Wedding Costs….In Law Chutzpah

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    We have reached the age where our first grandchild has become engaged and is to be married after Shavuos.

    Last night, I received a telephone call from the paternal grandfather of the Kallah. He introduced himself and asked me how much I was going to pay towards the wedding costs. I was taken aback by this request.

    I am not making the simcha. The Chassan is not my child, but a grandchild. I answered the gentleman and said that I expect the parents of the couple will make arrangements and settle the financial details. I don’t see where this is any of my business. I don’t expect my son would ask for help paying for my grandsons’ wedding festivities, but if he needed assistance I expect he’d ask me directly.

    I am left with the following questions:
    1. Do I tell my son and daughter in law about this call?
    2. Is this an indication that the prospective in laws expect grandparents to support married children and grandchildren?
    3. Was the prospective grand father in law out of line in making the request?
    4. Is this a new custom or a custom in communities in which I don’t live?
    5. If I pay for this am I expected to do the same for all my other grandchildren?
    B”H I am comfortable and could help if my son asked, BUT Mrs. CTL and I have always lived by the rule that if you can’t afford it you don’t do it.

    Am I out of touch with today’s society? I made a daughter’s wedding within the last few years and all the Chassan was responsible to pay for was the license, personal flowers, and the ketubah.


    🍫Syag Lchochma

    I am having a very hard time believing this happened….



    To CTLawyer
    Excellent questions
    How about dealing as a proper capable and dignified lawyer?
    Do not involve your children in this.
    And as a lawyer there’s a general rule, Don’t assume anything.
    I suggest call this Mechutin Grandfather and have discuss this with him. You seem to be a wise and reasonable person and will clarify/settle this matter properly.
    I wish you Mazal Tov and Hatzlacha and more Simchos and Refuos and May you and Mrs. CTLawyef go Gezunterheit to the Chasunas of all your grandchildren!



    Mazal Tov, CTL and Mrs. CTL!

    Don’t forget to send me the invitation… 😁


    CTL: Mazal Tov and may the chupa take place bshah tovah umitzlachas. and bezras hashem thhat youand
    Mrs, CTL should see all your einiklach get married.

    1. Do I tell my son and daughter in law about this call?
    Ask your Rov for guidance. It may be a shailoh of loshon harah.

    2. Is this an indication that the prospective in laws expect grandparents to support married children and grandchildren?

    Parents and grandparents

    3. Was the prospective grand father in law out of line in making the request?

    IMHO, yes.

    4. Is this a new custom or a custom in communities in which I don’t live?
    This is a phenomenon that shaddchanim are dealing with on a constant basis, grandparents being actively involved in their grandchildrens shidduchim.

    5. If I pay for this am I expected to do the same for all my other grandchildren?



    Dear CTLawyer,
    I live in Israel, and so my answers may not apply to you, but if you were here, these would be the answers:

    1. Do I tell my son and daughter in law about this call?
    A: Absolutely. They may already know about it, but are waiting for you to mention it.

    2. Is this an indication that the prospective in laws expect grandparents to support married children and grandchildren?
    A: Yes. Grandpa has money and it’s only right that he share it . Family is family, no? Do you think the mechutanim have not heard about your Connecticut estate?

    3. Was the prospective grand father in law out of line in making the request?
    A: As out of line as can be. I call it chutzpah.

    4. Is this a new custom or a custom in communities in which I don’t live?
    A: It is a new custom. You are the first generation (statistically, not you personally) to have made it in America. The previous generation were immigrants and survivors, and didn’t have the means. It’s a new age.

    5. If I pay for this am I expected to do the same for all my other grandchildren?
    A: Big time. As an experienced attorney, you are familiar with the term “precedent”. If you pay, you’ve set one.

    Good luck



    CTL, please let me know when your next grandchild is in shidduchim. I have a an excellent candidate.




    ‘I am having a very hard time believing this happened….’

    my exact thoughts/reaction to the phone call



    I shall not be calling this man. I told him that I was not making or planning the wedding. The wedding plans and costs are discussions appropriate for the parents pf the Chassan/Kallah (and perhaps them as well).




    I didn’t have to tell our son and daughter-in-law about the call. This morning Mrs. CTL got a phone call from our Daughter-in-law. DIL was horrified to find out the same grandfather of the Kallah called DIL’s father with the same question. DIL is a friend of the Kallah’s mother and called her. Seems the man has done this on his own, without consulting or getting permission from the Kallah’s parents. DIL thinks he believes grandparents should pay for as much as possible as there are younger children to educate and marry off.

    I think that he should stop sticking his nose into other people’s business and his hand into others’ pockets.
    There was no ‘professional shadchan. Couple was introduced by mutual married friends. We keep our noses out of such things. It is the parents’ place to pass judgment/approval not ours.



    My son did not know about this call, but DIL called Mrs. CTL this morning to say her father giot a similar call.

    Grandpa may have money, but so do Son and DIL, the parents of the Chassan. They are both attorneys in the family firm That shiny diamond on the Kallah’s finger came from our vault. The great-great-grandfather the Chassan was named for gave it to my grandmother in 1919.

    I find your comments about first generation to have made it in America amusing. I’m 5th generation American, the third generation to have gone to college and professional school and/or own home(s) and businesses/ I don’t think like a greenhorn.



    @joseph my wonderful friend
    Do you really want a misnagid in the Brisker tradition for a SIL?


    catch yourself

    I wonder if the grandfather who made the call is still in full possession of his mental faculties.

    @CTL, the point that @rational was making is that this sort of (in my opinion outrageous) behavior is first presenting itself now as a result of the relatively recent success among religious Jews in general.
    He was explicitly not addressing your case personally, but the more general phenomenon. Your own situation is rather irrelevant to his point, as it could not possibly explain what he says is a new custom.

    In @rational‘s own words, “You are the first generation (statistically, not you personally) to have made it in America…”



    Dear CTLawyer
    I am well aware that you are an American going way back, you’ve mentioned it often. That is why I wrote that statistically, you’re in the minority, and I do think this is a new generational phenomenon. Hopefully, I am mistaken and the grandfather from the other side is an aberration. In any case, Mazal Tov



    Mazel Tov CT!
    Iv’e never heard of this “minhag” before, please allow my two cents
    Many of those things we love to complain about started with one person
    I have a daughter who is waiting to hear whether or not she got into seminary. So many tears will be shed next week when the girls match. Then tears will come from the parents when they get the bills. Many will complain. Whose fault is it that this has become the norm?
    When it became the norm for boys to stop calling girls to arrange their own dates whose fault was that?
    Simply do what you think is right and refuse to buy into this new mishagas.
    I have rich friends that refuse to play the game of full support, and they have made beautiful shidduchim. They help more then their share but they refuse to believe that the other side has a right to say “he’s your problem now”. Don’t play the game, it will just irritate you and it creates precedence for these crazy notions to gain a foothold and eventually be considered the “norm”


    CTL: I mentioned the professional shadchan as this issue of grandparent involvement is becoming an issue as you asked in your initial list of questions. Unlike my grandparents who only asked what is the date of the chasunah and what time do we have to be there for the pictures many of today’s grandparents want a bigger say in their grandchildrens lives so much so the parents of the chosson and kallah have not been allowed to grow up.


    CTL: DIL thinks he believes grandparents should pay for as much as possible as there are younger children to educate and marry off.

    If that’s the case let kallah’s grandparents pay as much as what they want. While they have an achrayis to help defray the cost of marrying off and educating the younger children of your future machatanim you do not.


    🍫Syag Lchochma

    why are you all jumping on the community for making a new mishagas minhag just because one person posts anonymously that he had this singular experience? And instead of calling it out as an outlier, our first responses come from those who are always complaining about the way the we do things and they validate it as a possible new trend. Shame on you guys!
    This story is nuts, the guy in the story is nuts, and your dislike for the kollel/parent support system should not allow you to start rumors like this. Do something to fix it or leave it alone.


    Syag Lchochma: Who are you replying to?



    You may not read the FJJ
    but grandparent involvement in shidduchim has been a discussion as of late
    and, you will notice that my examples are all things that started as “outliers” and have become trends



    Simply want to wish CTL and Mrs. CTL and family a mazal tov! Wishing you all the best!



    To CTLawyer:
    Job well done!



    To all who have posted………………

    I posted this in sincerity. It is no secret that I live in small town New England and am not always up on the newest ways of doing things in town.
    I couldn’t ask friends or relatives because as they know the name of the Kallah and her family.
    This is the first of our grandchildren to get engaged and maybe there are new norms for grandparents. When our children got married their grandparents were honored guests, not hosts or sponsors.
    But things change and this is a good sounding board with a cross section of frum Jews.

    To be perfectly honest, we were given the wedding date to block out on our calendars. I have no idea where the wedding will be held in the Tristate area. I don’t need a lot of advance notice to plug the address into my GPS. I will show up wearing a suit and hat, Mrs. CTL will wear an appropriate dress after consulting with our daughter in law about colors, etc. We’ll be there on time and have a good time.

    Thinking back, my Zaidy did pay for something at my brother’s wedding 49 years ago. Zaidy wanted Cigarettes and Cigars on the tables. My parents were not in favor of providing tobacco products. So Zaidy told the caterer to bill him the $300.


    CTL: I had no doubt that you were asking these questions as someone who is not “in-town” ((sorry I am from Brooklyn) and doesnt travel in the “heimisheh” circles. It is something that was recently discussed by Chana Rose in her weekly article in the Flatbush Jewish Journal and a few months back in “The shidduch forum” in the Yated.



    You should help pay for the wedding. What else do you need the money for?


    1: That is between CTL and his son, not a concern of the mechutans family and certainly not a concern of the denizens of the coffee room. If the parents of the chosson or kallah has the funds then there is no reason to turn to their parents to share in the cost. You asked “What else do you need the money for?” None of our business nor the mechutans family.



    We don’t meddle in our adult children’s business and would not presume to get involved unasked in the finances or planning of a wedding.

    If our son or DIL even hinted they could use some assistance in meeting their wedding obligations we’d hand over a signed check and smile.

    as for what else I need the money for?
    In the next couple of years I shall enter retirement from the full time practice of law and I”YH will have many decades more to live and the expenses to go with that life.

    Mrs. CTL and I would much rather give the Chassan/Kallah a down payment for a house than pay for a party that lasts a few hours. Maybe we’re old fashioned?


    Avi K

    In Halacha a precedent requires three instances. As for whether or not a grandparent should pay, it sepends on local custom as well as the parents’ means. I know someone who pays his grandchildren’s day school tuitions. He is a retired college professor and his wife is a retired teacher plus they own rental property in NYS while their kids are just getting by.



    I posted to inquire about changing custom that I may not be aware of.

    None of this has to do with the parents of the Chassan’s means. I know what size checks my son and DIL get as attorneys in my firm.
    It has to do with the grandfather of the Kallah inserting himself, unasked, into the planning/financial process and trying to get other grandparents to foot the bill with him. The mother of the Kallah was embarrassed when her father git such a call from her father-in-law.

    I am aware of changing customs in that today it is not unusual for the Chassan’s family to pay part of the expenses. In my day the parents of the Kallah paid for it all. Mrs. CTL and I made weddings for our three daughters and paid for them. It was our pleasure


    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    This is dumb. Just because some people are control freaks doesn’t make anything the norm or anything close to a “minhag”.

    B”H our community continues to grow, so even if the percentage of grandparents who want to control their children’s and grandchildren’s lives has gone down, the actual cases will likely have gone up.

    The FJJ won’t get a higher readership level by printing letters from people who made shidduchim normally.

    Bichlal, with CTL, it’s hard to know where reality ends and fantasy begins.



    “Bichlal, with CTL, it’s hard to know where reality ends and fantasy begins.”


    You are certainly entitled to disagree with CTLAWYER if you’d like but he’s the most honest poster to YWN. Your comment is out of line and you owe him an apology!



    I personally think it’s way out of line.
    But you, as someone who sees nothing wrong with Bernie Sanders asking me to hand over more of my money to help some guy I never heard of, do something I don’t agree with, what could possibly be wrong with your grandchild ‘s future new grandfather asking you to kick in a bit of cash?

    In other words, if Bernie Sanders forced me to kick in cash to help John marry Jim that’s OK. But for the new grandfather to ask you to give cash to your own grandkid to help they do something that presumably you are shepping nachas from, you have an issue??



    leave it you to interject politics into a question about a chasunah.

    Bernie Sanders can’t force you to do any of the things you mentioned. He has but one vote in the Senate. Tax bills must pass the House and the Senate and be signed by the President (Or have a Presidential veto overridden by Congress)
    The President can’t impose taxes on his own.

    But keep spewing hatred that has nothing to do with what is asked and I’ll keep thinking you are a troll or a fool,

    If you read the posts your would see that parents of the Chassan?Kallah are upset. They didn’t ask for help and apparently don’t need it. The New Grandfather in law is a busybody, butting in and causing problems (IMHO).

    BTW>>>>>Have you ever seen my make a statement that I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. He is not my first choice, I currently don’t have one and the CT Primary comes after Super Tuesday. That said I shall vote against Trump in 2020.


    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    CTL, you would vote for Bernie over Trump, throwing Israel under the bus?



    When I read the OP, I was surprised that you asked if you should tell your son and DIL. Are they unaware of your activities in the CR?



    I keep forgetting that you will respond to my choice of words over the substance of my post. So I’ll try again
    ”Bernie Sanders ” was shorthand for

    You consistently support ”higher taxes on those that have more ”
    Even though the people who are being taxed have no control in how that money is spent (if Bernie, as one of 100 is called ”can’t force you to do anything ” then my lone vote even in NYC is just one of 8-9 million, certainly fair to call it ”no say ”)
    So I’m not sure why your getting bent out of shape that someone is ASKING you to give money to a cause that you presumably support.
    Whether they need it or not is irrelevant.
    Your ire is directed at the asking.
    I’m not mixing politics in.
    I’m using your political statements to gauge your personal positions.
    I didn’t ask who your voting for nor do I care



    I was clear that I’ll vote against Trump.
    I did not say I’ll vote for Sanders.
    There are always more than 2 candidates on the Presidential ballot.

    BTW>>>Israel is not my litmus test for determining how to cast my ballot. I support Israel, but not always the party or person in power. I don’t get involved in their internal politics, that is for those who live there to do, I do live ion the USA and my choice for President is predicated on what is best for the USA and my life as a resident citizen.



    Yes I am a literalist, lawyers must be. If it isn’t in the 4 corners of the contract it doesn’t exist as far as the law and courts are concerned.

    Yes I believe on taxing the wealthy to pay for the greater good. That’s what a society should do. We are a Republic and elect legislators to run the country, make the laws, set budget and taxes. We can vote people into or out of office. Locally I have voted for increased budgets to support the public schools, something that benefits the community as a whole, even if my family does not use it. I voted to approve bonding for a new public swimming pool. Again we won’t use it but it benefits the community as a whole as do parks, libraries and other amenities. I get the indirect benefit of increased property values because of these taxes.

    We don’t have toll roads here ion CT. Our Governor is pushing for tolls to pay for infrastructure. I support this user fee. I pay tolls in all the surrounding states and think they are appropriate for CT as well,

    In this case my ire is in being asked by someone not making the wedding to contribute. Unasked he called the three other grandfathers asking for money and embarrassed, his child, the mother of the Kallah.

    Last night we were at a Melave Malka at the Kallah’s parents’ home. They and my son/DIL made it clear that they neither needed or expected any financial contribution towards the wedding. The grandparents are honored guests, not part of the planning or hosts



    I have never discussed my posting on or reading of the YWN Coffee Room with any family members and only two close friends



    Ctl true it’s got to be in the contract. But you also need to grasp every possible meaning of what’s written in said contract or you will quickly find yourself embroiled in a court fight as you battle out which meaning was meant


    ☕️coffee addict

    “ I pay tolls in all the surrounding states and think they are appropriate for CT as well,“

    Rhode Island doesn’t have tolls




    The last time I went to Newport was in 2015. at that time the bridge still had a toll.
    That said I paid tolls in MA and NY within the past week on my E-Z pass


    Avi K

    CTL, you are a literalist? Do you believe that “an eye for an eye” means lex talionis? What about Common Law terms such as “effective” and “constructive” (I had a professor who called them “weasel words”). BTW, Aharon Barak ruled that a contract should be interpreted according to its “soul” (= what he considered to be its goal). This caused a great stir and apparently it has been overruled. See also “Literal or Contextual? What is the Correct Approach to Contractual Interpretation?” on the Oxford Business Law blog.

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