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Customs and Traditions

Still "tradition" for the bride's family to pay?

Even before we got engaged, my fiance and I had discussed one day paying for our own wedding with whatever help our families could manage.  Then, last night, his family freaked out because they found out that my parents were not paying for the entire thing.  They don't feel that they should have to contribute, and they also don't see why my fiance should spend any of his money on the wedding either.  This is "the bride's family's event".  They say he should basically get his tux and show up.  To make it all worse, he even put me on the phone with his step-mom to have her explain this all to me herself. And when I explained that my parents had paid for their own wedding 30 years ago and that I was not raised to expect tens of thousands of dollars from them for my wedding, she said "well didn't your parents plan for this when they had a daughter? What were they thinking?

I am so outraged!  First of all, I don't think it is his family's business.  Second of all, it's very presumptuous to assume my parents should pay.  That's not how I was raised, and it's not how any of my married friends planned their wedding.  To make it all worse, his side is nearly much larger than mine because it seems like his divorced parents are playing the "I have to have more people than my ex" game.  

Am I right to be seriously angry at his family (and at him for not standing up for me)?  Does anyone really believe it is the sole responsibility of the bride's family anymore??
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Re: Still "tradition" for the bride's family to pay?

  • You are 100% right.

    You and FI are paying, you get control of everything. Don't let his family push you into doing anything you don't want (such as extra guests, choosing a more expensive meal option, etc). Though, if you felt like being argumentative, you could inform them of the requirement of the groom's family, as posted by Teddy ;), though it's probably best NOT to do that.

    I think though you need to have a big chat with FI about how it was rude of him to push that on you. You and he are now a team and he needs to back you up. In particular, if there are any issues between you two and his family, HE needs to be the one to deal with it, not make you bad guy.

    Good luck!! 
    aurorajanette
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    You are 100% right.  You should apologize to your step mother for letting yourself put her on the spot like that right away.  You can blame your FI/his family for "putting you on the phone," but you made the words come out of your mouth, and you should apologize.

    Next, you need to address with your FI that he didn't stand up for you.  That problem is bigger than wedding planning.  He has to stand up for you.

    Last, your FI needs to go to his parents and set them straight for butting in where they have no business and for the way they treated you.  They have no obligation to contribute anything.  If they don't want to, fine, but your family's contribution and total budget is none of their concern.  If they're trying to take over the guest list, you might be wise to decline their money completely and take away their right to give any input into the guest list.  
    doeydogrumbledoreShellLillian
  • You are 100% right.  You should apologize to your step mother for letting yourself put her on the spot like that right away.  You can blame your FI/his family for "putting you on the phone," but you made the words come out of your mouth, and you should apologize.

    Next, you need to address with your FI that he didn't stand up for you.  That problem is bigger than wedding planning.  He has to stand up for you.

    Last, your FI needs to go to his parents and set them straight for butting in where they have no business and for the way they treated you.  They have no obligation to contribute anything.  If they don't want to, fine, but your family's contribution and total budget is none of their concern.  If they're trying to take over the guest list, you might be wise to decline their money completely and take away their right to give any input into the guest list.  
    I'm confused as to what exactly OP said that she needs to apologize for? Did I miss something?




    aurorajanette
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    bakerie said:
    You are 100% right.  You should apologize to your step mother for letting yourself put her on the spot like that right away.  You can blame your FI/his family for "putting you on the phone," but you made the words come out of your mouth, and you should apologize.

    Next, you need to address with your FI that he didn't stand up for you.  That problem is bigger than wedding planning.  He has to stand up for you.

    Last, your FI needs to go to his parents and set them straight for butting in where they have no business and for the way they treated you.  They have no obligation to contribute anything.  If they don't want to, fine, but your family's contribution and total budget is none of their concern.  If they're trying to take over the guest list, you might be wise to decline their money completely and take away their right to give any input into the guest list.  
    I'm confused as to what exactly OP said that she needs to apologize for? Did I miss something?

    I agree with bakerie. OP is owed an apology.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    bakerie said:
    You are 100% right.  You should apologize to your step mother for letting yourself put her on the spot like that right away.  You can blame your FI/his family for "putting you on the phone," but you made the words come out of your mouth, and you should apologize.

    Next, you need to address with your FI that he didn't stand up for you.  That problem is bigger than wedding planning.  He has to stand up for you.

    Last, your FI needs to go to his parents and set them straight for butting in where they have no business and for the way they treated you.  They have no obligation to contribute anything.  If they don't want to, fine, but your family's contribution and total budget is none of their concern.  If they're trying to take over the guest list, you might be wise to decline their money completely and take away their right to give any input into the guest list.  
    I'm confused as to what exactly OP said that she needs to apologize for? Did I miss something?
    Because she confronted her step mother about not contributing.  She did it because she was pushed by the FI and his family, but she still did it.  She should apologize to the step mother for the call.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    MyName: It says that FI put FSMIL on the phone to explain how the bride's family pays.  The OP didn't call up FSMIL to tell her anything.  She didn't confront FSMIL about any contribution from groom's family.  She only explained that her parents paid for their wedding many years ago and how she grew up not expecting to have a wedding paid for. 
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    bakerie said:
    You are 100% right.  You should apologize to your step mother for letting yourself put her on the spot like that right away.  You can blame your FI/his family for "putting you on the phone," but you made the words come out of your mouth, and you should apologize.

    Next, you need to address with your FI that he didn't stand up for you.  That problem is bigger than wedding planning.  He has to stand up for you.

    Last, your FI needs to go to his parents and set them straight for butting in where they have no business and for the way they treated you.  They have no obligation to contribute anything.  If they don't want to, fine, but your family's contribution and total budget is none of their concern.  If they're trying to take over the guest list, you might be wise to decline their money completely and take away their right to give any input into the guest list.  
    I'm confused as to what exactly OP said that she needs to apologize for? Did I miss something?
    Because she confronted her step mother about not contributing.  She did it because she was pushed by the FI and his family, but she still did it.  She should apologize to the step mother for the call.
    There is no her step mother in the OPs story, it was his step mother that was confronting the OP. The FI and his step mother owes the OP an apology.  Your FI was very wrong for not backing you up. 
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    doeydoaurorajanette
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    laurynm84 said:
    bakerie said:
    You are 100% right.  You should apologize to your step mother for letting yourself put her on the spot like that right away.  You can blame your FI/his family for "putting you on the phone," but you made the words come out of your mouth, and you should apologize.

    Next, you need to address with your FI that he didn't stand up for you.  That problem is bigger than wedding planning.  He has to stand up for you.

    Last, your FI needs to go to his parents and set them straight for butting in where they have no business and for the way they treated you.  They have no obligation to contribute anything.  If they don't want to, fine, but your family's contribution and total budget is none of their concern.  If they're trying to take over the guest list, you might be wise to decline their money completely and take away their right to give any input into the guest list.  
    I'm confused as to what exactly OP said that she needs to apologize for? Did I miss something?
    Because she confronted her step mother about not contributing.  She did it because she was pushed by the FI and his family, but she still did it.  She should apologize to the step mother for the call.
    There is no her step mother in the OPs story, it was his step mother that was confronting the OP. The FI and his step mother owes the OP an apology.  Your FI was very wrong for not backing you up. 
    I misread.  You're right.  

    The FI and his family both owe OP an apology, her family is unaffected.  The FI needs to learn to stand up for OP.  
  • Amongst my circle of friends, it's pretty much a given that the bride's family pays for the wedding and the groom's family pays for the traditional groom things.

    That being said, it should never be expected by one side and even if it were expected due to regional norm, they should never have voiced it to you openly. They all owe you an apology.
  • My parents did pay for a huge chunk of my wedding, but I never expected or asked for it.  They insisted and I graciously accepted.  We were prepared to pay for our own wedding. 

    You definitely need to have a chat with your FI about backing you up.  He should have never given you the phone, but the flip side of that coin is you should have never taken it.  If I were you, I'd be wary of taking any money from them as it will likely come with a lot of demands.  Let her know that who pays for your wedding is none of her business, especially if it isn't her.  If she brings it up again, change the subject.  Leave the room if you have to, but do not engage her. 

  • We are in 2013 if the bride's family can not afford to pay for the wedding you pay for your own wedding. Sorry to those who feel different this is modern times not when you how to so you can pass on your daughter. Not everybody has money.
  • First off...FI needs to apologize to you....then you guys have to talk it out on how this should be handled. I am Chinese and in our culture, the GROOM's side pays for everything...however like PP's have said, it's 2013....we split everything because it's a FAMILY AFFAIR...not the bride and her family's affair only.
  • Since when is a wedding just the bride's family event? If this event was just for the bride's family, the groom's side would look awfully empty.

    The purpose of the wedding is to celebrate a union between two families. And, the bride and groom has the responsibility for paying for their wedding. Since you and your FI are paying, you will have full control. I would stop sharing your plans with his family. They will only need to know the date, and when to show up.

    Your finances are none of their concern. You don't ask them who pays the mortgage bill. Or, how much is on their credit card? They shouldn't inquire about the cost of you and your FI's wedding.
  • CLI242009CLI242009 member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    edited October 2013
    They don't feel that they should have to contribute, and they also don't see why my fiance should spend any of his money on the wedding either.  What the hell? It's HIS wedding too!!! It's their son! Sheesh....This is "the bride's family's event".  They say he should basically get his tux and show up.  To make it all worse, he even put me on the phone with his step-mom to have her explain this all to me herself. ....The fact that he handed you the phone & didn't stick up does not make him look good at all. Does he have a backbone? I hope he apologizes to you because that is just really screwed up. And when I explained that my parents had paid for their own wedding 30 years ago and that I was not raised to expect tens of thousands of dollars from them for my wedding, she said "well didn't your parents plan for this when they had a daughter? I'm sorry but this notion sounds like something I've read out of my 1800 era romance novels. Seriously?! Planned for a wedding? Most days parents are hoping they can pay for their kids to go to college not to have an elaborate wedding.  What were they thinking? Rationally obviously. 

    I am so outraged!  First of all, I don't think it is his family's business.  Second of all, it's very presumptuous to assume my parents should pay.  That's not how I was raised, and it's not how any of my married friends planned their wedding.  To make it all worse, his side is nearly much larger than mine because it seems like his divorced parents are playing the "I have to have more people than my ex" game. That is just really selfish. These people are sounding really really selfish, petty and well stuck up? 

    Am I right to be seriously angry at his family (and at him for not standing up for me)?  Does anyone really believe it is the sole responsibility of the bride's family anymore?? You'd be surprised how many parents out there still believe in the "old ways". I know times have changed but the whole "bride's family pays" was normal etiquette back in the day. Some people just can't change with the times. Sounds like your FI's parents are among them. 

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  • While my fiance and I are not traditional at all, my parents do feel strongly about paying for my wedding. Traditionally, that would mean his family covers certain things, but his family is both broken and broke. There were no questions asked about it. My parents offered to contribute a certain amount, we took a few of the things they wanted to cover for ourselves (neither of us can stand letting them pay for all of it), and that's it.
    Nobody on either side has questioned the contributions of anyone else, and that's how it should be.
    People can give what they are willing and able to give and ultimately it's the couple that decides what to accept.

    For his family to do that is immature, rude, and just downright strange (because traditionally his side would be covered quite a bit as well).

    As it has been said before, your fiance needs to stand up for you. If he can't stand up for you, you will have much bigger problems down the road. Your fiance also needs to have a nice long talk with anyone on his side of the family who feels that way.
    CLI242009
  • If they don't want to help that's one thing, but for them to act snobby about it is another if you need to cut costs id cut out people from that side first. :)
  • doeydo said:
    This is 2013.  Do your FI's parents expect a dowry as well?
    LOL. My thoughts exactly.

    I understand your frustration OP. It was incredibly rude from them to judge your parents like this. Just so you know, before I started reading wedding boards, I didn't know it was actually a thing to receive money from your parents to get married - or have them pay for your entire wedding. I've only seen this in movies. My parents too paid for their own wedding 30 years ago. I hope your future in-laws have saved thousands of dollars for your honeymoon. ;)
  • Wow... How incredibly rude of them. Also shame on your FI for not standing up for you. You need to have a talk with him about how you're suppose to support each other. Also if his family offers to pay for anything turn it down that way they won't have any say in the planning. I don't know anyone whose parents paid for their wedding. My FI and I are paying for it ourselves.
  • I posted something very similar to this on the wedding woes board. My fiances mom was out of town when we were engaged, the day she got back, he told her the new, he was excite to tell her we were engaged and we had a date set already (year and a half from now) She said, congrats, and then RIGHT AWAY she went into MONEY, she asked about my family (since she hasnt really gotten to know me) and assumed they were paying for it, along with ourselves, she kept saying over and over "make sure you don't spend too much" (she just got done paying for his sisters wedding which was over 30,000 a few years ago) and he's the only son. She they "his mom and step dad" can help a little but not much.  He was pretty upset/hurt/annoyed by this because he wasnt calling to talk about money or anything like that. We had already set a limit on guests and a budget we could afford on our OWN...
    Now reading this thread, it makes me realize, about 90% of the guests will be his side of the family. I only have one brother, two sisters and their husbands, and my mother who lives off of social security/disability. That's MY side of the family. Adding my 3 kids, so including me.. Guest count from MY side of the family equals 10. ....10 guests from MY side.
    So now I'm just annoyed with his mother.. We were not going to ask, or assume for money to be given for the wedding. but he has a LARGE family, so if my mother had a decent paying job she should be footing the bill for basically HIS family? Oh I don't think so. 
    This makes me want to tell fiance that, "hey, we should just invite his mom, stepdad, his dad, and his wife, his grandmother, sisters, and my whole 10 people on my side and a handful of closest friends WE have. WE are the ones paying for it. Right now I'm not too thrilled of the thought of saving and spending all this money on HIS family especially on how she responded. That will save us a LOT of money, and put future monster in law in place.
    Also, fiance said if she brings up money again when we see her on Christmas, or before we book venues, we will just grab our kids and go have a beach wedding in Florida by ourselves like I wanted (but his family is soooo large and would be mad if they couldnt attend)...
  • Sounds like he complained to his SM and she went to battle for him. In the Victorian era yes she's right. Now the FH fam pays for rehearsal dinner alcohol and honeymoon.
  • Pay for it yourself and it's your rules. I actually like that we are paying for it ourselves because we work hard for our money so we can celebrate with those closest to us. Your money, your wedding, only your opinion matters.
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  • I agree with PP, if you pay for it, you have control. Limit conversations on planning to avoid arguments with them. You need to figure out how many guests you can afford to invite, make a list of your VIP's and then tell each parent how many people they can invite from there. You can decide if you want to offer them the option that if they want to exceed their alloted number they can if they pay for the overage. Make sure though when you give them the per person cost that you don't give them just the reception hall cost but to include cake, invite & favor cost per person and depending on how many people they do extra centerpiece cost too
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There are 5 of us girls in my family. My parents would go broke if they paid for all of our weddings. Besides, as FI and I make more than our parents combined (and we're into our 30s), we felt odd accepting money from them even if they offered.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • missnc77missnc77 member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    How does your FI feel about this? Does he agree with her? Otherwise, why would he ever hand you the phone so his stepmom could make you feel awful? I mean seriously, why did he give her the platform to say that crap to you? Does he have your back?
  • My FI would be sleeping on the couch if he and his mother did this to me. When his mom has confronted me about our wedding budget before and asking how much - I tell her we're keeping it private. We're also keeping private how much anyone else contributes. Luckily - my FI is more than happy with this thought - that only we need to know how much money is involved and where it's coming from.
  • edited January 2014
    I absolutely agree with you.  If my FI didn't stick up for me I would probably question our relationship all together.  If he can't stick up for you during your wedding process what makes you think he'll be on your side during other matters?  My FI family did this to me and luckily my FI stuck up for me and told them if they wanted their guests there they could pay for it.  That shut them up pretty quickly and we haven't had any problems since.  The issue here is not that his parents are demanding the brides family pays, it's that the FI is not on the bride's side.

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