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

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
stoptothink
Posts: 3650
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

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

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:58 am

mak1277 wrote:
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
Curious as to how you can possibly know this prior to actually attending the reception? I guess the setting could possible give you a hint, otherwise, you are making a very uneducated guess. Not to mention, IMO, providing a more expensive gift simply because the couple decides to blow more money on a party just seems weird.

rjbraun
Posts: 972
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

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

Post by rjbraun » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:16 pm

stoptothink wrote:
mak1277 wrote:
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
Curious as to how you can possibly know this prior to actually attending the reception? I guess the setting could possible give you a hint, otherwise, you are making a very uneducated guess. Not to mention, IMO, providing a more expensive gift simply because the couple decides to blow more money on a party just seems weird.
Correct, the wedding venue can give a strong indication as to cost. If you get a wedding invitation and the venue is, say, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel you will definitely get a feel for the affair after you look up the room rates. Also, things like "black tie", etc. for dress will tip you off.

I suppose the wedding registry, assuming one exists, can also give a feel for things. The Ritz Laguna Niguel couple is unlikely to have registered at Target, I suspect, but may have plenty of listings on the likes of Tiffany, etc. Even if it's at a department store like Bloomingdales, if they are requesting 12-place settings of fine bone china at hundreds of dollars per item, and so on, that will convey a different message than the couple registered at Pottery Barn or Amazon where the most expensive gift is a $100 blanket or blender.

Whether one wants to practice it or not, I think the custom that each guest will cover the cost of his or her meal service is pretty common. Again, not saying that people should succumb to the pressure, but to some extent I think that may be the expectation (socially).

The last few weddings I've attended were for relatives. As they were all of the same generation / relation, I basically gave each couple the same amount (so as to be *fair*). The amount should have more than covered the cost of the dinner, etc. In one case, we didn't even attend, though the check was promptly cashed. Still waiting for the thank you note! :oops:

harrychan
Posts: 1295
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

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

Post by harrychan » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:36 pm

Our kids are about your age. We haven't thought about paying for their wedding but from the rate we are saving with boglehead mentality, we would be in good shape to support them as needed. For our own wedding, my great uncle from my dad's side gifted us gold coins and my FIL gifted us stocks. 4 years down the road we cashed in on both and had a nice downpayment for our home.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

JGM1965
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:43 pm
Location: Redlands, Ca

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

Post by JGM1965 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:54 am

My youngest daughter (22) just got engaged. She says the bf's parents are unwilling to help at all,but their side of the guest list is more than double ours (45 to 20). They have about $7k saved up and are trying to keep costs down. Rather obvious our side was whittled down towards that objective.

I told my daughter I would pay for the meal service for our side of the list, her wedding dress and the officiant. My wife and I like the boy she's marrying but can't stand the parents. Hoping this doesn't come off as mean spirited, but I was feeling peeved these folks declared they wouldn't help at all but are demanding so many people must attend.

SQRT
Posts: 541
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 am

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

Post by SQRT » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:43 am

I only have one daughter. When she was a young girl, I promised her I would pay for her wedding. I was going through a difficult divorce from her mother at the time and I think she(daughter) was feeling unloved or insecure at the time. Seemed like the right thing to do at that point. 20 years later I made good on the promise. Luckily I was in a position to do so. Her fiancé' parents didn't have any money and it would have been unfair to ask them to contribute in my view.

Was a lovely wedding, and still a subject of great memories 2 years later. I personally think it was a waste of money, but I promised and in the overall scheme of things not significant to our net worth. No regrets. Happy daughter makes for a happy dad. Everybody is different and many young people don't want an expensive wedding. My daughter did. She is going to get most of our wealth eventually anyway.

Lest you think she acts like a pampered, entitled, young women, I assure you she does not.

Edit to add. When it comes to weddings, (as some have said) always take the high road. This will be remembered by your children for the rest of their lives. Actually, come to think of it you should always take the high road, period. Especially as it relates to your children.
Last edited by SQRT on Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
KlingKlang
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:26 pm

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

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:22 am

JGM1965 wrote:My youngest daughter (22) just got engaged. She says the bf's parents are unwilling to help at all,but their side of the guest list is more than double ours (45 to 20). They have about $7k saved up and are trying to keep costs down. Rather obvious our side was whittled down towards that objective.

I told my daughter I would pay for the meal service for our side of the list, her wedding dress and the officiant. My wife and I like the boy she's marrying but can't stand the parents. Hoping this doesn't come off as mean spirited, but I was feeling peeved these folks declared they wouldn't help at all but are demanding so many people must attend.
This bothers me because its similar to what my parents (groom's side) did to us at our wedding. They insisted on inviting over a hundred of their friends (my wife and I got to invite two each), had my wife's mother pay for the reception, and then cheaped out or skipped out on the few items that they had agreed to cover.

I would suggest that your daughter and this "boy" learn how to stand up to his parents and inform them that if they are not paying for anything then they are in no position to be making demands about their wedding. Otherwise they will find themselves being dictated to for the rest of their lives.

stoptothink
Posts: 3650
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

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

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:16 am

KlingKlang wrote:
JGM1965 wrote:My youngest daughter (22) just got engaged. She says the bf's parents are unwilling to help at all,but their side of the guest list is more than double ours (45 to 20). They have about $7k saved up and are trying to keep costs down. Rather obvious our side was whittled down towards that objective.

I told my daughter I would pay for the meal service for our side of the list, her wedding dress and the officiant. My wife and I like the boy she's marrying but can't stand the parents. Hoping this doesn't come off as mean spirited, but I was feeling peeved these folks declared they wouldn't help at all but are demanding so many people must attend.
This bothers me because its similar to what my parents (groom's side) did to us at our wedding. They insisted on inviting over a hundred of their friends (my wife and I got to invite two each), had my wife's mother pay for the reception, and then cheaped out or skipped out on the few items that they had agreed to cover.

I would suggest that your daughter and this "boy" learn how to stand up to his parents and inform them that if they are not paying for anything then they are in no position to be making demands about their wedding. Otherwise they will find themselves being dictated to for the rest of their lives.
Don't get me started. My first marriage, my (ex-wife's) parents invited 100+ people, I had a grand total of two (mom and brother, I was living across the country from my family). Guess who ultimately gave into the pressure and foot the entire bill?

The second time around, we eloped and then had 50 of our family and closest friends over for a BBQ. Total cost was like $250 for food (stepfather and his smoker to the rescue) and the experience was exponential better (not just because I made a better decision about the wife this time).

Doom&Gloom
Posts: 1362
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

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

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:56 pm

stoptothink wrote:
KlingKlang wrote:
JGM1965 wrote:My youngest daughter (22) just got engaged. She says the bf's parents are unwilling to help at all,but their side of the guest list is more than double ours (45 to 20). They have about $7k saved up and are trying to keep costs down. Rather obvious our side was whittled down towards that objective.

I told my daughter I would pay for the meal service for our side of the list, her wedding dress and the officiant. My wife and I like the boy she's marrying but can't stand the parents. Hoping this doesn't come off as mean spirited, but I was feeling peeved these folks declared they wouldn't help at all but are demanding so many people must attend.
This bothers me because its similar to what my parents (groom's side) did to us at our wedding. They insisted on inviting over a hundred of their friends (my wife and I got to invite two each), had my wife's mother pay for the reception, and then cheaped out or skipped out on the few items that they had agreed to cover.

I would suggest that your daughter and this "boy" learn how to stand up to his parents and inform them that if they are not paying for anything then they are in no position to be making demands about their wedding. Otherwise they will find themselves being dictated to for the rest of their lives.
Don't get me started. My first marriage, my (ex-wife's) parents invited 100+ people, I had a grand total of two (mom and brother, I was living across the country from my family). Guess who ultimately gave into the pressure and foot the entire bill?

The second time around, we eloped and then had 50 of our family and closest friends over for a BBQ. Total cost was like $250 for food (stepfather and his smoker to the rescue) and the experience was exponential better (not just because I made a better decision about the wife this time).
Welcome to the club, JGM. When my stepdaughter got married, her bf's mother was unable to help much but offered even less than that. She even went so far as complaining on Facebook prior to the wedding about the plans that were being made. Stepdaughter's father's only contribution was a $100 bill after the reception. DW bore the brunt of everything. Fortunately the kids were not demanding. DW did a lot of "outside the box thinking" that DD was very happy with. It was very much a DIY affair. The ceremony and reception were held in our front yard. Much of the catering was provided (usually in lieu of gifts) by friends or relatives who happened to be in such businesses.

At least in our area, the groom's parents are "expected" only to provide the rehearsal dinner and to exercise reasonable cooperation with invitations etc. If they decline to do so, it seems counter-productive to try to get a young man to "stand up" to his parents at this point. Those two kids have enough going on at the moment without tossing that into the mix. Take the high road the best you can and try to set a good example for your daughter.

JGM1965
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:43 pm
Location: Redlands, Ca

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

Post by JGM1965 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:39 am

Thanks all for your comments. Trying to find a middle way that still helps the kids in a productive way but doesn't lead my wife and I to feel resentfu during and after the event. Tried unsuccessfully to convince them to just do a small destination wedding and save the $ but to no avail

User avatar
1210sda
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:31 am

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

Post by 1210sda » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:18 am

What a coincidence that the average wedding costs $35,000 and the average college loan debt upon graduation is $35,000. I guess it's a matter of value judgments.
(assumptions made) :happy

1210

sco
Posts: 551
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:28 pm

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

Post by sco » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:26 pm

The mean is much lower than $35k

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 11118
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

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

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:00 pm

1210sda wrote:What a coincidence that the average wedding costs $35,000 and the average college loan debt upon graduation is $35,000. I guess it's a matter of value judgments.
(assumptions made) :happy

1210
sco wrote:The mean is much lower than $35k
Average U.S. wedding cost is $26.7k, the median is less than $10k. costofwedding
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

IvestForEngineers
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:11 am
Location: Seattle

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

Post by IvestForEngineers » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:02 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 :-)
Let me guess - Indian :-) ?

wrongfunds
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

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

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:44 am

"Yeh shaadi nahi hongi"

then they elope! One can always wish :-)

ArmchairArchitect
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:37 am

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

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:53 am

Since females are the ones that typically prefer an extravagant/expensive wedding, her or her parents should pay all/majority of the cost. If not, the bride needs to get more realistic.

I think most grooms would be fine with a low cost/DIY type wedding. And then put the money saved towards a down payment on a house, paying off student loans, or other much better ways to spend the money.
Last edited by ArmchairArchitect on Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

PFInterest
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:25 pm

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

Post by PFInterest » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:57 am

Your asking about a wedding for someone whos 5? How is this thread not closed?...

Also our parents did not need to chip in for our wedding.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 16785
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

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

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:00 pm

JGM1965 wrote:Thanks all for your comments. Trying to find a middle way that still helps the kids in a productive way but doesn't lead my wife and I to feel resentfu during and after the event. Tried unsuccessfully to convince them to just do a small destination wedding and save the $ but to no avail
You know what the answer is here right? Justice of peace, followed by intimate reception at a hall/elegant restaurant. The guest list kept to a minimum. It's one thing if they don't have the means to offer anything, it's another if it's something else. And......I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but could be a red flag of things to come from his side of the family. I've seen this play out a few times and it never ended well. Hope that is not the case for your daughter and intended.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 16785
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

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

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:03 pm

PFInterest wrote:Your asking about a wedding for someone whos 5? How is this thread not closed?...

Also our parents did not need to chip in for our wedding.
Because at Bogleheads the OP is doing as any good Boglehead does - plan, far, far in advance. It's personal, it's actionable. Anything else? :?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

tx_hombre
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:25 am

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

Post by tx_hombre » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:37 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
PFInterest wrote:Your asking about a wedding for someone whos 5? How is this thread not closed?...

Also our parents did not need to chip in for our wedding.
Because at Bogleheads the OP is doing as any good Boglehead does - plan, far, far in advance. It's personal, it's actionable. Anything else? :?
Indeed! And thank you. Quite honestly, we are only just starting our taxable investment journey, and this struck me as a financial goal we'd like to be able to extend to our daughter down the road -- if she wants to accept! Was simply curious about how others handle viewed this within the context of their expenses.

As I've said previously: It would be a joy, privilege, and pleasure for us to do so, within reason (as my wife's parents did for us -- a simple, fun, and unforgettable evening with family and friends!).

Thanks again all!

(P.S. Do we really close threads here? New poster - so let me know!)

knick17
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:39 am

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

Post by knick17 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:44 pm

i paid my own. happy i did

ubermax
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:19 pm
Location: Connecticut

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

Post by ubermax » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:08 pm

DW had a part-time job as an on-call nurse for a local private prep school - over several years she managed to bank enough to provide a very nice wedding/reception for our daughter .

Post Reply