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Bride Sets Off Parents By Accepting $50k For Wedding Then Using Most For A House

couple on courthouse steps after elopement
pixdeluxe/Getty Images

In heteronormative wedding traditions, the roles of the bride’s parents differ from those of the groom’s parents. From dowries to gifts of gold or glass jewelry, society may expect each family to fulfill certain tasks leading up to and during the wedding.

In the post-colonization United States, the tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding replaced dowries as their social responsibility. But with more couples waiting longer to get married, many are choosing to pay for their own nuptials.

Their money, their rules, right?

But what if the bride’s parents decide to gift wedding money anyway?

A newlywed whose parents decided her wedding needed a financial boost turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after she opted to use the funds for a more permanent purpose.

Important-Writing889 asked:

“AITA for accepting money from my parents for my wedding then eloping?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My parents gave each of my brothers $50,000 when they graduated from university as a downpayment on their future homes.”

“When I graduated from uni, they did not do the same for me.”

“I asked about it and they said my husband should provide. I wasn’t married and I still lived at home at the time.”

“Three years later, I met my husband—a firefighter. We dated for a year and then we got engaged.”

“My parents were overjoyed. When we set a date for the wedding they gave me a check for $50,000 to pay for the wedding.”


“I took the check and we eloped.”

“I invited them to my wedding. It took place about two weeks after their gift.”

“I guess then technically I did not elope—I wasn’t sure how else to state it. We had a very small wedding at our friend’s house then a buffet lunch.”

“We then used the check for a downpayment on a house. My husband had a similar amount saved up so we are in a good spot financially with home equity.”

The OP later clarified:

“To be more exact, we told them we were engaged. My dad went to his office and came back with a check for the money.”

“We accepted it.”

“We went home and talked about it. We decided that we were not going to blow that kind of money on a wedding.”

“We went to the county clerk and got a marriage license. We talked to our friends and they agreed to let us use their house.”

“We went to the bank and put $50,000 down on our existing mortgage. We can pay it down without penalty once a year.”

“It took us two weeks or so to get set with an officiant and everything. We had six friends and my parents present for the wedding.”

“Total cost $500.”

The OP then got to the problem.

“My parents are furious that they didn’t get a big wedding for all their friends and family to attend. They said that they gave me the money for a wedding.”

“My argument is that I got married and had leftover money. Accurate in my books.”

“The gifts for my brothers were for their houses. My middle brother used a bunch of his for furniture and a big TV without repercussions or anger.”

“Our wedding used 1% of their contribution and 99% went toward our home. What if our wedding cost $40,000? Were we required to spend every penny on a wedding?”

“My parents were, are, and will continue to be pissed for the foreseeable future”

“My brothers are on their side, so I am here to ask if I’m in the wrong. Neither of them is married yet so I don’t if my parents will be paying for their weddings in addition to the money they got at graduation.”

“And I actually have a bigger issue than that.”

“My oldest brother graduated 10 years ago. $50,000 was a lot more back then.”

“Even if they had given me the $50,000 five years ago when I graduated, it would have been a huge difference in house prices from then until now.”


The OP summed up their situation.

“My parents gave me money for my wedding.”

“I might be the a**hole because I eloped and used the money for a downpayment on a house instead.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA, your family is being horrible and is using a bullsh*t double standard. They didn’t expect your brothers to use that money for a big wedding, but you have to.

“They wouldn’t have helped you get a home unless it was through marriage, but your brothers didn’t have that condition and just got the money.”

“And they expected you to have a huge wedding so that they could have fun.”

“Saving up the money is the responsible thing to do and they’re being bad parents if they’d rather you spent it all on a huge wedding you don’t even want.”

“There was a wedding, and they were invited, right? They’re angry because it wasn’t big enough?” ~ A_Dog_Chasing_Cars

“If, for example, this concerned money set aside for education, I’d judge you in the wrong. But 50k for a wedding when your brothers got that same amount for a home is outrageous.”

“Seriously, what the heck where they thinking?”

“‘Hi, daughter dear. Rather than giving you 50k to set you up quite comfortably housing-wise, we want you to burn through it for a single day called wedding’.”

“‘Us having fun at that party and being able to brag about it for decades is way more important!’.”

“Misogyny aside, I also loathe the fact that they wouldn’t have given it to you if you’d preferred to remain single. It’s basically bullying you into marriage. NTA.”

“And if it costs you your relationship with your parents—that might be better in the long run in any case.” ~ Pondering-Out-Loud

“NTA. You found a loophole. It seems odd they gave you the money outright vs paying the wedding invoices. Sorry your parents have double standards.” ~ Longjumping-Lab-1916

“NTA. You met their sexism with tricksterism. Well done. Of course, they should give the same to your new home as they gave to your brothers.” ~ kimba-the-tabby-lion

“Gifts don’t come with strings attached. Methods of control come with strings attached. Good for you on cutting the strings.”

“They gave you $50k for your wedding. You used the money for the wedding. They didn’t specify how much you had to spend. NTA.” ~ Good-Statement-9658

“NTA—you used the money for a down payment on your home, just like your brothers. If your parents want a huge party, tell them to host a vow renewal for themselves. A home and successful marriage is much more important & lasting than an overpriced wedding & reception.” ~ dncrmom

“NTA: This is the WISEST use of that money! Obviously, you were getting married because you WANTED the marriage and life together…..not a big wedding to impress people! Good job.” ~ Motley_Inked_Paper

“NTA. How very sexist of them. Guess you showed them you were more than a pretty face. Brains, too.”

“Got that required husband and the money to top it off. Demanding you spend it all on a party when they set your brothers up nicely in life. What a**holes.” ~ KnightofForestsWild

“If they want to talk about it, tell them as pissed as they are about not having gotten a wedding out of their daughter, that’s half as pissed as you were when you found out that they thought you had to have a penis to receive money for a home down payment.”

“NTA, and congrats on your sound financial management skills! My own wedding cost $35, and the marriage has lasted 45 years so far.” ~ marvel_nut

“NTA. You took what you needed for the wedding and used the rest for something meaningful. Good choice.”

“You and your husband sound like very nice and levelheaded people. All the best for your marriage and enjoy your first house.” ~ misteraustria27

“They weren’t really helping her out financially this time, either. They weren’t willing to help her buy a house, which is actually useful for the rest of her life.”

“She didn’t need or want a big fancy wedding, so their gift was pretty meaningless.” ~ CollectionStraight2

“Honestly, I would be beyond proud if my kids grow up to be people who decide to do smart stuff with the money I hand them instead of spending it on one stupid day.”

“Spending 50k on a wedding is bullsh*t in every standard. Hats off to you spending it on a home for your family and becoming equal owners together with your husband. NTA.” ~ AnsStapler

“They thought their boys were worth giving $100k so they could immediately buy their own homes after finishing school, but they thought their daughter was undeserving of getting any help for her own home.”

“They thought it would be a fair and just thing to instead ‘give her’ that money for a single day for them to enjoy, so that they could have a big party to show off to all their friends and family.”

“In other words, they were willing to invest in their sons’ futures and provide them with one of the most valuable things you can have—something that can last your whole life and be passed down to your kids, something that can be used as equity or outright sold if needed—while they were willing to provide their daughter with one big day of fleeting celebration that they clearly wanted to be more about them than her.”

“Sure, OP understood that her parents thought less of her and only expected her to get married and have a ‘man take care of her’ for the rest of her life.”

“She understood that they expected her to be grateful for essentially being sold off with a dowry so that they could tell themselves they were good parents. She understood that they expected to make her ‘special day’ all about them and were very upset when they couldn’t.”

“They thought they’d bought themselves a $50,000 party, and now they’re realizing that they f**ked up badly by treating their children wildly differently based on their respective genitalia.”

“Sadly, instead of having the maturity, wisdom, and grace to admit they’d made a mistake or had some outdated views, they’ve chosen to double down on their very unfortunate decision. NTA.” ~ StormyBlueLotus

The OP’s parents can always get their $50,000 party out of their sons since they already financed it.

So what if the sons have to take out loans or sell their homes to get the money?

They agreed with their parents plans for their sister, so they should put their money where their mouth is.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.