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Is It Inappropriate To Ask Parents For Help With Wedding Expenses?

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#1 Victoriabride

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  • Wedding Date:June 18, 2015
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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:19 AM

Hello all! I need some advice here, or even just hearing of others who are in the same/similar situation as I am.;..


So, my FH and I come from very different families.. his parents are very traditional and well off and mine are far from traditional (my dad is an old hippie and they didn't have a wedding, just a quick court house wedding as my mum was immigrating from England.


Here is my dilemma, my FH's parents have a large down payment for us when we decided to buy/build our first home (we are so greatful for them as we would not be able to do it this soon in our lives if it weren't for them). Seeing as they are making such a large contribution four our house, we obviously don't expect them or would even consider asking them for any help when it comes to our DW.


My parents, on the other hand, have 4 kids and do not have the finances to help out in that way with a house. They can lend us the money should we need it for a down payment.  Both sets of parents have been on board 100% all the way with a DW and will be there no matter the cost/place. Since my FH has come from such a traditional upbringing, he thinks that it is "weird" and "uncaring" and "cheap" of my parents not to offer to help out in some little way (dress, photography, flowers, anything at all). He thinks the gesture shows a lot.  I see his point and I know when I have kids I  would be so quick to take my daughter dress shopping and help pay for as much as I could. I know my parents have money, they aren't  wealthy but they definitely are comfortable and able to enjoy the luxury of traveling a couple times a year. So, my FH wants me to ask them to help out with the photographer. I can't help but feel out of line, awkward and bratty if I follow through with this. Isn't it enough that they are spending 3000 plus dollars to come to our wedding? Or should they be doing more as mother/father of the bride (I know my FH sure thinks so)!


Ladies, if anyone has any advice or insight on this, please share... I am losing sleep over these torn feelings and welcome any thoughts/suggestion, or even someone who can tell me I am not alone here!!! I do understand every family/situation is different, so would love you hear from any of you brides!!


Thanks so much and happy planning!!! :)

Edited by Victoriabride, 18 March 2015 - 10:24 AM.

#2 racht33

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:49 AM

@Victoriabride I feel like we are possibly on the same dilemma and I just let it go


My FI's parents are well off and comfortable and they continuously are reachimg out to us to help with anything. They have offered everything from extra money for the room stay, to buying decor to even paying extras for reception time etc. But on the other hand my parents are divorced and not so well off. My mother doesn't have a top of the line job and it possibly may be very hard for her to even plan to attend ( my prayer is she can) and my father remarried and has 4 children and his wife who doesn't work. So all expenses will be on him alone. When we first got engaged we thought we would have the wedding at home so we decided to ask our parents for help. My FI's parents were more than happy to help. While my parents on the other hand.... lets say i got rolled eyes and kinda blocked out from them for about 2 weeks after that. Until my father decided to call me and tell me he would offer me a certain amount and that was it. ( which anything really did help and i was ok with it ) but now with us having a DW things have gotten more difficult and We decided just not to ask again.


I didn't want to come off bratty as you said asking once again when I asked once before and now with the money my father once offered me it just seems that will go into his traveling expenses to bring his entire family to the wedding. So in short Ive just decided to let it be. If its offered then that's great. But We've come to the decision that we will just make out on our own to get what we want and have it how we want without depending on someone else to do it for us. So we have cut back on things to save extra cash etc.


I totally understand what you are going through. In a small way it makes you feel as if your happy day isn't as important to them as it should be. Esp with your mother ( cause trust me I know, my mother hasn't brought up my wedding to me once unless i speak about it. Not even dress shopping. I'm not sure if its cause shes upset she cant help me or she actually doesn't care) But We decided not to allow anyone not even my parents attempt to ruin what we want and the happiness it will be for us! If you strongly feel that maybe they should be helping in a way... mention it in other ways.." My FI's parents are giving us the money for this but we still don't have enough for this... Or I really wish i had this but looks like we cant afford it." If they don't get a clue from that.. i would throw the towel and let it be.


Remember its  not about HOW the wedding turns out its about WHY you're getting married! :)  This alone has helped me! I hope it helps you too!

Edited by racht33, 18 March 2015 - 10:52 AM.

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#3 beckys98

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:57 AM

Hi @Victoriabride! Boy that is a tough one. First of all, I wouldn't worry about what your future in-laws think. Ultimately, it doesn't affect them and every family is different in how they operate in ALL aspects, money included.


I have different, but similar, challenges with money and my dad. Too complicated to explain. Fortunately my sister got married first and we had ZERO expectations that he would contribute even $1. She planned to just flat out ask him if he planned to or not, at least so she could plan accordingly. However, on his own he offered to pay for her welcome reception and contribute $3,000 to the wedding. We were SHOCKED! He is doing the same now for me and I am extremely grateful.


If I were you, I would frame it the same way versus asking for help with a specific item. Just nicely ask if they plan to contribute so you can plan accordingly. Some people find meaning in different things, so maybe they don't find sentiment in the PHOTOGRAPHER, but would love to buy your dress. Or something like that. My dad really wanted us to have the welcome events and it made him feel good to "sponsor" it. So even if your parents are only willing/able to help a little bit, they could do it in a way that you all feel good about.


But I think you (and your fiance, really) should be prepared to not hold a grudge if they don't help. In my experience, most couples assume they are footing the bill themselves and any help they get is a bonus! Good luck!

#4 Wafflesmom

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:01 AM

@Victoriabride that is a tough situation you're in. Personally (and please don't take any offense to my thoughts) I wouldn't ask for help unless you really need it. If you can both afford to pay for the wedding then I don't see a point asking. I don't think anyone is entitled to have parents pay for anything once you're an adult. They have spent enough time, love and money raising you. My mom is a single mom who raised three kids on her own. She would give the shirt of her back for us. I could not ask her to help us pay for anything especially knowing that she's already given us so much.

Your parents attending your wedding and spending money without hesitation is already a great thing. I have read so many instances on this forum where parents refuse to attend bc of costs and hassles!

I'm sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear but just my thought. Perhaps you can explain to your fiancé that if they knew you were in a difficult position, that they would be more than happy to help you out financially
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#5 pjay

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:14 AM

I agree with @Wafflesmom


My parents even offered to help, but due to pride and a sense of how much they have done for me/how hard they work.. I can't accept it.

If I were you, i'd follow my heart. If you feel wrong asking, then explain that to your FI.


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#6 nadiakat17

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:17 AM

Ah that is rough. Your parents aren't dumb. Most likely if they wanted to contribute they would have offered by now. I would say it depends on your financial situation bc asking for money will probably be awkward. If you can pay I wouldn't ask but if you are in dire need of cash I would...although I would just ask in general if there was anything to contribute and not for something specific. It's hard bc they are already shelling out a large sum to attend and I don't blame them if they want to spend their extra money on vacations and not on the logistics of a wedding. Maybe they are planning to give you a large wedding gift. You can always do what a poster said above and drop hints about paying.

#7 Mandiesue

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:27 AM

My parents bought my dress, which I am so thankful for, everything else my fiancé and I are paying for. It's still cheaper than having a wedding in the states. We would of course like to add a bunch of extras but we keep asking ourselves "is it really necessary?" The only thing we splurged on was a DJ but we negotiated over a few months to get to a price we could afford... Good luck!

Just know that if your having a destination wedding... It's because your going to a gorgeous location with a reasonably sized group of people that love you and that you love.

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#8 snswedding2016

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:48 AM

I agree with @Wafflesmom and @perianjay. I think if you feel uncomfortable asking your parents that's probably your gut instincts telling you what to do...I usually find that anyway. If both of your parents are completely on board with the DW - that's a HUGE thing!!


My fiance and I always knew we would be paying for our entire wedding when we decided to get married. Neither of our parents are in the position to pay for the wedding. We really just wanted them all there and so we built that into our budget too...we're paying for his parents and my mom's trips so that they don't have to worry about the money stress. I'm not saying everyone should do that, it just depends on each individual situation. Just like your fiance's parents are in a different financial situation than yours. 


Hope it all works out!

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#9 JoannaBanana

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    Posted 18 March 2015 - 02:04 PM

    I hate this old idea that the bride's parents pay for the wedding.  I think it has kind of gone by the wayside, like a lot of traditions.  But there is no way I would ask my parents to give me anything.  I know how hard they struggle to afford their retirement lifestyle.  Unfortunately we don't have excess money either.  I'm just happy to keep things as no-frills as possible and I'll be thrilled if anyone joins us. 

    My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


    #10 calgarybride2015

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    Posted 18 March 2015 - 03:53 PM

    I agree with most posts.


    If you are uncomfortable to ask, it is probably your gut instinct as said above.


    I have always been very independent and if I want something I get it myself.  My mom bailed me out once way back in my early 20's and I have never asked again.  My mom did pass away though and my dad is NOT like my mom in that way haha!  


    With that said, I never even considered asking for help from any parents to pay for the wedding.  We were just thankful people were paying to attend our wedding. It was not in our budget to pay for anyone, but for those that do it's a great gesture.    My dad did offer to pay for our honeymoon - he offered to pay for our second week in Mexico but we were unable to make it work.  That said, he offered to pay our way to Vegas.  I booked Vegas and I haven't told him. I will not ask him for that money, but if he offers it that is a bonus. We booked a hotel and such that was in our price range and we are prepared to foot the bill. Just the way I am.


    If they offer to help that is fantastic, but don't let the in laws make you feel guilty they aren't.  They need to ensure their families are ok too and also get their way to Mexico. Anything after that is a bonus IMO!!!!  




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