In a recent Reddit post shared in the popular forum, “Am I The A**hole?”, the 57-year-old parent explained that his 23-year-old son has been engaged to his fiancée, Peggy, for five months. According to the father, who’s Reddit account u/throwR-7746 has since been suspended, his family’s culture dictates that he and Peggy’s father “share the costs for [the] wedding”.
He explained that he didn’t want to follow through with the budget that Peggy’s father recommended.
“Peggy’s father said we should provide $10,000 each, a total $20,000 budget,” he wrote. “I could afford this, sure, but this seems insane and extravagant to me. I said I would give $5,000 and he could give whatever he wanted. Peggy’s father also put up $5,000.”
The former Reddit user explained that when he told his son about the $10,000 being contributed, the 23-year-old told him that “it wasn’t going to be enough” for the wedding. According to the father, his son knew that he and Peggy “would have to pay for some of the wedding”.
But when his child told him that they wouldn’t “be able to do their wedding in under $10,000,” it started a bit of an argument about wedding costs.
“I said my own wedding, after haggling and deals, only came out to around $7,000 so I do not think this is an issue,” the father wrote, referring to the $10,000 that he and Peggy’s father contributed. “[My son] argued against me and said that my wedding was 40 years ago and prices were different. He outlined some prices and said the cheapest venue he could find was $5,000, and food alone was going to be $2,500.”
The father explained that, while his son thanked him for “giving them money for the wedding,” the 57-year-old still “felt hurt” that his son “thought [they] were not giving enough” money.
He also asked his son what services were needed for the wedding, such as the food and photographer. When the father questioned how the cost of the food could come out to $2,500, his son informed him that each plate was $25 per person. “I suggested ordering pizzas or sub sandwiches but he looked at me like I was crazy,” the father wrote. “I said okay well we can just offer less for the photographer and decorator and he said that isn’t how things are done.”
The father added: “Maybe if Peggy and him weren’t so spoiled and expecting the best of the best for everything then $10,000 would be plenty.”
In response, his son closed his eyes, thanked his father for the money, and “basically” told him to “get out”. When the Reddit user “complained” about the situation to his wife, she said he “was being a stick in the mud” and it’s their son’s “only wedding”.
The post has quickly gone viral, amassing more than 13,200 upvotes and 7,000 comments. Many readers expressed their anger at the father, claiming that he didn’t realise how expensive weddings have become over the last few decades. Others believed that he shouldn’t have called his son spoiled.
“He thanked you for the money and is planning on paying for the rest. How they spend their money isn’t your business,” one Reddit user said. “Can you seriously not envision that prices have increased over several decades?”
“$7,000 in 1983 is about $24,500 now, so by your logic you should be giving him $12,000, not $5,000 or $10,000,” another person claimed. “Obviously you aren’t obligated to give him any money, but he kindly accepted the $5,000 you offered and you had no place to then berate him about how he was overspending, and you have no reason to ‘feel hurt’ over this.”
“An average wedding these days is about $25,000, depending on where you live,” a third user wrote. “Your son and future [daughter-in-law] aren’t spoiled; they handled this gracefully by making it clear they don’t mind paying for some of the wedding themselves and thanking you multiple times for contributing. You calling them spoiled was out of line and you should apologise.”
Some people explained how they’ve seen wedding prices go up over the years, with one writing: “I got married in 2012. I paid $50 per head for the venue and food. It was the cheapest venue in the area. That same venue now charges $150 per head for the exact same thing. Also don’t even think about getting a photographer for under $1,000.”
According to The Knot’s 2022 Real Weddings Study, which examined about 12,000 couples who were married last year in the US, the cost of hosting a wedding has significantly increased. For example, the study found that the “average cost of a wedding is $30,000, which is a $2,000 increase from last year’s national average”.
The publication also found that, on average, the cost of a reception venue is $11,200, a live band costs $3,900, and the cost of DJ is $1,500.
As noted by Brides Magazine, while there’s no set rule for who pays for a wedding, the bride’s family is “traditionally” responsible for “most costs associated with the event”. Meanwhile, the only wedding event that the groom’s family typically covers is the rehearsal dinner, including the venue, food, drink, decorations, entertainment, and invitations.
However, these payment guidelines aren’t required for wedding planning. According to the outlet, planning and budgeting is “generally more collaborative amongst the couple and their families”.