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Married sister wants family to pay for wedding

I'll TRY to keep this short
My sister has been married for 6 years. They had a small get together at the courthouse and dinner afterward.(I remember the date because she planned her "wedding" for the month after mine and it was all she wanted to talk about during my showers...).

Now, 6 years later, she feels the need to have the "real" wedding that she never had, but she expects the families to pay for it. It is customary in our culture for close family members to volunteer to cover certain wedding expenses as a gift to the newlyweds. For example, my aunts paid for my cake, my step-dad paid for the band, and my uncle did the photos for free...
Thing is, in her case, I don't think this is how the tradition works -- she's already married with two kids!

Plus just 4 months ago she asked the whole family to send her as much money as they could to help her pay her rent. I sent her the 300 she asked for, but agreed with my husband that it was a one time thing and I know he would not be up for giving her more money in a year for a wedding that she cannot afford. -- They are still struggling to make ends meet and plan on moving home to live with their in-laws once their tax money comes in. Plus, she is planning this wedding for the month before we are due to have our first baby so I will not be allowed to fly in for the wedding because my doctor already told me I have to stay put after my 30 week mark.
How do I go about not pitching in for this wedding without coming across as a total ***** (I know I'm being a little bit of one but that's ok...) I don't even want to hear about her planning, but anytime I talk to her she wants my advice on wedding planning - ugh!!!

Re: Married sister wants family to pay for wedding

  • All you can do is say "Sorry, can't help you out".  If others help pay for her "wedding", that's on them.  Everyone has the ability to say "no".  If they don't, oh well.  That has nothing to do w/ you.

    She's taking advantage of your culture.  And if your otehr family members actually do this, they are only enabling her.  She can't make ends meet and asks for help, then ALSO wants everyone to throw her a wedding?

    And the less you say in response to her (or anyone) the better.  Dont' give anyone any ammunition or room for arguement.  "we're unable to help you out" is all you need to say.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • image EastCoastBride:

    All you can do is say "Sorry, can't help you out".  If others help pay for her "wedding", that's on them.  Everyone has the ability to say "no".  If they don't, oh well.  That has nothing to do w/ you.

    She's taking advantage of your culture.  And if your otehr family members actually do this, they are only enabling her.  She can't make ends meet and asks for help, then ALSO wants everyone to throw her a wedding?

    And the less you say in response to her (or anyone) the better.  Dont' give anyone any ammunition or room for arguement.  "we're unable to help you out" is all you need to say.

    This. And too, I'm wondering, is she going to be expecting wedding gifts at this "wedding" of hers? Because if you ask me, this wedding she wants to have is really just an excuse to collect money from family and friends - you already know she has financial difficulties.
  • "Sorry but we can't contribute, and I can't fly in because I'll be too far along. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing the pictures!" The end. Send her a card for her wedding, and send a gift or a check along with it if you choose to give her a congratulatory present.  

    She gets away with this crap because your family feeds right into it. It may be frustrating to you, but it's not your responsibility to talk them out of it or scold them for enabling her. Everyone in this situation is an adult and they have the power to say no, "cultural tradition" or not. If your parents, aunts, etc., don't know by now that they've raised a greedy brat then they're never going to realize it, no matter what you say or do. (Or mabye they are well-aware of her greediness but they choose to ignore it.)

    You are only responsible for yourself and your actions. Not your family's. Sending her the $300 was probably a mistake, but that's in the past now and hopefully you've learned from it. You're under no obligation to send her more money, and I'd strongly suggest that you don't.

    My sister has been married for 6 years. They had a small get together at the courthouse and dinner afterward.(I remember the date because she planned her "wedding" for the month after mine ...)

    Courthouse + dinner IS a wedding. Maybe not the one she ideally wanted, but that's a wedding. It's not any less significant than yours because it was simple. Wedding = getting married, not a specific kind of ceremony or party.

     

    image
  • You're not being any kind of way! She's being nuts. EastCoast is right, if she asks you directly you just say you can't help her, end of story. She doesn't need an explanation. Truly, she also doesn't need a do-over wedding. She's already married. And if finances are that tight... Well, you already know she's being crazy. Good luck!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I would tell her that she really shouldn't be having a wedding if she's struggling to make ends meet (even if other people were to end up paying for the entire wedding).  Remind her that a wedding ceremony and reception only last for a short moment.  Instead, she needs to be focusing her energy on ways to make and save more money.  Good luck!  That's definitely a frustrating situation to be in.  It's never easy to tell family members what we think they should or should not be doing.  It never goes over too well, but I agree that something should be said.  Good luck, again!
    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I'd just tell her hell no, she's not getting money from me, and I'd tell her exactly why.
    image
  • I'm curious why they don't wait until the 10th year and have a vow renewal or big anniversary party?

     

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  • image Bathlove:
    I would tell her that she really shouldn't be having a wedding if she's struggling to make ends meet (even if other people were to end up paying for the entire wedding).  Remind her that a wedding ceremony and reception only last for a short moment.  Instead, she needs to be focusing her energy on ways to make and save more money.  Good luck!  That's definitely a frustrating situation to be in.  It's never easy to tell family members what we think they should or should not be doing.  It never goes over too well, but I agree that something should be said.  Good luck, again!

    Why, though? If the sister has reached adulthood thinking that this is the proper way to act - or knows fully well that it's rude but doesn't give a shiit - then how on earth is OP going to convince her otherwise?

    If OP really wants to voice her objections and fight with the sister over this, and possibly estrange herself from the sister (and maybe cause a fight/estrangement with all the relatives who are apparently supporting the sister's choice for a do-over wedding/gift grab), then by all means she can do it.

    But if the sole objective here is to change the sister's mind then I think she'd be wasting her breath and likely creating a whole 'nother level of drama where there doesn't need to be one. OP should just keep her checkbook closed and stay out of it, because in the end it's really none of her business anyway.

    image
  • image MarynJoe:

    I'm curious why they don't wait until the 10th year and have a vow renewal or big anniversary party?

     

    I have no idea - This would be my suggestion if I had the energy to have that conversation. I obviously would need to have a talk with her to find out why she feels the need to have a ceremony NOW... So far I have been ignoring her texts/calls about it - which is easy to do because I am either tired or sick all of the time and a lot of my family and friends have noticed that I am harder to get in touch with. (Hopefully the second trimester is kinder to me ;)

    I get a lot of info about it from my mom who seems worried/concerned about it and wants to vent to me about it. I feel like she expects me to be the one to talk some sense into sister, but I don't have the desire/energy to get involved. It's getting to the point where I just tell her "I don't know mom, you'll have to deal with it, I have to take a nap..." and get off the phone.

  • I agree that you won't change her mind and there's no point in telling her that what she's doing is... strange.  All you can do is tell her you can't afford to give her money and leave it at that.
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  • image mbcdefg:

    If OP really wants to voice her objections and fight with the sister over this, and possibly estrange herself from the sister (and maybe cause a fight/estrangement with all the relatives who are apparently supporting the sister's choice for a do-over wedding/gift grab), then by all means she can do it.

    But if the sole objective here is to change the sister's mind then I think she'd be wasting her breath and likely creating a whole 'nother level of drama where there doesn't need to be one. OP should just keep her checkbook closed and stay out of it, because in the end it's really none of her business anyway.

    No, I definitely don't want to take a stand either way because I know there will be relatives who feel sorry for her for not having the opportunity to have a traditional wedding, and the fact that she's had it rough financially for a while now... She went through with the first ceremony because she was pregnant at the time and she felt it was expected of her. She couldn't afford to go big with that ceremony, but she has always talked about having a "real" wedding later. I also know my sister, and she has a history of wanting to make me look bad and excluding me (as in not telling me that she and my brother went in on a Christmas gift for our mom... yeah, that was awkward) so I will not get myself into that situation.

  • image mbcdefg:

    image Bathlove:
    I would tell her that she really shouldn't be having a wedding if she's struggling to make ends meet (even if other people were to end up paying for the entire wedding).  Remind her that a wedding ceremony and reception only last for a short moment.  Instead, she needs to be focusing her energy on ways to make and save more money.  Good luck!  That's definitely a frustrating situation to be in.  It's never easy to tell family members what we think they should or should not be doing.  It never goes over too well, but I agree that something should be said.  Good luck, again!

    Why, though? If the sister has reached adulthood thinking that this is the proper way to act - or knows fully well that it's rude but doesn't give a shiit - then how on earth is OP going to convince her otherwise?

    If OP really wants to voice her objections and fight with the sister over this, and possibly estrange herself from the sister (and maybe cause a fight/estrangement with all the relatives who are apparently supporting the sister's choice for a do-over wedding/gift grab), then by all means she can do it.

    But if the sole objective here is to change the sister's mind then I think she'd be wasting her breath and likely creating a whole 'nother level of drama where there doesn't need to be one. OP should just keep her checkbook closed and stay out of it, because in the end it's really none of her business anyway.

    I agree she may risk estranging her sister over this (so, OP, you should consider this possibility before you say anything to her), but the reason why I think she should say something to her sister is because OP has already given the sister money for rent.  Now she expects family to shell out more money for a wedding?  I normally think people should keep their mouths closed in situations similar to this.  However, OP has already shelled out money to support her sister.  Therefore, I think something should be said.  If the sister is begging for money to stay afloat and then turns right around begging for more money just to have another wedding, I think it's reasonable for her to expect that family members (especially ones that have already given her money) are going to have something to say about it.  But that's just my opinion.

     

    Edit:  Just read OP's responses.  Scratch my advice.  I was thinking that you wanted to express your concern over this, but now it's clear that you don't want to deal with any of it.  Can't say I blame you.  In that case, saying something will just create more drama in your life, and if that's not something you want to deal with then definitely don't say anything!  By the way, good luck with the baby!

    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • This has no bearing on my advice (which is not to give her money) but did she put money towards your wedding?  I'm guessing she did not.  Just a hunch that she is the type to call on 'tradition' when she'll benefit, but not live up to her end of it.

     

    Anyway, my response would be "That is not possible." and if she says anything, say, "I gave you $300 for bills.  You should be thanking me and finding a way to pay me back, not holding out your hand for more."  But I'm a *** like that.  

  • She's nuts. you're not obligated; neither is the family.

    If she wants her own celebration, she and her H will have to pay for it.

    Tell her you and he are in no position to afford anything extra; you're a growing family. If she's got a problem with that, too bad.:(
  • Not to split hairs, but she is planning a Vow Renewal, not a Wedding. As a married woman with children, she can not by definition have a wedding - it is only, and can only be a vow renewal.
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • image SomethingNewEveryDay:

    Anyway, my response would be "That is not possible." and if she says anything, say, "I gave you $300 for bills.  You should be thanking me and finding a way to pay me back, not holding out your hand for more."  But I'm a *** like that.  

     

    This.  Better yet, email her a link to this forum.  It will give her the reality check she needs.

  • image SomethingNewEveryDay:

    Anyway, my response would be "That is not possible." and if she says anything, say, "I gave you $300 for bills.  You should be thanking me and finding a way to pay me back, not holding out your hand for more."  But I'm a *** like that.  

    I'd say something like this, along with hysterical laughter that my married sibling expected me to put in money for a do-over wedding.

    Oh, FFS.
  • image SomethingNewEveryDay:

    This has no bearing on my advice (which is not to give her money) but did she put money towards your wedding?  I'm guessing she did not.  Just a hunch that she is the type to call on 'tradition' when she'll benefit, but not live up to her end of it.

    Huh, now that I think about it, NO she did not put money towards my wedding. She was a bridesmaid so she paid for her dress, but she was 6 mo. pregnant at the wedding and has never been financially stable so it never came up - she needed money for the new baby. (Actually, I would have seemed like the b!tch if I had even brought it up).

    I'm sure she was upset that my wedding was taking attention away from her pregnancy but I didn't even know she was pregnant when I set the date, and we moved out of the country the week after the wedding so it was rushed (only 6 mo. to plan - which was harder than I thought it would be).

    She also blamed the pregnancy for why she was acting like such a brat during the wedding/planning/dress shopping... But looking back that was probably BS too because I'm already starting to feel my energy coming back now that the 1st tri is about over...

    Anyway, my response would be "That is not possible." and if she says anything, say, "I gave you $300 for bills.  You should be thanking me and finding a way to pay me back, not holding out your hand for more."  But I'm a *** like that.  

    I agree - but,unfortunately that's not the way my family handles things. My brother pays for my mom and sister's cell phones, family will frequently co-sign for other people's leases or cars... (I must be more like my dad's side of the family because I don't go for stuff like that - and I always come across as selfish because of it). Besides, no one expects them to be able to pay back any money that they were given - so we made it clear that it was a one time emergency only situation / gift, and we have left it at that.

  • image bethieb123:
    image SomethingNewEveryDay:

    Anyway, my response would be "That is not possible." and if she says anything, say, "I gave you $300 for bills.  You should be thanking me and finding a way to pay me back, not holding out your hand for more."  But I'm a *** like that.  

    I agree - but,unfortunately that's not the way my family handles things. My brother pays for my mom and sister's cell phones, family will frequently co-sign for other people's leases or cars... (I must be more like my dad's side of the family because I don't go for stuff like that - and I always come across as selfish because of it). Besides, no one expects them to be able to pay back any money that they were given - so we made it clear that it was a one time emergency only situation / gift, and we have left it at that.

    So what that this is "not the way my family handles things".  this isn't about your family.  This is about YOU.  YOU can say "no".  Period.  No one can force you to do anything you dont' want to do.  Sure, they make think you're selfish, but so what?  THey are all a bunch of enablers and your sister sounds REALLY immature. 

    Don't play into it.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • image EastCoastBride:
    image bethieb123:
    image SomethingNewEveryDay:

    Anyway, my response would be "That is not possible." and if she says anything, say, "I gave you $300 for bills.  You should be thanking me and finding a way to pay me back, not holding out your hand for more."  But I'm a *** like that.  

    I agree - but,unfortunately that's not the way my family handles things. My brother pays for my mom and sister's cell phones, family will frequently co-sign for other people's leases or cars... (I must be more like my dad's side of the family because I don't go for stuff like that - and I always come across as selfish because of it). Besides, no one expects them to be able to pay back any money that they were given - so we made it clear that it was a one time emergency only situation / gift, and we have left it at that.

    So what that this is "not the way my family handles things".  this isn't about your family.  This is about YOU.  YOU can say "no".  Period.  No one can force you to do anything you dont' want to do.  Sure, they make think you're selfish, but so what?  THey are all a bunch of enablers and your sister sounds REALLY immature. 

    Don't play into it.

    Exactly what ECB said.  Just because your family does things a certain way does NOT mean you have to.  If they want to pay each others bills, cosign for loans (OMG that would freak me out!! H and I have an agreement to never, ever sign or cosign loans for family - I'm paranoid about stuff like that) or whatever, that's on them.  What you want to do is about you.  You have a family of your own, and just keep in mind that whatever financial decisions you make involves them as well. 

    Frankly, I think that what your family does it very codependent and selfish in its own way, in that it assumes that everyone will buy in and do the same.  That's selfish.  What you're doing isn't selfish, it's protective and responsible.  (Although to be honest, I see nothing wrong with being a bit selfish every now and then).

    GL!!! Yes, they might guilt you into changing your mind, but just say that you love them, but that you cannot be a part of this. Rinse, repeat.

  • image MarynJoe:

    I'm curious why they don't wait until the 10th year and have a vow renewal or big anniversary party?

     

    She's probably going to do that, too. 

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  • learn to use the word 'no'.

    also she already had her real wedding. that's when you get married. i guess she's looking for a reception?

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  • image Mrs.Rad888:
    image MarynJoe:

    I'm curious why they don't wait until the 10th year and have a vow renewal or big anniversary party?

     

    She's probably going to do that, too. 

    You hit the nail on the head!

    Thanks for letting me rant here - and for all of the advice everyone!

  • image EastCoastBride:

    All you can do is say "Sorry, can't help you out".  If others help pay for her "wedding", that's on them.  Everyone has the ability to say "no".  If they don't, oh well.  That has nothing to do w/ you.

    She's taking advantage of your culture.  And if your otehr family members actually do this, they are only enabling her.  She can't make ends meet and asks for help, then ALSO wants everyone to throw her a wedding?

    And the less you say in response to her (or anyone) the better.  Dont' give anyone any ammunition or room for arguement.  "we're unable to help you out" is all you need to say.

    This.

  • image EastCoastBride:

    All you can do is say "Sorry, can't help you out".  If others help pay for her "wedding", that's on them.  Everyone has the ability to say "no".  If they don't, oh well.  That has nothing to do w/ you.

    She's taking advantage of your culture.  And if your otehr family members actually do this, they are only enabling her.  She can't make ends meet and asks for help, then ALSO wants everyone to throw her a wedding?

    And the less you say in response to her (or anyone) the better.  Dont' give anyone any ammunition or room for arguement.  "we're unable to help you out" is all you need to say.

    This.

  • Your sister does not want you all to pay for her wedding. She's already married. She wants you all to pay for her to have a do-over wedding reenactment. Which is bulllshit.

    What you say is, "this sounds so nice, doing a vow renewal like this. I'm sorry to say we cannot come, or even contribute as you've asked, circumstances just do not permit us; but we are so happy for you, enjoy your vow renewal! Love you, Me and My Dh".

    And don't think another thing about it.

     

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