A Nice Problem to Have: Both Families Want to Pay for the Wedding

April 5, 2012 | By | Comments (0)

This week’s etiquette question comes from a reader named Mike66, who is getting married – congratulations! – and already finds himself in the middle of a skirmish between the in laws over cash. But it’s not the usual fight over who has to pay…

In this case, the bride’s family was planning to foot the bill for the wedding and reception. Mike’s father offered to help. Sounds lovely so far.

But, no. “My father in law refused,” Mike wrote, adding that the bride’s father asked that the money be given to the wedding couple instead.

Mike wonders: “Is this disrespectful of my father in law to decline a gift and then demand that it be given to us?”

No, it’s not disrespectful, it’s generous. Don’t look for reasons to be offended. Your father in law didn’t need the money. Most young, newly married couples do. So it seems like a good solution to suggest you get the cash. Would you have been happier if your father in law accepted “help” to pay for the wedding and then turned around and gave you and your bride a big check for the same amount of money? Or would you have complained that your father in law had pocketed your dad’s money and then taken credit for passing it on to you?

You’re lucky to have both sides of the family tussling over who gets to give money to you and your bride, Mike. Your father in law wants to exercise what our culture traditionally has considered the prerogative of the bride’s family: to pay for her wedding. He’s lucky he has the financial means to do so. Your father kindly offered to pitch in, another generous and well-meaning gesture. Say thank you to both of them.

(Image via RealSimple.com)

Who paid for your wedding? How much did it cost? How would you handle it if the in laws squabbled over paying?