Whatever you want…
T‘s parents called last week to let us know that instead of the original $5000 for “whatever we want” for our wedding, they are now giving us $500, plus a formal reception in his home state.
When we were first engaged, both sets of parents told us they were fine with whatever we wanted. Months later, they decided they wanted a formal reception, and we agreed because it seemed wrong to tell them how to spend their money, even if it was for our wedding. And I’m sure the reception will be a fun celebration — it just wasn’t something that was a priority for me. They started planning, put down deposits, and then called to say they could give us $500 for the wedding that we planned.
His mom implied that it was because we chose to have our ceremony in California. First, not true — if we had it in my home town, we’d be in the exact same situation, since they are pretty far apart. The only way it could have been avoided would be to have everything in his hometown. Second, why didn’t they say so in the first place, anyway? We might have done something else, though it certainly wouldn’t have been “whatever we wanted”.
She also implied that the California ceremony and dinner was mostly for my family, so they shouldn’t have to pay for it. It is true that some of my relatives travel for weddings and can make it, but a lot of them can’t. That is fine with me, because to me, the day was for T and I, our friends, and our immediate families. But mostly for T and I.
I don’t mean to imply I’m ungrateful for the reception they are giving us, or that they aren’t doing enough for us. I’m grateful, and it is more than enough.
I’m not of the opinion parents owe their kids expensive weddings. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed not to be contributing, considering we are adults who have supported ourselves for years. But I think it is lame that they said we could do what we want, changed their minds (after we put down deposits), told us they are giving us 1/10th what we expected (after they put down deposits). Then implied it was partially our fault.
It was frustrating, but not unexpected. We can still afford “our” wedding, and we are proceeding as usual. On the bright side, totally unrelated, my parents said they probably will contribute more than they originally stated, and they are still totally fine with any plan we come up with. And, at the end of the day, we’ll still end up married, and wasn’t that the point?