Your parents don't owe you a wedding
There have been a few stories about weddings, wedding budgets and wedding money from families lately. I would just like to throw in my own two cents, here.
Ninja over at Punch Debt in the Face is feeling a little weird about his fiancee's family offering up a large amount toward the wedding. Personally, I think it's admirable to be hesitant to take someone's money.
Don't get me wrong: He should take it. Clearly, it makes the parents happy to be able to help. And, heck, it's free money. My mom helped out here and there, and I was immensely grateful for it. Still, we weren't given a wedding budget. We just sat down and figured out what we were willing to pay for.
The second piece about weddings was over at Free Money Finance. FMF wrote about couples' attitudes toward parents' wedding donations. In a survey, more than half of the 1,000 people said they would take money from their parents in lieu of wedding contributions.
FMF thinks that's pretty cool. Personally, I'm more concerned. Why do so many couples expect parents' help with their weddings? I'm not even clear why parents think they have to save up for/help out with weddings costs.
People, we're adults. We pay rent, we buy our own clothes, we shop for groceries. All out of our own pocket. So why do people assume that parents will pay for something as big as a wedding?
Listen, if your parents can help, great. Fabulous. Take it with all due gratitude. But what worries me is that it seems so natural to most people that parents have money to throw at a wedding. It's your big day, not theirs.
Of course, it's an important day for them. It's one they'll remember for ages. Then again, so is the birth of your child. But you don't expect them to shell out for hospital co-pays do you?
Here's my proposal (no pun intended):
- If you can't afford your wedding without financial help from your parents, scale it down!
- If you have to go into debt for your wedding, scale it down!
- And if you firmly believe that your parents are somehow obliged to pay for your wedding, give the ring back. You're not mature enough to get married!