30 answers

Paying for the Wedding Costs of an Adult Child

What costs are expected of you if the child has lived with his fiance for 5 years? Especially when you have expenses you constantly have to borrow from family members to pay? (Not me, it's a friend of mine and I'm just curious if she's obligated?)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Zero, zip, nada, nil! They've played house for 5 years now they can pony up the money for their own wedding!

3 moms found this helpful

It depends entirely on the family and the age of the child getting married. If the "child" has lived with the fiance for 5 year she is an adult and as such should be footing the bill for this. If the family is not able to fund a wedding they need to say so. or say what they will put towards it. You can put on a nice wedding for a couple thousand dollars or you can spend a fortune. if you are having to borrow just to pay normal living expenses then you should not be expected to foot the bill for a wedding.

2 moms found this helpful

Usually the males family pays for the reception dinner, and the brides for the wedding. But fact is, more and more these days, it is the norm for adult children to pay for their own wedding and for the families to simply help out as much as they can.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

if you have to borrow $ from others to pay your own bills then how the heck are you going to pay for a wedding?

If I were in this financial situation as your friend then I would ask to borrow money to give them to go to City Hall ~ $50

4 moms found this helpful

Traditionally, the parents pay for certain aspects of the wedding. Traditionally, the bride was still dependent on her parents. Having lived together for 5 years would mean to me that for practical purposes they've been "married" for 5 years. Traditionally the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner and the grooms expenses such as tuxedos But, in my opinion, he's been living independently for 5 years and should assume his own costs when his parents are not financially solvent. As a parent, I would not expect to pay anything for their wedding. I've not known of any parents paying for independent adult children's weddings.

Since your friend is not financially solvent herself, she should not feel obligated to pay for any aspect of her independent adult child's wedding. She could contribute if she's repaid the loans she's had from family members. And of course I would expect that she give a gift that she can afford within her own financial means. She should definitely not borrow from her family to pay for or help with her son's wedding under any circumstances. I would think this would cause ill feelings within the family.

If the son expects his mother to pay his expenses, while knowing that she has to borrow to pay her own expenses, I suggest that for her to borrow to pay his expenses is contributing to his lack in learning how to responsibly manage fiances. I see the issue as more about the obligation to responsibly manage finances than in who is obligated to pay wedding expenses.

She is not obligated! And if she is putting pressure on her family to loan her money for her son's wedding I suggest that the family is also not obligated.

3 moms found this helpful

It depends on the family. I would consider the following:
- financial possibility
- siblings (if parents paid for another kid, they need to be fair and pay the same for all)
- family values/cultures/history. Some kids just grow up knowning their parents will/won't pay for their wedding
- whether the kids are still depending on the parents/living with them or independent

In our case, my parents like big weddings (simple ceremony, dinner... but LOTS of guests. So, for my siblings and I, the rule has been that the groom and bride pay for everything except their parent's guests. My parents could invite as many people as they wished, great aunts and uncles, old friends... (with a right of veto from me) but would pay for their guests. My husband and I paid for everything else (our guests, dinner, photos, dress, ceremony, venue...)

3 moms found this helpful

Zero, zip, nada, nil! They've played house for 5 years now they can pony up the money for their own wedding!

3 moms found this helpful

M., your friend is not in the position to pay for a wedding. The bride and groom need to have a little wedding in a back yard with a barbeque reception. Costs little, is plenty of fun, and makes sense since they've lived together for so long.

D.

3 moms found this helpful

Personally I feel like parents being "obligated" to pay for thier childrens wedding is a little out dated. And somewhat ridiculous.
First of all, a child should not expect their parent to pay for their wedding unless the parents have specifically said they would do so. And if they the parents do pay, then THEY should have the right to dictate cost since it's coming out of their pockets. And if the couple has already been living together, especially for a few years then they should be mature and together enough to pay for their own wedding. This custom began before couples were living together. This was a way of parents "giving" their daughter to the grooms family, for him to then take over the responsibility of caring for her......OLD FASHIONED.
Long story short, your friend should NOT feel obligated, or guilted by her child to pay for their wedding. Especially if she has financial troubles of her own. They should appreciate anything she OFFERS to pay for. If they've been already living together for five years, they should be well prepared for this day on their own!

3 moms found this helpful

I think the best thing to do in this situation is offer a set amount. Then the "kids" can either have a wedding or elope and keep the rest for a honeymoon.

2 moms found this helpful

Money is a gift not a requirement. If she can give towards the wedding, she can give a set amount and tell them that is all she can afford then they can figure out the rest. I get so tired of hearing how people feel obligated to pay for things for others or how children expect their parents to pay for things. My parents gave me $200 for my wedding because that is what they had, my husband and I took care of most of it and my in-laws chipped in as they were able. If she doesn't have it, she can't give it and definately should NOT go into debt to help.

2 moms found this helpful

Depends on the parents. Some go all out regardless of the length of engagement, etc. But, more and more, these days, adults finance their own weddings.
It's traditional for the bride's parents to pay, but things just aren't carved in stone about that anymore.
I never asked my parents for anything. It was nice that way because I could have what I wanted and not feel obligated to do things a certain way.

I would say your friend is not obligated in the least, especially if she is having money issues. Who isn't right now?

I think the adults can pay for what they want.
Just my humble opinion.

2 moms found this helpful

Bride/Bride's parents--reception dinner
Bride&Groom---all the extras
Groom's parents--Rehearsal dinner and usually limos/video/photos--which ever they choose to cover.
Bridal parties chip in a pay for showers & bachelor/bachelorette parties.

That is the norm, but some situations are not within that realm.
If your friend is financially struggling, the couple shouldn't expect to put a burden on a parent. Most save for occasions like this, but unfortunately some don't or can't. A lot of people worry about the wedding and not the marriage.....what really is important!

2 moms found this helpful

If you do not have the money ....you dont have the money. The bride and groom should already know that you cannot get water from a stone. If they want to get married then they can pay for it themselves. I say if no one can afford it then elope!!!

2 moms found this helpful

There is no requirement at any time.
It is like a gift. IF you want to help you can offer a set amount.

You may even want to consider saying, the money they have borrwed in the past is now forgiven and that is their wedding gift. No more money towards the Wedding.

When my husband and I married we were very young. We were 20. We did not ask our parents for money, because we told them "if we could not afford to pay for our own Wedding, we either were asking for too big of a celebration or we could not afford to actually be married to each other". We saved, we worked and we kept a tight control over our spending. We paid for practically everything even a 7 day cruise. My mother wanted to pay for the Wedding cake and my Aunt owned a floral shop and offered us the flowers. These were our wedding gifts from them.

2 moms found this helpful

I think it really depends on the familys situtaion....especially with the economy right now.

When i got married, i choose to do it all myself (even though my family could of helped) But it was somethign i wanted to do. I payed for everything and arranged everything.

My sister on the other hand wanted a huge ellaborate wedding they could not afford and expected everyone to pay.......so both of parents got together for a meeting and they all talked expenses...and in the end my parents paid for bla bla and his parents paid for bla bla....left the rest for my sister and fiance to do.

So talk it out with your familys and see what they want to contribute or what they can.

2 moms found this helpful

Even if you go super traditional, the grooms family is ONLY expected to pay for the rehearsal dinner. The groom HIMSELF traditionally pays for wedding transportation (limo or his car or whatever) and honeymoon.

But seriously, if your friend can't afford to help with the wedding, then they can't afford it. If it were me, I'd offer to host the rehearsal dinner in a way I could afford (Maybe hosting a bbq at my house following the ceremony rehearsal) and if the bride and groom weren't happy with that, they'd be welcome to plan something else and I'd contribute what money I could.

Hope this helps.

T.

2 moms found this helpful

It depends entirely on the family and the age of the child getting married. If the "child" has lived with the fiance for 5 year she is an adult and as such should be footing the bill for this. If the family is not able to fund a wedding they need to say so. or say what they will put towards it. You can put on a nice wedding for a couple thousand dollars or you can spend a fortune. if you are having to borrow just to pay normal living expenses then you should not be expected to foot the bill for a wedding.

2 moms found this helpful

"Proper" etiquette is the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner.. BUT if it's either of the "adult" kids "2nd" marriage they should pay for it themselves..
Nowadays I think it's a group effort... When I got married ( 7 years ago when I was 24) everyone chipped in.. Who has 20k laying around nowadays to pay for a wedding.. My mom gave me 5k, my dad gave me 5k, my father in law gave us 5k and we put in 5k....
It really depends on the families personal finances... :0)

2 moms found this helpful

Usually the males family pays for the reception dinner, and the brides for the wedding. But fact is, more and more these days, it is the norm for adult children to pay for their own wedding and for the families to simply help out as much as they can.

2 moms found this helpful

First and foremost a parent is not required or obligated to provide any care for their child beyond raising them to adulthood. In the "old days", children mostly worked for their parents, and had no means to provide for themselves or pay for a wedding, particularly women. However even today, parents pay for, or should pay for, weddings out of love and generosity, not obligation. Adults who are long gone from the parental nest should not expect anything.

1 mom found this helpful

Depends on the family.

Traditionally (in this country, tradition changes country by country and culture by culture, which makes a big difference):

Brides parent pay for the wedding itself, and grooms parents pay for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon.

For my H and I we were going to pay for everything, just because that's my way and his family has 0 money. My mum freaked, however, and offered to pay for everything that was above what we were going to do IF she could invite anyone she wanted. So our 20 person wedding changed into a 125 person wedding. So we just paid for what we had originally budgeted for (2k), and she paid the remainder (4k). We also paid for our own honeymoon, which happened over a year after the wedding, because that's when we could afford to go. ((I should add, I had to be "worn down" on the whole wedding thing. We had a small child and were in school. The expense of a wedding and honeymoon were not high on my "to do" list, even though it was high on everyone else's (except my 98 yo super catholic grandmother, who was just happy that we weren't having protected sex! We were, kiddo was concieved through 3 types of contraception, but why burst a wonderful old lady's bubble?).))

My brother is getting married this summer. The bride's parents are really doing the whole "standard" $25k thing. My parents portion of the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon = out to apx $10k. 4500 for the rehersal dinner alone.

1 mom found this helpful

I lived with my husband before we got married and also had a kid. We did a court house thing because it was not on my parents and IO was not going to ask them. I was 21, so her daughter should know better. My older sister is now 29 and thinks my parents should still pay for hers when she has played house with God knows how many guys. And my younger sister, her bf, and their daughter live with my parents rent and utility free...I pray they do not think they are owed ANYTHING at all. In short, I think your friend owes her daughter NOTHING.

1 mom found this helpful

I lived with my fiance (ex-husband now) for 3 years before we got married and my family paid for the whole thing (excluding tux rentals and wedding rings). BUT keep in mind, I am the youngest in the entire family, and I am the only girl (cousins included). So it was a special thing for my dad to pay (and he was able to pay, if he hadn't been I wouldn't have expected him to pay a dime). Now, with my older brother, who had lived with his fiance (now ex-wife) for a number of years all my parents paid for was the photographer and my brothers tux rental (just his not the whole party), all other expenses were paid for by his fiances parents or them. So I really think it depends on the family and the situation. If she can't afford a lot why doesn't she offer to give her something with a special meaning, like the something "old/new/borrowed/blue" thing? I wish your friend good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

my parents paid for our plane tickets and hotel room (we got married in vegas) and everyone's dinner after the wedding, which we did not expect, we had been planning to pay for it all ourselves.

I think in this day and age, an adult who is getting married should expect to pay for it all themselves and anything their parents can afford to help with, they should be grateful for.

1 mom found this helpful

It depends on the family and traditions. All traditions are different. Are they Mexican? If so then all the "Sponsors" will pay for their assigned sponsorship. You have to sit down and watch "Our Family Wedding" with your friend.

But really, it all only goes as far as the pocket book will allow.

1 mom found this helpful

The parents of the engaged daughter can offer an amount that is in their comfort range. So if they can only contribute $1000 or $20,000 or $500 it is all based on their situation.

Seems to me these days people are either on one end or the other, they say screw their kids they can pay all their own stuff ( like my cheap A-hole parents) or they spoil their kids and give them the wedding of a lifetime.
If they have extra money I can see helping out with some wedding things here and there but as others have said, they are not obligated to, I guess it all depends on the parent and the child and what kind of relationship they have. Since they are constantly borrowing, someone is okay with constantly loaning. Times are very rough, esp when you are about to start a family.

I guess I am all for helping out the child since my parents always smoked, drank, and gambled obscene amounts of money away and never saved anything for my brother and I , not for college, not for anything. As soon as I graduated I left home and recently got married and had a daughter, and got not one thing from my parents even for the baby ! You can say their not obligated, I see otherwise.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the tradition of parents paying is 'outdated', but the rules have changed a bit. Since they seem to be the groom's parents, their financial obligations are not as extensive. As someone else mentioned they are to pay usually for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon. If the child is in his late 20s-30s they should probably be able to pay for the majority of the wedding themselves. If they are younger than that, well then I guess they're just going to have to make do! Your friend just needs to sit down with her son and say look...here's the money I can offer you, do with it what you may!

My husband and I were both in our later 30's when we met. We'd both been living on our own for quite some time and each owned a house. My mom insisted on paying for my dress (she was out of work at the time) and my dad and stepmother threw our rehearsal dinner (a barbecue in a church pavilion). We paid for the rest on a budget we established together and stuck too. This is what my family could afford .... and it worked great! They didn't feel obligated and I didn't feel like it I was "mooching" off of them, which may be hoow your friend is feeling about her child. She should sit them down together and offer what she's willing to do. And, he should understand the situation she's in ... and not make it worse.

I don't feel any parent is obligated to pay for their child's wedding, regardless of the bride and groom's living arrangements and regardless of the parent's financial status.

From your post I assume her child is male. Traditionally the grooms parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. But if he is an older adult and has been living with his fiance for 5 years hopefully they have saved money for their own wedding. If your friend has financial problems already she needs to sit down with her son and fiance and be honest.

My husband and I lived together for two years before we were married and we paid for our own wedding (including all the tuxes & dresses for attendants). If they want a wedding then they can pay for it.

The parents should sit down with their child and discuss what types of things the child would like for the ceremony, etc. Then they should be honest with what they can afford to contribute, or which piece they are willing to pay for, before any reservations are made.

My parents paid for most of my wedding. I was 21 at the time we got engaged. My mom was honest and told me that if I wanted them to pay for parts of it or most of it, then she would have to be given x amount of time to get some money together, and then get a say in the decisions so that we would remember that it wasn't a blank check.

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