MaryEllen
Expert October 2016

Son getting married 🎊

MaryEllen, on September 20, 2018 at 9:36 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 31
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My son is getting married to a wonderful girl. We would like to help them out but we want to help pay for “things” instead of just offering cash. Is it okay to say to them to give us the bill for invitations and the photographer for example? We don’t want to influence their decisions but want to contribute.

31 Comments

Latest activity by Stephanie, on September 20, 2018 at 5:30 PM
  • ArwenToHisAragorn
    Expert October 2018
    ArwenToHisAragorn ·
    • Flag

    That's really generous of you! I would let them know up-front if you're offering to pay for specifics that you're looking just to contribute and not to influence their decisions (which is really, really awesome of you to say outright, a lot of people offer help with strings attached) and then ask how they would like to do it. It's possible that they'll give you the bill for things, but they may prefer cash to put aside to use as needed for payments to a venue, catering, etc.

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  • Mrs. S
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
    • Flag
    I think that’s fine and so sweet. I wish my fmil or parents would help like that lol.
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  • FutureMrsKC
    Master January 2019
    FutureMrsKC ·
    • Flag

    This is totally fine and this is what our families did as well!

    Instead of just giving us money, we told them how much certain vendors were that we wanted and they opted to cover them. My parents are paying for our venue and food, FH mom and step dad are covering the DJ and cake, and FH dad and stepmom are covering our entire rehearsal dinner! We got everything else ourselves as far as extra vendors, decor, our attire, etc. It's honestly easier to keep track and let people know what the remaining balances are for vendors than just having a lump sum to go off of. That is so generous of you!

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  • M
    Super October 2018
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    FFIL told us to give him the bill for certain things and he would pay for it. Its perfectly fine and helpful. No strings attached is really awesome of you.
    • Reply
  • K
    Super February 2021
    Kayla ·
    • Flag
    I think that's amazing! Most times when someone wants to pay for something it's because they want it done their way. So I think this is very generous of you to do. I would just let them know that you want to pay for the specific thing but you want no input on the decision. Im sure they wouldn't mind!
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  • Kristen
    VIP August 2018
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    I think that's totally fine and would be a really great help to them

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  • Neens
    Devoted September 2018
    Neens ·
    • Flag
    This is great and you are very nice for doing it that way!
    • Reply
  • Brandi
    Dedicated May 2019
    Brandi ·
    • Flag
    That is a very generous and thoughtful gift. I would be overjoyed with a gift like that and I’m sure they will feel the same!
    • Reply
  • K
    Dedicated July 2019
    Katlynn ·
    • Flag
    My fmil did this for us. She just told us to find whatever photographer/videographer we wanted and shes pay for it. It was really helpful
    • Reply
  • PurdyAikey
    Super January 2019
    PurdyAikey ·
    • Flag

    This is awesome. We are paying for everything ourselves, but my parents paid for my dress (they wanted to contribute)! It is awesome when parents help out with whatver they can. Just tell them up front what "things" you want to pay for, and have them provide you with bills! Congrats to you son and FDIL!

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  • Ashley1luv3
    Expert May 2019
    Ashley1luv3 ·
    • Flag
    That's totally fine. My fmil did this and FH and I are very grateful. She offered to pay for our dj, photographer, and take care of all tips the day of. She's writes checks straight to the vendor and that's certainly fine with me.
    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    I think a little more guidance helps a lot. My parents tried to do this but the vagueness made it more complicated than anything honestly. Without knowing exact budget it’s like dancing around an awkward thing. Id advise for you to try to give them an approximate budget for the things you wish to contribute towards. In my case I eventually caved and asked my mom what specific dollars she was thinking when she just kept offering checks for deposits if we needed. When she gave a number , I worked with that— until then I had honestly no idea If she was thinking something more like 500 or 5000. They never gave me cash, but once I had a clear budget worked out from her, I figured out what she could be responsible for that could work into those dollars.

    Invitation costs can vary from $100-$1000. You don’t have to set a hard line if you don’t want/need/have one, but I would advise at least mentioning a range that you’re presuming these costs will be so they have some guidance

    Of course this is super generous! And covering certain things is an awesome way to contribute— im sure I would’ve done photography differently for my wedding if it had been its own budget instead of a part of my whole— so that’s a super cool way to give them a great gift!
    • Reply
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    As a MOB who's working very closely with daughter on all the planning & budgeting, I second the idea of giving a total budget for items you'd like to pay for. We're funding about 75% of the wedding and FSIL's dad is funding the other 25%. His offer was for a set $-amount in cash and to pay for the photographer (which is very important to him since he's a semi-professional photographer himself -- he wanted to be sure they got someone of "good quality"). We gave D & FSIL a total $-amount we're comfortable with and told them they could spend it however they wanted. From the very beginning, they used the combined total $-amounts to establish their overall budget, exclusive of photography. When D started researching photographers, she was concerned about what her FFIL would be okay with cost-wise, but he wouldn't give her an amount, just told her to choose who they wanted. Ultimately, their photo package was about $2700, and his dad just wrote a check. She was relieved, but still felt kind of awkward in the process because there is such a huge cost range that she wasn't sure what FFIL would think was reasonable. Based on their experiences, I'd encourage you to offer to pay for whatever services you want, but give them a maximum $ amount. Good luck!


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  • Kaleigh
    Super December 2019
    Kaleigh ·
    • Flag
    That’s exactly what my mom did, and we are FOREVER GRATEFUL and blessed. When we first got engaged she told me she would buy my wedding dress, and she and my dad were paying for our venue. We were eternally grateful! Now after my careful budgeting skills (because I really don’t want to break the bank) my parents have offered to pay half of catering, and half of photography in addition to our venue.
    From your child’s point of view, offering to pay for a specific item is going to be greatly greatly appreciated!
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    I think that's a great idea! Just tell them what vendors you want to pay for, and to let you know! I'd set a limit (if you have one) since things like photographers can start at $500 and go up to $8,000!

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  • V
    Super April 2019
    Valerie ·
    • Flag

    This is amazing offer. I do understand the idea of wanting to give them a thing instead of just cash, however, I would just write a check if I were you for the amount you would like to cover. One of the biggest pieces of advice on these forums is to not count on money unless it is in your hand, therefore, you saying you'll 'pay the bill' for something is them not having the money and my advise to your son would be to not count on it.

    The exception would be if you are going with them and paying the bill right there. My mom did that with my dress and said she would pay up to $1500. She went dress shopping with me and paid for the dress on the spot.

    • Reply
  • H
    Expert July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    This is crazy nice of you! You definately can do that and like PP said, if you do make sure you give them an idea of how much you are thinking, otherwise it might make it hard on them.

    However, my FH parents offered us a check and honestly this was so much easier! 1 because we could put more money to areas we felt were more important (for example say you want to give them $500 for invites, but they can get them for $100, it puts them in a predicament of well, do I spend more or not?) And second becuase we could pay things in our own time and with our card. It would have been harder to have to ask them to please pay x, y or z by this time (I'm a get it done now person so I have a hard time waiting, Especially because I hunt for deals so when I find one, i need to jump).

    So either way it is awesome that you are willing to help, my vote would be just give the money.
    • Reply
  • WED18
    July 1993
    WED18 ·
    • Flag

    We gave a flat amount to each daughter for their weddings this year and didn't specify which vendors they were to use it for. The first who married in July, just asked us to meet them at the reception venue when they made their final payment and we contributed our portion there. We'll actually be doing basically the same thing for our youngest daughter next month when she makes her final payment. I don't think there is anything wrong specifying which vendors you would like to cover, but I would definitely give them a budget of what you're willing to contribute because prices can vary greatly. Congrats and best wishes!

    • Reply
  • MaryEllen
    Expert October 2016
    MaryEllen ·
    • Flag
    My only concern with giving such a large cash gift is the gift tax on income taxes. That’s why we would rather pay vendors directly. We will give them a budget.
    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag

    That's super generous, and sounds like a lovely idea! Congrats on your son getting married!

    My grandparents did a similar thing, but they told us they were gifting us x amount of money to be used on whatever wedding stuff we wanted. But they aren't actually physically giving us the money, we are just going to be giving them bills for wedding things up to that amount that they told us.

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