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DD and Wedding
Old 02-05-2017, 05:24 AM   #1
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DD and Wedding

DD1's boyfriend got me and DW together about week ago and asked permission to pop the question. Very much a gentleman, and a noble thing to do, although I thought for a minute (OK, maybe a few seconds)about saying "I'm sorry, but I just don't think so..." just to see what he would say. He popped the question last night and they both are very excited. Apparently she didn't have the same thoughts as I did.

Now, we live (grew up) in the South, and things are a little different here, just in case some of you didn't know that. The Bride's parents seem to be on tap for all but the Groom's dinner or something like that. All of a sudden, I'm not feeling so Southern any more.

We have not had conversation about this with the two of them, or his family, but just wondering what some others have done when faced with DD's weddings. By the way, there is, as is inferred by DD1, a DD2.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:39 AM   #2
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Best to set a figure and tell them that is what they have to work with. Have them get creative. One girl (daughter of friends of mine) wanted a Cinderella wedding with the coach and everything. They spend big bucks and she was divorced six months later.
That doesnt happen in every case, but many times, the couple will spend whatever daddy is willing to pay for.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:44 AM   #3
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From my experience, the more expensive and lavish the wedding, the shorter the marriage. So you could indeed be doing DD a favor (assuming you like her partner) by giving them a reasonable, and not lavish budget.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:23 AM   #4
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If your budget allows it I think a fixed lump sum for each daughter makes sense and they can pay for an entire smaller wedding or put it towards a larger more lavish affair (or no wedding and use it for a house down payment or investing). Wife and I told each set of our parents we wanted to pay for it ourselves other than the cost of their guests which worked out to be $4,000 from each set. I think we spent $25k total and another $15k on a 3 week honeymoon (money better spent). Marriage going strong 18 years later...
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:28 AM   #5
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Love how shaded we can all be about marriage. I went through a 1st marriage, lasted just shy (by a month) 10 years. I remember her Dad telling me that if marriage lasted less than 10 years he wanted his money back. When we got divorced, I gave him $20 and told him it was pro-rated.

I do intend to set a budget, but I was more wondering if others had asked the Grooms parents to get involved with the costs as well?
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:36 AM   #6
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Congratulations on your DD's engagement. May they have a long and happy life together.

Needless to say, you're probably realizing this is something that is easier to deal with when your children are younger, so you can set expectations before the time comes. You still have an opportunity to do that with your other children.

You don't say how old the two lovebirds are, and that makes a difference. If they are independent and working, perhaps "tradition" doesn't apply and they can decide what they want and how to pay it, and if they are young and still dependent on their parents, perhaps they really don't need an expensive celebration.

With our three (2 DD and 1 DS) when they were still in high school we (me) let each know we intended to contribute a specific $ amount, and it was up to them to decide how much they wanted to spend, or save. The message was repeated often enough to let them know it was serious.

It would be a good ideal for you to decide how much you intend to commit to this and let them know as soon as possible. You definitely want to help set their expectations before they get too high.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:36 AM   #7
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Obviously some discussion with your DD is required. Maybe she doesn't want a big or lavish wedding of would rather have the money instead? You may already have had this discussion? If so what would she like? Obviously any amount spent on this wedding will be required for DD2 as well. Will depend to a large extent on your means and willingness to pay? Is the groom's family offering any support? I went through this a couple of years ago, and it was quite expensive although I only have one daughter. The grooms parents dont have much money and didn't offer any financial contribution. I certainly didn't ask for any, not even the rehearsal dinner.

I had promised her since she was a little girl that I would give her a big wedding. So no choice really for me. I offered her the cash instead but she wanted the wedding. Set a budget but we went about 20% over. Agree that expensive weddings are really a waste. However, it was lovely.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:41 AM   #8
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We also have two daughters. Our plan is to offer a set amount to each. They can decide how to spend the cash. One DD has already announced her intent to elope and bypass all the wedding craziness, so that couple will likely use our gift towards a house or other investment. The other DD will probably spend it all on a good party with all the traditional wedding stuff.

We won't ask the groom's parents to chip in. It will be up to the young couple to manage with the money we give them. If the other parents want to supplement that, they are welcome to.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:42 AM   #9
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I do intend to set a budget, but I was more wondering if others had asked the Grooms parents to get involved with the costs as well?
I have only DS and got away with only the rehearsal dinner, although I opened it up to the bride's extended family (most came in from out of town), spouses of the wedding party and assorted small children. (I chose a family-friendly place and a good time was had by all.) They never asked me to contribute although I did all the bouquets and boutonnieres, including buying the flowers. It must have been a success because a couple of years later the bride's sister bought silk flowers and we all got together to do her bouquets and boutonnieres for HER wedding.

I spent a ton of time on theknot.com when I was planning my wedding to DH in 2003 and contributions are all over the place. Certainly it's more likely now that the couple chips in and frequently the groom's family does. If the Boards on that site are still around I highly recommend them. The best advice I ever got from there was to choose the 3 things you really wanted to splurge on (whether dress, food, flowers, music, etc.) and do something reasonable for the others. I also learned a lot about doing the others cheaply- printing my own invitations, etc.

I also vote for a flat amount and then getting out of their way.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:53 AM   #10
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I would never go to DD's fiance and tell him I want to ask his parents to help. I just wondered what others on "the other side of the equation" felt or have done: Just thanked their lucky stars that they had boys and watched with humor from the side, or step in.

Unfortunately, i have not really had the "wedding conversation" with either of them. I have more had the "you need to get your degree (in a marketable career path) so that you never have to rely on anyone" speech. As for age, they are 26 (this week), and 23. DD1 is working, they both graduated from a GREAT college (Im an alum ), and have decent jobs. Still working on my approach to this, but one conversation thought is: "Do you want a huge expensive wedding now, and then responsibility to build a FIL/MIL suite on to your house to take care of us later, or....."
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:31 AM   #11
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We have 1 DD and 1 DS. DD got married while we were living in Baton Rouge at the end of her 2nd year at college and DS started college that same year. She understood the financial burden on us and was absolutely great at containing costs, and we never considered asking the groom's parents for anything.

We loved the boy who she had been dating since she was 16 and they had both gone out of State together for college. We also had been married at college at the same age so there was never any thought of asking them to delay.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:36 AM   #12
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and we never considered asking the groom's parents for anything.
OK. You never ASKED them... Did they offer on their own? I may be jaded because of only DD's, but I don't think I could sit back and let the other side bear all of the cost. I don't know.

We love this man too. He is very responsible, and they have already taken their time (3.5 years). We wish them all good fortune and happiness, and will do whatever we CAN to make this a special day for them both.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:53 AM   #13
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OK. You never ASKED them... Did they offer on their own? I may be jaded because of only DD's, but I don't think I could sit back and let the other side bear all of the cost. I don't know.

We love this man too. He is very responsible, and they have already taken their time (3.5 years). We wish them all good fortune and happiness, and will do whatever we CAN to make this a special day for them both.
They didn't offer and by then we knew and liked them very well. They had already paid for the weddings of their 3 daughters, so it was a nice change for them to be only paying for the groom's dinner.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:56 AM   #14
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They didn't offer and by then we knew and liked them very well. They had already paid for the weddings of their 3 daughters, so it was a nice change for them to be only paying for the groom's dinner.
Ahh, so the cycle continues...
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:58 AM   #15
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I don't know about the south, but I recall our wedding long ago in the north. Typically the bride's family paid for most everything except the rehearsal dinner. Bride's maids paid for their dresses and guys in the wedding party the rental of tuxes. Our wedding was just over $1k in the 80's... but that was quite below the norm in those days.

While these have some basis in traditions, they are not law. With the issues we were having we almost thru in the towel and removed the bride's parents and just had a potluck wedding.... everyone bring a flow and something (food) to share.

You need to understand where your family is at on this and what battles are worth fighting.

edt::When my older son got married, I gave them 12k for whatever... helping with the wedding or the house he was in the middle of purchasing.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:02 AM   #16
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I have one DD and one DS, and in both cases I set a budget. I told them what they didn't spend would still be theirs, as cash money. If they wanted to elope and spend nothing, they would still get that money as a start-up.
My DS married an Australian girl, with family all in Oz, and it was her choice to be married in the USA. I contacted her parents and told them what I was willing to kick in. I also suggested that since they were on the other side of the world, I would be happy to share, with my DS's mom, (we are divorced) in attending to the details of the wedding.
They gave me their budget, and I managed to get it all done at budget. Afterwards my DIL's parents wanted to do some more because they said "we never expected you to come in at budget". I said "no problem, give it to the kids."

I did not approach DD's in-laws. By the time she got married she was in her 30s, marrying a man well into a successful career. I gave them my budget, and they didn't ask for more. They spent more, but it was their money.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:02 AM   #17
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Several of our friends set a limit for their daughters as soon as the engagement happens, the only one I know a figure for was set at $10K. They told DD1 that was it, and they could spend it any way they liked, and of course would be involved (or not) as much as DD1 wanted. Seemed to work very well, and the young couple got creative to make the money go far, skimping on a few things that really didn't matter. I think they saved the most on the reception venue itself. They invited 150 friends to the reception, but limited attendance at the wedding and some of the customary dinners. It was a beautiful wedding, and on budget. Good luck!

I've lived north and south, and I think the tradition of brides parents paying is pretty universal. Just not followed quite as rigorously as it used to be anywhere, with many kids getting married later, etc.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:08 AM   #18
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This won't be particularly helpful, but we have two boys (ages 17 and 20) and our plan was to proactively offer to pay 1/2. Just seems like the right thing to do.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:15 AM   #19
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We have two daughters and paid for all but the rehearsal dinner. We gave both of them a maximum limit we would pay for their wedding, and said if they spent less we would give the new couple the difference if they promised to put it towards a down payment on a house at some point.

DD#1 came in "under budget" and we gave them the difference in cash. DD#2 married 6 years later and was, not happy with the inflation adjusted budget we set for her. Since we were in considerably better shape financially than when her older sister married, we agreed after some negotiation to up the amount. To be completely fair, we also gave DD#1 the additional amount we spent on her younger sister. They both seemed to be happy with the outcome.
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DD and Wedding
Old 02-05-2017, 08:23 AM   #20
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DD and Wedding

Our daughter was married last year and we did it like you, the Southern way.
Congratulations!
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