Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite

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KateS Posts : 208 Registered: 7/14/06
Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 11:33 AM

I know this theme is a little tired and old, but here it is again with a slightly different slant.

My daughter is getting married next year.  She and her fiance got engaged on Christmas morning and the wedding is June 2009 (18 months lead time).  Her dad (my ex) is a selfish, stingy man who doesn't mind spending money on himself (going to Italy this month, lives in an almost million dollar home - alone, all the toys of a grown up - Harley, boat, etc., eats out EVERY night, always in  a bar, etc., etc., etc.)  When it comes to his children, he doesn't have any money.  I am not talking about luxuries, I am talking about necessities - clothes, school supplies, college tuiition, even questions me if some doctor's visits are necessary.  So, I knew I would have some trouble with him paying for half of the wedding.

After much polite questioning on my part, he finally agreed to come up with 5k.  (I agreed to pay 1/2).  I politely told him that after my research, even cutting the guest list to 100, buying a 2nd hand dress, having no extra decorations or flowers, it would still be 15k.  (We live in the DC area - apparently in our area, the average wedding is 50k!).  We also own a rental house together that will be sold by next Spring, but he wants to use the profits to buy a beach house.  I gave him the option of trying to find a cheaper way to do things, which of course he "doesn't have time to do".  I suggested that if he could save $150 a month until then, he would have the difference ($2500) (Geez- maybe he could eat in one night a week????). Nope, not one penny more.

I refuse to have these next months before the wedding be a battle ground of stress for my daughter.  I told him to give the 5k to the kids for their house (they are saving for a down-payment even though they college students) and I would pay for the wedding with my DH.  I also told him that means his name will not appear on the invitation and he has no say in the guest list.  That was fine with him.  I would never in a million years do anything evil like not invite his mother or say he couldn't walk his daughter down the aisle.  Everything else will appear normal as far as traditions and who is invited to the wedding.

The kicker is MY mother thinks maybe he should be on the invitation.  My daughter, although sad, understands why his name will not be on the invitation.  I suggested maybe an engagement announcement (that I will pay for) that lists both of us as her parents.  She is mostly sad that her father, although well within his means, won't contribute.  Unfortunately, this is not a new theme to my kids, the unsupportiveness comes in many forms - emotional, financial, and the simple gift of time.

I just told mom I couldn't do it.  This is the final straw.  I make about 1/3 as much as he does, but I seem to take the financial brunt of raising our kids, although they do buy all their own books, clothes, and most of their monthly expenses (food, household supplies, etc.).

Boy - this has really turned into a rant - does mom's point of view have any validity?

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 11:47 AM Go to message in response to: KateS

Dear Kate,

There are a lot of issues, here.

First, your daughter is an adult and is owed nothing from her father. He has every right to buy himself all the motorcycles he wants and not give her a dime.

I find it sad that a father would do that, but there is nothing any one can do about that.

If Dad doesn't contribute a single dime, I see no reason for the invitation to be issued in his name.

But, Dad will contribute $5k. You don't think that's enough, and I can see your point, but he IS contributing.

If the wedding could be done for $10k, then Mom and Dad would each contribute half and the invitation would be issued in both names. I can see Dad at this point saying "OK, that works."

But, the wedding cannot be done for $10k. But, wait, that's not true. The couple could get married in the courthouse and then have a simple cake-and-punch reception later, which would cost less than $10k. So, the truth is the wedding cannot be done IN THE STYLE YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER WISH for less than $10k.

Back again to Dad for more money, and he refuses. He agreed to $5k, and that's his final offer.

Now, you're proposing taking his $5k, moving it out of the Wedding Fund into a House Fund, thus, he is still paying the agreed-upon $5k, but technically is no longer funding the wedding (instead funding a house), so his name is not on the invitation?

??

I'd like to suggest you have moved the goalposts. A few weeks ago, it was $5k and he's on the invitation. Now, it's $5k and he's not on the invitation.

I reiterate that your ex-husband's position of buying himself a pile of man-toys and being cheap with his own children is sad. I agree fully with you there.

But, I have to agree with your mother on this one. Anyone who knows your family well will know of Dad's inability to be a good father. For more distant friends, there's no reason to advertise it to them.

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BreAnn Posts : 600 Registered: 11/28/07
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 11:48 AM Go to message in response to: KateS

IMHO, Mom's point of view has no validity. But, the real question is, what does your daughter want? I understand you are paying and the general concensus is that if you pay you get the say. But you seem to be the type of Mom that just wants her kids to be happy, will it make your daughter happy if his name is on the invite? If so, I would put it on there, use the whole "kill him with kindness thing," yet, if your daughter doesn't want his name on the invite, then I wouldn't put it on there. I would honestly leave the decision up to her.

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Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 11:57 AM Go to message in response to: KateS

Honestly - I don't think your mom's opinion should have any weight. This is between you, your daughter and her father. If the three of you are okay with his name being left off, thats all that counts.

 

"I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." - Billy Crystal, When Harry met Sally 

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uno Posts : 619 Registered: 1/4/08
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 12:09 PM Go to message in response to: KateS

How her dad (your ex) spends his money is his own deal.  My father (although not wealthy) wants to be praised for being the best dad in the world when he buys my sisters a package of socks that she needs.  He "is always broke" according to him but yet has money to go to dinner and has money stocked away in savings but "can hardly afford his house payment".  Does it piss me off? Yes. Can I do anything about it? No.  My mother spoke to him (they are divorced) and he agreed to give me some $ for the wedding since he helps my sisters out quite a bit (they live there free/car payments/etc.) Anyways.... you can't help how he spends his money.

My question is why are you being her financial planner and taking the $5k he's given for the wedding and now put it towards her house?  How is she going to pay for the wedding now that she has $5k less than before?  I'm really confused and curious to know why you've moved it from wedding contribution to house downpayment. 

Third, you are being a great mom by giving $ to her for the wedding but are you overstepping your boundaries?  Why don't you let HER come up with a guestlist, let HER come up with HER budget and let her decide what kind of wedding SHE and FH want.  To me it sounds like she can have the wedding you've described for $15,000.  How much is the wedding she wants with the guestlist she wants going to cost?  She can take into account your contribution and her father's contributions (and any possible contribution from FIL's) and then if she isn't at her budget yet, save money and pay for the rest on her own. 

And she can decide if her father's name needs to go on the invitation or not.  It's her wedding. 


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BoysMissLady Posts : 932 Registered: 1/18/07
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 12:29 PM Go to message in response to: KateS

This seems like an issue that should have been resolved many moons ago.  Did he pay child support?  You say he never has any money for his children...but did you go to court and make him be financially responsible?  The wedding is extra.  My mom wants to be able to help me with my wedding and I hope that she does, but if she can't I wouldn't dare not put her name on the invite or the program.  She's my mother...and that's it.  My father is deceased and has been since I was 11 and his name will still be on the invite and the program.  The thing is you have to get to the point where you don't EXPECT ppl to do anything for you.  If they do, great; but if not, you move on.  There was a time when my mother and I were almost homeless, I contacted my family and asked for help...and I didn't get a dime.  It wasn't their responsibility, but it certainly would have been nice.  But if you haven't forced this man to take care of HIS children when they were under 18 you certainly cannot do so now.  In fact, if your daughter's wedding is that much of a financial strain on her, perhaps you should suggest that they wait until they can afford to pay for their own wedding.

 


Kiss 

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 12:45 PM Go to message in response to: uno

We could talk around for a long time about whether your ex should be on the invitations.  I don't think there's a hardfast rule about it, unless he has put up money towards the wedding and agreed to host in which case then he is entitled to be on the invitation.

I have a quick question.  I'm the child of divorced parents, and growing up there were money issues between the two of them in regard to child support and paying for my schooling that would manifest themselves in my mother's rants from time to time regarding my father.  I hated it when my mother did this, although I understand her resentment at my father's not contributing child support (he promised that he would pay for college in exchange, but then he didn' due to an unforeseen circumstance.  My mother still resents this and views it as my father "getting out of" child support)  So my question is whether you truly believe that your ex will in fact give your children 5K for a house.  Or do you think that he's just saying this to get out of paying for part of the wedding now?

Anyways, understanding the history as you've explained it, I'm not surprised at all that you don't want him to be on the invitation.  Your mother and AOTB have a point, but as I see it, it doesn't really matter.  The only person who needs to agree with you is your daughter. 

Do you think your daughter wants her father to be on the invitation, regardless of his behavior?  Or do you think she is just agreeing to this to assuage your feelings?  Weddings are times when a girl can just want her parents to be as normal as possible, so I'm sympathetic if your daughter wants you to put aside these issues and allow him to be on the invitation, particularly if she is in fact going to receive money from him.

Because, ultimately, it really should be her decision, despite whatever the etiquette books and the tradition guides say.

Good luck.

 


_______________________________________________________
“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”    - Albert Einstein

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Guest
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 12:54 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Ok I have a few issues / questions...

1. What is anything is your daughter and her FH putting towards THEIR wedding? And if nothing, why exactally?

2. How old is your daughter and FH and do they live on their own or are they still living at home and being supported by parents?

3. How your ex spends his money REGARDLESS if he has ADULT kids or not is none of your business. It is his money to do with as he pleases.

4. It seems that you are over stepping your boundaries as a MOTHER of the bride......where does your daughter THE BRIDE stand on all of this?

5. We NEED 15K for this wedding....Um, nope you don't NEED 15K. You can have a simple backayrd wedding with an officiant and outdoor BBQ and cake for considerably less than 5K for over 100 people.

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KateS Posts : 208 Registered: 7/14/06
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 12:57 PM Go to message in response to: uno

I really don't care how he spends his money either, except when his kids get the short end.  Your dad sounds similar, so it sounds like you have been down that road too.  I think what makes it hardest is the feeling of not having a parent be there for you, it really has little to do with the money.

The reason I am the financial planner is because I am paying for the wedding.  My daughter is graduating college next month and works part-time.  Her fiance is also in college and working part-time as well.  When they became engaged, I told her dad that we would need to start to look at venues and that a typical wedding would be about 30k (but that I thought we could do some careful planning and do it cheaper) and that we could pay for it out of the proceeds of the rental home.  He didn't raise any concerns, so my daughter, her fiance, and I went around and looked at places.  We found a wonderful, economical place that they loved.  I then suggested to her dad that he might want to go check it out before we signed the papers - that's when I started hearing that he would only contribute 5k.  We did some scaling back and found we could do it for $15k.

My daughter and her fiance are in charge of the budget (I am giving them 15k, but how they divide it up, what is important to them is their decision) and they have already come up with a very sensible guest list that includes family and close friends.  An extravagant wedding is not within our means, however, a nice but economical wedding is and I think she deserves it.  I know a lot of people don't think daughters are "entitled" to a wedding and maybe entitled is too strong a word, but I think it is something you budget for.  Kids need braces, college, and they will most likely get married some day.  I think as a parent, we need to prepare for these eventualities within our means.  The flip side of this is my younger daughter is going to a private college.  Again, I can only contribute within my means and the rest is up to her and what she can put on student loans and pay for with her part-time job.   This wedding is definately within the means of both of her parents.

I have looked up the rules of ettiquette to see how to word the invitation and whomever is hosting is listed:  "Mr. & Mrs. Jones request the honor of your presence at her daughter's wedding....."  When my husband and I got married last June, our names were listed as hosts since we paid for everything.  My husband is happy to help out (even though she is not his daughter, he is very supportive of my kids) and I think his name deserves to be on the invite as one of the hosts.

My ex will also not continue to pay my daughter's student loans when she goes to grad school, so I am hoping the $5k might help there.  On the other hand, my daugther's fiance's parents have an understanding with their kids that they contribute minimally (if at all) to their kids weddings, but they pay for their entire college education.  I completely understand that and am glad that when they get married, they will only have her loans to pay for.

I value everyone's input.  That's what I love about this board - different perspectives (and maybe a little support in hard times).

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KateS Posts : 208 Registered: 7/14/06
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 1:16 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

To answer your question, I am not sure if he will give them the money or not.  I am also not sure if he would come through and give me the 5k as he said he would.  I probably still would end up paying for the whole thing.  This way, there is no arguing, no stress, no hassle.  I don't want the next wonderful year to be ruined with this.  By paying for it (with the help of my darling DH) it takes all the stress out of it.

I have kept my kids out of the arguments.  They know little to nothing about my feelings when he wouldn't help financially, didn't support them emotionally, didn't come to their important events.  (I have to admit, when he wanted to discontinue insurance on my youngest daughter's car and remove the tags because he didn't want to pay insurance - she was going to a commuter college by the way - I hid her car in my garage so he couldn't!) but  I don't want to do is act like the neglect is ok and not acknowledge how they might feel.    It's been difficult for me to ride the line between acknowledging their feelings of let down and not bashing their dad.  (I will never forget a friend saying that kids are 50% of both their parents and when you insult one, you insult 1/2 of their being).  Maybe you some of you with divorced parents can tell me how you feel about this?

He did pay child support for the first 9-12 months until he got fired, got a job for 2 months and then got fired again.  I ended up supporting them for the most part while he was unemployed for a year (this is when he bought the Harley - while unemployed - unbelievable).  After the time child support became a non-issue (kids all graduated high school) he found a job - maybe a coincidence, maybe not. 

I agree that the most important thing is my daughter's feelings.  I want the wedding, planning & all, to be something she looks back on with happy memories.  That is why I told her I would pay for it, so she didn't have to worry about the next 15 months.

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Guest
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 1:26 PM Go to message in response to: KateS

I dont have much feedback to contribute in terms of names on the invite.. other than this is something your daughter should really be the decider on, its her wedding and i think that how she feels about the relationship with her dad should play a big part in her decision... 

what im posting to actually say is i feel for you with the wedding in the DC area! its so expensive! my fiance and i live just outside baltimore, and my parents are from bowie, his mt airy. we're doing our wedding in frederick and im so jealous when i come on these boards and see how cheap some people's weddings are. FH and i are both the first in our families to get married, so its hard to scrimp on the guest list, and its so hard to find a cheap venue that is actually nice looking and will hold lots of people. so i just wanted to say i feel for you on that part. $15K for the whole wedding in this area is actually a pretty good deal, mine is going to end up being around $20K or maybe a bit more

*oh and if you are in MD, i do NOT suggest the bridal boutique in columbia, i am in the middle of a bad experience with them. depending on where you are i may be able to recommend a great photographer! (my wedding hasnt happened yet, but she did a wonderful job on our engagement photos)


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BreAnn Posts : 600 Registered: 11/28/07
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 1:30 PM Go to message in response to: KateS

Kate,

I want to make a comment that has nothing to do with the wedding, but may help. A parent cannot get out of paying child support. I believe if you would take him to court, he would have to pay, to each child, the child support that he didn't pay when he was supposed to be. I have a friend whose father wouldn't pay child support when she was younger, this worked out to her advantage because when we were in college, she was receiving the child support payments. She had extra money to pay for books and such without having to take out loans. If he owes a substanial amount, it might not hurt to call around to some lawyers and ask about that. We were taught in business school that you can get out of credit card debt without paying, and most other forms of debt, but you cannot get out of paying student loans and child support.


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KateS Posts : 208 Registered: 7/14/06
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 1:59 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

You are so right!  Where are you getting married - I live in Frederick! (her dad lives in Mont County) I do have a wonderful photographer who did my wedding and will do my daughter's too (for only $500!).  Would love to know who you are using for a DJ and any other advice you have.  My daughter is looking at Stone Manor which is in Middletown.  Thanks for the heads up on the bridal boutique - I bought my dress here in Frederick at TLC and was very happy with them.  Feel free to PM me.  Good luck - it's getting very close for you!  How exciting!

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KateS Posts : 208 Registered: 7/14/06
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 2:03 PM Go to message in response to: BreAnn

Wow -that is really good advice.  I am wondering if this would hold true since he was unemployed when he didn't pay.  He didn't seem to be looking really hard for a job and lived off an insurance settlement.  I guess there is no way to prove if he was really looking or not (he collected unemployment, so he had to be doing at least the minimum in the job seeking dept).  Thanks!

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Whose paying for the wedding & who is on the invite
Posted: Apr 15, 2008 2:18 PM Go to message in response to: KateS

Well, to make the answer easiest, I would suggest that if he ponied up the 5K before the invitations are ordered, then you can go ahead and put his name on the invite.  If not, then leave it as is.

I say this to offer the simplest solution, although I do believe that this is really your daughter's decision in the end.  I put my mother, and my father and stepmother's names on the invitation.  It said "Jane Doe together with John and Julie Doe invite you to. . ." 

I wanted everyone on the invite.  It wasn't my idea to put my mother first, but my wedding planner at the time suggested it. 

So, no matter what, I say you get first billing!


_______________________________________________________
“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”    - Albert Einstein

 Vote!  http://www.barackobama.com/index.php

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