go and say something when he's upset which is where my worry comes from that it will bubble away under the surface...
For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like you are worried about the money, more the message that comes with it.
I don't agree. You can't get angry with them for being traditional when you are trying to plan a traditional event. I think women typically love weddings more than guys. He wanted his DD to have the dress she wanted, the invitations she wanted, the flowers she wanted etc. It's typically not the guy who chooses most these wedding details and gets stuck into planning. He paid for his DD to have that experience. If he paid for your day then it would not be his son, but likely you, who would be choosing how to spend it. He is not responsible for you in the same way he is his own DD.
I also don't agree that children should be treated equally with regards to monetary support. Support should be tailored and siblings happy that each other are being helped rather than thinking where's my money. Perhaps they gave your fiancé help with travelling in the past because it's something he desperately wanted to do but his sister didn't. Would you expect them to give your fiancés sister money to compensate for giving her brother an experience he really wanted? Also you don't know how much money his parents have in savings. It's none of your fiancés or your business.
Would you expect them to give your fiancés sister money to compensate for giving her brother an experience he really wanted? You what now?
This comes down to how the son feels. I don't believe that men don't care about their own weddings - this man clearly does since the OP says he is hurt by his father's attitude. You'd think a father might care about that.
You should not say anything but he needs to talk directly to his dad and tell him he is hurt that they value his sister more than him. But ultimately don't spend so much, even if they gave you £10k it's a waste for just one day, a wedding is just the gateway to marriage and a generous parental support donation is better used for you future than one day
Traditionally, the groom's family do pay for quite a lot - cars, the hire of the church or temple, marriage fees, some flowers, and so on.
But... as befits their reduced financial role, they have very little say in the arrangements. So stay gentle, but don't involve them at all.
That statement was to demonstrate that the OP has no idea how the father has divided financial support between the siblings before she met her fiancé and that this should be considered.
I didn't say men don't care about their weddings. I do believe though that most men don't care as much about the details etc which is where the costs start to escalate. Weddings don't have to be expensive. They are expensive, I'd say, 9 times out of 10 because the bride wants details.... Detailed table arrangements, hand made invitations, a specific colour rose, someone to do their makeup and hair, a ring with details/stone as opposed to a plain band most men have, bridesmaid makeup etc. The guys costs are much less. They can get married without these costly details relatively cheaply. The dad isn't responsible for helping his future DIL have these costly extras but is somehow at fault for helping his OWN DD have them. His own child. There is a difference. I think the son is not appreciating that these additional costs are for the bride not groom. You can still have a great wedding relatively cheaply.
I'm not sure it's true that women care about the details more than men, but even if it was the case, the son cares that his fiancée has these things, so if the fil contributes to them he isn't doing it do much for fil's benefit but to make his son happy.
I do know that when my db got married, he was the one ordering a custom made wedding ring. When I got married my fiance cared very much about certain details.
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