Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Dowry???

A while back, my mom said something that really irked me, and though its been months, I still cringe when I think about it.

My parents have been super cool about letting me do whatever I want and not caring about tradition.  As they got married underwater (on scuba.  I'll tell you about it some time), and their entire wedding cost less than $1,000, they understand off-beat weddings better than most.

But for some reason I cannot understand, my mom feels like it is their responsibility as the girl's parents to pay for the wedding.

And I can't wrap my head around it.

Granted, my mom is old and somewhat old-fashioned when it comes to gender roles (she lets my dad do EVERYTHING for her, including taking responsibility for paying all of the bills), but she's pretty progressive most of the time.  And the idea that she would have such a backwards idea toward who pays for the wedding is beyond me.

Now, feeling bad because Daniel's dad is paying for almost 2/3 of the wedding makes sense to me.  And I can see how she would feel bad about me paying for almost 1/3 as well (and by me, I mean my dead grandfather).

But she actually wants to pay FFIL back for everything that he's given us.

It'll never happen, so I'm not really worried about it, but still...it's just so weird to me how persistent she is in her belief that they should be paying for the wedding because it's tradition (speaking of which, isn't it traditionally divided into groom pays for ____ and bride pays for ___?  I don't really know, but that's what I've heard).  I had them read this article to better show that us modern brides don't play by the sexist rules of yesteryear.  But it didn't change her mind even though the girl's parents paying for everything sure sounds like a dowry to me.

And I'm just wondering, do most parents expect the bride's side to pay for certain stuff and the groom's side to pay for other stuff?  Do most parents expect you to uphold certain silly traditions?  Or gender roles?  I know most brides and grooms no longer expect this, but does this insistent clinging to traditions I thought were dead seem weird to anyone else?

My life has been pretty far removed from tradition growing up in a liberal California household, and I know my FFIL does not expect my parents to pay for the whole wedding or even most of it, but I'm just curious if you have encountered this kind of stuff because it completely knocked me off-guard.


  1. Traditionally, the bride's family pays for the entire wedding, and the groom's family pays for the rings, rehearsal dinner, and sometimes the honeymoon. I understand guilt for accepting money for something that society/tradition/whatnot states that you should be able to (and should) pay for yourself.

  2. Hello! I came across your blog when my friend sent me your youtube video! I just got engaged a couple of months ago and love reading about others getting married.

    I was thinking long and hard about this situation before, and my fiance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves. Honestly though, if my parents offered to pay for some of the wedding (not all of it!), I wouldn't object because the wedding is going to be a huge debt. I think it depends on how much you can pay on your own. I honestly wouldn't let my parents pay for ALL of it, because I would feel that I'd need to please them.

    Stand your ground for what you believe in, because remember, this is going to be YOUR day, not your mother's. You'll probably hurt her feelings, but sometimes you have to be selfish. You can't please everyone!!

    I look forward to reading your blog! I mention my wedding ideas in mine once in awhile! :)


Classy Wedding by the Sea