Author Topic: Wedding Blues  (Read 35687 times)

Dee 72013

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Wedding Blues
« on: July 29, 2013, 07:01:21 AM »
My son and his fiancé are planning a $25,000+ wedding next summer and are looking to us for most of the financial help with the cost.
My husband and I are on the same page with the wedding, it's impractical, indulgent and extravagant.
We want to be done helping out our son financially and instead want to speed up our retirement savings, pay off our house and be more financially secure overall. We're not getting younger and we are starting to resent their lack of concern for our future.
Are these over the top weddings the norm now? Are we mean in saying this is their dream but not ours? And Oh let's talk about the guilt..
We believe in helping your kids with food, clothing and shelter when they need help as an adult in an emergency but this is not a need but a want and we feel a selfish one at that. Are we wedding Grinch's? Would you suck it up and help or dig in your heels and stay firm?
We think the kids aren't taking this economy seriously and need instead to start off their future together financially secure.

HELP...

PolarBeer

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 07:12:59 AM »
That is expensive, but if they are both working, its well within what they can reasonably cover with savings and you should let them know that. My parents helped out donating a much lower amount for my sister's wedding which was also cheaper than that. I am not a fan of lump sums for assisting children, and if given they should be small. Maybe you can approach the subject by saying that you'd happy to give all kinds of assistance (financial and otherwise) even on a regular basis (in theory totaling to a bigger amount) but not for lavish spending on one weekend? That's an idea I think he would understand.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 07:22:09 AM »
Wouldn't be my thing, especially since DW and I didn't have one because it was a waste of money.  Ask yourself this, if your son asked you for $25k to buy a camaro would you consider that?   

If the answer is no to the car, then say no to the wedding, if yes then yes - both would be very generous GIFTS (not assistance) and if you so inclined the its your money. 

There really isn't a difference between buying a car and funding a wedding - actually the car will provide some utility over a long period of time, a wedding won't.  Its very easy to spend money that is yours.

I would much rather provide a down payment to a house or pay off some student loans he has them.

MissStache

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 07:23:03 AM »
(I'll preface this by saying that I think big, extravagant weddings are the MOST RIDICULOUS thing in the world)

Why are they looking to you for the cost?  Traditionally, it is the family of the bride that bears the brunt of the cost and the groom's family hosts the rehearsal dinner.   Can her family not afford it?  Did you tell your son that you would foot the bill for the wedding?  It seems strange that they would just assume you would pay for it.

Have you actually spoken to your son about what you think is reasonable and what you are willing to give them? 

Personally, I don't think you are obligated to give anything to them.  They are adults who are responsible for their own expenses.  Any amount you give them in generous and kind.

cerberusss

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 07:23:29 AM »
My son and his fiancé are planning a $25,000+ wedding next summer and are looking to us for most of the financial help with the cost.

My dad would laugh his ass off if I proposed him footing the bill for my wedding.

Is this normal in the US?

TrulyStashin

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 07:27:56 AM »
My son and his fiancé are planning a $25,000+ wedding next summer and are looking to us for most of the financial help with the cost.
My husband and I are on the same page with the wedding, it's impractical, indulgent and extravagant.
We want to be done helping out our son financially and instead want to speed up our retirement savings, pay off our house and be more financially secure overall. We're not getting younger and we are starting to resent their lack of concern for our future.
Are these over the top weddings the norm now? Are we mean in saying this is their dream but not ours? And Oh let's talk about the guilt..
We believe in helping your kids with food, clothing and shelter when they need help as an adult in an emergency but this is not a need but a want and we feel a selfish one at that. Are we wedding Grinch's? Would you suck it up and help or dig in your heels and stay firm?
We think the kids aren't taking this economy seriously and need instead to start off their future together financially secure.

HELP...

You are being entirely reasonable and any guilt sent your way should be immediately postmarked "return to sender."

In your shoes, I would like consider these options:

1) as the groom's parents, your only "obligation" traditionally is to host a rehearsal dinner and it is your choice how to do this and as the hosts, you get to decide whom to invite -- you can have a BBQ cookout in your backyard if you decide to, inviting only the wedding party, and Miss Manners would have your back.

2) tell these children that you will give them $_____ (decide what you can afford) as a wedding gift and they can spend it how they choose but that is all you will give.  Then stick to you guns, smiling the whole time.    "But, we need moooorrrreeee!"    should be met with a smile and a gently stated "I'm sorry, that's what we will do / have done."   Then walk away.

Any arguments as to what you SHOULD do can deflected with "Regardless . . . . "   I love this word because it stops an arguments in its tracks.

"But we need a two-story cake with raspberry frosting!"   

"Regardless, we've given what we could.  Good luck."

Decide what is right with you/ for you and then don't budge.   You're actually doing them a favor.



« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 07:36:24 AM by TrulyStashin »

MissStache

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 07:29:21 AM »
My son and his fiancé are planning a $25,000+ wedding next summer and are looking to us for most of the financial help with the cost.

My dad would laugh his ass off if I proposed him footing the bill for my wedding.

Is this normal in the US?

Yes, unfortunately.  Though I do think it is changing as people are getting married later and later.   

footenote

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 07:31:23 AM »
Wow - I'll just +1 all these comments.

You are under zero obligation to take a $25k ding to your net worth for a spendy wedding. Even tradition (assuming you take it seriously) only requires a groom's dinner from the groom's parents.

Honest Abe

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 07:31:57 AM »
$25k is actually very common for a wedding in the Northeast.

I would decide for yourself how much you want to contribute, tell your son you will give $xx.xx. Then let them figure the rest out. Hopefully they won't do anything devastating like spending like crazy and holding a huge credit balance that they can't pay off with the gifts they receive.



TrulyStashin

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 07:32:04 AM »
My son and his fiancé are planning a $25,000+ wedding next summer and are looking to us for most of the financial help with the cost.

My dad would laugh his ass off if I proposed him footing the bill for my wedding.

Is this normal in the US?

Yes, unfortunately.  Lavish weddings are a status symbol and quite often the parents pay with the bride's parents traditionally paying the whole cost except the rehearsal dinner.   It's ridiculous and here in the U.S. a whole industry has sprung up to "serve" these "needs."  There are also TV shows where four brides will compete with one another to see who can plan the "best" wedding.  Barf.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 07:33:35 AM »
For contrast, read about this young couple's idea of a perfect wedding.

http://2000dollarwedding.com/

MissStache

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 07:36:51 AM »
2) tell these children that you will give the $_____ (decide what you can afford) as a wedding gift and they can spend it how they choose but that is all you will give.  Then stick to you guns, smiling the whole time.    "But, we need moooorrrreeee!"    should be met with a smile and a gently stated "I'm sorry, that's what we will do / have done."   Then walk away.
Decide what is right with you and then don't budge.   You're actually doing them a favor.

Word.  When my sister got married, my parents wrote her a check for $3,000 and gave it to her at the beginning of the wedding planning.  Then they told her they would host the rehearsal dinner.  My sister's response:  "Thank you so, so much for this!  We really appreciate your generosity!"

And my parents certainly could have afforded more.  My sister knew it, but she also knew that they weren't obligated to give her anything. 

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2013, 07:59:50 AM »
We want to be done helping out our son financially and instead want to speed up our retirement savings, pay off our house and be more financially secure overall. We're not getting younger and we are starting to resent their lack of concern for our future.

Dee, how much does your son know about your financial situation?  I am wondering if he is acting under a false assumption.  If you haven't already, it might help for you to share with him how much is still owed on your mortgage and how much more money you and your husband need in savings to retire. 

I agree with you and other posters that expensive weddings are a huge waste of money.  If your son is expecting you to cover the bill, it makes me wonder if there is any past behavior that would trigger this.  I knew my parents wouldn't pay much for my wedding based on the financial support they had offered before that. (I'm not saying that they had to pay much for my wedding.  It was very nice of them to give me $2,000.  My point is that I knew not to expect it.) You didn't explain entirely how you supported your son financially previously.  If you helped your son in paying for his college education, you can explain to him that choosing to do so was an investment.  An over-the-top wedding is simply throwing money into a trash bin. 

LikeAHawlk

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2013, 10:07:19 AM »
Are these over the top weddings the norm now? Are we mean in saying this is their dream but not ours? And Oh let's talk about the guilt..
We believe in helping your kids with food, clothing and shelter when they need help as an adult in an emergency but this is not a need but a want and we feel a selfish one at that. Are we wedding Grinch's? Would you suck it up and help or dig in your heels and stay firm?

No WAY are you wedding Grinches! $25k is an outrageous amount to ask for no matter what, in my opinion. You and your husband are not a bank nor are you guys a charity. I understand your son asking for help - but twenty five thousand dollars to throw a six-hour long party is not "help."

Unfortunately, weddings are an entire industry unto themselves now.. it's scary how easy it is to spend that much on the event. $25k is the average American wedding now - as someone who got married last year that figure makes my eyes about pop out of my head. And when you're bombarded with all these reality TV wedding shows, wedding websites and blogs, and all the wedding ideas people put on Pinterest, it's really easy to become totally distanced from reality. Perhaps that's what happened with your son and his fiancee - they might be so caught up in all the excitement and possibilities of wedding planning that they're not in a state to think practically about finances and the reality of the situation. They might not realize how selfish and unreasonable their request truly is. A wedding, as special and wonderful as it is, is just one day. And a beautiful, meaningful, and perfect wedding CAN be pulled off for far less than $25k.

Perhaps what you and your husband can do is discuss what amount of money (if any) you would be comfortable and happy giving to your son and his fiancee to put toward their wedding. You can offer that to them as a gift, and to assuage any guilt you still feel (even though you shouldn't feel guilty at all!) you can offer to help with planning or any work that needs to be done on DIY elements of the wedding, like decor. There are an unbelievable amount of resources out there on how to have a lovely wedding on a small budget. And just like living frugally, not spending a lot of money on a wedding DOES NOT equate to giving up everything or doing without. A low-cost wedding is absolutely possible (and I'd argue, a lot more fun than an extravagant one.. sure is a lot less stressful!) when the focus is on the reason for the event. If at the end of the day, two people who love each other are married, then it was a good wedding.

rockstache

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2013, 10:11:47 AM »
My son and his fiancé are planning a $25,000+ wedding next summer and are looking to us for most of the financial help with the cost.

My dad would laugh his ass off if I proposed him footing the bill for my wedding.

Is this normal in the US?

Depends. My parents would have laughed at me too.

I have been to plenty of these expensive weddings in the U.S. (definitely the norm) but haven't yet attended one that was paid for by the parents. In my experience the parents generally pitch in with a stated dollar amount to either go towards something specific or just to the total bill. Maybe it varies by location?

FrugalZony

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2013, 10:36:36 AM »
I find it very inconsiderate of your offspring to EXPECT you to pay for anything.
Regardless of traditions of what Parents of Groom/Parents of Bride side ought to pay "traditionally".
I do agree with the "gift" idea, of saying, this is what we give you as a gift, you can choose how to spend it!

That said, I have always had a hard time to understand, why weddings here have to be such a ridiculous waste of money.
My parents were very disappointed that I wanted to have a small wedding and did not allow them to invite everbody and their brother
(I am from a small town, where everyone knows everyone). My Mum almost hosted a post wedding party, so she could
get her will to throw a party for HER friends....ok this is en entire story of it's own, I admit!!

Anyhoo, if they want to "start their lives together" by spending all that money they don't have! All the power to them,
but they should not count on spending your money on top of that!!

I think what matters is that YOU are feeling it's unjustified so you need to share that feeling with them.
And maybe while you are at it, have the "wasteful spending" and "how to stay out of debt" talk with them.
They can thank you later!!!

anastrophe

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2013, 10:44:55 AM »
My (soon) in-laws gave us $1,500 to help us with deposits, which was very kind as I had not asked them to do so. The total budget for our wedding was determined by the amount that we could pay without cutting into savings or going into debt, not by what The Kn*t or Martha Stewart or anyone else. Perhaps your children can spend some time thinking about their marriage goals and future together, and come up with their priorities that way. As for you, I agree you should say that you have X amount that you're willing to give, that they can use that however they want, but that's all there is.

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2013, 10:58:37 AM »
My husband at this point doesn't want to give a dime because it's so over the top.
We have money to help them pay the wedding in full but don't feel that it is teaching them to respect money. We have "bailed" our son out maybe one too many times when an emergency came up but this isn't an emergency.. this is a luxury and I would never ask my parents for such a thing.
My husband and I had a simple simple wedding that we paid for ourselves and so he reminds me that we did not have any help for ours and so he thinks they should start their journey paying for this together.
We think our son's fiancée  should get a part time job on the weekends to pay for the wedding also if she's not bringing in enough money.
We think we've been too helpful in the past and now they feel that we "owe" them.
Their behavior has become like that of trust fund babies and they don't want to wait for what they want.
It does strike us odd however that they have no expectations from her family, We don't know the financial situation with them but find it rude that she always looks towards us to help them.
Guess we're frustrated because we have our own life goals and dreams and they act like our life/ money/energy should be focused on them.
Our only goal/dream in life right now is to be financially secure that we can weather any storm that comes our way and that we can retire without worrying about money.We've refinanced our home to a 15 yr. note and we've taped an amortization chart on my desk  with the amount needed more monthly to pay off in 10 yrs.
We are so focused right now on staying on a true course of saving that we resent someone else (even if it's family) telling us what better way to spend our money.
We are happy that they are getting married but we don't feel they are acting as adults with this behavior.
The kids have no savings for emergencies and that scares me, they want to play and not pay or pay later and we're tired of being a safety net to their poor choices. We want to support this wedding but not "support" the wedding. I don't know if we gave them $1,500 if it would be appreciated.

N

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2013, 11:15:04 AM »
I think if you give them anything, it should be as a gift, and one that you would feel happy to give.
You say that you have given him money before and now it seems as if you resent it.
Boundaries can be difficult to set and keep, but they can be the key to a healthy relationship and less stress for you.

My parents didnt give us any money for our wedding. I think perhaps my dad gave us a few hundred dollars as a gift, at the wedding.
My husband and I paid for it ourselves, and it was about 3k, IIRC, possibly 4 if we include the rings.

I dont think parents OWE their kids big weddings.

willn

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2013, 11:31:04 AM »
My husband at this point doesn't want to give a dime because it's so over the top.
We have money to help them pay the wedding in full but don't feel that it is teaching them to respect money. We have "bailed" our son out maybe one too many times when an emergency came up but this isn't an emergency.. this is a luxury and I would never ask my parents for such a thing.
My husband and I had a simple simple wedding that we paid for ourselves and so he reminds me that we did not have any help for ours and so he thinks they should start their journey paying for this together.
We think our son's fiancée  should get a part time job on the weekends to pay for the wedding also if she's not bringing in enough money.
We think we've been too helpful in the past and now they feel that we "owe" them.

You and your husband, to your son and his fiance:  "We haven't done a good job teaching you about money in the past, and we are truly sorry for that, we wish we had done so.  Now, we'd love to help you start your life together, and here's what we can afford to give you: $X.  Now, to get that money, you're going to have to match what we put in.   After all these years of marriage, we believe you can start a great life with a modest wedding, and that you'll look back in a few years and realize we have some wisdom surrounding this plan, and you'll value the hard work you put into it."


footenote

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2013, 11:33:56 AM »
My husband at this point doesn't want to give a dime because it's so over the top.
We have money to help them pay the wedding in full but don't feel that it is teaching them to respect money. We have "bailed" our son out maybe one too many times when an emergency came up but this isn't an emergency.. this is a luxury and I would never ask my parents for such a thing.
My husband and I had a simple simple wedding that we paid for ourselves and so he reminds me that we did not have any help for ours and so he thinks they should start their journey paying for this together.
We think our son's fiancée  should get a part time job on the weekends to pay for the wedding also if she's not bringing in enough money.
We think we've been too helpful in the past and now they feel that we "owe" them.

You and your husband, to your son and his fiance:  "We haven't done a good job teaching you about money in the past, and we are truly sorry for that, we wish we had done so.  Now, we'd love to help you start your life together, and here's what we can afford to give you: $X.  Now, to get that money, you're going to have to match what we put in.   After all these years of marriage, we believe you can start a great life with a modest wedding, and that you'll look back in a few years and realize we have some wisdom surrounding this plan, and you'll value the hard work you put into it."
+1, although I would make it a convo with son only. You don't want to shame son in front of fiancee. (And I would make X pretty small; maybe $2,500.)

If he pitches a fit, smile, sigh and wish him the best. Btw, I too would be very annoyed if I had bailed out son multiple times and fiancee's parents are not being discussed as contributing. You are reasonable to contribute zero and generous to contribute anything.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2013, 11:36:00 AM »
Wow. That's a tough situation. I know of parents offering to pay that much (and more) towards weddings, but I've never heard of someone asking their parents to pay for a $25k wedding. That takes some guts! My parents offered to contribute, and when it came time to plan the wedding, we asked how much they were contributing. We assessed how much we could pay, and planned with that number in mind. When my parents saw some of the things we weren't going to have, they pitched in more because they wanted those things. Fine with us!

I suggest you come out and tell them (a) how happy you are that they're getting married, (b) how much you would like to contribute, and (c) help them with their budgeting / envisioning a less expensive wedding. I love www.apracticalwedding.com. It's a great way to stay grounded and fight the Wedding Industrial Complex's notion of a "normal" wedding. If they think outside the box, they can have a fabulous wedding for less than $25k. If someone sticks to the bridal magazines and the bridal stores, it's easy to think that there's no other option out there than the big country club, seated dinner, wedding.

That said, if you have certain expectations about their wedding, and they're not meeting them, I would be prepared to pitch in more to cover the costs of things you want or guests that you want invited.

Daleth

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2013, 11:59:23 AM »
My husband at this point doesn't want to give a dime because it's so over the top.
We have money to help them pay the wedding in full but don't feel that it is teaching them to respect money. We have "bailed" our son out maybe one too many times when an emergency came up but this isn't an emergency.. this is a luxury and I would never ask my parents for such a thing.... I don't know if we gave them $1,500 if it would be appreciated.

Bailing him out too much is, or was, a big problem and it's probably why he now has this entitled attitude. But I don't know that your best option is giving them nothing--presumably you are happy they're getting married and want to welcome this development and this woman into your family? I think you may be better served by giving them a much smaller but still substantial (i.e., at least $1000) amount.

Here's why: your son and his fiancee will feel a lot more aggrieved, and their friends/other relatives may actually think they have a valid reason to complain, if you give them nothing at all; such an act could be interpreted as almost hostile and at the very least unwelcoming.

But say you give them $2000 or $3000. That's a lot of money! That shows absolute good faith and willingness to welcome her to the family! I can envision your son whining to his friends--"My parents only gave me $3000"--haha, he'll sound like a brat to most people. Most people will figure you must have some financial reason not to have given more, which is totally excusable and understandable (especially since you guys are living frugally, not swanning around in a Ferrari). Whereas if his complaint is "my parents wouldn't give us a dime," most people will wonder if you guys are estranged from him or if you don't like his fiancee or something. In other words, I think you'll actually make your point more effectively if you give him $1k-$3k than if you give him nothing.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 12:01:46 PM by Daleth »

MissStache

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2013, 12:09:11 PM »
I don't know if we gave them $1,500 if it would be appreciated.

Wow, this makes me really angry!  How ungrateful.  I would feel the same way as your husband.

But, like Daleth pointed out, that could be taken the wrong way- not as an objection to the lavishness of the wedding, but as disapproval for the marriage. 

You need to talk to him and lay down the law.  They may scale it back bigtime when they find out you aren't paying.  And the sooner the better, because I bet they are already putting down deposits!

And be firm.  You may not have taught him good money management skills, but that lesson needs to be learned sooner rather than later.  Someone going into a marriage thinking that Mommy and Daddy will always come to the rescue is setting himself up for disaster. 

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2013, 02:21:06 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. We haven't said anything rude to hurt our son but feel this big wedding is more her than him.
We also haven't resented what we did in the past until now when it is looking like we will always be supporting him in some way.
We want them to make some sacrifices, grow together and learn that you can't have everything you want especially when you're in your 20's and just starting out.
I think the comment about good faith and giving 3,000 is a great idea, it sets the boundaries and they will look ungrateful if they complain about it.
I do know my son's fiancée loves him but she comes across like she just wants things from us and not a relationship with us that does hurt.
I want to support their marriage but the more I'm around her the more I want to donate our money when we pass to a charitable
organization. I've thought this Xmas of giving her a small gift and also a  nice donation in her name to a charity lol.

jrhampt

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2013, 02:36:04 PM »
I'm with everyone above.  You owe him nothing more in terms of support, and it sounds like you've already been over-generous in the past.  Might as well cut them off sooner rather than later, or compromise by giving a smaller amount. 

Maybe if you frame it in such a way that they know you need to save for retirement or you will be moving in with them in the future, they will not be as eager to spend your retirement money.

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2013, 02:42:00 PM »
I will butt in from the perspective of someone who had the ridiculous $25k wedding. Here are a few things to consider:

1) How many guests do you expect to invite? Think about the relative size of families, your family friends, your extended family that your son might not care about. If your kids feel an expectation to have a sit down dinner wedding, then consider about $50 per person for the basics (chair, table, food). My wedding had 200 people and only 20 were our friends. Most were our relatives or parents' friends.

2) This website might be helpful http://www.costofwedding.com/

3) I firmly believe that ALL weddings are a time for children to struggle with their parents for a last time to assert the rules of adulthood. With my parents it was my want to scale down the silly excesses of the wedding. With my husbands parents, it was even discussing money and negotiating the size of the guest list.

You are going to learn a lot about your son and his bride in the coming months as you negotiate the wedding. They will learn a lot about you. It will not be pretty, but I firmly believe it is necessary.

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2013, 02:50:16 PM »
When Son and his fiancée wanted to move into a new townhouse (rent) they had a few months left on lease and wanted us to "help" them move into this nicer place and lose 3 months on the old lease. We put our foot down and my husband hasn't had a good opinion of son's fiancée ever since. She recently told us that son needed some work done on his car and the dollar amount... Why tell us? He's over 21 and isn't that a priority over a lavish wedding?
So in addition to helping with the wedding she mentions that he needs close to a $1,000 work on his car.. Who else thinks she's rude??
Son's fiancée  spends $200 on a pair of jeans and they eat out five nights a week, take nice vacations, the list could go on but they don't plan for emergencies and we're over it.
Our son has lost sight of how he grew up and we're at the point of letting him ruin his credit, rack up his credit cards and let him fall on his own sword we really don't know what else to do. How do we save him before he gets financially to the point of no return?
I guess we  resent the fact that our son loves himself and fiancée more than us and our financial future.

willn

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2013, 02:54:26 PM »
I will butt in from the perspective of someone who had the ridiculous $25k wedding. Here are a few things to consider:

1) How many guests do you expect to invite? Think about the relative size of families, your family friends, your extended family that your son might not care about. If your kids feel an expectation to have a sit down dinner wedding, then consider about $50 per person for the basics (chair, table, food). My wedding had 200 people and only 20 were our friends. Most were our relatives or parents' friends.

2) This website might be helpful http://www.costofwedding.com/

3) I firmly believe that ALL weddings are a time for children to struggle with their parents for a last time to assert the rules of adulthood. With my parents it was my want to scale down the silly excesses of the wedding. With my husbands parents, it was even discussing money and negotiating the size of the guest list.

You are going to learn a lot about your son and his bride in the coming months as you negotiate the wedding. They will learn a lot about you. It will not be pretty, but I firmly believe it is necessary.
Great tips. And recognize that even though you might think your future DIL requests seem extravagant, there is extraordinary social pressure at work here.  The emphasis on making it "the most special day of your life" is huge. Her friends and the media are pushing her toward this fantasy and the pressure is very intense.  Show some compassion toward this and try to view her 'need' in that light, and view her requests which seem strong as perhaps evidence that she goes for what she wants, not necessarily being simply spoiled or looking to game you.   Frankly, 25K isn't on the high side for a wedding these days.

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2013, 03:03:02 PM »

But more and more it sounds like the OP doesnt want to spend 25 K on this particular woman's wedding.

As I said before, its about boundaries. Love isnt money. Money isnt love.
I do sometimes talk to my dad about my money issues, but Im not implying or asking him to help me out. If I was in an emergency, I would straight out ask him. If the fiancee sounds like she is implying something, you could call her on it. "Are you asking me for 1K to repair the car? We arent going to do that"

WRT to the wedding planning, Ask them straight up. How much are they planning to spend of their own money? How much is brides family contributing? Exactly what do they want from you? Then you have the facts and can decide accordingly.

I have a hard time trying to rationalize spending 25 THOUSAND dollars on a wedding. For one day. Its so absurd to me.
Saying its an average amount or there is society pressure is like rationalizing massive cc debt, leasing new cars every 2 years, being consumer sukkers, or any number of other non mustachian things.

Its your money. You saved it. Spend it how you want and according to your values.

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2013, 03:04:50 PM »

I guess we  resent the fact that our son loves himself and fiancée more than us and our financial future.

I'm sorry to hear that things have gotten to that point. If its any consolation, there are plenty of young people who are much worse off than him. I don't feel qualified to give advice about your situation other than say that I hope you can stay in touch with them and keep things civil and friendly. That's worth some sacrifice since its family (but not necessarily financial sacrifice beyond what you're comfortable with).

willn

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2013, 03:12:16 PM »

Saying its an average amount or there is society pressure is like rationalizing massive cc debt, leasing new cars every 2 years, being consumer sukkers, or any number of other non mustachian things.

Its your money. You saved it. Spend it how you want and according to your values.

Agreed, and my point isnt' to justify it, but that the best way to solve this isn't by being confrontational or coming at her judgmentally, but from understanding and compassion, then she''ll be receptive.  The OP sounds resentful and pissed and judgemental, and DIL is going get bristly with that. 

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2013, 03:25:42 PM »
I will butt in from the perspective of someone who had the ridiculous $25k wedding. Here are a few things to consider:

1) How many guests do you expect to invite? Think about the relative size of families, your family friends, your extended family that your son might not care about. If your kids feel an expectation to have a sit down dinner wedding, then consider about $50 per person for the basics (chair, table, food). My wedding had 200 people and only 20 were our friends. Most were our relatives or parents' friends.

2) This website might be helpful http://www.costofwedding.com/

3) I firmly believe that ALL weddings are a time for children to struggle with their parents for a last time to assert the rules of adulthood. With my parents it was my want to scale down the silly excesses of the wedding. With my husbands parents, it was even discussing money and negotiating the size of the guest list.

You are going to learn a lot about your son and his bride in the coming months as you negotiate the wedding. They will learn a lot about you. It will not be pretty, but I firmly believe it is necessary.
Great tips. And recognize that even though you might think your future DIL requests seem extravagant, there is extraordinary social pressure at work here.  The emphasis on making it "the most special day of your life" is huge. Her friends and the media are pushing her toward this fantasy and the pressure is very intense.  Show some compassion toward this and try to view her 'need' in that light, and view her requests which seem strong as perhaps evidence that she goes for what she wants, not necessarily being simply spoiled or looking to game you.   Frankly, 25K isn't on the high side for a wedding these days.

I understand the social pressure at work but I am pulled by wanting to help them and wanting to speed up retirement. My husband and I don't buy into social pressure, our cars are both over 13 and 14 yrs. old and plan to keep until the upkeep is too high.  My husband wants to retire in the next 10 years and that is my strongest wish I have right now. The kids have their whole life ahead of them and if they want this fairytale I think they should finance  the majority of it and see if it's worth it after paying off the wedding over a few years. How will they learn what is important if they don't experience the costs? I'll sound mean but I'm not Mother Teresa, we have been living very frugally to meet our goals and I'm having a hard time throwing it away. We aren't living that fairytale lifestyle... Have we really been pinching pennies... for this? We have told them about retirement in 10 yrs. but it's falling on deaf ears.

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2013, 03:29:28 PM »
When Son and his fiancée wanted to move into a new townhouse (rent) they had a few months left on lease and wanted us to "help" them move into this nicer place and lose 3 months on the old lease. We put our foot down and my husband hasn't had a good opinion of son's fiancée ever since. She recently told us that son needed some work done on his car and the dollar amount... Why tell us? He's over 21 and isn't that a priority over a lavish wedding?
So in addition to helping with the wedding she mentions that he needs close to a $1,000 work on his car.. Who else thinks she's rude??
Son's fiancée  spends $200 on a pair of jeans and they eat out five nights a week, take nice vacations, the list could go on but they don't plan for emergencies and we're over it.
Our son has lost sight of how he grew up and we're at the point of letting him ruin his credit, rack up his credit cards and let him fall on his own sword we really don't know what else to do. How do we save him before he gets financially to the point of no return?
I guess we  resent the fact that our son loves himself and fiancée more than us and our financial future.

While I am completely sympathetic with your point of view here, I want to caution you against creating a narrative of "she's an awful daughter-in-law."  That's essentially where this line of thought is going and it leads to a very bad place full of family strife and alienation.   Like it or not, your son is marrying her and it is in your best interest to learn to like her and get along with her.  She will likely bear your grandchildren and she will have a lot of input over your access to her home and grandkids.    You don't want to start out on a track toward alienation.

Recognize the following:

1) your son is just a culpable as she is -- both are behaving irresponsibly toward money;
2) what you've taught your son about money is part of the legacy here -- good, bad, or indifferent;
3) they are young and they will (hopefully) learn as they mature -- be patient;
4) decide what is the right money-boundary for you & husband without resentment or anger toward kids and then gently, but firmly, enforce it with a smile. 

It might help to also remember some of the obnoxious things you said/ did when you were in your early 20's (we ALL did it at some point over something!) and also to think of some good qualities in your son AND his fiancee.   Focus on these qualities as you hold your ground on the money stuff.

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2013, 03:34:30 PM »
snshijuptr and willn - I am firmly in Dee's corner here. She and her husband should make whatever offer of assistance they assess fits in their budget (with retirement her #1 priority). Period. (I still think urging them to match their contribution is brilliant. It's a lot harder to spend your own money than mom-and-dad's.)

It is not "necessary" to have the wedding be a "standing up to your parents" negotiation. Dee and her husband have supported their son beyond the point of prudence. $25k more for a wedding is throwing good money after bad.

Having said all that, handling it with good humor and patience, as TrulyStashin observes, is important.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2013, 03:50:37 PM »
If your son and his intended are old enough to get married, then they're old enough to pay for it themselves. I firmly believe that parents do not own grown adult children anything whatsoever, and your son needs a sit-down discussion with you regarding the fact that the Bank of Mom & Dad is officially closed. He's a big boy, and things like car repairs, emergency funds and big ass weddings are things that he is 100% responsible for.

I do think you should give whatever amount you feel comfortable with as a gift, but tell him that as much as you love him, he's got to start standing on his own two feet, and if that means scaling back big plans or putting off the wedding until such time as he and his intended can pay for it themselves, then that is something that needs to be discussed with his fiancee.

I'd also tell him that you're always there for hime to offer advice and to listen to him, but he's got to start figuring out things like budgeting and planning for emergencies and saving money for the future. That these things are exactly what you and your spouse are doing now, and you can't rob yourselves and your future to support his current lifestyle.

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2013, 03:52:34 PM »
When Son and his fiancée wanted to move into a new townhouse (rent) they had a few months left on lease and wanted us to "help" them move into this nicer place and lose 3 months on the old lease. We put our foot down and my husband hasn't had a good opinion of son's fiancée ever since. She recently told us that son needed some work done on his car and the dollar amount... Why tell us? He's over 21 and isn't that a priority over a lavish wedding?
So in addition to helping with the wedding she mentions that he needs close to a $1,000 work on his car.. Who else thinks she's rude??
Son's fiancée  spends $200 on a pair of jeans and they eat out five nights a week, take nice vacations, the list could go on but they don't plan for emergencies and we're over it.
Our son has lost sight of how he grew up and we're at the point of letting him ruin his credit, rack up his credit cards and let him fall on his own sword we really don't know what else to do. How do we save him before he gets financially to the point of no return?
I guess we  resent the fact that our son loves himself and fiancée more than us and our financial future.

While I am completely sympathetic with your point of view here, I want to caution you against creating a narrative of "she's an awful daughter-in-law."  That's essentially where this line of thought is going and it leads to a very bad place full of family strife and alienation.   Like it or not, your son is marrying her and it is in your best interest to learn to like her and get along with her.  She will likely bear your grandchildren and she will have a lot of input over your access to her home and grandkids.    You don't want to start out on a track toward alienation.

Recognize the following:

1) your son is just a culpable as she is -- both are behaving irresponsibly toward money;
2) what you've taught your son about money is part of the legacy here -- good, bad, or indifferent;
3) they are young and they will (hopefully) learn as they mature -- be patient;
4) decide what is the right money-boundary for you & husband without resentment or anger toward kids and then gently, but firmly, enforce it with a smile. 

It might help to also remember some of the obnoxious things you said/ did when you were in your early 20's (we ALL did it at some point over something!) and also to think of some good qualities in your son AND his fiancee.   Focus on these qualities as you hold your ground on the money stuff.

No you're right, We need to cool down a little and smile and tell them what we can/ cannot do and the rest is their problem not ours.
I'm buying into the guilt and it's stupid. I feel like we are in a power struggle with the kids and we all want to win and we are all going to end up losing. I feel like if we cave on the wedding then what's their next agenda for our money?

footenote

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2013, 04:14:03 PM »
Dee - "I feel like if we cave on the wedding then what's their next agenda for our money?"

If you want to take a break from supporting their financial needs, offering something in the neighborhood of $2,500 (10% of their "ask") could a strong signal that you are supportive of the wedding / fiancee, but not without limit. And it should be a good preview that the period of financing 100% of everything your son asks for help with, is over.

Come to a decision, communicate it with a smile and love and be at peace.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2013, 04:58:16 PM »
Here in Utah, $25K weddings are unheard of. A $5K wedding would be the bash of the century.  I spent less than $1500 on my wedding, and my dh's family kicked in another $300-400. 

I agree that you need to have a talk with your son. You don't have to lay out the details of your financial situation, just state what you can contribute. Let him know you are very happy for them and would be happy to help make floral arrangements or whatever so that the day will be lovely!  ;)

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2013, 06:06:00 PM »
FWIW, and I'm not trying to be critical in any way, but there's a chapter in "The Millionaire Next Door," I believe, that looks at the consequences of giving financial support to your kids.  It's personal for me, because my spouse's parents have always "helped" him and his siblings, and, as a result, they have come to expect and rely on this help constantly.  The results that I have personally experienced include overspending, indifference to what things cost, living well beyond one's means, and failure to plan (financially) for the future, racking up large debts only to be bailed out by the parents (multiple times), due, in  large part to the expectation of a substantial inheritance, and the continuous assumption/presumption that the parents' $ belongs to the kids to spend as they please, and not ever worrying about running out of money because they know that they can always get more from Dad & Mom.  In addition, all the siblings have a lack of initiative/urgency/knowledge when it comes to earning money or budgeting.

I have finally convinced DH to  operate under the assumption that his parents will leave everything to the neighbors' cats.  ;) Thankfully, he agreed, and we're making terrific progress -- in large part thanks to the terrific folks in the MMM community!

Good luck getting through this, and working through this situation.

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2013, 10:14:41 PM »
FWIW, and I'm not trying to be critical in any way, but there's a chapter in "The Millionaire Next Door," I believe, that looks at the consequences of giving financial support to your kids.  It's personal for me, because my spouse's parents have always "helped" him and his siblings, and, as a result, they have come to expect and rely on this help constantly.  The results that I have personally experienced include overspending, indifference to what things cost, living well beyond one's means, and failure to plan (financially) for the future, racking up large debts only to be bailed out by the parents (multiple times), due, in  large part to the expectation of a substantial inheritance, and the continuous assumption/presumption that the parents' $ belongs to the kids to spend as they please, and not ever worrying about running out of money because they know that they can always get more from Dad & Mom.  In addition, all the siblings have a lack of initiative/urgency/knowledge when it comes to earning money or budgeting.

I have finally convinced DH to  operate under the assumption that his parents will leave everything to the neighbors' cats.  ;) Thankfully, he agreed, and we're making terrific progress -- in large part thanks to the terrific folks in the MMM community!

Good luck getting through this, and working through this situation.

This is exactly what I'm afraid of, I want to focus on the next chapter of OUR lives and our goals. I don't want to sacrifice our future for someone else dream. I know that if we keep handing out money no one will "bail" us out when/if we need it.
I know someone that gave their kids so much money and then gave their grandkids money to the point that they lost their house, their security and you know what the kids didn't even shed a crocodile tear for their parents loss.

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2013, 10:22:17 PM »


Come to a decision, communicate it with a smile and love and be at peace.
[/quote]

Great advice, give what we decide and then let it go.

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2013, 10:26:38 PM »
Here in Utah, $25K weddings are unheard of. A $5K wedding would be the bash of the century.  I spent less than $1500 on my wedding, and my dh's family kicked in another $300-400. 

I agree that you need to have a talk with your son. You don't have to lay out the details of your financial situation, just state what you can contribute. Let him know you are very happy for them and would be happy to help make floral arrangements or whatever so that the day will be lovely!  ;)

Thanks! I would rather see them put 25,000 in a savings account, what's wrong with a 5,000 wedding and money in the bank??

Katnina

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2013, 12:43:20 AM »
Just chiming in late to the discussion, but I agree with most other posters.  It's time to focus on you and your husband.  Your son is an adult, he needs to stop acting like a dependent. 

My husband wants to retire in the next 10 years and that is my strongest wish I have right now. The kids have their whole life ahead of them and if they want this fairytale I think they should finance  the majority of it and see if it's worth it after paying off the wedding over a few years. How will they learn what is important if they don't experience the costs? I'll sound mean but I'm not Mother Teresa, we have been living very frugally to meet our goals and I'm having a hard time throwing it away. We aren't living that fairytale lifestyle... Have we really been pinching pennies... for this? We have told them about retirement in 10 yrs. but it's falling on deaf ears.

You don't sound mean AT ALL!!!  It is your hard-earned money and you don't owe them a big wedding.  Choose an amount that you feel comfortable with and tell them: we are excited for your marriage and want to help you start your new life together.  this is what we are giving you, we are giving it as a gift, but this is the end of our generosity, as we need to focus on our retirement savings so we won't be a burden to you when we are older. 

Then stand firm!  If they whine, complain, say you're mean, whatever, that is further proof that they aren't mature enough to handle large sums of money.  If they still want the big wedding, direct them to Lending Club.  I see loans on there all the time for wedding expenses & I'm happy to invest all the money I saved by eloping in other people's 10-15% wedding loans :).  Also, buy them a copy of Your Money Or Your Life, The Millionaire Next Door, or The Complete Tightwad Gazette as an engagement gift.  Maybe it will open their eyes to their ridiculousness.

You need to stop giving money to them, after the wedding, because if you keep giving in when they ask/demand/act entitled, they won't ever stop asking.  My sister has a friend like that and her parents took out 401(k) loans to finance their daughter's house purchase.....they are over 65 and unable to retire because their daughter feels entitled to their money,  first with a big wedding, then with the house she & her husband couldn't afford, then with fancy preschool for her kids...if you don't stop it now, it will NEVER end!

Stay strong!  Your son is a grown ass man, he needs to act like one.



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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2013, 07:13:58 AM »
Weddings are a tough question for the frugal-minded.  You have to walk a line between it's one of the most important days of your life and it's only one day.  No celebration is just as wrong (in a different way) as $25,000 that you don't have.  I always wanted a wedding, and I would've felt that I'd missed something if I hadn't had one; however, we spent less than $1000 on the whole thing -- by that, I mean dress, rings, reception, everything. 

I personally do not know anyone in real life who's spent this kind of money on a wedding. 

I understand that you're upset that he's making an outrageous financial decision, but try not to be angry with him about it.  Yes, he had a better example growing up, but he's still young and is just finding his way in the adult world.  Around him he sees lots of people his age who are overspending in multiple ways, and he doesn't realize that most of them who appear to be "living large" are actually digging themselves into debt.  It looks nice to have all that stuff, to do all those things -- he's tempted.

My suggestion:

1.  You and your husband agree on what you are willing to contribute.  Once you two have agreed, stick to this number.  OR decide what services you will cover:  For example, you might say that you'll pay for the rehearsal dinner and the photography, but nothing else.  In this case, I think giving a firm number might be the better choice.   
2.  Talk to your child (with or without the fiancée present?  I'm unsure.) and explain that you are concerned about his lofty expectations and spell out just how this one-day spending can affect the couple's financial future.  Offer what you have agreed to pay.  Be kind, but be clear and firm.   
3.  Never mention it again.  Whether he chooses to "go big" or be more practical, you have made your point.  No need to nag or say, "I told you so."  Whatever the couple chooses, be emotionally supportive and offer practical help where you can, but stick to the financial constraints you agreed upon earlier. 

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #45 on: July 30, 2013, 07:28:38 AM »
Dee, sorry to hear that you're going through these things. One thing I try to remind myself when I have to draw boundaries with other people is that their unhappiness with my decision isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure your son will be unhappy since his expectations are that you'll bail him out.  People are entitled to their (bad) reactions and, indeed, their push back can be a sign I'm doing what I need to do.  As a reformed people-pleaser, I find this perspective useful.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #46 on: July 30, 2013, 10:07:27 AM »

Son's fiancée  spends $200 on a pair of jeans and they eat out five nights a week, take nice vacations, the list could go on but they don't plan for emergencies and we're over it.
Our son has lost sight of how he grew up and we're at the point of letting him ruin his credit, rack up his credit cards and let him fall on his own sword we really don't know what else to do. How do we save him before he gets financially to the point of no return?
I guess we  resent the fact that our son loves himself and fiancée more than us and our financial future.

Wow. I think you are losing sight of the fact that you are his parents, and although you are not there to fix all his problems for him, you are his only parents -- the people that he  has depended on for 21 years in many ways other than financial ways. It makes me sad to think that you are just giving up on him without helping him understand his finances. (unless you have already taught him financial literacy and didn't mention this to us)

Although once we understand personal finances, being in a frugal environment certainly helps, learning about finances is not something that we absorb from our environment. I think that this situation presents you with a "teachable moment." A time when you can sit down with him (including or not including his fiancé) and, coming from a place of wanting to help them, help them learn about budgeting. Show them your plan, communicate to them what your timeline and concept of retirement means, show them your budget (if you have one) or help them figure out theirs. Give them some money towards the wedding (if you can afford it), to show that you support their marriage, and help them learn how to manage their money.

At 21, I was loathe to get any lectures from my parents, but I am open to learning from them when they talk to me from a non-judgmental point of view and actually offer assistance. (The advice from my parents that I loathe is the kind that isn't proactive. A prime example is my mom telling my sister that she should get more sleep, but not offering any insight into how she can achieve that when she has a FT job and two children. Or, when my mom told me that she thought I should focus on my career instead of having kids, instead of saying that she believed in me and offering suggestions on how I could manage having a career and a family.) If you come from a place of being helpful, not judgmental, then I hope that your son and his fiancé will be receptive. I think that reviewing your financial goals and your strategies for getting there might be a good place to start because it is offering practical solutions to the same issues that they face (income v. expenses).

Dee18

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #47 on: July 30, 2013, 10:59:49 AM »
If only MMM would have a book in print by the wedding so you could give it to your son and his wife as their gift...
Seriously, my parents gave $5,000 to my sister when she married and told her she could spend it on the wedding, the honeymoon or anything she wanted.  My sister  opted for a small wedding (12  guests) on an island where they wanted to honeymoon. I know my parents could have affordedmore, but they thought it was silly to spend a lot on a wedding---as my parents only had tiny wedding with punch and cookies afterwards.  (My parents did have a really fun, and more expensive, 50th anniversary party!)  I think the key is to be clear, and then to stick to your guns.  If you want to give them money, write a check and give it to them with a note.  If you want to host a rehearsal dinner, be very clear way in advance about the terms of that.  If you want them to pay all costs themselves, write them a nice note and enclose a copy of you and your husband at your own wedding. 

Then go along with whatever color scheme/style the bride wants for your dress at the wedding.  Smile at any showers, with a nice, modest gift.  And keep telling your son and his finace how confident you are that now they are getting married they get to decide how to handle their finances as a couple.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 10:55:28 AM by Dee18 »

Dee 72013

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #48 on: July 30, 2013, 11:32:28 AM »

Son's fiancée  spends $200 on a pair of jeans and they eat out five nights a week, take nice vacations, the list could go on but they don't plan for emergencies and we're over it.
Our son has lost sight of how he grew up and we're at the point of letting him ruin his credit, rack up his credit cards and let him fall on his own sword we really don't know what else to do. How do we save him before he gets financially to the point of no return?
I guess we  resent the fact that our son loves himself and fiancée more than us and our financial future.

Wow. I think you are losing sight of the fact that you are his parents, and although you are not there to fix all his problems for him, you are his only parents -- the people that he  has depended on for 21 years in many ways other than financial ways. It makes me sad to think that you are just giving up on him without helping him understand his finances. (unless you have already taught him financial literacy and didn't mention this to us)

Although once we understand personal finances, being in a frugal environment certainly helps, learning about finances is not something that we absorb from our environment. I think that this situation presents you with a "teachable moment." A time when you can sit down with him (including or not including his fiancé) and, coming from a place of wanting to help them, help them learn about budgeting. Show them your plan, communicate to them what your timeline and concept of retirement means, show them your budget (if you have one) or help them figure out theirs. Give them some money towards the wedding (if you can afford it), to show that you support their marriage, and help them learn how to manage their money.

At 21, I was loathe to get any lectures from my parents, but I am open to learning from them when they talk to me from a non-judgmental point of view and actually offer assistance. (The advice from my parents that I loathe is the kind that isn't proactive. A prime example is my mom telling my sister that she should get more sleep, but not offering any insight into how she can achieve that when she has a FT job and two children. Or, when my mom told me that she thought I should focus on my career instead of having kids, instead of saying that she believed in me and offering suggestions on how I could manage having a career and a family.) If you come from a place of being helpful, not judgmental, then I hope that your son and his fiancé will be receptive. I think that reviewing your financial goals and your strategies for getting there might be a good place to start because it is offering practical solutions to the same issues that they face (income v. expenses).

I hate the thought of my son falling on his sword but at this point he isn't getting it and a little tough love may make him wake up.
I loaned him the book about America's Cheapest family the Economides within the last year and he grew up with me reading The Tightwad Gazette and he would pick up the books and read them.
I would take him shopping with me when Penney's had the $10/$10 coupon and would explain to him how we should always use them because you can always by a pack of socks or underwear and only have to pay pennies in tax.
I've explained to him how you can buy a weeks worth of groceries for one night of dinning out.
I would make a game out of double coupon days and we would go as a family and buy toothpaste for ten cents etc. and as a teenager we would buy snacks with coupons so that when his friends came over they would have a few fun things to eat that cost next to nothing.
We didn't do the big stockpiles just a few of each item to have as backup.
Since we've bought this house I've asked him to go on Craigslist runs with me to pick up some used furniture, I would tell him the retail price if I could still find it in the furniture store's website and then let him know the price I would be paying used.
When he was a small child our best memory was going on bikes to the neighboring yard sales with a friend and her kids.
I've also told him that when he has kids I won't be spoiling them with boxes of birthday and Xmas gifts, they may get one gift from us and then some kind of savings bond, or money in a 529 for school, etc.
I really think I've tried to teach him by example, I want him to know that it isn't the things you have by the life experiences you enjoy.
We are trying hard not to hurt his feelings by showing our frustration but think any advice is falling on deaf ears.

nawhite

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Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #49 on: July 30, 2013, 01:53:03 PM »
Dee a few people have mentioned that you are getting fairly emotional about this and it is understandable.

The best advice from many many people so far is:

1. Be emotionally supportive of your son and his choice to get married.
2. As a way to show that support, give a no-strings-attached gift to your son and his fiancee for an amount of money you feel comfortable giving. $2500 has gotten a lot of votes here but it is up to you and your husband.
3. Explain to your son that this is a gift because you love him and support his marriage.
4. Thats it.

No more problems. No more worries about how your son is changing/not acting the way you raised him. No more worries about your future daughter-in-law's spending habits. No more worries about what type of wedding they are going to have. No more worrying about if they think you're a terrible person because you didn't pay more. No more worrying about what the other in-laws are giving. None of those problems matter any more.