Our daughter is 24, engaged to be married, and we canít afford to pay for the kind of wedding she wants. My husband and I have had some financial difficulty over the last few years, and we are finally beginning to slowly dig our way out. On top of this, weíre still paying on her student loan from college. Should we let her know the situation up front, and how can we keep from feeling guilty about things?
The big thing is that first you and your husband should be on the same page. You need to come to a decision about exactly what youíre willing and able to do. It doesnít sound like it will be much, though. Especially if youíre trying to get your own finances in order and still paying on her student loan
Now, how do you not feel guilty about all this? I think thatís a personal journey youíll both have to take. A wedding is a wonderful thing, but itís not any less wonderful when it doesnít cost an arm and a leg. It also doesnít make you child abusers or bad parents just because youíre not willing to go $20,000 into debt to throw a fancy wedding!
I think, too, that you owe this kid some straightforward and honest communication. Most 24-year-olds donít have a firm grasp on reality. Even at that age, they donít think about where the moneyís coming from. Theyíre just bopping along and assuming Mom and Dad will pull thousands of dollars out of the air for a big Barbie and Ken wedding. She needs to know that things just arenít like that in the real world.
Let her know that you love her and want to help, but youíre going to be very limited on what you can do financially. Besides, you can have a great wedding without throwing around lots of cash. A marriage
is about love, not dollar signs. And when it comes to the money, a wedding is like anything else youíd buy. My rule of thumb is pay cash or donít do it!