You watched your mother and father pay deposits and write checks for your sibling's wedding. So when your big day rolled around, there was a part of you that expected for them to pay too, but they didn't.
Whether your parents pay for your wedding often comes down to simple dollars and sense. Many moms and dads are happy to help their children if their financial situation allows, says John Duffy, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent. However, some parents may elect to help their children in different ways — for example, paying for one child's wedding, can balance the scales among siblings if they financed another child's college fund — he explains.
If the parents' financial situation has changed — in other words, they've been hit with a job loss, health problem, or divorce — they may not be able to help. "They may make it up to you in the future," says Ruth Nemzoff, Ph.D., parenting expert and author of Don't Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family, "perhaps in their will, or in some other way."
In rare instances, Duffy says, "the parents' choice to not pay for one child's wedding is personal and emotional. This tends to be the most trying circumstance because of its personal emotional nature." But regardless the reason, if your parents aren't helping with your wedding, you're likely to "feel cheated, unappreciated, and unloved," describes Nemzoff.
Both Nemzoff and Duffy suggest having an open, honest conversation with your parents. "Make your feelings known, and ask for an explanation," says Duffy. "This alone — though it may not change the reality of the situation — may bring about some closure to the situation." Plus, he says, "it's important for that marrying child to express the real emotion at hand, not just anger. We're looking for a conversation here, and a higher degree of understanding, not an argument."
Nemzoff suggest to "make sure you don't allow your negative feelings to color the relationship your fiancé has with your parents. Be honest with him, but also understanding that life is long, has many twists and turns, and often it takes people time to adjust to situations that may not be fulfilling of their dreams."