What To Do When You Can’t Afford Your Daughter’s Wedding

Every little girl’s dream is to have a fairytale princess wedding. If you have a little girl, you may need to start thinking about how you will help her have the fairytale wedding she dreams of even before she starts dating! Your little one will grow up so fast, and before you know it, she has accepted a proposal of marriage. You’re probably wondering how you could possibly afford a wedding right now. Worse still, how are you going to afford the wedding if you are retired when it happens?

Traditionally, the parents of the bride paid for the wedding in its entirety, but this is an old fashioned idea and rarely happens now. That said, take warning – the groom’s family may choose to address you directly regarding the wedding arrangements. They may expect your daughter to be living at home with you on the big morning. This can put unpleasant pressure on you to feel the need to be responsible not just for the finances but also for organising the whole day. It will be your undoing if you rise to it and could create tension to upset the proceedings, so just grin and bear it.

Wedding invitations are likely to be the first expense you will have to pay for in full. Things like the cake, the venue, the dress and the car are all secured with a deposit and paid in full closer to the event. The photographer, the hotel rooms and reception will also deplete your bank account significantly. For your daughter, the most important thing will likely be her dress. As these currently cost somewhere between £500 and £2500, it may be worth thinking about how you are going to raise the money.

Saving up for holidays and new cars is something we are used to doing. Saving for an unknown quantity like your daughter’s future wedding is another matter. It may be 10 years in the future or 30. You have no way of knowing how much things will cost or what your daughter will want. The best thing to do is plan sensibly.

We have pensions and savings and emergency funds to top up every month. Adding a new savings account to the list may not be a bad idea. Speak to your Financial Advisor about some low-risk investments, and look at your budget carefully. Even if you can only spare £10 a week now, it will soon blossom into a nice fund to help toward the wedding. It is important you don’t give the wrong impression to your daughter in the meantime. Make it clear what she can expect and what you intend to provide for.

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You may want to tell her you will buy her a beautiful wedding dress for when she gets married, or that you will cover the cost of the reception. To agree to finance an entire wedding when you don’t think you will be able to cover it, will lead to heartache and disappointment. Pick just one or two items on the list of wedding requirements that will form your gift to her.

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