Since I'm spending my lunch hour reading Prudie anyway, I figured I'd post!
I make a good living and spend pretty frugally. I bought two homes by the time I was 30 (I rent one out) and drive the same car I had in college. I’ve been very lucky—and I haven’t dated since I was 19. I work like a dog. There are trade-offs. Four years ago, my stepfather had a heart attack while my stepsister was engaged. I paid for half of her wedding and her honeymoon (around $10,000). It was a gift, and I didn’t want my parents stressing out over anything more than my stepfather getting better. I am also close to my stepsister.
My half-brother is much younger than me and getting married to a girl he knew from high school. I don’t know either of them well. At a welcome brunch, his fiancée wanted to know how much I was going to give them for the wedding. My brother attempted to hush her, but this girl pushed on to tell the entire table I “owed” her a honeymoon and reception because I did the same for our sister. I was the “rich sister,” after all, and didn’t have a family of my own. She shut up after her own mother told her to be quiet, but it was an uncomfortable brunch.
Both my brother and the mother of the bride have personally apologized to me. I would be willing to let this go, but both my brother and his bride-to-be have obliquely begged for money on social media and via email. We used to talk once or twice a year, but since that brunch he has called me 10 times wanting to “catch up” (really to complain about wedding costs). I am not sure what to do. They haven’t straight-out asked me yet, but I am not giving either of them a red cent after that brunch. I will buy something on the registry, but the sister of the groom has no obligation to pay for the wedding (the bride’s family does). I know that her parents can’t afford this (my hometown is pretty poor), but I am never going to spend money on a spoiled brat who thinks I owe her a dream wedding. Should I play dumb? How should I proceed?
—Not a Fairy Godmother