Wedding Money: Wedding Money Etiquette for Eloping?
Q: I am the mother of the bride, with a very small budget. My problem is that the mother of the groom suggested that my daughter and her son elope and take the cash from us as a down payment on a new home! This really annoys me. I only have one daughter, and I was looking forward to having a wedding celebration. My future son-in-law seems to like his mother's idea. What do you suggest?
A: Hey, if she wants to give the couple money for a down payment, that's her prerogative. But you have a right to give your daughter money for a specific purpose -- in this case, her wedding. It is extremely inappropriate for the groom's mother to suggest what should be done with your money. And you shouldn't feel like you have no say in the matter, because you certainly do. Sit down and talk with your daughter about how you're feeling. She needs to know that the suggestion upsets you, and, more importantly, that you're really looking forward to planning a wedding celebration with her. You said your future son-in-law seems to like his mom's suggestion, but you didn't say what your daughter thinks. Can you assume she wants a wedding? See how she feels about all this. If she is seriously thinking about foregoing a wedding to put your contributions toward a house (which, though not terribly romantic, isn't a completely left-field idea), you'll have to decide if you'd be happier helping her do that or just keeping the money you wanted to use for the wedding. It's a difficult situation, but the key is to figure out what your daughter wants so the two of you can work together to make both of your wishes come true.