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    We gave our daughter $20,000 for a wedding, but she used it for a home down payment and paid for her own wedding. Everyone was happy.

    By Kelsey Vlamis,

    Mike's daughter spent the money he gave her on a down payment and later paid for her own wedding (not picture here).
    • A couple in Kansas City gave their daughter a lump-sum of $20,000 to spend on her wedding.
    • Instead, she spent the money on buying a home, and she and her fiancé paid for their own wedding.
    • Mike said it all worked out and that he thinks his daughter learned about budgeting in the process.

    When Mike's daughter got engaged, he and his wife wanted to help pay for it.

    Mike, who asked Business Insider to only use his first name for privacy reasons, estimated that a wedding in the Kansas City area would cost between $15,000 and $25,000 at the time, which was around 2015.

    Mike and his wife decided they could put $20,000 towards the wedding, but they knew wedding spending can get out of hand and that emotions tend to run high during the planning process.

    So instead of working closely with their daughter on her wedding plans and talking through each potential cost, they came up with a straightforward solution: give her and her fiancé a lump sum of $20,000 and let them do all the planning.

    "I didn't want to be telling my daughter what she could and couldn't do," he said. "She was an adult."

    Mike said the strategy took the pressure off him and his wife and helped avoid any wrestling over who was buying what or what his daughter could and could not have at her own wedding. He also said it helped him and his wife contribute the amount they wanted without going over budget by adding on things here and there.

    In 2023, the national average cost of a wedding was $35,000, according to The Knot , while the average cost in Kansas was $25,000. Still, most couples end up going over their budget. A Real Weddings Study by The Knot found 56% of couple spent an average of $7,600 more on their wedding than they planned. Others exceeded their budget by more than $10,000.

    While tradition typically has the bride's family primarily paying for a wedding, those customs are changing, especially as Americans get married later in life and are more able to take on their own wedding costs. A 2023 study from The Knot found it's more common for couples and their families to split the costs equally.

    Mike, his wife, their daughter, and her fiancé were all happy with the lump-sum agreement.

    "Then they kind of tricked me," he said, laughing. "One day, they came home and said, 'Hey, we bought a house.'"

    The couple took the $20,000 and used it to put a down payment on their home — before they actually had their wedding, which they then planned to pay for out of their own pocket.

    Initially, Mike was surprised, but ultimately, he thought it was a good thing that his daughter and her fiancé paid for their own wedding.

    "If kids are not given carte blanche on wedding plans, if they're forced to budget from their own standpoint, the whole thing just doesn't get out of hand," he said.

    The couple held the wedding at the rose garden in Loose Park, a large public park in Kansas City , and at a popular reception hall. Mike said everything about the wedding seemed reasonable but that he never learned what they ended up spending.

    "I never asked," he said.

    If the couple had used the money for a down payment and then eloped, Mike said that may have bothered him. But as long as he and his wife were still able to attend their daughter's wedding, they were happy.

    "I figured I got off for a reasonable amount of money for the wedding, and they got a down payment on a house out of the deal and a wedding," he said.

    Mike said he thinks too many people get caught up on the lavish weddings they see on TikTok, but that it can take away from the "whole point of having a wedding, which is to have a marriage."

    He also said that he thinks by helping them learn how to budget their money for a wedding, it was also a good step towards learning how to budget in a marriage.

    Mike's wife did end up giving their daughter a bit more money in the end, which he thinks was for something having to do with her dress.

    "She snuck it in," he said, laughing. "She couldn't resist."

    Have a news tip or a story to share about the costs of throwing a wedding or being in a bridal party? Contact this reporter at .

    Read the original article on Business Insider
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