Wedding Woes

Stuck in the middle of my divorced parents

Hey knotties! I need some advice on how to address an issue with my father. My parents have been divorced/separated for about 2-1/2 years (very bitter, can barely coexist over email). We've had to unexpectedly move the wedding up by a year due to scheduling conflicts. During the divorce proceedings, it was brought up that my father was to pay for my wedding. Now that the time has come - he's not happy. He keeps telling me he needs to sort through his finances while pointing the blame at my mother (while secretly demanding that she pays for atleast half). I'm stuck in the middle of all the "he said, she said" but what I really need to address is that he's hurting my feelings by not wanting anything to do with the wedding. He recently got remarried, and their wedding celebration (to which I was not invited) had 500 guests and 4 different dresses for his wife. I'm not asking for a black tie affair - just a normal affair with a slightly large guest list to keep my parents far away from each other. Any way I can address my feelings about being pushed aside without sounding like a brat? I don't feel entitled to having my wedding paid for - but if I let my mother pay for the wedding it will come with concessions like banning my father from attending.

Re: Stuck in the middle of my divorced parents

  • jacques27jacques27 member
    First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    All money you didn't earn yourself will come with strings attached, whether it comes from your father or your mother.  Think about that long and hard before pursuing this - there are numerous threads on here about that, including a recent one where her parents paid for the wedding and college education and now are asking her to repay them.

    Since you're an adult (presumably), neither person "has to" pay for the wedding of another adult, even if that adult is their child.  They are free to spend their money as they like.  And even if they brought it up in the divorce proceedings, I'm not sure how that could even be enforced since no parent is ever obligated to pay for their child's wedding in the first place.  It's not like child support for a minor.  Most states don't even require child support agreements for college education, let alone weddings.

    So, you can certainly have a discussion as a grown-up and say that it was your understanding he would help you financially for the wedding and you're disappointed that things don't seem to be working out and see where the conversation takes you from there.  But then ultimately, you just need to plan the wedding you and FI can afford and pay for it yourselves.  Adult decisions like deciding to commit your life to another require also being able to handle all of the adult responsibilities that come with it - like paying for the accompanying party that you want.  Then, if he/they show up with the money, you can consider it a bonus and put it towards something else.  But face it, if he's grumbling about it now, do you think he's going to suddenly hand over a wad of cash happily without any further grumbling or eventually attaching strings?
  • ^^^ the bolded times a million.

    My parents are divorced, too.  My dad also wants nothing to do with the wedding, especially paying for it.  My mom lives pretty much in poverty so although she's excited about the wedding, she couldn't pay even if she wanted to.  

    Money comes with strings.  Let me repeat that: money comes with STRINGS.

    Some parents place reasonable strings on money, such as inviting Aunt Gertrude or adding their favorite dessert.  Some parents place unreasonable strings, such as not inviting people you love.  It sounds like your dad resents your expectation that he will pay for your wedding.  As such, I'd expect his strings to be unreasonable and I'd maybe even expect him not to come through with the payments if it's a hardship or he is unhappy about it.  And you know your mom's strings would be unreasonable, already.

    I understand it hurts that your dad doesn't want to be involved, and that's probably the greater issue than the money.  I'm in the same boat and yeah, it sucks.  But you can't make your dad care more by pressuring him to pay for the wedding.

    Why can't you and your Fi just pay for whatever wedding you can afford?  You are adults, really it's up to you two unless someone offers a gift and you decide you can live with their strings.  If you want a big wedding, have a long engagement so you can save.  Or have a small, simple wedding sooner at a non-mealtime with just cake and punch, or snacks.  There are a lot of ways to have an affordable wedding, and it's not worth ruining your relationship with your dad so that he'll pay for a big party.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • I agree with PP. It is a crappy situation you are in with your parents. Your best bet is to pay for the wedding that you and your fiance can afford - and don't expect contributions from your parents. This way you are cutting back on any unhappy surprises related to expenses.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Honestly, i'd be much more offended that my dad had a 500 person secod wedding and yet didn't invite his own children to attend. it sounds like there are situations at play here that you are probably in the dark about. i didn't go to my dad's second wedding, but that's because he just eloped at city hall with his wife. there was no wedding. if there was, my sister and i would have certainly been invited (even though my sister wasn't on speaking terms with my father at the time and probably would have declined to attend). I would just tell your dad that you understand that he doesn't want to pay for the wedding and you hope he and his wife can attend as guests. honestly if your parents are in the middle of a divorce war it's probably best if neither of them have any financial involvement in your wedding...i forsee unreasonable demands being made of you if they wind up paying.
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