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    keeping up with ..insert name here.

    While it is fruitless to play the "keeping up with" game there seems to be times when this crops up. I grew up with my parents/ others seemingly playing the keep up game and I have had to break that pattern.
    With a child starting to plan a wedding and picked a date only 6 months away. I suggested extending the time frame for more planning / venue options etc.
    So last night in a casual conversation, I was informed the new in laws offered a figure that is about 3x the amount we offered up. My first reaction was to think through how I could up my offer.
    I simply stated I did not have the amount they offered on hand and it was nice/ good they can afford to be so generous. I was told that they do NOT have it on hand they just feel really comfortable with debt. I tend to read too much into signs but am left wondering if that statement was a suggestion that I could up my offer.
    I should not let this bother me as my child knows a great deal of my finances and knows I am pretty frugal. I just really think this is a time where the keeping up game seems to be on display. In talking with my spouse the only comparison he thought of was how much had we contributed or paid for our other child.
    How do I feel better about standing my ground of sticking to the amount I can contribute comfortably?

    #2
    is it for your son or daughter?

    is the couple paying for their own wedding and the parents contributing or are the parents fronting the entire bill?

    who is paying for the rehearsal dinner?

    need more details about what traditions are being followed, if any.

    contribute what you can and do not make excuses, etc.

    it's only one day and you can't afford to blow your financial picture for appearances. no one will really remember everything about that one day.
    Last edited by Jluke; 02-16-2018, 05:34 AM.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Jluke View Post
      contribute what you can and do not make excuses
      This is the bottom line.

      All of the other questions you asked are irrelevant to this point.

      no one will really remember everything about that one day.
      I would firmly disagree with this statement. We've been married for over 25 years and we remember that day quite well, as do our friends and relatives who still talk about it from time to time. And we also remember many of the arguments and debates that occurred in the planning process, including the monetary ones.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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        #4
        I have to strongly agree with Disney Steve.
        The wedding traditions of the past such as paying for a daughter are old traditions that have no bearing in this situation. Many situations now days are not addressed by previous traditions.
        I guess I just felt a moment of doubt when I heard the other set of parents seemed to start the keeping up game.

        I can only give what I am comfortable with and if people want to go into a large debt for looks and perhaps be judgmental about our level of contribution that is their problem not mine.

        Comment


          #5
          Your adult child is not uncomfortable with the idea of someone else going into debt for his/her wedding? Ehrm, that doesn't sound too good to me.

          Do feel better about giving what you figure is wise for you to give! You can tell him/her more about your financial future if you want to explain. I'm sure your kid knows your pockets are not endlessly full of money.
          "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

          "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

          Comment


            #6
            Having been raised in a completely opposite type household (no desire to keep up with anyone & knowing that appearances often have very little to do with reality...) Honestly, my reaction would just be,"Great!" That my child would be receiving 4 times what *I* would be able to help them with (alone).

            I guess that is the glass half full approach.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
              In talking with my spouse the only comparison he thought of was how much had we contributed or paid for our other child.
              It sounds like your spouse's approach is very sensible! Maybe just decide to follow his lead, and lean on him for support? There will be no "keeping up game" if you refuse to play.

              Comment


                #8
                UPDATE: here we go again.
                So I was happy to let the whole subject go after getting some advice and support here on the forum of just contributing what we can. Do to some schedule conflicts etc we finally sat down to dinner with kids and my son's future in-laws.
                We had just met in passing before no real background info besides what my son had discussed. At the dinner the subject of funding wedding came up and the exact quote is " well we just picked a number and decided we would contribute (x) amount for wedding and with you giving the same amount that should be good"
                We have already wrote a check for deposits for venue and security deposit and we figured we are done. Now I feel really awkward again knowing these people expect us to come up with a lot more. We just sat there never said a word since there were others at dinner. I literally had no idea this would be suggested during desert. We do not feel we can contribute that much and as my spouse was recently laid off it is NOT an option to go into debt playing keeping up with these people. what was the end game by the above statement ?
                These People did not even know what line of work we are in for even a guesstimate of if we could afford that let alone throw down the idea we can and should match their offer. we wrote our check up front while they seem to be on the couple can pay up front and they will give them money at the end, not going over well with the couple by the way. I fear if these folks find out we cannot meet their offer they will cut their offer of reimbursement to couple.
                The wedding couple KNOWS our position and tried steering conversation into shopping around for better deals for some items but I really feel this is going to come up again.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I would have told them right then that I have already paid what I was able to pay. If they chose to escalate it to a scene at a restaurant, then more power to them. I would have been deeply offended by them deciding what dollar amount I need to pay, and would have told them to stay out of my purse if they pursued the matter. Who are they to decide anything? Sheesh!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
                    UPDATE: here we go again.
                    At the dinner the subject of funding wedding came up and the exact quote is " well we just picked a number and decided we would contribute (x) amount for wedding and with you giving the same amount that should be good"
                    How is it okay for them to decide what they can contribute, but you cannot? It is not okay. This is the point you have to make should it come up again. They can lower their amount if they want it to be 'fair'.

                    Sounds to me like the couple knows the amount from both parties, it is up to them to stay within that budget or fund the remaining themselves. The adult children need to be clear and communicate with both sets of parents. They should not expect any more from either party and should also make that very clear as well.
                    My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
                      " well we just picked a number and decided we would contribute (x) amount for wedding and with you giving the same amount that should be good"
                      I would have handled that on the spot and said, "We've already decided how much we can contribute and it's $xxxxx. That will be our share."

                      You need to communicate that asap so that planning doesn't move forward with the expectation that you will be kicking in more money.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm a little old school, always believed the brides parents pay for the wedding. We paid for our daughters wedding and the grooms parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. I would not have liked sharing figures and splitting things with them. What we spent is none of their business and what they spent is none of our business.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
                          What we spent is none of their business and what they spent is none of our business.
                          Agreed. I would modify my previous post accordingly. You should tell the couple how much you are giving them, not the other set of parents. It's none of their business.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                            Agreed. I would modify my previous post accordingly. You should tell the couple how much you are giving them, not the other set of parents. It's none of their business.
                            Agreed. My parents gave me a set figure and said if you want to spend it on the wedding/honeymoon go ahead or if you want it as a down payment on a house use it for that. If we needed more money it was not coming from them. They never asked what my wife's parents were paying and they never asked us what my parents were paying.

                            Personally if someone suggested I should be paying more I'd have to bite my tongue to keep from speaking my mind.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My kids aren't there yet but I'm already letting them know their weddings are on them, like my wedding was on me. Oh, my parents helped. My dad bought the liquor, and then my mom wanted me to have a fruit spread; kinda like how people do cocktail hours now, but in '91 it was not common. I didn't have the money for it and told her, so she paid the extra 1k for it, I'd of been fine without it. But it was nice and people did talk about it because it was something new.

                              Anywho, we'll do something similar with our kids either pick an amount and tell them what it is or pay for something. But all communications will be between us and our child. If they want to tell their in-laws fine, but I'm not getting in a p*ssing contest with the in-laws. We'll spend what we can.

                              Sorry you're having to deal with this OP. I'd talk to your son maybe he can let his fiance know, who in turn, can talk to her parents.

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