Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Curious: Growing trend of paying for the wedding yourselves?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
2,216
All this talk about bigger diamond versus more money for the wedding has made me curious about something. Reading the different threads it seems like a lot of people are planning on paying for the wedding themselves. Even members in their 20''s talk about how their parents might pitch in a little. Some women are hesitant to bring it up to their parents.

Don''t parents just assume that they''ll be paying for at least some if not all of their daughter''s wedding? Is this a cultural thing? For instance my sister was 38 when she married her husband who was 52(?), and they both have successful professional careers. Yet there was never any question that our parents would pay for the wedding and the post-parties.

Is this no longer the norm?
 

AmberWaves

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
3,672
Indie, we''re 27 and paying for the whole she-bang ourselves. We''re not rich, nor are we professionals, but our parents aren''t either. There was (sadly) never a thought our parents would pay. We''re both hispanic (I''m half, actually) so I don''t know if this is against culture or what.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
I guess it depends on where you are and the family itself. When DH and I got engaged, we were expecting to pay for the wedding ourselves, but my mother would hear none of it. I am an only child, so my mother said it was her only chance to pay for a wedding (it was also special to her because she's never married). However, my brother-in-law is getting married next year and although his fiance and I live in the exact same area, her parents are NOT paying for the wedding. So it just depends I guess. But I think that more people these days are paying for their own wedding and tradition is going to the wayside.

*M*

ETA: As for the cultural thing... my mom's background is half Irish and half German. My family retains quite a bit of the Irish heritage though.
 

Kismet

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
2,991
I was 31 when I got married and I never expected my parents (or my in-laws for that matter) to foot the bill. I probably would have expected them to pay for more (or all) of the wedding if I had got married when I was 22 or so, though.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,255
I''m Viet (so in my tradition the man''s family pays for the wedding) and his french-canadian (the woman''s family pays) sooooo...obviously it ends up that we''ll be paying so none of the families are offended and we get to make all the decisions. We''ve known it would be an issue for a long time though. Both families can easily afford it, but neither has offered (and we aren''t expecting them too)

I''m 26, and he''s 28. We''re lucky because we can afford to pay for it. I think it would be really difficult if we were just starting out or if we were both still in school.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
My parents are paying for most of it, and his parents only the rehersal dinner. We're paying about 25% of the cost of the wedding as well, although you definately do lose some decision making ability when parents pay for most of it.

To be honest, I wish we were paying for most/all of the wedding ourselves just because I worry about arguements or "I'm paying for this wedding" or "Forget it, we're not paying" if there's a disagreement (my mom woudl say something like that). So needless to say, I tread lightly on anything that could cause an arguement....not fun all the time.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
It was always assumed that my parents would pay, and my dad's been talking about "wedding budget" with my aunts and uncles for years. They've always subscribed to the "bride's parents pay for the wedding, groom's pay for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon" thing (I used to think this was the norm but now just realize that that's only because nearly everyone in my hometown had the same cultural background as my family). However, my wedding will most likely be when I'm 24, so maybe if it were later the rules would change(?)--but I doubt it. Also, I'm typical caucasian american from the midwest, so it may be that cultural influence as well.

His parents, on the other hand, have no intention of paying for anything (even though they have more than enough money to do so, and also are from the same cultural background as my parents). They paid for their entire wedding themselves because their parents could not afford it, so that's likely why they don't feel as though they should contribute to ours.

I guess it's probably just a mix of cultural experience, financial ability, and age of the bride & groom!
 

tanyak

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
209
In our case, our parents didn't have the means to pay for a whole wedding. My parents bought my dress and cake ($1,000 total) - his family surprised us and paid for our rehearsal dinner ($300). But that was it. The whole shebang, including honeymoon, was about $9,000.

With one exception, most of our friends also paid for more than half their wedding. Parents helped out here and there, but mainly there were a lot of second jobs, loans, credit cards or some combination of the these.

I don't think anyone was intentionally bucking tradition - it just came down to who had the dollars and cents.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
It definitely depends on the family.

When FH and I were engaged, I wasn't sure who was going to pay for the wedding. My Dad had talked about paying for my wedding *if* I got my college degree first, but I thought moving to California (away from home, big drama) to finish my degree broke the deal.

Apparently not. My Dad told me he wanted me to give him information on venues, so I did. We ended up picking FH's and my favorite, and as we toured it, my Dad told me he was happy to do this for us and expected it to cost anywhere from $____ to $_____ (a nice wedding budget!). I couldn't have been more elated and, most importantly, grateful.

Had my Dad not offered to pay, FH and I would have been glad to. We'd have had a MUCH smaller wedding here in CA rather than a 100-guest back home in my *dream venue*, but that would have been fine. Getting married is what's important.

Information that may be of importance: I'm an only child (only daughter) and my Dad isn't rich by any means, but well-off. I don't think our culture matters much, as we're a little bit of a lot.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Well. My family doesn't really like DF and so their position was 'in our culture its the groom and his family who pay for the wedding.' They could easily afford to help, but well... have never offered except to pay for things they wanted included: extra guests that are friends of theirs who we didn't want to include (and declined to include regardless of the $$) and ridiculous decorations (different chairs at 15 bucks a pop because my other took a violent dislike to the chairs our venue had for free...which were prefectly nice. Different colored linens-- white was fine. And a traditional persian ceremony, which we didn't want). His grandfather gave us 5K toward the wedding, which we accepted with much thanks. And his mother offered to mortgage her house, which we didn't accept.

ETA: Many of my mothers's freinds, also Persian, have helped pay for their daughter's weddings. My parents just REALLY don't like DF.
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
As far as my family was concerned, I guess it''s not the norm anymore. My parents basically said they couldn''t afford to pay for my wedding. My mom paid for my dress ($350) and that was all. We paid for the whole thing ourselves.
 

stretch4

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
4,360
I think the American tradition used to be that the bride''s family pays for the wedding. But today, more and more couples are contributing to their own weddings, if not completely paying for it. Personally, my DH and I paid for most of wedding. His parents did contribute about a third; his mother reasoned that she paid about a third for her daughter''s wedding and the same should be true of her son''s wedding. My mother said from the beginning that if I wanted to get married, I had to do it myself.
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
6,183
I think nowadays it is very difficult for the financial burden of a wedding to be placed on one family...Even if both sets of parents offer to contribute, wedding costs are so ridiculous now that it is still not enough, especially if you are having a formal wedding near a major city.

My parents are being very generous and paying for our wedding reception, but that is not even half of what the total wedding will cost. His parents are contributing about 1/4 of what my parents are, which is ridiculous b/c they can definitely contribute more, but that is a topic for another day...
We just consider ourselves lucky that my parents are being so generous, otherwise, we would not have been able to cough up all of that extra money, no way.

Everything else we are paying for ourselves- which is a lot- more than half of the wedding for sure. We are trying to save as much as we can, I have been working TONS of overtime, we hardly go out to eat anymore or do much of anything...I keep saying, I hope it is worth it!! I want to have the wedding of my dreams, but at some point it just gets ridiculous, I will admit. And, the wedding is very close to NYC, so the prices are just insane. Its very hard, but like I said, but hopefully it will be worth it!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
for me mentally it has to do with the family and also the people involved. i was 28 when we got engaged and we were married at 29. my husband to be was 35. there was no expectation on our end that my parents would pay for our wedding, and i don't even think greg would have wanted them to. he was totally independent since he went to college and his parents don't pitch in on stuff for him really ever. as a girl..my parents would help me sometimes here and there (aka when i moved my dad bought me a new fridge...and another time he bought me a new washer...) but it wasn't like they were paying my rent or anything. but even that kind of assistance was foreign to greg from his family...as the oldest child and male in the family he is super independent. he also made a lot of money and our incomes combined were more than either of our parents made for the most part. so while we were open to some help from my parents (really *I* was more open...) we didn't expect it. and then when we decided to get married in hawaii we told our families just to keep any $$ and use it for their trip to get over to the wedding and the experience of being there. also there's no feeling of 'owing' the families anything.

we had this discussion when we were buying our new house. it was a struggle to get into the new house AND pay for the wedding within the same time period of 5 months. we considered asking one or both of our parents for a little help. i am sure they would have done it with no hesitation. BUT...neither of us really wanted that mental indebtedness...even though they are our families and all that...we just didn't want to feel like we owed them anything for helping us OR give the parents any leverage over us!! hehe. greg's family offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner but in hawaii we had a buffet for everyone and it was literally so cheap we were like nevermind!!

also i think that some families who are more first generation-ish still do observe old ways of paying for the wedding kinda thing. but the trend i have seen is that more american families, who have been here a while...or have older aka in 30's kids...don't really chip in OR they help by paying for the dress or one thing like the band or whatever. but not the whole wedding or even half. though i do have one totally american friend who when she gets married i am sure her parents will spring for the whole thing, because they are loaded and take great care of her. hehe.
 

eleguin

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
246
My fiance and I are actually insisting that we pay for the wedding ourselves. Our parents paid for our college tuitions at private universities and my parents paid for an additional 3 years of law school for me at a private university, plus the rent and living expenses for all those years. This is the first year that my parents don''t have tuition bills to pay. They finally got rid of their 13 year old car and bought a new one, they are redoing the bathrooms in the house, replacing some of the furniture, etc. It made me soo happy to see them doing all of that. Then they told us that they expected to pay for our wedding and honeymoon as well. They are not particularly wealthy, but they are good at saving and they hardly ever spend on themselves. But we decided that there was no way we are going to let them pay for the wedding! I want them to spend on themselves and the house, to go on trips, etc. My fiance and I have set up a separate wedding fund that we deposit into from every paycheck and we think this is a good and healthy way to start our life together. It is like we are truly a team :)
 

Bunnifer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
227
Although I'm still waiting for the ring (
), my parents have made it clear that they are not paying for the wedding -- it will be up to us to finance it. I don't know that it's a cultural thing, but they explained that they would rather use the money to help us made a downpayment on our future home -- to them, it's more a matter of spending money in a way that makes the most financial sense. They reason that a wedding is one day, but a home could potentially be forever. It makes more sense to invest the money they would have spent on the wedding (which is essentially one huge party) in something that will give us lasting shelter and future financial stability.

ETA: We are both 26.
 

curlygirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
2,637
We paid for our wedding ourselves. We''re both in our mid-30s and have good jobs so I feel like it was our responsibility. My parents wanted to chip in a little so they paid for the church and the Armenian band that they wanted. My inlaws also gave us a small amount to help out. In the end, we ended up getting cash gifts from both sets of parents and that was actually really nice because we were able to put that money towards the closing costs on our condo--which we paid for by ourselves also!
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Many years ago, my mom took my brother and myself into a room and gave us two big envelopes...$5000 in cash each. I was floored, since we had long since lost our grocery store and my dad left us for many years to see if he could find work in Korea (he never sent money back). My mother was working at a friend''s store for $5 an hour. So how she saved up so much cash, I don''t know.

She said it was for our wedding day, but we could do with it what we pleased. I am not sure what my brother did with his, but I put mine away in a savings account I opened specifically for the money she gave me. There was plenty that I could have spent it on, but I was so touched she did this that I decided to just pretend it wasn''t there.

A couple of years ago, my mom surprised me again with another envelope of $5000. It was even more of a surprise than the first one, because she had been retired for awhile and had no savings. I started supporting her a few years back when I started to make decent money, and I guess she saved the cash I gave her here and there for spending money. My brother had already married and she wanted to give me more money for my wedding. That money also went into the savings account I had opened all those years ago.

When came time to get married, I had $10000 (plus interest) that I had not touched since I knew that someday my mother would want to feel like she paid for my wedding. Our wedding cost a bit more than that, so I definitely put more money in, but I am proud my mother essentially paid for our wedding through her very hard earned money. I also am glad I was able to honor her wishes and save the money for the wedding even during the years where I could have really used the money to pay for living expenses...not to mention there wasn''t a prospective husband in sight!!!!!!!!!!
 

ephemery1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
1,724
Wow... really interesting question, Indie... and I'm actually kind of surprised (and impressed!) by all the "we paid for it ourselves" responses! My FI and I are both East Coast WASPs (as far as cultural background goes), and both our sets of parents are pretty comfortable financially. I'm 27 and FI is 28... but I've been an income-less grad student for the better part of my post-college years and FI doesn't make a fortune.... so our parents are graciously covering the wedding costs. His parents are paying for rehearsal dinner, band, photography and honeymoon and mine are doing everything else.

But I would say that's been the standard amongst most of our friends (and our parents' friends), unless the parents just don't have the resources. We are incredibly grateful, but it does make the planning a bit more complicated... since obviously the parents then play a big role in all decision-making... and the guest list!
 

goldenstar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
1,045
I''m still waiting for the ring also, but BF and I are probably going to be paying for half of the total and each set of parents will contribute 1/4. If they contribute less that is okay too, we are expecting to cover most of the expenses ourselves. We''re both Asian-American but from different countries of origin. His family is more American than mine. My parents have never talked about paying for my wedding, but who knows, they might surprise me and pay for most of it. Then again, I''d feel bad for accepting any of their money since I''ve been in private schools all my life and now am halfway through law school, which they have been paying for. I have no real money of my own since I''ve been in school for ages (I''m 25) but BF is 30, has a good job and owns real estate (this is important because we don''t have to worry about buying a house). So we, mostly he, want to cover it ourselves. I want to maybe wait a while to get married so I can work first and save some money.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
I''m with Ephem... really surprised at all the people paying for it themselves!

I''m a Texas girl and there was never any real question that my parents would pay for it. Mom used to joke that I''d already spent all my wedding money on college and my first apartment out of college, when she helped me get on my feet, but as soon as I announced we were engaged, she came back with what I thought was a very generous budget for us to use as we saw fit. I was a little surprised as I''d sort of half-believed her jokes, and talked often of eloping.

When we decided we''d get married in my hometown, she upped it by $10k since the family didn''t have to travel, and it was, in essence, becoming "her party" with the majority of the guests being friends of my parents. My parents are well-off and sort of set the precedent with all the other weddings, since I''m the youngest of 4. This will probably be the biggest one in the family thus far.
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
We''re 23 year old East Coast WASPs with pretty American families. (With mine, we''re talking something like 15 generations.) My parents have just always assumed that they would pay for my wedding when the time come. (If it matters, I''m their only daughter.) His have just assumed that they''d pay for the RD and honeymoon. We didn''t expect them to pay, but both of them offered really early on.

This is pretty typical of the engaged/married couples I know, but at the same time they''re all pretty young and not very well established.

And I second what SP said about losing decision making ability. The guest list would not have doubled in the space of a month if we were paying for it.
 

Trelala

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
138
I''m a first generation ABC (American Born Chinese) marrying another ABC here in California. In the Chinese tradition, the groom''s family pays for the wedding. But orally we''ve decided to split the cost equally between my parents, his parents and us. In actuality, looks like my parents are footing most of the bill which is fine since the guest list is certainly mostly our friends/family! His parents seem much more excited about house hunting and have hinted that they''ll help out there.
So my fiance and I are truly blessed, I always tell him we''re lucky duckies, haha.

Have a friend whose family''s from Texas, they insisted on paying for their daughter''s wedding. It actually became a sore spot with the groom''s family. But it was all settled when they agreed the groom''s side would pay for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon.
 

tanyak

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
209
OK. I''m so jellus of you girls who had people fighting over who would pay for the wedding. (sigh)



 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
3,860
When we got married 5 years ago, we were in a very different place financially, and could not have afforded the 140-person San Francisco wedding on our own. We were both working professionals, but weddings here cost SO much, and we knew it needed to be a team effort. So, DH and I pitched in about 25% of the cost, and our parents split the remaining 75% equally. So that way, the burden was not too horrible for any one party. It was the most equitable way to do it and fortunately, everyone was in agreement with the plan.
 

mela lu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
2,481
We''re paying for it ourselves too! Although...I bet we''ll get nice wedding gifts in the form of money.

We''re keeping it small and family only to help with the rediculousness of wedding costs.
 

ellaila

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
1,643
Interesting thread!

Hubby and I both come from divorced families, so this was a very touchy subject indeed! We basically went into it assuming that we''d be paying for it all, and should parents offer to help, that''d be great - but we weren''t going to rely on it. As it was, my Dad gave us a set amount of money, my Mom bought my dress, his Mom basically paid for our honeymoon costs, and his Dad paid for the rehearsal dinner. We paid for everything else over that that my Dad''s money didn''t cover. Worked out well for us!

I''m 35, hubby is 33, for what it''s worth.
 

radiantgirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
264
Fi and I are both Viet, and in our culture and traditions, the groom and his family is supposed to pay for the wedding. We are actually paying for everything ourselves. It''s pretty stressful planning and paying for the wedding on our own, but this way, all the decisions made are between the both of us. On the up side of things though, our Asian guests will give us gifts in the form of cash. It''s an Asian thing - to give cash as gifts.

Those who have their parents pay for your entire wedding should consider yourself very lucky.
 

Larissa

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
276
My parents are nearing retirement, have a mortage, two children who attended university, etc. I would never expect my parents to pay for a wedding, honeymoon, university edcation, etc.

My parents paid for the wedding theirselves when they were both 24 in 1974. They also both supported theirselves once they hit 18.

It''s nice when parents offer but not something that I ever expected. The only reason they chipped in for our wedding ($5,000 toward it) was because we wanted to elope and they wanted a wedding since I was moving to another country and they''d *maybe* get to see me once per year (in a good year).

At time of wedding:
Me - 24
Him - 22
Culture - me, American; him, British
My parents paid for all of the US wedding, we paid for the legal US one.

I don''t think it''s so much age or culture for us as the expectation that my parents raised children to be self-suffient and are now watching both my sister and I accomplish that.
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Myself and D will pay for our wedding ourselves. My parents paid for theirs 25 years ago and they paid for my college fees this year and will help me pay for them for the next four years. D and I have always just presumed that we'll pay for our own.

In terms of a cultural thing, we're Irish and most of our friends and family who have gotten married over here, have paid for nearly all of their own weddings
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top