Curious--Who pays for the wedding?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by chemteach55, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I admire those of you who went against the current tradition of having ridiculously expensive wedding ëvents" that stress out everyone involved. Some brides seem to want everything to be fairytale perfection. One of my friends has had 2 daughters married in the last yea,r and 2 kids in college. He is drowing in debt and stress. No fun at all for him because he is worried about his own financial future at this point. His third daughter is in a serious relationship and he has told her no marriage for at least 2 years or it will break him.

    That being said, my parents paid for my wedding 35 years ago, but I sewed my wedding and bridesmaid dresses, we had it in my parents beautiful yard and we made a lot of the food. My in-laws paid for the rehearsal dinner.

    As the mother of 3 boys, I hope their future wives will be sensible about their weddings. I think people can have perfectly wonderful, meaningful, enjoyable weddings without breaking the bank. Sometimes I think the wedding expectations can be a warning sign of what the future financial expectations will be like.
     
  2. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My daughter rightly expected that we would pay for the wedding because we always told her that we would because my husband and I always planned on paying for the wedding. If we could not have afforded what we did, then we would have scaled down the wedding to what we could afford. We made over 300,000 last year combined and owe less than $100,000 on our home and our only bills are grocery and living expenses so a $30,000 wedding was not really over the top in our situation. No one went into debt over it.

    My original question was a poll of sorts--how many parents still shoulder the cost of the wedding? I was shocked when we began finding out that many of our friends did not pay for their children's weddings or only paid part of the cost.
     
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think someone brought up the fact that a lot of couples are getting married a little later in life these days. I agree that that probably has an impact on how many parents pay for their children's weddings.

    Even just a generation ago, lots of couples were in their late teens or very early twenties, without careers or property or any sort of established adult life. It seems that nowadays a lot of couples are in their mid-to-late-twenties or in their thirties before getting married. Besides that, a lot of couples already own property together and have established careers before getting married. I can see how it might be a little weird to have the bride's parents pay for a wedding when the couple already owns stuff together and makes a fair combined salary.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 27, 2013

    And that's fine and good that you're willing and able to afford "nice" weddings. Nothing wrong with that. I just don't understand your shock that others can't and don't.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, this is surely part of it.
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Only my very wealthy friends have expected that their parents would pay for even part of their wedding. Fewer and fewer of my friends are having big weddings. Most of us are doing really simple things. Even my sisters did simple, if large weddings. My oldest sister had very plain dresses and decorations, and very plain reception. The middle sister had elegant, but inexpensive. They saved money with very simple things, like not having a DJ or band, but making a playlist. Luckily, we have a ton of musicians in our family and friends, so they didn't need to pay for music during the ceremony, either. Those ceremonies were ten years ago, though. My good friends weddings have been nice, but not extravagant, with a couple of friends who are extremely wealthy, and whose parents spent tens and tens of thousands of dollars on their weddings. I just think there is a better use of money than having a crazy nice party. Why not have a moderately nice party, and save the money, or donate it to charity or something? Many of my friends are asking for donations to charities they support rather than wedding presents and having very modest ceremonies and more casual parties. I think we are moving in a positive direction in that regard, despite what the latest TLC reality shows may make you think about how weddings should be. That's just not the reality for most people.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 27, 2013

    Adding that I've never been to a "fancy "wedding...those are just absolutely not the norm here. I've never been to a wedding with a DJ, an actual meal, dancing, alcohol...so that probably influences my opinion on this entire discussion a bit, too. Weddings are at the church, the reception either in the church basement or the metal activity building out back, and while nice and pretty, just...simple.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 27, 2013

    Wasn't it always said that the bride's parents pay for the wedding & the groom's parents pay for the honeymoon? I guess they both split the cost of the rehearsal festivities.
     
  9. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    chem- You sound just like my parents, and I am so thankful for them!

    They paid for my undergraduate college with no questions asked. When dh and I got engaged, they promised us $15,000 and also gave us their timeshare for a week for our honeymoon. Their money covered the reception, alcohol, and a few other expenses. My mil didn't pay for anything except for her dress because she has next to nothing. We paid for everyone else- rehearsal, church and organist, dj, my dress, veil, shoes, hotel, transportation, flowers, photographer, videographer, etc. It was probably about $20-22K total (including $ from parents) but it was the best day of my life (aside from Nicholas' birth) and I would not change a thing. My entire family was there and the 142 guests we had helped us to start our new life together.

    Leading up to my engagement, I had started to put myself through grad school, bought a condo, and bought a car without anyone's help, so if it hadn't been for my parents, we wouldn't have had the dream wedding that I had hoped for. It was everything I had wanted and more. And we've been happily married for 3 1/2 years. :)
     
  10. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I've been to several weddings in the past couple of years (all across the spectrum as far as price and size), and none of them followed the tradition of the bride's family paying for everything. I think it's an outdated tradition that stems from the whole idea of a dowry, and it's not expected anymore. Whoever can afford it should pay for the wedding. From my recent experiences, this usually seems to be a mixture of the couple and both families. My mother has said that she wants to pay for my wedding in the future, but I'm not the type to want a huge, expensive wedding. I'd rather have a nice, intimate celebration with friends and use the money for travel or a house. Should BF and I continue as we are, he feels the same way. Honestly, I think weddings have gotten a little out of hand.
     
  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    My parents didn't pay for any of those things and I graduated college with very little debt that I have already paid off (2 years later). I think that paying for everything for kids is actually a disservice. I learned how to balance work and school, learned to watch my spending, and had to put in a lot of effort to look for scholarships so that I didn't have debts.

    I think it's great when parents can help out their kids, but so many of my friends who had everything given to them have just wasted it away. They failed classes because they could. Or would skip classes because it wasn't their money paying for them. I couldn't fail classes because then I would lose my scholarship and not be able to go to school anymore.

    I was poor in college, but I think that taught me a really great life lesson. Every cent I have, everything I own, every degree I have, I earned. No one, no one gave them to me. And that makes me really proud.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2013

    Please don't be judgmental of other families' choices. Families do what they can for their kids for the most part and make choices that are right for their families. What's right for one may not work for another, but it doesn't mean that one is necessarily better than the other.:2cents:
     
  13. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2013

    My parents continue to help me out and have for my whole life. They instilled great values in me. I have never squandered what they've given me. I graduated with a 3.8 gpa, higher than most of my friends. I worked for "fun" money, which included gas.

    My parents help because they can and I'm so grateful for that. I've learned the same things other kids did with just a different method.

    I've met people who burn through their money but they are all types of people. A disservice has definitely NOT been done to me. I've successfully managed a budget and am now able to buy a home because of that help. This will help me build equity instead of continuing to spend almost $1000 a month in rent.

    I feel each parent should make that decision themselves. There are ways to teach those skills while still ensuring your child is okay financially.

    For what it's worth, I'm much better with saving my money than most of my close friends. I don't go out to eat a lot, I don't go shopping every weekend, etc...
     
  14. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Actually college was quite cheap for us. My children attended a high school that was around $20,000 per year per child (3 children) with tuition and fees. All three graduated with honors and were able to get TOPS plus for college in addition to other scholarships. My oldest daughter graduated in 5 years with a Master's degree in elementary education. My second daughter will graduate in May with a 3.5 gpa and my son is a sophomore playing in his college marching band and maintaining a 3.2 gpa. They lived in very nice apartments and drove nice cars that we paid for that because their academic successes college only cost us about $200 a semester plus books. My kids have been given a lot in life and they know it and are thankful for it but that does not mean that they did not earn what they have achieved.

    Thanks czacza!
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I'm an only child & have had things given to me that maybe other parents didn't do for their kids, but I definitely appreciated them. Some people have the misconception that you truly don't appreciate something unless you pay for it with your own money. Well, that may be true for some, but not for everyone, including me. I know the value of hard work & have had a good head on my shoulders my whole life. I'm happy to say I never caused my parents to regret anything they ever did for me.
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2013

    My parents bought me my first cars, they paid for my college where grants could not, and paid for my wedding. I don't think they did me a disservice and when my hubs and I were first married, we struggled as well. I think that has helped us be better about money and savings.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Lucy, I understand where you're coming from. I do feel proud of my accomplishments and that I did it without help from my parents...financial or unfortunately moral support. I lived in a hell hole, drove a crap car, and in general didn't have nice things. There is something to be said for persevering through difficult situations. My husband (then boyfriend) was a great help, though, so I certainly can't say I did it completely independently.

    I can't hold it against those who didn't have to struggle...unless they're snotty, spoiled, unappreciative brats with no work ethic. Then again, it's their lives and probably doesn't impact me either way. Honestly I don't know many like that because not too many around here can lavish their children with anything and everything their hearts desire. :p
     
  18. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    Jan 27, 2013

    It totally depends on the family situation....my husbands brother got married about a year before us. His wife's family paid for the whole affair. I live in an area with money so it's expected I guess.
    However, I'm from a small town where it's def not expected. My dh and Is income is more than my parents, we paid for most of it. My parents bought my dress, invites, and gave us 1000 dollars, his parents gave us 3000, the wedding cost about 30000. However we did do a beach wedding in Puerto Rico so mynparents sad they could have helped out more, but travel costs are high.
    I think it worked out well and I had an awesome wedding :)
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Thanks for seeing from my side:)

    I can't really put into words what I'm thinking right now, but I do get a little defensive when so many people assume parents or families should take on huge financial responsibilities for their kids. Especially when the kids are old enough to work their way through it themselves. My parents couldn't afford to give me luxuries, and I think I'm better because of it.

    I don't like how many people on here think it's strange that parents wouldn't shell out thousands of dollars for a PARTY. Our priorities are in different places.
     
  20. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I hear you too, lucy.
     
  21. PolarBear

    PolarBear Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I come to this discussion seeing both sides of the story. Although I was an only child from a fairly well-off family, I married a millwright's daughter. A millwright that was on strike, and had five mouths to feed at home plus an at-home wife. To say things were tight financially for them would have been a gross understatement.

    What kind of wedding could we have had? Any kind we wanted. But what we had was a simple church service with a reception downstairs. MIL and a few aunts catered the reception. I think the whole thing ran about three or four grand. My folks paid half, I paid the other half covering for the in-laws. Never said anything about it, never regretted it either. 34 years of water under that bridge.:)

    Our youngest announced her engagement over the holidays. This child can squeeze a dollar until the eagle screams, even though she doesn't have to. Future father in-law is a minister, they've planned a smallish church wedding and an outdoor reception- probably at the in-laws. She's already bought her wedding dress- hundred bucks. Ring is an heirloom from his grandmother. We've already been told "don't worry about it, we've got it covered." We'll see how that all works out.
     
  22. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    I'm with you.

    Having recenty moved to New Orleans, I can say that I've honestly never seen so many people OBSESSED with parties and so there's definitely a cultural component, at least for people here. I'm planning on eloping, and many of the people I work with are completely flabbergasted by the idea. They work hourly jobs, but make good money and most "spoil" their kids (by my standards). A lot of them are planning to pay for pricy weddings. Interestingly, though, a few of the guys are just going to give their kids money and say "spend it how you want," because they trust that their children will actually use it to buy a house.

    I will say, I think it's great that people can do all of that for their kids, and it is their money so what right do I have to say anything anyway. Though, as someone who worked through college, got minimal help from my parents (with so many strings attached it got to the point where it wasn't worth it and I stopped taking it), was the only child out of four that wasn't given a car, I do laugh at the GPA thing. Yes, it's great to do well, but so many other people (like myself) still graduate with honors (3.6 and it was in a chemistry-oriented degree) AND work full time, and manage to fit in extra curriculars, so I guess I see that differently.

    The whole thing reminds me of when I went to a friend of a friend's graduation party (UCLA) in a Beverly Hills house. someone mentioned how beautiful the house was and how lucky she was to have grown up there. Her reply was, "it's not so special." That was after she scolded her mother for getting up and making a tearful, happy toast and interpreting the Lakers game...
     
  23. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Weddings..... marriages.......parties......receptions. Guess I am a lousy father. My daughter is getting married in November. My teacher salary provides for my two younger kids and wife and house etc. I can pay the bills. My daughter (recent law school grad) started at the salary it took me 33 years and a masters degree to make. The lawyer she is marrying makes WAY more than that. My ex wants me to make a big contribution. She makes more than I and inherited money so she is financially better off. Had I known that daughters required so much for weddings I guess I should have been an accountant or engineer. I think lavish expensive weddings are insane. Anyone with $$$ can have these. I think the marriage is the most important thing. I can and have given my daughter lots of attention and love. What I cannot give is a big check for a wedding. Luckily, my daughter is not the type for big and lavish. I will probably borrow a thousand to help her out.
    I would love to hear more of this story.
     
  24. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I remember a college roommate of mine complaining her father only put $100 into her account for that week. (he was also, of course, paying her out-of-state tuition) It was always a little hard for me to be friends with her.:mellow:
     
  25. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I honestly didn't understand how nice my house was when I was growing up. It was home. It was big, although it was only 2 bedrooms. My parents converted the den into my brother's bedroom. It had a basement (the only 1 in the neighborhood, the next door neighbors came over during tornado warnings, if it was close.)

    I was amazed at what my parents sold it for. I never in my wildest dreams have thought that that house, in that town, would have sold for the amount; maybe a quarter of that amount.

    I would love to have the pantry, the laundry room, the garage or the finished basement!
     
  26. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    Err.. My last part should've been interrupting* the Lakers game. The party was huge, I'm sure out was massively expensive because it was catered, decorated beautifully, and there were tons of people. It was actually really touching to hear her mom speak, she could hardly get the words out without choking up. I don't know if the dad was a deadbeat or unknown, but he wasn't around. Her mom came from poverty, basically, and was so happy to give her daughter such a great life. The daughter was so dismissive, so angry and belittling to her mom. my heart broke for her, but it also annoyed me. At the time, I was working my butt off and living in a small room of a house with people who didn't speak English, and there were 3 families there. I called my parents to ask for money to make rent, and they told me no.

    Now, on the other side of the coin, I did also go to another graduation party that was similarly expensive (rented out a penthouse suite in a hotel), but the girl was so nice, so welcoming, just generally pleasant and obviously appreciated what her parents had done for her. I think that the parents came from money (they were immigrants from Iran so I don't know if there was a cultural component, too).

    Anyway, I think it's like kpa said, you're used to growing up a certain way and maybe just "expect" that lifestyle. I think well off kids can be appreciative, but in my experience it's uncommon and the kids do expect, unappreciatively, to be taken care of.
     
  27. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Mods--Could someone please close this thread? I already know that my children are spoiled rotten and do not appreciate anything because they did not have to work themselves for it. I was simply curious as to how many bride's families still bear the brunt of the cost of the wedding.

    For anyone interested--the wedding may have cost us $30,000 but the rehearsal cost the groom's family at least $10,000 by itself. It was beautiful but over the top. Like I told my daughter--I am only paying for ONE wedding for you so make sure that you get what you want!!
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 28, 2013

    Just thought I'd repeat myself.:whistle:

    I wouldn't judge a family's decisions regarding finances...it's personal.:2cents:
     
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