Author Topic: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding  (Read 12595 times)

remizidae

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Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« on: April 16, 2019, 04:49:19 PM »
From a recent advice column:

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Q. Wedding planning woes: My fiancée and I are getting married this summer and have a wedding budget of $30,000 for 175 guests, which is below average for our state (and we live in the largest metropolitan area). My father is a stingy multimillionaire who has refused to provide more than $7,500 because he thinks, on principle, that each parent should pay for a quarter of the wedding. My mom is a public servant who took an entry-level job following their divorce, and my fiancée’s parents are also in solidly middle-class jobs. My mom has found the money; my fiancée’s parents are still trying. We can afford to put in some money ourselves, but it would be a sizable chunk of the money we are saving to buy a home. [In other words: we can pay for it, but we don't want to!]

What do we do here? Should we disinvite people? Should we just cancel the wedding and elope? (We would lose about $5,000 in deposits.) Should we put in the money ourselves and refuse to do father-daughter things like walking down the aisle, first dance, etc.? I am really angry with my dad for his inflexibility and stinginess. I am also angry with myself and my fiancée for proceeding with a wedding the size we want (even though we have been fairly frugal in our other choices) when finances were unclear.

I call bullshit on the claim that a five-figure wedding is "below average" for any area. It's like those claims you sometimes see that "no one can live here on less than $100k"—people forget that poor people exist.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/04/cant-afford-wedding-advice.html?sid=5537d72b3b35d0a13a8bf64c&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=traffic&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=DearPrudence

ender

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 05:00:01 PM »
I'd be shocked if average prices of weddings aren't higher than $30k in some states.

But that's the trouble with averages. It only takes one $1M wedding to really screw them up.

Tass

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 05:03:33 PM »
Honestly, I also have a problem with the multimillionaire dad. It's not that he's not putting up more money - it's that he's expecting all three other parents to match his contribution.

nereo

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 05:09:54 PM »
Average doesn't necessarily denote the arithmetic mean! 
THe median price is what we are after here.
Headline numbers put out by sites like www.theknot.com are heavily skewed by including only people that plan large weddings.  Lost in the calculation are the huge number of people who's 'wedding' is going to the town hall and standing in front of a magistrate, and those who's ceremony is just a few people.

remizidae

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 05:10:23 PM »
I'd be shocked if average prices of weddings aren't higher than $30k in some states.

But that's the trouble with averages. It only takes one $1M wedding to really screw them up.

Good point. The median hopefully is very different.

robartsd

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 05:24:52 PM »
Honestly, I also have a problem with the multimillionaire dad. It's not that he's not putting up more money - it's that he's expecting all three other parents to match his contribution.
Exactly! It wasn't long ago that Father of the Bride traditionally paid the bulk of the costs, for him to feel the other parents who have lesser means should pay equally is stingy indeed. A $7,500 wedding celebration can be just fine, even for families with millionaires, but a millionaire who expects others to contribute equally to a $30,000 celebration is not.

At least the bride is also admitting that she is partly at fault for committing to expenses without a clear plan for how they would be paid for. I think bride and groom should pay for the wedding that they planned, booked, and invited people to. I don't think bride should cut traditional father-bride items from the celebration out of spite.

nereo

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 05:30:19 PM »

Exactly! It wasn't long ago that Father of the Bride traditionally paid the bulk of the costs, for him to feel the other parents who have lesser means should pay equally is stingy indeed. A $7,500 wedding celebration can be just fine, even for families with millionaires, but a millionaire who expects others to contribute equally to a $30,000 celebration is not.

At least the bride is also admitting that she is partly at fault for committing to expenses without a clear plan for how they would be paid for. I think bride and groom should pay for the wedding that they planned, booked, and invited people to. I don't think bride should cut traditional father-bride items from the celebration out of spite.
This tradition where the Father of the Bride pays for the wedding is not universal across cultures.

Tass

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 05:39:20 PM »
My issue isn't even with the fact that he "traditionally" would have paid and is instead "passing off" that duty. It's that he apparently said, "Okay, tell me your budget and we'll each pay a quarter of it" without ever consulting the other parents - and seems to want to strong-arm them into that arrangement by doing so. In my opinion, each person should assess what they are willing to contribute independently - and not in response to the bride's budget.

That's not to excuse the bride's part in the situation.

Tl;dr: He's within his rights to say "I will pay for a quarter of your wedding." He's not within his rights to say "Every parent should pay for a quarter of your wedding."

Villanelle

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 05:41:54 PM »
If he only wants to pay $7500, or $75, toward a wedding, I've got no problem with that.  But the rationale that each parent should pay 1/4 seems strange, and I wonder if it isn't somehow an attempt to get at his Ex-wife.  It's entirely unreasonable that he is attempting to essentially make commitments for other people.  If the kids had planned a $60k wedding, would he have been willing to pay $15k? 

OTOH, I think the bride is right to be upset with herself and her fiancee for planning a wedding, including putting down deposits, before actually figuring out how much they had to spend.  It seems they assumed daddy would fork over whatever they asked for, and spent that imaginary money before letting daddy know of the expectation.  And then they were disappointed. 

I suspect they could still make significant cuts to the budget.  That may or may not include walking away from the $5000 in deposits (sunk cost).  Trimming that guest list would be a huge start.  (Did they already send out invites? she mentions "disinvite" which suggests yes, but that generally happens shortly before the event.)  Doing DIY modest decorating, holding the event at a time where a meal need not be served, etc. 

And cutting the father from the wedding because he won't give them the money they demand?  That's incredibly petty. 


ender

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 05:46:55 PM »
My issue isn't even with the fact that he "traditionally" would have paid and is instead "passing off" that duty. It's that he apparently said, "Okay, tell me your budget and we'll each pay a quarter of it" without ever consulting the other parents - and seems to want to strong-arm them into that arrangement by doing so. In my opinion, each person should assess what they are willing to contribute independently - and not in response to the bride's budget.

That's not to excuse the bride's part in the situation.

Tl;dr: He's within his rights to say "I will pay for a quarter of your wedding." He's not within his rights to say "Every parent should pay for a quarter of your wedding."

I mean, 95% or more of the blame here is on the engaged couple. How do you get far enough into the wedding planning process that you'd lose $5k worth of deposits without figuring out the small issue of paying for a $30k wedding?

The couple must have just assumed that the rich father was going to just pay for the whole thing to have gotten as far as they did without communication - which would almost assuredly be a valid reason why he was pissed off enough about the whole thing to say he only would pay for a quarter of it.

While it's possible the father was a complete ass about this for context not included, the story laid out in the article really puts almost all of the blame on the couple. And I suspect if the millionaire father was being an ass, the writer would have included that into their description. Instead of simply saying he was "stingy."


Tass

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2019, 05:56:02 PM »
You're not wrong. It's always possible that the "each parent should pay a quarter" bit is her rationalization of his behavior, rather than anything he explicitly said. And my issue with his apparent volunteering of the other parents' money definitely also applies to the bride's volunteering of her father's money!

ender

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2019, 06:01:14 PM »
You're not wrong. It's always possible that the "each parent should pay a quarter" bit is her rationalization of his behavior, rather than anything he explicitly said. And my issue with his apparent volunteering of the other parents' money definitely also applies to the bride's volunteering of her father's money!

Why are people assuming it's the bride's father?

Isn't the phrase "fiancée" normally used for the bride-to-be (vs fiancé)?  It's confusing to me to have language like that simultaneous to some of the references to father-daughter dances. Or perhaps both are women?

Anyways to your latter point, for all we know the other parents have been insistent on various things to be included in the wedding. For every father who has strong preferences about what happens in a wedding, there are many more mothers. It doesn't take very much imagination to see this having taken place too.

The language might be poor but the father is getting a lot worse rap here than I think he deserves. If he had posted his perspective in the "Relatives who just don't get it" thread there'd be a ton of empathy for him.

Tass

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 06:10:22 PM »

Why are people assuming it's the bride's father?


Well, the writer explicitly refers to father-daughter stuff, so yeah, I'd say she's a bride. She does use the feminine form of fiancée, so either she's marrying a woman or she doesn't know the gendered conventions around that word. I don't see how that's relevant.

I'm trying to acknowledge that we're getting the bride's filtered perspective here, and thus I might not be being fair to the father. I have no problem with the principle that he wants to pay for maximum a quarter of her wedding. I only take issue with the idea that he, or anyone, should expect the other parents to pay for the other 3/4s. They all have just as much right to pay zero as he does.

remizidae

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 06:23:28 PM »
You're not wrong. It's always possible that the "each parent should pay a quarter" bit is her rationalization of his behavior, rather than anything he explicitly said. And my issue with his apparent volunteering of the other parents' money definitely also applies to the bride's volunteering of her father's money!

Why are people assuming it's the bride's father?

Isn't the phrase "fiancée" normally used for the bride-to-be (vs fiancé)?  It's confusing to me to have language like that simultaneous to some of the references to father-daughter dances. Or perhaps both are women?

Yeah, I wonder why all the posters are jumping to the conclusion that the bride is the one writing in. The person said "fiancee," so if he's spelling that correctly and they are straight, he's a man. Of course, it's commonly misspelled.

Edit: now I see someone else pointed out the implication that the "father-daughter dance" would be with the LW, so I guess they are a lesbian couple (or bad at spelling).
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 06:26:05 PM by remizidae »

The_Dude

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2019, 07:09:26 PM »
Doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the millionaire Dad to only pay his 1/4 share of the wedding.  I realize its family and a wedding but just because he amassed more wealth than the other parents doesn't obligate him to foot a larger share of the bill.  The one exception I make to this is controlling parents who want to show off and invite everyone they know.  If that's the case then let them pay for it. 

But I also come from the perspective that modern American wedding has been mostly corrupted by the capitalist consumer driven machine.  Why anyone outside of the 2% thinks its okay to spend well into 5 figures on a party to celebrate getting married blows my mind. 



gooki

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 02:14:55 AM »
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What do we do here?

Grow up, apologise to your father for calling him stingy and thank him for his contributions.

Malkynn

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 04:43:31 AM »
Honestly, I also have a problem with the multimillionaire dad. It's not that he's not putting up more money - it's that he's expecting all three other parents to match his contribution.

We don't know what he's expecting.
He might have just said that because there are 4 parents, he's only willing to put in a quarter. What the others put in is up to them.
We don't know.

What I *do* know, having a family with multiple very wealthy people, is that the wealthy people are often assumed to pick up the tab, so I can absolutely see the Bank of Dad putting a limit on his contribution that he thinks is fair.

It sounds very much like this person went ahead and planned everything and put down deposits assuming their father would pay, which is probably exactly why dad said "fuck no" to that and put a limit.

Assuming the story isn't just fabricated for the sake of going viral if course. I personally always assume these stories are fake.

partgypsy

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 06:16:16 AM »
I grew up in a culture where the bride's family would traditionally pay for the bulk of the wedding. The groom's parent's typically pay for the rehearsal dinner. So, probably the bride assumed that her side would pick up the tab. But you know what they say about assumptions; it is surprising to me that they got this far in plans without actually having a conversation about this? For some families wedding are a big deal and the wedding is almost more for the parents than the bride and groom. Obviously the father is of the mind this is an unnecessary expense.
I don't think it's fair the bride's father should expect everyone to split the tab evenly, I've never heard that being any kind of tradition or expectation. It's usually either the bride's family, or the couple themselves who fund it.
 
What should they do? Well
if a) this is the wedding party they wanted and planned go ahead and have it and pay for the rest themselves.
OR b) if they were only going to have that kind of wedding if someone ELSE is paying, cancel the wedding and plan something they are willing to afford. 

acepedro45

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 12:31:35 PM »
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First, the obvious: Please do not spend money you’ve set aside to buy a home to hold an extravagant, spite-driven wedding

Why is this obvious? Rant Alert! I have a problem with wedding, party and any other spending of any kind where it's "obvious" that if the spender was shelling out his/her own money, that person would make different choices.

Sir, what would you like for dinner?

That depends if Dad is paying. Dad?

Of course I'll pay, son.

In that case, I'll have the steak, the calamari appetizer, a glass of wine and a Caesar salad.

partgypsy

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2019, 03:01:17 PM »
Quote
First, the obvious: Please do not spend money you’ve set aside to buy a home to hold an extravagant, spite-driven wedding

Why is this obvious? Rant Alert! I have a problem with wedding, party and any other spending of any kind where it's "obvious" that if the spender was shelling out his/her own money, that person would make different choices.

Sir, what would you like for dinner?

That depends if Dad is paying. Dad?

Of course I'll pay, son.

In that case, I'll have the steak, the calamari appetizer, a glass of wine and a Caesar salad.

Oh man, I would totally do this. In fact there were times I kicked myself when I went out ordered something small, and then someone else paid for the meal. I would have def ordered something bigger.

It DOES say she is mad at herself for planning this big wedding without knowing how it was going to be paid. She needs to look deep inside herself and figure out her priorities, is a big/expensive wedding, or saving for a house? I know I would pick the house. And seriously, if neither sets of parents care, just elope and have a big informal party with friends and family afterwards (grill out in a park or someone's yard).   

 

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 07:17:10 AM »
Quote
First, the obvious: Please do not spend money you’ve set aside to buy a home to hold an extravagant, spite-driven wedding

Why is this obvious? Rant Alert! I have a problem with wedding, party and any other spending of any kind where it's "obvious" that if the spender was shelling out his/her own money, that person would make different choices.

Sir, what would you like for dinner?

That depends if Dad is paying. Dad?

Of course I'll pay, son.

In that case, I'll have the steak, the calamari appetizer, a glass of wine and a Caesar salad.

Oh man, I would totally do this. In fact there were times I kicked myself when I went out ordered something small, and then someone else paid for the meal. I would have def ordered something bigger.

It DOES say she is mad at herself for planning this big wedding without knowing how it was going to be paid. She needs to look deep inside herself and figure out her priorities, is a big/expensive wedding, or saving for a house? I know I would pick the house. And seriously, if neither sets of parents care, just elope and have a big informal party with friends and family afterwards (grill out in a park or someone's yard).

As someone who tends to do the inviting and the entertaining (and the paying, on the extremely rare occasions I entertain outside the home), I don't resent people ordering what they want because that's the entire point of restaurant dining. I do resent them maxing out the bill by ordering the most expensive item on the menu and multiple courses and then just picking at it. I'm also not a fan of people ordering extra to take home for friends and relatives. There's a fine line between a guest enjoying my hospitality and a guest taking advantage.

It appears to me that the family in the story has communication problems. The father of the letter writer is probably the only one who doesn't. I think that paying 1/4 of the wedding is completely reasonable: half should be paid by the happy couple given that they have the means to do so, and that leaves just 1/4 to be split among the other three parents if they are willing and able to contribute. If that's too burdensome, I agree with your solution: a smaller, quieter, and less fancy wedding is in order.

talltexan

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2019, 07:38:21 AM »
The "average for our state" comment was really weird.

I think the OP meant for it to suggest that she didn't consider her wedding extravagant. Would anyone who asked her dad for help funding a project start by saying that the budget for the project was "average for our state"?

I'd start by trying to figure out how to scale down the wedding to $18,000. If dad is committed to paying 1/4 of cost, then the couple still save $9,000 doing this.

fredbear

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 08:22:38 AM »
...For some families wedding are a big deal and the wedding is almost more for the parents than the bride and groom. Obviously the father is of the mind this is an unnecessary expense.


Right.  I have been a bride's father.  It may be that the "multimillionaire" father has a different perspective on money, particularly if he made it himself.  Money's the best: it's a residue of the best part of your thinking, of your labor, of what time you have been given, of what you could provide that others valued enough to pay for.  I don't really give much of a shit about weddings, especially given some of the marriages that have resulted.  I pay extra principal on my kids' home loans (once they qualify on their own to buy a house); I put money in Roths for those of the kids who can still contribute; I put money in 529s for the grandkids.  It may be this father has preferred destinations for his money that don't include her ostentatious wedding, which she will think cheap but he defensible, if anyone were actually to ask "why?"  It may be he thinks it likely she will be a better steward of her part of his money when she is old and death has taken him; which is certainly likely, given what use she wants to make of it now. 

talltexan

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 09:19:49 AM »
I think it's odd that Father offered to pay 25% rather than simply set a fixed amount that was his contribution. It sets up an odd dynamic with the parents of the fiancée.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 11:36:10 AM »
I think it's odd that Father offered to pay 25% rather than simply set a fixed amount that was his contribution. It sets up an odd dynamic with the parents of the fiancée.

It could be a subtle reminder that marrying below your caste comes with a lot of financial compromises and you probably should think twice about doing it.  It could also prevent them relying on him to bail out every self imposed problem.

OtherJen

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2019, 11:37:04 AM »

For some families wedding are a big deal and the wedding is almost more for the parents than the bride and groom.

Oh, you've met my parents and in-laws. I'm an only child, my family does big weddings, and my MIL likes things done in a very certain way. I'm not sure she ever totally forgave us for not having professional engagement photos taken so that she could place one in the small-town newspaper.

If husband and could do things over again, we'd bring our immediate families and closest friends to a resort and have a small ceremony and dinner in a beautiful place. But our moms insisted on the big party and as they were paying for it, we didn't feel like we could argue much. I didn't win the "adults only" battle but did manage to talk my mom down from the standard 300-person evening dinner and DJ reception to a 160-person luncheon. I had to set a hard and fast limit on family to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and first cousins (that still left my family guest list at ~80). It was pretty, and I think all the guests had a good time. The cake was amazing. But we were exhausted and frazzled. That day was definitely for other people.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2019, 11:54:17 AM »

Exactly! It wasn't long ago that Father of the Bride traditionally paid the bulk of the costs, for him to feel the other parents who have lesser means should pay equally is stingy indeed. A $7,500 wedding celebration can be just fine, even for families with millionaires, but a millionaire who expects others to contribute equally to a $30,000 celebration is not.

At least the bride is also admitting that she is partly at fault for committing to expenses without a clear plan for how they would be paid for. I think bride and groom should pay for the wedding that they planned, booked, and invited people to. I don't think bride should cut traditional father-bride items from the celebration out of spite.
This tradition where the Father of the Bride pays for the wedding is not universal across cultures.
The tradition also includes asking for permission to marry and for the money before booking venues...

If you want to be traditional, great. But you can't ignore the traditions you dislike, such as asking for the money upfront. This is clearly a non-traditional wedding.

The modern day dilemna that the bride is faced with is because she ignored basic courtesy of asking before taking. She tried to be manipulative and continued on that path by suggesting she would skip a dance with the father because he did not pay for enough; the proper response to $7500 is thank you, not FU for not giving more.

The traditional Golden rule has never changed; the person with the gold makes the rules. If you want someones gold, you play by their rules. Forcing someone to play by your own rules and expecting them to pay is entitlement, in this case with blackmail thrown in.

She should apologize for her rude behaviour. Nowhere has she ever indicated she apologized for her boorish manners. She in fact one upped herself by suggesting blackmail instead of saying thank you for $7500! I suspect finding her manners and behaving like an adult would go a lot farther than blackmail. What kind of person accepts a gift of cash and behaves so terribly about it?

Prairie Stash

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2019, 12:02:16 PM »

For some families wedding are a big deal and the wedding is almost more for the parents than the bride and groom.

Oh, you've met my parents and in-laws. I'm an only child, my family does big weddings, and my MIL likes things done in a very certain way. I'm not sure she ever totally forgave us for not having professional engagement photos taken so that she could place one in the small-town newspaper.

If husband and could do things over again, we'd bring our immediate families and closest friends to a resort and have a small ceremony and dinner in a beautiful place. But our moms insisted on the big party and as they were paying for it, we didn't feel like we could argue much. I didn't win the "adults only" battle but did manage to talk my mom down from the standard 300-person evening dinner and DJ reception to a 160-person luncheon. I had to set a hard and fast limit on family to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and first cousins (that still left my family guest list at ~80). It was pretty, and I think all the guests had a good time. The cake was amazing. But we were exhausted and frazzled. That day was definitely for other people.
The wedding is for the person footing the bill. As the recipient of the gift, the etiquette is to say thank you which I assume you did. 

By all means try to have input, but theres only so much you can do with other peoples money. Over the years people have forgotten that you get what you pay for, including weddings. You didn't pay so you got someone elses idea of a wedding. Maybe it wasn't your dream, but it was a gift.

Complaining about something that you didn't pay for is extremely ill-mannered. That's why we still send out thank you cards for bread machines and blenders; just to be polite.

Gathwa Riga

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2019, 12:29:31 PM »
Quote
What do we do here?

Grow up, apologise to your father for calling him stingy and thank him for his contributions.

My thoughts exactly

OtherJen

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2019, 01:51:12 PM »

For some families wedding are a big deal and the wedding is almost more for the parents than the bride and groom.

Oh, you've met my parents and in-laws. I'm an only child, my family does big weddings, and my MIL likes things done in a very certain way. I'm not sure she ever totally forgave us for not having professional engagement photos taken so that she could place one in the small-town newspaper.

If husband and could do things over again, we'd bring our immediate families and closest friends to a resort and have a small ceremony and dinner in a beautiful place. But our moms insisted on the big party and as they were paying for it, we didn't feel like we could argue much. I didn't win the "adults only" battle but did manage to talk my mom down from the standard 300-person evening dinner and DJ reception to a 160-person luncheon. I had to set a hard and fast limit on family to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and first cousins (that still left my family guest list at ~80). It was pretty, and I think all the guests had a good time. The cake was amazing. But we were exhausted and frazzled. That day was definitely for other people.
The wedding is for the person footing the bill. As the recipient of the gift, the etiquette is to say thank you which I assume you did. 

By all means try to have input, but theres only so much you can do with other peoples money. Over the years people have forgotten that you get what you pay for, including weddings. You didn't pay so you got someone elses idea of a wedding. Maybe it wasn't your dream, but it was a gift.

Complaining about something that you didn't pay for is extremely ill-mannered. That's why we still send out thank you cards for bread machines and blenders; just to be polite.

Gee, thanks for the lecture. Yes, I did thank my parents because I was grateful for the gift and they raised me well. Assuming that someone is complaining because they muse that they would have chosen to do things differently if they were in control is rather rude.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 04:41:36 PM by OtherJen »

Cassie

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2019, 02:02:43 PM »
Poor communication with lots of blame to go around. Considering her mom's situation she should not take any money from her and the in-laws should not be put on the spot. I would resent it.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2019, 02:38:07 PM »
I think we're missing the point here.

Our parents kicked in zero for our wedding, and my parents even said that since we were having a "destination wedding", they would get us a smaller present.  And yet, there was no drama, because our parents didn't raise us to expect or rely on other people's money.  We were grateful for their blessing and their presence and we had a great wedding.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2019, 02:54:55 PM »
https://www.supermoney.com/2017/07/how-much-does-the-average-wedding-cost-supermoney-guide-to-wedding-costs/

Average U.S. wedding cost in 2016: $26,720
Median cost: $14,399

When my wife and I were getting married, her father offered $10,000 and said anything we didn't use on the wedding was ours. We ended up pushing right up against that number and had a beautiful wedding, but we also could have just gone to the courthouse and pocketed it. It is an expense I don't regret, and I'm glad we had a "modest" budget, as it forced us to work on problem solving together.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2019, 04:30:17 PM »
The wedding is for the person footing the bill. As the recipient of the gift, the etiquette is to say thank you which I assume you did. 

By all means try to have input, but theres only so much you can do with other peoples money. Over the years people have forgotten that you get what you pay for, including weddings. You didn't pay so you got someone elses idea of a wedding. Maybe it wasn't your dream, but it was a gift.

Complaining about something that you didn't pay for is extremely ill-mannered. That's why we still send out thank you cards for bread machines and blenders; just to be polite.
I'm not quite understanding this perspective, if the money is a gift why would the giver have authority over what receiver does with the gift?  Once a gift is given, the giver has no control over what the recipient does with the gift, otherwise is it still considered a gift?

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2019, 05:54:50 PM »
The wedding is for the person footing the bill. As the recipient of the gift, the etiquette is to say thank you which I assume you did. 

By all means try to have input, but theres only so much you can do with other peoples money. Over the years people have forgotten that you get what you pay for, including weddings. You didn't pay so you got someone elses idea of a wedding. Maybe it wasn't your dream, but it was a gift.

Complaining about something that you didn't pay for is extremely ill-mannered. That's why we still send out thank you cards for bread machines and blenders; just to be polite.
I'm not quite understanding this perspective, if the money is a gift why would the giver have authority over what receiver does with the gift?  Once a gift is given, the giver has no control over what the recipient does with the gift, otherwise is it still considered a gift?
I phrased this poorly, I'll try again.

the gift is the wedding, not cash. @DadJokes had a cash gift and it was phrased that way. I think you sensed that, by saying If the gift...theres a wide spectrum here but in general most people are either gifted cash or gifted a wedding (typically phrased as the parents paid for it).

A wedding is an agreed upon gift that both parties will have input on and compromise until they find an acceptable arrangement. If no compromise is achieved the couple will elope or fund their own wedding. Once the gift has been freely accepted, much like any gift, its presumed that further compromise is unnecessary and no further changes will be placed. It is also presumed that the receiver won't complain, call the father stingy or blackmail for more.

In practice, this means that parents and children will discuss the wedding and they will design something both find acceptable. If its unnacceptable, it is the responsibilty of everyone to voice it. Its tough on a parent if the children elope after its all paid for, its tough on the children if they get a wedding they didn't want.

In the article, she didn't like the gift and complained.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2019, 09:46:39 PM »
The wedding is for the person footing the bill. As the recipient of the gift, the etiquette is to say thank you which I assume you did. 

By all means try to have input, but theres only so much you can do with other peoples money. Over the years people have forgotten that you get what you pay for, including weddings. You didn't pay so you got someone elses idea of a wedding. Maybe it wasn't your dream, but it was a gift.

Complaining about something that you didn't pay for is extremely ill-mannered. That's why we still send out thank you cards for bread machines and blenders; just to be polite.
I'm not quite understanding this perspective, if the money is a gift why would the giver have authority over what receiver does with the gift?  Once a gift is given, the giver has no control over what the recipient does with the gift, otherwise is it still considered a gift?

There's such a thing as a conditional gift. A gift made with the intent of helping the recipient do a particular thing is contingent on that thing being done in a way the giver regards as appropriate.

In the old tradition (not common to all cultures) in which the bride's parents paid for the wedding, they were actually responsible for planning and executing it also. The bride got to select a specific number of attendants, and perhaps pick the decoration colors and the dresses. Aside from that she simply wasn't involved with the wedding or the reception. The Golden Rule (as quoted above in this thread) was in full effect.

The wedding itself occurred in whatever church the bride's parents attended, and there wasn't always a reception. If the parents were rural landowners who could afford was a big picnic buffet followed by country dancing, that's what they had. If they were lucky enough to have a family estate, that's where the reception was held, in the ballroom, the basement, or the dining hall. If the bride wasn't happy because she wanted candles instead of flowers, tough luck.

The entire purpose of a wedding ceremony and reception is to present the newly wedded couple *as* a couple to the society they are now part of. The cost of doing that can be construed as a "gift", however it's not really a no-strings-attached gift any more than a gift of university tuition. There's an expectation that the funds be used for the intended purpose. Using family money to elope and put a down payment on the house, without inviting the person who provided that money, is insulting. It's about on par with a student who drops out of his or her classes and spends the tuition money on a fancy car. Acts like this do permanent damage to the relationship with the person who provided the resources.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2019, 11:49:50 AM »
My parents were married in 1968 at the age of 30, relatively late for that time. They were successful young professionals and had only widowed mothers of modest means at the time. So they paid for their own wedding.

Mom was deceased by the time I got married in 1998 at 28 but I'm sure she would have agreed with my dad's sentiment that he would pay for nothing of mine - no rehearsal dinner - nor would he pay for the weddings of my two sisters. His position was that you're grown-ups, not 18-year-olds leaving your parents farms circa 1940.

My old man also gave me a boat load of grief for letting my in-laws pay for my wedding. In hindsight, he was right. I could have - and should have - paid for it. If you let in-laws or parents pay for a wedding, they thus have big-time say over things such as how holidays are spent. My sisters got married at 34 and 39, respectively, letting groom's parents foot the bills, and I've seen how their MILs dictate how holiday time is spent and are generally domineering.


« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 11:51:50 AM by LiveLean »

FINate

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2019, 11:57:25 AM »
When my wife and I were getting married, her father offered $10,000 and said anything we didn't use on the wedding was ours. We ended up pushing right up against that number and had a beautiful wedding, but we also could have just gone to the courthouse and pocketed it. It is an expense I don't regret, and I'm glad we had a "modest" budget, as it forced us to work on problem solving together.

This is what we plan to do for each of our daughters. A gift of $X amount, no strings attached, to be used however they see fit. If they want to blow it all on a party, fine! Up to them and their fiancée to work it out, part of learning to adult together. If they want to exceed this amount that's also fine, but don't ask mom and dad for more and figure out how to fund the overage on your own. Or, do a courthouse wedding and pocket the cash, or spend it on the honeymoon. It's all good as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2019, 12:28:35 PM »
SNIP

I phrased this poorly, I'll try again.

the gift is the wedding, not cash. @DadJokes had a cash gift and it was phrased that way. I think you sensed that, by saying If the gift...theres a wide spectrum here but in general most people are either gifted cash or gifted a wedding (typically phrased as the parents paid for it).

A wedding is an agreed upon gift that both parties will have input on and compromise until they find an acceptable arrangement. If no compromise is achieved the couple will elope or fund their own wedding. Once the gift has been freely accepted, much like any gift, its presumed that further compromise is unnecessary and no further changes will be placed. It is also presumed that the receiver won't complain, call the father stingy or blackmail for more.

In practice, this means that parents and children will discuss the wedding and they will design something both find acceptable. If its unnacceptable, it is the responsibilty of everyone to voice it. Its tough on a parent if the children elope after its all paid for, its tough on the children if they get a wedding they didn't want.

In the article, she didn't like the gift and complained.
Thanks!  I wasn't considering it from the perspective of the event itself being the gift rather than the money to fund the event.  Conditional gifts, new concept to me, thanks TGS.  All very interesting to think about.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2019, 01:41:45 PM »
My parents were married in 1968 at the age of 30, relatively late for that time. They were successful young professionals and had only widowed mothers of modest means at the time. So they paid for their own wedding.

Mom was deceased by the time I got married in 1998 at 28 but I'm sure she would have agreed with my dad's sentiment that he would pay for nothing of mine - no rehearsal dinner - nor would he pay for the weddings of my two sisters. His position was that you're grown-ups, not 18-year-olds leaving your parents farms circa 1940.

My old man also gave me a boat load of grief for letting my in-laws pay for my wedding. In hindsight, he was right. I could have - and should have - paid for it. If you let in-laws or parents pay for a wedding, they thus have big-time say over things such as how holidays are spent. My sisters got married at 34 and 39, respectively, letting groom's parents foot the bills, and I've seen how their MILs dictate how holiday time is spent and are generally domineering.

What?  How so?  First, I can't see a real relationship between paying for the wedding and Christmas plans.  And second, even if someone tries to make that connection, someone is free to dismiss it.  My MIL bought and arranged the flowers for our wedding and paid for the rehearsal dinner, as well as making the invitations.  And if she told me how I had to spend Christmas, I'd laugh and make my own plans.  Which I would also do if she financed the whole wedding, or had no involvement at all.

My parents paid for our wedding.  It was expensive.  They actually upgraded a few items to spend more (the one that comes to mind is upgrading the wine) because they were excited about a big celebration with those who were important to me (and many of whom to them as well).  And they have never for one second used that to try and have a "say" over my, DH, or relationship, or our plans.  And they never would.  They also never really tried to influence our wedding choices.  Footing the bill, to them, didn't mean they got to pick the location or veto my dress choices or anything of that nature.  It didn't mean they dictated the guest list (though I sent them our list and asked them if there was anyone they wanted to add.  I can't recall if they did, but if so, it couldn't have been more than a few people.) Of course, I tried to be respectful of their money and also to make them feel included in the process, since I knew that was important to them (and I'd have done that whether they were paying or not).  But they gave willingly and without strings, and I accepted gratefully, and with thoughtfulness and appreciation. 

I think ILs trying to dictate holiday time is going to happen regardless of wedding financing.  If they are the type to do that, they are going to do it, even if the couple elopes in Vegas.  I'm not sure why you tied that to who paid.  I have friends whose parents paid for their wedding (and ILs paid nothing) and yet the ILs still try to dictate life choices and holiday decisions.  I have friends who footed the bill themselves and still have ILs without boundaries and who think they have a say in the couple's holiday choices.  It seems to me that this is a common phenomenon, and there is no correlation at all to wedding funding. 

Malkynn

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2019, 05:04:23 PM »
My old man also gave me a boat load of grief for letting my in-laws pay for my wedding. In hindsight, he was right. I could have - and should have - paid for it. If you let in-laws or parents pay for a wedding, they thus have big-time say over things such as how holidays are spent. My sisters got married at 34 and 39, respectively, letting groom's parents foot the bills, and I've seen how their MILs dictate how holiday time is spent and are generally domineering.

N'ah, that's called having boundary problems.
No MIL has any more power than the couple gives them, regardless of what cheques they may have written in the past.

The bigger question is why the hell all of the husband's involved are okay with their moms being domineering to their wives???
Not okay.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2019, 07:31:35 AM »
I do think the type of parents that pay for the wedding because they have high expectations of how it should happen are probably the same type of parents that throw tantrums over Christmas plans. That's why you should indeed put boundaries into place if your parents or in-laws are like that. (Not all parents are like that of course). I have one friend whose MIL took over the entire wedding planning and paid for it. They didn't like that but didn't set boundaries. She absolutely ruined the day like she ruins all special occasions in the family, but that's because everyone lets her. They could/should have said no and planned and paid for their own day. Other than that friend I haven't heard of anyone's parents paying the full wedding but it seems quite common that parents pay for specific items like the dress, the suit, the dinner, the champagne etc.

I think parents paying for their kid's wedding is pretty outdated. Back in the days the marriage would take place in the woman's parish church so it would make sense for the guests to celebrate at her parents' house, but most people didn't have big expensive weddings at a separate venue and with catering etc. It would be a modest affair. Plus people lived at home until marriage back then and often gave a large part of their wages to their parents or worked in the family business. These days people get married much later, have lived on their own, have degrees and careers and savings. I get that some parents want to give a gift, and that's fine, but just assuming they'll pay because it's the tradition is stupid. Even if your dad is rich.

Ann

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2019, 08:01:27 PM »
SNIP

I phrased this poorly, I'll try again.

the gift is the wedding, not cash. @DadJokes had a cash gift and it was phrased that way. I think you sensed that, by saying If the gift...theres a wide spectrum here but in general most people are either gifted cash or gifted a wedding (typically phrased as the parents paid for it).

A wedding is an agreed upon gift that both parties will have input on and compromise until they find an acceptable arrangement. If no compromise is achieved the couple will elope or fund their own wedding. Once the gift has been freely accepted, much like any gift, its presumed that further compromise is unnecessary and no further changes will be placed. It is also presumed that the receiver won't complain, call the father stingy or blackmail for more.

In practice, this means that parents and children will discuss the wedding and they will design something both find acceptable. If its unnacceptable, it is the responsibilty of everyone to voice it. Its tough on a parent if the children elope after its all paid for, its tough on the children if they get a wedding they didn't want.

In the article, she didn't like the gift and complained.
Thanks!  I wasn't considering it from the perspective of the event itself being the gift rather than the money to fund the event.  Conditional gifts, new concept to me, thanks TGS.  All very interesting to think about.

I think that if ILs are paying for your wedding, they get a say.  If you have a pot luck and ask your guests to bring food, then they have a say in what they bring.  You can make requests.  If you want exact control, then prepare the food yourself!

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2019, 07:27:25 AM »
SNIP

I phrased this poorly, I'll try again.

the gift is the wedding, not cash. @DadJokes had a cash gift and it was phrased that way. I think you sensed that, by saying If the gift...theres a wide spectrum here but in general most people are either gifted cash or gifted a wedding (typically phrased as the parents paid for it).

A wedding is an agreed upon gift that both parties will have input on and compromise until they find an acceptable arrangement. If no compromise is achieved the couple will elope or fund their own wedding. Once the gift has been freely accepted, much like any gift, its presumed that further compromise is unnecessary and no further changes will be placed. It is also presumed that the receiver won't complain, call the father stingy or blackmail for more.

In practice, this means that parents and children will discuss the wedding and they will design something both find acceptable. If its unnacceptable, it is the responsibilty of everyone to voice it. Its tough on a parent if the children elope after its all paid for, its tough on the children if they get a wedding they didn't want.

In the article, she didn't like the gift and complained.
Thanks!  I wasn't considering it from the perspective of the event itself being the gift rather than the money to fund the event.  Conditional gifts, new concept to me, thanks TGS.  All very interesting to think about.

I think that if ILs are paying for your wedding, they get a say.  If you have a pot luck and ask your guests to bring food, then they have a say in what they bring.  You can make requests.  If you want exact control, then prepare the food yourself!

A conditional gift generally shouldn't apply to after-the-fact behavior though. The person who pays for the wedding should have a say in terms of the guest list, the budget, and some of the tradeoffs, however they shouldn't be buying long-term control over the new couple. The influence should end when the wedding reception does.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2019, 10:18:00 AM »
SNIP

I phrased this poorly, I'll try again.

the gift is the wedding, not cash. @DadJokes had a cash gift and it was phrased that way. I think you sensed that, by saying If the gift...theres a wide spectrum here but in general most people are either gifted cash or gifted a wedding (typically phrased as the parents paid for it).

A wedding is an agreed upon gift that both parties will have input on and compromise until they find an acceptable arrangement. If no compromise is achieved the couple will elope or fund their own wedding. Once the gift has been freely accepted, much like any gift, its presumed that further compromise is unnecessary and no further changes will be placed. It is also presumed that the receiver won't complain, call the father stingy or blackmail for more.

In practice, this means that parents and children will discuss the wedding and they will design something both find acceptable. If its unnacceptable, it is the responsibilty of everyone to voice it. Its tough on a parent if the children elope after its all paid for, its tough on the children if they get a wedding they didn't want.

In the article, she didn't like the gift and complained.
Thanks!  I wasn't considering it from the perspective of the event itself being the gift rather than the money to fund the event.  Conditional gifts, new concept to me, thanks TGS.  All very interesting to think about.
I'm trying to think how many gifts I've received that were without conditions; its not many. The first condition is proper gratitude and then a certain level of appreciation. We consider that social customs, but if you fail to conduct the proper thanks you might not be getting a gift next year.

I've struggled with receiving gifts, I lack the ability to show appreciation at times. I've gone out of my way to ask people to stop giving me gifts, so that I'm not being rude after. I'd rather have nothing then; I don't want to be the spoiled kid who complains about a gift after. Now that I get very few gifts I'm able to appreciate each one more. With the few I get I'm an excellent receiver.

Christmas gift required being good, tooth fairy required you to exchange a tooth, halloween requires dressing up, a wedding requires you to yield control, a birthday requires proper gratitude etc. It all seems like normal behaviour but everything had a conditon that was just considered part of the tradition. Not all conditions are onerous, some are fun unless you really loved your baby teeth or hate dressing up.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2019, 02:52:54 PM »
SNIP

I phrased this poorly, I'll try again.

the gift is the wedding, not cash. @DadJokes had a cash gift and it was phrased that way. I think you sensed that, by saying If the gift...theres a wide spectrum here but in general most people are either gifted cash or gifted a wedding (typically phrased as the parents paid for it).

A wedding is an agreed upon gift that both parties will have input on and compromise until they find an acceptable arrangement. If no compromise is achieved the couple will elope or fund their own wedding. Once the gift has been freely accepted, much like any gift, its presumed that further compromise is unnecessary and no further changes will be placed. It is also presumed that the receiver won't complain, call the father stingy or blackmail for more.

In practice, this means that parents and children will discuss the wedding and they will design something both find acceptable. If its unnacceptable, it is the responsibilty of everyone to voice it. Its tough on a parent if the children elope after its all paid for, its tough on the children if they get a wedding they didn't want.

In the article, she didn't like the gift and complained.
Thanks!  I wasn't considering it from the perspective of the event itself being the gift rather than the money to fund the event.  Conditional gifts, new concept to me, thanks TGS.  All very interesting to think about.
I'm trying to think how many gifts I've received that were without conditions; its not many. The first condition is proper gratitude and then a certain level of appreciation. We consider that social customs, but if you fail to conduct the proper thanks you might not be getting a gift next year.

I've struggled with receiving gifts, I lack the ability to show appreciation at times. I've gone out of my way to ask people to stop giving me gifts, so that I'm not being rude after. I'd rather have nothing then; I don't want to be the spoiled kid who complains about a gift after. Now that I get very few gifts I'm able to appreciate each one more. With the few I get I'm an excellent receiver.

Christmas gift required being good, tooth fairy required you to exchange a tooth, halloween requires dressing up, a wedding requires you to yield control, a birthday requires proper gratitude etc. It all seems like normal behaviour but everything had a conditon that was just considered part of the tradition. Not all conditions are onerous, some are fun unless you really loved your baby teeth or hate dressing up.

Gift exchange is part of the social contract and depends a lot on location and culture. Reciprocity in a material form is not the only way a social contract can be expressed.

Ann

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2019, 12:27:24 AM »
A conditional gift generally shouldn't apply to after-the-fact behavior though. The person who pays for the wedding should have a say in terms of the guest list, the budget, and some of the tradeoffs, however they shouldn't be buying long-term control over the new couple. The influence should end when the wedding reception does.

Oh, absolutely.  A wedding and a marriage are two different things.  A wedding is an event and if you pay for an event, you have some influence.  A marriage is between two people. 

I think some people confuse “paying for the wedding” and “receiving a cash gift”.  You can’t count on cash gifts and shouldn’t plan your wedding around anticipating a large amount.

Although I admit it may be unclear as to which you are receiving.  Fungibility of money and all that.  I would be weary / clarify and pre-wedding gifts.

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SwordGuy

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2019, 01:09:53 PM »
I read Prudence's advice (the bride's question was to her).   It's reasonably sound but she forgot something really important.

Dear Bride,

Get your head out of your overly entitled ass.   The world does not owe you the bridal spectacle you desire.   Your parents and prospective in-laws do not owe you anything at this point -- you are supposed to be an adult and pay your own way in life.  You should be thoroughly ashamed of your behavior.

Dear Fiancee',

It is now time for second thoughts.  If your bride-to-be does not learn how to be a better person after this spectacular failure as a human being, you will be better off marrying someone else.  Marriage to a self-entitled ass is not fun, alimony and child support is even less so.

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Re: Stingy father won't pay more than $7500 for my wedding
« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2019, 02:21:21 PM »
I had a friend of my ex-wife spend 25k on her wedding back in the 90's.  At the wedding I commented that I gave the marriage 5 years.  Of course my ex was appalled.  But I could tell that anyone who wanted a ridiculous wedding would have a ridiculous marriage.  Especially since they couldn't afford it.