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Old 12-19-2008, 11:06 AM   #21
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easy one - contribute only what you are able to afford.
no matter how you slice it or dice it, love = money is a manipulative ploy.
your daughter should base her wedding costs only on what she and dh2b can afford.
money gifts from relatives are exactly that - gifts.
any questions?
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:08 AM   #22
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If she was upset enough to get angry and hang up on you over a matter like this, IMO she is very fortunate as she has lived a sheltered life.

I'm sorry she hurt you. Give it a few days to gather your thoughts before you talk to her again.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:58 PM   #23
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I think 2,500 is a very generous gift! Hopefully your daughter will come to her senses and realize that as well. I'd just tell her that although you'd love to do more, the market has taken such a toll on your portfolio that you just can't. It's not a snub, it doesn't mean you don't love her, it doesn't mean you're not excited about her wedding - it's just economics and reality.

If there's a way you could donate some time to the wedding, maybe that would be a good additional gift to address any insecurity or misunderstanding on your daughter's part - maybe addressing invitations? offering to keep track of RSVPs? assembling centerpieces? I'd suggest a few ideas that you'd be comfortable with, and let her pick what if anything might be helpful to her (no pressure though). If she's wanting to personally control every aspect of her wedding, she might not want to delegate anything so don't take it personally if she declines. But making the offer still shows your support, and as the wedding gets closer she may decide a little delegation sounds pretty good!
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:09 PM   #24
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Two young kids, just starting out with no encumbrances and complications? Maybe pay for the whole deal.

This situation? A nice wedding present but the party is on their tab. They've got three kids, a house, and an established living arrangement already! It sounds like she wants to have the storybook wedding without the storybook situation.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:12 PM   #25
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Or you could give her nothing.

All my audult friends recognized the financial burden a $15-30,000 one day party represents, and did not feel comfortable asking their parents to pay for it.

The entitlement mentality that causes an adult child to throw a tantrum and hang up when her father doesn't offer to pony up $15k for a wedding frankly disturbs me. I would have misgivings about such a person's attitude toward money in general. I'm quite sure that you and your wife worked very hard for the money you've accumulated, and have apparently been generous to your daughter. But the contemptuous attitude reeks in ingratitude and childishness.

FWIW, I and my fiancee will be marrying soon, and her father has offered to pay for the wedding. But I know how much money this retired man has, and neither of us feel comfortable asking him to spend money that he may need himself.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #26
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I've been telling my daughter for years about the wonderful wedding she's going to have right here in our own back yard (we do have a beautiful back yard) & how I'm personally going to grill the burgers. Oh, & we're going to get the good Chinette instead of the cheap paper plates too.

And then I'll surprise them them with a nice honeymoon vacation & down the road help with a down payment on a sensible house when they're ready. (she's known for years that "Dad's cheap" - DW's been telling her so for years - so that will be surprise)

This of course is having in mind she's marrying a young fella with no kids just starting out like herself.

However, were she 25 y/o & marrying a 40 y/o with three kids I'd probably be quite concerned/reticent about the whole thing & certainly not likely to throw much money for anything their way initially, even for the wedding - esp in light of he makes 100k plus. Maybe 2500 for the wedding & that's it.

BTW - my wedding in 1988 cost about $7 for the license, two moderate price gold wedding bands from JC Penny's (maybe $150 together), & $40 for the preacher (& the preacher was only because I knew my mom would never recognize it otherwise) and a friend from work & his wife for witnesses (note: the witness wife didn't even speak English) We then drove 3 hours to San Diego for a weekend honeymoon - splurged on a fancy hotel at the Embarcadero & went to the Zoo. We were both back at work Mon morning. My mom later held a "formal Gift Tea" for us at her local church on a subsequent trip home & invited all her friends to come & give us gifts (woo-hoo, free stuff - I never knew there was such a thing as a "Gift Tea"). 20 years later we're looking forward to RE & just as married. We still have the same wedding bands from Penny's.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:44 PM   #27
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If she said are you kidding and then hung up on me, I'd give her 25 dollars not hundreds!
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:57 PM   #28
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...We still have the same wedding bands from Penny's.
Like you, LH and I foot the entire bill for our wedding. It was much simpler that way. Both families offered to pay for their own costs for the rehearsal dinner, a low budget affair. We were very happy to let them do that.
I bought my wedding gown from JC Penney. I appeared in layers of beautiful lace from head to toe with just enough cleavage to make the blood race. My friends were astounded, as girly lace was definitely not my style. Our wedding bands came from a local jewelry store going out of business and clearing out inventory. We got matching ArtCarved rings for a song. Our reception was low key but a lot of fun. Buffet style featuring home made Polish food from the old country. Neither of us were of Polish descent, but we sure loved the food.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:11 PM   #29
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For DH (two days out of the Army and going back to school) and me ($50/week salary), we had license, rings, four guests, two attendants, dinner for 10 (minister and wife came too, driving up the cost) at the local "nice" restaurant, and one night at a hotel. Priceless.

But if I were OP I would still try to make peace with daughter--maybe one on one--and understand where she's coming from and explain to her where he is coming from. The last thing anyone should do is jeopardize their own retirement which it sounds like Crispus is afraid might happen.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:13 PM   #30
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I'm really sorry to hear of her reaction. I think a confrontation along the lines of "Am I just an ATM to you?" is appropriate. DW and I were just kids (25 and 23) and just starting out. My parents paid for flowers, her parents bought us a desk and a bookcase from the unfinished furniture store. 9 years later everyone still loves the memory of the wedding because it wasn't wrapped up in any guilt or manipulation, it was just a good time. It's just one day, does she realize the important part is the marriage, not the wedding? What is your relationship with her future husband?
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:16 PM   #31
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My current wife and I got married at the county court house and had an open house reception some weeks later. We spent less then $200 on food prepared by my wife's family.
The problem with my kids centers around my first wife. She carried 80k in credit card debt and re-mortgaged twice to get money out before receiving 250k insurance for her dead husband. She always went out of her way to tell my son and daughter that she would sacrifice her life for her kids and as a contrast I would not. Meanwhile this is after 25k in legal fees and 7 years of 2500 per month alimony and child support. I was not willing to play her game and she knew it.

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If there's a way you could donate some time to the wedding, maybe that would be a good additional gift to address any insecurity or misunderstanding on your daughter's part - maybe addressing invitations? offering to keep track of RSVPs? assembling centerpieces? I'd suggest a few ideas that you'd be comfortable with, and let her pick what if anything might be helpful to her (no pressure though). If she's wanting to personally control every aspect of her wedding, she might not want to delegate anything so don't take it personally if she declines. But making the offer still shows your support, and as the wedding gets closer she may decide a little delegation sounds pretty good!
We would love to donate as much time and effort to make her wedding enjoyable.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #32
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Was that including the cost of the shotguns??
No shotguns needed...and guess what...we had all our teeth and no holes in our clothing. We did what we could with the money we had to spend, which was very little. We never expected anything from our families.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:44 PM   #33
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I need some advice. My 25 year old daughter, from my first marriage, just got engaged to a 40 year old man with 3 kids. They have lived together for a couple of years. One year ago they bought a home. Now she is planning a moderate wedding ceremony of around 15k. She is including my current wife and I on the planning of the event. So I would imagine she expects a sizable chunk to be paid by us.
Our situation is that we are both 54 and wanted to retire before 60. We are down about 33 percent this year and feel that we will have to work till at least 62 now. We just made our last college payment to my son, which ends 15 years of alimony and child support. I am in sales and my commision is off about 10% from 2007 due to the recession. My spouse works for a global company who is closing their local site in 09. After 35 years of service she will get a pension with a cash value of about 400k or an annuity payment. She also will get 2 years of severance pay. We currently have about 400k in our retirement accounts and 10k in an emergency fund. We have no debt other then our 15 year 4.875 mortgage with 8 years remaining. We live in a very high tax area, suburban Baltimore, MD.
How much would be reasonable to give for the wedding. I will throw in some more info. My daughter makes around 36k and her fiancee makes in excess of 100k. He has child support payments to his first wife of about 600 per month. My wife and I make a combined 120k and save about 30k a year in retirement accounts. I won't tell you what I think we should give my daughter at this point, so I will get unbiased answers.
My daughter announced her engagement a month ago. Her father and I are divorced. She and her fiance are working in IT and happy to have jobs, but not rich. Figuring a reasonable wedding could be done for $20,000, I gave her half and I expect her father will chip in, too.

However, she told me she is not thinking of having a large wedding because it seems like such a waste of money. She's learning!! I was glad to hear that. Anyway, I told her she could use it for the wedding, or the honeymoon, towards a down payment on a house, or whatever. I also told her that if she used it for the wedding, it wouldn't be as fancy as Princess Diana's wedding!

I would vote that you should pay $15K if that is what she thinks they will spend, and figure that you got off easily at that price!! That is not much for a wedding these days. Or, if you think your first wife can/will contribute half, then you should contribute $7,500.

Friends here are staging a large Italian wedding, and believe me, $15K-$20K wouldn't even scratch the surface of what they are shelling out. That is not an unreasonable amount at all.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:00 PM   #34
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I need some advice. My 25 year old daughter, from my first marriage, just got engaged to a 40 year old man with 3 kids.
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Your daughters reaction is unfortunate, and hopefully it will pass, but I think you should stick with what you're comfortable with. How much you make or how your investments are doing is irrelevant IMO, even if you had money to burn my answer (below) would be the same.

If it was two 25 year olds, I would understand all this. But I can't imagine a self-respecting 40 year old man with 3 kids who would even let you or any other family pay any part of his wedding. I realize he's your future SIL, but sorry, he's the one who is out of line here. He should be paying for this, or he's not ready to be married, and they should be very grateful for your $2,500 wedding gift IMO. And I guess, I'm old fashioned but a 40 year old man with 3 kids marrying a 25 year old is a potential red flag as well.

A sad situation that you should not feel responsible for IMO...
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:22 PM   #35
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Your daughters reaction is unfortunate, and hopefully it will pass, but I think you should stick with what you're comfortable with. If it was two 25 year olds, I would fully understand all this. But I can't imagine a self-respecting 40 year old man with 3 kids who would even let you or any other family pay any part of his wedding. I realize he's your future SIL, but sorry, he's the one who is completely out of line here. He should be paying for this, or he's not ready to be married, and they should be very grateful for your $2,500 wedding gift IMO. A sad situation that you should not take responsibility for...
But then, is it right for him to tell his daughter that he would pay for a wedding if she would marry someone younger? I don't know. I also don't know if most guys are willing to shell out $$ for their own marriage, especially a second marriage. I see your point, really I do. Don't know what I think, now. I would probably still pay for it, especially if his daughter is one who always dreamed about a beautiful wedding.

Maybe my viewpoint is overly sentimental. I wouldn't want my daughter to be thinking for the next 60 years, "my parents wouldn't even pay for my wedding when I got married!" and wondering if her parents even cared. Much as we hate to admit it, and try to rise above it, money = love in many families.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:26 PM   #36
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It's just one day, does she realize the important part is the marriage, not the wedding?
What he said...

Does she not realize that after the first few "installments" were made and they moved in together, and bought a house together, that they were already married? Why should a father have to pay for a wedding for his daughter who is already married. And for gosh sakes, they make $136,000 a year combined...that's more than the two of you combined, even after taking into consideration his child support payments!

Given this situation, and if they can't afford their own "show" (remember they are already married - common law), I say you shouldn't pay for any of it, even if you decide to give them a gift. All I can say is that my DD better not pull a stunt like your's is pulling with you.

Good thing about this thread though, is that it has prompted me to have a chat with my kids over Christmas break about what they can expect, and what they should not expect.

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Old 12-19-2008, 04:35 PM   #37
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Oh, and if they want to make their "marraige" legal, they can go down to the country courthouse and have that taken care of for about $7...

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Old 12-19-2008, 04:38 PM   #38
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My current wife and I got married at the county court house and had an open house reception some weeks later. We spent less then $200 on food prepared by my wife's family.
The problem with my kids centers around my first wife. She carried 80k in credit card debt and re-mortgaged twice to get money out before receiving 250k insurance for her dead husband. She always went out of her way to tell my son and daughter that she would sacrifice her life for her kids and as a contrast I would not. Meanwhile this is after 25k in legal fees and 7 years of 2500 per month alimony and child support. I was not willing to play her game and she knew it.
We would love to donate as much time and effort to make her wedding enjoyable.
Perhaps at this point the conversation needs to focus on other issues of getting along, who celebrates holidays where & with whom, enjoying future grandkids (if applicable), and relating together as adults instead of replaying the roles that led to the splits.

If you guys had contributed to the planning that created a $15K tab then I could see that you'd be expected to contribute $$ as well. But if you're being told that wedding tickets cost a lot more than $2500, take it or leave it, then I'd send a nice card.

I have no idea how much our wedding cost-- it was 35 people in a restaurant with a JP and a friend's music, arranged on six weeks' notice by my future MIL. (I did spend a $3800 bonus paycheck on a combined engagement/wedding ring.) I'd been able to get to town in order to pass a major career certification exam-- failure was not an option worth contemplating-- before being expected to get back to the "real" work of preparing for deployment. We had to return to our respective duty stations the day after the wedding so that I could leave for a 90-day submarine patrol. One of the reasons for the marriage was to help persuade the Navy to send me to attend school with her in California instead of teaching nuke school in Florida.

So a hissy fit about $2500 seems to be focusing on the wrong issues. And a $15K wedding under any economic conditions, let alone the current ones, brings to mind fiddling around the rearranged deck chairs as the sinking TITANIC burns. Maybe you could negotiate a nice contribution to someone's college fund instead.

I think my spouse and I are going to plan a series of conversations with our 16-year-old daughter about expectations...
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:45 PM   #39
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I'm with the group that sez "nothing for the spoiled brat". Giving into this emotional blackmail will just encourage more in the future.

I think weddings are just waste of money anyway - a big show for a couple of hours, that no one, except maybe the bride, really enjoys anyway.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:50 PM   #40
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But then, is it right for him to tell his daughter that he would pay for a wedding if she would marry someone younger?
His age is a factor but secondary in my POV, it's more that at 40 years old he should be on solid financial footing (or he shouldn't be marrying, much less letting someone else help foot the bill), he should not be expecting in laws to pay. If you remarry...
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