Pay For The Wedding?


I have a friend and we were discussing weddings. She has a daughter that is not practicing Catholic faith, and does not want to marry or have anything to do with the Church. She says she does not want to pay for the wedding unless her daughter gets married in the Catholic Church.

How do you feel about this? Wouldn’t this be wrong to force her to do this when her daughter is not interested in Catholicism? On the other hand if she pays for the wedding that is not in Catholic church what message is she sending?

I really did not know exactly how to advise her.:shrug:


If the daughter doesn’t want to marry, then isn’t it a moot point who’d pay for the wedding and where they’d have it?


Paying for a wedding is a very generous gesture…but it isn’t mandatory at all.

If a woman is old enough to get married, she is old enough to pay for her own wedding.


As Mary Gail said, there really isn’t an expectation anymore that brides will have their weddings paid for by their folks. Myself, I will be paying for my own. Honestly, I can’t remember the last friend I had whose parents footed the bill…we go to college, we have jobs, no reason we can’t shell out the dough ourselves.

If her mother is using wedding funds as a “carrot on a stick” to get said child back to her faith, I think that’s her prerogative. I can’t tell you how many people have been inspired to return to their faith after attending a nuptial mass…who knows, the spiritual experience might help the daughter. And the pre-cana doesn’t hurt. :smiley:


This is what we did, and we married at age 22.

I currently have no intentions of paying for any of my children’s weddings. :wink: Offering to pay for a Catholic wedding, and refusing to pay for wedding outside the Church, isn’t forcing anything, in my opinion. No one is entitled to have their weddings paid for by their parents. :slight_smile:


Tell her, and indirectly her daughter, that the marriage is far more important than the wedding.


The daughter is a Catholic bound by Canon Law regarding marriage. It is not wrong to expect her to practice the faith and to be married according to Church law.

It is definitely wrong to facilitate her invalid attempt at marriage. Paying for it would certainly be facilitating an invalid marriage, and would have culpability of its own.

Her daughter may certainly exercise her free will in rejecting the Church but her mother should not help her do so. The right thing to do is to inform the daughter of her obligations to marry according to Church law. And, yes, tell her that you won’t be able to pay for it if she chooses to marry elsewhere.


How do you feel about this? Wouldn’t this be wrong to force her to do this when her daughter is not interested in Catholicism? On the other hand if she pays for the wedding that is not in Catholic church what message is she sending?

Is the issue that the dd has left the church, or wants her wedding to be paid for by her parents when she decides to do so outside the church.

St. Monica would not even let her son (St. Augustine) in her home, I wonder if she would have attended his wedding? I have been instructed by a Priest that to do so is an acceptance that to turn from those teachings are okay, and it is not.

Remember…He did not come to unite but to divide, etc.

Mercy is one thing, but to accept the dd’s continued obstinate professions is another. Why would her dd want someone that she apparently doesn’t have much respect for to pay for her wedding anyway? She couldn’t have much respect for them and feel that way about what they felt necessary to teach her.

Sometimes we parents have to do many hard things. And sometimes we need the support of those around us to “not judge us” when we do what we must.


I agree. I first heard this when my oldest brother married his wife.
My husband paid for my wedding dress which my roommate made. It reminded me of old cowboy movies in which the man buys his wife’s wedding dress.
My matron of honor worked for a florist and made my bouquet at cost.
When we couldn’t find any shoes to fit in north Seattle, a sales clerk at Nordstrom’s suggested ballet slippers, a cheap alternative many at the time were wearing.
Later in California, I met the couple whose wedding was held after ours. The flowers adorning the altar were for their wedding.
Marriage is an adult decision. Everything related to the wedding should be decided and paid for by the couple.

Weddings need not be elaborate. The marriage is more important.

I have four sisters. No, my parents did not pay for any of our weddings. There were two things that I wanted that neither of my two older sisters had. I wanted a long white dress. Like my mother, my two older sisters wore suits. I wanted my father to walk me up the aisle to give me away. He did, saying “get up there” just loud enough for everybody to hear.


I agree with what most have posted about paying for your own wedding. If the parents wish to pay for all or part, that is their choice. It is their money, if the mother wishes only to pay for the wedding if the daughter is married in the Church, that, again, is her choice.


I would tell the mother to throw the ball back in the daughter’s court.

She wants nothing to do with the Catholic Church, at all, no way, unless of course there’s money involved. Then she’ll get married in the Catholic Church? Doesn’t sound like her convictions are that strong, does it?


Wow, there really is a difference with American’s as far as the weddings go - don’t get me wrong, I’m a US citizen, but my family is British and I grew up in Japan. My parents paid for all of our weddings save my brothers. His wife’s parents paid for theirs and my parents chipped in where they felt they were supposed to (I.E. paying for the rehersal dinner and paying for most of the honeymoon- I think they would have done more, but they wern’t married in the Catholic Church) - I guess I really grew up differently than alot of others. Although I will say that my dad did give us the opportunity before the wedding was planned to either give us something like $40 or 50 K towards a house and just have a wedding of around $20 K or to have the whole elaborate get together. I must admit, our wedding is something neither my husband or I will ever forget! I suggest if you’re wondering where my parents got the information of what was correct to do for each wedding you look at Emily Posts book Wedding etiquette. This was the book we gave to my husbands parents so they would understand their role and what they ought to be paying for. Yes, they did ask what they should be doing.

God Bless-


The daughter doesn’t even want to get married, so what’s the point of debating this? I’d just tell her to wait and see what the situation ends up being, if it ever comes.


That was my thought as well. However, I think I need to respond to what seems to be a common theme in the replies here: yes, the mother may not be obliged to pay for the wedding, but that doesn’t make it okay for her to use money to manipulate her daughter.


I have the impression that it is the daughter who is being manipulative if she is asking for money in this situation.


I think the comment about “and does not want to marry or have anything to do with the Church” means “does not want to marry in or have anything to do with the Church.” Am I correct?


My husband and I have 6 children, 2 of which are married. We have told all of our children (before they were ever in a serious relationship with anyone) that we would be happy to pay for a “Sacramental Party Reception” of the granduer that our financial ability would allow at the time of their Sacramental Marriage. If they chose not to be married in a Sacramental ceremony it was truly their decision as God has given everyone free will. However, our offer of payment was only for a party that was celebrating a Sacrament. The choice was theirs.


I love this - “Sacramental Party Reception”!

I’m with you; there is no way I would have ever paid for anything that violated my conscience, e.g., non-sacramental wedding, etc. Thank God, both girls are faithful Catholics; they each deserved a wedding celebration and it was our privilege to provide it.


The mother doesn’t owe her daughter anything, and certainly doesn’t owe her financial support for a marriage outside of the church. Paying for a wedding is a generous gesture, not an obligation, and if the daughter is upset about her parents’ terms . . . that is her issue, not theirs. Yes, it might hurt her feelings and leave her feeling like her parents don’t support her non-Catholic marriage - because they don’t. But it is not unfair or manipulative, and she has no right to their unquestioning support of her life choices even when her parents don’t believe she is making a healthy choice. This is part of growing up: Making choices to do things you believe are right even if your parents will not support them (yes, I still believe she is in the wrong - but I assume she thinks she is right to want this, and she needs to put her efforts and money where her mouth is rather than expecting her parents to do it for her).

I’ve had my parents refuse to loan me money that they would have given me had I been on contraceptives. Their reasoning was that they didn’t want me to get pregnant, have it cause financial trouble, and be unable to repay the loan. They knew I was Catholic, like them. I refused the loan, and while I was distressed that they’d asked such a thing and they were distressed that I’d refused, everyone got over it in time without much fuss. I don’t think they were being manipulative, but honest about what they felt comfortable with. I see this mother as being in a similar position.


Well in the hispanic comunity, I dont hae the “white” problem, the MAN pays for the wedding. Its his way of saying…“SEE I CAN SUPPORT YOUR DAUGHTER AND TAKE CARE OF HER AND GIVE HER WHAT SHE WANTS AND NEEDS”

HOWEVER!!! That being said, my husband and I paid for our wedding. My parents didnt pay a dime, his parents didnt pay a dime. I feel that it is the FIRST financial responsibility for the both of them. The both of them are getting married, its not just the woman…the man is in that “binding contract” too. I hate it when women say “well its MY WEDDING?!” Anywhoo…Im gonna let my girls work it out with their future husbands (when we get to that point cause my oldest is 12 youngest 6) Its a good team builder.

Now to the OP… I agree with mom. I raised you a certain way and your straying…Im not gonna enable your straying away. It is your life, you pay for how you want to get married.

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