Central Bank of St. Louis

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  • 5 tips for paying for your child’s wedding

    When planning a wedding for your child, it can be difficult to figure out your place – what do you and what don’t you pay for, or even knowing when you’re crossing the line. Though tradition suggests the bride’s parents pay for everything, things have changed.

    Paying for your childs wedding

    Huffington Post explains that about 45 percent of weddings are paid for by the bride's parents, 42 percent by the bride and groom, and 12 percent by the groom's parents [1]. So in this new day in age, what are you supposed to do?

    Figure out your contribution and be honest.
    Before your child even asks, you need to know exactly how much you can contribute and financially afford. Once you've found the amount that you are realistically able to supply, talk to your child and their soon-to-be spouse. Tell them upfront that you have X amount of money for the wedding and they can use it how they feel necessary. Don't deplete your savings or max out a credit card to try and make your child happy-they should understand that you're doing all you can [1].

    Tell them if you can't contribute and find other ways to help.
    If you can't find a lot of extra money in the budget to help pay for things, be genuine and let your child know. Time suggests you invite both your child and their partner over for a meal and sit down with them to talk about the logistics. Talk to them about their desires for the wedding and how they plan to pay for everything. Tell them how much you can contribute, if you're able to, and let them know that you're willing to help with setting up, making favors or decorations, or run errands if they need you to [2]. Let them know that your contribution to their wedding will be your service. Though you may not feel like you are helping in the traditional manner, rest assured that any stress you can relieve from a couple heading into their wedding is much appreciated.

    Include the other parents.
    If you are the parents of the bride, it can be easy to get sidetracked and not think about the other party involved. This is a big deal for everyone participating in the process, so try and reach out to those close to the newlyweds. If you are going to a dress fitting near where the other parents live, invite them out. Also, if you are finding that your financial contribution is less than you'd hoped, ask the other parents if they'd be willing to help out [3]. This not only sets a solid foundation for future years together, but also lightens the financial burden that you will face.

    Don't expect anything in return.
    When you are offering up your services and money to your children, know that you shouldn't do it to gain control over things. Just because you contributed a certain amount of money doesn't mean that you now get to choose the guests, flowers, location, or date [1]. Also, try not to be upset if you're not mentioned in the invitations [3]. You are contributing a gift, not an investment. Your return is the happiness and hopefully long-lasting marriage of two people you love.

    Remember that it's not your day.
    With the rush and excitement of planning a wedding, it can be easy to get caught up and want to give your opinion on everything. It can be helpful to give advice of mistakes you might've made in the past, but try not to take over someone else's day. Though you might have certain opinions about what should happen or where things should be, it's not your place [3]. Support them throughout the process with love and understanding, knowing that you are helping create their dream wedding.

    [1] Paying For Your Child's Wedding: Dos and Don'ts
    [2] How to Tell Your Kid You Can't Afford to Pay for Her Dream Wedding
    [3] Wedding Ruled For Parents: 8 Dos and Don'ts, CBS News



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