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Wedding dilemma

Jonnarca's picture

Hi, I,m new to this. I,ve been married for 23 years and I brought 2 children to the marriage, my husband has a daughter and we have 1 child together. As most of you know the struggle of being a step-parent is very real. I kept my mouth closed for the first 20 years, when it came to his daughter. She is the only child that didn’t live with us. So I know it was hard for her also, when things weren’t good with her mom and us, we never said anything to her. Always tried to keep it positive. She is an only child on her moms side, so was hard for her sharing or understanding why we had so many rules and she wasn’t first all the time, since there were 4 children at our house. We never missed a weekend , took her on any vacation we went on, bought her a car when she was 16; tried to keep everything the same. She is now 26, about 3 years ago she asked for money for college she needed it right away , we told her she could borrow it. We don’t have the money to pay for their college. But we wanted to make sure she didn’t miss out on her class, we told her no hurry to pay back whenever she could. Her response was she couldn’t believe a parent would treat their kid this way, she will never treat her children this way. How could her dad do this to her? The message went on and on, very hurtful to my husband and he didn’t  say anything back. I kept my mouth shut for so long but couldn’t believe at 23 years old she would talk like this to someone especially when we let her borrow the money she needed. In a very nice way messaged her that it hurt her dad and we try to keep everything equal between all the kids, we didn’t pay for the others college either. She never responded back. Our relationshiped stayed strained until she was ready to graduate from college and messaged her dad and said there wasn’t enough tickets for me to go, which we found out was a lie. When confronted she acted like it was all our fault and didn’t want any of us to come. I messaged her begging to let her dad go even if she didnt want me there. She told me to leave her alone and messaged her dad and told him off again. We both then did get to go, but very uncomfortable situation. She lives about 1 hour from us, we see her about 1-2 times a year, Xmas usually. She is getting married in 4 months and we are supposed to Pay for the entire wedding. My husband agreed , we don’t know how much or anything about th wedding. I’m don’t think we should pay for it all. We don’t have a relationship with her and her boyfriend of 7 years won’t even friend us on Facebook, but we are paying for the wedding. My husband says having a little relationship is better then no relationship. But I’m not sure this is a good relationship, I feel like we are only a bank when she needs it. Am I crazy? She hates me and honestly I’m not crazy about her, especially how she has treated my husband and myself. But my husband insist on doing whatever she wants the 1 1-2 times a year she has connect with him. I told him we are paying for a portion of it, same as we did for the other children. He says no we are paying for it all.



Survivingstephell's picture

"We" are paying for it??  NO , HE can pay for it if he wants but no to the we.  He can get a second or third job but this should not have any effect on the household budget or retirement planning.  I'm sure her mother shaped and molded this girl into the brat she is today and you did her no favors buy taking the high road or not showing her how to handle dissappointment.  Now it will be her husband's job and he might not be up to it.  

If daddy wants to chase after his little girl, let him.  Don't make it easy on him by rescheduling your life to accomadate it.  

queensway's picture

NO WAY you should you pay for all of this wedding. Has your DH lost his freaking mind? OMG If this man really thinks this will make his relationship solid with this girl he is soooooo wrong. Offer what you feel you can contribute. Not a penny more.

twoviewpoints's picture

What a silly man your DH is. And he's not even asking questions.

I can tell you where you seat will be during the ceremony. The back row. Next to the potted plant. For the reception, you will get the small table next to the kitchen. 

Seriously? He's wrong. While it really is none of the other children's business what is paid for this or that compared to another child of the family, you need to get a grip on your DH anyway. You do know and what and how you feel about it better matter to him. His one daughter is no more important than your two children nor your joint one child. None. Being as it sounds as if the financials of your home are joint (and probably been that way for 20yrs), he has no business offering up to pay for the entire wedding... does he even know how much this could cost him and you?  

SD's BF of seven years should be ashamed of himself expecting someone other than the bride and groom to foot all their wedding cost. Yes, some parents do pay for all the cost and yes, at one time it was traditional for the bride's parents to pay for the wedding. But this isn't 1955. I also didn't read one word about what BM is paying for? The bride and groom is paying for? 

This could cost many thousands. You may not even be invited. Your husband isn't being conferred with over cost and details, let alone giving any limits. 

Stand your ground on this one. Not because she is your Sd. Not because she dislikes you. Not because she barely has contact with your household.

Stand your ground because it is your money too. Because what is being spent is joint cash that could be in your retirement savings. Heck, stand your ground because this might be your and DH's vacation funds for this year. Whatever.

In no way should SD get anything with her attitude, but if you decide to put in a partial contribution , no, it should not be any more than what was willing to be spent on the other children's weddings (or future weddings).  


notarelative's picture

If DH wants to be traditional and pay for the wedding, remind him that traditionally the person paying makes the arrangements and has their name on the invitation as inviting. If he's paying he should get control of the budget. If he doesn't he could be working until he's 90 to pay for the extravaganza. 




ndc's picture

Unless your husband is extremely wealthy and paying for the wedding will not have any appreciable effect on your financial situation, or unless your finances are separate and your husband plans to pay for the wedding solely from his own funds (and it won't set back funding his retirement), I would take a hard stance on this and tell him that NO, the two of you are NOT paying for his daughter's entire wedding, the budget for which you have no knowledge of.

The days of the bride's father paying for the entire wedding are long gone.  It happens, but it is not the norm.  Two of my cousins have gotten married in the past year.  In both cases, the bride and groom and the bride's father paid about equal amounts, with the groom's parents throwing in some additional funds.  I'd say it was about a 40/40/20 split.  In one case the bride's parents were divorced and both were remarried.  The father was the only one who contributed money, as the mother had none to give, but she helped in non-monetary ways.    

If your husband wants to be an ATM, he's approaching this the right way.  Otherwise, he needs to choose the amount the two of you are comfortable paying, let his daughter know what that is, and let her know any conditions to the contribution (such as you will be included, you will not be seated in Siberia, you will be in the wedding pictures, etc.).  He needs to understand that he cannot buy a good relationship with his daughter, and paying for the wedding over your objections is going to harm his marriage without improving things with his daughter.  

MoominMama's picture

She is a brat, no way should she get her wedding paid for by someone she treats like dirt under her shoe. Your DH is crazy to give her an open wallet on this and also to have done so without consulting you or allowing you input. I suppose this is because he knows you would be against it. Then when you complain he says 'but i've said yes', is that how it works?

elkclan's picture

If he doesn't have any idea how much he's on the hook for and she has a free reign on her spending, that's just nuts!!!! My dad financially contributed to my wedding but he set an absolute limit and anything I didn't spend on the wedding I got to keep. My mother also contributed. As I am a cheap person by nature I was happy to keep things reasonable, but frankly it was a CONSTANT struggle with my mother to keep the financial costs down - as she basically wanted to run up the costs and make my dad pay for it. 

I'm planning to get married again and frankly it's a whole different ball game, obviously! I would expect to pay for everything. My dad has offered to put a certain amount of money behind the bar (my friends drink a lot - as do my fiance's - I expect this to be the largest portion of my budget). I haven't even told my mom I'm engaged yet because she's mother-of-the-bridezilla and I'd like to run my own show this time, but I expect she will pay for and hand arrange the flowers. She will want to spend much more on flowers than I would and she's amazingly talented at arranging so this seems like a good compromise as otherwise if I paid for flowers she would be causing problems and pushing the budget so far beyond what I would be willing to pay. 

There should be a budget and an upper limit and that should be that. Unfortunately, I'm afraid you're probably committed now though because he's already said yes and I expect that much of the spending has already been committed (dress, venue, catering, etc). But there are a million extras which can be added on and she may treat this as an opportunity for 'payback'. So it's not too late for him to have a budget chat -which he absolutely must. 

hereiam's picture


Merry's picture

He's paying for all of it, and he doesn't know how much it is? What a dope.

It won't buy her love. He's just being a chump. And he needs a reality check to see exactly how this will affect your household.

My DH is retired. He has champagne taste and zero budgeting skills, and while we do ok financially, every time he wants to do something pricey, I just tell him that it means I have to work another year. Is there something concrete you can use to show your DH what he will be giving up if he pays for the wedding? Hard to do when you don't know how much it will be. That is totally baffling to me.

Honestly, if he gives in to this demand, it will not get better. If there are grandchildren from this marriage, they will undoubtedly be used as weapons against your DH as well. I feel sorry for him, especially because he is being played. He probably knows it but is too weak to do anything about it. Dang.

Siemprematahari's picture

SD has made your H feel so guilty that he actually agreed to pay for the entire wedding. She has no respect for either of you and he actually agreed to this?

The guilty dad syndrome is working over time on him. I hope he realizes that he doesn't owe her anything, that whatever he does is from the kindness of his heart and that it doesn't matter how much he pays for the wedding, it will never be enough and she'll only find something else to complain about. I hope he reconsiders.

StepMamaBear6's picture

Nope. Just no.  If you have joint finances, then I would let your DH know that you do NOT agree to pay for the whole wedding and if he insists, he will have another relationship that goes down in flames.  Marriage is compromise - it is not "my way or the highway."  You don't want to pay any of it, he wants to pay the whole thing, the compromise is somewhere in the middle.  For example, SD26, here is $2500 to buy a beautiful dress or to pay a photographer.  We love you.  Dad and SM.  The end.  

Stand your ground.  This is ridiculous.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You need to put your foot squarely down on your  H's guilt complex and introduce some common sense before he bankrupts you. 

You have four kids who will need weddings, not just one. Try reminding him of that. Examine your finances, decide on a number you can afford, and tell him that's it.