Question About a Wedding of an Adult Child.... - Columbus,IN

Updated on January 27, 2012
T.T. asks from Columbus, IN
21 answers

I saw another question similar to this one, but I really need any advice I can get...
My stepson, who lives at our house, or a least sleeps here when he isn't with his girlfriend of 8 or so years...wants his father to pay for his rehearsal dinner...his mom seems to have been allowed not to have to I guess...the problems are as follows...
1.) He has a full time job and makes more money than his father, who works a few hours a week at a part time job gets...
2.) He has money he gets 2 times a year for college classes he takes that he could put back for this rehearsal dinner...
3.) He is 28 years old, and has only gas and junk food as his expenses, oh, and his yu gi oh cards he spends hundreds of dollars on...
4.) Our daughter, 19, was married last year and we gave her less than 200 dollars...
I don't think it is fair that his father pay for a rehearsal dinner, by the way, at Red Lobster, when we have very little money to begin with and he has a good paying job, few expenses, and 2 times a year he gets over 1,000 bucks from the government...
My husband thinks I am being mean, but at 28 and with the expenses the way they are I am angry he has asked and angrier that my husband is thinking of giving him money...
At what age does someone outgrow daddy taking care of them...we let him stay with us free of charge...
Oh, and I am a diabetic with asthma and my health is not so good, and my husband was diagnosed 3 months ago with High Blood Pressure, an enlarged heart, and Congestive Heart Failure...and working only part time has no insurance...

What can I do next?

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answers from Dallas on

I agree with those who have suggested telling your stepson that you would like to give him $200 to use for his rehearsal dinner, making sure that he knows that this is exactly the same as you gave your daughter for her wedding.

However, I would urge you to keep your explanation limited to ONLY the fact that you are unable to offer any more than that. Do not be defensive. There is nothing to apologize for, because you are still giving him an amount of money that is a sacrifice at this point in time, and you should give it with an attitude of love for him.

If you make an issue about your stepson making more money than his father, then that is likely to become the main theme of any conflict that develops. When men feel like someone is blaming them for doing something wrong, they often react badly (even when they ARE WRONG!). His earnings are irrelevant to how much you can afford to contribute, because if he didn't make much money, you still couldn't afford to pay for more.

You can offer to host a nice dinner at your house or the church fellowhip hall that is either homemade or inexpensive take-out, with a budget of $200. (Doesn't have to be fast food, there are other inexpensive options. Sam's and Costco have good ready made entrees.) He can decide for himself whether he'd like to choose that option or come up with the rest of the money for something more expensive.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

This is what you do: You and your husband agree on a set amount of money that you both feel is a reasonable amount you can offer your son considering YOUR OWN finances. Then you say to son, we would love to help you with your wedding. We are offering to pay for something up to this amount of money. You may choose how the money is used. So if you want to hold the rehearsal dinner at Red Lobster and you want us to help with that, we gladly will pay the bill up to this amount, the rest you will need to be responsible for paying some other way. We love you and are so proud of you!
Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

For lack of a better way of putting it: You are letting him live with you for nothing, you feed him, pay for his showers, pay for his electricity.... everything (from what I gather from you saying). He's a mooch. When I was 16 I was paying room & board. So in my opinion, you let him get away with a lot already, why wouldn't he push for more? You give an inch, he takes a mile...and it's OK. So why not 2 miles?

I wish you the best T.. Sorry if it sounded harsh. Sooooo not my intention.

As for a solution to your step-son, I agree with Eliza. Write him a check and give it to him a week before the wedding. Tell him it's his wedding gift, same as your daughter, and he can spend the money however he chooses. I would make sure and mention it is equal to what you gave your daughter. Again, good luck. :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Approach your husband and create a united front. Give him $200, just as you did your daughter. Then, tell Stepson that, just as you gave X $200, you will be giving him $200, which he can use toward the rehearsal dinner. Explain that due to a variety of costs, including ongoing and serious health care issues, that is all you can afford, but that you're happy to help in non-monetary ways, such as (and come up with a couple of suggestions).

Explain it to your husband that its not that you don't want to give him the money, if he needed it. But that your health care concerns and tight budget are really worrying you. Do not show your anger or talk about the fact that stepson seems to a self-centered boy who is using you guys (living at home at 28, when he can afford to leave on his own? Unless he's trying to pay down debts or save for a house or something, it seems a least a bit questionable to me, especially if he's not paying rent or contributing to groceries/utlities/etc.). If you have implied or called his son selfish, apologize for that. And try the tack of you're concerned about affording it, NOT whether or not Stepson deserves it. Because of course, you do want to help him celebrate his wedding (even if you don't like him, channel the thoughts of wishing him the best anyway, and look forward to having him out of the house, which will definitely help with expenses!!!).

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Tradition goes out the window when I barely have enough money to get by. I feel it is incredibly disrespecful to ask your parents for money when you know they don't have it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think that an adult can request something of another adult but the second adult doesn't need to do it if it isn't something he/she wants or can do. I get the whole concept of paying for weddings, or paying for college, but parents have bills, too.

I would point out that if he wants to be fair, he should give SS the same amount your daughter was given for her wedding and tell SS that he gets same as his sister.

Further, I would save a few bucks to buy a bottle of wine and toast his mooching departure from your home.

(Frankly, if he's mooched off your household this long, I think you've paid your dues.)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I would give him $200 same as your daughter.

When my son got married it was durung my husband's medical treatment for a rare blood disorder. They (groom and bride) paid for everything.

Times change and so do traditions. But if you don't have it you can't do it. I would especially since he is a mooch and demands/expects more.

Good luck with your decision.

The other S.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

When we were married, I was 29 my husband was 27, and his parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. My parents gave us $3,000 toward the wedding, and we paid for the rest ourselves.

Your situation is completely different - but I wanted to say, that I think that it is still pretty normal for parents to contribute to their children's weddings, even if they are in their late 20's... or even early 30's.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Anyone can (and will!) ask you for money. It's your decision what you do with it. In this case, decide with your husband what (if any) you would like to contribute. Perhaps $200, to match the daughter? Then, write a check, put it in a card, and give to the son with well wishes and be clear that this is your contribution to his wedding. (this avoids "misunderstandings" on the evening of the event)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You must ask yourself what are you doing to make your husband's health condition better or worse?

As for the wedding rehearsal dinner, it is usually paid by the groom's family...however, if you don't have the $$ that's a different story. Sounds like more is going on here then you have posted. Is this your step son?


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Perrie says it best, if you gave the daughter $200, then that's what you give the son. What amount he goes over is his own responsibility. You are not helping your health by letting this be so stressful for you. Giev the same as daughter, DONE.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Yes, traditionally, the bride's family pays for the wedding and the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner. However, I think more and more people are steering away from that tradition. For one, a lot of people are getting married later in life--after they start their career. Second, the economy is tough right now. Your step-son should not assume anything! Do what you are comfortable doing and that is it! Why do some people feel so entitled?

On a side note, a friend is going through the same thing. She makes 60k a year and is mad her parents are not giving her 30k for a wedding. Her dad is a professional but has been out of a job for 2 years and is now retired. Her mom is an administrative assistant. She makes more than both of her parents--combined! I've tried to explain this to her--they're not choosing to not give her money--they don't have it to give!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It's tradition that the groom's family pay for the rehearsal dinner. Tradition doesn't specifiy WHO in the groom's family this should fall to, where it should be hosted, or how fancy is should be.

The college money is for his classes, and should NOT be considered accessible funds.

In the situtation you've provided, it would be extremely acceptable for the groom to host/pay for the rehearsal dinner at Red Lobster. If he insists that your husband pay, then host something at home.

Mind you that traditionally this dinner is just the wedding party. You, bride's parents, bride, groom, guys standing, girls standing. Tho the 'standings' may try to bring guests or dates. Just say no.

My rehearsal dinner ended up to be at 9p from Subway for $60. There was still decorating to do, groom was sick, and inlaws forgot. So at 9p we all looked at each other and said, guess we should eat something .... so FIL ran next door to Subway.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

It is usually the grooms parents that pay for the rehearsal dinner. So I guess he is going by that. If you do not have the money, then you do not
do it. By the way, I think Red Lobster if overpriced for the so called "seafood" you get. Bet you could find another restaurant for less

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

This is one of those no win situations. As a step mother there is a negative dynamic you just can't get arround easily. You're an interloper. Suggesting his son is spoiled will get you no where. Gripeing about the lack of money will just make your husband feel emasculated that he can't provide more. And, confronting your step son will only make you the "witch" That said, prehaps a gentle concerned reminder to your husband about the finances and "your worries" including your desire to be fair would be the best tactic. You might limit the financial damage and come off in a better light all arround if you suggest that your financial donation to your step son's rehersal dinner be equal to what you and your husband contributed to your daughter's wedding. Two hundred dollars is a lot of money when you are on a tight budget but not a lot of money to keep peace and harmony in a famiy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

In a family where the kids are all treated differenly, I would suggest giving him the same that you gave your daughter. Help in other areas if it is feasible. Decorate for the reception, help make center pieces etc. But why do more for one than the other? If the boy's mother chips in more - well, good for him.

You also need to consider your and your husbands needs and remember that your health should come first. Make sure your needs are met with you meds and bills.



answers from Cleveland on

I totally agree with you. However, and I've never been in this situation, but how much say do you have. If you are unable to lay out how you financially can't afford this to your husband, leaving out the fact the kid should and can do it on his own... Then what? I'd make the financial appeal and if he still wants to do it then let him.

You are already allowing him to live with you so why fight about this?


answers from Washington DC on

normally I would say if this is his first wedding, then yes you should pay for the rehersal dinner. That's the grooms parents part in the wedding. But, it doesn't have to be anywhere fancy. We had ours at pizza hut, lol! But, since he is living at home for free and you guys just really can't afford it, then he should be able to cover it or at least pay for half of it since he is going to school. I don't think age has anything to do with it. If it's not his first wedding, then yes he shouldn't expect you to pay for it



answers from Columbus on

I think you should give him the same amount you gave your daughter; end of story! If he doesn't like that amount, then too bad.

I am so tired of seeing parents give their children things even though they are struggling to make ends meet, etc. just to keep the children happy and not throw a temper tantrum.

My parents chipped in what they could when we all got married; I never expected, nor did I ask, for anything. It was more important to have my parents attend my rehearsal dinner and my simple little ceremony than go all out and spend money neither of us had to have a big lavish wedding, etc. I'm just as married as anyone else that spent 100 times the amount; and just as happy!!!!

Your step-son is being VERY selfish to ask, and worse yet, expect, his father to give him anything! Tell him to take everyone out for pizza and get married before a judge!!!

Good luck!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

You sound very defensive and resentful of this son...just saying. If you can't do it, or only feel you should do the $200 to be fair, then you need to work that out with your husband. He's his son, and probably wants to do all he can to help him regardless. It's a happy day for him. I understand the financial hardships and if that's the case, don't be defensive but explain it to both his father and him. I was 30 when I get married and my parents helped me out. And yes they were strapped and I did pay for a lot myself. But they wanted to be involved and help me because it was a very happy day for me and to share with our families. On another husbands parents are divorced but they did split the rehearsal dinner. I do believe that is fair.


answers from Los Angeles on

MzKitty took the words right out of my mouth, but I'll say it again: Just say no. Period.

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