Wedding Woes

I don't think you're getting any money.

Dear Prudence,
A long time ago, my fiancé was engaged to someone else, and his folks offered to pay for their honeymoon. That engagement ended before anything was paid for. A few years later his parents paid for most of his brother’s big, traditional wedding. We’ve been engaged for two years and will likely get married in another two, after I finish law school and we move across the country. His parents (who are both retired and very well-off) have yet to offer to pay for any aspect of our wedding, even though we’ve tried to drop subtle hints. My parents will have a hard time just coming up with the money to attend our wedding. We are having a relatively small wedding, so the costs won’t be astronomical, but we’d like to know how much we realistically need to start saving. Is it appropriate to ask the rich in-laws if they plan on contributing? Or has this ship already sailed, and we should just assume we’re paying for everything? Having never had rich people in my life before, I’m completely unsure of financial etiquette in this situation.

—Holding the Bag

Re: I don't think you're getting any money.

  • Save enough to pay for your wedding. Just because they are wealthy does not mean they have to pay for your party. 

    H's parents would be considered 1%'ers, by pretty much any standard. Mine are not. We didn't ask anyone to pay for our wedding. It doesn't matter how much they have, no one else is entitled to it. 
    DrillSergeantCat
  • Don't count on it.  
    DrillSergeantCatSP29
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
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    As an adult, I can't imagine expecting or even thinking about someone else giving me money or paying for my things. Maybe it's because my parents never really paid for much after we were adults and moved out and mom taught us early on to manage money and pay for our own shit.

    H's mom told me years ago that she'd saved every cent his dad gave her in child support to give to H when he got married or bought a home. That didn't happen at all. H didn't expect it or plan on it because he's an adult and he pays for his own shit.

    image
    short+sassyGreenjinjo SP29
  • Still remember my LFIL making the entire building spit coffee out their noses at work when he said "I don't want her making me look cheap!" (he was known for being incredibly "thrifty" at times and I was the first person he'd ever met that gave him a run for his money on being cheap...)...  We sure were kindred spirits though - loved working for him!  The problem was my IL's were fully ready to cover every penny of the wedding, with zero DIY and not a "keep it on the cheap" either, myself OTOH, did not want to be seen as taking advantage of their generosity...  The LW needs to learn the difference between "Old" and "New" money..  LW also needs to start saving her pennies "as-if" she's not getting a single penny! 

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    My goodness!  Entitled, much?  According to the LW, they've already been engaged for two years AND aren't even planning to get married for another two years.

    Maybe the parents will definitely be giving a large gift, but haven't bothered saying anything yet because it's TWO years away!  I also get the impression that the LW and her FI haven't really even begun planning yet.  Another reason the parents may not see a reason to say anything yet.

    Don't misunderstand me, there is certainly nothing wrong with an unusually long engagement or the fact that the FI has been engaged before.  But, from a parent's perspective, perhaps...oh, how can I put this delicately...they are also waiting to see if this one "sticks around".

    This was my thought.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    mrsconn23short+sassycowgirl8238
  • My goodness!  Entitled, much?  According to the LW, they've already been engaged for two years AND aren't even planning to get married for another two years.

    Maybe the parents will definitely be giving a large gift, but haven't bothered saying anything yet because it's TWO years away!  I also get the impression that the LW and her FI haven't really even begun planning yet.  Another reason the parents may not see a reason to say anything yet.

    This is what confused me most! How on earth do you casually drop hints that you'd like them to pay for something two-to-four years in advance?

    MesmrEwe
  • Agreed she sounds entitled and should plan to pay for their wedding themselves. Also agree that if it's two years away and they haven't even started planning, there would be no reason for the parents to mention it even if they wanted to. 

    That being said, if my parents contributed $$$ to my siblings wedding and contributed nothing to mine, I would be hurt. Maybe there was change in financial situation or whatever, and then I'd understand. But all things being equal, I would be hurt. BUT that's the FI to feel that way, not the LW. 
    MesmrEweshort+sassyGreenjinjo
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    Ironring said:
    Agreed she sounds entitled and should plan to pay for their wedding themselves. Also agree that if it's two years away and they haven't even started planning, there would be no reason for the parents to mention it even if they wanted to. 

    That being said, if my parents contributed $$$ to my siblings wedding and contributed nothing to mine, I would be hurt. Maybe there was change in financial situation or whatever, and then I'd understand. But all things being equal, I would be hurt. BUT that's the FI to feel that way, not the LW. 
    When my first husband and I got married, his parents had agreed to give each of their 3 children $3,000. His older little sister got married first and she got $3,000 and put it towards her wedding. Then, we got married and we got $3,000 and put it towards a down payment on a house. Then, his youngest little sister got married and she got a $3,000 honeymoon and her entire wedding paid for. The older two weren't happy with mom and dad, but little sister always got preferential treatment and still does to this day.
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
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    Ironring said:
    Agreed she sounds entitled and should plan to pay for their wedding themselves. Also agree that if it's two years away and they haven't even started planning, there would be no reason for the parents to mention it even if they wanted to. 

    That being said, if my parents contributed $$$ to my siblings wedding and contributed nothing to mine, I would be hurt. Maybe there was change in financial situation or whatever, and then I'd understand. But all things being equal, I would be hurt. BUT that's the FI to feel that way, not the LW. 
    When my first husband and I got married, his parents had agreed to give each of their 3 children $3,000. His older little sister got married first and she got $3,000 and put it towards her wedding. Then, we got married and we got $3,000 and put it towards a down payment on a house. Then, his youngest little sister got married and she got a $3,000 honeymoon and her entire wedding paid for. The older two weren't happy with mom and dad, but little sister always got preferential treatment and still does to this day.


    My dad is like this with my brother. He buys all kinds of shit for my brother and he sells stuff online for my dad, but never gives him the money. Dad doesn't care. Dad has always given him more expensive birthday and Christmas gifts. Sometimes I don't get a birthday gift at all.

    Dad paid for my brother's rehearsal and gave him a wedding gift. The day after our wedding he told us that it "never occurred to him to buy a card and put a check in it".

    Great. Thanks, dad.

    image
  • Ironring said:
    Agreed she sounds entitled and should plan to pay for their wedding themselves. Also agree that if it's two years away and they haven't even started planning, there would be no reason for the parents to mention it even if they wanted to. 

    That being said, if my parents contributed $$$ to my siblings wedding and contributed nothing to mine, I would be hurt. Maybe there was change in financial situation or whatever, and then I'd understand. But all things being equal, I would be hurt. BUT that's the FI to feel that way, not the LW. 
    When my first husband and I got married, his parents had agreed to give each of their 3 children $3,000. His older little sister got married first and she got $3,000 and put it towards her wedding. Then, we got married and we got $3,000 and put it towards a down payment on a house. Then, his youngest little sister got married and she got a $3,000 honeymoon and her entire wedding paid for. The older two weren't happy with mom and dad, but little sister always got preferential treatment and still does to this day.
    I can understand how treatment like that causes hurt feelings.

    Parents don't need to be equal with their kids but when it's visible like that, they also need to accept the consequences that it's noticed.

    I walk a fine line in here.   You shouldn't expect things from your parents but it's rather hard to pretend that all is fine when you see that others get preferential treatment.

    At times, it may mean that mom and dad spend more on the kids that live further away / need more financial help, etc.   It may mean that if the kids get married a decade apart that the amount spent varies.

    But it's hard to be totally fine when you watch your sibling get a brand new car and you're stuck with a lousy computer. 
    charlotte989875
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    banana468 said:
    I can understand how treatment like that causes hurt feelings.

    Parents don't need to be equal with their kids but when it's visible like that, they also need to accept the consequences that it's noticed.

    I walk a fine line in here.   You shouldn't expect things from your parents but it's rather hard to pretend that all is fine when you see that others get preferential treatment.

    At times, it may mean that mom and dad spend more on the kids that live further away / need more financial help, etc.   It may mean that if the kids get married a decade apart that the amount spent varies.

    But it's hard to be totally fine when you watch your sibling get a brand new car and you're stuck with a lousy computer. 
    His step-mom's parents had a rule that if they gave the younger sister, who was terrible with managing her money (between her and her husband they were millionaires), any money, the other two would get the same amount. Often, my exMIL would get a check and have no idea what it was for. She always tried to say that she was equal with her kids, but she wasn't and it was very obvious that she wasn't.
  • OSIL has given poor MIL a complex about things being even. (OSIL is greedy - for lack of a nicer term - and she makes it known if she feels like she wasn't given a gift equal to what someone else was.) - Its to the point where MIL has actually sent us a check for $1.43 because Wolverine's gift cost slightly less than a gift that she bought one of the other grandkids and she wanted it to be fair.

    (We were like, MIL 
    "thank you, but that's completely unnecessary - 
    1) wolverine and cousin were not opening gifts in same place/same time, so have no idea what the other got
    2) wolverine should be thankful that she got anything at all
    3) wolverine is all of ~2 and has no idea what money is, or any concept of how it works
    4) even when wolverine is old enough to understand the concept of money, we want her to be appreciative of any gifts that she's given and not compare with what others got. if she starts doing that, she'll start donating her gifts/graciously refusing them because we don't want our kid to be an entitled asshole.")
    DrillSergeantCatcharlotte989875
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    *Barbie* said:
    OSIL has given poor MIL a complex about things being even. (OSIL is greedy - for lack of a nicer term - and she makes it known if she feels like she wasn't given a gift equal to what someone else was.) - Its to the point where MIL has actually sent us a check for $1.43 because Wolverine's gift cost slightly less than a gift that she bought one of the other grandkids and she wanted it to be fair.

    (We were like, MIL 
    "thank you, but that's completely unnecessary - 
    1) wolverine and cousin were not opening gifts in same place/same time, so have no idea what the other got
    2) wolverine should be thankful that she got anything at all
    3) wolverine is all of ~2 and has no idea what money is, or any concept of how it works
    4) even when wolverine is old enough to understand the concept of money, we want her to be appreciative of any gifts that she's given and not compare with what others got. if she starts doing that, she'll start donating her gifts/graciously refusing them because we don't want our kid to be an entitled asshole.")
    OMG!!! That's ridiculous and OSIL sounds like an intolerable ass. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    edited October 2016
    My parents try to be fair between us.   However the amount spent was a little different.  

    My sister had 100 more people (BILs family is huge).   But host wise it was similar.    We both had open premium bars, huge cocktail hours and sit down filet dinners.   

    My parents would not have cut out the guest's experience just because my sister had more people.  They also wouldn't have given me more, simply because we had less people.      They were the hosts and as such hosted the weddings in similar ways even though cost wise it might have been different.

    I also got married some 15 years after my sister.  So prices went up.  It might have been a wash.  Not sure since they never told either of us the final cost.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    charlotte989875japrincess24
  • I'm also not a fair comparison.   I'm married with kids and a house.   My brother is single, not a homeowner and likely not having kids.    But my parents are generous with all of us.     
  • I think it's more the mentality behind any parental help than the actual dollar amounts. Is it being given because of entitlement or favouritism? Or is it based on the child's or the parents circumstances at the time? I highly doubt that my parents gave my brother and I the same dollar value in support over the years. But I am very confident that they gave similar levels of support that was needed based on circumstances and any differences never came across as favouritism. 

    Whereas I have friends who are quite bitter against parents or parents in law because of lack of support given when the only difference appears to be the other sibling is the favourite. 
    lyndausvi
  • *Barbie* said:
    OSIL has given poor MIL a complex about things being even. (OSIL is greedy - for lack of a nicer term - and she makes it known if she feels like she wasn't given a gift equal to what someone else was.) - Its to the point where MIL has actually sent us a check for $1.43 because Wolverine's gift cost slightly less than a gift that she bought one of the other grandkids and she wanted it to be fair.

    (We were like, MIL 
    "thank you, but that's completely unnecessary - 
    1) wolverine and cousin were not opening gifts in same place/same time, so have no idea what the other got
    2) wolverine should be thankful that she got anything at all
    3) wolverine is all of ~2 and has no idea what money is, or any concept of how it works
    4) even when wolverine is old enough to understand the concept of money, we want her to be appreciative of any gifts that she's given and not compare with what others got. if she starts doing that, she'll start donating her gifts/graciously refusing them because we don't want our kid to be an entitled asshole.")
    wow that is crazy! For my most recent birthday my ILs sent a birthday card and it had 2 checks in it for the same amount. Both H and I were like uhhh?? And his dad happened to just call then so he asked - because we weren't sure if it was some weird mistake or what. His dad said they wrote the one check from their normal account and then his dad decided that they do so much more for the other kids (H's step siblings, who all live close to where his dad/step mom live) that he added an extra check for me. It was completely unnecessary, especially since we have no idea how much they do/don't do for the others but I guess his dad was feeling bad. The step siblings both just had babies this year and I am pretty sure they spent a thousand or more on their nurseries/gear for those kids; we got a pack n play we asked for and that is enough. I think I'd feel bad if they spent $1K on baby stuff for us 
    mrsconn23
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    Ironring said:
    I think it's more the mentality behind any parental help than the actual dollar amounts. Is it being given because of entitlement or favouritism? Or is it based on the child's or the parents circumstances at the time? I highly doubt that my parents gave my brother and I the same dollar value in support over the years. But I am very confident that they gave similar levels of support that was needed based on circumstances and any differences never came across as favouritism. 

    Whereas I have friends who are quite bitter against parents or parents in law because of lack of support given when the only difference appears to be the other sibling is the favourite. 
    You saying this reminded me that my siblings looked at me as the favorite. When I turned 16, my parents bought me a car. When they turned 16, my dad matched what they saved. The financial circumstances were different, but it's hard to see that.

    My exH's parents truly favored the youngest. There were no financial differences, she was just the baby. She was also thin and pretty where older sister was bigger and looked more like bio dad. My exH was a step so he never really expected the same treatment the girls got.
  • My grandparents used to get my sister and I the exact same present but in different colors for every holiday. Including our birthday, we both got presents on each other's birthday, lol.
  • Since we are on the subject, I'm gong to use this as a safe place to vent some of my own sibling favoritism frustration.  Sorry, its long.  Skimming will be your friend, lol.

    It would deeply wound my mom if she knew I think she's been unfair in her treatment of myself and my sister.  I know it is important to her that she is always fair with us financially.  But, really, she hasn't been.  I will admit and own that some of this will be petty.

    There are just two of us.  I'm the older, my sis is 4 years younger.  I bought my own prom dress, because I had a p/t job and wanted to go to prom.  My mom bought my sister's prom dress because "she doesn't have her own money to buy it and I don't think she'll go if I don't".

    I was given a small monthly stipend when I went to college, as well as some savings my parents/grandparents had saved for my college over the years, but paid all my own tuition.  My sister was given a college savings fund.  I've always assumed the amounts were the same, though I don't know.  But my mom paid for most of the tuition for my sis's trade school and she also got a larger monthly stipend.

    My sister got married first.  Her wedding was around $35K.  I don't know how much my mom paid for.  It wasn't all of it, but I'm positive it was most of it.  When I got engaged, my mom was straight up.  She told me she wanted to help pay for my wedding, but finances were more tight and she couldn't give me anywhere close to what she gave my sister.  Nothing tragic had happened in those few years between our weddings, except my mom retired.  Quite frankly, it was really hurtful.  Not even the money at all.  My FI and I could more than pay for the whole wedding ourselves.  But that it was NBD she was cool with dropping 5x more money for my sister's wedding than for mine.

    And the worst part about it?  She did pay for almost all of it.  And I was very grateful and thankful.  But if she had just never made the "I can't give you nearly as much as I gave your sister" comment, I would never have known that was her attitude and never have been hurt by it.

    She gave my sister $5,000.  I didn't know about it at the time.  About a year or two later, she gave me a loan to help me put 20% down on my first home.  My grandma reminded her about the money she gave my sister.  My mom called me back a few days later to tell me she was gifting me $5K of the loan because she "forgot" and then explained about the gift to my sister.  But I could tell from her tone she was lying and was reluctantly making the call because my grandma had guilted her into it.

    Lastly, and this is the pettiest, my sister has children and I don't.  My sister also lives within driving distance and I don't.  Between dinners out, constant gifts for the grandkids, money for their college funds, my mom spends thousands of dollars on my sister's family every year as opposed to moderate gifts just at Christmas/birthdays for my H and I.  She hasn't been out to visit me in 6 years, Nor has she ever even offered to pay for our airfare so that my H and I can visit more often.

    Don't misunderstand me.  I'm not saying my mom should or needs to pay for any of that.  I know she doesn't.  If she was barely scraping by and wasn't lavish with my sister either, I'd have no qualms.  She is a wonderful mother.  I know she loves me and I know she has really helped me out in life also.  It's just the large disparities between myself and my sister, that have seemed to grow bigger as my sister and I have gotten older, that eat away at me sometimes. 

    Y'all!  My goodness, I'm sorry for the novel!  I even cut parts out.  But once I got rolling, I just needed to let it all out.

       

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