Author Topic: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement  (Read 17301 times)

MacGyverIt

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Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« on: March 03, 2012, 08:03:34 AM »
Why would anyone spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding and how could any son/daughter ask for or expect that find of cash from their parents in good conscious? If your kid
1) wants a 50k dollar wedding
and
2) is willing to see you squander your retirement to do it/you're willing to entertain the idea (sucka)
then
3) I question your parenting technique

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/02/24/dad-to-daughter-your-wedding-or-my-retirement/

Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
If you thought being a bride in this economy is stressful, try being the father of the bride.

Traditionally the bride’s family is tasked with footing the wedding bill, but the troubled economy means many families are unable to afford both their children’s nuptials and their impending retirement. For proud parents, the topic can be a difficult one to discuss, but experts say honesty is the best policy.

“I’ve seen a few cases where a bride would make all these big wedding plans and then six months later, her parents would say, ‘We know we promised you $50,000, but we can only come up with $5,000,’” says Bill Hammer, certified financial planner and vice president of wealth management at Vanderbilt Partners in Melville, N.Y. “Once deposits have been made, it's often more expensive to cancel the wedding than to go through with it, so then you have people going into debt because they didn’t discuss things ahead of time.”

For parents, Hammer says the rule of thumb should be that if you can’t write the check when you make the offer, don’t make the offer. Any money given to the happy couple should already be in cash, a savings bond or a CD.

“You may have $50,000 in your stock portfolio, but if you wake up tomorrow and it’s down by 40% then it’s a huge problem.”

According to TheWeddingReport.com, wedding spending on average has dropped 3.4% in the past year to $25,631 from $26,542. But even if spending is down, it’s easy for parents to end up chipping in more than they’d planned.

Hammer advises parents to offer a specific dollar amount rather than items on a “wish list”.

“You might be in for a rude awakening if you tell your daughter that you will pay for the dress, the reception and the limo. Any one of those things could be more than you had been planning on spending. Instead, tell your daughter what dollar amount you can comfortably contribute,” says Hammer.

Parents of the bride may be able to relax a little as traditions change. According to TheWeddingReport.com, in 2010, the bride and groom paid for an average of 58% of all wedding costs, while the bride’s parents paid for an average of 21%. The groom’s parents shelled out an average of 14% of costs.

Los Angeles-based wedding planner Wayne Gurnick, owner of Moments by Wayne, says the down economy has more families splitting the financial responsibility of a wedding.

“Before 2008, 70% of my clients were the bride’s parents. Now, 70% of my clients are the bride and groom. There has been a huge shift, and a lot of brides are complaining about it,” says Gurnick. “These days, the couple may be getting a monetary gift from mom and dad, but they aren’t counting on it.”

Gurnick says in the last several years he has worked with couples to slash wedding budgets by as much as half, planning wedding picnics in public parks instead of expensive reception halls, and serving Chipotle instead of $200- per-head fillet mignon dinners.

“One thing is consistent—whether it’s the bride and groom doing the planning or the parents of the bride, everyone wants to make their dollars go further. Everyone is realizing that the 99¢ Only Store sells great napkins.”

Your Wedding vs. My Retirement

For parents who already know they can’t afford to give as much to their daughter’s wedding as planned, have the conversation before any planning gets started, says Tim Harrington, CEO of consumer financial resource FiPath.

“With the financial crisis we are in and the deterioration of most people’s savings and retirement accounts, those are real conversations we are having and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pushback. Families are working together to find something more affordable.”

Parents shouldn’t feel like they are letting their children down if they choose to hang onto their savings for retirement rather than putting it toward a wedding.

“Your children will understand. Sit down with them and go over things; let them know how much you have saved for retirement. If a big wedding isn’t in your budget, tell them exactly that. No one needs to go into debt for a party that’s only one day,” says Harrington.

Using cash is one of the best ways to keep wedding spending in check and possibly negotiate a deal in the process, according to Harrington. 

“Don’t put any wedding expenses on a credit card. If you have to make a deposit with a credit card, that’s fine, but pay with cash. Very often if you’re paying with cash you can better negotiate with vendors. Everyone from the DJ to the florist will be willing to work with you if you're using green.”

kolorado

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 11:29:44 AM »
Given our culture and the powerful force of the Wedding Industry, I don't think it's unreasonable for daughters to expect a certain level of spending or type of event from their parents for their big day. Unfortunately, not many parents nail down a price range, area of responsibility, or type of event they have in mind for this early enough in their kids lives to bypass the cultural norm and avoid disappointing their child. I'll give you my personal example.
My parents never talked to me about how much they would spend on my wedding, just that they would pay for it. They adore my husband. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm an awesome daughter and they are very proud of me. When I got officially engaged my dad had a salary of $60K a year, a paid for house and no debt but a $400 month car payment. My mom ran out and bought me a big wedding planner magazine and wedding planner notebook. As I perused the magazine circling dresses and flowers and theme wedding ideas my parents brainstormed how much they would spend on the wedding. The amount they came back with seriously crushed me, $3000. I couldn't wrap my mind around why but knew it wasn't my business to tell them how they should spend their money. I didn't want a big fancy wedding to begin with, but I wanted to be able to feel special, have nice pictures taken and to feed people a decent meal. That would not be possible on that kind of budget. We of course had the option of draining our $10K savings to have a nicer event but we would not touch our house fund for a one day party. Knowing that the day would not be very special to me on that budget(and I swear I'm not shallow! I just planned on getting married once in my life!)I tried every persuasion technique I could to get out of an actual wedding and elope instead. The guilt trips from the relatives were more than my hubby could bear so I went through with it for him. In the end we got married in a strip mall church with our pastor as an officiant. We got married on a Friday night in front of about 40 friends and family. Half of my family didn't attend because they were mad at my mother over something stupid. My husband's aunt made me a simple white dress that was knee length. My sister was my maid of honor and she wore one of her own dresses. We each had small bouquets. The church was decorated with potted mums and Christmas lights. Me, my father-in-law, my cousin and my mom made about 20 desserts for refreshments. My cake was a stack of cinnamon buns that I made. I borrowed my shoes. I did my own nails. I did my own hair and make-up. My uncle took pictures and they weren't great. Music was played over a portable cd player. All in all we spent about $1200 on it. If it wasn't my own wedding at the age of 20, I would have said it was a very nice event. Many of our guests actually did say that.
Weddings are an emotional thing for most girls. I had no idea how much I cared until I started to plan mine. I had no idea how much I believed the wedding reflected how my parents felt about me until I had to go through with planning an event on a low budget. It's different I think when you're planning a wedding as an older bride. $3K of your own money sounds thrifty. $3K of your parents money sounds cheap.
Now that I said ALL that, my plan is to pay for my daughter's weddings but in MY way. I personally believe my daughters' weddings are our chance to celebrate them. This doesn't mean spending $25K or $50K. The bride should have no idea how much this stuff costs. It's really not her business or her responsibility to plan. I will take my daughters suggestions about colors or general theme and have her pick things like her dress and appearance but otherwise it's my call. I'm not paying for a Broadway show. She should be focusing on her marriage and the one she loves, not how many attendants she has and how many copies of photograph 23 she'll "need". If she wants that she can save and pay for her own wedding. I think my daughters will love handing over the planning to me. They wouldn't  have to worry for a second about things not going to plan, making 100's of calls, hiring people, etc. That would be my job. They would never have to see my behind the scenes thriftiness. They would never know my budget or how much I spent on their day. They can just let the day unfold and enjoy it. It's a very old-fashioned concept but one that I think our society should get back to.
And parents need to save money for these events, not plan to cash-flow it or take money from retirement like in the article. That's incredibly stupid. People save for college but not too many have a wedding fund. I don't understand that.

Welmoed

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 12:39:55 PM »
My daughter is newly engaged, but the wedding won't happen for a few years until they are both out of school and self-sufficient. We've already made it clear that we won't be footing any part of the bill for a ceremony or reception. We paid for our own wedding 26 years ago and were glad we did. My daughter has asked me to make her dress, which I will. Fortunately she has not bought into the whole bridal industry hype and realizes that it's not the wedding that matters, but the marriage.
--Welmoed

Freedom2016

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 11:54:09 AM »
The bride should have no idea how much this stuff costs. It's really not her business or her responsibility to plan. I will take my daughters suggestions about colors or general theme and have her pick things like her dress and appearance but otherwise it's my call.

With all due respect, this sounds very controll-y. When my H and I got married in 2010, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted our wedding to be like. My mother imposing her will on us, and taking over the planning, would have left a very bad taste in my mouth. Let's just say that we do not share the same taste.

As it is, my parents - and my husband's parents - each gave us a lump sum that we were free to use as we wished - for our wedding, or a house downpayment, or whatever - and they let us do the wedding planning and pay for any excess spending ourselves. Win-win.

It sounds like you were disappointed in the amount of money your parents were able to give you. Fine, so save for your own kids' weddings, and gift them with it when they get engaged. Why do you feel the need to control how the money is spent?

velocistar237

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 12:32:05 PM »
Expectations and preferences play a big part. By the time they get married, my children will know that we're not planning to chip in a lot for their weddings. Honestly, I don't expect that they'll want to throw a big-budget wedding, unless they're rebelling against their upbringing :). They'll also have a lot of experience having great times without having to spend much money.

I already posted this over in madgeylou's thread, but my favorite style of wedding is the barn-raising variety, where everyone participates, and the community comes together to start the couple on their new phase of life, instead of it being a show, with the guests as spectators. My wife and I have talked about what we would do differently if we could do it over, since we had a few glitches, and most of the changes would have drastically reduced our $5000 budget and made it easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Great weddings don't have to be that expensive.

If my in-laws had offered to plan everything, we would have taken up that offer in a heartbeat, but that's just us. It was equally as nice that they were hands-off and didn't insist on anything being a particular way.

LadyM

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 02:50:12 PM »
I got married in 2003 and my husband and I paid for the majority of it ourselves.  Being as we were adults, already living together, in my mind it seemed logical that my parents not pay for all or even 50% of it....we were adults, I just got out of grad school, we had been supporting ourselves, we could buy our own damn wedding.  To me, it might have been a bit of a pride thing.

This conversation never came up because my dad had been laid off for over a year and my parents were getting by paying their bills.  They couldn't help much, which they were sad about, but we rolled with it....like I said before, I felt like enough of an adult to find the money to make our own big day.

Fortunately I like to color outside of the lines - we already wanted an event that was scaled-down by today's standards.  I wanted a more intimate ceremony and reception, and not your typical ceremony-followed-by-hotel-meal-followed-by-drunken-chicken-dance wedding.

We had a small wedding party of 2 bridesmaids and 2 groomsmen.  The ceremony was on a Thursday afternoon in the gardens of a lovely historical plantation nearby, and it was followed by an hour-long cocktail party in the gardens (no tent), attended by about 100 friends and family.  After the cocktail party we took our wedding party and family (about 50 people total) to a favorite local restaurant for dinner and cake.  The garden cocktail party was catered by the same restaurant where we had the dinner. 

It was pleasant, elegant, unique, and everything we wanted.  We spent close to $6,000 (not exactly Mustachian, but far from the $20K-$50K "average") for all of it.  My parents chipped in and paid for all the beer, wine, and cocktails for the event, and my in-laws threw the rehearsal party (BBQ in their backyard).  I was as resourceful as I could be, while still maintaining my vision for the big day: I worked in Theater and was buddies with some incredible costumers, so I had my dress made exactly as I wanted and with fantastic silk material...all for $600.  I made my own veil with $25 worth of netting.  My cake was pricey - it needed to be non-dairy (I have an allergy), and at the time the only bakery that made such a thing was over 35 miles away!  So they charged a $100 delivery fee....the sucked but it was a terrific cake!  We made CDs for wedding favors, and we ordered very simple and affordable invitations online. 

All that being said: I think it's a mistake to tell your kids how to have their wedding just because you are providing the cash.  If my mother had pulled that on me, I would have told her to keep it so that I could plan what I wanted.  Thankfully she never would have done this, especially since she had it done to her at her wedding - my grandmother picked and planned everything, and all my mom got to pick was the flowers.  Weddings are unique to the individual, especially nowadays, and that should be celebrated.  Additionally, I don't know many brides that would be happy to turn over all the planning to their mothers (or their future husbands for that matter).  We've evolved beyond the Victorians - daughters are educated and self-sufficient, and this is why we pay for our own weddings and have gotten away from allowing our parents to make all the decisions.  If you are gifting the cash and want to participate in the process with your daughters, then act as their advocate when calling up businesses and negotiating prices.  You can even help your daughters budget out the cash, and the percentages to spend here and there....but don't tell them what to spend it on.  It's their wedding, their future husband, and together those two individuals will have a style that only they will be tuned into, and it's important to respect that.  In my mind, that's a large part of celebrating the marriage.

Dave

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 03:30:59 PM »
Even though I'm not yet a year married, I still find weddings hell strange.

We did our own thing, bending the traditional mold where we felt like it, and not only did we have a great day, but everyone else either had a great day too, or was kind enough to pretend.

I look at people spending a house deposit on a single day and wonder what they've been smoking. I'm really hopeful I can bring up our kids (if we're lucky enough to have any) to be as fully opted-out of quite a sick industry as their parents were.

MountainMan

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 04:10:26 PM »
I was looking at a picture of my grandma and grandpa's wedding in about 1946 or so.  They were from a rural community, so perhaps it had something to do with it, but everyone in the photo was wearing their own best clothing.  Each man wore his own suit, and they didn't match each other.  Each woman wore her own dress, and it they didn't match each other.  My grandpa's mother made the wedding cake.  It appears the dinner was at his mother's house.   Everything about the event was very local and all the work done within the families.  I'm sure the wedding was not at all expensive. 

These days, I notice that some people fly their guests out to a Caribbean island to hold a wedding there!  I just can't imagine where the money comes from, because some of these people that I know are ordinary wage earners.  I also don't understand why no one wants to put this money in investments for the future.  Newlywed couples tend to be on the low end of the pay scale... they really need to front load their investments and savings while they can. 

I'm glad to see, though, that some families still are frugal about weddings.  One of my childhood friends got married a few months ago and they had a wedding in their church with modest decorating done by the family.  They had a dinner at the local Eagle's club which serves dinner and has a DJ for the dance floor.  Over all, modest expenses for the wedding.  And it was just fine.  I wasn't surprised, since I know that he was raised in a very frugal family.  :)

kolorado

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 05:52:58 PM »
The bride should have no idea how much this stuff costs. It's really not her business or her responsibility to plan. I will take my daughters suggestions about colors or general theme and have her pick things like her dress and appearance but otherwise it's my call.

With all due respect, this sounds very controll-y. When my H and I got married in 2010, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted our wedding to be like. My mother imposing her will on us, and taking over the planning, would have left a very bad taste in my mouth. Let's just say that we do not share the same taste.
.....
It sounds like you were disappointed in the amount of money your parents were able to give you. Fine, so save for your own kids' weddings, and gift them with it when they get engaged. Why do you feel the need to control how the money is spent?

And that's why I stipulated that if my daughters had their hearts set on a particular plan they could save for their own wedding. I will happily help them as much as I can if that's what they want. But I won't have them send all the bills to me.
I freely admit that it's "controll-y" for me plan the celebration. Given that it's my money to be spent on this once-in-a-lifetime gift for them, I should have all the control. I'm being kinda generous letting my daughters pick a few things. My children will be used to this concept by the time weddings come. We don't allow gift and wish lists for birthdays and such. They take what they are given and are thankful too. I was raised this way as well so I would be undoing a whole lot of programming to do anything else.
It was too late for me not to be disappointed with the amount my parents offered me since I'd had years of brainwashing from the industry and culture, even my workplace, with no counter opinion from my parents. I don't resent them for it at all. They never promised me anything and, after my initial pity party, I was grateful for what they provided. I'm happily married 11.5 years later so regardless of the expense of the wedding, it was the marriage my husband and I cared about.
I'm glad the lump sum worked out for you and it's not a bad idea if executed well. We won't do that though. If you're following my train of thought here it's because it's still allows the recipient to choose their gift.
Weddings aren't something we "owe" our daughters. They are a gift. A wedding is non-essential expense. They can choose to accept our gift or pay their own way. I'll be supportive either way. I'm hoping my daughters don't buy into the industry hype though and waste a ton of money on a one day thing.
I know most women wouldn't want their mother to take over their wedding planning. However, I was happy to turn over most of my wedding planning to my mother. I respect my parents immensely and was grateful for their help and leadership. Just because a person is educated and independent doesn't mean they can't graciously accept an offered gift from their parents.
LadyMeir, your wedding sounds like it was beautiful and fun. I think $6K was very reasonable for what you described. :)
Something you said at the end of your post struck me. The idea that the bride's preferences reflect a celebration of the marriage itself  and that parents need to respect their daughter's wedding choices is just the kind of cultural norm that caused me disappointment years ago. You absolutely had the freedom to do this because you were spending your own money. You could freely associate your purchases as a celebration of your marriage. Since I was married under my parents' budget I couldn't approach the expenses the same way. Spending someone else's money is something else entirely. I felt a high responsibility to value their gift and the effort it took to create such a fund. That's why we ended up spending only $1200 of the offered $3K. My initial reaction was to equate the ability to choose and customize and have "my" day within that budget with how much my parents valued me and my impending marriage since I was culturally conditioned to think that. That was simply not true though and something I want to protect my daughters from believing.
My daughters' preferences will be respected but they will not dictate or control how the money is spent. It's not like I'm giving meat to a vegetarian. I'll be giving a wedding to someone who wants a wedding.
It's like I want to spend time knitting a sweater for her in a color and style I know she'll appreciate. Our culture is suggesting I just hand my daughter a gift card for the craft store instead of the sweater. Personally, I'd rather have the sweater made by my mom than a gift card.
All this discussion is probably a moot point anyway. If the statistics in the article are to believed, only a tiny fraction of parents will pay for their daughter's weddings in the future. By then any amount I spend on the events for my girls will seem like a fortune to their friends who will be busy saving 10 years for their "unique" celebratory shindigs.

Early FI

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 06:05:03 PM »
My wife and I are planning to give our daughter a fixed amount (physically cut a check after she is engaged) for her wedding and allowing her to use those funds and her own money to throw any type of wedding she chooses.  Hopefully that will avoid this issue of unexpected costs and expenses.  If she is responsible for them, she will definitely know that she shouldn't come to us hoping that we will cover the overbudget items.

LadyM

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 06:43:18 PM »

LadyMeir, your wedding sounds like it was beautiful and fun. I think $6K was very reasonable for what you described. :)

Something you said at the end of your post struck me. The idea that the bride's preferences reflect a celebration of the marriage itself  and that parents need to respect their daughter's wedding choices is just the kind of cultural norm that caused me disappointment years ago. You absolutely had the freedom to do this because you were spending your own money. You could freely associate your purchases as a celebration of your marriage. Since I was married under my parents' budget I couldn't approach the expenses the same way. Spending someone else's money is something else entirely. I felt a high responsibility to value their gift and the effort it took to create such a fund. That's why we ended up spending only $1200 of the offered $3K. My initial reaction was to equate the ability to choose and customize and have "my" day within that budget with how much my parents valued me and my impending marriage since I was culturally conditioned to think that. That was simply not true though and something I want to protect my daughters from believing.
My daughters' preferences will be respected but they will not dictate or control how the money is spent. It's not like I'm giving meat to a vegetarian. I'll be giving a wedding to someone who wants a wedding.



Why thanks, it was awesome!  I'd like to think that even if I had more help from my folks, I would have still spent the same amount, and thankfully I never felt that I was owed a wedding, even as an only child.

You raise a good point: the value of spending someone else's money and perhaps being more conscientious when doing so, and I'd probably be inclined to under-spend in the same way you did.   And true enough if a bride is footing her own bill, then she can go crazy with tailoring it as she chooses 100%.  At the same time, even the privileged daughters of parents who are footing the bill for the big event should listen to their parents' suggestions with extra care, compromising something they perhaps care less about (e.g. flowers or food) in exchange for having the final say on something they feel strongly about (e.g. dress, music). 

All of the above are certainly personal choices.  For my kids (son and daughter), I'll probably throw each of them a few thousand bucks and some words of budgeting advice when the time comes for them to get married.  But for me it will just be a gift that they can use freely, either for the entire event or as a portion of the whole.  My hope would be that both of them choose the less-is-more route and go at it with a more understated approach, and I believe growing up along "The Mustachian Path" will go a long way in influencing that outcome.  As to HOW they will plan it and make it happen, I plan to just sit back and watch the creative process unfold.  But then again, that's me.

Ultimately, as you said, I believe we all are in agreement that sacrificing the savings or retirement fund of a parent is ludicrous for one day extreme celebration.

And I'd like a mom-made sweater too.  ;)

onehappypanda

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 06:57:40 PM »
What an interesting discussion. I know weddings are always a tricky subjects: some people are so hellbent on particular practices or certain ideals that they won't even for a split second consider an alternative. It gets particularly tricky when the two families being joined have different ideas of what a wedding entails, because inevitably someone gets offended over some little thing that isn't exactly how they want it. By the time everyone gets done negotiating what they want and getting offended, they've taken a joyous occasion and turned it into a materialistic nightmare.

I think a lot of good weddings are ruined by stubborn people sticking to outdated traditions and ideals. Possibly a flammable opinion, but one I stick by. Most wedding traditions are not suited to modern relationships.

The tradition of a bride's parents paying for everything is a good example, I think. Most people do not get married today when they're young and broke, as they often did in the past. More and more people get married after they've started careers and gained some level of independence- it makes sense that they should foot some of their own bill. And I see no reason for having the bride's family pay more than the groom's family just based on tradition. It makes more sense for the two sides to decide what they can pitch in based on their own individual situation. Blind adherence  to  tradition is what pressures families into spending more money than they can reasonably afford. Get rid of all the silly outdated traditional ideals, join the 21st century, and weddings wouldn't be half the horrible pain in the ass that they are right now.

sol

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 07:36:40 PM »
I think that anyone who spends close to the national average $26k on their daughter's wedding is doing their daughter a great disservice.  Why not just take out a huge loan for her and saddle her with years and years of debt payments instead?  Isn't that what you're doing by not giving her that money for a down payment on a house, or toward her car or consumer credit card debt?

Maybe, MAYBE in cases where the bride and groom already own their own home with no mortgage, make no car payments, and have no credit or student loan debt, then MAYBE in that case it might be morally defensible to blow a huge wad of cash on a lavish party for them.  And in that case, they can probably afford their own damn party, don't you think?

Even then, my personal morals would have a hard time spending that much money like that instead of putting it to work as an investment for the future.  What a tragic waste.

Do you love your daughter?  Then give her the money for something worthwhile, not so she can blow it on entertaining obscure relatives.

kolorado

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 06:32:59 AM »
What an interesting discussion. I know weddings are always a tricky subjects: some people are so hellbent on particular practices or certain ideals that they won't even for a split second consider an alternative. ...

I think a lot of good weddings are ruined by stubborn people sticking to outdated traditions and ideals. Possibly a flammable opinion, but one I stick by. Most wedding traditions are not suited to modern relationships.

...Blind adherence  to  tradition...

I totally agree that much of what revolves around typical wedding traditions if followed blindly regardless of no longer being true to the actual meanings behind the traditions. White wedding dresses, fathers giving their daughters away and wedding cakes are some examples.
Modern relationships should absolutely have modern weddings.
Even though I was still living at home when I married, I vetoed a ton of traditional ideas because they had no meaning for me and my hubby and really no current cultural meaning. My dad didn't even walk me down the aisle. My husband and I talked to each other instead of doing any kind of vow ceremony. The officiant just prayed and pronounced us.
Some things at weddings like the first dance, first dance with mothers/fathers and the cake cutting process, seem to only exist to take pictures. No one knows why they are doing them and participants rarely look like they're having fun. It's just Act whatever, Scene whatever for the traditional "show" of American weddings.

Guitarist

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2012, 12:19:05 PM »
I was looking at a picture of my grandma and grandpa's wedding in about 1946 or so.  They were from a rural community, so perhaps it had something to do with it, but everyone in the photo was wearing their own best clothing.  Each man wore his own suit, and they didn't match each other.  Each woman wore her own dress, and it they didn't match each other.  My grandpa's mother made the wedding cake.  It appears the dinner was at his mother's house.   Everything about the event was very local and all the work done within the families.  I'm sure the wedding was not at all expensive. 


My parents were married in Germany in the early 80's. The men wore their best suits. My mom wore the same wedding dress as her sister (and it may have been their mom's). German custom is to basically have a two day celebration. My mom's Uncle drove them to the courthouse (or at least it's German equivalent) to get their marriage license, then drive to the church to have the religious ceremony, then it was party for the rest of the weekend. Homemade food and cake(s). And it was probably more fun then 99% of the weddings these days. I believe the party was at her parent's house but it may have been next door at the community building.

mm1970

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2012, 08:37:50 PM »
I was looking at a picture of my grandma and grandpa's wedding in about 1946 or so.  They were from a rural community, so perhaps it had something to do with it, but everyone in the photo was wearing their own best clothing.  Each man wore his own suit, and they didn't match each other.  Each woman wore her own dress, and it they didn't match each other.  My grandpa's mother made the wedding cake.  It appears the dinner was at his mother's house.   Everything about the event was very local and all the work done within the families.  I'm sure the wedding was not at all expensive. 

These days, I notice that some people fly their guests out to a Caribbean island to hold a wedding there!  I just can't imagine where the money comes from, because some of these people that I know are ordinary wage earners.  I also don't understand why no one wants to put this money in investments for the future.  Newlywed couples tend to be on the low end of the pay scale... they really need to front load their investments and savings while they can. 

I'm glad to see, though, that some families still are frugal about weddings.  One of my childhood friends got married a few months ago and they had a wedding in their church with modest decorating done by the family.  They had a dinner at the local Eagle's club which serves dinner and has a DJ for the dance floor.  Over all, modest expenses for the wedding.  And it was just fine.  I wasn't surprised, since I know that he was raised in a very frugal family.  :)
Depending on the size of the wedding, a destination wedding can be way cheap.  Most people I know only pay to fly their wedding party.  A few flights and hotel rooms is a LOT cheaper than a wedding for 100+.

AJ

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 05:34:57 AM »
I know this will never happen, but with the divorce rate what it is it might make more sense for our cultural tradition to be to marry at the courthouse and throw the wedding-sized party on the couple's 10 year anniversary.

onehappypanda

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2012, 07:39:40 AM »
I know this will never happen, but with the divorce rate what it is it might make more sense for our cultural tradition to be to marry at the courthouse and throw the wedding-sized party on the couple's 10 year anniversary.

I've said this exact thing in the past and was accused of being cynical. Which maybe I am. lol

velocistar237

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2012, 07:42:53 AM »
I know this will never happen, but with the divorce rate what it is it might make more sense for our cultural tradition to be to marry at the courthouse and throw the wedding-sized party on the couple's 10 year anniversary.

My wife and I have talked about throwing a big party when we pay off our debt or become FI (which should happen at about the same time, if all goes according to plan), and have it coincide with a wedding anniversary, with only a few people knowing the truth. It would be on the same scale as our wedding, but with fewer expectations from others about what the event should be like, so we could do whatever we want.

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2012, 05:18:18 PM »
I eloped and got married for $46 USD.  Smartest financial decision of my life.

Mr Mark

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 08:44:29 PM »
I know this will never happen, but with the divorce rate what it is it might make more sense for our cultural tradition to be to marry at the courthouse and throw the wedding-sized party on the couple's 10 year anniversary.

Great idea!

Barn raising party is the way to go. People just need great music (= pro sound system and ipod), dance floor, reasonable finger food, and lots and lots and lots of cheap Cali or Italian Bubbles...

BUT, get a pro photographer (friend's rates  if poss!), but a pro.

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2012, 05:55:48 AM »
   I love the 10 year party idea!  I have been thinking about a wedding recently.  9 years ago my wife and I flew to Vancouver to get married b/c we couldn't get married here.  Actually, in New Mexico gay marriages originated in other places like Canada are recognized, but you can't get married here.  Talk about confusing laws.  We are planning to have a wedding here if there ever is a federal law accepting gay marriage. 
  I imagine it will take the form of a very short ceremony, and a big party. My experience with receptions has been - get a good DJ, have a place to dance, and everyone seems to love jumbo shrimp.  Oh, and I really love those little bubble blower favors.  That's my plan!
Heidi

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2012, 08:15:11 AM »
I eloped and got married for $46 USD.  Smartest financial decision of my life.
Awesomeness!

AlexK

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Re: Dad to Daughter: Your Wedding or My Retirement
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2012, 11:49:06 PM »
We're eloping this summer, getting married at Glacier Point in Yosemite.  My friend is an ordained minister and his girlfriend will be the photographer. The only expensive part is the accommodations in Yosemite Park.