If your child’s in the midst of planning their wedding and you’re in a position to foot some of the bill, it’s important to consider early on whether the gesture is going to be subject to conditions.
To avoid confrontation, here are some pointers.
1. Discuss the budget
It can be awkward discussing money but it’s important you communicate exactly what you’re willing to chip in, as your budget won’t be limitless and your own goals will need to be taken into account.
Being clear about the dollar amount upfront could go a long way in ensuring everyone’s on the same page and you may even consider writing down what you’ve agreed to so people are clear.
2. Communicate your expectations
The first thing to note here is—helping with some of the costs won’t mean you get to choose the venue, the menu, or add all your friends and distant relatives to the guest list.
If you do expect to have some say in things however, given your financial contribution, the best thing to do is discuss early on with the couple what you would like to play a part in, or see on the day.
This way you also give the couple a chance to express what’s important to them and compromise, so hopefully all parties involved are happy.
3. Avoid micromanaging
If you do get the green light to play a part in various things—sending out the invitations, choosing the play list, attending vendor appointments—be careful not to overstep the mark.
For instance, if you’re booking out your weekends to meet with florists, photographers and celebrants your child doesn’t know about, that could be a warning sign you’re taking over.
4. Consider the in-laws
Whether the future in-laws are putting in money or not, remember not to push them out of the planning process because you feel your contribution has given you greater authority.
Everyone should feel involved but most importantly be putting the soon-to-be bride and groom at the forefront. After all, they’re likely to have their own debates and probably won’t need the added stress of squabbling parents.
5. Accept wedding etiquette has changed
Another thing that might catch you off guard is that wedding etiquette has changed over the years.
Your child may prefer a wishing well over presents, to give guests bombonieres rather than thank you cards, or to wear something less conventional.
If there are certain traditions you’re set on, again, remember to chat about these honestly and upfront, but keep in mind it is your child’s wedding and certain decisions should lie with them.
Dealing with a bridezilla is one thing, but people may be less accepting when faced with a mumzilla or a dadzilla.
Remember to listen and keep the lines of communications open because after all, a wedding is a momentous occasion and one that celebrates the union of the bride and groom.
For other tips leading up to the big day, check out:
If you’re going in to negotiate your salary, it’s important you know what to say and what not to say.