2.25.2009

Papa Don't Preach...?

I always envied those who didn't have to pay for their own weddings, in part or in full. Since I wanted to elope in the first place, thoughts of 'better uses' often came to mind when I sent out wedding payments. So when MOH-Ho got engaged and her parents offered her basically a blank check to pay for her wedding, the first thing out of my mouth was something like "HolySeabiscuit! You best not take that shiz for granted!"

Last week over dinner, MOH-Ho told me about a bunch of wedding ideas that's been scratched off her list, ideas that she felt confident about just the week before. Turns out, her parents were less than thrilled about them. It surprised me because her parents are the most understanding and supportive parents I have ever met. But of course, if there is anything I've learned from planning my own, it is that weddings bring strong opinions out da woodworks.

The objections were prefaced with "You can do what you want, but...", and while we know they absolutely mean it, MOH-Ho conceded to everything the parents disagreed with so far. From the officiant selection to the whimsical theme incorporated in the ceremony, none met the criteria of a traditional wedding, like how they believe something as sacred and significant as a wedding should be. "I gotta pick my battles," said MOH-Ho, "it's their money and I definitely want them to have their say in this!" Fortunately MOH-Ho and her parents have a wonderful relationship, and while compromises will have to be made, I'm sure everyone will be happy with the wedding in the end.

I used to think that if someone wants to pay for my wedding, they can do whatever they want. But I now realize it's not that easy. Had our parents contributed to our wedding, I'm not sure I could have easily let go of my own vision for their approval. They too were less than thrilled about all my ideas until they saw it all put together, and agreed afterwards that it turned out to be wonderful and very us. I'd also hesitate in spending, especially splurging on unnecessary items, if it was someone else's money (MOH-Ho is feeling the same).

Perhaps it is me who has been taking our ability to afford this freedom for granted. I guess the tea is always greener in the other cup, eh?

Is anyone sponsoring or chipping in for your wedding? How much are 'says' worth? Does the percentage in financial contribution correlate to the amount of influence in decisions making?

4 comments:

  1. We had an unconvential wedding and our parents contributed, so for the sake of our sanity, we assigned their contributions to certain aspects of the wedding we knew they would be cool with (location/food) and paid for everything else ourselves. That way, if they complained, we could say "Well you didn't pay for that so it's not your concern." There was still a bit of drama prior to the wedding, but on the whole, this worked out surprisingly well.

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  2. We're paying for half, each of our sets of parents is paying for another 1/4. So, 1/4 each. Anyway, it works well for us. We give them just as much input as we would if we were paying for all of it (it's their wedding too after all!) and they don't step on our toes too much. So, I don't know, for us, the budget splitting came naturally, but I think the power sharing came naturally too.

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  3. I paid for my own wedding, but chose to get married in the carribean after my mother refused to sit by my father, blah blah blah. The list of potential problems was not worth it. It was lovely and I would do it again but I wish family had been there.
    I am much older than you, but I have a theory that makes some sense. The wedding couple pays for any wedding and reception that they want, the sky is the limit. After 25 years, if they are still happily married, both sets of parents reimburse them plus interest. #1. The wedding couple really consider what matters and what they are willing to pay. #2. Perhaps they will attempt to work harder on their marriage when a possible windfall is waiting. Having said that, I so hope I can give my children a lovely wedding. And pay for it. I also hope that they choose well in who they marry.
    Also, you are a lovely bride!
    The best advice I have heard...Put each other first and neither will be last.

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