Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Money Talks, Not Emails.

Photo Credit: A Magill

Forget wedding websites, bridal resources, DIY tutorials and vendor reviews for a moment. There are so many funny and entertaining articles written on the subject of weddings. I should know--I seem to stumble upon them constantly: from nutty "Dear Abbys" to true stories of parental woes; hilarious wedding mishap recaps and reports on wedding fads are aplenty. How could I keep them all to myself? No way!

Forget planning your wedding...sit back and enjoy a little wedding entertainment. This "Ask Amy" taps right into something even the best of us have likely encountered: family tension. Whoa! Did I just hit a nerve? This daughter in-law actually emailed her father-in-law-to-be asking him if he would fund her wedding. Talk about bad social skills and being impersonal. Uh yeah, money talk is best done face-to face, if at all, people. Sometimes it seems like the questions with the most obvious answers are the ones that make it to print. What ever happened to Common Sense?

From the Chicago Tribune:
Dear Amy: 
My son and future daughter-in-law are both in the military and have recently become engaged. They plan to get married this summer.

My future daughter-in-law sent an e-mail to her parents, my wife and me, asking how much we plan to contribute to the wedding. This took me by surprise since I am of the old school and thought the girl's parents are supposed to help with the financial arrangements of the marrying couple.

I thought that we, as the parents of the groom, would be asked by the girl's parents to see how much we could help out.

Am I missing some new order here or am I just being old-fashioned?

We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination and would be happy to contribute something to the wedding, but I was just taken aback by her forthrightness. Should we pony up?
—Old School Dad

Dear Dad: 
Much has changed since you first absorbed the "rules" of wedding financing.

Many marrying couples choose to take responsibility for raising the money to fund their weddings—an idea I heartily support.

It sounds as if your future daughter-in-law has taken the bull very much by the horns; she may have been a tad too aggressive for your taste.

She (and your son) should approach you individually and respectfully and, using the parlance of fundraisers, "invite" you to "participate" in their wedding. Once you demonstrate your willingness to contribute, they should then delicately ask you how much you are willing and/or able to give.

You could respond by offering to pay for a specific element of the reception, i.e. the music, flowers and photographer, in an amount up to your maximum contribution, which you will state.

Your response will help them to develop the parameters of their wedding, along with a budget.

I think that was a nice way to put it, Amy...

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