The original answer is correct. If a parent give a child money for a wedding that the children are throwing, it would be considered a gift and subject to the gift tax. Keep in mind that if two parents give money to both the bride and groom, they could give up to $48,000 without triggering the gift tax reporting
(each parent gives $12,000 to the bride and each gives $12,000 to the groom).
However, there is a better answer than this. Most parents view the wedding expenses as a party that they are throwing on behalf of the children. If the parents pay the party expenses directly, for a party that they are attending, it can be viewed as a party that they are throwing themselves. They are not giving a gift to the children. They are throwing their own party in celebration of their child's wedding. Under that construct, the party would not be considered a gift to anyone at all. Rather, it would be a personal
expense not subject to gift tax rules (unless they are spending over $12,000 per guest attending the party).
It is a good idea that the parents should pay the expenses themselves and not just hand over cash to the children. If they take the position that this is their party in celebration of the child's wedding, and they pay for it directly, they should be on firm ground should any questions arise.
Theoretically, they could simply hand over the money to the kids and argue that they are acting on they parents' behalf in handling the wedding expenses, but doing it that way would raise more alarm bells for the IRS
. That is why I recommend paying expenses directly. But again, this is not an issue of trying to hide anything, you just don't want to put yourself through an unnecessary audit
I hope this helps!
Please keep in mind that information in this forum is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and does not constitute creation of an attorney client relationship. Before acting on any such information, you are always advised to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who can take the time to review all the facts and laws relevant to your situation.