Who's Paying?

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SMGray Posts : 84 Registered: 1/2/10
Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 7:53 PM

My parents are paying for my wedding. When my mom and I talked about weddings in the past, she told me her parents paid for hers, and implied that her and my dad would be paying for mine (under the condition that I graduate from college before I get married). Nothing has changed since my engagement, my parents are still very excited to host the wedding. We're going to pay for the rehearsal dinner ourselves, since FH's parents passed away when he was younger, we'd like to pick up the tab where they traditionally would have. We're also paying for a photo booth and the extra fee for two special drinks for the reception. My fiance and I really want them, my parents don't feel strongly against it but are more concerned with paying for other things, so we decided not to put stress on their budget for something they're not enthused about.

My cousin got engaged around the same time I did, and when my mom was talking to hers, my aunt mentioned that cousin and her FH would be paying for the entire wedding themselves. My aunt told my mom that they had never offered to pay for the wedding and my cousin and her FH had never asked for them to. I was surprised because my cousin is a part of the same traditional family that I am, and her parents have always been well off, so they could foot the bill if they were inclined to. It never occured to me that my aunt and uncle wouldn't host the wedding. Now I'm curious about how the financing usually works...

Out of curiosity, who is paying (or paid) for your wedding? If you feel comfortable sharing this, why are they doing it? Is it because they/you are more financially able to foot the bill, or out of tradition, or both? (I realize I'm asking about money, so if you're at all offended or uncomfortable with this, you don't need to answer, only disclose what you feel good about sharing).

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pitdigger Posts : 37 Registered: 10/31/09
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 8:19 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

The fiance and I are paying. It frankly never occurred to either of us that someone else would foot the bill for the wedding. My parents did pay for my dress, but that's it. It's turned out to work well for us though, because it's meant that we have free reign over the planning process.


jojolina Posts : 897 Registered: 2/28/07
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 8:20 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

I've been married twice. The first time I was 22. My ex-husband and I paid for most of our wedding. He had money in his house. Both sets of our parents paid for certain items. My father and step mother paid for my dress and hosted the rehearsal dinner. His mother paid for the flowers and an aunt paid for the videographer. I never asked my father for money. After he knew that I was engaged, he told me how much he wanted to "contribute".

In my last marriage DH and I paid for it all.




auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 8:52 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

Dear SM

My parents paid for the entire wedding. My in-laws hosted the rehearsal dinner, and gave us our entire honeymoon budget: $200.

It never occurred to me that anyone except my parents would host my wedding. We never discussed a budget. I told my mother what I wanted, and she said "Sure". I am almost certain that they ended up spending way less than they planned, since my wedding was minimalistic.

We were paycheck-to-paycheck graduate students when we got married. The money for my engagement ring and our wedding rings came from a tax refund.


cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 9:00 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

We paid, never occurred to us not to. But it was our second marriage, and my mom is a teacher, my DH's parents retired. However, we also paid for our first weddings mostly.

We paid for my daughter's wedding, but she had a very limited budget.

And, as a surprise/gift DH's parents insisted on paying for the rehearsal dinner, they actually went and paid without our knowing, so when we asked for the check, were informed it was already paid. We got to use that money for extras on our honeymoon. :)

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FutureMrsKlein Posts : 164 Registered: 5/2/09
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 9:25 PM Go to message in response to: cyndi33

My parents are paying and his parents are paying for the RD. Mine had always said they would pay. It would be a different reception if we were paying.


CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 21, 2010 9:48 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

My FH and I are paying for it mostly ourselves. We never asked our parents for help but my dad has hinted that he will give us a little something. I am not sure IF or how much money he will give us. I am not counting on his money in case he can't give us any. My FH's mom also said she will give us some money. Again we are not fully counting on her money until we have it in our hands just incase something happens and she can't give it to us. I am hoping that they do give us some money because everything is so pricey! Bu if they don't then oh well, I like that my FH and I are in charge of the whole wedding planning because we get to do things our way without compromising with parents.


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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 7:37 AM Go to message in response to: SMGray

I also come from a well-off upper-middle class family, but I never expected or asked my parents to pay for our wedding. Why? Well, because I'm a grown-up and my parents don't support me. It had been years since my parents had paid for anything for me, so it never occured to me to ask them. And frankly, I preferred that they keep their money for retirement or used it to help my younger siblings pay for college.

When we got engaged, we started planning (well, just throwing ideas around at that point) under the assumption that we'd be paying for the wedding ourselves. DH's parents offered some money fairly quickly to use for the wedding or whatever we wanted. We ended up using it for another purpose that we judged more important. A few months later, my parents offered - well, INSISTED that they wanted to pay for my dress and a contribute towards the reception. The way it worked it, they ended up footing most of the food and drink bill for the reception (I think I paid the deposit, but I think they paid the rest) and my dress.

All in all, it was finally broken down like this:
-About 50% my parents
-About 50% me (I guess I can technically include DH in this, but due to salary differences, it was mostly my money)
-His parents gave us/him some money that we chose to use for another purpose rather than for the wedding, but it was about half of what my parents contributed. I still count this as a wedding contribution even though the money didn't actually go towards the wedding.

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 9:11 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Both my DH's and my parents contributed to our wedding (or our house or our honeymoon), depending on how you view it. We did all three in a 3 month span, so you could argue that some of the money was intended to help with the down payment and moving expenses. Both sets of parents gave us a certain amount of money to use for whatever we thought made the most sense.

Solely based on the wedding, our best guess would be that his parents paid about a quarter of the expenses (they picked up the rehearsal dinner unexpectedly as our wedding present in addition to the money they previously gave us...and we never saw the bill, so I only have a guess as to what that cost was.)

My parents paid almost half of the expenses and DH and I covered the rest.

Granted, once you factor in the honeymoon and the down payment, the numbers get a lot more skewed towards us paying.

In our case, both sets of parents asked us what they should be doing. My two best friends married each other the year before, so my mom asked me if I knew what their parents had done. My friend was comfortable telling me that both sets of my friends parents gave them X dollars to use for the wedding or house or honeymoon. So, my parents gave us the same X dollars and paid for my dress/shoes/etc.

DH's parents also asked us. We did NOT tell them how much my parents gave us and just told them that my parents gave us a set amount of money to use on the wedding or house. As it turned out, they originally gave us exactly half the amount my parents did. Then, his very frugal father temporarily lost his mind at the rehearsal dinner and paid, which was VERY unexpected. (Not that their original contribution was anything but generous- just that he's very frugal in life in general and unexpectedly picking up a check is...I'm not even sure there are words for how unexpected it was.)

I think it really depends on the family. I admit that I somewhat assumed my parents would give us money, but I knew that my best friend's parents had and that my parents would likely do whatever their parents had done. I, personally, was much happier getting a set amount of money to budget as I saw fit than having them pay for specific things.



EWF Posts : 158 Registered: 7/16/09
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 10:38 AM Go to message in response to: SMGray

My parents paid. Like some of you, my parents are traditional when it comes to things like this and it was never a thought that they wouldn't. I was lucky, also, in the fact that they let me take control of all of the details and let me do pretty much whatever I wanted.

His parents paid for the auf ruf (jewish ceremony the week before), the rehearsal dinner, and our honeymoon.



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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 11:30 AM Go to message in response to: SMGray

About a year before hubs and I actually got engaged, my dad asked us if we were planning on getting married anytime soon. He said something to the effect of "Well, I'm going to be retiring, your stepmother and I are figuring out money, and if we should be setting money aside for a wedding, we just want to know." I hadn't thought about it at all, not about when we would be getting married, or who would pay for the wedding, so I was just noncommittal.

My parents have never paid for anything completely for me, just helping me out with extra $$ when I was in school. I paid for undergrad largely out of a fund from a legal settlement, and had money left over from that to pay for a wedding. I didn't want to use all of it, though, and my father and mother (separately, as they are divorced) volunteered cash so that it would be "nicer" and my father so that I would feel comfortable paying for all of the people he wanted to invite. In the end, it ended up being about 40% me (like Art above, it was really my money, not hubs's), 30% mom, and 30% dad.

His family paid for the rehearsal dinner. I think they felt like that was their responsibility, and I just left it up to hubs to discuss with them what they wanted.

I've thought about this in terms of how I would approach it once I have kids. Ideally, my kids would get a lump sum of money to spend how they so choose, and that's pretty much it. They could spend it on a wedding, or travel, or a house. I don't want it to be gender-specific, or even marriage specific.

I wonder. . .what do traditional families who have, like, five daughters do?


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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 1:13 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Dear MsD,

"I've thought about this in terms of how I would approach it once I have kids. Ideally, my kids would get a lump sum of money to spend how they so choose, and that's pretty much it."

That's basically what we are doing. However, bear in mind, it is our judgement that our children (niece and two sons) are financially prudent. It would be an entirely different story if, in our judgement, any of our children were irresponsible with money.

When my niece got married, she had her "own" money already - inherited from her late parents. She could have funded her wedding entirely out of her parents' money. I did want her to be married "from home", and I wanted her to think of our home as her home. We, therefore, gave her $20k in cash for her wedding and suggested she save her own inherited money for her own retirement, future child's college, etc.

We now have $40k set aside for our two sons' weddings. With boys, we have no clue what kind of wedding either will have, because we have no clue who either might marry. A FDIL might come from a well-to-do family and have plenty of money from her own parents. She might be a struggling single mom, with almost nothing in the bank account. She might not want a big hoopla wedding. Who knows.

With all that in mind, here is our plan. We are sitting on the $40k. If either son announces an engagement, we'll just fork over his $20k, and tell him to spend it as he pleases. It can be on the wedding, the honeymoon, a house, whatever, depending on the happy couple's wishes and needs.

If the boys get to be 30 years old, and still unmarried, we'll just give them their $20k each for a birthday present, then any future wedding funding can come out of that or whatever they want.

As things look, now, the odds are that they will hit 30 without being married. Since they are twins, they will hit 30 right on the same day, so Surprise!, Mom and Dad have a giant check for you.

On the other hand, they could meet identical twin women, fall in love, and surprise us!

That's a running gag in our family. "So, you're not getting any younger. Any thoughts on meeting a nice girl and settling down?" "Sure, as soon as Brother and I meet identical twin women, we'll do just that." (In other words, when hell freezes over.)


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 1:30 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

Dear SM

I'll add this.

It was my father's deeply-held belief that a man should launch his children out into the world, as best he could, then pretty much let them sink or swim on their own. My mother agreed with her husband on this one.

Thus: I got full support through highschool (pre-18), then my father funded my college education (post-18) to a certain extent. He paid the school costs, paid for books and provided a very rudimentary allowance. (What's rudimentary? $100/month. In 1971-74.) He also bought me a car, and paid the insurance.

If I wanted to live a lifestyle anywhere above Poverty, I had to get a job and earn my own supplemental income. After my first year in college, I got really sick of nothing but dorm food and ratty clothes, so I got a job and semi-supported myself.

Once I graduated with a BS degree, and entered grad school, I was financially on my own. I earned a living as a TA and paid all my own bills.

The wedding, however, was my father's "last" moral obligation to me. (Remember, we're talking about HIS definition of moral obligation, not mine.) He believed that a father should pay for his daughter's first wedding. He put aside money for that, and when the time came, my parents hosted a beautiful wedding.

Past that point, I got no substantial financial support from my father. I was, officially, "launched". My parents certainly gave me nice Christmas and birthday presents, sure, but nothing that would constitute true financial support. I never had to move back in with them, never asked for money, but then I never had any kind of health emergency or other financial emergency.

It felt very weird when I inherited their estate. I still hate spending that money, because I don't think of it as truly "mine". I compromise by trying to spend it mostly on their grandchildren, my own kids and my brother's kids. I mentioned in another message that I have some money put aside for my chldren's hypothetical wedding. That money is really their grandparents' money.


amdjelly Posts : 48 Registered: 8/7/09
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 2:46 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

We're paying about 95% ourselves. FH's parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner. My dad is doing the food, but he insists on catering it himself instead of hiring someone. FH's parents have offered to give us more money, since FH lost his job last week, but I think we'll be ok. He has a company that is very interested in him right now. My mom was going to give us $5K, but then started having some back problems and had to miss a lot of work. My dad wants to help but I told him not to worry about it. He has a ton of medical bills from my younger brother's 2 year battle with cancer. If it weren't for all these financial problems, I'm sure that my parents would insist on giving us money.


BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Who's Paying?
Posted: Apr 22, 2010 3:19 PM Go to message in response to: SMGray

I will be budgeting with the expectations of getting nothing from our parents.

If my family was in the situation we were in a year and a half ago, I think my parents would have offered a couple thousand dollars--but now with a nasty and expensive divorce I would be surprised if they still offered. Well, I wouldn't be surprised if maybe my parents collaborated (they would still do this together) and offered to pay for my dress.

With his parents--they are very traditional--they have saved to pay for half of each of their's daughter's weddings and they have a 'small amount' saved for the boy's weddings. FH has 3 sisters and 3 brothers--7 kids! We have no idea how much that 'amount' is. I honestly feel like it could vary anywhere from $500-$2000. What is small? I don't know. They are a very well off family--but I mean, they have lots of kids--that's a lot of weddings to chip into.

Things happen--business could go down, jobs could be lost, more costs may come up later. So who knows, maybe they will have to tap into whatever savings they have for the weddings.

So my plan will be FH & I 100% funding our wedding--which I have no problem with.


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