We Can't Pay for Her Wedding

Gina wants to know what you do when you have a 24-year-old daughter getting married and can’t afford to pay for the wedding. Do you let her know up front?

QUESTION: Gina wants to know what you do when you have a 24-year-old daughter getting married and can’t afford to pay for the wedding. Do you let her know up front? Dave says they need to decide what they can afford to put toward the wedding and do it in cash.

ANSWER: You and your husband have to come to a conclusion about what you are willing and able to do. It doesn’t sound like it will be much. You’re broke, and you’re still paying the kid’s student loan.

A wedding is a wonderful thing. Are you a child abuser because you don’t give your kid a $20,000 or $30,000 wedding? No. You need to be on the same team with your husband, and then you owe this kid some communication since this is coming at you. Let her know you’re going to be limited in what you’re able to do.

The average wedding is about half of the average household income. Your wedding should never exceed half of your annual income. That does not mean you should spend that much. It means you should not exceed that and is only for people who make $100,000 or less. You don’t want to apply that formula to someone making $500,000 and spend $250,000 on a wedding. That would be ludicrous. You should pay cash, or you can’t do it.

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