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'AITA for deciding not to give 50% of my wedding cash gifts to my in-laws?'

'AITA for deciding not to give 50% of my wedding cash gifts to my in-laws?'


"AITA for deciding not to give 50% of my wedding cash gifts to my in-laws?"

We eloped a few months ago, super short ceremony, photos and that's it. We have a business that's growing pretty quick and we wanted all our savings to go towards it, reason why we decided not to go for a wedding party.

Nevertheless, my in-laws wanted a party because of their traditions (middle easterners), after a back and forth, we agreed on it with the condition that we were not giving them money, which they agreed to that part.

We went and checked out the event center in which the wedding party will be taking place and we discussed no money will be received from our side, my husband's dad joked about giving his wife (my husband's mom) some money from the wedding gifts in which she said "NO, this is y'all's gift."

My mother-in law (which I will be forever grateful) was in charge of everything, as expected, we only showed up for the wedding. The wedding was FULL of their family and friends, which was okay with us, as that was not our money.

Wedding day goes by, two days later we meet up with them to count the money and write how much each guest gave (again, cultural tradition).

After we finish counting, we ate and left. The crazy part comes now: as we leave, the mom closes the door so hard that my husband and I looked at each other as wtf? My husband texted and called them with no answer or response.

Few days later, we were informed that they are mad at us because we didn't give them money "as agreed." I was like wait a minute. I made sure before we agreed to the party that they understood that there was no way they'll receive money from us.

Today, his brother calls and told him that they are waiting for an apology, like ummm whyyy? So am I the a$#hole for not letting my husband apologize with his family and not even discussing the idea with him to give them part of the GUEST WEDDING GIFT money? Should we give them money?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

coral_j said:

YTA. You definitely are missing something. Guests gave you that money for that lavish party. They know it’s expensive so that’s how they balance it. Trust me those people would not have given you money for a courthouse wedding, or they’d give you much less. I’m middle eastern and we literally figure out how much money to take as a wedding gift based on how much a guest costs.

Sea-Ad273 said:

NTA. Here’s some explanation for what they were thinking: They didn’t want to claim the gift money but wanted you to cover the wedding costs from the gifts. It’s common courtesy to decline the first few times before you accept a gift in most settings in middle eastern culture. They were doing that.

After you crossed some cultural norms that were not made clear to you, you appeared as if taking advantage of their good will. I know this is exhausting. I myself don’t get most of it and ask my mom for help when I care enough about not appearing rude.

Your best bet is to explain that you don’t get the cultural norms to your mil and ask her to discreetly let you know about these expectations. I’m guessing your husband is as useless around these norms as I am. Younger generations don’t do this as much as the older generations.

uTop-Artichoke5020 said:

NTA. Do not give them money and do not apologize. You never agreed to this. They can't suddenly demand half the gifts, nobody gave gifts expecting you to turn it over to his parents.

Dapperest21 said:

NTA unless it's custom to give the gifts to the parents of the bride and groom (highly doubt it). And also they are the ones who pushed for the party if they didn't want to spend the money they shouldn't have funded the party.

Also, you all had discussed it beforehand that you WOULD NOT be giving them money. So why should they expect money when i lt was already decided before, especially when its a gift to the bride and groom.

Background_Farm7799 said:

Soft yta - this is money you were only offered for having a wedding. It feels weird to profit off their spending and hard work without offering them a thank you gift.

Angel9dreamer said:

NTA. Seems like a misunderstanding here of cultural differences. My in-laws paid for a banquet dinner that we originally were going to skip out on because it was too expensive. My parents also wanted to invite a lot of people because they wanted to get their money back from all the families whose weddings they attended.

In my case, I offered to give both my in-laws and my parents money back from the gifts because although these were wedding gifts, they were more meant for the parents/coverage for the banquet vs me. In the end all parents declined the offering so I kept the money anyway.

I think when your in-laws said they didn’t want your money/you to pay.. they literally meant your money. They didn’t mean the gift money which may be considered more communal.


YTA, the money received as gift is a way for the guests to pay their share of the party. For example when invited to an Italian canadian wedding I would ask how much is the cost per person (larger venue with more elaborate menu would require a larger cheque).

Without the party your in-laws organized you would not have gotten the $. You said you would not give them any of your $, but you owe them at least 50% to reimburse the cost of the celebration. You want the advantages of middle eastern culture (cash gifts) and none of the obligations.

Holiday_Meal_2431 OP resonded:

No, we are not taking advantage of something that was previously discussed.

1. We don't OWE anyone for hosting a party that was done as a gift to his son.

2. I don't see any big corporations hosting party, making raffles, and weeks later deducting it from their payroll because they wouldn't have those gifts if they didn't host the party.

3. The exact same people that went to that party, assisted to many other gatherings and they don't take cash to pay for the expenses of the party? So why now that money suddenly is for that?

4. I can't see them hosting bday parties, baby showers for my kids and then asking them to give them 50% to pay the expenses of their party.

So STOP coming at us stating we are taking advantage, we owe, just because they hosted a GIFTED "wedding party" and we wouldn't have that money if it was not because of that.

They decided to throw a party, if it was something that they wanted to have to impress everyone; deal with the expenses and don't expect people to read your mind when you explicitly agreed to no to gift money and no offer money from our pockets. PERIOD

The opinions were fairly divided for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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