When trying to bring family together for a major event, things are bound to get interesting. Wedding planning, in particular, seems to heighten awkwardness levels by placing you in decision-making situations that are horrifyingly uncomfortable. A 25-year-old bride-to-be recently took to Reddit to ask for advice regarding her upcoming nuptials.
Her father insists on going the traditional route by paying for the entire wedding himself. The problem, however, is that her father makes significantly less than her 32-year-old fiancé does and is likely unable to afford the type of wedding she has in mind. To paint a picture without providing actual figures, the bride-to-be gave the following explanation.
Now, my dad is a fairly successful small businessman in a niche industry. Let’s say he makes (not real numbers, remember!) 300K/year. My fiancé ascended the ranks in his company fairly quickly, and with bonuses and such, he makes 400K/year. We are debt free (fiancé quietly paid off my student loans last year that weren’t much to begin with, as my dad paid for half), and I’m optimistic about the future as I’m about midway through my residency at the moment. So, we’re in great shape. My dad is pretty good shape, too, but has my 3 siblings’ undergrad tuition & living expenses to be worrying about.
When she actually spoke to her mom about the venue at which she would like to host the wedding, her father told her to consider something more cost-effective.
My dad has been insistent since we got engaged, that he would be footing the bill for the wedding. I get that that is traditional. However, fiancé has just kind of brushed this off all “Oh he’ll pay for your dress or something, it’s really going to be us who foot the bill” and hasn’t, until recently, realized that my dad fully intends to pay for the whole thing. This is problematic because, for example, I’ve told my mom about where we want to have the wedding, and my dad ended up calling me and calmly telling me that that place was a little outside our budget; I should look for a closer place, etc. When I tried to have a conversation about the fact that we’re going to pay for it, my dad kind of went “Nonsense, you can’t afford it, you’re a young couple and should be saving for babies/houses/investing/etc., besides, it’s traditional” and when I tried to tell him we were in good shape to be paying for it, he just reiterated the above items.
While she appreciates her father’s offer to help, she would much prefer to handle things herself—if it means she’ll get her dream wedding.
Obviously, this is a point of pride for my dad, but we also need to have a discussion with him and firmly tell him that we’ll be paying for the whole thing.
So, how should she break this news to her well-meaning father without hurting his feelings?