Mom Offers Son Big Money for Wedding, But with These Strings Attached

Mom Offers Son Big Money for Wedding, But with These Strings Attached

One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference. -- From the poem, When Giving is All We Have, by Alberto Ríos

This mom is willing and ready to shell out $150k for her son's wedding. But with a couple of conditions, to which the bride could not agree.

They are very simple conditions, the first simply requiring a wedding planner to ensure that everything about the big event would flow smoothly.

The second -- the most important for this mom -- to express her deepest gratitude: She wants to invite 8 relatives to the wedding. However, since it's her special day, the bride only wants guests with whom she feels comfortable.

 width= Photo: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk

Unable to contain her sadness, this mom posted her story on Reddit's r/AmItheA--hole forum under the username u/anon1968anon: "I 54f have 3 kids, the one pertaining to this post is 26m; we'll call him Caleb. Caleb has been with his fiancee, Ashley 26f, for 4 years, and they recently got engaged. I have offered to pay for their wedding, with two stipulations --
1. They use a wedding planner - I feel this is essential due to the size of the event and the amount of money going into it.
2. I have eight people I'm inviting (older relatives that I'm close with)."

Well, as OP continued to relate in her post, both bride and groom agreed to the hiring of a wedding planner. They told her that they would look for a person with whom they feel comfortable to discuss and plan the wedding.

But when it came to OP's second condition, her son explained that his fiancee was not agreeable to the idea. Even Caleb was not close with the relatives that his mom would like to invite, whom Ashley had just met a few times.

However, OP is willing to finance their wedding only if her conditions are met. In reaction, the bride's family accused her of being TA, although they refuse to shoulder the expenses. Since both families are big, they expect 300 to 400 guests.

Was she being capricious for making those demands?

Many members of the AITA community were on OP's side, especially after learning from an update that OP owes those relatives she wanted to invite her success and happiness. She wrote: "The eight people are my aunts and uncles; they helped me a lot with the kids. We don't come from money. I was in a severe car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down. With the lawsuit money, I made some investments that turned out to be very lucrative. Without their help, between watching the kids and financially, I would have been up a creek without a paddle when my kids were younger."

In anger, some of the commenters called the bride a gold digger. But OP corrected this, saying Ashley's father is a reputable attorney, and her mom has a business. They've fully supported all their kids' education, with Ashley now a surgical intern. It's among the reasons why they can't contribute to wedding expenses.

OP didn't easily give up, and things seemed to have turned for the better, as she revealed in another update: "I just got done having lunch with Caleb to talk to him about the conundrum we're in. He said that he hasn't spoken to her about what they've done for us in the past. He did not realize that it would be such a big deal for them to come and figured because of their age they would not want to come. Ashley knows the majority of the family really well because I host birthday parties for all three kids, as well as a 4th of July barbecue every year. My aunts and uncles rarely attend the events that I throw because it's hard for them to get around."

But on this particular occasion, OP wants to see her aunts and uncles at the wedding to let them know she remembers them and how much she loves them.

OP continued to say, "Caleb talked with Ashley, and then they came over for us to all have a sit down. Ashley apologized and said she didn't realize the significance of them. She was concerned because they are pretty old school and calm/relaxed and didn't want them to have an issue with how they want their wedding." According to OP, Ashley's family is known for holding parties that are huge, flamboyant, and eccentric. On the other hand, OP throws big but quieter parties with traditional country bonfire, barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, lawn games, etc.

Since some commenters were making an issue about the huge amount of money OP would be spending, she took the time to also explain it all. Then she ended her final update with the following words: "I think Ashley is a wonderful girl, and up until now, there has never been anything that has been an issue. The reason she hasn't spent more time with my aunts/uncles is that she has a very rigorous schedule because of the internship. She said she will make sure she spends more time with them before the wedding and gets to know them better."

As an old saying goes, all's well that ends well. As for having a grateful spirit and willingness to give, they are virtues that must remain with us even if everything else is gone.

Doris de Luna

For more than 20 years now, I’ve been devoting my heart, energy, and time to fulfilling my dream, which – many people may agree – is not among the easiest aspirations in life. Part of my happiness is having been able to lend a hand to many individuals, companies, and even governments as an investigative journalist, creative writer, TV director, and radio broadcaster.

At home, I spend my free time learning how to cook various cuisines. Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and banoffee pie are my favorite desserts. Playing with our dogs, Mushu and Jerusalem, is also a special part of my day. And, of course, I read a lot – almost anything under the sun. But what really makes me feel alive is meeting people from various walks of life and writing about their stories, which echo with the tears and triumph of an unyielding spirit, humanity, and wisdom.

Back to blog