More and more couples are considering eloping. For some, it’s to save money. For some, it’s to save time. And for some, it’s to save themselves the endless drama that can come with planning a wedding. And yet, one couple found that eloping caused a whole lot of drama, and it’s probably not for the reason you think.
One dad on the AITA subreddit said he and his wife were excited about their daughter Jane’s engagement and the opportunity to plan a wedding. And so they offered the happy couple a set amount of money — let’s say $15 thousand — for the special occasion. Well fast forward, and Jane decided to elope.
“This was a little disappointing but we understood,” OP said. “Jane has never been the type to want to be the spotlight so while we weren’t expecting it, it wasn’t the biggest shock in the world.”
“What did feel like a shock is when she assumed we’d just give her that amount of cash straight up,” he continued. “She said they wanted to use it to take a month-long traveling sabbatical/honeymoon.”
Pause! A month-long honeymoon?! Who does that? Who can afford that? I guess a bride with a fat check …
OP said he and his wife were prepared to contribute to a family event, but that this money was not for Jane to “do as she pleases.”
“This has caused a whole thing with her saying we went back on our word to her, but in my mind we never told her otherwise,” he wrote. “We did say if she wants a second ceremony/family event to celebrate but wouldn’t be an official wedding, we would sponsor that.”
So, is OP the a—hole? The internet is split.
Plenty think Jane is entitled and out of line. No matter how non-conditional her parents made the money seem, it is still their funds to do with what they will. It’s like that bride who expected her parents to pay for her nudist wedding. No strings attached means you can pick your dress — not that you can scrap the dress. Or scrap the wedding altogether.
If she assumed this money would be given to her regardless, there should have been a conversation before the elopement. Spoiler alert: This family, like many AITA users, should have had open conversations early on.
“Your expectations and conditions are entirely reasonable,” one user said. “It was unreasonable for her to assume that she could simply take the ‘cash option’ here.”
“You said you’d help pay for a wedding, you didn’t say you had money to just give them as a gift,” another said.
That said, were Jane’s parents planning on giving her a gift? Or (like many parents decide to do) was the wedding going to be the gift? If the wedding was the gift, and she decided not to have a wedding, why should she not get a gift now? If her parents give her a check, will they expect to have control over how she spends the money?
Our two cents: If they do give her a monetary gift, it does not have to (and probably shouldn’t) be for the full $15K. After all, that money was paying for a lot of people to enjoy the day.
Many Redditors latched onto the “this is a family event” aspect: “A wedding is a social event that often serves as a bit of a family reunion. OP offered money for a group party that benefits the overall family — not a vacation for only 2 people.”
“She used the situation to her advantage so she could go on vacation instead of taking the opportunity to share the experience with her family,” chimed in another.
Is that actually what happened, though? Did Jane elope to get out of family time? (Psst! It’s totally fine if she did! But you know what happens when you assume …). One commenter agreed they would totally pay for a honeymoon over a wedding specifically because of the family aspect.
“Granted, my family always manages to cause drama, so weddings aren’t as fun as they could be or should be,” they wrote. “However, I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, but at the same time, you could gift them a nice honeymoon that is a fraction of what you intended to spend on the wedding, and they’ll have a lifetime of memories from a long trip as opposed to a single day.”
Some Redditors find it suspicious that these parents are so happy-go-lucky about the elopement. It’s not something parents are usually easy breezy about, so is OP just acting this way to make himself seem more sympathetic than he is?
“When OP said, ‘If they asked if they eloped or had a tiny wedding if we would give her some of [the money] for her honeymoon, we may have considered it…’ it sounds almost like they expected their adult daughter to ask permission to elope, and that their money would have come with a lot of strings,” one user pointed out. “I can just imagine all the, ‘Well, we’re paying, so we get the final say.’ And since the daughter dared to not ask their permission, they’re getting revenge the only way they can. Of course the daughter isn’t entitled to the money, but this also feels like there is more going on from her side.”
“This post smells like “ME ME ME ME,” another commenter said. “I DIDN’T GET I WANTED SO I’M GOING TO PUNISH MY DAUGHTER.”
So where exactly do we go from here? One solution that might keep the peace is (if it’s financially feasible!) for the parents to save that $15K and give it to Jane if/when she decides to buy a house. Sure, if they’re giving her money for that, they could just give her money for the honeymoon. But if they would rather their money go toward something else, so be it.
As one commenter explained, their family set aside $15K for each child to spend on a wedding or for a down payment on a first home: “Their choice.”
We love the mix-and-match situations that arose from that. Their oldest owned a home and their fiancé’s parents were paying for the wedding, so after this kid’s parents paid for tuxes, hotels, and the bar bill, there was a nice chunk left over for the honeymoon. The second child split the money between the band, the rehearsal dinner, and a down payment.
And the third kid — a bit like Jane — is scrapping the wedding and cashing in.
Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s wildest baby name dilemmas.
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