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To not pay for my daughter's wedding?

412 replies

WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 18:57

Our daughter recently got engaged to her long term boyfriend of 12 years. They're both in their 30s, working, and have been living together for quite a few years. My husband and I are both retired so no more money is coming in. We do still go on holidays, but don't have anything like as much money as we used to have. We happily paid for private education and private healthcare and plenty more for all our children and were happy to do so but AIBU to think that by now we've done our bit and our daughter should pay for her own wedding?

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LouiseBelchersPinkBunnyEars · 08/06/2022 20:04

Supersimkin2 · 30/05/2022 20:56

No, you don’t need to pay.

But you can’t invite anyone - or think you have the right to make suggestions, either. You’re a guest like any other, so turn up on the day, don’t expect top table unless DD suggests it, and don’t hang around being gracious as Mother of The Bride. Or expect to be in most of the main pix.

Ditto DH - if he’s asked to give DD away, great, but that tends to be reserved for families who do help each other.

Invitations must be sent out from the hosts, in this case the bride and BF, not you and DH.

Make sure everyone knows the bride’s paying. Don’t accept any credit - pass it all smilingly to DD.

What total utter crap.
Even if my dad didn't contribute to my wedding he was still giving me away. He's my dad and it was an honour to have had him do it. It wasn't a case of you can only do it if you pay for the privilege. Seriously.

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flirtybird · 08/06/2022 15:37

My daughter got married 4 years ago, we bought her dress and paid for a coach and other stuff and spent £5000.

Her wedding itself without our contribution cost her another £20,000 there would have been no way we could afford spending twenty five thousand pounds as we do not have that much money.

The five thousand we contributed hit our finances hard and by time we paid for travel and hotels for 4 days it was close to another thousand on top.

If you cannot afford it then be honest with your daughter and tell her, this will give her time to save up.

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lkcookies · 05/06/2022 23:46

They've been together for 12 years and have been together? Nope you're not obligated to pay for their wedding. You could offer to give a set amount or offer to pay toward the cake or flowers.

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GawjussPreMadonna · 05/06/2022 10:32

I got married at 21, now 29. We paid for the wedding ourselves, though both sets of parents contributed - we didn't expect this and wouldn't have asked either. My parents paid for my dress and in-laws paid for the honeymoon.

I vividly remember being completely shocked that my MIL asked me at one point why my parents weren't paying. They paid for my first car and all of my expenses (rent, food, etc.) through uni so absolutely shouldn't have to cough up for a wedding on top of that. She is rather old-fashioned though.

Unless your daughter is very entitled I doubt she would be expecting anything from you

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Murdoch1949 · 04/06/2022 19:20

I think the days of paying for a daughter's wedding are long gone. However a nice contribution, the dress (as you mentioned), champagne for the welcome drinks, the flowers, the cars, whatever, I'm sure would be welcomed. Two people established in their careers can have the wedding they want and can pay for, their choice.

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Somethingneedstochange · 04/06/2022 12:54

Exactly this they have already spent years paying out for a private education for them so they could be self sufficient and build a good life for themselves. Why shouldn't they be able to enjoy they're retirement without having to worry about saving for they're daughters wedding. I don't see an issue with contributing towards the cost like paying for the brides or bridesmaids dresses.

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PositivelyPrehistoricMom · 04/06/2022 11:51

I’ve been married twice. The first time my parents paid for my dress and the two bridesmaids and wedding breakfast (and probably one or two other “bits” I can’t really quite remember. We paid all the legal stuff, registrars costs etc, the church fees - Catholic Church so wasn’t much! and the the church choir which again wasn’t much. We paid for the suit hires I think or his Dad may have given us some money towards it. We asked for money as wedding gifts as we were living together but wanted a couple of big ticket items like a new sofa and dining table and put the rest to the honeymoon which was a cruise.

In hindsight I should saved everyone and us some money and never married him but there you go 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

Second time around, 11 years later, my husband and I decided that we were footing the bill but had decided on nothing too grand and being the project manager I am, I’d spreadsheeted, budgeted and managed the whole thing to the nth degree!! I knew what we could afford and we worked in that budget. I couldn’t marry in church again as my first marriage hadn’t been annulled, was just divorced so it was a registry office job and a small hotel nearby.

I nearly fell over when my MIL offered the money to pay for the hotel package which was £1500. She wouldn’t take no for an answer so that mean we could then do some extra bits we’d wanted but before then, didn’t really need. Then my mum offered to pay for my dress and veil (£200 on a veil - I regret that 😂) so that freed up some more of our budget.

Ultimately, we never expected anything from either my parents or my MIL. My parents are retired so on a finite income (but are reasonably comfortable however not a reason to take the mick!) his mum was still working and she was in a comfortable position too but again we never expected it but it was gratefully received.

YANBU. I would just ask them if they’d like a contribution if you want to give something :-)

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Deborino · 02/06/2022 17:33

We gave all three of our children £15000 when we downsized so they won't be getting much more.

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Shellbelle123 · 02/06/2022 14:50

JinglingHellsBells · 02/06/2022 08:07

@Shellbelle123 I don't know where to start on your post.
Yes it's not the 1950s. I referred to recent weddings. And don't be so silly as to assume 1950s brides were virgins. That's a load of tosh.

Also, there are more young people up to age 35 living at home now because of the cost of housing than ever before.

Of course the OP has the 'right' to spend her money as she wants.
And no, all weddings do not have to be ridiculously expensive. Some are- a DC of mine went to one that had cost over £30K which they (thankfully) agreed was ridiculous.
Many people do still have the equivalent of a church hall and punch.

BUT and it's a big 'but'- most parents I know have a generosity of spirit and if they can help their kids with wedding costs, they do. I find the attitude of 'well, I've paid for your private ed (which they didn't have any say in) so that's IT ' a bit distasteful.

I was making a point that times have changed, but expectations about bride’s parents paying have not. If kids are staying home longer up till 35, that’s all the more reason they can afford to pay for their weddings on their own. Those kids are still going to have jobs.

Parents don’t have a say either in their kids choosing to get married. Also, why should the groom’s parents be allowed to get away with not paying anything? You didn’t answer that question. I don’t think tradition is a good enough reason especially since I’ve seen many argue parents paying or contributing is a sign of support. As I said in one of my posts, my in laws didn’t spend a dollar on my husband and I when we got married. That didn’t raise eyebrows, but for some reason people judge when it’s the brides parents. I remember a post awhile back on another website where the OP mentioned giving their daughter $5,000 for her wedding, and there were multiple posters saying “only” giving $5,000 was stingy. It’s ridiculous.

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Oceanus · 02/06/2022 12:42

You're on the Daily Mail! I've justed outed myself there! hahahah!

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LuckySantangelo35 · 02/06/2022 09:03

@Supersimkin2

“No, you don’t need to pay.


But you can’t invite anyone - or think you have the right to make suggestions, either. You’re a guest like any other, so turn up on the day, don’t expect top table unless DD suggests it, and don’t hang around being gracious as Mother of The Bride. Or expect to be in most of the main pix.


Ditto DH - if he’s asked to give DD away, great, but that tends to be reserved for families who do help each other.


Invitations must be sent out from the hosts, in this case the bride and BF, not you and DH.


Make sure everyone knows the bride’s paying. Don’t accept any credit - pass it all smilingly to DD.”

Eh?! So much is fucked up about your post. Of course op should be top table if they’re having and of course she can be gracious mother of the bride!! Just because she isn’t paying for the wedding doesn’t negate all the help and support (including finding private school) that op has given her daughter over the years!!

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LuckySantangelo35 · 02/06/2022 09:00

JinglingHellsBells · 02/06/2022 08:07

@Shellbelle123 I don't know where to start on your post.
Yes it's not the 1950s. I referred to recent weddings. And don't be so silly as to assume 1950s brides were virgins. That's a load of tosh.

Also, there are more young people up to age 35 living at home now because of the cost of housing than ever before.

Of course the OP has the 'right' to spend her money as she wants.
And no, all weddings do not have to be ridiculously expensive. Some are- a DC of mine went to one that had cost over £30K which they (thankfully) agreed was ridiculous.
Many people do still have the equivalent of a church hall and punch.

BUT and it's a big 'but'- most parents I know have a generosity of spirit and if they can help their kids with wedding costs, they do. I find the attitude of 'well, I've paid for your private ed (which they didn't have any say in) so that's IT ' a bit distasteful.

@JinglingHellsBells

but people only have so much money!

And if OP spent years paying for private education she may not have the money now to fund daughters wedding.

or maybe you think op should have done without clothes etc and lived in rags in order to save up for the possibility of her daughter getting married in the future??

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Newestname002 · 02/06/2022 08:59

This thread has made the Daily Mail

mol.im/a/10875695

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LuckySantangelo35 · 02/06/2022 08:57

LuaDipa · 01/06/2022 07:42

I would want to contribute to my dc’s wedding (I have a ds and dd and agree that it’s old fashioned to only help with a dd’s wedding). In their circles, with many of their friends having gone to independent school with them very few will be footing the bill with no support from the parents.

I also very much dislike the ‘we paid for private school so my bit is done’ narrative. In most cases the kids didn’t ask for that or expect it, it was a decision taken by the parents. It’s pretty nasty to then say that because you did that ‘for them’ you never have to offer any help again. We pay for school for our kids but that was our choice. We’ll still be helping as much as we can as they grow up because they are our kids and that’s what parents do.

@LuaDipa

no

what parents should do is support their children to become independent and self sufficient into adulthood, not just continue to pay for everything for them forever more

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JacquiG2 · 02/06/2022 08:54

It's nice to contribute though. Do you have any special skills you can use to add to the occasion? Can you arrange the flowers the happy couple pay for? Can you make the dress, the invitations, the Order of Service? If you have a computer and printer you can design your own and print them on some of the lovely papers which are available?

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LuckySantangelo35 · 02/06/2022 08:52

@JinglingHellsBells

of course op and her husband can spend their money repeat THEIR money on holidays rather than run fund their daughters weddings.

you seriously suggesting they should go without holidays to pay for daughters wedding?

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mummsnetty · 02/06/2022 08:38

lilgrimmers · 01/06/2022 15:17

See now personally I would tell my kids to fuck off as even though they're
my kids if you pay for one wedding you will end up paying for all weddings

This

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knowinglesseveryday · 02/06/2022 08:16

In the old days you were paying for a dress and a meal and not much more. In recent years it has become a ridiculous expense, with all sorts of expectations and additions. I would pay a little towards a dress or a modest lump sum to contribute to a basic wedding, and leave them to find whatever else they want.

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DashboardConfessional · 02/06/2022 08:13

Our parents paid for ours (split between both families) but it was 12 years ago and not a massive £50k wedding as has been mentioned upthread, so we are talking approx £10k total with 3 out of 4 still working. We paid for our honeymoon.

They're all retired now so I'd not accept the money at 37.

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JinglingHellsBells · 02/06/2022 08:07

@Shellbelle123 I don't know where to start on your post.
Yes it's not the 1950s. I referred to recent weddings. And don't be so silly as to assume 1950s brides were virgins. That's a load of tosh.

Also, there are more young people up to age 35 living at home now because of the cost of housing than ever before.

Of course the OP has the 'right' to spend her money as she wants.
And no, all weddings do not have to be ridiculously expensive. Some are- a DC of mine went to one that had cost over £30K which they (thankfully) agreed was ridiculous.
Many people do still have the equivalent of a church hall and punch.

BUT and it's a big 'but'- most parents I know have a generosity of spirit and if they can help their kids with wedding costs, they do. I find the attitude of 'well, I've paid for your private ed (which they didn't have any say in) so that's IT ' a bit distasteful.

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user1487194234 · 02/06/2022 07:34

If mine get married I will make a substantial contribution as long as I can afford to
i know I don’t have to but I want to,just as I supported them through Uni and will get them house deposits and bought their first cars

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Shellbelle123 · 01/06/2022 22:50

JinglingHellsBells · 31/05/2022 12:53

So you were a SAHM for all your life, not earning, and now want holidays over contributing to your DDs wedding?

Hmmmm............is all I can say.

She earned it. Parents who work hard-both at raising their kids and at their jobs-can spend their money however they please when their children are adults.

It's not the 1950s anymore, when women married very young, didn’t have the ability to be as independent, and weddings were simple affairs consisting of cake and punch in a church basement. Nowadays weddings are insane and we still expect the brides parents-and only the brides parents-to pay for the whole thing. We don’t expect women to be virgins anymore when they get married, couples are most of the time living together when they get married. Why is it still a social expectation for brides parents to pay regardless of their finances or how absurd the wedding costs are?

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Shellbelle123 · 01/06/2022 21:18

Marvellousmadness · 31/05/2022 05:41

It reads a bit cold....as in "she can pay for her own shit. Why should i"

My mum paid for the dress. And i love that she did! Doesnt have to be much. Def not the whole thing. Although some parents do but depends on your wealth and relationship

My husband’s parents didn’t contribute a single thing. We didn’t even get so much as
a wedding gift from them. No one bats an eye when the groom’s parents don’t contribute anything. For some reason, the brides parents are expected to contribute a significant amount even if it kills them financially.

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Shellbelle123 · 01/06/2022 21:04

Supersimkin2 · 30/05/2022 20:56

No, you don’t need to pay.

But you can’t invite anyone - or think you have the right to make suggestions, either. You’re a guest like any other, so turn up on the day, don’t expect top table unless DD suggests it, and don’t hang around being gracious as Mother of The Bride. Or expect to be in most of the main pix.

Ditto DH - if he’s asked to give DD away, great, but that tends to be reserved for families who do help each other.

Invitations must be sent out from the hosts, in this case the bride and BF, not you and DH.

Make sure everyone knows the bride’s paying. Don’t accept any credit - pass it all smilingly to DD.

So you’re suggesting OP’s daughter should emotionally blackmail her for not paying? This is absurd. Why is it we expect the brides parents to pay a hefty contribution or all of the wedding expenses while the groom’s parents can get away with not paying anything? I’m sure you would never say the mother of the groom shouldn’t expect the mother/groom dance for not contributing anything.

If this is the case, then the brides parents should then get to say “ok I’ll pay, as long as you promise to take care of me in old age”. Only fair right? Especially since people seem to forget that weddings aren’t exactly cheap and not every older parent has a lot of money to give.

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BiasedBinding · 01/06/2022 19:24

I don’t think it’s unusual for parents (both sets, not just bride) to pay for weddings. I don’t think it’s unusual for the couple to pay for their wedding, and for parents to
make a specific contribution or not.

but the OP is about expectation - I know a number of people where the parents (of both bride and groom) paid for the whole wedding, but the bride and groom never expected it - they accepted when kindly offered but did not expect. Should the couple never accept, is that some people’s view?

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