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Old 09-19-2011, 06:03 PM   #21
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I'll just throw out one more thought, although it's not one that most people would consider.

When DW and I got married, we were both around 40 years old, so it was entirely our expense and our show. I had made it clear that I wanted something simple, because I thought the big wedding thing was kind of a waste of money.

Yes, I made my point very, very diplomatically.

Much to my amazement, DW came up with an idea that took me aback at first, but turned out to be fantastic.

We had a very small, simple ceremony, with a grand total of 10 people involved. Afterward, we rode the nice stretch limo back to the house, and enjoyed a very fancy wedding cake (chocolate, to keep me happy) and some good champagne.

Then we sent everyone off in taxis, changed clothes, and drove to the airport for our honeymoon.

Here's the cool part. Exactly one year later, on our first anniversary, we had the reception. A big affair, with all our friends, the whole deal. What made it so great is that all the pressure was off, and we were able to relax and enjoy the big day as much as our guests.

It's many years later now, but we still smile at how well our (well, her) plan worked.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:15 PM   #22
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We eloped for a Valentines Day marriage. I was 30 and the to be Ms G. was a lot younger. The nicest gift we received was from an older(now our age) couple that bought us a bottle of champagne at dinner, after they found out why we were so lovey dovey.

We are still looking to pay the experience forward.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:14 PM   #23
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Resident curmudgeon: If offspring want to get married, let them fund it.
Total cost less than $500.
I told parents I was married several months after the fact. Mother bought us tshirts from The Pink Pony Pub.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:00 PM   #24
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I agree with the previous posts about giving what you can afford in the form of a check, way ahead of the actual event, and written out to your daughter. This will help the couple to plan what they want to do and within what price range.
If they choose to go more expensively, it should definitely be on their nickel. If they decide to go no-frills, then you have given them a solid financial start. Win-win.
Her age and current single parenthood do not seem to be big factors to me. Do only what you can comfortably afford and feel good about.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:07 PM   #25
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I am pretty much against marriage, let alone weddings. In fact, weddings give me a stomach ache.

I didn't contribute to either of my sons' weddings, and as far as I know, neither did the brides' parents. They all make more money than I do, and spend it much more freely too. I will drive across the state to pick them up, pick them up at a bar late when they got over their heads drinking, baby sit- but I am not about to subsidize lifestyles that I could not afford. Should a Subaru driver living in 500 sq ft subsidize a Porsche driver living in 4-8x that much? Not by my arithmetic.

I think the idea that today a parent "owes" a daughter a wedding is off. The historical and social situation is very different today from the Edwardian era.

Ha
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:25 PM   #26
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My two cents would be that you should fund as much of a wedding as you would have funded if she was "leaving her family home for marriage." Why penalize her for waiting until she is independent and sure of her choice instead of marrying some high school guy at 18? As to how much to spend, that is your call.
I agree with all of the above.

And also with Braumeister who said to let your daughter know how you feel about your decision sooner rather than later.

And also, thank you to your daughter and her future husband for their service. Heck, I'll kick in a little $$ for the wedding .
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:50 PM   #27
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You could always do it Warren Buffet style.

Buffett ties knot at seafood restaurant - World - theage.com.au


Andrew Clark
September 3, 2006
THERE were no golden thrones, champagne flutes or ice sculptures at Nebraska's wedding of the year. The groom wore a business suit, the ring was a discount purchase through his own jewellery company and the reception was a meal at the Bonefish Grill, an America-wide seafood chain.

Warren Buffett, the world's second-richest man with a fortune of $US44 billion ($A57billion), married his long-term mistress this week in a quiet ceremony at his white stucco house in the prairie city of Omaha, putting an end to an unorthodox relationship that has intrigued American society.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:14 PM   #28
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...... she is your daughter ....... the rest are just details

I say it depends on your relationship that you have with her, how she view her "wedding" and what you can afford....

Regardless if it's $25, $250, $2500 or more, it's your gesture of goodwill for a happy moment in your daughter's life.

Personally, my wedding was based on values from my wife, MIL, and my mom. At the end it was a great time, we paid for most of the expenses as our parents could not afford much (income <$30k), but still provided $x, 000. It was appreciated, but not required.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:36 PM   #29
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The wedding is very inexpensive.

The show at the church can be much more expensive.

The circus and party at the reception can be anything from affordable to outrageous.

My wife had a co-worker who lived together with a guy for 8 years. They decided to get married and planned the wedding for 18 months. Spent something like $35K. 8 months later they were divorced. Go figure.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:52 PM   #30
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Dan C....there are not many who go from the family home to a marriage these days. Most are (with any luck) out on their own and independent. My own daughter is 23, has her job, bought her condo, living within her means..etc. I just don't think I could ever tell her ...."oh...since you have made these independent decisions and lived your life well since college.......I'm not going to pay for your first wedding". I feel it is my responsibility if for no other reason...it seems to always be the brides parents responsibility to put on the wedding. That said, it should be what the brides parents are comfortable with contributing or "within reason".

My daughter became engaged 2 weeks ago and we are looking at a wedding....sometime next spring. The time frame has become quite complicated as her fiancee is involved in "the elite special forces" (vague enough as I've been told I'm not suppose to tell just what he is).
I've offered them both a small simple family wedding plus a good size check. They turned it down and want a large wedding.
After talking to many venues last week, I'm a bit shocked at my preliminary cost estimate and started cutting my own quest list. It's been cut to primary family members, and a few close couple friends. Don't have the grooms family quest list yet.
I'm further shocked at what some of my friends have paid for their daughters weddings.

Good luck with your decision Dan C.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:30 AM   #31
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If you have the money and want to be a good parent, why not telling her during the visit that you are planning for a wedding gift of xyz $?

It feels strange to me that she would have received a contribution if she had decided to marry early without the ability to support herself whereas now you might "punish" her for standing on her own feet for some years.
But I understand that some parents really would want to throw a party on the occasion of a kid leaving home...(tongue in cheek mode)


When we married we planned all on our own and on our own small budget. Some days after the celebration my mom asked about the cost and was pleasantly surprised how little we had spent. Then she said that she and my dad had decided to give an additional gift of xyz, but only after the event as they did not want to encourage excessive spending.
(Not that we gave them reason to suspect that...)
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:14 AM   #32
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Believe it or not, I enjoyed the very substantial amount I paid for my DD's wedding...but that amount was capped. Admittedly, we went over the cap with a nice and separate wedding gift. We discussed with my DD what we would contribute (a formal wedding/reception was a given) and my independent DD/future SIL paid the rest.
We had a grand time and I don't regret any of it. Formal weddings can be grandiose or less so. Tough nut to crack is the catering hall; but there are plenty of savings to be had everywhere else. Like that commercial, the memories are priceless.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:24 AM   #33
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Here's the cool part. Exactly one year later, on our first anniversary, we had the reception. A big affair, with all our friends, the whole deal. What made it so great is that all the pressure was off, and we were able to relax and enjoy the big day as much as our guests.
SIL/BIL did the same. While the marriage ceremony was held in the winter months, they had a catered picnic for friends and family at a pavilion the following June.

That allowed them to extend the invite list and more importantly had outdoors games and such to make sure the kids of friends/family had a good time rather than being stuck in a formal social event or even left at home.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #34
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My two cents would be that you should fund as much of a wedding as you would have funded if she was "leaving her family home for marriage." Why penalize her for waiting until she is independent and sure of her choice instead of marrying some high school guy at 18? As to how much to spend, that is your call.
+1

I paid for both of my weddings. I learned though, and the 2nd was a lot smaller, simpler, less expensive. DW found her gown at J.C. Penny's for $150, initially she wasn't going to buy one at all since the prices were so high. Reception was at a nearby restaurant with ~25 people. Everybody drove themselves, we drove our pickup truck since that was the only vehicle with A/C on a hot day.

Next month we're going as guests to one of the extravaganzas, complete with multiple limos and such. I shudder at the cost. The bride-to-be likes Waterford crystal and that sets off alarm bells in my head. (1st wife liked Waterford crystal.) DW now has no interest in it.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:38 AM   #35
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The bride-to-be likes Waterford crystal and that sets off alarm bells in my head. (1st wife liked Waterford crystal.) DW now has no interest in it.
Just tell the bride-to-be that it's no longer manufactured in Waterford (they went into receivership) and is now manufactured in Czech Republic and Germany (very few red-headed Irish there ).

BTW, we have a collection ("Anniversary" edition purchased by me, not DW) after we visited the original plant. Who says a guy can't have good taste .

BTW, it makes wine (and even water) taste much better ...
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:55 AM   #36
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DD got married about 5 weeks ago. After the engagement, she started up with all kinds of plans that dw and I could tell would cost an arm, a leg, and my first grandchild. I told DD we would give her $15k for the wedding, and that she and hubby could plan what they wanted within that figure, and that she could keep whatever she did not use. She cracked down on her plans, had a beautiful wedding with a fun reception and saved 8k out of the 15k I gave her. A chip of the ole block if I do say so myself. She was quite disorganized about the whole thing (which may have been partially the reason she was able to save so much). Anyway, both DD and SIL where very happy with the whole thing.

Fwiw,
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:08 AM   #37
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I like Rambler's idea of giving DD a check and letting her decide how to spend it. When parents simply foot the bill without explicit limits the kids have no reason to be reasonable. Once it is their money they will watch every penny (or not, depending on their essential natures).
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:17 AM   #38
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I like Rambler's idea of giving DD a check and letting her decide how to spend it. When parents simply foot the bill without explicit limits the kids have no reason to be reasonable. Once it is their money they will watch every penny (or not, depending on their essential natures).

I agree . I also think that lets them free to plan the ceremony they want as compared to what their parents want them to have .
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:16 AM   #39
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I like Rambler's idea of giving DD a check and letting her decide how to spend it...........
Ahem......


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..............
I say give her a cash wedding gift and if she chooses, she can put it toward the wedding.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:37 AM   #40
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My daughter was married last March. I told them up front that I would give them $5K for their wedding. If they went over, it was on them. Then I gave them a check for $5K for their wedding gift with the stipulation of investing it, not spending it.
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