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    cfranlam's Avatar
    cfranlam Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Oct 24, 2007, 10:41 AM
    Wedding of Divorced Families
    My daughter is getting married. Her father and I are divorced. The groom's parents are divorced also. I am the only one of the 4 parents who have not remarried. The groom's parents have each been remarried for quite some time, the bride's father for about 5-6 years. The groom's parents do not speak to each nor do the spouses. I am not fond of my ex-husband or his wife but can be cordial when need be.
    My daughter has initiated a meeting of ALL parents to come up with a plan of who is going to pay for what. Her first attempt to plan a meeting failed as the mom and step-mom of the groom declined.
    My question is... Has there been any etiquette/rules of how this should be handled? Are the bride and groom supposed to be the ones initiating/requesting the meeting?
    Thank you.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #2

    Oct 24, 2007, 10:44 AM
    Etiquette says that the bride's parents pays for the wedding. If you and your ex can arrive at a figure you can afford, present that to the bridge and groom as a budget. If they can plan a wedding within that budget, fine, if not, then they should either supplement it themselves or find other supplements.
    cfranlam's Avatar
    cfranlam Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Oct 24, 2007, 11:09 AM
    In response to ScottGem's reply - I do realize the etiquitte of traditional weddings of parents who are married. I need to elaborate on things. With the e-mail my daughter sent to organize the meeting of all parents, she included a spreadsheet with all the wedding expenses outlined. She has had conversatin with her father and it is my understanding he is willing to and most likely planning on handling the entire reception expenses.
    The wedding is taking place in Punta Cana, February 2008 with only immediate family attending and the reception will follow in the city where my daughter lives about 3 weeks later.
    My question is more about my daughter trying to initiate a meeting between all parents to sit down together and discuss the finances of the wedding. In your opinion, is this her place to be doing? Is this something that should be expected of the groom's parents?
    Thank you.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    Oct 24, 2007, 11:49 AM
    No its not ANYONE's place to arrange a meeting on this issue. Nor is it, In my opinion, the bride's place to prepare a budget until she is sure where the financing comes from.

    When my wife and I were planning our wedding we visited halls got estimates and narrowed down the field. We then took her father to the narrowed choices to get his approval of the budget and place. He set a maximum number of guests that he could pay for. My parents then contributed for any additional guests over his budget.

    If the bride has her father's approval for certain expenses that's between her and her father. If there are others issues that etiquette has other parts of the family paying for, then she should discuss those parts directly with those family members. While it may be nice to get everyone together to plan this, I don't think its practical or necessary.
    LearningAsIGo's Avatar
    LearningAsIGo Posts: 2,653, Reputation: 350
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    #5

    Oct 24, 2007, 12:21 PM
    I have to disagree here. I was married in June and I have the same sort of family background. These days, there is no "ettiquette" for who pays what. The only ettiquette is that if you pay, you get an opinion. My mother couldn't help at all, his parents slightly more, mostly it was on us.
    A coworker's son married two weeks ago, her mother said, "I'll pay $___" and did. The grooms parents picked up more than 60% leaving bride and groom with nothing.

    Basically, whoever is willing and able will write the checks. ;)

    On the subject of requesting the meeting, yes, your daughter and her fiancÚ are the only ones who can make such a request. This shows THEY are the ones asking (expecting?) help. I would be mortified his parents tried contacting mine about financial matters. The children are the only ones who have an approximate idea to what each parent is capable of doing. Its probably also a tactic your daughter is using to bring you all together... she's probably concerned about possible conflicts around what should be a happy event.

    Having a spreadsheet may be a little out of line. Ideally, she should only make arrangements AFTER $$ has been discussed. However, a meeting like this would be a good time to sit down with everyone and explain that if THIS is your budget, then THIS will have to be cut out, etc. I bet she thinks by presenting this, people will volunteer to pay for certain things. Feel free to let her know that won't work for you.
    cfranlam's Avatar
    cfranlam Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Oct 24, 2007, 01:36 PM
    In response to LearningAsIGo: The thing is, my daughter's father is not asking for any help, to my knowledge anyway. I know my daughter wants everyone to be one big happy family but that is not in her control. Cordial throughout the wedding, yes, one big happy family, NO. It is not going to happen. The grooms mother is struggling with having to see her ex-husband every day while on a beautiful vacation in Punta Cana.
    My daughter is not calling the meeting to ask for assistance for their portion, they don't have a portion. Her father plans to pay for the entire thing unless someone offers to help. I have told her that I did not want to be part of any such meeting because I am not able to offer anything and do not want to be put on the spot and she called the meeting anyway, through e-mail including both mothers and step-mothers and her father. With that being said, does she have a reason to be requesting such a meeting?
    My thought is, if anyone wants to contribute, they should be contacting the one they know is paying the bill, her father. If my daughter and her fiancÚ are not being asked to cover any costs, they shouldn't be requesting everyone to meet.
    Agreed?
    cfranlam's Avatar
    cfranlam Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Oct 24, 2007, 01:41 PM
    Another thing, if my daughter is worried about possible conflict around what should be a happy event (which I know she is), I don't think bringing everyone together to have an honest exchange of opinion is the way to avoid possible conflict. I think it will cause some to walk away with possibly even bigger chips on shoulders than already exist.
    My daughter already knows how much everything will cost for the reception and that is what she included in the spreadsheet. I don't know exactly what she expects to happen. I am going to find out.
    LearningAsIGo's Avatar
    LearningAsIGo Posts: 2,653, Reputation: 350
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    #8

    Oct 25, 2007, 09:28 AM
    To be perfectly honest, cfranlam, it sounds like you have fixed opinions on this so I'm now unsure why you were asking in the first place.

    Really, only your daughter can tell you her reasons... she must have some... so I'd strongly suggest asking her.
    The thing is, my daughter's father is not asking for any help, to my knowledge anyway.
    My daughter is not calling the meeting to ask for assistance for their portion, they don't have a portion. Her father plans to pay for the entire thing unless someone offers to help.
    Do you know FOR SURE he plans on paying? Does your daughter know that for certain?

    I can understand your reservations at seeing everyone meet. I still wonder if that is not somehow important to your daughter. Especially since I'm sure she knows exactly what animosity exists within her extended family.

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