Wedding etiquette: Does financial help from your family give them a bigger say in the wedding decision-making?
by Stephanie


Katie Slater Photography

QUESTION: My family wants to contribute a lot financially to my wedding. If I accept their financial help, does this mean that they will have more of  say in planning my wedding? 

GINA'S ANSWER: No way. Money does not equal a bigger voice in the wedding planning. Let your family help financially as long as you’re comfortable with it and they know it doesn’t give them free reign to make decisions on your behalf.

Also, keep the two families’ wedding contributions private. You want to avoid pitting families against one another and having one side feel like the other isn’t giving enough.

JESS' ANSWER: This is really dependent upon the family situation. Is your family open-minded? Or are they hard-headed? Also, is it the grooms family, your own family, or someone else who is contributing? All of these factors come into play.

The bottom line, is that it’s your day, and nobody elses opinion should ruin your vision. However, you need to ask yourself which battles are worth the fight. You want this day to be a special experience for everyone involved, not just yourself! There has to be a little give and take in any situation.

ASHLEY'S ANSWER: No. I don’t think that that should factor into the wedding decision making too much. Of course you need to acknowledge and respect the wishes of others, especially in they are contributing to the wedding.

My best advice is to blanket as many details as you can to this person [the financial contributor]. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to share. You can also explain to them that you have a vision in mind and would really like to stay on track. Too many decision makers does not mean a better product. It is best to keep things simple, make a decision and stick with it. It is okay to be firm in your wishes as well, sometimes people will ask relentlessly. Standing tall and firm will keep you happier in the long run. Often I hear the “if only” or “should haves” after the event. Keep true to you and your partner. Clear and open communication between the two of you is also important.

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175
Gina and Matt_web_175

Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she's not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She's an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she's a freelance graphic designer (

Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She's partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she's not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.

Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.