How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

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spoco79
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by spoco79 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:38 pm

We have saved since birth for our one daughter's wedding. I think right now I have it set at $50 going into a total stock fund every month. I figure by the time she's 24, it will be worth $26-$28k.

The "average" wedding cost nonsense is just nonsense. My wife and I were married in a church with a wonderful reception and came in around $8,000. Her brother and his wife had a $30k budget from her parents and went over $15k that they had to pocket as they were starting their life.

I recently went to a wedding of a daughter of a friend who was a founding partner in a very successful company. His home was on the market recently for $3 MM. The wedding was beautiful, the reception was everything it needed to be, and I suspect they spent under $10k total. Like anything in life, you can overspend or you can budget.

My plan is to tell my daughter that it will be a privilege to pay for her wedding, provided she marries someone suitable. I will offer the value of the account that I have invested in for the wedding, with what they do not spend I will cut them a check. I am raising my daughter to believe there would be value in not going overboard.

wrongfunds
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:51 pm

ruralavalon wrote:
rashad3000 wrote:Let me get this right. Parents are expected to pay for college and for weddings for their children?
Yes.
I know some families where parents have paid for engineering degree *and* medical degree for same child!

wrongfunds
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:02 pm

The per-person cost is now at $750
Wow! Most weddings that I have attended in USA have multiple hundreds of guests. Looks like about $200K for 250 guests :-( In my native country, number of guests approaches thousand.

It just seems such a waste of money but in some culture/household it becomes impossible to avoid.

rashad3000
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Re: relatively cheaply

Post by rashad3000 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:26 pm

FraggleRock wrote:Gave her $5K.
Said: the rest is up to you.
Told her not to spend too much on her first marriage.

:) :)

LMBAO!!!!

SRenaeP
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:15 pm

rjbraun wrote:
SRenaeP wrote:
flamesabers wrote:
The529guy wrote:Encourage her to become well-educated so she and her spouse won't expect you to pay for it? (My wife and I paid for our own wedding.)
I fully agree. If a couple can't afford the wedding they want, I think they should either go for a cheaper wedding or hold off on getting married until they can afford the wedding of their dreams.
In my case, as the 'child', now-DH and I decided on a small destination wedding. We intended to pay for our parents and siblings and combine with our honeymoon and stay within a $5000 budget for the whole thing. We didn't ask or expect either parents to pay as we were early 30s and established. Much to my surprise, the parents had a fit. They're more traditional and wanted a wedding that all the family and friends could attend. We put our foot down about spending more than $5000 so they offered to contribute the difference. We agreed, in the interest of family harmony, but we did put our foot down at my MIL's massive guest list. We ended up with ~150 people at a formal ceremony and formal sit down dinner reception. In the end, I think my dad ended up paying 40%, we paid 40% and my in laws paid 10% plus the bar tab.

-Steph
Inviting (paying for) your parents and siblings is very classy, imo. To be able to cover travel, lodging, meals and and the honeymoon, all for $5000 is impressive indeed!

Interesting thread, I'm enjoying learning about the myriad of ways people marry.
Sorry to disappoint but the *plan* was $5000. The cost more than doubled when we switched from small destination wedding to big hometown shindig. :(

-Steph

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by PhysicsTeacher » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:04 pm

I don't have kids but got married in 2014 at the age of 27. There were a total of 13 people in attendance, and the ceremony and reception took place in the private room at a local restaurant. A dear friend officiated. My husband's sister and her wife supplied champagne as a wedding present. My husband and I paid for the marriage license, some decorations and favors, and the cake. My parents paid for my dress, flowers, and lunch for everyone. I don't know their exact costs, but it was almost certainly under $1,000. My in-laws took us, my parents, and the friend who officiated out to dinner the night before. We could have readily covered all of the costs ourselves, but I think my dad might have felt slightly insulted.

Friends who married in 2011 were offered $10k by her parents and told whatever didn't go toward a wedding would be a wedding gift. They had a truly lovely wedding and reception that cost exactly $10k and seemed pleased with their decision. My late ex-boyfriend's parents set aside $5k for each of their three sons' wedding expenses. When he told them I had expressed a preference for a tiny courthouse ceremony, they suggested we would have the budget for a great honeymoon trip. My husband's best man worked a lot of overtime the year before he married to cover wedding costs.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Pigeon » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:06 pm

We're going to give each of our daughters a lump sum that they can use for grad school, a house down payment or a wedding as they choose. It will probably be around $10K. The amount of money and angst people spend on a party is insane.

If they want me involved in wedding planning I'd be happy to offer my opinion, but otherwise will stay out of it.

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HomerJ
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:11 pm

wrongfunds wrote:The immigrant/ethnic circle that I am part of, the weddings are $100K-$250K multi-day extravaganza mostly paid by bride's family. I suspect the driving factors are the parents of the bride and the groom. This is *after* paying 100% of the undergraduate and graduate and law/medicine school for their children.

On the other hand, you are NOT paying for the wedding but rather paying for the MEMORIES of that wedding.

For example, from strictly monetary perspective, annual vacation budget could fund down payment on a nice condo but a typical BH has no trouble spending the money on the vacation. One has to look at the weddings similarly.

Well, that is what I will be telling myself while writing those obscene checks :-)
Typical BH has no trouble spending money on vacations for the MEMORIES, that is correct.

We don't overpay and spend 10x too much however. Many of us have amazing memories of our weddings and our vacations without paying $100k - $250k. The wedding industry (and the tourist industry too, for that matter) will rip you off if you let it. It's not a badge of honor to pay too much for a cake or a dress or a hotel room.

6bquick
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by 6bquick » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:21 pm

clydewolf wrote:Buy an extension ladder and encourage the bride and groom to elope.

In the meantime, you can use the ladder around the house.
+1

DW and I eloped. Paid for the entire $400 ceremony on the beach in Key West ourselves. But, we actually came out ahead a couple grand after gifts from parents and loved ones, despite us telling them we didn't want/need any gifts. I plan on encouraging our kid(s) to do the same. It was a glorious week with no pomp and circumstance and exactly what we wanted to do.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:21 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (wedding).
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by munemaker » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:39 pm

"...since we're only here for a while, might as well show some style."

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by hmw » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:59 pm

We have a 6-year old. We don't have any saving specifically for paying for his wedding in the distant future,

I paid for our own wedding about 10 years ago. It cost about 35k to 40k.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:02 am

HomerJ wrote:
wrongfunds wrote:The immigrant/ethnic circle that I am part of, the weddings are $100K-$250K multi-day extravaganza mostly paid by bride's family. I suspect the driving factors are the parents of the bride and the groom. This is *after* paying 100% of the undergraduate and graduate and law/medicine school for their children.

On the other hand, you are NOT paying for the wedding but rather paying for the MEMORIES of that wedding.

For example, from strictly monetary perspective, annual vacation budget could fund down payment on a nice condo but a typical BH has no trouble spending the money on the vacation. One has to look at the weddings similarly.

Well, that is what I will be telling myself while writing those obscene checks :-)
Typical BH has no trouble spending money on vacations for the MEMORIES, that is correct.

We don't overpay and spend 10x too much however. Many of us have amazing memories of our weddings and our vacations without paying $100k - $250k. The wedding industry (and the tourist industry too, for that matter) will rip you off if you let it. It's not a badge of honor to pay too much for a cake or a dress or a hotel room.
+1

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by bigred77 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:39 am

I got married half a decade ago. First in my social circle. My wife and I were the only ones to foot the bill ourselves, simply because there was no family money available to us. Everyone else I know had parents who paid the majority of costs. Our wedding and honeymoon and everything sans engagement ring was about 40k. We went all out; most of our friends weddings were smaller and cheaper but still over 25k (we had 250 guests). I plan to pay for my own kids wedding (and college and other life start up costs) if able to. I know how hard it is to do it on ones own and hope I can make it easier on my kids. I reserve the right to change my mind however :D

wrongfunds
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by wrongfunds » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:40 am

I don't think this is the battle which I will win against "the boss". When I said bride and groom's parents, I really meant 50% of the bride and groom's parents who insists on wedding extravaganza.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by JDCarpenter » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:47 am

wrongfunds wrote:I don't think this is the battle which I will win against "the boss". When I said bride and groom's parents, I really meant 50% of the bride and groom's parents who insists on wedding extravaganza.
That is generally true--but it is not necessarily one sex or the other who is driving this from parental side. The two fanciest weddings we've been to in our lives (both of which were short lived marriages) were driven by dads' social/professional display. Other relatively fancy ones have been driven by moms who wanted the best for their daughters' "special day" (boy, do I hate that term!). I'm sure both of those goals/desires are interchangeable among moms/dads....
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:13 pm

taguscove wrote:I'm not the parent, but getting married in a month.

Parents in-law are paying for the wedding, our parents the rehearsal dinner, and we're paying for breakfast the following day. I would have preferred a low key wedding, but in-law parents wanted something grand. The per-person cost is now at $750. It makes me mildly ill to think that the wedding will cost 6 figures.

I'm still reeling from the sequence of events, but the complication of multiple stakeholders was my main surprise. At every turn, the decision was for the broader, more expensive choice. As a financially frugal couple, I don't know how we ended up with this :confused.
In-laws want to show off their wealth to family and friends perhaps? I've seen that happen before. Its too bad they aren't letting you plan the wedding your way and giving you the funds for something more useful (like a house down payment).

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by taguscove » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:15 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
taguscove wrote:I'm not the parent, but getting married in a month.

Parents in-law are paying for the wedding, our parents the rehearsal dinner, and we're paying for breakfast the following day. I would have preferred a low key wedding, but in-law parents wanted something grand. The per-person cost is now at $750. It makes me mildly ill to think that the wedding will cost 6 figures.

I'm still reeling from the sequence of events, but the complication of multiple stakeholders was my main surprise. At every turn, the decision was for the broader, more expensive choice. As a financially frugal couple, I don't know how we ended up with this :confused.
In-laws want to show off their wealth to family and friends perhaps? I've seen that happen before. Its too bad they aren't letting you plan the wedding your way and giving you the funds for something more useful (like a house down payment).
It's true that they wanted a nicer wedding, but I think the main mistake is that we chose a wedding planner who specializes in high end weddings. It was easy for me to judge others and their extravagant wedding spending; a completely different feeling to be living it.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Caduceus » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:59 pm

Most weddings are a waste of time, especially if they are really huge and ostentatious. I have gone for many weddings of close friends where I barely got to speak to them. It's like paying for this over-priced ticket to a one-day play where everyone's performing a role.

The one wedding that I really enjoyed going to was organized quite inexpensively. The family of the two brides made quite a bit of the food themselves, with some select catering. Both wore simple but beautiful floral dresses, and unlike most of the weddings I've been to, it was really more about the relationship than the showmanship.

And it wasn't even about money. Both of them are probably in the top 0.001% salary wise. Another (nosy) friend asked why they didn't want some grand event, and they said they had originally flirted with the idea, but decided to save half for travel and give the other half to kids (in Syria, I think).

Simple is best, IMO.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by ny_knicks » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Will be on the other side of the equation soon where I am the child getting married. My significant other and I have said to each other that we don't expect any money from either of our parents. I know my parents will want to pay for the rehearsal dinner (they are quite traditional w/ regards to this) and they'll get free reign on how that will go.

The actual wedding we have been saving for and have a specific budget that fits what we want. If her/my parents expect something different in terms of who/what/where/how then they can pay for it. A lot of my friends have had issues when parents get involved in the planning process. Some parents have certain expectations regarding the day but don't realize the financial consequences of those decisions. After talking w/ my parents wedding costs are certainly not what they used to be.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by TxAg » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:34 pm

Caduceus wrote:Most weddings are a waste of time, especially if they are really huge and ostentatious. I have gone for many weddings of close friends where I barely got to speak to them. It's like paying for this over-priced ticket to a one-day play where everyone's performing a role.

The one wedding that I really enjoyed going to was organized quite inexpensively. The family of the two brides made quite a bit of the food themselves, with some select catering. Both wore simple but beautiful floral dresses, and unlike most of the weddings I've been to, it was really more about the relationship than the showmanship.

And it wasn't even about money. Both of them are probably in the top 0.001% salary wise. Another (nosy) friend asked why they didn't want some grand event, and they said they had originally flirted with the idea, but decided to save half for travel and give the other half to kids (in Syria, I think).

Simple is best, IMO.
Well done

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by MarkBarb » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:00 pm

I have sons. If they marry someone that wants a big, fancy traditional wedding, I also want them to stick with the tradition of having the bride's parents pay for it. If they are OK bucking tradition and having something simple and inexpensive, I'll be glad to help out.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Wildebeest » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:19 pm

We have an only son. We offered and we did pay for the band and the open bar and we feel guilty about not paying for more.

It was a great wedding.

( Our wedding was free, but that was a different time and different mores).
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by mak1277 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:48 am

I will say, as a wedding guest, I truly appreciate big and expensive affairs. Attending a wedding with great food, free flowing drinks and good music is much more fun than attending a cheapo wedding.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by munemaker » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:05 am

MarkBarb wrote:I have sons. If they marry someone that wants a big, fancy traditional wedding, I also want them to stick with the tradition of having the bride's parents pay for it.
Tradition also has it that the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner and possibly the bar bill.

From this thread, I conclude that Bogleheads as a group do not like big, fancy weddings. I guess it is what you are accustomed to. In our circle of family and friends, nice weddings are universal.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by masteraleph » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:39 am

I know that I'm late chiming in here, but I'm going to offer a little bit of a different perspective (from the child's point of view). My wife and I got married 8 years ago, shortly out of college, and we had about 260 guests- 60 from among our friends, 40 from my parents' friends and my family, and 160 from my in-laws' friends and family (figure about 20-30 from each side for family). Her parents, unsurprisingly, ended up footing the bill for the majority of costs. Ironically, in our community, that was a moderately sized wedding- my brother in law just got married in the last few days, with a total of about 450 guests. He and his wife had more than our 60, and the family sizes were a little larger, but I'd say that at least 300 were friends of one side's parents or another.

That's a very different calculus than a lot of the people here are talking about. When the majority of guests are from the parents' acquaintances, work colleagues, friends, religious community members, etc., it seems to me like there is something of an obligation for the parents to foot most of that bill- after all, that's the reason why there are so many people there. If the venue is chosen so that it's convenient for both sides, but in part to impress the parents' friends- again, that's the parents' responsibility. In fact, I'd argue that it's even more the parents' responsibility if the venue is more expensive than what the bride and groom would have chosen- in that case, the parents should probably at least foot the bill for some of the couple's guests, as well.

Bottom line- the couple should be willing to pay for a small, moderate wedding, although it's very nice if the parents want to pay for it, in the same way as it's very nice if the parents want to pay for any other variety of things. But if the ostentatiousness of the wedding or the size of the wedding is expanding significantly because the parents want it to, then the parents need to take responsibility for the increased costs, too.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by indexonlyplease » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:53 am

I think the best is thing to do is invest for yourself and see what your situation is when the time comes. I would hate to fund a wedding and not fund my retirement. So that means all taxed-deferred accounts are maxed. Roth is maxed(for both). Then college and if money left over wedding fund.

Your smart to many parents don't fund their retirement so their kids can go to college. Then they get to retire andl live off of SS.

I have 2 boys so I hear I will have to pay for the dinner. Maybe we will buy the dress also. Maybe they never get married.

I have really never heard anyone talk about saving for their childs wedding.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by msk » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:16 am

First 2 daughters: When the elder was around 13 I set up an "education" fund with $200k. The investments did well and paid for their college education with a leftover of about $200k (of course many years later). I gave $100k to each daughter when she got married, to use either for her wedding or purchase a house or whatever. First daughter used up $25k for her wedding (in the 1990s that was a lot but she and DW wanted the Ritz :annoyed ) but the balance sensibly on a house purchase. Second daughter spent very little on her wedding. Groom's parents paid for everything and she built a rental duplex that she sold a couple of years later with a $700k net profit. She is a BCom and a CPA... the elder a BA and MBA...

Next two kids came along many years later. I initiated their "education" portfolio also with $200k when they were very young, under 10. Since by then I was better at investing, the portfolio has fortunately grown enormously. After paying for their currently ongoing college education, I expect I may be able to hand over around $500k to each kid when he/she gets married. Lucky kids :moneybag I myself was a grad student when I got married to another grad student. None of our parents were able even to attend. Wedding was a great party but cost under $500 back in the late 1960s.

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Go Blue 99
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:36 pm

I have two daughters and will just plan on paying for it out of taxable accts. If groom's parents want to help, that is fine with me.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by otinkyad » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:54 am

We planned and paid for our own wedding, and it cost $3000, split about evenly between our rings, the event itself (mainly catering), and hotel rooms for traveling family members. I will not be saving for, thinking much about, or getting involved in planning our child's wedding. I'm happy to help, I just think that saving for a wedding, or planning someone else's are red flags.

Does anyone remember those financial ads from 15-20 years ago, something like "You could buy her a $15,000 diamond ring to express your love ... or you could just tell her, and save $100,000 for retirement"?

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by arsenalfan » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:30 am

Will cashflow it.

Haven't read replies, but suspect most are doing what was done to them. Ditto for us - both sets of parents gave the same amount of $$$, their required guest list, and sat back and said have at it. Worked for us.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by JPH » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:26 am

We just wrote them a large check before the wedding. They decided how to allocate the money to the wedding, honeymoon, wedding gift, their savings, etc.
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by SaveStrong » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:23 pm

wrongfunds wrote:On the other hand, you are NOT paying for the wedding but rather paying for the MEMORIES of that wedding.
This. My father, uncle, great uncle, and longtime family friend passed away shortly after the event. It was the last time they were all together. In hindsight I wish we would have invited more people

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by dewey » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:33 pm

I told my daughters--many decades ago--when they got married they'd get $10,000.00 each to use as they chose (wedding fun, honeymoon travel, toward house down-payment---up to them). My younger daughter asked what would happen if they didn't get married. I said "Then you get $20,000.00"
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:38 pm

We told our daughter we'd pay $15K. If she didn't use it all, they could keep what's left over. She was pretty frugal and it ended up costing $8K for a very nice wedding, with a sit down dinner, DJ, open bar, pictures, flowers, etc. This was 3 years ago. We've told our son and other daughter they get the same deal when the time comes. DW and I actually had a good time helping her plan the wedding. Worked out great and we were rewarded with the best grandson ever!

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by LeeMKE » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:31 pm

One more idea I liked.

The couple were offered $XX toward their wedding expenses OR $XX+50% if they paid for their own wedding/eloped and wanted to start life with a nest egg / home down payment.

Seemed like a very Boglehead idea to me.
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by High Income Parent » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:01 am

We plan on offering a set amount and letting the kids decide how to best use it.
We teach that under no circumstances should you go into debt to fund a wedding even though wedding loans do exist unfortunately.
Hopefully the financial education will lead them to use the gift toward a home or investment more than a big party.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Harley BenV » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:56 am

I did a simple wedding. My father however was trying to get all the boom and shaw on my wedding. But it was done under the budget of 15K. He actually planned my wedding for a budget of 50k+

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Nate79 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:23 pm

I've always thought that guests should pay to attend the weddings - maybe by buying tickets. Why should you expect other people to pay for something that you would not be willing to pay for?..... My guess is very few people would be willing to pay the per person cost if it had to come out of their own pocket. Everyone realizes that the value is not there but as long as someone else is paying they don't care.

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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:27 pm

Nate79 wrote:I've always thought that guests should pay to attend the weddings - maybe by buying tickets. Why should you expect other people to pay for something that you would not be willing to pay for?..... My guess is very few people would be willing to pay the per person cost if it had to come out of their own pocket. Everyone realizes that the value is not there but as long as someone else is paying they don't care.
That's a very interesting observation. I don't agree that guests should pay to attend a wedding, but the very idea does point to how ridiculous the celebration of nuptials has become.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:44 pm

seity wrote:My kids are on their own for their wedding. It's a great life lesson to learn to budget and not waste money on things you don't need. We paid for our own wedding and would never have expected our parents to pay for any of it. If they wanted to help us out on our new life with a financial gift of some kind, it was entirely up to them.

100% agree. Our kids are on their own although we would be happy to assist with first home purchase at an appropriate point. Few things are more of a vulgar waste of money that a glitzy expensive wedding. We had a small wedding, close friends and family only and paid for it ourselves. Would not dream of expecting or asking parents to pay for our wedding.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:45 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
seity wrote:My kids are on their own for their wedding. It's a great life lesson to learn to budget and not waste money on things you don't need. We paid for our own wedding and would never have expected our parents to pay for any of it. If they wanted to help us out on our new life with a financial gift of some kind, it was entirely up to them.

100% agree. Our kids are on their own although we would be happy to assist with first home purchase at an appropriate point. Few things are more of a waste of money and vulgar conspicuous consumption than a large scale expensive wedding. We had a small wedding, close friends and family only and paid for it ourselves. Would not dream of expecting or asking parents to pay for our wedding.

rjbraun
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by rjbraun » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:55 pm

Nate79 wrote:I've always thought that guests should pay to attend the weddings - maybe by buying tickets. Why should you expect other people to pay for something that you would not be willing to pay for?..... My guess is very few people would be willing to pay the per person cost if it had to come out of their own pocket. Everyone realizes that the value is not there but as long as someone else is paying they don't care.
I'm not expecting anyone to pay for anything, but if someone invites me, that should mean that as a guest I am being treated to the party.

Personally, I would in general prefer to not attend weddings but as a "guest" I feel as if I pay plenty already. And, yes, if I was expected to pay the price of a ticket on top of things, it would make things easier as I would feel less guilty about declining.

For the last two out of town weddings I attended, here's what it cost (omit travel costs below for local affairs):

- Time off from work, so the price of a vacation day, which I value at least as high as the actual wage earned
- Transportation cost to the wedding, including possible car rental
- Hotel room to attend the wedding, typically two nights
- Wedding gift to the couple
- Possible bridal or similar shower to attend, so time spent (I value my time and depending on the actual wedding, the shower can feel somewhat obligatory). Also, cost of the actual shower gift. Then, there's the time to shop for the gift. Even if you order online, you still have to either come up with a gift idea or track down where the couple is registered (assuming they are). Oh, and the last shower I attended had a "theme", where guests were strongly encouraged to wear the appropriate "theme" attire.
- Possibly new wedding / party attire (dress, shoes, suit for men, etc.)

All of the above can easily cost $1000+ for a couple, and that's before the wedding gift (which for the last two recent weddings we attended should have more than covered the price of two party guests).

tx_hombre
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by tx_hombre » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:01 am

High Income Parent wrote:We plan on offering a set amount and letting the kids decide how to best use it.
We teach that under no circumstances should you go into debt to fund a wedding even though wedding loans do exist unfortunately.
Hopefully the financial education will lead them to use the gift toward a home or investment more than a big party.

Tom @ HIP
Wedding loans exist?! Yikes.

Sandi_k
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Sandi_k » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:32 pm

Culture and class are the two things that seem to drive wedding expectations. When DH and I decided to marry, we'd been together 10+ years, and already owned a home together.

As the bride, I would have been grossly disappointed if I'd expected my father to pay. My mother and step-father would have been glad to pay, but that would have meant they hosted, which meant my southern mom would have had right of invitation issuance. Nope, no way. In my family, the person who pays for it gets to control it, so that meant we were not accepting funds and ceding control.

We paid for it ourselves, and allowed each parent to "host" one table. It allowed us to keep a lid on the size of the party, which is one of the major determinants in terms of cost. We each chose only one attendant, which also reduced cost. Additionally, we chose to get married on a weekday, on a date with significance to us as a couple. We sent out Save the Date notices 11 months in advance, and it was a genius move in keeping the size of the guest list reasonable.

All in all, including the rehearsal dinner, the dress, rings, wedding service, excellent photographer, fantastic food, the daytime reception in a HCOL area (with champagne open bar, no other liquor), and honeymoon, we spent about $8k. The end result was about 70 guests, and a GREAT day that everyone remembers with fondness.

Afterwards, DH's parents and my mom each gifted us ~$1k, which we used to buy additional photos for attendants, parents and grandparents as gifts. No regrets.

mak1277
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:14 am

Nate79 wrote:I've always thought that guests should pay to attend the weddings - maybe by buying tickets. Why should you expect other people to pay for something that you would not be willing to pay for?..... My guess is very few people would be willing to pay the per person cost if it had to come out of their own pocket. Everyone realizes that the value is not there but as long as someone else is paying they don't care.
I always thought the wedding gift was the "payment" each guest brings to the table.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:17 am

mak1277 wrote:
Nate79 wrote:I've always thought that guests should pay to attend the weddings - maybe by buying tickets. Why should you expect other people to pay for something that you would not be willing to pay for?..... My guess is very few people would be willing to pay the per person cost if it had to come out of their own pocket. Everyone realizes that the value is not there but as long as someone else is paying they don't care.
I always thought the wedding gift was the "payment" each guest brings to the table.
Watch the Sebastian Maniscalco skit on Italian Weddings. Don't bank on wedding gifts, especially if you paid cash for it, only to receive a toaster in return. The true gift is the presence of the invited,whom you wanted to share your special day with, however most folks who throw these weddings fail to see that.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

truenorth418
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by truenorth418 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:23 am

My cousin paid $50,000 for his daughter's wedding - but not before first signing a contract with her and the groom to reimburse him for the total amount if the marriage did not last at least 10 years.

The couple split up 6 years later and, yes, paid him back all the money.

I thought this was a novel idea given the high rate of divorce in our country. Weddings for many people today are more of an excuse for attention-getting and pretty photos for facebook than they are for celebrating the traditional bonds of marriage and "till death do us part".

I have paid thousands of dollars in travel and gift costs over the years for marriages that only lasted a few years despite the couple making vows in front of family, friends, and God to stay together until "death do us part".

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KlingKlang
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by KlingKlang » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:38 am

mak1277 wrote:I will say, as a wedding guest, I truly appreciate big and expensive affairs. Attending a wedding with great food, free flowing drinks and good music is much more fun than attending a cheapo wedding.
Do you give a proportionately larger gift when you attend weddings with great food, free flowing drinks and good music?

mak1277
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Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:01 am

KlingKlang wrote:
mak1277 wrote:I will say, as a wedding guest, I truly appreciate big and expensive affairs. Attending a wedding with great food, free flowing drinks and good music is much more fun than attending a cheapo wedding.
Do you give a proportionately larger gift when you attend weddings with great food, free flowing drinks and good music?
Yes

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