Moms and Maids

MOB and FOB paying for wedding, what are their 'rights?'

I also posted this under the Etiquette section: 

My parents have generously offered to foot the bill for my wedding despite my assumption that I would be paying for it myself. They are divorced and my father's only request was to make sure he could bring a date. I asked my mother what she wanted just to get that out of the way now well in advance of my planning. Her requests were (1) for us to have a minister, (2) for her to walk me down the aisle too, (3) for her to invite a list of her friends. I have already told  her that (1) will not be happening as neither my FI or I are very religious, that I would think about (2) and consult with my father. For (3) she sent me a list of 24 guests. I have expressed my interest in having a small wedding but understand the reality when between my FI and I, our parents have about 23 siblings. Realistically I think we will end up inviting 175 and expect about 120 people and even though this still seems large to me I can accept this. She is already talking about the assumption that extended relatives (cousins of hers or my fathers) would be invited in addition to her friends list. I told her that I preferred not to invite people that I didn't know or in terms of the extended family, wasn't close with. She was very upset with me about the idea that I might not want to invite a friend of hers that I used as an example of someone I didn't know. She made a point in saying that "this is a celebration and I want my close friends to be there." I want to nip this in the bud because I know if I let her have an inch she will generally take a mile so my question is, if she is paying for a large part of the wedding does that mean she gets what she wants in this case and I should just accept the strings attached? Or do I put my foot down on what I want or am comfortable with? I just have a feeling this is only the beginning...

Re: MOB and FOB paying for wedding, what are their 'rights?'

  • She is paying for a significant portion. While I agree she should not force you to have a religious ceremony if you don't want one, she could withdraw her money if you do not acquiesce to her wishes. Plan the wedding you and FI can afford yourselves and fuck her demands.

    Also, though, never plan to have less than 100% attendance. If you invite 175, be prepared to host 175. It doesn't matter if you are absolutely positive some people won't show. There is always, always a possibility they will all come.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    (1) You and your fi have the right to decide whether you will have a religious ceremony or not. Pay for your own officiant and let mom  know up front that you won't be asking a minister to marry  you.

    (2) You have a right to be escorted by whoever you want. I don't understand why your mom would consider it an honor if she coerced you into making the decision.

    (3) If your mom is paying for a good portion of the reception, she has a good say in the guest list. Your parents should decide how  they would like to divide the guest list and each of you should be able to invite X number of guests. Since your mom is paying for her guests, she should invite whoever she likes. If you can't negotiate with her, I strongly recommend that you pay for your own wedding so that you will be in control of the guest list.

    Some parents are willing to make a contribution, as a gift, no strings attached. Other parents want to be involved and have control over how their money is being spent. I think your mom is the second type. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you know what your dealing with.

  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    As a matter of opinion, I think that the type of ceremony you have and who walks you down the aisle are too personal for someone else to dictate. When it comes to the size of the wedding, the line gets a little blurry. Your mom would be paying for all her people, but I understand that it just isn't what you want.

    Realistically speaking, though, you mother may choose to withdraw her money if you don't do it the way she wants. It's not necessarily fair, but it is her money. Don't accept something you're not comfortable with, especially if you think there might be more strings you don't know about yet. Graciously decline her offer to pay and plan the wedding you can afford without her money.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • Things that are the decision of the bride and groom regardless of who is paying:


    -ceremony events (including religious aspects, who is walking who down the aisle, etc)

    -number of people/what people are in the wedding party, and what they are wearing

    -bride and groom attire on the day of the wedding


    Now, is it possible that some parents would withdraw their money because their kid didn't pick the dress they favored, or the church that they wanted the ceremony to be held at?  Sure.  But these three things are no one's business but the bride and groom.  unfortunately though, if they're paying for the reception, they do have every right to impose their guest list on you.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Unfortunately, in the real world, paying parents have all rights. If the couple wants to do anything whatsoever that paying parents disapprove of, they have to decline their parents' funding, even the type of ceremony, who's in it, attire, and everything else, because the parents can withdraw their funds at any time, with or without a reason.

    If either or both of the couple want to exercise any rights, they have to pay all associated costs, which might be for the whole wedding.
  • I Echo PPs who say that your mother gets "rights" to your guest list and most aspects of your wedding. That's what happens when money comes with stipulations. Based on what you're saying, I would refuse your mothers payment. The reason is that the money comes with far too many strings attached, and bizarre demands.

    I would also strongly suggest that you plan a wedding you can afford on your own without monetary help. There are plenty of cautionary tales on these boards where parents pulled funds out last minute, and left couples scrambling.
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