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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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WeAllHaveWings · 30/05/2022 20:15

Absolutely you don't need to pay. If you havent been asked yet offer to make a contribution with what you can afford be it £200 or £2000, but no more, before you are asked.

It is traditional for the brides parents to pay the bulk of wedding costs but it is also traditional to not live together, for the paying parents to be the hosts and make the wedding decisions is venue, food, guest list (Mr & Mrs Smith invite you to the wedding of their daughter...) etc. As those traditions have been well and truely broken then there should be no obligation on parents.

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DelurkingAJ · 30/05/2022 20:16

YANBU so long as you don’t then complain about the invitations that may not be available for extended family! We married at nearly 30 and my DP did pay…at that stage their combined income from final salary pension schemes was more than we were earning and DM said, very honestly, that she wanted a good show for the entire extended family. But we would happily have funded it ourselves, just maybe with fewer cousins children present!

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Aria2015 · 30/05/2022 20:18

Me and most of my friends paid for our own weddings. Some had contributions from parents (a few thousand usually) or their parents paid for the dress or another cost (photographer etc...). I don't think many people expect their parents to foot the bill these days, but I think a contribution or an offer to pay for the dress or photographer would be a nice gesture if you can afford it.

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Aria2015 · 30/05/2022 20:19

Oh yes, and as another poster mentioned. If you're not paying, don't expect any say over who gets invited etc.,. Imo that's only appropriate if you're paying for it all.

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HermioneKipper · 30/05/2022 20:20

Can you afford to contribute a little bit? Would be a nice gesture

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Ziggazagga · 30/05/2022 20:22

We didn’t expect anything from our parents and never have. They both gave us some money as a wedding present but there was no expectation and it wasn’t a lot
I don’t think an adult should expect their parents to pay for anything!

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HeddaGarbled · 30/05/2022 20:24

Your family had private education and private healthcare. You’re not struggling along on a state pension, are you? Unless somethings gone drastically wrong with your financial planning, I think you should offer them a couple of grand as a contribution. They need to know what budget they’re working with right from the off, so they can plan accordingly.

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MissChanandlerBong80 · 30/05/2022 20:26

Has she asked you to?

In any case, no, YANBU at all. It’s a very outdated tradition. Out of all my friends and acquaintances I only know one couple where the bride’s parents footed the bill for their entire (very lavish) wedding. That couple are now divorced (which is nothing to do with the fact that the bride’s parents paid, but I doubt the bride’s parents now feel it was £50k well spent).

However, I do think it’s quite common for parents to give a contribution if they can. My parents gave us £2000 towards the cost of our wedding and so did my PILs. Extremely generous and more than we expected from either of them.

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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 30/05/2022 20:27

Your daughter and her DP are financially independent. It's their choice to get married. Why would you pay for their wedding?

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Darbs76 · 30/05/2022 20:27

I’d personally make a contribution. The evening reception is that’s affordable, or the dress if want to keep costs lower. You’re under no obligation to pay for it all, my parents don’t now

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MagicTurtle · 30/05/2022 20:27

You don't have to of course, but nearly everyone I know had some contribution from their parents.

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FlySwimmer · 30/05/2022 20:28

Got married at 29. My parents paid for my family guests, PILs paid for their family, and DH & I paid for our friends, in essence. Not quite a third each as DH’s family is small, but the PILs wanted to contribute. My DM insisted on buying my dress. Everything else, DH & I paid for. I think if OP’s daughter is demanding that her parents pay for everything, then OP is not BU to refuse. But I think many parents pay something, even if just for a specific thing like wedding car, or flowers, etc.

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Fairyliz · 30/05/2022 20:29

As the mother of adult daughters I think you are being a bit mean; I would expect you to make a sizeable contribution.
If you have had the sort of income where you can afford private schools and private health care surely you have decent savings?

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rookiemere · 30/05/2022 20:29

HeddaGarbled · 30/05/2022 20:24

Your family had private education and private healthcare. You’re not struggling along on a state pension, are you? Unless somethings gone drastically wrong with your financial planning, I think you should offer them a couple of grand as a contribution. They need to know what budget they’re working with right from the off, so they can plan accordingly.

That's quite some expectation there.

Why the heck shouldn't OP enjoy some holidays on her pension while she's still up for travelling, and just because they have more than just a state pension doesn't mean they're rolling in it.

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LoveActually89 · 30/05/2022 20:31

You do not need to pay for her wedding. You've provided her with a private education etc which should mean she can afford her own wedding.

My inlaws contributed 1k. My parents £350. We didn't expect anything though.

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bambi1132 · 30/05/2022 20:31

I got married at 21 and no one paid a penny towards our wedding. We both worked, we decided to get married so why would anyone else have to put money towards it.

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MargosKaftan · 30/05/2022 20:31

No, at that age, I wouldn't expect you to fund the whole thing. Perhaps pay something towards it if you can, but not the whole day.



However, if the couple are funding it themselves, then you have to accept no say in how the day is run. No "oh but we need buttonholes for all the guests" or "you must invite my cousin" or anything else. They pay, they are hosting how they would like.

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RewildingAmbridge · 30/05/2022 20:32

I don't know anyone whose parents paid for their wedding, DM and DF paid for my veil and shoes after much insistence on their part, I wasn't 100% about needing a veil and when I saw the price said it wasn't worth it although I did love it. DM went back and bought it and gave it to me on my wedding day which was lovely and was my something new.
Shoes I had a few options and one pair were my dream shoes (worn them since, not white) DF and DM said let us but the shoes. It was a bit of a family joke as DM always used to try and reign me in as a teenager when I needed new shoes and I'd wait until she was at work or busy and take DF shoe shopping and he would indulge me...
I was in my thirties and financially solvent it would've been weird not to pay for our own wedding

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Lucked · 30/05/2022 20:33

I would want to contribute. Unless I couldn’t afford it I would like to at least pay for the dress.

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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 30/05/2022 20:34

Contribute what you can afford and feel appropriate , the rest is up to them.

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Sswhinesthebest · 30/05/2022 20:35

I’ll certainly help buy a home, but a wedding is up to my kids to sort. I might contribute some, but that would be my wedding gift and how much would depend on how flush I am and how much I’d put into their house.

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dollybird · 30/05/2022 20:37

Sswhinesthebest · 30/05/2022 20:35

I’ll certainly help buy a home, but a wedding is up to my kids to sort. I might contribute some, but that would be my wedding gift and how much would depend on how flush I am and how much I’d put into their house.

Same here.

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GiltEdges · 30/05/2022 20:39

If you can't afford to pay for the whole wedding, what about offering a still meaningful contribution for your DD, such as offering to pay for her dress?

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myuterusistryingtokillme · 30/05/2022 20:41

You don't say how many but you say children, so did you pay for any of the others?

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Cameleongirl · 30/05/2022 20:42

I got married 20-odd years ago and my parents gave us £200 towards the wedding, the equivalent of about £375 today. We used it towards the reception. My in-laws also made a cash contribution, I think it was about the same amount.

My parents also paid for their own wedding in 1970. I believe they received some parental contributions but they covered the bulk of it.
So the old tradition of the bride’s family paying is well and truly extinct in our family! If you’d like to contribute, OP, and can afford it, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too.

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