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Anger at sister over wedding expenses

  • 13-09-2020 9:56am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking for advice on how to process and deal with anger about a specific event. I've never had issues with anger in the past but for some reason I can't get over and move on from a recent event that left me deeply upset and angry. The event was my sisters wedding. The issue I have is that I cannot understand how my sister was so selfish and naive in organizing her wedding day.


    We are a family of very modest means. Both of my parents are farmers and all through their life have worked tirelessly to make ends meet and live within our means. All of my siblings have inherited these traits, my sister included. Hard working, modest, and have no egos. For some reason, I feel like I barely know my own sister in the past 6 months. It is like she is living in sort of dreamland with the expense she is creating. 5 start wedding venue, props and chocolate fountains, vintage cars, florist, cake makers, make-up, hair, catering, free bar on the day, were all organised and expected that my parents would help covering the cost. I am absolutely gobsmacked by the costs created. It is totally out of character by her. The cost and stress created by the wedding will take 10 years of hard work to pay off for my parents and it kills me to look them in the eyes now as I can see that deep down they are also devastated by the cost of it all.

    The whole organizing left me feeling angry and and upset. How could she be so silly and selfish?

    My hope was that the wedding day would pass and so would my anger. The wedding day is now in the rear view mirror but I am still left feeling incredibly angry and betrayed by my sister.

    Can anyone offer advice or thoughts on how I can rationalize what has happened in my head and move on. I know that life is too short to bear grudges and anger is not a healthy emotion to carry so I want to get to work processing it and moving on as soon as possible.


    It all boils down to the cost and hassle it has caused all members of the family and bridesmaids. Nobody has addressed her directly as we are all running with the party line that "it is her big day".in that I feel toward my sister over the expense created by here recent wedding.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,377 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    Why didnt your parents say no?

    Your sister is to blame for her part, she expected too much but your parents are equally to blame for handing her whatever she wanted and not telling her how they felt.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,233 ✭✭✭StevenToast


    I would be just as disgusted as you...

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,415 ✭✭✭wirelessdude01


    I thought the days of parents paying for weddings was long gone? Some money yes but certainly not an amount that leaves them paying it off for 10yrs.

    My thinking is that if you are old enough to get married then you pay for it yourself. If you have a limited budget then you cut your cloth to measure.

    What a selfish person your sister is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,965 ✭✭✭Smee_Again


    It’s not really any of your business, it’s between your sister and your parents.

    You can of course offer advice and counsel to both but ultimately it’s between them.

    The fact that the wedding is in the past, physically speaking if not financially, means that you’d be best to move on


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭Addle


    I don’t think it’s any of your business either.
    What’s agreed between your parents and sister is between them, and your parents have to live with the consequences of their decisions.
    Your anger/resentment is a bit ott?
    Are you married yourself? Have your folks ever gifted you money? Paid for education or other expenses?
    Are you jealous of your sister?

    I think wedding expenses in general are ridiculous btw.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Do you mind me asking what types of aums are involved and what is your sisters and new husbands occupations/financial prospects?

    I can’t imagine any father wanting a showdown on his daughters wedding costs, nor parents to have to say No that puts us under too much pressure or you can’t have it.

    If you are angry at your parents being left short or them having to do without for her, can you give them a cash ‘donation’ towards her wedding costs or take out a loan that you can spread to
    give to them? At least it will resolve their issues and not leave them short or struggling - even if you have to pay for it yourself and absorb some of your sisters selfishness and fecklessness.

    Saving this, after a period of time after the wedding has passed ( a few months) can you say to your sister that her spending has put your parents who adore her under huge financial pressure and can SHE not quietly take out a loan to pay back her parents or defer some of the costs as it hrdly seems fair that your elderly parents struggle and do without when she has ( two salaries/an income/ a part/“-time job etc) Many couples can get cash gifts at weddings - perhaps she did - perhaps she could consider fifting some of this to her parents to offset the costs which ‘got out of hand’ ...


    Women lose the plot spending ar weddings - I do not understand it. I know a few people who occasionally put their head in their hands and moan about the absolute gluttony of spending and sheet waste of it all on ‘just one day’ but I know others who would do it all the same again and more if they could.

    Have you more sisters yet to be married? If not thank your blessings. I’d say your best bet is an oblique approach with a backup of the money ready to gift to them - you could claim you had it saved for a rainy day or kept all your overtime etc.

    its awful the pressures people put themselves others under for ‘ one day. I have a relation that borrowed 25,000 and was in debt for 4 years paying it off - and to this day her husband wont speak to me because at the time I had lost my job in the recession and couldn’t justify or afford to go!!!

    madness.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Why didnt your parents say no?

    Your sister is to blame for her part, she expected too much but your parents are equally to blame for handing her whatever she wanted and not telling her how they felt.

    I have been reluctant to place any blame on my parents as they are quite traditional and this was the first wedding in the family so I think they did not have any experience and did not want to appear supportive. Another thing I should have mentioned was that the grooms parents would be considerably more wealthy than us and I think my parents felt that they would not be keeping up their side of the bargain if they did not play their part.

    I have to stress how out of character this is by my sister too. It seemed to spiral out of control since lockdown and it was like she was on a mission against the world since the restrictions came in place and was out to somehow prove the world that she could still do it. What she was trying to prove, I have no idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Smee_Again wrote: »
    It’s not really any of your business, it’s between your sister and your parents.

    You can of course offer advice and counsel to both but ultimately it’s between them.

    The fact that the wedding is in the past, physically speaking if not financially, means that you’d be best to move on

    100% agree that my only option is to move on but for some reason it keeps playing on my mind and boiling up. My motto with anything in the past is that "the show goes on" but for some reason, this keeps bubbling up in me


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    It had crossed my mind that the anger I was feeling was really jealousy but I don't think it is.

    I just feel betrayed that my sister has gone on a solo run and feel that she has let the team down. I'm 28 and since 18 I have made it a point of pride that I never have asked anything of my parents. It is the same with my other sister. I felt it was an unwritten rule that we were all living by. She is 31 and asked my parents to cover the free bar on the day and other expenses. She also ordered both of them to spend big money on expensive outfits on the day.

    I like the suggestion of me paying for some of the cost incurred. I would be happy to pay 5k if it helped them shoulder the burden and also (perhaps selfishly) help me to process some of the guilt and anger that I feel about the whole situation.

    I know that with the benefit of hindsight my parents would approach it differently. I think the circumstances created a domino effect. First wedding in the family, then wedding dates having to be rearranged and guest lists cut, and my sister snowballing the costs upward since March happened.

    The advice offered has been very useful. I will try to make a list of every action I can take from this point forward to alleviate what has been done and make peace with it all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭antix80


    I don't know why you're so concerned. It's your parent's money and after this her husband will be picking up the tab for her extravagances.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,673 ✭✭✭✭Dtp1979


    If your parents had any sense they would’ve said to their kids that if any of you get married, they will contribute a fixed price, eg, 5k or whatever. The same for all their children. Then your sister can go and get her chariot drawn by 16 white stallions at her own expense.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    Have your parents complained about it? Maybe they're more than happy to give their daughter what they could? Maybe your sister and her husband made contributions that you don't know about. Maybe they sat back on the wedding day and were proud of what they were able to provide to make it a good day?

    Maybe talk to your parents and check in with them that they're doing OK after it all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    Your sister and her husband both come across as very selfish and egotistic but your parents did make a choice to give them that money. If they are regretting it now, that's on them. They wouldn't be the first parents to get carried away with the first family wedding.

    I can appreciate you are angry on their behalf especially if they have said anything to you about it but its not you they should be saying it to. If you feel its something you can do maybe you can encourage your parents to say something but given that the wedding is over they can't really do very much now. Its an expensive lesson they have learned but maybe they needed it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Dtp1979 wrote: »
    If your parents had any sense they would’ve said to their kids that if any of you get married, they will contribute a fixed price, eg, 5k or whatever. The same for all their children. Then your sister can go and get her chariot drawn by 16 white stallions at her own expense.

    !!! You’d be surprised! I have been in the room with a friends sister - twice - girls I din’t really know - when they tried using having a witness/ guest to blackmail their oarents into giving them something they wanted for their wedding and was mirtified out of the room by their utter selfishness and shamelessness over trying to manipulate and emotionally blackmail them into it - you know - Don’t you think JustAThought that its selfish to expect someone to tracel to Y for a wedding and not have a free bar - Daddy won’t pay for one for my wedding’ ...in front of him. Mortifying. I’ve also hd a female cousin refuse to speak to her ( loaded) father as he refused to rent out Ashfird Castle or Luttlerstown for 200 people for a wedding for her (mostly strangers) guests . I don’t kniw where girls think this money comes from or why they think asking someone to drop the deposit for a second house on a day long party is acceptable or feasible.

    As regards the OP I think the gift to your parents to defer their costs is a good solution - say you want to make a contribution towards their costs of the wedding but make it clear it is to offset their costs and is not to be gifted to her as a housewarming/ home starter kit!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,311 ✭✭✭✭weldoninhio


    You sound jealous that your sister got her dream day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,880 ✭✭✭✭noodler


    How much was it they gave OP?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,103 ✭✭✭mrsdewinter


    Before you gift money to your parents, think long and hard. If you have the money to spare and you genuinely wouldn't miss it, go ahead. But imagine a scenario where you've borrowed the cash and are still paying it off 18 months from now. Or you find yourself in a position where you really need the sum you gave to your parents. Are you sure you wouldn't experience this anger all over again?
    I do feel for you, OP. It must have been horrible to watch this car crash play out within the family.
    The only thing I'd say is, you may not know your parents' full financial situation - maybe they've been putting a few euro away for years now, maybe they have a similar sum set aside for you and your plans.
    Do you feel you could discuss this with them? It reads like you are worried for them, not jealous of your sister or the treatment she got. Perhaps if you had more information, it might take some of the pain out of your anger?


  • Registered Users Posts: 539 ✭✭✭Teach30


    We are really only hearing one side here. You might feel it was an extravagant day but to your sister it may not have been. Just because it wasn’t to your taste and you wouldn’t spend that much money it shouldn’t bother you.

    If you parents had any sense they would have put a stop to the expenses but I understand how easily it could have spiralled. By the sounds of it she fell into the wedding trap of all the needless extras but at the same time it was her day to enjoy them not yours. Also Perhaps this was your parents way of giving your sister her inheritance. I know mine would pay for wedding if I want them to but I would prefer the inheritance money for other things. Might be worth discussing this with them especially if you would prefer not to go down the traditional route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,474 ✭✭✭Hoboo


    If your parents are of sound mind and weren't bullied into paying so much, then it's none of your business what your parents give to your sister. Time to suck it up, it's not your day.

    Funny how the biggest arguments in families is almost always over money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Hoboo wrote: »
    If your parents are of sound mind and weren't bullied into paying so much, then it's none of your business what your parents give to your sister. Time to suck it up, it's not your day.

    Funny how the biggest arguments in families is almost always over money.

    I think its more about how she treated them with her demands and has put them under financial pressure as a consequence of her spending. Its more about them, than her.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭bobbyy gee


    have you talked to your parents.about the situation bring in your sister and have family.meeting


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    bobbyy gee wrote: »
    have you talked to your parents.about the situation bring in your sister and have family.meeting

    Why would they need to have a family meeting :confused: Its nothing to do with the OP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 461 ✭✭Pistachio19


    Your parents were well within their rights to say no to your sisters ridiculous demands but they chose to give her money. There's no way in hell I would be giving them money to make up for your sisters selfish, grabby behaviour. Its not your responsibility to cover her wedding costs, in the same way it wasn't your parents. Don't get sucked in like they did. Surely she knows your parents financial position. If your parents are now under financial strain and have voiced that to you, then I'd have no hesitation in telling your sister that she needs to pay that money back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭Addle


    Are you sure you have an accurate picture of what’s gone on?
    Parents don’t always tell everyone in their family the same story... you might be surprised at how much they have, or what was actually expected of them.
    Maybe they don’t want to set a precedent.
    I still think you’re taking it far too personally. You’re making it your problem and it’s really none of your business.
    You could cause lifelong friction over this.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,651 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    I also wonder if you have the full picture, OP. If the wedding went ahead recently, did they cut the guest list down significantly? Either they had always planned a very small wedding, or had to cut lots of their guest list and reduced costs that way. An open bar for less than 50 people that ends by 11:30 is a vastly different proposition to an open bar for 200 guests that could go on all night.

    Or is it the case that the wedding took place prior to lockdown? If so, and you’re holding onto this anger so tightly more than 6 months later, then I’d be tending towards suggesting you speak to a professional to work through whatever this has brought up in you, as it can’t be good for you to be living with this much resentment.

    Edit: I re-read your posts and see the wedding was post-March. So then the question reverts to, do you have the full picture? It’s entirely possible your parents had contributed X amount which had already been paid to the hotel for Y number of guests. Perhaps the hotel wouldn’t refund it, but offered a compromise of an open bar and lots of extra instead?

    It seems like you’re projecting a lot and filling in blanks incorrectly. Do you know what the actual costs incurred by your parents were? What the difference was between expected costs and actual costs given Covid? Do you know if they perhaps had saved up a sum of money to contribute to your sisters wedding over the years?

    Unless you know for an absolute fact (I.e. a parent telling you explicitly that they were financially hurt by the wedding), then I think you need to be careful making assumptions because you could end up making a lot of waves and coming off as the bad guy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,172 ✭✭✭cannotlogin


    I wouldn't be impressed by your sister's behaviour either but it was your parents choice and to be honest, none of your business.

    Give your parents money if you want but I suspect that this will lead to you resenting your sister even more as you'll feel you contributed to her wedding as a result.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭Idle Passerby


    I'm surprised that a pair of adults in this day and age expected mammy and daddy to pay for their wedding! I understand your anger but it sounds like your parents were equally to blame for the spiraling costs. They didn't want to look cheap in front of the in laws so spent more than they wanted. Sorry but more fool them. 1. For agreeing to pay for the wedding and 2. for not setting a budget.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,901 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain


    I can't believe you're seriously thinking of giving money towards covering your sister's wedding.
    It's none of your business what the wedding cost and none of your business what your parents contributed unless they were bullied into doing so by your sister or brother in law.
    Your parents might even be insulted if you came out of the blue with a wad of cash for something that has no bearing on you whatsoever.

    To thine own self be true



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭Ellie2008


    In your view there was an unspoken agreement that you & your siblings act in certain way towards your parents that your sister broke. However, your parents are consenting adults, they may not have wanted to have difficult conversations with your sister but they didn’t & they have to live with the consequences of that. Ideally your sister would not have created the situation but she did & they chose to go along with it.

    I don’t want to comment on whether or not to give your parents money that’s up to you. I would encourage you to let the anger go. If your sister lost the run of herself planning her wedding she wouldn’t be the first. Anger is such a toxic emotion. This is one episode of your life with your sister.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Why didnt your parents say no?

    Your sister is to blame for her part, she expected too much but your parents are equally to blame for handing her whatever she wanted and not telling her how they felt.

    Excellent point!


This discussion has been closed.
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