We gave our daughter $20,000 for a wedding, but she used it for a home down payment and paid for her own wedding … – Yahoo Finance

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Mike’s daughter spent the money he gave her on a down payment and later paid for her own wedding (not pictured here).Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

  • A couple in Kansas City, Missouri, gave their daughter $20,000 to spend on her wedding.

  • Instead, she spent the money on buying a home, and she and her fiancé paid for their own wedding.

  • The dad said it worked out and that he thinks his daughter learned about budgeting in the process.

When Mike’s daughter got engaged, he and his wife wanted to help pay for her wedding.

Mike, who asked Business Insider to only use his first name for privacy reasons, estimated that a wedding in the Kansas City, Missouri, area cost between $15,000 and $25,000 at the time, around 2015.

Mike and his wife decided they could put $20,000 toward the wedding, but they knew wedding spending could get out of hand and that emotions tend to run high during the planning process.

So instead of working closely with their daughter on her wedding plans and talking through each potential cost, they came up with a straightforward solution: Give her and her fiancé a lump sum of $20,000 and let them do all the planning.

“I didn’t want to be telling my daughter what she could and couldn’t do,” he said. “She was an adult.”

Mike said the strategy took pressure off him and his wife and helped them avoid wrestling over who was buying what or what his daughter could or could not have. He also said it helped them contribute the amount they wanted without going over budget by adding things here and there.

The Knot reported that in 2023, the national average cost of a wedding was $35,000, while the average cost in Missouri was $27,000. Still, most couples end up going over their budget. A Real Weddings Study by The Knot found that 56% of couples spent an average of $7,900 more on their wedding than they planned. Others exceeded their budget by more than $10,000.

While it’s traditional for the bride’s family to pay for a wedding, those customs are changing, especially as Americans get married later in life and are able to take on more of their own wedding costs. A study from The Knot found that it’s now more common for couples and their families to split the costs evenly.

Mike, his wife, their daughter, and her fiancé, were all happy with the lump-sum agreement.

“Then they kind of tricked me,” he said, laughing. “One day, they came home and said, ‘Hey, we bought a house.'”

The couple took the $20,000 and used it for a down payment on their home — before they had their wedding, which they then planned to pay for out of their own pockets.

Initially, Mike was surprised, but he ultimately thought it was a good thing that his daughter and her fiancé paid for their own wedding.

“If kids are not given carte blanche on wedding plans, if they’re forced to budget from their own standpoint, the whole thing just doesn’t get out of hand,” he said.

The couple held the wedding at the rose garden in Loose Park — a large public park in Kansas City — and at a popular reception hall. Mike said everything about the wedding seemed reasonable but he never learned what they ended up spending.

“I never asked,” he said.

Mike said it might have bothered him if the couple had used the money for a down payment and then eloped. But as long as he and his wife were able to attend their daughter’s wedding, they were happy.

“I figured I got off for a reasonable amount of money for the wedding, and they got a down payment on a house out of the deal and a wedding,” he said.

Mike said he thinks too many people have gotten caught up in the lavish weddings they’ve seen on TikTok, which can take away from the “whole point of having a wedding, which is to have a marriage.”

He also said he thinks that helping his daughter and her fiancé learn how to budget for a wedding helped them learn how to budget in a marriage.

Mike’s wife did end up giving their daughter a bit more money in the end, which he thinks was for something to do with her dress.

“She snuck it in,” he said, laughing. “She couldn’t resist.”

Have a news tip or a story to share about the costs of throwing a wedding or being in a bridal party? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

Correction: June 7, 2024 — A previous version of this article misstated a figure from The Knot. It found that 56% of couples spent an average of $7,900 more on their wedding than they planned, not $7,600.

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