wedding advice


My fiance and I were expecting to pay for our entire wedding by ourselves, but when I was talking to my dad about this he got upset and said I must think he’s really mean. He’s doesn’t like me being catholic, he doesn’t like that I’m marrying a catholic, and honestly I’m not sure if he likes who I’m marrying. Should I accept money from him for everything (I don’t want to feel obligated to do things his way, and I will if he’s paying for it) or maybe just have him get the food bill for the reception? It’s not like we’re planning a huge extravagant celebration, but we’re in college right now and money is tight… also I don’t want to hurt dad’s feelings.

If anyone has any advice on how to deal with an obstinate anticatholic father (in general or pertaining to the wedding), I’d appreciate it.


At first I was thinking “yay, accept the money with thanks!” But then you go on to mention that he is unhappy with your choice to practice religion and who you are marrying.

Whoa, money can make or break your wedding plans! If he doesn’t like what you’re doing, don’t let him have any say in it monetarily.

I am planning to get married and we announced that we will pay for everything as 1) my parents are financially unable to help and I didn’t want to even hint pressure to help and 2) we also wanted to do this ourselves.

Well his parents wanted to foot the bill, but we decided against that, too, as his parents have a history of using money as control, and in fact this is learned behavior dating back to his grandparents.

So here is how we compromised. His parents are going to have 100% control over the rehearsal dinner. It will be their baby. I figure that will be one less thing to stress about. They want to rent a restaurant, dress everyone up, yay for them.

Can you think of a similar compromise? Perhaps pick one thing that could be completely out of your hands without worry and ask him to help? I have heard of moms sewing the party’s dresses, of relatives cooking the food, etc. If he is really set on offering money, try to keep it within boundaries but still be grateful.


well you dad might not like your belief or potentially who you are marrying, but he also might be hurt if you don’t let him pay for it. have you had a talk with him about this? i suggest you do. talk to him charitably, and be honest and open and respectful to him when you do talk to him. just because you don’t want to be “obligated” to him, doesn’t mean you would be. please, talk to your dad. if he offers the payment, take it!
he cannot tell you to be obligated to him, as it is a gift.


It seems to me your dad is genuinely interested in paying for the wedding.

What I suggest is that he give you the money, either in lump sum or in installments, and then you set the wedding budget and make all the selections. That is what I did-- I asked each parent (mine are divorced) what if anything they might like to contribute and then I put all the money in my account, added my and my DH’s contributions, and paid the bills from as they were incurred.

If there are strings attached, then you should not accept the money. But, it doesn’t sound as if there are. Maybe your dad is trying to bury the hatchet.


Marilena, you are so right that she must be respectful and openly talk with him, but taking money can be very obligatory, especially regarding weddings!

I have nothing but lots of “beware” signs for those deciding to accept money offerings for their wedding. People already think they have a say and a way in planning before they give money, let alone after.

Being obligated due to monetary offerings becomes an especially hard yoke to bear when you are financially strapped or tight on money, as the OP mentions.

Even if the father were completely supportive of the OP, I would still be wary, but as it is, he sounds very disagreeable.


I “second” the suggestion of accepting his offer…only ask him to pay for something specific. Ask him to pay for the flowers and invitations or the food or something…if you accept cash from him he might want to know what you are doing with it and may offer opinions where they are not wanted, thus causing friction in your family.

Maybe you can say to him kindly “Thank you for the generous offer dad…could you please pay for my flowers?” Not sure if this would work in your family or not.

Also, I don’t mean this to come off as sexist or anything (maybe it is a little) but are you sure your dad would want to have control over your wedding? Most men I know couldn’t care less what the invitations look like or the flowers or anything like that. My mom helped a lot with my wedding…but all my dad did was go and rent a tux. He never even asked about the details. Of course, I don’t know your dad, I just have a hard time picturing a father trying to control what kind of wedding cake and decorations his daughter has…just curious and sorry if I am off-base.


In the case of a gift genuinely and freely offered,
Accepting the gift honors the giver.


Yeah, if the OP’s dad is like most dads, she won’t have to worry about him nitpicking over details. My dad wanted very little to do with that stuff (although my parents paid for most of the wedding). He was happy to just go for a tux fitting and attend rehearsal. My mom and I tried setting him up to help us make little party favors for the reception and he ended up dozing off at the table.

Probably this dad just wants to do one last nice thing for his daughter while she’s still his little girl. If there’s a concern, asking if he could pay for food would be reasonable- that’s often the single largest expense.


Wow, thanks for all the replies. I wasn’t expecting such a turnout so fast. I believe his intentions are honorable, and no, he doesn’t want to actually plan the wedding. But I could see him saying we couldn’t use his money to do something (like buy alcohol – he’s a new baptist and doesn’t believe in drinking) or that we had to go this cheaper way that will look tacky. He’s pretty tight with his money and cheaper is always better for him.

Another issue that might come up that I didn’t mention in the original post was that I’ve got two half sisters and he didn’t pay anything for their wedding. He gave them a few hundred dollars at the reception, but he never offered to pay for their stuff. We don’t have a very close relationship, but they’re still my sisters and I don’t want them to get jealous.

I’ve talked with my fiance about it and we think it would be better for him to just get a portion of the expenses (probably food) so that might be the way it ends up happening. sigh I so wish my mom was still alive so she could help me with this whole wedding planning thing…


journey 137, I believe your mom IS with you in a very special way. I can’t help but think that your mom’s influence is intertwined in all the decisions you are making about your wedding. And it seems like you are doing a good job navigating the ‘bumps in the road’ that come with wedding planning.

As for your dad, if you decide to take $$ from him, I would tell step sisters nothing about it. If they bring it up, I would say ‘since this is about Dad’s money, I think you should go ask him’. And it really is your Dad’s right to spend his money on whom ever and where ever he wants…If sisters want to be upset about that, it would be between them and your dad.


i like the suggestion of agreeing to let him pick up certain parts of the bill, like the rehearsal dinner or such. and if you do go that route, ask him for his opinions and do whatever you can to get him involved (unless you see him taking the typical ‘dad’ role of sleeping!). it will help him feel appreciated. however, if you will want alcohol at the rehearsal and you know he will have a problem w/ it, find something else that he can help you on. I totally agree with the comment that was mentioned where everyone automatically assumes they have a say in your wedding, even if their not chipping in $$. Lord, I’ve been there, done that! in our case, the inlaws started insisting (literally) on doing things their way and let me tell you, it sure was nice to be able to tell them that since they were not the ones getting married, nor had they paid a dime for any of it, we would be doing things the way we wanted. yes, our wedding was low key and very inexpensive, but it was OUR wedding, and we did it the way we wanted. There wasnt one piece of the wedding that was forced on us. But, if you dont think your dad will want to call all the shots (which if he’s like most dads, he could care less about the details) it will probably be fine. it sounds like he just wants to help out. it may be his way of trying to show you he approves of you and still loves you, even though you dont agree. but, you probably should still sit down and talk it all over w/ him also. that certainly wouldnt hurt anything. and I also agree with the poster who said that if you 1/2 sisters give you and flack, tell them to talk to him, since it is his money.


Accept his offer with gratitude, for this is apparently in his mind a way that you can honor him. Evangelize him with your love and your empathy and your understanding and all of that. He will come to accept you based on your behavior, not on your sermons.


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