SHOULD PAR­ENTS BE EX­PECTED TO FOOT THE BILL?

The days of a dowry are long gone, but are the ’rents ex­pected to still clear out their pock­ets?

Cosmopolitan Bride (Australia) - - THE GIRLS -

YES (…SORT OF), says writer Phoebe Burgess

“Yes, my par­ents did host, or­gan­ise and co­or­di­nate my en­tire wed­ding re­cently (save the cer­e­mony cost and booze, which is ‘tra­di­tion­ally’ groom ter­ri­tory). When you’re in your twen­ties em­bark­ing on mar­ried life, say­ing ‘no thanks’ to such a gen­er­ous kick­start wasn’t a re­al­is­tic op­tion.

But the word ‘ex­pect’ is what this fresh-off-the-aisle bride takes is­sue with. We never ac­tu­ally ex­pected their gen­eros­ity, nor did we bank on it. In my fam­ily of three girls it’s sim­ply the way it is done, and my hus­band and I re­spect the value and joy my par­ents placed on that mo­ment.

The ro­mance of tra­di­tion dic­tates that yes, the bride’s mum and dad pay for it all.

But not all fam­i­lies share the same val­ues, and it’s not al­ways that the bride’s fam­ily has a spare pile of cash buried un­der the garage. So, while I was lucky and thank­ful for my par­ents chip­ping in, I want to men­tion there shouldn’t be guilt or any shame about not foot­ing the en­tire bill.

A pie chart of fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity or a con­tri­bu­tion list from both sides is of­ten the way to go. And it’s not about how much peo­ple pay for – it’s rel­a­tive to what they can of­fer.

Plus, fo­cus more on what the day is re­ally about: love and fam­ily. It’s true – the best things on the day were free!”

NO, says Sally Ober­meder, co-au­thor of The Good Life

“Whether you’re plan­ning a DIY back­yard af­fair or a Kar­dashian-style pro­duc­tion, your wed­ding is prob­a­bly the most ex­pen­sive event you’ll ever hold. Let me just say it now – par­ents shouldn’t be ex­pected to pay for that.

I’m not just say­ing this be­cause I’m a mum to fouryear-old Annabelle who’s al­ready telling me when she grows up she wants a Dis­neythemed princess-style wed­ding for ‘hun­dreds of peo­ple’ (gulp).

Although I love the idea of keep­ing some tra­di­tions alive, when it comes to mar­riage, we need to keep up with the times (are you lis­ten­ing, Annabelle?).

In our par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion, peo­ple got mar­ried young – they were leav­ing home for the first time, or had barely found a job (read: zero cash). But all that’s changed. Most peo­ple are get­ting mar­ried later in life once they’ve got­ten jobs, lived out of home or even trav­elled the world.

While you have ev­ery right to get mar­ried and have the wed­ding of your dreams, no one owes you that. It’s one thing to let your fam­ily chip in, but you shouldn’t ex­pect them to fork out for 400 guests and a de­signer gown.

Mum and Dad aren’t al­ways go­ing to be around to pick up the bill. And if you want that seven-tiered cake… it’s time to start sav­ing!”

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