Wedding Etiquette Forum

Does the "he who pays" rule apply to the HM?

My FILs have repeatedly stated that they intend to give us a specific (very generous) amount of money, which they said we could use for either the wedding or HM. When they offered we already had the wedding budget covered, so we graciously thanked them and told them we would like to use it for the HM. FFIL also said he might be able to gift us some of his miles if we choose a domestic destination.

Since then they've been asking about the HM every time they see us. They love to travel and talk about travel plans, and we're currently researching destinations, so I don't mind discussing our ideas with them. But every time we mention a particular destination they shoot it down...
"No, you don't want to go to New England unless you can go in the fall when the leaves are changing. We think you should go to California instead."
"Why would you want to go to Europe when you could go to Hawaii for about the same price?" (because those two are similar...?)
"You should go on a cruise like FSIL did for her HM! OMG cruises are the BEST!" (they know I hate cruise ships)

I know we always quote the "he who pays gets a say" rule about wedding money, but does it also apply to the HM? I asked FI if FILs had mentioned a timeline for actually giving the money, and FI said he thinks it will happen when we let them know what destination we choose. This makes me nervous, like we'll have to get their approval on it or something. Also, our decision will depend on whether they can gift us miles, so we need to find out about that before we choose. What's the best way to navigate this situation? I'm counting on you ladies for some wise and honest advice.

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Re: Does the "he who pays" rule apply to the HM?

  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Use another rule we quote here often and don't make any definite plans until you have money in hand.  It does sound like they're trying to control where you go as to whether or not you get the money.  That would make me nervous too!
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Just say, "Oh, we haven't made any firm plans yet.  Have you tried the bean dip?"  After they make suggestions, smile and say, "Thank you for suggesting that!  We'll certainly keep it in mind.  This bean dip is really delicious!"
    SP29
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited June 2014
    I would probably research two or three places down to the amount of detail you would need to book - hotel or bed and breakfast, options, excursions, weather? Then you can bring it up that these are your favorite top two or three places and then see where the conversation goes. If you just want to pick one place, play up all the wonderful things you're discovering about the place and they might agree with you that it is wonderful. For me, it was getting the all inclusive resort at an incredible discount.

    image   image   image

  • scrunchythiefscrunchythief member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    From my outside perspective, I agree it sounds like they're trying to control where you go.  

    As someone who loves travel there's a possibility they are just really excited about travel.  I love traveling myself, and I say things all the time like "You have to visit (insert city)!" or "If you go to (blank), you have to visit blank!"  However, I'm not involved in paying for these trips, so my friends know I'm just really excited for them.  If I was paying for a HM for a child, I would be much more careful about my wording.  

    Was your wedding budget already covered by you/FI or by other people?  Is it too late to ask them to help out with that instead?

    ETA: typo from too much cider...
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Pick the honeymoon you want and can afford and plan for it.  If they give you money towards it, great.  If not, you won't be in a bind.
    emmyg65KatWAG
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2014
    I'm from New England. It's awesome in the spring and summer. I even like winter when the snow has just fallen. Fall is great, but the other seasons are as well, and often less expensive than leaf changing season. Not that my commentary will change your FILs minds but...

    Honestly, I would go with a few different solid ideas and have a straight talk with them. Tell them these are the places you're considering, that you're going to pick one of them, that you need to make reservations soon, and ask about the mileage and how that would work. Lay out costs and pro/ cons. Ask for their thoughts on these specific plans.  And have a plan for if the money/ mileage will not be there. You could present that to them as well. See what they say/ how they react, and take it from there. I would also have your fiance have a talk with them beforehand (possibly casually, maybe over the phone) about if they were serious about the money/ miles, and try to dig a little to figure out if they have expectations to fulfill in order to receive it. 

    ps- cruise ship hating solidarity! 
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I would stop talking to them about it.
    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
    image
  • AddieCake said:
    I would stop talking to them about it.
    Or that. 


  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    @APDSS22 that's what I said to my FI from the start, and even though I said it very diplomatically he got offended that I "didn't think his parents would come through." But we are definitely not booking or getting our hearts set on a specific trip until then.

    @scrunchythief the wedding budget is coming almost entirely from me (but as far as anyone else is concerned, WE are paying for all of it) and we know that if they were contributing to the wedding, FMIL would insist that we invite lots of extended family members who FI doesn't want at the wedding.

    Also the cider gets me every time because it just tastes so good that I forget it's making me tipsy...

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  • I agree that it sounds like they want to approve where you go before they give you the money. I may not be completely etiquette-approved in my opinion concerning matters like this, but I don't think it's rude to remind someone of the offer they gave you. The worst case scenario is that they rescind the offer, and then you plan your HM on your dime.

    The best advice I can give is to decide where you want to go, and if they keep trying to talk you out of it, respond with "Thanks for the suggestion but we just have our heart set on (blank). We still really appreciate you being so generous with your gift to help us make it happen." See where the convo goes from there.
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    @blabla89 Honestly, even if they weren't giving you advice like take a cruise you don't want or go to Hawaii instead of something you think you would like...you just don't have the money in your account yet.  Maybe they do plan on just giving it to you, but I think it's more prudent to plan with what you already have until they give it to you.  What if they end up needing it for something?  Not in a midlife crisis motorcycle sort of way but a major car repair/need a new roof sort of way?  It's like charging something against a tax return you're pretty sure you're going to get.  It's always smarter to wait until you have it.
  • APDSS22 said:
    @blabla89 Honestly, even if they weren't giving you advice like take a cruise you don't want or go to Hawaii instead of something you think you would like...you just don't have the money in your account yet.  Maybe they do plan on just giving it to you, but I think it's more prudent to plan with what you already have until they give it to you.  What if they end up needing it for something?  Not in a midlife crisis motorcycle sort of way but a major car repair/need a new roof sort of way?  It's like charging something against a tax return you're pretty sure you're going to get.  It's always smarter to wait until you have it.
    Plus, you can plan all you want but you need money to book stuff a lot of time.  You'll need the money or the miles before you book plane tickets.  A lot of hotels offer discounts if you pay in advance. And so forth and so on.  
    APDSS22
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'd just bean dip as much as possible, and I'd even wait to plan till you have the money in hand.

    S/he who pays get a say, but ... honeymoon destination is a different kind of thing.

    Come to New England and hang out with me.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
    huskypuppy14
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'd stop talking to them about it, and if they ask about it anymore, just say "We're trying to figure out where we want to go" and bean dip them.

    They still might not come through with the money or miles, so I'd plan as though they're not going to.
  • I also agree about ceasing planning conversations with them. I also think you can say something like "we are still researching destinations and figuring out budgets." Maybe that will encourage them to give you the money.
  • I would definitely stop bringing up your plans to them. And if they ask, just tell them you haven't decided, yet, which is the truth.
    I do agree with pp who suggested making sure if they pull out their funds, you're still able to pay with your own funds.

    I think in this case, the money is a gift and shouldn't be up to them how you spend it, as long as it's on the agreed upon thing, which is a HM. Since there was no agreement beyond that, where you go shouldn't be up to them.

  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate your advice! I'll start bean dipping (in FMIL's case it's wine-dipping) if they bring it up next time we see them.

    I agree with all of you who said we shouldn't plan anything unless we have the money in hand, but FI is the one doing all of the HM research. I understand that financial situations can change suddenly (it recently happened to us) and I've explained this concern to him several times. He got very upset and felt that I'm insulting his parents or not trusting them to keep their word. Is there a better way that I can get him to understand, without putting him on the defensive?

    Is there a polite way to find out when they're planning to give the money or miles? I promise I don't mean to sound entitled, but they've repeated a specific dollar amount several times, so would it be rude to inquire about it?
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2014
    blabla89 said:
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate your advice! I'll start bean dipping (in FMIL's case it's wine-dipping) if they bring it up next time we see them.

    I agree with all of you who said we shouldn't plan anything unless we have the money in hand, but FI is the one doing all of the HM research. I understand that financial situations can change suddenly (it recently happened to us) and I've explained this concern to him several times. He got very upset and felt that I'm insulting his parents or not trusting them to keep their word. Is there a better way that I can get him to understand, without putting him on the defensive?  You might say, "We don't have the money in hand, and I would hate for you to do all this planning and get your hopes up only to find that for whatever reason we don't get the money at all and it turns out we can't go."  Don't mention his parents by name or even use the words "his parents."  If that still puts him on the defensive, I think you have even bigger problems than whether or not his parents use this as a head game.

    Is there a polite way to find out when they're planning to give the money or miles? I promise I don't mean to sound entitled, but they've repeated a specific dollar amount several times, so would it be rude to inquire about it?  Unfortunately there's no polite way to do this.  Even if they keep repeating a specific dollar amount several times, they don't have to give you either the money or the miles.  Yes, it sucks, but you need to plan as though they're not going to come through.

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    JoanE2012 said:
    Pick the honeymoon you want and can afford and plan for it.  If they give you money towards it, great.  If not, you won't be in a bind.
    THIS.  
    ________________________________


  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    JoanE2012 said:
    Pick the honeymoon you want and can afford and plan for it.  If they give you money towards it, great.  If not, you won't be in a bind.
    THIS.  
    Another vote for this!
    PS we went to Maine and ate lobsters till we popped in July. We wanted to go to NE bc it was cooler. A good argument for NE in the summer :) It was AWESOME!
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    scrunchythief
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    JoanE2012 said:
    Pick the honeymoon you want and can afford and plan for it.  If they give you money towards it, great.  If not, you won't be in a bind.
    THIS.  
    Another vote for this!
    PS we went to Maine and ate lobsters till we popped in July. We wanted to go to NE bc it was cooler. A good argument for NE in the summer :) It was AWESOME!
    This is the best way to spend any vacation ever.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
    photokittylilacck28huskypuppy14[Deleted User]
  • kla728kla728 member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    blabla89 said:
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate your advice! I'll start bean dipping (in FMIL's case it's wine-dipping) if they bring it up next time we see them.

    I agree with all of you who said we shouldn't plan anything unless we have the money in hand, but FI is the one doing all of the HM research. I understand that financial situations can change suddenly (it recently happened to us) and I've explained this concern to him several times. He got very upset and felt that I'm insulting his parents or not trusting them to keep their word. Is there a better way that I can get him to understand, without putting him on the defensive?

    Is there a polite way to find out when they're planning to give the money or miles? I promise I don't mean to sound entitled, but they've repeated a specific dollar amount several times, so would it be rude to inquire about it?
    This is tough to deal with.  I think your FI needs to talk to his parents about it.  He can say to them, as PPs have suggested, that you have narrowed it down to 2-3 places and you were wondering when they wanted to provide the specific contribution they have mentioned.  It may be best if this is done at a time when they have already brought up the HM instead of him broaching the topic.  However, I generally feel that if a parent offered $ then it is okay for their child to ask them about their intentions in regards to that gift (without acting entitled to it).  I suspect this may be an etiquette gray area.  Not asking can get you in a sticky place, however, as you already know.  

    ETA:  I guess to really get to your question, he needs to come around to understanding that you can't book the HM until you have all the funds you intend to pay for it with (parental contribution or not).  If he insists on waiting to see what they do, then unfortunately you are in a pickle.  Some gentle nudging may help him realize this is important and that you can't risk financially hanging yourselves out to dry.
  • Hmm. Do you think they will force you to go in a direction? Sounds like they think they know better and are trying to guide you to have a great experience.

    I would stop talking to them about it, plan your trip, and then when you need $ for a deposit, have your fiance talk to them about how they want to handle that part.

    (I also live in New England, and there's plenty of  tourists now as there are in the fall...... I prefer fall myself because I dislike humidity...but if you really like the outdoors, we got a lot to look at and do in the summer too....)
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    My husband's parents gave us less money than they originally had told us they were gifting is for the wedding. It wasn't a big deal, because we had less people come to the wedding than we expected, but you still want to be wary. 

    Now, I booked the wedding venue prior to having the money my parents promised us, but I know my parents, and I knew they would honor their word. And they did. Maybe your FI knows his parents will own up to their promise. Whereas, my husband wasn't surprised his parents gave us less than they said. 

    Also, FWIW, we are not going on a big honeymoon. We are going on vacation like we normally do, but it's in the same state (New England as well), and we do it every year, so it's not necessarily special, but with our new house and our nice wedding, it was what we can afford.
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