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At What Age Should You Pay For Own Wedding?

At What Age Should You Pay For Your Own Wedding?

This question comes from the Weddings group in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

Let me just start with a little background: I'm 28.  My boyfriend is 34.  We'd like to get married sometime in the next two years or so.  We've been together for 6.5-ish years now.  My question is, and my boyfriend thought I should pose it here on Sugar, when are you too old to ask the father of the bride (my dad) to pay or help pay for the wedding

I know it's seen as traditional, but I feel like I'm kind of old at this point to ask for help.  We probably wouldn't get engaged for another year or so since we'd have to save up for a ring, and although the wedding that I want is pretty small I kind of feel 30-ish is old enough to pay for my own wedding, even if that means delaying it for another couple of years or so (recession = having trouble finding a job).  Anyways, any thoughts are appreciated.

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nylorac nylorac 7 years
i have to be honest here so forgive me but this is just my perspective. i think it's selfish to rely on your parents to finance your wedding, or have any expectations that they will, when you're a grown woman and he's a grown man. 28 and 34 definitely qualify as being adult enough to have saved enough money to finance a wedding.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 7 years
i'm afraid i would say that you shouldn't ask. hope they offer and be willing to accept it - but i'm not sure it's ok to ask for money from them.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 7 years
totygoliguez, I had more fun at my own wedding than I've ever had in my life! We did it abroad, low key, in a beautiful old olive oil farm, all I cared about was having a fun day, fun times with my immediate family and closest times, and fun memories to keep forever. As a bride you can get as stressed as you want to let yourself get, for me, I was having a big old party with my nearest and dearest, and i didn't stress about the details... bought the dress 3 weeks before the wedding, picked the flowers two days before... all white, they turned up on the day and were yellow, it didn't matter... left it up to the venue to use whatever napkins, cutlery, tableware etc that they wanted. All I cared about was that it felt like a casual, fun day, and people were happy and at ease, including me and my husband. If you stress over every small detail you are bound to end up being disappointed with something, and who needs to spend their wedding day bummed out that the napkins weren't right. :shrug: I think if people want traditional, go traditional, if you want something unconventional, go unconventional, do whatever you want, and whatever you can afford... spending the next ten years paying for it will take all the shine off the day... but most importantly of all, don't forget to enjoy it, and don't forget to enjoy each other! It really can be the happiest day of your life if you do it your way! :)
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
I don't think there's any shame in wanting a traditional wedding. It's romantic. :) (well, my idea of romance I guess. but I can see how that might become synonymous with "silly" haha.) Personally I still dream of the white dress and veil. I can live without, but it's a nice thought. The problem is people tend to associate it with bridezillas and ice sculptures or what have you but it doesn't even have to be OTT. It's the symbolism. The intimacy of having your friends and family bear witness. Well, to me at least--I suppose we all have varied ideas of how to express it. As far as payments go, I second Pistil's sentiment. You shouldn't plan a wedding you can't afford anyway. I'd just prepare to pay the full amount and not ask, but if they offered I'd gladly accept any help. :)
kia kia 7 years
It depends on your family, their monetary situation, and your relationship with them. I was married when I was 32 and we had a fun wedding in Costa Rica. My hubby and I paid for the whole thing (under $8K). My dad offered to chip in but instead I asked him to pay for my older sister and her daughters to attend. It was a compromise for him to contribute but for us to wear our big kid pants too.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
"In the end, married or not, simply being with the person you love is more important than a ring, a piece of paper, or a big expensive party! " Amen to that!
zzleigh zzleigh 7 years
TLS and SKG, you are women after my own heart. I can barely get into the idea of marriage let alone spending like ten kabillion dollars on one. I wouldn't even want him to spend any money on a fancy ring. My man and I agreed that if we ever decided to "tie the knot" we'd keep it super low-key and inexpensive with close friends and family only and then spend any money we have/get on a killer trip to Europe or Japan. In the end, married or not, simply being with the person you love is more important than a ring, a piece of paper, or a big expensive party!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Chloe bella, I could not agree more! Like I said earlier, I could never see myself getting married without my mom, dad and sister present, but if/when I do get married, I'd like to do something small with just them (and my sister's husband), the family of my groom, and maybe one or two close friends. And I used to be at the other extreme, wanting a huge wedding with 500+ guests. It's just not my style any more.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I'm a little late to the conversation here, but going off what SKG and others have said, does anyone else notice that big, traditional weddings start to feel more and more childish as you get older? I'm only 26, but I already feel like I've outgrown the desire to do a lot of the things associated with "traditional" weddings. It was fun going all out for the few of my friends who have gotten married, but now I just feel like I'm past all that. So I definitely agree that small and/or destination weddings are the way to go!
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I think that there is nothing wrong with accepting help. I have never thought about it, but If you feel uncomfortable about accepting money then don't . @ Spacekatgal I agree with you 100%. I will prefer one hundred times to spend that money on a honey moon, or furniture for the house ( with 8,0000 dollars you can at least buy some good furniture), or a house down payment than spending it on a wedding that I will not enjoy. I think that weddings are for the guest, not for the bride, if you think about it the bride is too stress out, there is too much drama. It doesn't seem appealing to me. I will prefer to have a small wedding and spend all the money on something that last longer than one night.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Spacekat, you never fail to crack me up :)
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 7 years
If you're old enough and responsible enough to get married, then you're old enough to pay for it. As others have said, asking someone else to pay for your wedding is not right, at any age, but accepting some help if it's offered is absolutely fine. The thing to bear in mind is that if you're paying yourself you'll plan the wedding you want, at your budget, with people you want to be there. I've been to about a dozen weddings in the last few years, including my own, and all but one were paid for by the couple themselves. The one that wasn't was the most traditional, the least fun and had none of the personality of the couple involved. The bride's parents completely took over, and while everything was certainly spectacular it was completely over the top and bordering on tacky. The whole thing was designed to impress their friends, not to give the couple the wedding that they wanted. I'm not saying at all that everyone's parents would take over like this, but definitely when it's your chequebook you hold the reins, and while you might have to wait a little longer and save a bit harder you can create the wedding you want to have, and working on a budget definitely makes you more creative and therefore makes your wedding individual.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
I plan on getting married during summer time and I'm inviting close friends/family. I think if your parents offer to provide help accept the offer if they will not be strapped. Just make sure your vision is the one that's being carried out. Tls-I seriously thought about Elvis in Vegas also but I decided on a lighthouse this summer instead.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
lilkimbo - we're actually thinking of Vegas pretty seriously. It's more "us." I don't think either of us are big, traditional wedding type people. And besides, getting married by Elvis would probably make me giggle for the rest of my life.
elizabelle elizabelle 7 years
I agree with other posters. plan a wedding you can pay for, and if your parents offer to help, that's a nice bonus. we had an intimate wedding with 25 guests and expected to pay for it entirely ourselves (at 29 and 36). it was lovely and memorable, and no debt!
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
We are putting off marriage because right now, we can't afford the kind of wedding we want. I would never ask my parents to pay for my wedding, I'd be kinda embarrassed actually...We are adults and therefore we pay our own bills.
esmerb esmerb 7 years
I think if you can afford to pay for your own wedding, it doesn't matter what age you are.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Tls, I'm not married, but I know so many people who did a super-small destination wedding (even if somewhere like Vegas was the destination). And, they are all happy with their choice! I'm the kind of person who wouldn't want to get married without my parents and sister there, but they are the only people who I would really need to be there. Maybe just having immediate family and one or two close friends would work for you if you don't want to flat out elope with just you and your boyfriend.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Oh, and thanks for posting Tres! I love having the extra input.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Funny you should mention eloping SKG - this was actually my question, but more and more by BF and I are planning on doing something small and/or eloping. I've never relished the idea of a big expensive wedding anyway, and friends who are getting married are giving me some idea of the craziness of all the planning that goes into it. So it might just be Elvis here I come :)
scorpstar77 scorpstar77 7 years
I agree with most others - you should never expect someone else to pay for your day, but if they want to help, let them. My husband and I were 26 and 27 when we got married; we'd both been living independently and payin our own bills since we graduated college. I knew my parents, who are solid working class folks, did not have the money to pay for an entire wedding and that we'd be paying for a lot of it ourselves. We told both sets of parents that we were getting married, and there was nothing but joy. When it came down to the details, we made it clear that we were fully prepared to be adults and pay for everything, so it was a wonderful surprise when my parents offered to pay for my dress and the flowers, my aunt and uncle bought disposable cameras and paid for the photo development for the reception (we paid for a pro photographer too), my biological father (who has DJed professionally as a 2nd job for years) offered to DJ our wedding for free, and my husband's parents offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner (per tradition) and the open bar (as his family drinks and mine really doesn't, at least not much). So we ended up only paying for the photographer, the officiant, the venue, the invitations (which we made ourselves), the favors (which were CDs we likewise made ourselves), the catering, the cake, the rentals, my husband's tux rental, and the honeymoon - which is still a LOT, no doubt, but their kind offers made it a lot less :)
Dragonflye Dragonflye 7 years
I wouldn't ask them for anything. I would personally assume that I would have to pay for everything and then be grateful if anything was offered.
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