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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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IDreamOfTheMoors · 30/05/2022 21:26

My sister married at 21 back in 1975 and my parents spent over 25,000 on her wedding and the party afterwards.

I married in 1984 and my parents spent about 1500. I was hurt that they lavished so much on one child, but not the other.

I’m a firm believer in being equal to all your children.

If you haven’t spent anything on any child, or your daughter is your only child, or you simply can’t afford it, then fine.
But please be diplomatic — please don’t tell your daughter that you feel as though you’ve paid enough during her life, or that you don’t feel as though you owe her anything else.

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KangarooKenny · 30/05/2022 21:28

My parents didn’t pay for my wedding. They paid for things like bridesmaid dresses and the DJ

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Bednobsbroomsticks · 30/05/2022 21:29

When I got married I didn't ask my parents for a penny they wanted to contribute so gave us 500 towards honeymoon

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caringcarer · 30/05/2022 21:29

Would you like to pay for your dd's wedding dress? My Mum and Dad paid for everything for my first wedding. They had 5 dd's and paid for all my sister's weddings too. They saved up from when we were babies to be able to do it. I felt guilty because I only paid towards my dd's wedding and bought her dress. Times have changed though. My son's will be given cash equivalent sum.

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DrinkingAllTheGin · 30/05/2022 21:33

I got married last year. Both in our 40s. We had a wedding we could afford. It was perfect for us.
DH's parents died when he was in his 20s. Mine are retired.

My DM paid for my dress, which I didn't ask for, and the bridesmaids dresses when I only spent half her budget. She also made my cake.
SIL paid for our flowers as a gift.
Everything else was us and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
(Atlthough one drunk uncle told DM is must have cost them a fortune DM very smugly and proudly said it was all down to DH and me!)
Discuss with your daughter. Its not really expected these days for patents to foot the bill.

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Cameleongirl · 30/05/2022 21:36

Also, every parent is different, OP. My parents preferred to give practical gifts rather than splash out on a wedding. My Mum bought both DH and I work clothes, for example, as we were in corporate settings and needed to dress formally. In my 20’s, that type of gift was far more useful to me than a lavish wedding.

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bridgetreilly · 30/05/2022 21:40

You don’t have to pay. You might choose to say that you will pay for a specific thing e.g. her dress, or the champagne, or whatever.

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greatblueheron · 30/05/2022 21:43

As you say, they're grown ups with good jobs. They can pay for their own wedding.

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Lochroy · 30/05/2022 21:44

Your money, your choice. YANBU.

Has she actually asked you to pay? Do you feel you should?

I was in a similar financial position when I married and I wanted to pay for my own wedding because I wanted it to be my day, not what my mum wanted. Both sets of DP wanted to contribute so we agreed figures and selected elements of the day which those amounts would cover and they were happy to pay for. Both were duly thanked during the speeches.

Probably obvious, but if you don't want to pay, then of course you shouldn't expect the traditional role as 'hosts' nor invitations to be worded 'Mr & Mrs Where request the pleasure of the company of' as if they'd come from you.

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redheadmary · 30/05/2022 21:46

F

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WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 21:46

Goodness I didn't expect so ma by replies. Thank you everyone. It's particularly nice to hear from people around my daughter's age to get an idea of what is seen as normal these days.
To answer some of your queries, no my daughter has not asked us to pay. But a couple of comments about how expensive weddings are from her and her siblings made me wonder if they think we are being stingy. I have my own insecurities so didn't know if this was in my head or not.
Yes we probably will pay for something. I was thinking dress, so it's nice to hear other people suggest the same thing. However I worried that this gesture would be seen as insufficient.
We paid for our own wedding. My parents paid for the cake.
I don't expect to have any input on the guest list or any other arrangements whether we contribute or not. It's not my wedding.
Her siblings are not yet married.

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FlowerDee · 30/05/2022 21:47

It reads like a reverse. I think contribute what you’re comfortable with (nothing if you don’t want to or can’t afford it) and don’t expect a say in the plans or to have invites to hand out to your own friends/relations.

Half of my wedding was paid by my dad and half by us (PIL contributed zero). Considerable amount of money, fantastic party, but really such a waste for 9 hours of our lives!! We should have eloped 🤦🏼‍♀️

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WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 21:49

It's not a reverse. But I don't know how I can prove that.

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Lochroy · 30/05/2022 21:51

If there are already comments about the expense of weddings then it sounds like they have started planning. If you want to contribute (and the dress is a lovely idea, my mum bought mine for me) then do let them know sooner rather than later so they can budget accordingly and know where they stand.

Whatever you do, plan to treat all DC fairly!

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Benjispruce4 · 30/05/2022 21:52

I agree. Make it clear asap what you would like to contribute and definitely contribute the same to each child.

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Musicalmaestro · 30/05/2022 21:53

So if you paid for your own wedding, how does your mind travel to think you should pay for your daughter’s in this day and age?

Offer what you feel comfortable with, the dress or whatever she may appreciate, but don’t anguish over it.

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Regularsizedrudy · 30/05/2022 21:53

Yeah, it’s not 1852

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Lochroy · 30/05/2022 21:54

Sorry, to add, I don't think you should compare what your parents did for you. Times are different now, weddings are different.

Hard as it can be to talk money, you need to decide the value you can afford and want to contribute and make that clear. But don't feel it has to go into a bottomless pit, ask what you could get them so you know you've bought e.g. the dress.

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WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 21:54

We are always careful to give exactly the same to all of them.

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GlitteryGreen · 30/05/2022 21:55

I don't think most couples expect parents to pay any longer. However, if you can afford it it would be a nice gesture to offer a contribution (of whatever size) or to pay for a certain element (her dress, for instance) since she is your daughter.

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WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 21:55

Musicalmaestro · 30/05/2022 21:53

So if you paid for your own wedding, how does your mind travel to think you should pay for your daughter’s in this day and age?

Offer what you feel comfortable with, the dress or whatever she may appreciate, but don’t anguish over it.

We said from years ago that we would not expect to pay but now it's happening I still worry. Illogical I know.

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WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 21:56

Lochroy · 30/05/2022 21:54

Sorry, to add, I don't think you should compare what your parents did for you. Times are different now, weddings are different.

Hard as it can be to talk money, you need to decide the value you can afford and want to contribute and make that clear. But don't feel it has to go into a bottomless pit, ask what you could get them so you know you've bought e.g. the dress.

I was not comparing what my parents did. I was responding to questions about that from other posters.

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Longbarn5 · 30/05/2022 21:57

My parents are paying for my wedding and they paid the university accommodation costs for myself and my sister. They also paid for my sister's wedding. They did not pay for private education in our younger years. They did say that with the terrible cost of buying a home and the huge cost of childcare, should we choose to have children, that they would rather pay for our weddings.
That said, everybody has different circumstances and different finances so it shouldn't be an expected thing and you have have absolutely paid for a lot already.

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WhereDidTheYearsGo · 30/05/2022 21:58

Thank you very much to everyone who has responded. This is very helpful and reassuring.

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Lochroy · 30/05/2022 22:00

My misunderstanding about the comparison, apologies.

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