A Hudson Valley Bride asks,“I am a fortunate 40ish woman who at mid-life has found a soul mate. When I married many years ago, I eloped and had no reception, so there was nothing to which my parents should have, or could have contributed. For my second marriage, I’m planning an intimate dinner reception for a very small group of guests. I want to know if you feel that my parents should kick into this one, since they didn’t last time around.”

Dear Hudson Valley Bride, In a word “no.” What’s appropriate for you this time around is for you and your groom to pick up the tab. I want to add that for a first wedding, parents are under no obligation to contribute. If they choose to do so, it is just because they want to do so, not because they have to. Your parents should be invited as guests along with the others in your small party. If you would like to know more about the ins and outs of a second wedding, feel free to check out the Wedding Guide article “Here Comes the Bride Again“.