Paying for a wedding can be quite the task, so you might be wondering how to ask your parents for money for your wedding.
We’ve all watched the American movies where the reluctant father of the bride signs his cheque book with a sigh, smiling at his beloved daughter and her stuffed-to-bursting wedding binder, outside that perfect double-fronted white house, but actually, it’s not always quite like that when it comes to asking your parents for wedding money.
Asking for financial contributions to your wedding can be a bit of a minefield - especially if you don’t have a mild-mannered American movie dad who seemingly can afford everything despite his unremarkable job.
And anyway - it’s not really a wedding tradition that many couples observe anymore. More and more couples choose to fund their weddings themselves as who pays for what in a wedding is more and more dependent on the individuals involved, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask your parents for wedding money - you’ve just got to do it the right way. And here’s how!
How to Ask Your Parents for Wedding Money
Do Your Research
Have a look at wedding venues you like, and think about guest list numbers. Do a rough budget of how much you would need to spend, and figure out how much you can contribute.
To help you out - the average cost of a wedding in the UK is around £32,000. That doesn’t mean your wedding has to cost £32,000 - you can definitely be savvy with your budget, but just to give you an idea of what you could end up spending.
Figure out how much you can realistically contribute to your wedding budget and what the shortfall you’d need to ask for from your parents would be, and what it would go towards. It will be easier to ask your parents for wedding money if you have a set sum in mind and a plan for how it’ll be spent.
Give Your Parents a Heads Up
Don’t just ask them for cash over Sunday lunch with no preamble. Give them a call and explain you’ve been looking at the wedding cost and doing some budget work, and you’d like to talk to them about it.
This way they will know you’re going to discuss money matters with them, and they’ll have time ahead of your chat to figure out what they can realistically give to you, should they decide to help.
No really - you need to be so polite. Explain what you’re looking at for your wedding, explain your estimated costs and talk through how you’ll pay for the amount you’re paying for. Then you can say, “We would be really grateful if you’d be able to contribute towards our wedding, if you can, but there’s no obligation.”
This is a clear and upfront way of asking for what you want, but in a polite way and you are also making it very obvious that it’s optional - because it is.
Don’t specify an exact sum or ask them to pay for a specific thing as it adds too much pressure. Leaving it open ended means they will either agree and ask for more details, agree and offer a specific sum, say they need to think about it or decline.
If they need to think about it - allow them the space to do so. You can always discuss it more at a later date and see if they’d prefer to pay for a specific service or a percentage etc. - some people feel more comfortable giving money if they know exactly what it’s being used for.
Discuss How it Will Work
Similar to the point above - determine whether they’re giving you money as a gift with no obligations or expectations, or if they see it as a loan. If it’s a loan, discuss how it will be paid back and when.
Establish whether they would like to have a say or more involvement in the wedding planning if they’re contributing. Some parents, especially if they have paid a significant amount towards their child’s wedding, expect say over various aspects, such as where the wedding is, and who is invited.
Be clear about what you’re willing to include them in and what you have already decided on, so they know what they’re agreeing to.
If there are disagreements, be polite: “Whilst we’re so grateful for your contribution and help, we’ve actually decided we’d like to do X because Y.”
Accept the Outcome
If they say no, accept the outcome and start planning a wedding with a smaller budget. At the end of the day, it's your parents' prerogative how they spend their money and if they decide for whatever reason to not contribute towards your wedding, you need to graciously accept it and thank them for hearing you out.
Demonstrate Your Gratitude
If your parents decide to give you money towards your wedding, make sure they know how grateful you are. Thank them for their generosity in your wedding speeches, and give your parents a wedding gift on the big day too.
Polite Ways to Ask Your Parents for Wedding Money
Want to ask your parents for money towards your wedding but not sure where to start? Here are some polite ways to bring up the topic of wedding money with your folks…
- “[Partner] and I have planned out our wedding budget, but we’d really appreciate you going through it with us. Do you think you’d be able to contribute towards the cost in any way?”
- “We’ve found a wedding venue that we really love, but unfortunately it’s just not affordable for us right now - we need X amount more to be able to make it work. Do you think you could possibly contribute towards it? We'd be so grateful”
- “We are having some issues with our wedding budget, and we’d really appreciate it if you could contribute. We know it’s a big ask, and we’re happy to work it out in a loan format if that suits you, but your help would be gratefully received.”
- “[Partner]’s parents are contributing towards our wedding, and we wondered if you would like to do the same? There’s no obligation, but we’d appreciate anything you could offer.”
- “We would like to involve you in our wedding planning and get your feedback on a few ideas we have, but also we’d like to know if you’d like to contribute towards the cost? We’re happy to invite XYZ/have your choice of ZYX etc., of course.”
Sorted out your parents financial contribution towards your wedding? Whether they agree to contribute or not, here are lots of ways to cut costs in your day to day life to help you save money for your wedding.