As wedding season gets into full swing, a new Gransnet survey in association with Relate reveals that 35% of parents of the bride or groom have contributed between £1,000 and £4,999 to the cost of their child’s wedding. A further 27% say they have paid even more, with 15% contributing between £5,000 and £9,999 and 11% contributing £10k or more.
Four in 10 (42%) Gransnet users surveyed say this means they should have a say in the wedding plans - but not all brides and grooms agree, meaning that finances are one of the biggest causes of wedding rows, according to the 14% of Gransnet users who have been involved in one.
Of those who’ve fallen out with their children over weddings:
"My son and his fiancée wanted to have a small wedding in their back garden. We wanted a big white wedding. Our parents planned ours, we thought we’d have significant input in [our son’s]. But our parents had paid for ours and we were only contributing a little bit to theirs. They eloped and we weren’t invited. To be honest we were too pushy."
"My husband asked a couple of friends to the wedding without consulting our daughter. We felt we were contributing a large amount of money to the wedding and that we should have a little bit of a say in who was invited."
"We were paying for the wedding and wanted three extra couples. We prepared to pay the extra £100 per head as our daughter had already decided on who was going to be invited. She refused and showed off. I then put my foot down and she gave in."
If you've experienced a family rift you would like to resolve, or would like advice on how to avoid one that might be brewing, Dee Holmes, a Senior Practice Consultant at Relate, is happy to answer your questions - you can add yours to our Q&A thread by clicking here.
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It's hardly surprising that the cost associated with weddings draws strong opinions.
Examples of the worst behaviour Gransnet users have known at weddings included numerous drunken brawls, brides and grooms pairing up with other people within hours of the wedding, and - according to one Gransnet user - ‘a bridezilla telling her bridesmaids that they would be 'colour-coded' according to their weight.’
Of those who've experienced a wedding-related family fall-out:
To resolve rifts, brushing the situation under the carpet seems to be the favoured resolution with 29% saying it worked for them. However, 25% felt the need to sit down and discuss things while 32% say that they still haven't resolved their differences. Just 36% of respondants say they managed to find a resolution before the wedding.
Gransnet Editor, Cari Rosen said: "The vast expense of some weddings, the industrial quantities of booze, and the expectation of it being the ‘happiest day of your life’ all puts an enormous amount of pressure on everyone concerned, so the odd falling-out is to be expected. Most Gransnet users know that it’s not their day and try to step back, but perhaps it’s not surprising that some parents of the bride or groom would like to be able to invite Great Aunt Sally in return for their considerable contribution towards the cost of the day. The trick is to give as much as you are happy to without expecting anything in return - just as with any other gift."
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Take a look at a breakdown of the survey results here.