Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How much for daughter's wedding
Old 12-18-2008, 09:02 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
crispus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 168
How much for daughter's wedding

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.

Thanks
__________________

__________________
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis
crispus is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-18-2008, 09:28 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Some other questions:
- Is your first wife still living, and what is her relationship with your daughter and her ability/willingness to contribute?
- It's likely this subject has come up previously in your conversations with your daughter--what has she been told to expect?
- What do you believe your daughter expects?
- What does your present wife think would be appropriate?

Observation: This is not a "typical" young newlywed situation. Her fiance has resources, and they have already established a life together. They also have built-in obligations and commitments already. I'm glad she's planning a "moderate" ceremony.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2008, 09:32 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
What Sam said. Without knowing all the other things that happened in the family's life I'll just say. 10K
__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2008, 09:32 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
How about this:
20% Daughter and Husband
20% Bio Mother of Bride
20% Bio Father of Bride
40% Bio Parents of Groom

Tell the daughter you'll contribute $3K max - if you can swing it.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2008, 09:57 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
crispus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 168
Quote:
Some other questions:
- Is your first wife still living, and what is her relationship with your daughter and her ability/willingness to contribute?
- It's likely this subject has come up previously in your conversations with your daughter--what has she been told to expect?
- What do you believe your daughter expects?
- What does your present wife think would be appropriate?
First wife is alive and well. I can't say the same for her second husband. He died a year ago of lung cancer (diagnosed postmortem). She was left with life insurance of 230k. She has a close relationship with our daughter and loves to spend more then she has. My children are much closer to my ex then I.
My current wife says 5k and I figure 2.5k should be about right.
__________________
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis
crispus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
2.5k sounds fine to me...of course when I got married 31 years ago; the total cost was around a hundred bucks.

IMO, contributing to a wedding is considered a gift. Any gift no matter what size should be accepted with grace and appreciation.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2008, 11:23 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
of course when I got married 31 years ago; the total cost was around a hundred bucks.
Was that including the cost of the shotguns??
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 05:06 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
2.5k sounds fine to me...of course when I got married 31 years ago; the total cost was around a hundred bucks.

IMO, contributing to a wedding is considered a gift. Any gift no matter what size should be accepted with grace and appreciation.
DW and I were married 25 years ago. Our cost was maybe $250 or $300...we paid for it ourselves except for some cold cuts, cheese, and punch my folks made for the the reception, and the cake, graciously made and donated by my uncle.

I think they should pay for their own wedding, given the circumstances. If you decided to donate a couple thousand, they should be extremely grateful that they received anything.

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 09:01 AM   #9
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
When we were married (1992), my father-in-law said he'd give us a $1000 gift if we'd have a cheap and simple ceremony, which we did. We were married in a park and the reception was at his house.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 09:10 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
I did it in Las Vegas - less than $1000 for wedding and rings.

The divorce less than 10,000.

So a total of 11K in early 80s money so about 33k in today's dollars.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:25 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
crispus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 168
Wow! I just talked with my daughter by phone. I told her I did a preliminary estimate of the cost of the wedding, based on the itemised quotes she has received at between 10 and 15k. I told her that we could help her with some of the expense. She told me she needed to know how much because she is going to have to book soon. I said at least $2500. She said "your kidding" and told me that most of her friends weddings cost 30k and I was lucky she was being sensible. I told her we might be able to give more, but I could not give her a figure now. She hung up on me. I know she seems like a spoiled baby, and that I should not feed into this, but I still feel bad.
__________________
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis
crispus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:28 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by crispus View Post
She hung up on me.
That would make my decision pretty easy.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:28 AM   #13
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by crispus View Post
She said "your kidding" and told me that most of her friends weddings cost 30k and I was lucky she was being sensible.
Maybe it's easy for me to say because she isn't my child, but that display of the "entitlement mentality" alone would make me consider giving even less.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:30 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Sorry to hear that.
Did you find out what the other members of the family - from all sides - are giving?
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:43 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
This is painful; I am sorry to hear of her response.

Every working couple I know of including my two sons paid for their marriages themselves. Why should you pay? Did you get to choose the husband? Are you sure he will be around 5 years from now?

"No say, no pay" is my motto. And you might as well find out now before you need her that your daughter considers you a bank to be tapped.

Adult children are adults. If they act like adults you want to be around, you are very fortunate. If not, they made the choice.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:44 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,321
Crispus,

As a basis of comparison I offer the following information.

My son (age 34) just got married last month. His wife is from Brazil. Their wedding was held in Brazil at their expense, with a small contribution from her parents, who are not in a strong financial position. We gave them a wedding gift of $10,000. I do not know if they used any of that toward the cost of the wedding.

From our side of the family only my wife, daughter, sister, brother-in-law and I went to the wedding in Brazil. We have decided to make a second wedding here in the US in May so that our family and friends can celebrate with us. This will be totally at our expense. I initially set a budget of $15,000 for this wedding but, as these things usually go, it looks now like it will run closer to $17,500. This will, by no means be a low-end affair. The wedding will be on a Sunday afternoon when costs are significantly lower. It will be held at an elegant ballroom. We expect approx. 110 guests for a cocktail hour following the ceremony,with hot hors d'oeuvres and open bar, followed by a sit down dinner. We have hired a 5 piece band which will also provide a piano player during the cocktail hour.

We could have reduced the costs by opting for a buffet instead of sit down dinner and a DJ instead of a band. But in any case, a perfectly enjoyable wedding can be done for less than $15,000.

I am sorry that things have gotten tense with your daughter over the wedding but I think that she and her future spouse have sufficient resources to plan a wedding on the assumption that they pay the full costs and that they should be grateful for any contribution you care to make.

Grumpy
__________________
grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:55 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
frayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 19th Hole
Posts: 2,529
Quote:
Originally Posted by crispus View Post
Wow! I just talked with my daughter by phone. I told her I did a preliminary estimate of the cost of the wedding, based on the itemised quotes she has received at between 10 and 15k. I told her that we could help her with some of the expense. She told me she needed to know how much because she is going to have to book soon. I said at least $2500. She said "your kidding" and told me that most of her friends weddings cost 30k and I was lucky she was being sensible. I told her we might be able to give more, but I could not give her a figure now. She hung up on me. I know she seems like a spoiled baby, and that I should not feed into this, but I still feel bad.

Tough nut to crack here and whatever you do (or don't do) will be remembered for a lifetime to come. All that said I would sit down face to face with her and her perspective husband and try to discuss and come to an agreement like reasonable adults, if that doesn't work tell them they have your blessing and they should do whatever they want but X amount is all you can afford. Also ask your daughter to consider what she may be asked to ante up when her step daughters get ready to take the big plunge.
__________________
frayne is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
Frugality_of_Apathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Maybe it's easy for me to say because she isn't my child, but that display of the "entitlement mentality" alone would make me consider giving even less.
Maybe just make the $2500 a wedding present and not a part of the wedding.

It may be tradition for the father of the bride to pay for the wedding, but it's also tradition to marry someone in your own generation without kids who you aren't already living/sleeping with.

What's the point of getting married when they already live together?

The only thing I can think of is one of them has a bunch of debt they're looking to be rescued from. If that's the case she should have gone for a sugar daddy, not a 40 year old that's having his parents pay for his second, third, or fourth wedding.
__________________
Frugality_of_Apathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,032
When I read your first post I thought $15,000 for a wedding is reasonable and the fact that her husband to be has a good salary they should be paying for most of it . If $2,500 was what I felt comfortable giving that's what I'd stick with . I gave my daughter $10,000 but that was the figure I
felt comfortable with if it had been $2,500 that's what I would give and she could hang up on me forever and I would not budge .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 11:00 AM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Weddings for that generation have turned into an emotional free for all. Expectations are raised by cable shows. Clearly your daughter, unbeknownst to you, felt like her father would be happy to give her a wedding. Our daughter (not a social butterfly, not into clothes, about your daughter's age) was married two years ago. Last year we were watching something about bridezillas or whatever and I said mockingly, "oh, right, like every little girl dreams of walking down the aisle with the veil and having a storybook wedding," thinking that was so NOT her. She looked at me and said, "I did." She is the last person I would have thought believed in that.

Not excusing your daughter's reaction, but like many other things with our kids (college costs, for example), we didn't communicate ahead of time about them. Fortunately we were on the same page in our case, but unfortunately for you, what you saw as a reasonable offer was spurned--her feelings are hurt, imho. I'm going to bet she thought you would pay for the entire wedding and she's seeing your offer as a sign that daddy doesn't love her.

Maybe you could call her and tell her your wife suggested a $5K contribution (if you want to swing that) only so your daughter doesn't think your wife is stingy.

Personally I think you should pay for whatever amount you feel comfortable with (and "these tough economic times" certainly gives you some ammo for limiting the amount). But I would consider the amount I would offer if she were marrying another 25 year old and they were just starting out, and offer that (take out the 40 year old fiance, the house they've already bought--just isolate the wedding of your daughter in itself).

Good luck.
__________________

__________________
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trashing wedding gowns tangomonster Other topics 11 07-05-2007 10:54 AM
Wedding Staples TromboneAl Other topics 12 08-01-2006 12:15 AM
Wedding-Related Story TromboneAl Other topics 18 06-04-2005 05:49 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:52 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.