Author Topic: Wedding Blues  (Read 35679 times)

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1886
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #50 on: July 30, 2013, 01:58:29 PM »
I think a lot of kids, in an effort to assert their independence, go a different way from their parents, at least for a while.  Not much you can do besides fret, and what good does that do?

Give what you're willing, with a smile, stop bailing, and enjoy the wedding.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #51 on: July 30, 2013, 04:32:10 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.

You know you're right, I've been stressing to hard about caving in so there's no hurt feelings, I think if we do more than what we want to smooth things over we will not enjoy this special time in our son's life.
Thanks to everyone that gave me feedback.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4946
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #52 on: July 30, 2013, 06:19:32 PM »
How much influence on the wedding itself do you expect to have (guests, events, etc)?

Or are you letting them plan all the details?

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #53 on: July 30, 2013, 10:53:03 PM »
How much influence on the wedding itself do you expect to have (guests, events, etc)?

Or are you letting them plan all the details?

I don't want to plan any details, this really is their day and I do want them to be happy but I also want to start putting my husband's happiness first and he really wants to retire in the next 10-15 yrs. in comfort and to me 25,000 could really help us achieve that goal. They want to spend that on one day and we could use that for almost a year when we retire.
I asked for under 15 guests so that we would not be taking away from the people they want to attend.
I read somewhere that the mother of the groom should wear beige and shut up.
I really don't care what their colors are, flowers, ceremony etc. I just feel like we are getting on a rollercoaster ride that we won't be able to get off of.
We are going to give 2,500 and see how that goes, I also worry what we don't pay will get put on credit cards and how do you did you self out of that much debt?

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #54 on: July 31, 2013, 06:40:23 AM »
Time to separate and dump the worry. Your plan sounds outstanding to me: give 2,500, smile, wear beige and participate cheerfully.

Junior is an adult now. If he and fiancee choose to go deeply into debt for a wedding, well, that's their first financial decision together as a couple. They will learn their lesson from that (a lesson I know you wish you had been able to teach him, but he obviously has not yet learned).

Time to shift the energy from worry to gleeful anticipation of a long, healthy and happy retirement!!

avonlea

  • Guest
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #55 on: July 31, 2013, 06:51:55 AM »
Time to separate and dump the worry. Your plan sounds outstanding to me: give 2,500, smile, wear beige and participate cheerfully.

Junior is an adult now. If he and fiancee choose to go deeply into debt for a wedding, well, that's their first financial decision together as a couple. They will learn their lesson from that (a lesson I know you wish you had been able to teach him, but he obviously has not yet learned).

Time to shift the energy from worry to gleeful anticipation of a long, healthy and happy retirement!!

+1

Dee, I totally sympathize with the mommy guilt (which comes mostly from the heart instead of head).  It attacks all of us mothers.  Ugh.  You are doing a great thing for your son!  If the mommy guilt starts gnawing at you, remember: reason over emotion.

DocCyane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Location: USA
  • Keep going. You're doing just fine.
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #56 on: July 31, 2013, 07:12:32 AM »
Fascinating conversation. Especially since I never dealt with wedding drama and parents. (Gay)

But my parents made one thing clear when my brother and I finished college. They were done with us financially. They had raised us and educated us, and now we were on our own.

In return, they would save up for their own retirement and not be a burden on us in their later years.

Twenty-five years later, this has all come to pass. My parents did not help us. My brother borrowed, but always paid back. I never asked to borrow. And now that they are old, they have plenty to care for themselves.

The OP should consider that aspect as well. Her son won't appreciate it now or possibly ever, but she and her husband need to strive for an independent retirement. And that means not giving in to Junior's tantrums now.

It's a shame the son didn't better absorb the good financial lessons he was exposed to. But my brother didn't either. Sometimes that's the way it goes.

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #57 on: July 31, 2013, 07:20:35 AM »
Time to separate and dump the worry. Your plan sounds outstanding to me: give 2,500, smile, wear beige and participate cheerfully.

Junior is an adult now. If he and fiancee choose to go deeply into debt for a wedding, well, that's their first financial decision together as a couple. They will learn their lesson from that (a lesson I know you wish you had been able to teach him, but he obviously has not yet learned).

Time to shift the energy from worry to gleeful anticipation of a long, healthy and happy retirement!!

+1 except for the "wear beige" part which I'll choose to take as a metaphor.  Ick.  Nobody looks good in beige.   Wear something that makes you feel fabulous and happy.

SnackDog

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Latin America
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #58 on: July 31, 2013, 07:22:17 AM »
We are getting married later today. I estimate total cost, including rings, to be a fraction of one days salary. And we couldn't be happier. (I am not including cost of a new pair of shoes as they are replacements for the pair with a massive hole under the toe which I have been wearing to work for years.)   Honeymoon will be three hours up the coast to our favorite spot. 

avonlea

  • Guest
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #59 on: July 31, 2013, 07:27:44 AM »
We are getting married later today. I estimate total cost, including rings, to be a fraction of one days salary. And we couldn't be happier. (I am not including cost of a new pair of shoes as they are replacements for the pair with a massive hole under the toe which I have been wearing to work for years.)   Honeymoon will be three hours up the coast to our favorite spot.

Congratulations, SnackDog!  Best wishes to you and your partner!

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #60 on: July 31, 2013, 08:10:36 AM »

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.

I grew up in a frugal household too, but just concentrating on saving money in these areas doesn't communicate the entire financial literacy picture -- about why you're saving all the money, what an actual hourly wage is (minus taxes, working expenses, etc.), compound interest, how liberating it will be to not have to work for every penny. How about a book or a discussion about that, instead of just how to save money? It seems like he might benefit from knowing why you do it, not just how you do it. But, he is 21 and IDK what your relationship is like. If my parents were to give me that advice at 21, they would need to think about how to present it so I wouldn't get defensive.

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2013, 08:22:22 AM »
We are getting married later today. I estimate total cost, including rings, to be a fraction of one days salary. And we couldn't be happier. (I am not including cost of a new pair of shoes as they are replacements for the pair with a massive hole under the toe which I have been wearing to work for years.)   Honeymoon will be three hours up the coast to our favorite spot.
SnackDog - Congratulations! Husband and I married on our lunch hours in judge's chambers. We just celebrated 28 years, so apparently spending tens of thousands isn't necessary for happiness. Thrilled for you - enjoy your special day.

CorpRaider

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
    • The Corpraider Blog
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #62 on: July 31, 2013, 08:49:17 AM »
The bride's family is supposed to pay for the wedding.  I wouldn't feel one twinge of regret at only paying what you're comfortable for the ceremony and reception.  Its already more than what is customary.  You could get into how their hosting the reception is small compensation for the foregone right of dowry and requirement of land and/or fortune.  Also, if someone needs to tone down the bride's enthusiasm for the lavishness of the event, it should be the people who let her watch all those disney movies as a child.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 08:59:40 AM by CorpRaider »

NumberCruncher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #63 on: July 31, 2013, 08:55:20 AM »
The bride's family is supposed to pay for the wedding.  I wouldn't feel one twinge of regret at only paying what you're comfortable for the ceremony and reception.  Its already more than what is customary.

If we were talking about her daughter's wedding, I still wouldn't change the advice. The whole "bride's family pays for this, groom's family pays for that" doesn't make sense to me.

CorpRaider

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
    • The Corpraider Blog
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #64 on: July 31, 2013, 09:03:29 AM »
Yeah, well maybe you would break with social convention on that, but you should expect to encounter a significant measure of opprobrium for breaking the norms of society on a sensitive issue, particularly coming from the groom's family if they're going to be imposed upon to pay for the wedding and your daughter is the one driving the expense.  If my daughter was in favor of a modest affair and the groom or his mother wanted a lavish affair, however, I think I would be justified in allowing them the privilege of paying for their party.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 09:05:53 AM by CorpRaider »

NumberCruncher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #65 on: July 31, 2013, 09:45:39 AM »
Yeah, well maybe you would break with social convention on that, but you should expect to encounter a significant measure of opprobrium for breaking the norms of society on a sensitive issue, particularly coming from the groom's family if they're going to be imposed upon to pay for the wedding and your daughter is the one driving the expense.  If my daughter was in favor of a modest affair and the groom or his mother wanted a lavish affair, however, I think I would be justified in allowing them the privilege of paying for their party.

No one should be forced to pay for anything, except for the bride and groom. It is their wedding. :)  Any gifts or financial support from the parents should not be expected.






AJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2013, 10:30:56 AM »
I think it is appropriate for the party making the demands to foot the bill. In many cases, those $25k weddings are such because the parents of the couple want it to be lavish, as it is a status symbol for them as well. We had an affordable wedding that we paid for ourselves, but if my mother had insisted on formal catering, lavish floral arrangements, and inviting all her friends then I would certainly have expected her to pay. However in this case, it's the happy couple that is wanting all the amenities.

It's hard for me not to be biased, but I can't help feeling like this young couple should be grateful that you are tending to your own retirement, regardless of monetary gifts you may or may not provide. Not only did I pay for my own college and wedding, I also co-signed my father's house, paid for my mother's inpatient rehab, and provided my father-in-law a stipend to live on while he was unemployed. At the time, we made less than the average US household, though we do make more than that now. My parents have made it clear that we children are their "retirement fund", and that raising us was their contribution and caring for them in old age will be ours. They have nothing saved and have no intention to do so. I would gladly trade DocCyane for the deal his parents made with him (which is awesome, btw, and I hope to one day have the same conversation with my children).

Perhaps hearing a few horror stories of children having to pay for their parents' shit would instill some gratefulness...

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2013, 05:49:14 PM »
We are getting married later today. I estimate total cost, including rings, to be a fraction of one days salary. And we couldn't be happier. (I am not including cost of a new pair of shoes as they are replacements for the pair with a massive hole under the toe which I have been wearing to work for years.)   Honeymoon will be three hours up the coast to our favorite spot.

Congratulations!! I wish you and your beloved a wonderful future together.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #68 on: July 31, 2013, 05:53:06 PM »
Time to separate and dump the worry. Your plan sounds outstanding to me: give 2,500, smile, wear beige and participate cheerfully.

Junior is an adult now. If he and fiancee choose to go deeply into debt for a wedding, well, that's their first financial decision together as a couple. They will learn their lesson from that (a lesson I know you wish you had been able to teach him, but he obviously has not yet learned).

Time to shift the energy from worry to gleeful anticipation of a long, healthy and happy retirement!!

+1 except for the "wear beige" part which I'll choose to take as a metaphor.  Ick.  Nobody looks good in beige.   Wear something that makes you feel fabulous and happy.

I agree I hate beige also and plan on asking son's fiancée  what she thinks is best for wedding but do feel that this is their special day to plan.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #69 on: July 31, 2013, 05:58:44 PM »
Fascinating conversation. Especially since I never dealt with wedding drama and parents. (Gay)

But my parents made one thing clear when my brother and I finished college. They were done with us financially. They had raised us and educated us, and now we were on our own.

In return, they would save up for their own retirement and not be a burden on us in their later years.

Twenty-five years later, this has all come to pass. My parents did not help us. My brother borrowed, but always paid back. I never asked to borrow. And now that they are old, they have plenty to care for themselves.

The OP should consider that aspect as well. Her son won't appreciate it now or possibly ever, but she and her husband need to strive for an independent retirement. And that means not giving in to Junior's tantrums now.

It's a shame the son didn't better absorb the good financial lessons he was exposed to. But my brother didn't either. Sometimes that's the way it goes.
This is how my husband feels also, we have raised our son and now it is time for him to stand on his own two feet. I think I'm the one that would like to do more but the older our son gets the more I see that my husband is right and he needs to take care of himself financially.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #70 on: July 31, 2013, 06:13:10 PM »
I think it is appropriate for the party making the demands to foot the bill. In many cases, those $25k weddings are such because the parents of the couple want it to be lavish, as it is a status symbol for them as well. We had an affordable wedding that we paid for ourselves, but if my mother had insisted on formal catering, lavish floral arrangements, and inviting all her friends then I would certainly have expected her to pay. However in this case, it's the happy couple that is wanting all the amenities.

It's hard for me not to be biased, but I can't help feeling like this young couple should be grateful that you are tending to your own retirement, regardless of monetary gifts you may or may not provide. Not only did I pay for my own college and wedding, I also co-signed my father's house, paid for my mother's inpatient rehab, and provided my father-in-law a stipend to live on while he was unemployed. At the time, we made less than the average US household, though we do make more than that now. My parents have made it clear that we children are their "retirement fund", and that raising us was their contribution and caring for them in old age will be ours. They have nothing saved and have no intention to do so. I would gladly trade DocCyane for the deal his parents made with him (which is awesome, btw, and I hope to one day have the same conversation with my children).

Perhaps hearing a few horror stories of children having to pay for their parents' shit would instill some gratefulness...
I can also relate to this, my family is from the generation that you take care of your parents. I am the opposite I want to be able to not ask kids for a dime and when I can no longer live at home I will happily go into assisted living. My husband wants to live in our home as long as we are able, my only condition to that is the luxury at 80-90 having someone come in once a week to help with the cleaning if I am not able to. I think a housekeeper once a week would be cheaper than assisted living. I think I see our potential earning years dwindling while my son and his fiancée are really still starting out. If we keep giving money away for non emergencies our window for earning is going to shrink and we won't get that time back to save enough needed for the rest of our lives. I guess my fear is that we are going to keep giving and giving then end up giving away our future.

FrugalZony

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1472
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #71 on: July 31, 2013, 06:22:50 PM »
Seems like you pretty much figured out what you want to do!
So when are you planning to talk to them about this?
Curious to hear how it goes!!

All the best!

tomatoprincess

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Location: Toronto, ON
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #72 on: July 31, 2013, 08:11:45 PM »
Fascinating conversation. Especially since I never dealt with wedding drama and parents. (Gay)

But my parents made one thing clear when my brother and I finished college. They were done with us financially. They had raised us and educated us, and now we were on our own.

In return, they would save up for their own retirement and not be a burden on us in their later years.

Twenty-five years later, this has all come to pass. My parents did not help us. My brother borrowed, but always paid back. I never asked to borrow. And now that they are old, they have plenty to care for themselves.

The OP should consider that aspect as well. Her son won't appreciate it now or possibly ever, but she and her husband need to strive for an independent retirement. And that means not giving in to Junior's tantrums now.

It's a shame the son didn't better absorb the good financial lessons he was exposed to. But my brother didn't either. Sometimes that's the way it goes.

Love this!

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3923
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #73 on: August 01, 2013, 12:53:58 AM »
Hi Dee,

I'm a kid. 24 years old, and my parents are a lot like you - frugal, careful, and generous when it comes to the kids! This is a tricky thing.

My mom won't buy herself a $200 jacket, but she'll buy me one. Yes, she can afford it, and it makes her happy to buy me things once in a while. But it creates habits in me: I know that 50% of the time, if I say "I really wish I had a leather jacket. Oh well, can't afford one right now" she will derive great pleasure in buying it for me. Expand this example, and perhaps your son is not jumping to pay for his own wedding, because he figures mom would just love to - especially if mom has a habit of being generous where the kids are concerned. If my mom won't buy me the jacket, I'll gladly do without - but I'm not going to say no if she offers!

I realize your situation is different, but I was hoping to shed some light on the matter from a "spoiled" kid's point of view. Here are this that help me stay grounded:

-my mom draws the line. She won't pay money for things all the time. Only when SHE wants to. Sometimes she says yes, sometimes she says no.

-my mom supports me in so many other ways. She won't give me handouts of money, but she'll bake me a pie or make sure I'm comfortable when I visit. There are so many ways to show love and support - perhaps for you that could mean offering to help DIY aspects of the wedding to cut costs? Are you crafty? :)

-my mom lectures me about money and the importance of saving. I hate it, but it sinks in. Sorta.

-watching Gail Vaz Oxlade's shows (til debt do us part, princess, and money moron) taught me so much about money, and helped me see how badly I never want to be in debt!! Watch the show when your son is over :)

-I echo the sentiment about maintaining a good relationship wih your future DIL. if your son has to choose between you and her, do the math... She will likely be in his life longer and have a greater affect on his day to day living. Be careful there, and make it so he doesn't have to choose. Try to respect her, and realize that she is a victim of the wedding industry :(

-If you feel selfish about not paying for their wedding, think about it this way instead: it is very generous of you to not make them pay for your old age expenses! You're thinking of their future, and if they can't see it that way now, maybe they will one day.

Good luck, Dee! You sound like a very caring mamma, and of course you want the best for your child. I think a little tough love will earn you respect over time. I love when my mom pays for things, and I may do a teeny grumble when she says no sometimes, but it makes me respect her and admire her values. It's not yes yes yes all the time. She weighs things carefully. I tried asking her if she and dad had ever considered contributing to my future wedding, and she replied "Your dad and I paid for our wedding..." So maybe remind your son that any expectation he had were concocted by his own mind, and you had made no promises. Good luck!!! It's hard being a mom, and you want your child to grow up with things you never had, but also not be a brat. You can do it! Read stuff by Gail Vaz Oxlade. She gets it.

**Please don't think I'm a spoiled brat! :) I help my parents in many ways, spoil them on bdays and Xmas, and call and visit often. I love them and help on their farm, and I realize they are very generous and I am very privileged. It's a slippery slope, though! Parents gotta be firm.

Sorry this was so long!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 12:57:17 AM by libraryjoy »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8366
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #74 on: August 01, 2013, 05:26:20 AM »
Your children will keep coming to the well until the well runs dry. We told my husband's three daughters that we had set aside $10,000 each for their weddings, but that they could use the money instead for education. (We also paid for 4 years of undergraduate at state schools.) One used most of the 10k for a fifth year of undergraduate, the other two used the money for their masters. Wedding time came and we happily wrote what remained out as a check. Not a peep from any of them. We have great relationships with all three and they are all quite good with money. I think they see that we live a life that is congruent with our principles, that we never worry about keeping up with the Joneses, and that the result for us is a happy life.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #75 on: August 01, 2013, 04:36:07 PM »
Seems like you pretty much figured out what you want to do!
So when are you planning to talk to them about this?
Curious to hear how it goes!!

All the best!
Thank you!

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #76 on: August 01, 2013, 05:02:07 PM »
Hi Dee,

I'm a kid. 24 years old, and my parents are a lot like you - frugal, careful, and generous when it comes to the kids! This is a tricky thing.

My mom won't buy herself a $200 jacket, but she'll buy me one. Yes, she can afford it, and it makes her happy to buy me things once in a while. But it creates habits in me: I know that 50% of the time, if I say "I really wish I had a leather jacket. Oh well, can't afford one right now" she will derive great pleasure in buying it for me. Expand this example, and perhaps your son is not jumping to pay for his own wedding, because he figures mom would just love to - especially if mom has a habit of being generous where the kids are concerned. If my mom won't buy me the jacket, I'll gladly do without - but I'm not going to say no if she offers!

I realize your situation is different, but I was hoping to shed some light on the matter from a "spoiled" kid's point of view. Here are this that help me stay grounded:

-my mom draws the line. She won't pay money for things all the time. Only when SHE wants to. Sometimes she says yes, sometimes she says no.

-my mom supports me in so many other ways. She won't give me handouts of money, but she'll bake me a pie or make sure I'm comfortable when I visit. There are so many ways to show love and support - perhaps for you that could mean offering to help DIY aspects of the wedding to cut costs? Are you crafty? :)

-my mom lectures me about money and the importance of saving. I hate it, but it sinks in. Sorta.

-watching Gail Vaz Oxlade's shows (til debt do us part, princess, and money moron) taught me so much about money, and helped me see how badly I never want to be in debt!! Watch the show when your son is over :)

-I echo the sentiment about maintaining a good relationship wih your future DIL. if your son has to choose between you and her, do the math... She will likely be in his life longer and have a greater affect on his day to day living. Be careful there, and make it so he doesn't have to choose. Try to respect her, and realize that she is a victim of the wedding industry :(

-If you feel selfish about not paying for their wedding, think about it this way instead: it is very generous of you to not make them pay for your old age expenses! You're thinking of their future, and if they can't see it that way now, maybe they will one day.

Good luck, Dee! You sound like a very caring mamma, and of course you want the best for your child. I think a little tough love will earn you respect over time. I love when my mom pays for things, and I may do a teeny grumble when she says no sometimes, but it makes me respect her and admire her values. It's not yes yes yes all the time. She weighs things carefully. I tried asking her if she and dad had ever considered contributing to my future wedding, and she replied "Your dad and I paid for our wedding..." So maybe remind your son that any expectation he had were concocted by his own mind, and you had made no promises. Good luck!!! It's hard being a mom, and you want your child to grow up with things you never had, but also not be a brat. You can do it! Read stuff by Gail Vaz Oxlade. She gets it.

**Please don't think I'm a spoiled brat! :) I help my parents in many ways, spoil them on bdays and Xmas, and call and visit often. I love them and help on their farm, and I realize they are very generous and I am very privileged. It's a slippery slope, though! Parents gotta be firm.

Sorry this was so long!

Thank you, I don't think you are a spoiled brat.. just loved by your parents also. I love Gail Vaz Oxlade shows and have read all her books.
When I feel like I need motivation .. almost like a diet I read books, blogs, etc. on how to save money. It really keeps me focused. I try to see how long I can go without buying something. Watching Gail's show has taught me to keep a money journal and I record everything I spend for the month and then compare to previous months to make me more accountable with our money.
 I really do try to respect my son's fiancée but she comes across not wanting a relationship with us but a relationship with our money. She asks us inappropriate questions about our finances  that really cross the line. We've been going thru a power struggle for a while now and I did talk to my son and asked him why his fiancée is so interested in our money? I have never been disrespectful of what they do. I quietly disapprove and I am worried but I am not vocal. We do not buy much for ourselves now but when we do our son's fiancée  acts like we are taking money out of her pocket or food out of her mouth. She brings it to our attention when our son needs work done on his car or even a new pair of shoes.
The perception she gives us is that we need to take care of their no nonsense bills and free up their money for other things.
We have to maintain our vehicles too, it's a fact of life. You have to be responsible for the things you own, I don't want to maintain their cars, etc.
 I appreciate being able to vent over this issue here it makes it easier to shut my mouth and just smile.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #77 on: August 01, 2013, 07:32:00 PM »
Comments above share a lot of my thoughts.

Your son is expecting way too much. He needs to face reality.

My wedding cost about $5,000. I held it in the south where prices are cheaper. I held it during the day and hired a DJ (not a band). If I were to get married today, I would get married on the beach (cheap location) and have a BBQ at my house or a rented larger house (which would still be cheaper than a regular hall or B&B). I would also wear a simple non-wedding wedding dress and bypass the "wedding" store. My dress was $300. Ghastly to us, I know. For a wedding dress, that is cheap.

I've noticed that places tend to charge more once they hear the word "wedding."


Kirk1D12

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • Wedding Ideas
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #78 on: August 05, 2013, 06:43:20 AM »
I feel this is really expensive wedding budget your son had planned. If they both are working then also spending such amount in wedding is not so good idea. Instead it will be better if you Guys can present some expensive gift to them.. You can use various wedding inspirations for the wedding which can make the wedding amazing and not expensive too.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #79 on: August 05, 2013, 03:19:23 PM »
Comments above share a lot of my thoughts.

Your son is expecting way too much. He needs to face reality.

My wedding cost about $5,000. I held it in the south where prices are cheaper. I held it during the day and hired a DJ (not a band). If I were to get married today, I would get married on the beach (cheap location) and have a BBQ at my house or a rented larger house (which would still be cheaper than a regular hall or B&B). I would also wear a simple non-wedding wedding dress and bypass the "wedding" store. My dress was $300. Ghastly to us, I know. For a wedding dress, that is cheap.

I've noticed that places tend to charge more once they hear the word "wedding."

I agree the minute the word wedding or funeral is used... empty out your wallet because the salespeople are playing with your emotions and try to  get you to buy into the perfect wedding or you need to spend $$ on a silk casket or you didn't love your departed enough.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #80 on: August 05, 2013, 03:26:48 PM »
I feel this is really expensive wedding budget your son had planned. If they both are working then also spending such amount in wedding is not so good idea. Instead it will be better if you Guys can present some expensive gift to them.. You can use various wedding inspirations for the wedding which can make the wedding amazing and not expensive too.

 I worry about the cost because they really could use the money repairing their vehicles or purchasing some new/used ones, building a nest egg for emergencies. I would rather help them with $ for a house fund and I keep thinking of that also. I have been thinking of ways to support them without paying for the wedding. Thanks!

penny

  • Guest
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #81 on: August 05, 2013, 05:37:41 PM »
Sounds like you've gotten some great advice. I come from an area that $25,000 are common, but I have to say, although there may be some expectation that the bride's parents chip in, it is completely unheard of to expect the groom's parents to pay. Frankly these days the couple seems to pay, and if they are lucky get a gift along the way from their parents. Just stick to your gut and don't think twice about any guilt- even the dozens of Bridezilla's I've meet would think your son and his lady need to come back down to earth with their expectations.

MrsStubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #82 on: August 05, 2013, 07:17:25 PM »
Dee - Congratulations on your son's upcoming wedding!    I know you are already making your decisions about what to do to help your son and his wife-to-be but I just wanted to say stay strong and firm.  You kids need your love, not your money.  If they can't tell the difference then they need to learn the lesson the hard way.  I know MMM doesn't have a book, but sometimes it's not bad to start with the idiot's guides books (Suze Orman comes to mind for habitual spenders but there's a bunch of good ones out there).

If you decide to give them gifts in the future for something (which you are not under any obligation to do!!!) I suggest you give them matching gifts for worthwhile purchases to incent them to save.  You save $30k to put as a downpayment on a house... i will give you another 10k, or 5k, or whatever you like.   Otherwise you may just want to wait until they have kids and open college savings or kids investment accounts for them that you can manage. 

My parents taught me that lesson.  I picked a stupid-expensive out of state school for no reason except it was out of state and they told me if i decided to go out of state i was on my own but if i went in state they would help pay for some of the costs.  I learned the hard way ( 1 year out of state that i paid for, 3 years in state that they helped me with), but i never forgot the lesson of paying for my decisions.

Congrats again on the wedding and I hope you upcoming retirement! Looking forward to hearing how it all turns out.  (And wear any color clothes you want - just don't match the bridesmaids, the bride, or the mother of the bride!).   

Dee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 752
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #83 on: August 05, 2013, 08:19:13 PM »
I'm going to chime in with the crowd that says funding your own retirement is a much greater gift than funding a wedding for your kids. My mom is aging and having some health issues and I'm trying to help in various ways (such as accompanying her to appointments, keeping an eye on her bank accounts and doing her banking, etc.) and I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I don't have to worry too much about funds. The fact that she fully funded her retirement (with the help of an inheritance she received from an older sibling to whom I am also very grateful) takes loads and loads of stress off my mind. I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am to not have to take on the added difficulty of footing any bills in her old age. Her growing old is stressful enough for both of us as it is!

tomsang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #84 on: August 11, 2013, 11:01:57 AM »
Thanks for posting this. With four kids who are under 16, this has been a topic that has been discussed.  How is your relationship with your son?  If you let him know your feelings will he be able or want to communicate to his future wife this in a constructive and family conducive manner?  Do you feel like he is mature enough to be getting married?  It seems like taking him out for a beer and talking about the facts of life are important.

You sound like you want to have a better relationship with his future wife, yet don't want to intrude in the wedding planning. Is there a way to say that paying for their wedding was not in your budget, that you can sacrifice your future and help out by contributing $2,500, and help out with planning, setup, and negotiations to keep their costs low.  Ie you are willing to give your time, but not your money.  If she/they accept, then you get to know her better, and you get to see the cost to value of decisions being made. You also can show them that a wedding is not about how much you spend, but on bringing friends and family together for a special event.

Good luck with that!

P.S. At the Seattle meetup, MMM hinted on a book coming out for Christmas?  Not sure how many beers he had, but I will be buying a case if that is accurate.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #85 on: August 11, 2013, 02:26:41 PM »
Dee - Congratulations on your son's upcoming wedding!    I know you are already making your decisions about what to do to help your son and his wife-to-be but I just wanted to say stay strong and firm.  You kids need your love, not your money.  If they can't tell the difference then they need to learn the lesson the hard way.  I know MMM doesn't have a book, but sometimes it's not bad to start with the idiot's guides books (Suze Orman comes to mind for habitual spenders but there's a bunch of good ones out there).

If you decide to give them gifts in the future for something (which you are not under any obligation to do!!!) I suggest you give them matching gifts for worthwhile purchases to incent them to save.  You save $30k to put as a downpayment on a house... i will give you another 10k, or 5k, or whatever you like.   Otherwise you may just want to wait until they have kids and open college savings or kids investment accounts for them that you can manage. 

My parents taught me that lesson.  I picked a stupid-expensive out of state school for no reason except it was out of state and they told me if i decided to go out of state i was on my own but if i went in state they would help pay for some of the costs.  I learned the hard way ( 1 year out of state that i paid for, 3 years in state that they helped me with), but i never forgot the lesson of paying for my decisions.

Congrats again on the wedding and I hope you upcoming retirement! Looking forward to hearing how it all turns out.  (And wear any color clothes you want - just don't match the bridesmaids, the bride, or the mother of the bride!).

Wish MMM had a book and also a reality show, something to sit down and watch with my son and his fiancée. I still watch Suze Orman and other shows on money just to stay motivated and on track. Thanks for advice on wedding colors. hoping to have a good update in the future!

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #86 on: August 11, 2013, 02:28:03 PM »
Sounds like you've gotten some great advice. I come from an area that $25,000 are common, but I have to say, although there may be some expectation that the bride's parents chip in, it is completely unheard of to expect the groom's parents to pay. Frankly these days the couple seems to pay, and if they are lucky get a gift along the way from their parents. Just stick to your gut and don't think twice about any guilt- even the dozens of Bridezilla's I've meet would think your son and his lady need to come back down to earth with their expectations.
Thanks! I appreciate all the support!!

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #87 on: August 11, 2013, 02:32:03 PM »
I'm going to chime in with the crowd that says funding your own retirement is a much greater gift than funding a wedding for your kids. My mom is aging and having some health issues and I'm trying to help in various ways (such as accompanying her to appointments, keeping an eye on her bank accounts and doing her banking, etc.) and I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I don't have to worry too much about funds. The fact that she fully funded her retirement (with the help of an inheritance she received from an older sibling to whom I am also very grateful) takes loads and loads of stress off my mind. I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am to not have to take on the added difficulty of footing any bills in her old age. Her growing old is stressful enough for both of us as it is!
I agree with you and I want to be prepared if we have any health issues that could also drain our retirement. I want the kids to be happy and start out their life knowing that we love them and wish the best for them but I also want them to realize they need to start out their married life on more solid ground financially.

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #88 on: August 11, 2013, 02:58:14 PM »
Thanks for posting this. With four kids who are under 16, this has been a topic that has been discussed.  How is your relationship with your son?  If you let him know your feelings will he be able or want to communicate to his future wife this in a constructive and family conducive manner?  Do you feel like he is mature enough to be getting married?  It seems like taking him out for a beer and talking about the facts of life are important.

You sound like you want to have a better relationship with his future wife, yet don't want to intrude in the wedding planning. Is there a way to say that paying for their wedding was not in your budget, that you can sacrifice your future and help out by contributing $2,500, and help out with planning, setup, and negotiations to keep their costs low.  Ie you are willing to give your time, but not your money.  If she/they accept, then you get to know her better, and you get to see the cost to value of decisions being made. You also can show them that a wedding is not about how much you spend, but on bringing friends and family together for a special event.

Good luck with that!

P.S. At the Seattle meetup, MMM hinted on a book coming out for Christmas?  Not sure how many beers he had, but I will be buying a case if that is accurate.

We have a pretty good relationship with our son but feel the relationship with our future daughter-in law is deteriorating. I don't know if my son has told her in passing what our financial situation is and so she believes us to have the money to pay for the wedding because it will be no hardship to us. We want to help with the wedding in some way but don't want to pay for it all and then there is the comments on the honeymoon. It is my husband and my perception that she wants us to cover that as well. We keep thinking 10% of costs shows them our support but also tells them they have to earn the rest or cut some costs. We are trying to butt out but don't feel they are financially ready to be married and that worries us. They want a wedding they can't afford and after the wedding, what next? We are still young enough and not charitable enough to want to give them this lifestyle they want. I guess to sum it up We haven't been living a frugal lifestyle to give them an extravagant lifestyle. If they want to live that way then they need to find the ways and means in which to do so. Guess we are not sharing our opinion like we probably should because if we are openly critical of the wedding we think she will assume it's because we don't want our son to marry her and that's not the case.
I'm with you on hoping MMM puts out a book this year, that would be awesome!

homeymomma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #89 on: August 12, 2013, 09:19:17 AM »
You seem very aggressive toward your daughter-in-law to be. Remember that one day she will be the mother of your grandbabies and will have control of when you get to see both them and your son. As someone who has a VERY strained relationship with my own mother-in-law, I can say from experience that you will not be the winners there.

If you have the money - go ahead and help them out with a large fixed expense, say, the venue or the catering. Then they will have the get down into the nitty gritty to budget for the rest of it themselves. Also, have you actually come out and said, "we expect you to pay for this, even though we set the budget of 25K?" Are you maybe reading into things a little bit? Maybe they are expecting some help from you, but not the full amount. It's easy to get carried away with assumptions.

Also, on the practical side, we live in a very high COL area, but decided to have the wedding locally to accommodate most guests who were local. We had small ($1000-2000) contributions from a couple parents, and one parent covered all the catering. We are pretty frugal people but we still ended up spending about 14,000 on our 60 person wedding, NOT including the catering. Wedding are expensive. Also don't forget that if you don't pay - you don't get a say! If you decide not to pay a decent amount, you do not get to produce your own 30 person guest list.

Good luck. Weddings seem to always be stressful. I hope you all make it though with your relationships intact.

Iron Mike Sharpe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #90 on: August 12, 2013, 09:39:33 AM »
Sounds like they need to be given the book The Millionaire Next Door to read.  That is the best gift you can give them.

CheckEngineLight

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #91 on: August 12, 2013, 11:02:02 AM »
Very interesting post, I will add my two cents to this.

First of all a 25k wedding is peanuts outside of the MMM world.  I am not sure where most of you live, but 25k for a wedding in a major north american city is just scratching the surface (it's on the low end).

I don't think the cost of the wedding OP's kids have in mind would be lavish or extravagant, that's the simple math if you have 150ish people at $100+/plate (going rate, can go up to $300/plate if you want lavish), photographer, video, dress, suit, transportation, honeymoon, etc.

Living the nightmare right now and marrying into a Greek family we are making the best of it, however certain traditions in different cultures require some things that can be quite costly.  Yes the wedding is for bride and groom, but you also have to satisfy your guests, especially your family.  That’s just how it goes, it’s not just penny pinching at the expense of awkward situations and damaging relationships (yes some people are shallow, but this is life, enjoy your stay and make the best of it).

Having said all of that, $25k is not unreasonable for a wedding, what is unreasonable is the request for money.  Something leads me to believe your son is probably pretty young and naïve.  I think you should just have a sit down with both of them and explain that you are getting older you are uncertain of your employment, yadda yadda yadda and you can’t afford to pay anywhere near the requested amount and you should probably throw it out there that they really should stop throwing out money requests, that’s ridiculous, I’d be ashamed personally.

As a parent you should help because you want to help him, not because you feel obligated.  No point to give $2500 if it will not be appreciated, end results will be same.  On the flip side if they see the costs adding up and they change their outlook, etc then offer some help.  Are the bride's parents helping, I don't understand why they are only asking you for financial help?

Let them fall on their ass, this attitude can’t be changed verbally, it will only be through time and hitting “rock bottom” if you will. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 11:08:44 AM by CheckEngineLight »

CheckEngineLight

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #92 on: August 12, 2013, 11:04:37 AM »
Sounds like they need to be given the book The Millionaire Next Door to read.  That is the best gift you can give them.

Based on what OP has posted they would probably scoff at that, they are too young/imature appreaciate a book like that at the moment.  Been there done that.

Hunny156

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 461
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #93 on: August 12, 2013, 12:23:42 PM »
We lived in the Northeast when we got married, and I knew what the "expectation" was.  I tried very hard, and couldn't plan a wedding in the $25K range that wouldn't be criticized by family.  That was 12 years ago.

My parents could have afforded the pay the whole thing, but they felt it was a 50/50 thing, and hubby's parents weren't financially able to give much.  Didn't matter, hubby & I really didn't see the reason to spend so much money on a 5 hour party.

My MIL had an amazingly long guest list of every person she ever met.  We firmly and politely informed her that if we were doing a local wedding, she'd be limited to X # of guests, and that would be it, unless she wanted to contribute to the wedding fund.  That cut her wedding dreams short very quickly.  My whole family and their expectations were another big consideration, and we cut that dream short by doing a very small wedding in Las Vegas.  (No, Elvis was not at my wedding!)  It was classy, it was cost-effective, and it kept the drama factor down substantially.

The comments from friends and family were shocking to me.  People suggested that I just do a cheap wedding at the local Knights of Columbus, or my personal fave was an aunt who commented that "only damaged goods people get married in Las Vegas!"  Whatever, my response to many of these comments was that we preferred to spend the money on purchasing a co-op apartment, as that would last a lot longer than a 5 hour party.  Our marriage was more important than our wedding day.

It's so easy to lose sight of the big picture, especially when little girls grow up on the Disney princess fantasy and all the bridal magazines tell you what you MUST do.

Our little co-op apartment appreciated very quickly, and within 18 months we sold it & used the proceeds to buy our first townhouse.  We earned 3x our investment.  A wedding party?  Not so much.

Our parents on both sides gave us several gifts - the wedding dress, our bedroom set, some cash, and it was all greatly appreciated by us. 

Reality crashed down on us shortly after the wedding fanfare was over.  Dad was diagnosed & died of lung cancer w/in 3 months of our wedding.  I was silently grateful that I did not make my parents pick up a big ticket wedding - my newly widowed Mom would have lost her home in the aftermath of his untimely passing.  That's the biggest point to drive home to your son and future daughter in law.  Life is tricky and things happen when you least expect it.  Be there to support them in every other way.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 12:34:07 PM by Hunny156 »

Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #94 on: August 12, 2013, 12:48:02 PM »
I think when you bail your son out once, that sets the precedent. They need to fail and learn from that. You can put it off by bailing them out, but they will only fail harder later in life.

Better now than 5yrs later when he's married with 2 kids.

Give him the 2500 wedding gift and let him work it out. Best of luck!

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9955
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #95 on: August 12, 2013, 04:10:10 PM »
If you want this relationship to develop in a healthy direction you need to sit down with your DS and DIL-to-be and have a frank conversation outlining what you will/will not/can/cannot do.  Something very simple and non-dramatic, but that makes the boundaries clear.  Something to the effect of

"We love you both to death and are thrilled that you are getting married.  We want to help, but we need to be responsible about our own finances to ensure that we will not be a burden to you in the future.  Given our financial situation and the possibility that one or both of us may lose our jobs or need to stop working before full retirement age, we have decided that the maximum we can contribute to your wedding costs is $X.  We understand you may have been hoping we could do more for you, but we can't.  We hope that you both will be responsible about planning this event and not plan something that is beyond your financial resources.  But ultimately the choice of how much to spend is yours.  We wanted to be very clear now about what our own limitations are financially speaking, so that you don't make plans based on unrealistic expectations of what we can give you.  There is no limit on our love for you, and we hope you feel the same."

Speaking with both of them, directly and frankly, is crucial so that you don't get into game playing situations where your DS is saying things like "well, let me see if I can talk them into giving us a little more" etc. or making promises on your behalf that you are not privy to.  You also need to cultivate a healthy communication pattern with the DIL-to-be, or she's always going to be triangulating through DS and that also gets messy.

Good luck.     

Hunny156

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 461
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #96 on: August 12, 2013, 04:28:27 PM »
+++ 1, lhamo!!!

Dee 72013

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #97 on: August 12, 2013, 06:23:01 PM »
If you want this relationship to develop in a healthy direction you need to sit down with your DS and DIL-to-be and have a frank conversation outlining what you will/will not/can/cannot do.  Something very simple and non-dramatic, but that makes the boundaries clear.  Something to the effect of

"We love you both to death and are thrilled that you are getting married.  We want to help, but we need to be responsible about our own finances to ensure that we will not be a burden to you in the future.  Given our financial situation and the possibility that one or both of us may lose our jobs or need to stop working before full retirement age, we have decided that the maximum we can contribute to your wedding costs is $X.  We understand you may have been hoping we could do more for you, but we can't.  We hope that you both will be responsible about planning this event and not plan something that is beyond your financial resources.  But ultimately the choice of how much to spend is yours.  We wanted to be very clear now about what our own limitations are financially speaking, so that you don't make plans based on unrealistic expectations of what we can give you.  There is no limit on our love for you, and we hope you feel the same."

Speaking with both of them, directly and frankly, is crucial so that you don't get into game playing situations where your DS is saying things like "well, let me see if I can talk them into giving us a little more" etc. or making promises on your behalf that you are not privy to.  You also need to cultivate a healthy communication pattern with the DIL-to-be, or she's always going to be triangulating through DS and that also gets messy.

Good luck.   

Great advice, thanks!

Simple Abundant Living

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
    • Simple Abundant Living
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #98 on: August 12, 2013, 06:25:59 PM »

Yes the wedding is for bride and groom, but you also have to satisfy your guests, especially your family.  That’s just how it goes, it’s not just penny pinching at the expense of awkward situations and damaging relationships (yes some people are shallow, but this is life, enjoy your stay and make the best of it).


So... the purpose of a wedding is to satisfy your guests?  Sorry, that's the most insane thing I've heard all day.  Yes, there are different expectations due to culture and religion.  But, at the end of the day, it is the choice of two adults that matter.  I've watched the "big fat gypsy weddings" shows with over the top teen weddings costing tens of thousands, to see the couple look forward to living in a trailer for the rest of their lives.  Strange way to spend your money.  I think traditions are important to acknowledge, but at the end of the day, you have to use simple logic.  If everyone in a major North American city thinks that $25K weddings are the norm, they are buying into the biggest lie ever fed to them by wedding industry marketers. 

JellyBean

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Wedding Blues
« Reply #99 on: August 13, 2013, 06:55:21 AM »
I think there are two parts to this, the cost and the expectation. $25k is a lot to ask for. It should be a gift that you feel comfortable with. But, as some have pointed out it's not considered a lot to spend on a wedding. We spent $20k just over 10 years ago and that was considered low cost back then. My Dad was able to give $5k as a gift but it wasn't expected. Now, wedding expenses can get crazy. People go all out on not just the wedding but everything leading up to it.

This is their day. For some it's the biggest day to start a new life. For others, its just another day. Your son and DIL need to work it out. Offer what you can afford. It will not be a good start if you start "poo-pooing" their goals and dreams. They need to come to that conclusion themselves.