Whose wedding is it anyway?

Fifty years ago, weddings were a very different type of event than they are now. In fact, even in my parents’ generation, around 30 years ago, weddings were planned and paid for by the bride’s parents. The bride and groom had little say in how they wanted to commit to spending the rest of their lives together and the parents and their friends took priority on the guest list.

These days, as we know, wedding planning is on a whole different scale. Weddings are very much about relationships, rather than what the parents want… or are they? There are several different schools of thought… let’s have a look at them!

  • A wedding is just as much your parents’ day as it is yours. They didn’t get to plan their own so it’s only fair that they get to organise their kids’ weddings. They should get a big say in the details – and in the guest list.
  • It’s your wedding – as long as you pay for it. If not, whoever’s paying should get to make some of the big decisions.
  • It’s about both the couple and the family – so everyone should try to agree on all of the major decisions.
  • It’s your wedding – nobody else’s. If people want to contribute, that’s great, but it should be a gift and shouldn’t come with conditions.
I’m personally a subscriber of the latter school of thought. Neither of the others make sense to me. After all, in this day and age relationships are so personal. A wedding is about the commitment two people are making to each other – and it should be all about the couple and who they are, not what other people expect of them.

Don't do a J-Lo in Monster in Law – take control of your wedding day. Image credit: Film 4.

While money is a sensitive issue, for me, it shouldn’t have any impact on how things are done and who’s invited. If somebody helps you out with the wedding, then it’s extremely kind, but the money should be given with love as a GIFT, not as a way to gain control of the day. Helping out with costs should not be a way to hold people, especially your own children to ransom. It shouldn’t buy you the right to make your kids say the most personal and intimate words of  their lives in front of total strangers.
We’ve been extremely lucky in that my dad, who’s generously helping us, shares our philosophy, but I’ve heard of a lot of nightmare scenarios where there have been huge arguments over whose day it really is.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that whoever pays gets the final say? Or is it all about the love? Or somewhere in between? Leave your opinions in the comment box! 

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