What you can expect when your child gets married

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 What you can expect when your child gets married

What you can expect when your child gets married - Wedding bands on flowers
What you can expect when your child gets married
Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

My wife and I have been married for over 20 years. We got married at a young age and we had little time to prepare for it. We really didn’t expect our parents to be too involved as we didn’t have a lot of money and we really didn’t want people spending a lot of money on us.

Recently my middle son got married. And my oldest is planning to get married this fall. After my middle son’s wedding, I realized there were a lot of things that happened that I wasn’t really expecting. The month leading up to the wedding was hectic and the wedding day had its hiccups. But I think overall it was a great day. And we had lots of fun and good pictures to remember the day.

Here are some things you can expect when your child gets married:

Expect to help them more than you would anticipate

Now, this advice might depend on if your son or daughter is getting married. If it is your daughter the expectation is you will have to take care of a lot of things. But it could also depend on your kid. If they are older and know what they want, they may take charge and leave you out of it.

With my son’s wedding, I didn’t expect my wife and me to have to do much. They wanted to keep it simple and not invite a lot of people. In fact, to start they just wanted to go to the courthouse. But we convinced them to at least do a small wedding with our pastor.

Then it went from a small wedding to dad needs a tuxedo and what did I sign up for again? It happens and plans change. Just go with the flow and make your kids happy. It is their day.

Expect them to make decisions you won’t agree with

Like I said earlier my son wanted to just go to the courthouse and get hitched. I wasn’t on board with this idea. I wanted him to share this moment with me. But that was me being selfish. You have to remember that this isn’t about you. It’s about your kids and their spouse to be.

There will be a lot of other decisions they will make that will rub you the wrong way. Maybe the people they choose to be in the wedding party. Or maybe the venue they choose. Maybe you want them to get married in a church but they want to get married in a barn. All of these things are for your kids to decide. Even if you don’t like it.

Expect to deal with in-laws

You hear stories all the time about people not getting along with their in-laws. I know when I got married I didn’t know my in-laws too well. But now I wouldn’t know what to do without them. When your kids get married you might not think about meeting and getting to know their spouses’ families. But it will almost certainly have to happen.

And in some cases, you might not like what you see. You may also disagree with decisions that get made by your new in-laws. But remember this isn’t about you. Suck it up and offer support when needed. Try to keep everything civil and help out when you can.

Expect them to ask a lot of questions

What you can expect when your child gets married - ask lots of questions
What you can expect when your child gets married
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

When our kids are younger we expect them to ask tons of questions. It’s part of growing up and learning. And when our kids are older we think and hope they have things figured out. But when they get married they have to make a lot of decisions. What colors should we use? What music should we play? How do we get a marriage license?

All of these are legitimate questions. They will second guess themselves on a lot of decisions because they want it to be the perfect day. Just remember you know your children probably better than they do. Try and lead them into the decision you know they will be happy with. Don’t pick something because that’s what I would do. 

And on the technical questions like “How do we get a marriage license?” Help them out as much as possible. They already have enough stress going on. If you can make a phone call or look up something and find an address. Just take that burden off of their plate.

Expect things to go wrong

I haven’t been to too many weddings where things were perfect and everything went without a hitch. I can remember my brother at his daughter’s wedding. His pants were about 4 inches too short. The good news was the wedding was on a beach. So he rolled up his pants and just went with it.

At my son’s wedding, the bride’s dad went to put on his tux and the undershirt was missing. My wife threw me the keys and said run to Wal-Mart and buy him a shirt. Here I am in a full tuxedo walking into Wal-Mart looking for a shirt. 

These things happen. And just be prepared to roll with it and help out where you can. Don’t get frustrated and try to smooth things out as much as possible. Why? Because you don’t want your kid’s first memory of their wedding to be how things went horribly wrong.

Expect to get emotional

I really wasn’t expecting to get emotional at my son’s wedding. I had months to prepare for the day and was very happy he was getting married. Now I fully expected my wife to cry. In fact, she started at the rehearsal the day before.

And on the day of the wedding with the whirlwind of trying to get things ready and being distracted I really just wanted it to be over. But then I saw my wife walking down the aisle, crying, and it hit me. I didn’t let the full waterworks go but I was definitely misty-eyed.

Expect to deal with insurance

I am not a fan of insurance companies. But they are a necessary evil. And once your kids get married, depending on their age, you will have to deal with insurance companies. The rules vary by whatever type of insurance it is and could even vary by state so please check with your insurance provider for their exact rules. But here are some general rules:

  • For health insurance, they can stay on yours until they are 26 even if they get married.
  • For car insurance, if they live in the same household they can stay on your insurance after getting married. But if they move out they will have to get their own insurance.

Expect to miss them

After the wedding, my son and his new bride only took a short honeymoon because they both needed to work. He was back the next evening at my house so there wasn’t much time to sink in that he was gone. It probably took a few days and one night he didn’t come home after he had to work. I’m not sure why but it really made me miss him.

Most nights after he got off work or if he wasn’t working he would come into the living room and sit down close to me. He might ask me what game was I playing or what was I watching. Not a lot of words exchanged but it was nice to just be with him, even for just a few minutes. And he would always say goodnight, love you dad.

But now that he is gone I miss that. He stops by often and he picks up the trash for us on occasion to take to the dump with his trash. So I still see him. But some of those moments will be gone now.

Expect to live with an empty house

What you can expect when your child gets married - empty nest
What you can expect when your child gets married
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

This doesn’t apply to me yet, because I still have more kids in the house. But if you only have one child or this is your last kid to get married, get ready to be an empty nester. How you handle this is up to you.

Maybe this is your chance to travel and see the world. Maybe this is your chance to visit your kids at their house and eat all of their food. Just make sure to stay busy. I know for some people the idea of being an empty nester scares them.

Kids grow up. As much as we try to stop them from growing up they just keep getting older. And when this happens there is a good chance they will get married. Are you ready? Maybe not. I’m not sure anyone is ever truly ready for their kids to get married. But hopefully, some of the above list will help prepare you.

Did you have a kid get married? Was there anything that shocked you or you didn’t expect and didn’t see in the above post? Let us know in the comments or let us know on our Facebook page.


  1. Wow, I recognise so many of these in my parents when my big sister got married. And I know it was very hard for them when we left home. Luckily they still have my little sister living at home for the time being. It’s interesting to look at the situation from their point of view, thank you for sharing!

  2. This is very interesting. It will be a long time until my girls are at that point but I can definitely see how a lot of these things ring true. Especially the getting emotional part!

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