Second Weddings

My groom's second go round, but my first...

I am having an on going "discussion" with my father about my impending wedding and his financial contribution. He has offered to help, but does not want to cover the whole event, which is his right - but his reasoning for not footing the bill has left me a little speechless... 

My father claims it is inappropriate to have a traditional wedding because my fiance was married once before and my dad believes we are being irresponsible for spending money on a "standard" sized wedding when it's typical to have a smaller second wedding.

I am bothered by this for a number of reasons. First, while this is the second wedding for my groom, it's MY first. And I absolutely intend it to be my ONLY wedding. Not only am I a little disturbed by my father's archaic way of thinking, but he's not even being historically accurate with his preconceived notions of acceptable wedding etiquette! Maybe half a century ago a more modest second wedding for a BRIDE would be the norm. A first time bride was usually the financial burden of her family, on the second go she would most likely be more financially independent, older and more "experienced" - there is some link from a big wedding celebration to the bride being "virginal", I could write a dissertation on all the reasons this used to be the social norm... But, my understanding is that the groom's marital history was not a consideration for the wedding celebration size - because usually he had nothing to do with the financing of the event. 

I'm feeling a range of emotions about this, I'm angry that my father would say something like this to me, when we are really trying to have a no thrills wedding to begin with - the main expense from the get go has always been our guest list. Both my fiance and I come from very large families - I have a lot of extended family (on my mother's side), who I am very close with. My fiance comes from a large brood as well. And our families are very important to the both of us. I lost my mother a few years ago, I also lost one of my brothers as a child. Meanwhile my fiance lost his father as a child and his eldest brother very recently passed away from a tragic illness. So the fact that these beloved family members cannot be there for our big day only makes us want to surround ourselves with the family we still have. And my family in particular would especially like to be there for me because my mother can't. I don't think this is an extravagance, I think this is a necessity and I resent my father for accusing me of planning an extravagant wedding, when all I want is to have people who matter to me as guests.

I don't know what to do - I feel like the financial help my father is offering is contingent on us having a small subdued affair. We can't really afford not to take what he is offering - small wedding or otherwise. My father is however the type of person who can be swayed by an argument that I can back up with facts. I don't want him to give me more financial help than he wants, but I would like to get out from under the cloud of judgment he is casting over the whole event - it is sucking all the joy out of what should be a very happy time. This is already a stressful time for any couple, the added stress from this is just so unnecessary and taking our focus from the real things we have to deal with.

This seems so ridiculous that I have to ask this, but does anyone have any idea where I might find some sort of historical data to support my case? I've checked online and I can't find any mention about etiquette for the groom's second wedding. Emily Post wasn't much help either. I personally think this nonsense and if it's your wedding you can do whatever you want, but this is how we've always had to present things to my dad to change his opinion of things, silly as it is...

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated

Re: My groom's second go round, but my first...

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
    mod
    TelKat894 said:
    I am having an on going "discussion" with my father about my impending wedding and his financial contribution. He has offered to help, but does not want to cover the whole event, which is his right - but his reasoning for not footing the bill has left me a little speechless... 

    My father claims it is inappropriate to have a traditional wedding because my fiance was married once before and my dad believes we are being irresponsible for spending money on a "standard" sized wedding when it's typical to have a smaller second wedding.

    I am bothered by this for a number of reasons. First, while this is the second wedding for my groom, it's MY first. And I absolutely intend it to be my ONLY wedding. Not only am I a little disturbed by my father's archaic way of thinking, but he's not even being historically accurate with his preconceived notions of acceptable wedding etiquette! Maybe half a century ago a more modest second wedding for a BRIDE would be the norm. A first time bride was usually the financial burden of her family, on the second go she would most likely be more financially independent, older and more "experienced" - there is some link from a big wedding celebration to the bride being "virginal", I could write a dissertation on all the reasons this used to be the social norm... But, my understanding is that the groom's marital history was not a consideration for the wedding celebration size - because usually he had nothing to do with the financing of the event. 

    I'm feeling a range of emotions about this, I'm angry that my father would say something like this to me, when we are really trying to have a no thrills wedding to begin with - the main expense from the get go has always been our guest list. Both my fiance and I come from very large families - I have a lot of extended family (on my mother's side), who I am very close with. My fiance comes from a large brood as well. And our families are very important to the both of us. I lost my mother a few years ago, I also lost one of my brothers as a child. Meanwhile my fiance lost his father as a child and his eldest brother very recently passed away from a tragic illness. So the fact that these beloved family members cannot be there for our big day only makes us want to surround ourselves with the family we still have. And my family in particular would especially like to be there for me because my mother can't. I don't think this is an extravagance, I think this is a necessity and I resent my father for accusing me of planning an extravagant wedding, when all I want is to have people who matter to me as guests.

    I don't know what to do - I feel like the financial help my father is offering is contingent on us having a small subdued affair. We can't really afford not to take what he is offering - small wedding or otherwise. My father is however the type of person who can be swayed by an argument that I can back up with facts. I don't want him to give me more financial help than he wants, but I would like to get out from under the cloud of judgment he is casting over the whole event - it is sucking all the joy out of what should be a very happy time. This is already a stressful time for any couple, the added stress from this is just so unnecessary and taking our focus from the real things we have to deal with.

    This seems so ridiculous that I have to ask this, but does anyone have any idea where I might find some sort of historical data to support my case? I've checked online and I can't find any mention about etiquette for the groom's second wedding. Emily Post wasn't much help either. I personally think this nonsense and if it's your wedding you can do whatever you want, but this is how we've always had to present things to my dad to change his opinion of things, silly as it is...

    Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated


    In my opinion, your dad's opinion of what your wedding "should be" and why is shitty.

    But that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it. That is his opinion and he's also entitled to it.

    My suggestion is to decline any financial contribution from him because if he pays for things, he gets a say in how his money is spent/where it goes. If you do not accept money from him, you can disregard his opinions and move on with your life.

    I also wouldn't present him with any sort of "historical data" because this isn't you trying to prove to him that the Earth is round - this is a matter of opinions and there are no concrete facts and his opinion, while crappy, is not "wrong".

    I know you said you need his financial help, but there's a lot of way to save money on a wedding. Have a longer engagement to give you more time to save, have your wedding at a non-meal time (Like 2-5 pm or 8pm) to avoid having to serve a full meal, or having a dry wedding are BIG money savers. We can help with more ideas.

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    OurWildKingdomadk19madamerwin
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    TelKat894 said:
    First, while this is the second wedding for my groom, it's MY first. And I absolutely intend it to be my ONLY wedding.
    I agree with everything @ShesSoCold says.  I just wanted to address these two statements.

    Be careful about using the word "my" to describe your wedding.  Yes, you will get married.  But it is about you & your FI.  And, if you invite others, it will also be about them.

    I'm sure you're much more aware of this with your FI, and I'm sure he intended his first wedding to be his only wedding.  Be careful how/if you say this to others.

    Good luck!



    Anniversary
    OurWildKingdom
  • I agree with pp's, money comes with strings so if you are not happy with what that means then do not accept the money. I think your dad's opinion is crappy, but I also think it's not a good plan to try to talk him into spending his money on something he doesn't agree with. He is free to put conditions on his contribution, you are not entitled to his financial support. It's an unfortunate fact of life that you are not owed a big fancy wedding. Whether you marry at a cathedral or courthouse you will still be married at the end of the day, and that's what matters, right? 

    Have the wedding you can afford and make all the decisions yourself, or compromise and have the wedding you can afford with your fathers input. @ShesSoCold has great suggestions and if you are open to it the community here can help you work out ways to save etc.
                 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 2016
    Your Dad is misinformed.  65 years ago, second weddings for the BRIDE were supposed to be less formal, without the white wedding dress (which has nothing to do with virginity) or a large celebration.  It was the bride's status which, in those days, determined whether or not a formal wedding was appropriate.  It was never the groom's status which made any difference at all to the formality of the wedding.  (I am 65 years old, and I remember the old etiquette!)

    Today's etiquette says that it doesn't matter how many times a person is married - they can have a large formal wedding if they wish AND if they can pay for it.

    You parents are not obligated to pay for your wedding.  It would be nice if they did, but obviously, Dad is not OK with this.  It is wrong to ask for, or to expect money for your wedding from your parents.

    Plan the wedding that you can afford with out your Dad's contribution.  We will be happy to help you plan a lovely budget wedding that you can pay for yourself.
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  • Thank you for all of your comments.

    First let me clarify - I don't mean this is MY wedding in that it's all about me (because anything actually being all about me makes me very uncomfortable), just that while it's my FI's second - it's my first and that alone should invalidate my father's (stupid) opinion on the whole event. But maybe I put the emphasis on the wrong word...

    And I agree, I know my fiance intended his first wedding to be his only wedding initially - it's not a disparaging remark on his marital history (or anyone else's), I guess my only point was we aren't taking the idea of marriage lightly - the FI was never thinking he'd go through it again until we met, I never thought I'd do it at all until we met - so we've thought about this long and hard and aren't rushing into it, I'm definitely not treating this like my chance to be a princess, I'd be happy with a subdued wedding if it would fit all of our relatives... 

    I absolutely do not think I am entitled to my father's money, I've thought about refusing his offer, but  FI and I have decided for the time being that's cutting off our noses to spite our faces. We can spend a huge chunk of our savings on a wedding, and then if we have an emergency we're screwed - or we can accept his assistance. He may not actually be obligated to help us, but because he helped my brother pay for his wedding - in order to remain "fair", my father feels he is obligated to contribute the exact same amount to ours - which I am happy with. My anger is not at the amount, it's over the implication that because my FI was married before, we should be embarrassed and punished for wanting to get married. And to be clear, his suggestion for the modest wedding was just that - a suggestion... But the number of times he said it implicates he's going to keep bringing it up. He isn't demanding we do anything - he's just saying because the FI was married before, and a standard wedding would be more money and we shouldn't be spending that kind of money on a second wedding. 

    I am going to try a number of @ShesSoCold's suggestions to save on costs - we've already nixed a number of expenses with some money saving DIY plans. And I'm pretty optimistic about everything else, whatever happens will be fine. I'm having difficulty with the prospect of alienating my only living parent - no matter how crappy he's being. And I know him well enough to know that a well researched argument can change his mind. Actual quote from my brother:

    "As far as etiquette goes, there is no precedent. Therefore it's just his opinion.  So if he makes the argument that it's not proper, socially, he's wrong. If he makes the argument that it's just how he feels, he's just a jerk. He is either wrong or just being mean. If you can site examples, he'll admit to being wrong even if his intent was to be mean."

    I know the whole thing seems a little childish and ridiculous, like we just want to prove he's wrong. If he were a rational man, I would say this is a stupid exercise. He's not rational. I don't think I'm ever going to find a solution that doesn't make me a little sad - it's either take his money and be subjected to his judgement for the next 16 months, or deny his offer and not get to have everyone we love with us for our big day. And then it feels like either way my father sort of gets what he wants - we end up having the "modest" wedding he felt was appropriate. 

    And thank you CMGragain for validating my argument about the "old" etiquette.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited February 2016
    I would tell your father, "Dad, while it's FI's second wedding, it is my first, and I find your constant suggestions that I am only entitled to a "modest" wedding simply because it isn't FI's first marriage to be hurtful.  With that in mind, FI and I will pay for and plan our wedding entirely on our own.  Please consider this a closed subject from now on."
    OurWildKingdomadk19
  • I was in a somewhat opposite position. I was engaged and getting married for the first time. It was my FI's first marriage as well. We desperately wanted a small, private wedding. My parents pitched a fit, so we took their money, and the strings that went along with it, and planned a large, traditional wedding. It was a total mess, I divorced two years later, and there was a lot of resentment on both sides. So, when I remarried, I did things my way and eloped. They found out after the wedding. 

    You know the strings up front. He was honest and made his feelings clear. Do not accept his money and plan your wedding on your terms. You might have to accept that you can't have as fancy of a wedding as you might like. Weddings aren't about the party, though. They are about the marriage. It might not be your dream wedding, but you are marrying the man you love. People will remember your love, not your favors, flowers, or linens. 


     







    CMGragainOurWildKingdomadk19
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    I'm sorry about this OP. But, to be rational, you'll see here that money comes with all kinds of strings no matter what. Someone's parents pulled all the funding because the FI lost his job. Many people are roped into inviting people they barely know because the parents are footing some of the bill. Parents can choose to spend their money however they want, either with a blank check or a demand for a certain Church and specific band. 
    It's sucks that your particular situation, the money comes with strings due to judgement about modesty. As PPs have said, either take the money with the strings, or decline the money and host what you and your FI can afford.

    FWIW, my marriage is my first and my FI's second. We actually wanted the more modest (but quality) wedding; he doesn't like a lot of his family so it was a convenient excuse to not invite a ton of people. He himself had an attitude of, "We already did the big wedding. They got to see me get married." We actually had a very easy time limiting our guest list to people we actually wanted there and not fill chairs with obligation invites- because it had been done before. I had always dreamed of a small wedding or outright elopement so it worked out perfectly for me too.  Now, in your case, you really want extended family there, so take it as an opportunity to focus on what really matters- their presence. A lot of people who have been married before will tell you a lot of the fluff doesn't matter and they learned that from experience. Focus on being good hosts and you'll be able to find a way to do this within whatever budget is decided upon. Good luck. 
    ________________________________


  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    Perhaps this is just his way of saying he only wants to pay for a modest wedding and using this as an excuse to justify it. It sounds like you need to decline his offer and have the wedding you can afford to host yourselves.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    AddieCakeOurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Perhaps this is just his way of saying he only wants to pay for a modest wedding and using this as an excuse to justify it. It sounds like you need to decline his offer and have the wedding you can afford to host yourselves.
    That's what it sounds like to me too.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
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    I, too, think he just wants to pay for a smaller affair. It makes no sense that he would use your fiancé's second wedding status as a reason for his own child supposed to have a smaller FIRST wedding. I just can't see anyone actually believing in that logic.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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