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Ask Emilie: In-Laws Are Not Paying & Complaining

Ask Emilie In-Laws Are Not Paying: Stressful Wedding Advice Social Media Thumbnail Wedding Planner Advice Blog

Welcome to Ask Emilie, here you can ask any question to our wedding planner Emilie. Emilie will answer your question no matter the topic. It can be about anything from styling, general wedding questions, cultural customs, planning, wedding budget and more. This weeks question is about “In-Laws Are Not Paying”.

Today’s question is from Samantha M who asks:

“Hi Emilie,

This is a long one so hang tight.

My parents are divorced. My mum makes around $45,000 per annum. She works 40 hours a week, and is trying to provide everything she can for my wedding. She has paid for my dress and she is paying for my florist which is huge chunk for her. I was sooo grateful that she did this. She is even trying to give us part of her tax refunds to help us out. Of course I’m not going to take this from my mother. My dad on the other hand is a firefighter and owns his own business. He makes a decent income and is paying about $7,000 to our wedding—which again I am so grateful for because he didn’t have to do that.

So my fiancés mother and father are very well off. They make about $300,000 a year. His father has been promoted several times since I met him in 2012. They aren’t hurting at all. My future mother-in-law wants us to have this amazing wedding and questions basically everything I do. My budget is about $40,000—not a cheap wedding. We are having 275 guests. It will be a very nice wedding. Well my mother-in-law always has something to say about how my parents aren’t paying enough and I feel it is quite rude.

My parents do the best they can. they don’t have to do it either. I know it is the tradition for the bride’s parents to pay, but they can only do so much with their finances. It’s 2017 and while I respect tradition it doesn’t feel right. My future mother-in-law mother complained about having to pay for the rehearsal dinner. They just have to pay for the food because my father is paying for the venue in which we are getting married and having the rehearsal dinner.


Am I wrong for being angry that they want to complain about it when they have the money and could help us out if they wanted to. I just find it disrespectful they are complaining but my in-laws are not paying or contributing. Its driving me crazy! I just wish she would stop questioning my choices and my budget. It’s what we can afford. She even made me change my wedding colours because mine were “ugly” and didn’t like my dress….”

Hi Tiffany,

I want to start by saying that I totally understand why your are upset. If I can simplify this, your in-laws are not paying (except for part of the rehearsal dinner). They are however complaining about your choices for the wedding. The other issue is that that while you and your fiance are saving away, it is your family who are giving money to help make this happen but they financially are not in the best position to do more.

While tradition states the brides side pays for the wedding, we are also in an era where weddings are an expensive exercise. While each couple is different in many cases both sides of many of our clients contribute to the wedding. They want to see their sons and daughters have a great wedding and do what they can to make it the best they can.

With regards to judging your colours and choices for the wedding, I believe they are crossing the line. If they were paying for the wedding then while it is your wedding then like it or not they would have some sway of how things are run. As you mentioned, your in-laws are not paying for anything (except for part of the rehearsal dinner) and are giving constant negative opinions.

If you are uncomfortable about talking about this with your future mother-in-law then I suggest you get your future husband to have a chat with her. A line has to be drawn somewhere. If you do not deal with this beforehand then you will always have a grudge against them for this. At the end of the day this is YOUR wedding not theirs.

The part about your family not contributing enough is just rude. People can afford what they can afford. While I understand your family is not as well off as his side then she should be open to contribute to have it at the level she expects for her son to have.

Ask Emilie In-Laws Are Not Paying: Stressful Wedding Advice
This can cause much stress for brides

In-Laws Are Not Paying At All: What To Do

I personally believe you and / or your future husband have a chat with your future in-laws about this. Explain the situation openly and honestly about what you feel which is that your in-laws are not paying but also constantly complaining. I believe she has her heart in the right place BUT is going about it the worst way possible. Worst case if the issue is not resolved and you need to budget then perhaps this vlog form Stephanie about wedding budgeting on YouTube or on the site here.

Best of luck.


How are you dealing with wedding stress and budgets? Have you had any family issues or problems as a result? Join the discussion and let us know in the comments below 🙂

Do you have a question for Ask Emilie then email her here? Alternatively, fill out the form below and have your question answered in our wedding blog. Also, check out the other Ask Emilie Blogs here, they may also contain what you are looking for or give you ideas and inspirations for other wedding-related questions.

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