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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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MyLifeJourney · 01/06/2022 12:03

Always talk.

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PinkSparklyPussyCat · 01/06/2022 12:50

Dnaltocs · 31/05/2022 21:25

The brides parents traditionally pay for the wedding. Some save for many years.
You say you don’t have the amount of money to previously had. Why did you not put money aside instead of spending what you did? For whatever reason sadly you didn’t allocate some money to your daughters big day.
Not much to say, you spent the money.

Why should parents go without for the sake of a wedding?

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juliet1973 · 01/06/2022 13:56

My MIL and FIL paid a lot towards our wedding, and my parents paid for the reception (buffet in our local).

My DH was an only child and I think my in laws were glad to be rid of him! (joke), but my MIL did say that there were no other kids and she wanted to do it.

My Parents had previously paid for my sisters reception and also did the same for my youngest sister, so we didnt find it unusual for them to do it, but we certainly didnt ask.

We also had our own place and our DD when we got married, so to help, family also helped instead of giving us presents. I had bagpipes and drums (DH aunt and Uncle), Cake (my aunt), Flowers (another aunt), cars (uncles), Hair (cousin) among other things. I would never have expected my parents to pay for any of it. The fact that they did was nice though, and the fact that family helped in some small way made it feel more thoughtful, than just buying a gift

Maybe if you want to feel involved, but dont want to contribute money wise, maybe offer to do favours, or something else that involves time but not money.

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Ticksallboxes · 01/06/2022 14:03

Dnaltocs · 31/05/2022 21:25

The brides parents traditionally pay for the wedding. Some save for many years.
You say you don’t have the amount of money to previously had. Why did you not put money aside instead of spending what you did? For whatever reason sadly you didn’t allocate some money to your daughters big day.
Not much to say, you spent the money.

But that was in the days where the average wedding was reasonably modest, before the wedding 'industry' evolved, where everyone is either trying to match or out do their peer group and it all just keeps escalating. You just can't expect any parent, apart from very wealthy ones, to have to pay for that.

My parents wrote a blank cheque for my sister's wedding. She was in the music industry at the time and it was fabulous, but my parents had no other control over it and anyone over 50 felt like a real outsider on the day. My sister was having an affair within six months and they divorced five years later Hmm They did the same for me a decade later, but chose the venue and were involved in the guest list - it was their day as much as mine and all the better for being more inclusive.

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saraclara · 01/06/2022 15:02

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

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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

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JinglingHellsBells · 01/06/2022 15:24

I am genuinely shocked at some posts here because I've never appreciated that so many couples paid for their own weddings. Maybe it's generational, or even geographical, with some areas of the UK being more traditional. All my DCs friends weddings are currently being paid for by parents and yes, some have got divorced soon afterwards! These are couples who are professionals and earning very good incomes.

I have only one friend who paid for their own wedding in the 1980s and that was because her only parent- her mother- was ill and on benefits and had little money.

All my other friends' parents paid for theirs. Mine was paid for but it cost a pittance and was very modest- a small sit-down lunch at a nice hotel, for a very small number of people. I kept the guest list small, bearing in mind my parents low income.

However, they did regard it as a family event. I had rows with them at the time as they insisted that they invited some of their friends who I didn't especially like. I could easily have afforded to pay for the wedding itself (I bought my own dress and bridesmaid dresses) but my parents saw it as their role to fund the wedding, within their means. My in laws paid the wine bill and provided the cake.

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Trisolaris · 01/06/2022 15:30

I’m getting married soon so my friends and family are hearing a lot about how expensive weddings are but that isn’t because I expect them to pay, it’s just that’s my reality right now. It might be the same for your daughter. I know my parents are buying my dress and nothing else and I’m more than happy with that - it’s lovely of them to do so.

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toomuchlaundry · 01/06/2022 15:58

@JinglingHellsBells welcome to the real world

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JinglingHellsBells · 01/06/2022 16:18

toomuchlaundry · 01/06/2022 15:58

@JinglingHellsBells welcome to the real world

You mean YOUR world.

You can't delete or ridicule someone else's experiences, both past and present, just because they are different to yours.

MN is hardly a sample of the whole of society.

If you say I'm not in the real world, then neither are all my friends who have paid for weddings recently, or their DCs, or their DCs friends.

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saraclara · 01/06/2022 16:23

JinglingHellsBells · 01/06/2022 16:18

You mean YOUR world.

You can't delete or ridicule someone else's experiences, both past and present, just because they are different to yours.

MN is hardly a sample of the whole of society.

If you say I'm not in the real world, then neither are all my friends who have paid for weddings recently, or their DCs, or their DCs friends.

But it IS the situation for most. And this thread demonstrates that. I can come right back at your anecdotal evidence with my own - my DD and all her friends who've got married, have NOT had their parents pay for the wedding.

Most, like me, made a contribution to an element of it, often the dress. But certainly where we live, it's the norm for the couple to assume they're paying and to pay the bulk of it.
I think most couples these days want to have control over their own event, and the waters are muddied if someone else is paying.

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ThreeRingCircus · 01/06/2022 16:36

I'm in my mid 30s and don't think I know of any of my friends or family having their weddings paid for by their parents. It seems so old fashioned nowadays.

When DH and I got married my parents bought our wedding cake for us as their gift, which was lovely. My best friend got married last month and her parents had given them some money for the honeymoon. I'd be extremely surprised if your DD is expecting anything other than your presence and if you can afford it, a gift.

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 08:57

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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Newestname002 · 02/06/2022 08:59

This thread has made the Daily Mail

mol.im/a/10875695

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