Wedding Woes

Mom in tears, Dad in disbelief and likely out thousands of dollars

Warning long post here but I need some practical advice.My daughter and her long time boyfriend got engaged last year. Prior to COVID they began planning their wedding which was going to be close to all of her (mine and her dad's) family. Over $18,000 of  non refundable deposits have been paid towards the venue, Dj, photography etc. with very little left to take care of- the date is in spring of 2021. A month ago, my daughter (she is my only child- I had her later in life) announced to our entire family that they have decided to "cut their losses" and opt for a destination wedding in 2022. Most of the 18k has been paid by me and my husband, her dad and her ailing grandparents. This has been something I've waited for since she was born. I took out a loan from my 401k to pay for her wedding. I am of course fine with pushing out the date due to COVID but what I am not ok with is the complete lack of respect that she has shown by "cutting her losses" and  thinking about cancelling everything. It isn't her loss to cut, its mine.

Her dad has tried talking to her, my husband has tried and meanwhile the groom's mother has called me just "overjoyed" with their decision. Of course she is- she hasn't had to spend a single penny!

Yes, I know this is her day and it should be what she wants, and I get that, but I am absolutely heartbroken because if she goes through with her new plan, I won't be able to attend (her new destination is in Europe) and neither will her dad or her grandparents. 

I am not a wealthy person, my husband and I both make a nice living, but not enough to afford to cut $18k worth of loss and have nothing to show. I'm also nearing 60 years old, and will  not be able to just "cut my losses". A close friend of mine advised to ask my daughter and her fiance to repay me the funds I gave them. 

At this time, she is not speaking to me and I have not spent one day without a lot of tears and heartache. Any advise would be much appreciated.

Re: Mom in tears, Dad in disbelief and likely out thousands of dollars

  • I am so sorry to hear about your situation.  It's awful and I can imagine some of the angst is, not just the money that will be lost, but the total disrespect your daughter and her FI are showing for such a generous gift.  Plus the fact that her destination wedding means you and your H can't be at your own daughter's wedding.

    On a little bit of a bright side, I wouldn't necessarily assume you will lose all of your deposits.  There are a lot of couples who were looking to get married this year that are now scrambling to move things to next year.  Many vendors, as long as they are able to rebook the dates, will return all or at least a portion of the deposit.

    For now, I'd let things simmer down for a little while.  It won't help to talk to her while she is angry.  It's ridiculous she is angry, you are the one wronged, but it is what it is. 

    Once things are calmed down.  Talk to her and her FI again.  Do your absolute best to keep it a calm, reasonable discussion and leave emotions out of it.  I'd start with sympathizing.  That you know it's been a hard year for everyone with the pandemic, so they're getting antsy about the plans already made.  But the damage has already been done because potentially losing $18K is nothing to sneeze at.  And there is a good chance to the wedding can go on at that venue with no/few problems for the original date.  Or (possibly) be moved out to 2022 instead, without losing the deposits.

    I'd also stress that you've always dreamed about her wedding, but neither you, your H, or her grandparents could go if it is in Europe.

    Last, but not least, if they still aren't swayed.  I would make it very clear that this European destination wedding will need to be 100% on their dime.  Because you/your H and her grandparents have already extended yourselves too much financially and cannot afford to pay for a totally different plan.  Especially one that none of you all can go to.  Though say it sadly and ruefully, so they don't continue their wrong impression that you are being "difficult".    
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    banana468
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 13
    Im sorry your daughter didn’t take your financial contribution in consideation when she did this.  I like what @banana468 suggested.  I hope you can get some of it back with some vendors at least?

    btw, I didn’t find this long at all. I usually skip over the long posts but this I managed to get through :)

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Warning long post here but I need some practical advice.My daughter and her long time boyfriend got engaged last year. Prior to COVID they began planning their wedding which was going to be close to all of her (mine and her dad's) family. Over $18,000 of  non refundable deposits have been paid towards the venue, Dj, photography etc. with very little left to take care of- the date is in spring of 2021. A month ago, my daughter (she is my only child- I had her later in life) announced to our entire family that they have decided to "cut their losses" and opt for a destination wedding in 2022. Most of the 18k has been paid by me and my husband, her dad and her ailing grandparents. This has been something I've waited for since she was born. I took out a loan from my 401k to pay for her wedding. I am of course fine with pushing out the date due to COVID but what I am not ok with is the complete lack of respect that she has shown by "cutting her losses" and  thinking about cancelling everything. It isn't her loss to cut, its mine.

    Her dad has tried talking to her, my husband has tried and meanwhile the groom's mother has called me just "overjoyed" with their decision. Of course she is- she hasn't had to spend a single penny!

    Yes, I know this is her day and it should be what she wants, and I get that, but I am absolutely heartbroken because if she goes through with her new plan, I won't be able to attend (her new destination is in Europe) and neither will her dad or her grandparents. 

    I am not a wealthy person, my husband and I both make a nice living, but not enough to afford to cut $18k worth of loss and have nothing to show. I'm also nearing 60 years old, and will  not be able to just "cut my losses". A close friend of mine advised to ask my daughter and her fiance to repay me the funds I gave them. 

    At this time, she is not speaking to me and I have not spent one day without a lot of tears and heartache. Any advise would be much appreciated.
    This is really horrible and you have my deepest sympathy. It was very selfish of her to accept the money and then just throw it away. I do hope you are able to recoup some of your deposits from vendors. Many will allow you to "sell" the deposit to another couple if they book your date. 

    I do think this was a poor financial move all around, and I hope you're more thoughtful about spending your retirement savings in the future. If you can't afford to spend $18k on nothing, how is it that you can afford to spend $18k on a party? Are you really in a worse financial situation than you would be if they'd gotten married as planned? 
    ei34
  • If you can't afford to spend $18k on nothing, how is it that you can afford to spend $18k on a party? Are you really in a worse financial situation than you would be if they'd gotten married as planned? 

    This was out of love for my daughter and providing her a wonderful wedding as my last "send off" in this thing called life. I love her THAT much to do that.  yes, I took a loan out of my retirement savings and am paying it back through my monthly payroll- that doesn't necessarily mean I am wealthy. I borrowed from myself. 
  • Does she know you pulled from your 401K?
  • If you can't afford to spend $18k on nothing, how is it that you can afford to spend $18k on a party? Are you really in a worse financial situation than you would be if they'd gotten married as planned? 

    This was out of love for my daughter and providing her a wonderful wedding as my last "send off" in this thing called life. I love her THAT much to do that.  yes, I took a loan out of my retirement savings and am paying it back through my monthly payroll- that doesn't necessarily mean I am wealthy. I borrowed from myself. 
    Right.   You borrowed from yourself but you borrowed tax free money and now need to pay back with money you earned with taxes out.   You now owe yourself for your retirement for something that isn't an investment but is a party.  

    I get it.   You are not the first person to make that choice but doing something like this is fraught with issues and that's assuming things went to plan and yet if it was my child I can try to consider how I'd behave.  

    This is yet all the more reason to talk to your daughter clearly about this.   And also look to pursue what you can be reimbursed.  If the costs are because you've paid more than deposits then check contracts and see what can be reimbursed to you.  It will still mean that you are owing yourself more than you took out but it may help cushion the blow. 
  • I don't have anything to add to the great advice you've received here, but I would wait until things calm down and ask her exactly whose losses she thinks she's cutting.
    MesmrEwe
  • MNNEBrideMNNEBride Midwest member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    This lays it out well, but I might change the order of things and put the disappointment of not being able to attend the destination wedding first.  
    image
    MesmrEwe
  • Weddings, Babies, and Funerals bring out the best and worst in humanity..  No more money out of your accounts at this point until there's some communication.  Yes, you have the conversation with the couple about the ramifications of their decision, it's not that you're losing the money, it's that you're losing out on watching them get married and that they squandered $18k and DGARA is just the "icing on the cake"!  So we've established that she doesn't have a concept of finances and that's a sizable down payment on a house, at least half or more a year of retirement, or a nice used vehicle...  But the fact is, the money is gone at this point.  You can either have an event or you can lose the money with nothing to show for it.  You're paying for an event, it doesn't HAVE to be a wedding if they're not going to do whatever they want in 2022 on their own dime.  I'm at least hoping the contracts are in YOUR name and not theirs if your money was used to pay the deposits.  If that's the case, read over the contracts and cancellation policies (because of covid they may let you out of the contract and return the deposit)..  

    Have the party anyway!  You're out the money, you may as well get something for it!  You're paying a photographer for the day - invite your friends, let them get couples pictures taken and give them a copy...  You've got a venue and caterer, sweetheart tables for your friends and the filet...  If you've paid the florist, tell them what you're doing, deposit paid is the budget - flowers in some jars off of marketplace that your friends/guests can take home with them.  Or even possibly turn it into a Bridal Shower...  


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    STARMOON44missJeanLouiseshort+sassy
  • MesmrEwe said:
    Weddings, Babies, and Funerals bring out the best and worst in humanity..  No more money out of your accounts at this point until there's some communication.  Yes, you have the conversation with the couple about the ramifications of their decision, it's not that you're losing the money, it's that you're losing out on watching them get married and that they squandered $18k and DGARA is just the "icing on the cake"!  So we've established that she doesn't have a concept of finances and that's a sizable down payment on a house, at least half or more a year of retirement, or a nice used vehicle...  But the fact is, the money is gone at this point.  You can either have an event or you can lose the money with nothing to show for it.  You're paying for an event, it doesn't HAVE to be a wedding if they're not going to do whatever they want in 2022 on their own dime.  I'm at least hoping the contracts are in YOUR name and not theirs if your money was used to pay the deposits.  If that's the case, read over the contracts and cancellation policies (because of covid they may let you out of the contract and return the deposit)..  

    Have the party anyway!  You're out the money, you may as well get something for it!  You're paying a photographer for the day - invite your friends, let them get couples pictures taken and give them a copy...  You've got a venue and caterer, sweetheart tables for your friends and the filet...  If you've paid the florist, tell them what you're doing, deposit paid is the budget - flowers in some jars off of marketplace that your friends/guests can take home with them.  Or even possibly turn it into a Bridal Shower...  


    While having a party anyway isn't bad advice, if I am OP like hell am I throwing this girl a bridal shower.
    TBH - I'd throw a steak dinner bash with my nearest and dearest friends with all the fixings/desserts..  The issue is whether the contracts are in the bride/groom's name or the parent's for which is the option to push for...
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    short+sassy
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards