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Thread: Daughters and weddings

  1. #1

    Daughters and weddings

    I have three daughters. The oldest has just got engaged (great news!) and thoughts are turning to the wedding day. In the olden days, the bride's father would have paid for the wedding. I understand in these modern times that things are different (also good news). Obviously, I'd like to treat all my other two daughters equally should the time come, and I was wondering what others' experience of this has been. Are costs shared between the couple and both their families? I know that if you mention the word 'wedding' when booking things, costs escalate dramatically. I'm not wanting to be a party-pooper, but also I don't want them saddled with huge debts for one day's celebration either. Interested in your thoughts on how costs are shared or not nowadays.

  2. #2
    Give them all the same amount of money and let them choose what to spend it on, wedding, house, car etc. obviously not to just blow it.

  3. #3
    Master
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    I got married 6 years ago, we paid for everything ourselves

    Both sets of parents gave us cash presents (a few thousand each IIRC)

    Of all my friends, the same has happened

    In our experience the cash presents we received more or less covered the cost of the wedding reception, not inc photographer, flowers, cake etc
    Last edited by demonloop; 26th April 2021 at 09:55.

  4. #4
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    I suspect in most cases these days, the couple manage the wedding budget themselves with contributions from each set of parents. My take on it would be they are grown adults and it should be up to them to manage the budget appropriately and decide whether they want lots of debt for one day.

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    mine are 14,12 & 12. I have been thinking about this even though it is some time off. We all know how time flies and yes the thoughts of paying for everything thrice is simply not realistic. Interested to see where this post goes.

  6. #6
    Master
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    We paid for ours entirely. Had no expectations that my soon to be father in law should be paying for it. Both sets of parents had very different views as to what a wedding would cost vs how we wanted to celebrate with family & friends.


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  7. #7
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    My daughter was due to get married last year (COVID scuppered that), but they were paying for it themselves.

    I paid for my daughter's dress and a few other expenses.

    30 odd years ago, my FIL gave us a cash sum towards the wedding, but we more or less paid for it all ourselves.

    Each to their own, of course, but I think the days of the father of the bride being obliged to pay for the weddings went along with a dowry and the local squire's right to spend the wedding night with the bride.

    M
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  8. #8
    We have four daughters and one son, we helped them all but dident cover all the costs, when my wife and I got married we paid for everything ourselves.

  9. #9
    We only have sons but I would expect them to pay it for themselves, though would help out with something.

    And what about subsequent weddings?

  10. #10
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    And what about subsequent weddings?
    If you mean second weddings (or more), they're 100% on their own then!

    A friend of my wife's daughter had 3 ceremonies (and receptions) for her first marriage - Lasted about 6 months...

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  11. #11
    I have a daughter and idea of me covering her wedding never crossed my mind. Partly, something, maybe, but not all.

  12. #12
    Master SeanST150's Avatar
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    The challenge you may face is that each of your daughters' partners (and their parents) may have a different expectation. I would mirror Adrian's comments, give them all an equal sum of money and allow them to choose how they spend it; wedding, home, travelling, car, it's up to them. What if one of them chooses not to marry, and is happy renting, I don't think you can dictate a monetary gift too stringently.

    Sadly, weddings have become such an industry now. I have been to few weddings in the past 5-10 years, where the bride and groom actually look like they're having a good time - maybe they actually really didn't want me there, lol! They're so concerned on building the "perfect" day it's almost as if they lose focus on the very meaning of the day. To be honest I don't blame them, when blowing the equivalent a deposit for a house on a single day, I would want to ensure everyone has noticed their chair covers, smelt the flower arrangements, visited the pic 'n' mix station, taken a picture in the photo booth, played with the giant connect 4 and finished every bite of their substandard chicken dinner.

    We chose to elope, spending the entirety of the wedding budget (a mere £10k) on the 2 week honeymoon instead and getting married while we were out there. No guests! Perfect.

    My younger brother is engaged, with the wedding postponed some 3 times owing to Covid, but I think his wedding is clocking in at close to £30k. They are a young-ish (early 30's) and I can see the strain this is already putting on them. My advice is more towards tempering your daughters/partners expectation of the day. That said, if money is genuinely no object, they own a house outright, they own their cars, and have 5 figure sums of cash doing sod all in an account, go for an all out wedding. Otherwise spend the money more wisely.

    The marriage is important, not the wedding.

    Rant over!

  13. #13
    Craftsman r.dawson's Avatar
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    Married nearly 10 years now but friends have been married every year since and this conversation always comes up.

    The suggestion of an equal amount of money each is sensible. I think on last look the average wedding in the UK is £20k and it's not reasonable to be expected to cover that.

    One thing I would say is don't put any caveats on any gift of money. We were given a large amount of cash for ours but it came with a few 'rules'. We were then either ungrateful if we didn't accept or not comfortable accepting with the rules, couldn't win.



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  14. #14
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanST150 View Post

    We chose to elope, spending the entirety of the wedding budget (a mere £10k) on the 2 week honeymoon instead and getting married while we were out there. No guests! Perfect.



    The marriage is important, not the wedding.

    Rant over!
    We did too, the thought of blowing £xxxxx on a wedding when life has so many more important expenses for a young couple is madness to me, we had a amazing 2 week holiday in the Bahamas and happened to get married at the same time for a fraction of a UK wedding cost, like you, no guests apart from a couple we befriended as witnesses, we are still friends with them today, 16 years later.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  15. #15
    Grand Master
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    Absolutely this. I have two daughters and will be deploying this tactic.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Give them all the same amount of money and let them choose what to spend it on, wedding, house, car etc. obviously not to just blow it.

  16. #16
    Master
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    It's a how long is a piece of string conversation. It's ultimately up to the respective parents what they can afford / wish to contribute. I take the view that if I'm in a position to help them out financially then that's something I want to do and makes me happy. But I would never be judgemental towards those that choose another path or are not in a position to help. Each situation truly is different and an open conversation with the couple and then other parents is a good step forwards to finding the optimum approach.

  17. #17
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Maybe a bit different as it was second time around for both of us, but we got married at our Mayfair club with just immediate family and a few close friends and lunch to follow, then repaired to the pub. I took the tube there but Mrs Draft insisted on a cab to take us home!

    I’m all for giving two fingers to the wedding planning “industry”.

  18. #18
    Master bigbaddes's Avatar
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    we paid for our own - her folks were skint and mine were too tight.

    local church job, church hall for the reception venue, we covered buffet but no free bar. our cake was a present from one of her mates, the flowers from her auntie.

    good time had by all. went to Ireland for a week for the honeymoon. few days in dublin then a few days galway & west.

    have been to some properly up market nuptials and a few registry office jobs and the classy (!?) overpriced nonsense in between.

    none of that waffle will be of any help to you but i think you are on the right path anyway. enjoy !

    its mostly the kids day really - but staying on speaking terms with everybody involved helps a lot.

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    I think the tradition of paying for your daughters wedding is an outdated idea.

    When my wife and I married 10 years ago we paid for everything ourselves (by saving up in advance) including paying for the bar bill for the whole event. It was our day and we wanted it to be a big party with everyone we loved having a great time, we are grown adults with jobs so why wouldn't we pay the bill?


    We had 150 guests and we made it clear to everyone that we wanted no presents, no money as gifts, we just asked for their company and best wishes on the day and that is how it happened.


    I'm pretty sure all our friends paid for their own weddings.

  20. #20
    Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    If you mean second weddings (or more), they're 100% on their own then!

    A friend of my wife's daughter had 3 ceremonies (and receptions) for her first marriage - Lasted about 6 months...

    M
    It's the last one that matters.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    It's the last one that matters.
    Indeed but the question is only raised for the first one
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  23. #23
    This is going back nearly 20 years ago, but we got married in Vegas (just the two of us, about £300 total), so my wife's parents gave us the money towards our first home purchase. It is a gift which keeps on giving to this day and I couldn't think of a better use of money. Having said that, everyone is different and my wife's uncle paid for his daughter's massive wedding as they wanted this event to look back on, etc. I'd still argue that our cheap Vegas wedding was waaaaaaaay more fun and we remember it so fondly that we redid it a few years ago just for fun and will probably do it again.

  24. #24
    Master
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    I'd suggest the best thing to do is go for a meal, both parents and the happy couple (get your daughter to arrange it) and informally chuck a few ideas between yourselves.

    When I got married ten years ago it was a bloody circus, but only because my wife had the misfortune to be Indian, and born into an enormous family!
    We ended up with about 200 guests (150 more than I'd have liked) and an incredible food and entertainment bill. I wouldn't be surprised if we still have a credit card bill being paid off.

    If I recall our parents both paid a similar amount - £2000(ish) each - towards various services (dress, cake, photographer etc) which served as our wedding present and we saved up ourselves for the venue and most of the catering. That way we didn't feel guilty about splurging in certain areas, or hampered by a pre-set budget.
    It is an eye-watering expense these days but you're only supposed to do it once, I suppose.

  25. #25
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adigra View Post
    I'd still argue that our cheap Vegas wedding was waaaaaaaay more fun and we remember it so fondly that we redid it a few years ago just for fun and will probably do it again.
    It's all a matter of preference.

    I wanted all my extended family at my wedding (and my wife had quite a large family too), so the idea of going somewhere for a small wedding didn't appeal to us at all.

    We got married in a registry office as neither of us is religious (numbers were limited there, but it was Guildford, which is a bit nicer than many!) and then had a prolonged afternoon and then evening (with extra guests) reception.

    The weather was great (after a few weeks of unseasonably bad weather) and I still think it was one of the best days of my life, so (like you) I wouldn't have changed it.

    It wasn't particularly expensive, but I met a cousin's husband for the first time since our wedding (30 years before) last year and the first thing he said was "Oh, that was your wedding with the swimming pool - That was a great wedding!" - As the credit card ad says "Priceless"

    The only thing that is important, really, is that the couple should have the wedding they want - Once family start paying for things, it can very easily turn into a circus (and not a happy one at that!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    It's the last one that matters.
    Difficult to fund that one reliably, though...

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 26th April 2021 at 12:40.
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  26. #26
    Craftsman
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    I have a daughter and son, many years ago I opened two saving accounts (ISA’s i think). When my daughter got married it paid for the majority of their costs. When my son got married, I gave them a similar amount (interest had increased it slightly), however his in laws stumped up a far greater amount as it was a grander affair.

  27. #27
    Craftsman
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    how anyone can expect someone else to pay for their "big day" is a bit old fashioned these days. Offer a couple grand for each and let that be the end of it. I have seen grand weddings and small intimate weddings. Same outcome achieved with both options.

  28. #28
    Master
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    Daughters and weddings

    I have one daughter and providing finances don’t hit the skids I would like to pay for her wedding should she choose to marry
    My wife’’s folks paid for our reception which we were very grateful for.
    I think the cost of weddings get a bad press but I remember all of my friends weddings-all pretty big affairs and just a great laugh with great memories so I would say a big day is worth it.
    One caveat on this is that back in the day when the bride’s father paid,most of the guests were the parents guests. Nowadays it will be the couples friends mostly so the dynamic has changed a bit.


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  29. #29
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Whilst I paid for my own wedding (I was 41 at the time), I paid a substantial portion of my daughter’s wedding. Not because she expected it but because I wanted to. Maybe I’m a traditionalist but to me, it was the right thing to do as her father.

    Paying for their wedding, or at least most of it, gave them the opportunity to put their savings towards the deposit for their first house.

  30. #30
    I don’t think couples expect anything. Both my parents and in-laws contributed to the cost of my wedding which helped, but we didn’t expect or ask for anything.

    I’ve two daughters and will contribute in some way, but that’s a long way off.

    Be honest and fair, don’t be pressured in to doing what others feel is the right thing.

    If I had 3 girls at that age now I’d probably say each could have £xxxx for either a contribution for their first home, or wedding. Their choice.

  31. #31
    Master
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    Got married 16 years ago and me and my wife paid for nearly everything. Wife's parents paid for the church flowers and my parents gave us a bit of cash (not a lot as they don't have much and I never expected anything from them so was a nice gesture). Think this is the norm nowadays?

  32. #32
    Master
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    When we got married my parents paid for the wife’s dress, and some money towards other costs, the mother in law was newly widowed and paid for the cake.
    However we were free to choose the cake, and spend the money how we wanted, the day the wife went to try dresses, she took both mums, my mum stepped in when the dress my wife spotted in the shop was almost treble her budget, and persuaded her to try it on, she loved it so my mum paid for it whilst my wife was changing out of it.

  33. #33
    Master
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    Both of my daughters had the cash for houses which I was happy to do, in this day and age buying a house win’s hands down rather then spending thousands on one day of excess. Still paid towards both Weddings though but I am a soft touch and they know it

  34. #34
    Master
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    We look at some of the Traditions Victorians had and think they were crazy. I’m sure future generations will think exactly the same about present day weddings.

  35. #35
    Craftsman
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    Cool Don't make it a grand waste of money

    Father of four, boy, girl, boy, girl.

    Years ago at a youth soccer game heard about a sweet sixteen party for an older sister that cost $20,000 (USD) and agreed with some of my daughters friends' dads that is was not a great example of money well spent and it would have been better spent on a car and backyard party.

    When each of my daughters reached the year of turning 16, the friend's dads and I sent them and their moms to Atlantis Special in Bahamas for 4 day/3 night midweek romp for a total of $6,000 for 6 moms and 6 teenagers all inclusive which is still spoken about 15 and 19 years later.

    When oldest daughter got engaged i told her i would give her $25,000(USD) to use for a home downpayment and/or wedding which she took and ran with to perfection proving it can be done for over 100 guests coming in from near and far.

    Will do same for youngest daughter.

  36. #36
    When my wife and I got married nearly 25 years ago nobody offered us a penny towards it, and we didn’t expect them to tbh. Mind you, both sets of parents are/were divorced at the time which does complicate matters a little! - we chose to get married abroad and invited anyone who wanted to come, but they’d have to pay for themselves. We had a great time, it was a bit odd as most of my family came (theirs wasn’t a particularly bitter divorce and they could afford to come) whereas none of my wife’s family attended. If they had it would have been high drama which we really wanted to avoid so it worked out perfectly!
    I know you plenty of people who spent a fortune on their ‘big day’ and then struggled financially, rented instead of buying etc and I really don’t understand the fuss over the day itself. It often seems to be more about showing how wealthy the family is as opposed to celebrating the marriage. As I sit here nearing 25 happy years of marriage, in a house my wife and I have bought entirely with no financial assistance, I must admit I wouldn’t have had it any other way - and I’m sure there are lots of people out there who don’t have the choice.


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  37. #37
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    I actually think that's a rather bad idea to have a pow-wow with both sets of parents as families might have very different opinions and financial situations - one or even both families could well leave such a meeting with negativity.

    You decide what you can afford and how you want to contribute, then (at the earliest opportunity so that your daughters all know where they stand) let them know what/if/how you will contribute. The groom's parents can do whatever they feel comfortable with and neither family even need know what the other contributed.

    The first idea above of promising all daughters a similar amount for whatever purpose is best (though each should also receive it at an appropriate age - maybe even adjusted for inflation to ensure equality
    Last edited by Halitosis; 26th April 2021 at 19:38.

  38. #38
    Craftsman
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    A few of my other half’s friends are getting married this year (I’m 27) and they’ve all came into money one way or another to pay for it, death, insurance payouts etc.

    My gripe with weddings these days is that everyone just does the same thing and then moans about the cost. It’s hillarious. Generic country house with crap mass catering at a cost of £30k.

    We went to a wedding 3 years ago where the do was in a village hall where the drinks were £2 and had an absolute blast. They had a few street food stalls doing the catering outside and it was ace. Think the whole thing cost them £12k. At least it was different.

    We know where we want to get married but my other half also wants a bigger house in a better area. One will have to give and get kicked 2/3 years down the road. That said, her Dad expects he will have to pay. Which is weird cause he is really tight.

  39. #39
    Craftsman
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    My father in law made a really big thing about wedding traditions except the one about father of the bride paying for the wedding...funny that. As it was it was great, he made a contribution but my wife and I paid for most of it which meant he couldn't have much say in it.

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