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Paying for the wedding..
Old 03-24-2019, 09:35 AM   #1
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Paying for the wedding..

I’ll make no excuses I am not a believer in the huge, fancy and expensive weddings. (I know some of you did it and have wonderful memories -that’s great) I decided, and the Mrs totally bought in, that we would pick a sum and give it to the daughter and tell her. This is yours to use as you wish -wedding, down payment or whatever. That’s exactly what we did.

Future SIL while driving to DD birthday dinner “friend at work said he tried unsuccessfully to convince his fiancée to kill the $80K wedding and use the money as a down payment like you guys are” Meaning DD and him.

$80,000 on a wedding? They are not rich. It’s not my money but OMG.. there’s something about spending huge amounts of money on a 5 hour event. I guess its all that exposure to people smothered with credit card debt.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:49 AM   #2
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We did much the same, with 3 DD's. With the first, (in 2012 for cost reference), we worked with her to keep cost in line for the most part. Ended up we paid about $6K and the total cost was about $7.5K. We then wrote a check for $6K to each of the 2 remaining DD's to use toward their weddings.

They all knew we were comfortable middle class family that had always still lived below our means so none had an expectation of a blow out affair.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:51 AM   #3
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We gave our DD a budget number and we stayed pretty close to it ( went over a bit due to DH frequently saying, "we'll pay for that, its not part of your budget") SIL parents also pitched in for the booze.
Not anywhere close to $80,000 though!

It was a beautiful day.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:10 AM   #4
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Yes we just give set amount also. Expensive weddings are such a waste.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
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I gave my DD $10K for her 2009 wedding and told her she could spend it on that, a down payment, or whatever. She used it to help pay for the wedding. I don't think her late father gave her anything (we were divorced and not in contact except at the wedding itself).

The amount I gave her would have paid for a wedding of some kind, but not for the fairly lavish, large wedding and reception with open bar plus dinner that she arranged. Luckily her fiancé (now her DH) was and is pretty well heeled so my guess is that he paid part of the wedding costs. They also flew his elderly parents in from Catalonia for the wedding, and bought a lovely house within a year after the wedding as well.

I am so glad that she had the wedding she always dreamed about! I know it was really important to her. She was one of those girls that read "Bride" magazine in high school and was really into weddings and wedding dresses. I can't even imagine. That's just not anything that ever caught my interest.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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Our wedding was 12 grand for 20 people.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:42 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with setting a budget and letting your daughter figure out the best way to use the money. I agree the huge lavish over the top type weddings are a waste of money to my perspective as well. You can still have a nice wedding and a memorable day without spending a fortune. It's all in the planning and being reasonable with costs and services.


My DW and I paid for most of our wedding. Her parents contributed a bit, they did what they could. We were both working and by keeping an eye on expenses and being smart, we covered the costs without unnecessary wasteful money spent. I still remember getting that bill at the end of the reception and charging it on the credit card to pay it. But I knew it was coming and part of the planning we did. Modest reception at a hotel including prime rib dinner, free beer and lightly subsidized bar drinks. Biggest cost savings was holding the attendance down to approx 100 guests.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:43 PM   #8
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A little ancient history here. Married in 1958. As I recall, about 220 people there. Relatives, neighbors, parents' business friends and some of our college schoolmates (We had graduated the month before.) I was working at the Maine Y.M.C.A. Camp in Maine, until the day before.

Now... as to the costs...
Wedding arrival limo... My friend's brand new Lincoln. $00
Minister $5
The meeting room for the Fairlawn Lawn Bowling Green. $00 (gift by neighborhood member... would have been $100.
Invitations...$50
Small guest favors... $100
Pete Winarski's Orchestra.. $00.... good friends of our folks.
Beverages $275 (remember, 1958) and many bottles left over.
Food catering... probably $200, sandwiches and dessert for everything...
4 different kinds of sandwiches.
Flowers $45
Room decorations... maybe $35... ribbons, balloons etc.
Jeanie's gown (borrowed). linen shoes $4
Bridesmaid's 2 dresses $20 shoes $7
Best man and my tux... $5.50 ea. rental. ($11)

Total,(give or take).... About $800 would be about $7000 today.

Wedding at 7 p.m. party from 8 p.m. 'til 1a.m. (when we left). After that ??

I checked with Jeanie to remember the actual costs, and she corrected me on the one's I remembered differently. We spent a whole hour remembering that day, 60 years ago.

It was like this... wedding pic.
Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
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I'll kick in a grand or two for my daughters wedding but other than that she's on her own if she chooses to waste money. My parents didn't even know I got married until a few hours later.

Me calling from Key West at 5am and really drunk: "HEY!!! Mom?? Guess what? We got married. Yahooooooooo".
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:20 PM   #10
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Several years ago DW and I did some investigations into wedding costs, and determined that we were comfortable with contributing 15k to each of 2 daughters and gave them that number at the time. In our opinion it's enough for a decent but not extravagant wedding. We told them they could do with it what they wished but that was all we would contribute. Daughter #1 is tying the knot in June and hasn't even hinted at asking for more. It's good to set expectations ahead of time!
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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What do y'all do to be equitable to your sons?

I expect my kids to graduate from high school, and I'll pay for them to get a college degree in something marketable, but after that I expect them to be self-sufficient. I tell them marriage and kids are optional.

With one DD and two DS, I would have a hard time giving her $XK and the sons $0, regardless of what American wedding culture says is normative.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:45 PM   #12
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What do y'all do to be equitable to your sons?

I expect my kids to graduate from high school, and I'll pay for them to get a college degree in something marketable, but after that I expect them to be self-sufficient. I tell them marriage and kids are optional.

With one DD and two DS, I would have a hard time giving her $XK and the sons $0, regardless of what American wedding culture says is normative.
I think you roll with the punches on this one. We have good friends that paid for their son's wedding (simple, but nice, less than $10k, over 10 years ago). The couple had no money to speak of, and neither did the bride's parents. They actually got a discount at the venue, because they also booked their daughter's wedding for the following year.

But, fundamentally, I think you have a point, and I would probably set aside $X for each of the three.

We have one DS. If/when he gets married (he does have a GF that we absolutely adore), we will probably give them a sizable gift, to be used as they see fit.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatatuPuncher View Post

Me calling from Key West "HEY!!! Mom?? Guess what? We got married. Yahooooooooo".
I called my Mom from our cruise ship as we were pulling into Istanbul. Hey mom, we eloped!
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Paying for the wedding..
Old 03-24-2019, 03:21 PM   #14
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Paying for the wedding..

Cool Hand will get the same as DD as a house down payment ..provided i see a reasonable amount of discipline/maturity/focus. I do not expect perfection.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:32 PM   #15
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Yes I think you need to treat daughters the same as son’s otherwise there will be resentment.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:44 PM   #16
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My daughter announced in September 2018, that they would be getting married in October 2019, and wanted to get hustling on a venue (book up to 1 year out). I told her that I didn't want it to become like that Steve Martin movie "Father of the Bride" where we keep writing checks, and stressing about costs. I gave her a $5000 budget, that she can use on the whole wedding, the honeymoon, a house, or eloping, but the limit was $5000. She was thrilled, and has done pretty well to stay within it, other than some items that she is paying for.

My SIL's family is a hands off kind of group, and kicked him out at 18, not even sure they are coming to the wedding, and no attempt to meet us.

We are saving alot $$ by having friends cater the meal, and doing a City park lodge wedding/reception (still beautiful). She also didn't do the "say yes to the dress" style wedding planning, and is making some of the decorations herself.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:58 PM   #17
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I've been to a few 'elegant' celebrations where the decorations are incredible, but the food is skimpy.

Not recommended.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:57 PM   #18
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All this money being spent on weddings, and yet David's Bridal and Samuels jewelry is bankrupt, Jared/Kays shutting 100's of stores..

I heard the marriage rate for millennials is down to the 30's.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:31 PM   #19
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Timely topic- I attended The Wedding of the Century in Charleston, SC 3 weeks ago. Both families live in Charlotte and they could have used the very nice CC where DB and DSIL (parents of the groom) are members with no facility charge but no... she HAD to have the wedding in Charleston and it had to be at the #1 venue according to Martha Stewart Weddings- the William Aiken House. I looked it up because I wanted to see if I could write a review and stumbled across a link that estimated the cost of a wedding there of that size at $35K- facility, food and drink but excluding flowers and decorations. The bride had two dresses- one for the ceremony and another for dancing later. She has a Biology degree but isn't working at the moment- her parents borrowed $$$ and my nephew (the groom) apparently chipped in a lot. Groom's parents were so tapped out that if it had rained my brother was going to pay for a tent since the ceremony was outdoors.

Crazy. And yes, DB has sat his son down and told him that he was going to have to learn how to say no to his future wife. I hope the marriage is as beautiful as the wedding was.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:34 PM   #20
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I gave my daughter $10,000 and her Dad paid for the photos and the booze. I also paid for her dress and that shopping trip was so special to me .I cried when she tried on "The Dress " .
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