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Parents Pay 5X More For Daughter’s Wedding Than Son’s. Say “His Wife Is Lucky To Have A Wedding Since Her Family Is Not Well-Off”. Is This Right?

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Financial disagreements are the most common cause of infighting and arguments during wedding planning, which can be a stressful time for the bride, groom, and their families.

A user in a similar situation asked the forum, “Am I wrong for calling my parents out on how much they paid for my sister’s wedding?”

Here’s the whole story.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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The original poster (OP), who is 36 years old, got married six years ago. His wife’s family is not well-off like OP’s family. When the two announced their engagement, OP’s parents gifted them $20K for the wedding.

THEY WERE THANKFUL FOR THIS GESTURE

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“We were shocked and so thankful. The money paid for my wife’s dress, my/her siblings’ wedding party outfits and makeup, and the venue/food. We managed to have a small, beautiful wedding and even had 3k left for the honeymoon,” says OP.

OP was beyond thankful for that money as he knew they would not have had their wedding without it. “Plus, being able to pay for her family’s outfits and makeup helped lessen their financial burden,” says he.

THE ISSUE

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Now, OP’s sister is getting married. “I just happened to be at my parent’s house and got into wedding talk. My sister was going on and on about all the plans. My parents agreed to shell out 35k for the venue and cut her another check for an additional 20k for other expenses,” says OP.

OP’s sister and her fiancé are both doctors. These expenses were outrageous to OP because he knew it could be done significantly cheaper.

HOW DID OP REACT?

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OP went to his mom and asked why she allowed his sister to pick such an expensive venue, and there was time to find another one. “We made our wedding work off 20k; how can she excuse my sister’s being 3x the cost,” OP asked his parents.

WHAT WAS OP’S MOM’S REACTION?

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OP’s parents are retired and in their late 60/early 70s. OP’s mom explained that OP’s sister’s future husband’s family were high-class people with certain expectations. When OP asked what that meant, she said they couldn’t be expected to have such a meager budget as my wedding.

OP was floored and asked her if she thought 20k was a “meager budget” and what did that say about what she thought of my wife and her family.

OP’s mom said he was making a big deal out of nothing. A woman’s family pays for the wedding, OP’s sister is having an expensive wedding, and it is none of his business.

OP WAS HURT BY ONE COMMENT

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Says OP, “I agree that it is their money and they should spend how they want, but that high-class and meager budget comment has been eating at me since. It seems like my mom is saying that my wife was lucky to get a wedding because her family is not well-off.”

OP hasn’t haven’t mentioned this to his wife because she does have insecurities about how OP’s parents feel about her, and it might hurt her.

He asked the forum, “Am I wrong here for calling out my parents on how much they are spending on my sister’s wedding?”

Here’s the verdict.

STOP COMPARING YOUR LIFE TO YOUR SISTER’S

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“This sounds a bit like a cultural thing, and you did mention the bride’s parents paying for the wedding.

This explains not wanting to appear cheap to the groom’s parents if they are financially better off.

Stop comparing your life to your sister’s. Don’t mention this to your wife.

Focus on being a loving, supportive husband and father. Not all wealth is financial.”

$35K SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH

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“The sister is getting an extra $35k for a total of $55k. It’s still a huge increase even with the price increases & the fact that the bride’s family traditionally pays in OP’s culture. The UK & USA have about a 5k increase in the actual cost. That said, anything wedding-related costs more & very few weddings happened during covid, so the costs have increased more than normal given the higher demand. So, I could understand the original 35k but not the further 20k.”

OP’S PARENTS DON’T TREAT THEIR CHILDREN EQUITABLY

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“Out of curiosity, I looked at an inflation calculator. 20k in 2017 is akin to approx $ 25k in 2023.

OP’s parents are probably snobs but don’t treat their children equitably. At least not as far as weddings go.”

PARENTS ARE WRONG

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“Parents are wrong for making the comments insisting since OP’s wife’s family is poor, they should be grateful for less.

If they didn’t make that comment, I’d say OP was wrong.”

IT’S NOT HIS MONEY TO QUESTION

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“They shouldn’t have said that, but he shouldn’t have asked. That’s between his parents and her. It’s not his money to question in the first place.”

HE’S BOTHERED ABOUT WHAT THIS IMPLIES

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“I think he sounds less bothered by the wealth and more bothered by what this implies about his and his wife’s relationship with his parents.”

Anika is a CPA and founder of What Anika Says. She shares simple and actionable frugal living, money management and money-saving tips to live a debt-free financially independent life. She has been featured on popular websites like Bankrate, Forbes, Mint ,and Authority Magazine. Byline: MSN