Papa Don’t Preach…?

I always envied those who didn’t have to pay, in part or in full, for their own weddings. Since I wanted to elope in the first place, thoughts of ‘better uses’ often came to mind when I sent out wedding payments. So when MOH-Ho got engaged and her parents offered her basically a blank check to pay for her wedding, the first thing out of my mouth was something like “HolySeabiscuit! You best not take that shiz for granted!”

Last week over dinner, MOH-Ho told me about a bunch of wedding ideas that have been scratched off her list, ideas that she felt confident about just the week before. Turns out, her parents were less than thrilled about them. It surprised me because her parents are the most understanding and supportive parents I have ever met. But of course, if there is anything I’ve learned from planning my own, it is that weddings bring strong opinions out of da woodworks.

The objections were prefaced with, “You can do what you want, but…” And while we know they absolutely meant it, MOH-Ho conceded to everything her parents disagreed with so far.

From the officiant selection to the whimsical theme incorporated in the ceremony, none met the criteria of a traditional wedding, like how they believe something as sacred and significant as a wedding should be. “I gotta pick my battles,” said MOH-Ho, “it’s their money and I definitely want them to have their say in this!” Fortunately, MOH-Ho and her parents have a wonderful relationship, and while compromises will have to be made, I’m sure everyone will be happy with the wedding in the end.

I used to think that if someone wanted to pay for our wedding, they could do whatever they wanted. But I now realize that it’s not that easy. Had our parents contributed to our wedding, I’m not sure I could have easily let go of my own vision for their approval. They, too, were less than thrilled about all my ideas until they saw it all put together, and agreed afterward that it turned out to be wonderful and very us. I’d also hesitate in spending, especially splurging on unnecessary items, if it was someone else’s money (MOH-Ho is feeling the same).

Perhaps it is me who has been taking our ability to afford this freedom for granted. I guess the tea is always greener in the other cup, eh?

Is anyone sponsoring or chipping in for your wedding? How much are ‘says’ worth? Does the percentage in financial contribution correlate to the amount of influence in decisions making?


Mrs. Green Tea

Wedding Date:
August 2008
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  1. Member
    lovelerae 241 posts, Helper bee @ 3:25 pm

    One of my BM’s mother took her wedding as making it the wedding she never had. From the decorations to even changing the vows the day before the ceremony to what her mother wanted it was out of her control.

    I feel fortunate that my family is contributing and giving me the power too.

  2. Member
    Serendipity 10356 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 3:27 pm

    No one pitched in for our wedding at all and I’m glad it was that way. Some people felt like they had the right to try to tell us how to do some things and even who to invite. But, we simply told them it’s OUR day and WE are paying for it, so sorry but we are doing as we please.

  3. Member
    West Coast Bride 708 posts, Busy bee @ 4:05 pm

    We are 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 between us, my parents, and his parents. My parents gave a cheque for a fixed dollar amount and left us to do as we please, and West Coast Groom’s parents picked a specific cost they wanted to cover (catering) and gave us a ballpark figure (for which we are showing our appreciation by staying well within). Luckily no one in our family has a sense of entitlement behind giving their gift. Regardless of their level of involvement in the wedding, no one has contributed with “strings attached”.

  4. Member
    peachypear 343 posts, Helper bee @ 4:30 pm

    Excellent point. My brother’s wedding was paid in full by his ILs, who are truly caring and wonderful people. …but there were definitely issues because it meant they were very involved. My favorite “issue” is that my B & SIL spent hours at a card shop to pick out their invitation. They showed it to her parents – no go. Her parents picked out a new invitation! Still drives my SIL nuts (after nearly 10 years of marriage) that her invites didn’t match anything else in the wedding. LOL. It’s funny from a distance.

  5. Member
    preppydoc 42 posts, Newbee @ 4:38 pm

    my parents are paying for the entire thing and already there are several issues… my fh and i wanted under 100 people, but my parents list is over 150 alone… i am still waiting for my fh’s list and i am quite nervous, but since my parents are paying i know that my mum will make her opinions known…

    what mama doc wants mama doc gets…

  6. Member
    saranic0le 11 posts, Newbee @ 5:52 pm

    At the beginning I had a lot of head butting from my MIL they are contributing $2k for us to do whatever with (including the Rehearsal). However, my MIL had been very pushy and wanted everything my mother got (ie. a reception in my FH’s hometown) which was insane. But, things have been figured out and she has moved on (I hope). There are things I am unwilling to sacrifice and having two receptions is not something I want at all…too much.

  7. Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:58 pm

    My parents (father) have generously offered to pay for our wedding. My mother hasn’t necessarily used the I’m paying for card yet, but she does say it’s your wedding in a way that says I disapprove of this but you can do what you want. There are maybe a couple things I’ve folded on, but the things I feel strongly about I’ve stuck to and I’m sure she’ll like it once she see’s it all come together :)

  8. Member
    kenziegirl 339 posts, Helper bee @ 6:58 pm

    Both of us are blessed with parents who gave us a set amount and and told us to do what we want. Sure, his mother has made it know that we must have aunts and uncles and cousins, but that’s okay with us. Both sides of parents seem okay with our non-traditional wedding format.

  9. Member
    D.Marie 2575 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:04 pm

    My mom is paying for the dress…but that doesnt excuse her from making plans to go to Vegas when we already had that day planned for dress shopping! I def dont think I could be in your MOH-Ho’s shoes. If someone didnt like my plans then I wouldnt take their money!

  10. Member
    NixLapi 558 posts, Busy bee @ 9:42 pm

    Great article! My mom is financially contributing significantly to our wedding, while future parents-in-law are letting us live rent-free for 6 months… all are very much “do whatever you want!” and while my mom has had a few moments playing devil’s advocate it’s pretty much all about what I {we} want. I couldn’t be luckier with such great support!

  11. Member
    honeymyheart 764 posts, Busy bee @ 9:48 pm

    i have seen the benefit of the fact that we are paying for everything. we have received some opinions, but no one has been very pushy :)

  12. Member
    tulip 662 posts, Busy bee @ 12:07 am

    My SIL is getting married in May, and her parents are paying for AND planning every detail. Which more or less guarantees that the event won’t reflect the couple’s taste or personality in any way, shape, or form. But it’s long-distance for SIL, and I think her decision process was one part parental respect and one part “it’s soooo much easier this way.”

    In thinking about SIL’s situation, I think I decided the key is to either give up all control (psychologically as well as practically) or keep all control — it’s when the couple and parents play tug-of-war over details that things get rough!

  13. Member
    Jellybean77 78 posts, Worker bee @ 2:15 am

    dude, my parents aren’t contributing at all and they have gotten their way with the big layout of our wedding day. even though my mom says “you’re paying for it so you do what you want”…truth is, I don’t..


  14. Member
    VanGal 26 posts, Newbee @ 3:58 pm

    We were fortunate enough and very proud to have (a) paid for our own wedding and the rehearsal dinner too; and (b) planned everything on our own. Our parents were awesome to have left us alone with the planning…actually, I think they enjoyed taking a back seat and soaking in the day as “guests”.

  15. Member
    TechGirl 268 posts, Helper bee @ 7:49 pm

    Both our families have been helping us with the wedding and we are really lucky because they haven’t been forcing anything on us, or making us feel guilty for not picking what they want. That said, we are paying for most of the wedding and are happy to do so.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    brie alyson, Guest @ 2:14 am

    i’m paying for the entire wedding but both sets of parents have opinions and judgements about everything. also the guest list is 97% their guests. i have to take their comments into account and bite my tongue as the guest list grows and my bank balance shrinks. it’s so frustrating!!!

  17. Member
    AnnieAAA 5351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 5:36 pm

    My parents gave us 2K (20% of our wedding budget) to do as we wished towards the wedding, my mom listens to my ideas and lets me make the decisions. FI family initally gave us 1K to go towards food and then insisted we choose the genre of food they wanted, it was not a 50/50 decision and we said “thank you so much for your gift, but its not necissary” FIs parents are more picky then my own about the decisions for our weddings, so we feel its best to leave them out by not accepting any money. Paying for our own wedding really has been the best thing for us!

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