This post is verbatim from an Ask Amy column, written by Amy Dickinson, one of the smartest, most practical and ethical syndicated columnists. Thank you Amy!!
Dear Amy, Our son got engaged. He is 26 and after spending eight years in college, he did not get a degree. He and his fiancee live with her parents. Our son wants to be an actor. After many conversations, he has let us know that he is ‘on track’ with his profession and will not pursue full-time work. This couple does nothing but watch TV, post on Facebook and participate in local acting gigs.
My wife had a conversation with the mother of the bride-to-be about wedding plans. It did not go well. The couple wants to have an elaborate and expensive wedding. My wife told the mother we would not contribute money to indulge the couple in this type of venue or discuss wedding plans until they became more motivated and employed. This infuriated the mother of the bride-to-be. She called my wife manipulative and said she was using this tactic as leverage not to pay for half the wedding. My wife was trying to make a point that the focus needs to be on the motivation and employment of these adults. Are we wrong in our thinking?
A concerned dad
You should not be discussing this wedding with the fiancee’s parents, but with the couple. Whenever someone asks you to pay for something, this puts you in a position to make a choice about the proposed investment. If the fiancee’s mother says you are trying to manipulate through money, you can truthfully respond,”Damn straight, we are.”
Couples should finance their own weddings. If they want money from you, then they are going to have to be brave enough to lay out their case, and not send mommy to do their asking. Basically, you and your wife are doing what the fiancee’s parents won’t do – setting firm boundaries and making sound financial choices.
Your stance should be,”We are not against this marriage, but if the couple wants this fancy wedding, they should get jobs, save up, and contribute toward it. If they do, then we will reconsider our position.”
Amen and thank you again, Amy!