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Should I?

So, my dad has made me an offer that I'm not sure if I should refuse... he says that he'll give me the 8-10,000 dollars that we would have spent on my wedding in cash for a downpayment on a house if I just have a small, private wedding with immediate family and close friends. We would still have a small get-together/cookout at my aunt's house afterward. I'm not huge on parties and dancing anyway, but I just don't want this to be something that I regret.

Several of my already-married friends have told me to take the money and run; they don't remember much about their wedding day except being exhausted and worrying about food running out/guest boredom.

I know that there's no way anyone can tell me what to do, but advice/your own experiences would help me to keep all factors in mind. Thanks. :)

Re: Should I?

  • What do YOU AND YOUR FI want?  That's really all that matters here.  Some people (self included) don't really care about the whole wedding experience.  Personally, I would've been cool with a small destination wedding.  Others (like my FI) have spent lots and lots of time over the years thinking about how they want their future wedding to be, and would be truly disappointed not to have a certain kind of celebration, even if it meant buying a house sooner.  Figure out (with your FI) the type of wedding that's going to make you both happy, THEN decide whether to use the money towards a wedding, or a house, or both.
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  • For ME and my FI... we want the wedding. We have a great big family, and tons of friends, and I can't imagine not planning this with him. It's also worth noting that we are in our late 20's and have stable careers. Likely we will be able to afford a house when we are ready. If we were in a tighter money situation my answer may be different.
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  • I know my fiance would be perfectly happy if I said let's do a small family only ceremony, but I have dreamed of a wedding.  However me and my fiance are paying for our wedding ourselves

    Also, where I live $8 or $9k would not be much toward a downpayment as houses start at $250,000 and go up. 
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  • In Response to Re: Should I?:
    I know my fiance would be perfectly happy if I said let's do a small family only ceremony, but I have dreamed of a wedding.  However me and my fiance are paying for our wedding ourselves Also, where I live $8 or $9k would not be much toward a downpayment as houses start at $250,000 and go up. 
    Posted by ChristineNB
    Yep, same here. Honestly OP, I think the fact that you need to write this post means that you are hesitant about giving up the 'big' wedding. Do what your heart tells you.

    We wanted to host a great wedding with about 90 guests, so we saved up to make that happen. After we were engaged, my parents gave me 10K to use as I please. I decided to use that to get our first apartment, rather than adding it to the wedding budget. This worked for us because it was kind of the best of both worlds. 
  • I think there are ways to do both, you just need to do a little research.  Our wedding will cost less than $10,000- including my $1500 dress and 150 guests.  But I don't care about favors and centerpieces and decorations.  I'm using things I already have and will have very "Eclectic" decor.  We are also getting rid of the cake and doing a dessert table, which will save a few hundred dollars. 

    I do agree with rlavach though- why are you questioning this?
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  • This is something that only you and your fiance can decide.  How does he feel about it?
  •  You could have a small wedding with close friends and family if ya'll wanted to and then also have a down payment on a house. I look at it like this a wedding is a few hours but a down payment for a house will take a lot of stress of you. In the end it is what you want.
  • Could you do a mix of both? The ceremony doesn't cost anything different depending on how many people come, so have everyone come, then maybe a backyard bbq with dancing and the usual wedding traditions for however many people you invite to the ceremony? You could use a few thousand for this and save the rest? 

    Like PPs have said, we can't tell you what to do. Good luck!

  • You can have the best of both worlds. You are still going to have a wedding, just something smaller. You'll still have the actual aspects of a wedding like the dress, the cake, etc (not just going down to the court). So you will have that whole bridal experience, just on a much smaller scale. Then you will have the $$ ready for a house without having to save it all yourself.

    However if you feel you are not ready for a house, then don't take the money and be pushed into something you may still not be able to afford (more than just a down payment, you will need closing costs, any extra costs to fix the house you do get, mortgage, taxes, lawyers fees,  etc...) So think about that as well. If your father is willing to give you the money towards your wedding, then use whatever you were willing to spend on your own (say you planned to spend $5G), save some of the money your dad gave you (say $5) and take your time finding a house with the little you put away, while still getting your dream wedding.

    FI would be happy with having a courthouse wedding and then dinner with close family but I want a wedding and the whole bridal experience. We already own a house though.
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  • JennyB0825JennyB0825
    10 Comments
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    edited March 2012

    After a lot of wedding drama my parents decided to write cheque for a similar amount as a gift for my wedding day (it was their way of backing the hell off, and I appreciated it!) to use as I pleased. I could use some or all of it for my wedding/honeymoon/downpayment/shopping spree/whatever.

    I've always wanted a small intimate wedding-  actually, backyard cookout at my parents cottage... which they refused-  even when my parents were willing to foot the bill regardless of what I presented them. They would have preferred a large city wedding for me, which was the cause for the wedding drama that I mentioned above. I've always figured that a wedding lasts a day (a few hours, really) but the cost of that day can set you up for a lifetime.


    I realize we all differ in our priorities, but my personal preference is to use the money to set myself up for a marriage rather than celebrating my wedding. $10,000 on your downpayment can remove years from your mortgage, clear some student loans, replace a car on its last legs or even raise a baby for a few years.

    I will still be having a wedding, but I'm hoping to use a small amount of the gift my parents gave us to make it happen. I live in a huge city with a very large cost of living where the average wedding costs about $40k - I can have the wedding that I want for about a tenth of that.

    Then again, when my FI and I were discussing rings I told him to set a budget head to Claire's, and pick up something that cost $17 and glittered - then put the rest in a lump sum against his mortgage*...  so my priorities might be a little warped.  


    * for the record, he didn't get my ring at Claire's. He set a budget, met me half way and made sure that what he did spend gave us airmiles that we could use to contribute to our honeymoon. The rest went to a lump sum on his mortgage.  I love that man and that he puts up with me!

  • I voted "other."  

    My suggestion is that you plan a wedding you and your FI can afford to pay for yourselves.  That makes it a bit easier to decide whether or not to accept the offer of money for the downpayment from your father.  That, of course, is a decision the two of you need to make together, independent of what you want to do re: your wedding. 

    It sounds like the $$ is coming with strings attached.  The question really is this:  Do you and your FI want to accept the $$ and the strings which come along with it?

    Good luck!
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