Daughter Elopes, Dad Spends Wedding Fund On A New Car

Andrey Popov

Being a dad is hard; being a dad of a daughter is, arguably, harder. There are so many things about this world that make being a woman difficult and trying to prepare your daughter for that life while also letting her know that she is free to be who she is feels like a near-impossible balancing act. For this reason, the father/daughter relationship is often a complicated one full of tension caused by the oxymoronic “be yourself but also be safe,” sentiment. In and amongst this tension, dads still have to make decisions regarding and on behalf of their daughters. For some, they labor over a decision for eons trying to decide what is right. For others, decisiveness comes quite naturally and it is only after backlash that they wonder whether or not they have done the right thing for their family. We find their stories in forums like Reddit, asking the age-old question: “AITA (Am I The A******)?”

I used to be a firm believer in the idea that if you have to ask that question, nine times out of ten, the answer is a resounding yes. However, after reading about this dad who spent his daughter’s “wedding fund” on a new car and a small get-away for him and his wife, I’m starting to change my tune. He gives us a little background first, explaining that his daughter was planning a wedding at the start of the pandemic and after all of the difficulty that caused, she and her fiancé decided to forego all of the stress and hoopla and elope instead. Then, regarding the money saved, he explains:

I had 35k about set aside for her wedding in an account ive had for a long time. After she told me the news I was thrilled to be able to put it to other use. My car has been having some trouble lately so I decided to just treat myself and get a new car in cash with the wedding fund. I paid about 30k and with the rest of the money my wife and I decided we would take our own little getaway. I didn’t think this was controversial. -Reddit user, gotanewcarr

The important part, to me, is to note that he did not think this was controversial. He didn’t consider that this would be a problem and then go ahead and do it anyway. He thought he was making a totally fair move until his daughter visited and asked for some money. Upon learning that he had spent the money, she was exceedingly upset. The dad is now confused because he never told her that was her money for whatever she wanted, it was money that he had set aside specifically for her wedding, as many traditionalists still expect a bride’s father to pay for the wedding and that’s just the price of having a daughter. With the wedding cancelled, he feels he was free to do whatever he wanted with that money, because it was never “her money,” to begin with. But now his family’s upset and he’s getting calls from his ex-wife and he wonders if he’s in the wrong here.

Now, I think there’s a big difference between “I would have handled that differently” and “you’re in the wrong.” I understand why his daughter is upset (I probably would be, too!) but ultimately I don’t believe he did anything outright wrong. What do you think? Did he make the right call here? Did he approach it the right way? Or is he totally a jerk for spending the money? Let us know what you think!