Musings On This Weekend’s Wedding as a Dad

by MyDadBlog on October 18, 2012

in Advice,Money Saving Tips,Save Money

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After a few years off from weddings once all our highschool and college friends were married, we hit a new spate of weddings this past year with second marriages and our neighbors’ kids getting married.  So, as a dad who will inevitably be attending my own kids’ weddings in the future, I had some random musings on the one we just attended and weddings in general:

  • Who Pays?  This is a point of stress for us, even while our kids are still in elementary school!  We weren’t aware of any financial issues for this particular wedding, but the one before it on my inlaws’ side had some issues.  Evidently, the groom’s parents had initially agreed to kick in some money for the wedding and then when time came to settle up, they had a change of heart.  This is such a sensitive and confusing topic.  On one hand, tradition used to hold that the bride’s parents paid for the wedding.  That seems a bit outdated and one-sided these days, so it isn’t always the case any more.  In the case of my wife and I, we paid for the wedding completely ourselves, but each set of parents gave a nice gift (ON the wedding day) which helped offset our costs.  But we didn’t get into any pre-wedding bickering over finances and who pays.  We now wonder, with 2 sons and 1 daughter, will our sons end up marrying into a family where they expect equal funding from bride and groom, and then when our daughter gets married, it’s expected that by tradition we pay?  We could kind of get the bill on al 3 in a worse case scenario.  Ideally, we’d have our kids handle it the same way we did – kids pay, parents give a generous gift.  But kind of like college, first cars, first home and so many other things these days, kids don’t seem capable of affording things that prior generations did.  Inflation, lack of high paying jobs at graduation, etc.  So, who knows; I’d like to think money will be the furthest thing from everyone’s mind on the special day.

 

  • Religious Ceremony?  Everyone’s entitled to their own beliefs; I just happen to have a rather minority opinion on creationism, religious beliefs, etc.  Let’s just say I’m a scientist and a very objective person.  So, much of what I hear from the pulpit just sounds so implausible, sexist and 17th century to me that it’s tough to take seriously.  So, at this weekend’s wedding, the religious leader of some sort (not sure what he was exactly) was talking (literally, not figuratively) about how woman was borne of Adam’s rib bone and all that good stuff (the original Adam and Eve story) and he closed with her giving him children and helping him be “the man the Lord meant him to be”.  There was no mention of, well, her becoming the woman she could be and to me, it seemed a bit premature to start pushing kids on someone on their wedding day.  Heck, give them some breathing room to enjoy a few years together first!  Anyway, it made me think back to how a Catholic priest said some pretty rude and outrageous stuff on our wedding day and how we then gave me a dirty look when I “only” tipped him $50 because I was pissed.  Personally, I think some of the real preachy and overly religious ceremonies only detract from a wedding celebration and don’t enhance it.  I’ve personally enjoyed the speeches that are more fun and inspirational in nature as opposed to pushing a religious agenda.  What my kids decide will be up to them, but I certainly won’t push for a religious opening of any sort.

 

  • Open Bar – I have to say, the DJ, the food and the drinks make or break a wedding.  In the case of my wife and I, since we were paying and we were young (the first of all our friends and family of our generation to get married), we ended up having open beer/wine, but people had to buy their own mixed drinks.  We had heard all these horror stories from our parents about open bars costing the bride and groom thousands and thousands of dollars at the end of the night.  We thought having alcohol supplied in some manner was a suitable compromise.  I drank beer this whole past wedding (since my wife was sick and agreed to drive – score!) so it made no difference to me; but I did notice most other people were slamming down the mixed drinks.  So, I wonder what sort of impact having free mixed drinks has on the “fun” to be had at a wedding.

What Are Your Thoughts on Weddings, Finances and Ceremonies as a Parent or Parent-to-be?

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