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Old 01-31-2011, 01:41 PM
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Everyone has a different level of means in order to help out with a wedding. You have obviously sacrificed in order to contribute the amount you did. If you want to give your daughter a present on top of that, I would think something hereditary or that has meaning to you would be very appropriate to hand off to the next generation and those types of things are worth far more than money.

My wife and I were fortunate that our parents were able to pay for our wedding for us along traditional lines, her parents paid the lions share and mine paid for the rehearsal dinner and alcohol at the reception as well as give us a monetary gift. However, the thing that mattered the most was being entrusted with a couple family heirlooms. My wife's mother gave her a set of pearls that has been handed down in her family and my mom gave my wife her grandmothers engagement ring. Neither piece is really worth that much, but they mean a ton to both of us and are waiting to be handed down to our kids on their special day.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:06 PM
Location: West Orange, NJ
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Originally Posted by Shellsandwater View Post
My daughter will marry soon. We are the typical middle class family. I am single with no job and am living off my savings. Father has not helped with the wedding cost so I have given them $1000.00 to help with the wedding letting them know this is part of their wedding gift. I also bought her wedding dress which was only $300.00. Wondering how much more money should I give as a wedding gift? Please let me know what you would do if you were me not knowing when I might find job. Thank you
my in-laws are retired. they gave us $5,000 towards our wedding and bought my wife's dress for her. my parents paid for our rehearsal dinner ($800ish) and gave a nice gift (i think $2,000).

we didn't expect any of the above and it was all very generous and nice. you've been quite generous to your daughter already with the $1,000 and the $300. she'll understand you've done a lot for her. i think you've done enough. you have their lives to shower them with love and gifts when you're back in the workforce.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:01 PM
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If your daughter is old enough to get married, then she and her fiancé should be mature enough to figure out how to finance the wedding themselves- without going into debt. If that means cake & punch at the church after the ceremony (no band, dj, honeymoon, open bar or all the other stuff people think they HAVE to have), so be it.

You have been more generous than I would have been in the same situation.

They are adults. It's neither your responsibility nor your ex's to finance their dream wedding. It's a good life lesson to learn to budget with meager means. If they balk at mom & dad not giving enough money for the wedding they "deserve", you should ask them what is more important: the wedding or the marriage.

Sure, we all want a gorgeous wedding and most all parents want to pay for part or all of it. But if the reality is your family isn't in a financial situation to live up to the "dreams"....it's ok and perfectly normal these days.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:11 PM
Location: here
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^ I think it is a sign of the times. Years from now a lot of people will talk about the recession, and what they gave up. A big wedding will be on that list for many, I think.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:42 PM
Location: state of procrastination
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If you are financially unstable probably don't give any more than you have. Each set of parents and my grandfather gave about 5-6k for us after the wedding, and my extended side of the family gave an additional 10k. Sister in law gave 2k. Not that we needed it but it all went into our house fund. One of our parents who is not working gave us the gift of showing up which is her airline ticket... which is more than enough for us.

I'm only counting big gifts from parents, grandparents, and older siblings.
Asian family (my side) totals 22k (6k-10k).
Caucasian family (his side) totals maybe 7k (range = $800 to 5k).

Needless to say this doesn't even come close to downpayment for a home... LOL!

don't worry I'm sure they will be happy with whatever you can help out with. We haven't spent any of it.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
^ I think it is a sign of the times. Years from now a lot of people will talk about the recession, and what they gave up. A big wedding will be on that list for many, I think.
Or it could just be a correction of sorts; it's only been relatively recently that these extravagant expensive weddings with sit-down formal dinner and the works have become to be considered "traditional" for everyone. Maybe some of those costs will come down as more and more couples and families are either unable or unwilling to spend extravagantly. I got curious to see if I could find the specifics, and found this graph: Wedding Industry Reports - Wedding Statistics and Market Research
And another interesting report (a year out-of-date, but still recent enough to be relevant): 02/17/2010: The Knot Unveils 2009 Real Weddings Survey Results I don't see people going back to punch in the church basement, but maybe some of the budget items will continue to be trimmed.

Still, I agree that there probably will be brides in this recession who watched their friends and family get married five years ago and who won't be able to do it the same way and who may see that as something that they did give up. On the other hand, with luck that means less debt, and will have realized that their more budget wedding made them just as happy as if they'd spent more money.

Back to the OP's scenario, I think it's fine for a family to spend money on a wedding if they have the money and desire to do so; if not, though, don't spend the money and don't spend any time feeling guilty about it. Donate time and support instead, and as someone else suggested, if down the road you have more money and want to do something special then you can always give a meaningful anniversary gift.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:57 AM
Location: Australia
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The US usually runs a deficit.
Weddings tend to encourage similar fiscal policies to be adopted by families.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:07 AM
Location: Beautiful Florida !
222 posts, read 416,609 times
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I want to thank all of you for your input.. I really appreciate your time in responding. This is a hard situation to be in as I tend to be a very giving person but you are right, I must think about my situation. I love the idea of a nice anniversary gift. Sending Blessings to all !
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:11 AM
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Wow, it is good to see a thread like this where people have paid for their own stuff like my husband and I did.

I hear so many stories from people I know that had their parents pay for everything, including a down payment on a house.

We worked and paid for everything we received, and I think we appreciate it more.

Congrats on the wedding.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:45 AM
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I came back to this thread because it is hitting a little close to home. My sister-in-law is currently engaged and was supposed to be married this March after a two year engagement. They have now pushed the wedding back to October. The issue is money.

My in-laws gave my wife and I the money for our wedding, because they had saved a set amount for each daughter and my wife never tapped hers. She paid for her own car, school, etc. My sister-in-law knew what the deal was but instead chose to have her parents pay for school that she never finished and bail her out of some massive credit card debt. The entire time, they told her that this would be it.

Her fiancee's family is an odd situation as well as the recently deceased grandmother had given lavish gifts to his brother when she was alive. Now that she is dead the estate was divided and he won't be getting a similar chunk of money and is quite resentful over it.

So, it has been left to them to pay for the wedding. The issue is they seem to be insisting on having an extravaganza when all they can really afford is punch in the church basement. They had a guest list of over 250 people. The irony is that it is mainly her fiancee who keeps pushing for the big wedding despite having no way to pay for it. At this point the question of what is more important the marriage or the wedding is really starting to put some pressure on their relationship.

The problem I have here is that they are both strutting around and complaining as if they are ENTITLED to have the wedding of their dreams despite knowing what the circumstances are. They keep delaying actually planning anything which IMO is simply a ploy to see if they wait it out long enough they will somehow have $30k dropped in their lap for a wedding.
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