If Parents Pay, They Get a Say | Harsh Truths About Budget Etiquette

When it comes to budgeting for a wedding, the politics of financial contributions from parents deserves special attention. It can be great to get some extra spending money, but it’s important that you’re accepting it with a clear head.

Here’s the etiquette around dealing with parents who are funding or part-funding your wedding:

If They Pay, They Get a Say

Bottom line, if your parents are paying into the wedding fund, it’s not unreasonable for them to expect that they’ll be included in some of your wedding planning. If they’re footing the bill for a big-ticket item like the reception dinner, it’s expected that you’ll let them invite some of their pals or family members that might not have originally made the cut. They might want to look over your seating chart or visit the venue with you for menu tasting.

The same logic applies to smaller contributions. If they’re looking after the cake, they might want a fruitcake tier for older guests. They might campaign for fondant instead of buttercream. If they’re paying for your dress, they might want to come to the boutique and help with the decision.

Go Solo

We’ve heard from brides who accepted cash, then regretted it because they wanted to plan the wedding without any parental input. The remedy for that is pretty straightforward; don’t take money for anything that you want to have absolute control over.

If compromising isn’t your strong point, they only way to ensure nobody else is entitled to a say is to pay your own way. Staying true to yourself is a must, but it’s not very sound to allow your folks or in-laws to help with the budget if you don’t want them to have any other input.

Get On The Same Page

It’s good manners to let people who are contributing participate in the fun parts of planning, but your wedding is still your wedding. Talk to your parents about what you want from the day before the conversation of finances arises.

This way, you can manage expectations from the very start, and they can’t claim your Korean elopement blindsided them if it was on the cards from day one. By that same token, parents who get a bit bossy during planning can be reminded of your discussions before anything gets out of hand.

With everyone on the same page as soon as possible, your planning will be a lot smoother.


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  1. […] your parents are paying, you probably should give them some extra invites. If not, and you can’t wedge in their pals, let them know early and clearly, before they make […]

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