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Who Pays for What Issues

I am new to The Knot and really loving everything it has to offer, but for this one, I'm curious what all of you suggest.

My fiancee and I just got engaged a month ago, but have been together and discussing our wedding for the last 6 years, so I have been able to accomplish a LOT in just one month.  The impending expenses are beginning to worry me a lot but my guy is a "we'll deal with it when we have to pay for it" kind of guy, which does help balance me out.  I am an only child and my father is ecstatic for he and my mother to help us out as much as they can, promising to pay for our reception, my dress and who knows what else because it's his baby's big day.  My fiance's mother, however, has so far refused to help pay for anything because my fiance is 33 and I am 29 and because we are older, we should be able to pay for everything ourselves.  While the only thing we asked for help with is the rehearsal dinner, she said that is my future groom's responsibility. She is very excited for us to be getting married, but is acting like a spectator rather than the mother of the groom.  Contradictory, my future sister-in-law got married in February and their mother was insulted when she wasn't able to help pay for anything so I don't understand.  Despite all of this, she wants to invite about 45 of her relatives to the wedding, meaning my parents would be paying for it and that bothers me a little bit.

While my fiance and I are both independent people who do not like to accept gifts and handouts from people, I feel like with this big of an event in our lives it is not fair for my parents to be handling the brunt of the expenses, yet I cannot stop them from paying for what they want to pay for.  I feel that my parents may end up incurring many more costs than they may initially anticipate when they find out my fiance's parents, at least at this point, don't intend to chip in anything.  While the wedding is still a year away, all of this makes me cringe.

Re: Who Pays for What Issues

  • edited May 2012
    It's wonderful that your parents want to contribute to your wedding. But please realize that NO ONE is obligated to help pay for your wedding, and it comes across as sounding a bit entitled that you expect your FMIL to contribute, even if she did contribute to her daughter's wedding. Technically the only people responsible for paying for a wedding are the bride and groom. If you incur costs above what your parents have offered to pay, then you and your FI need to pay the rest yourselves, or find a way to scale back to what you can afford.

    That being said, because your family/you and FI will be the ones paying for everything, it is up to you to decide how many guests you can afford to host, and how many people FMIL can invite. Once you have set a budget, you and your FI can let FMIL how many people she can invite. If she gets upset about it, simply tell her that this is what the budget allows for.
  • In Response to Re: Who Pays for What Issues:
    It's wonderful that your parents want to contribute to your wedding. But please realize that NO ONE is obligated to help pay for your wedding, and it comes across as sounding a bit entitled that you expect your FMIL to contribute, even if she did contribute to her daughter's wedding. Technically the only people responsible for paying for a wedding are the bride and groom. If you incur costs above what your parents have offered to pay, then you and your FI need to pay the rest yourselves, or find a way to scale back to what you can afford. That being said, because your family/you and FI will be the ones paying for everything, it is up to you to decide how many guests you can afford to host, and how many people FMIL can invite. Once you have set a budget, you and your FI can let FMIL how many people she can invite. If she gets upset about it, simply tell her that this is what the budget allows for.
    Posted by mellimel19
    All of this is good advice.
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    In Response to Re: Who Pays for What Issues:
    It's wonderful that your parents want to contribute to your wedding. But please realize that NO ONE is obligated to help pay for your wedding, and it comes across as sounding a bit entitled that you expect your FMIL to contribute, even if she did contribute to her daughter's wedding. Technically the only people responsible for paying for a wedding are the bride and groom. If you incur costs above what your parents have offered to pay, then you and your FI need to pay the rest yourselves, or find a way to scale back to what you can afford. That being said, because your family/you and FI will be the ones paying for everything, it is up to you to decide how many guests you can afford to host, and how many people FMIL can invite. Once you have set a budget, you and your FI can let FMIL how many people she can invite. If she gets upset about it, simply tell her that this is what the budget allows for.
    Posted by mellimel19
    Read this and then reread it.

    Wonderful advice and nicely stated.

  • jennipea382jennipea382
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    edited May 2012
    Maybe this is a little rude but why can't people just be happy with small contributions and pay the rest themselves? I mean.. seriously. There are tons of people that don't get a penny towards their wedding from anyone and still get married. I'd be totally ecstatic if my parents told me they'd pay for my reception! But instead, we're working our butts off, struggling to pay bills and saving what we can so we can have a nice wedding (it's a compromise between our dream wedding and what we can do cheap, so it's not like we're trying to save up $50k on our low incomes).

    NO ONE is obligated to give you money. FI's parents are both disabled and living on a very low income. I'd NEVER expect them to pay for anything. The only help I've asked for was a list of their family members to put on the guest list. Just be happy you're getting help at all.

    Also, about her inviting 45 of her relatives.. aren't they your FI's relatives too? Correct me if I'm wrong but it kinda looks like you're saying since FMIL won't pitch in, you don't want many of his family members there? I hope I'm reading that wrong.

    Sorry if I'm a little rude, I'm in a crabby mood and I really hate when people whine that they don't get enough money towards their wedding..
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  • In Response to Re: Who Pays for What Issues:
    Maybe this is a little rude but why can't people just be happy with small contributions and pay the rest themselves? I mean.. seriously. There are tons of people that don't get a penny towards their wedding from anyone and still get married. I'd be totally ecstatic if my parents told me they'd pay for my reception! But instead, we're working our butts off, struggling to pay bills and saving what we can so we can have a nice wedding (it's a compromise between our dream wedding and what we can do cheap, so it's not like we're trying to save up $50k on our low incomes). NO ONE is obligated to give you money. FI's parents are both disabled and living on a very low income. I'd NEVER expect them to pay for anything. The only help I've asked for was a list of their family members to put on the guest list. Just be happy you're getting help at all. Also, about her inviting 45 of her relatives.. aren't they your FI's relatives too? Correct me if I'm wrong but it kinda looks like you're saying since FMIL won't pitch in, you don't want many of his family members there? I hope I'm reading that wrong. Sorry if I'm a little rude, I'm in a crabby mood and I really hate when people whine that they don't get enough money towards their wedding..
    Posted by jennipea382

    Well my intention was never to come across sounding like a spoiled, whining brat, and I apologize that that is the way it sounded.  Thank you all for your advice.
  • OP, the tradition of parents paying for weddings has LONG since expired, it has been solely the bride and groom's responsibility for many decades now to pay for their own wedding.  If you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to pay for it.  To reiterate, you are not entitled to financial help for your wedding, nor is it a parental duty or responsibility for either of your parents to contribute. 

    Of course, some parents are happy to help if they can, and it was VERY generous of your parents to offer.  In this case, you should graciously accept their gift and plan to pay for anything over that yourselves.  However, it was so extremely rude and presumptious of you to even ask your FMIL to pay for anything.  If it's not offered, you DON'T ask, ever.  She's right, you are adults, and should be able to pay for it yourselves.  You owe her an apology for your tactless request.

    Also, regardless of who is paying, the 'rule of thumb' break down for wedding guests is 1/3's.  Your family should account for 1/3 of the guest list, your FI's family should account for 1/3 of the guest list, and you and your FI's friends/coworkers/etc should account for 1/3 of the guest list.  Of course, it really never works out to be perfectly equal like that (H and I had about 40% my family, 45% his family, and only 15% our friends because we had to stay on budget), but just because your FMIL isn't paying for anything certainly shouldn't mean that your H shouldn't have any family there. 

    I know this is not the advice you were expecting to hear, but it's the truth.  Hopefully it will help you get over feeling like your FMIL isn't 'involved'.  There are other ways to be involved other than financially contributing, and even if she's not, be thankful that she's happy to welcome you into her family.  You'd be surprised at some of the awful MIL stories on here, so that's definitely something to focus on to keep this in perspective. 

    Congrats on your engagement and good luck with your wedding planning!
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  • bongebonge
    100 Comments
    member
    edited May 2012
    You realise many people pay for their own weddings right? You should have never asked her to do anything, that is rude but you have passed that point. Many brides have parents who have paid & inlaws who haven't. The only traditional thing that grooms parents pay for is the rehearsal dinner but it is NOT a requirement. 

    Rehearsal & rehearsal dinners are not a requirement either. I would stop acting entitled around these parts or you will find yourself hating tk. 

    You can do a rehearsal dinner for cheap. Ours is less than 200$ for 25 people. We are having pizza, salda, beer & soda. It can be done. 

    As for her wanting 45 guests, i agree with the pp, are those people not your fiance's family? Do you seriously only expect your family to be there since they are helping you foot the bill?

    My MIL has/is doing a lot but it is in terms of gifts, like the cake, which is so awesome, my mother doesn't live here & has major health issues so is not working, she paid 1/2 my dress. My father is throwing a party the next day. 

    In the grand scheme of things this may not seem like much but i am such a grateful person to have anything at all that doesn't come out of my pocket. 

    You guys are older, you should most definately foot some of the bill yourselves & not expect parents to pay for it all. If you have been together 6 years you are pretty settled. 

    I am 32, fiance is 30, lived together 5 years. I could not imagine asking our parents to help more than they are, we should be pretty responsible by now or not get married. 
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  • Your 29 and 33. If anyone chooses NOT to give you the gift of paying for anything for your rehearsal then pay for it yourself. If someone chooses to pay for wedding-related events and other expenses, that's wonderful. But if they don't: you've been talking about getting married for 6 years but you didn't manage to save the money to pay for the day you want?  Your 29 and 33. Pay for it yourself. Your adults, it's time to act like it.

  • In Response to Who Pays for What Issues:
    I am new to The Knot and really loving everything it has to offer, but for this one, I'm curious what all of you suggest. My fiancee and I just got engaged a month ago, but have been together and discussing our wedding for the last 6 years, so I have been able to accomplish a LOT in just one month.  The impending expenses are beginning to worry me a lot but my guy is a "we'll deal with it when we have to pay for it" kind of guy, which does help balance me out.  I am an only child and my father is ecstatic for he and my mother to help us out as much as they can, promising to pay for our reception, my dress and who knows what else because it's his baby's big day.  My fiance's mother, however, has so far refused to help pay for anything because my fiance is 33 and I am 29 and because we are older, we should be able to pay for everything ourselves.  While the only thing we asked for help with is the rehearsal dinner, she said that is my future groom's responsibility. She is very excited for us to be getting married, but is acting like a spectator rather than the mother of the groom.  Contradictory, my future sister-in-law got married in February and their mother was insulted when she wasn't able to help pay for anything so I don't understand.  Despite all of this, she wants to invite about 45 of her relatives to the wedding, meaning my parents would be paying for it and that bothers me a little bit. While my fiance and I are both independent people who do not like to accept gifts and handouts from people, I feel like with this big of an event in our lives it is not fair for my parents to be handling the brunt of the expenses, yet I cannot stop them from paying for what they want to pay for.  I feel that my parents may end up incurring many more costs than they may initially anticipate when they find out my fiance's parents, at least at this point, don't intend to chip in anything.  While the wedding is still a year away, all of this makes me cringe.
    Posted by krisfed
    Did you ask them if they were planning to chip in? They way you worded your post makes me think you did. I really hope that's not the case.

  • Before people continue to rip me apart for asking for my future inlaws to pay, that is not what happened, though in reading my original post understand that's how it sounded. His mother asked us what we will be paying for ourselves and after finishing filling her in she responded that the rehearsal dinner is traditionally the groom's parents' responsibility but because of our ages she refuses to help.
  • In Response to Re:Who Pays for What Issues:
    Before people continue to rip me apart for asking for my future inlaws to pay, that is not what happened, though in reading my original post understand that's how it sounded. His mother asked us what we will be paying for ourselves and after finishing filling her in she responded that the rehearsal dinner is traditionally the groom's parents' responsibility but because of our ages she refuses to help.
    Posted by krisfed
    I do think it sucks that she said that, but instead of dwelling on it, accept it and move on.
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