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So, Who’s Gonna Pay For That Ice Sculpture?

You’ve heard the tradition of the bride’s parents footing the entire wedding bill, right?  While there are still families that stick closely to the old fashioned rules, times have definitely changed. No longer do parents have to “bribe” a man to take a daughter off their hands (which is nice).  These days, figuring out who pays for what at a wedding is literally the thousand dollar question. Nailing down the answer is a major key to planning the big day, especially if all parties involved discuss budget limits from the beginning.

 

So how do you do that? I recommend three ways.

 

Pony up. If you and your honey are established in your careers and/or in a position to pay for the wedding, by all means set a budget and do so. Especially if your parents are NOT in a position to do it, and even more especially if this is not your first wedding.

 

Meet in the middle. If you aren’t exactly swimming in extra cash, figure out how much you and your fiancé can afford. Then, sit down with all the parents and talk about what you’re able to contribute and find out if they’re willing to help. Put all these figures together and you’ve got yourself a wedding budget (bring it to me and I’ll show you the best way to spend it).

 

Ask mom and dad. This route is designed for the young, the broke and especially for the young AND the broke. If you truly can’t afford a wedding, you either take out a bank loan or you ask your family for help. When both sets of parents are involved in paying for the wedding, there are some etiquette rules you can follow…however, these are not hard and fast rules. You can bend them, stretch them or break them to fit your day.  Here goes:

The bride’s family pays for:
Reception costs, including food, music, decorations, rental fees and entertainment
Ceremony costs including rental fees, decorations
– Flowers for ceremony and reception
– The bride’s wedding dress and accessories
Invitations, announcements, programs and stamps

– Favors
Photography
– Transportation
– Their own attire and travel expenses

The groom’s family pays for:
– The rehearsal dinner, including food, invitations, decorations and entertainment
– Their own attire and travel expenses
– A wedding present

The bride pays for:
– The groom’s wedding ring
– Her hair, makeup, beauty treatments
Gifts for her attendants
– Sometimes accommodations for any out-of-town bridesmaids

The groom pays for:
– The marriage license
– The bride’s engagement ring and wedding ring
– The honeymoon
– Gifts for his attendants
– Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
– Boutonnières for men in the wedding party
– Sometimes accommodation for any out-of-town groomsmen
– Fee for the officiant

 

Yes, I know the list of wedding costs is worthy of a stroke. Which is why it’s so very important to have the whole Who Pays For What conversation right away. Assume nothing. Demand nothing. Ask a lot of questions. Write down the answers and do some math. And if you really want to make the most of your wedding budget, do yourself a favor and ask for my help. I know the short-cuts, I have money-saving secrets and I’ve done this about a zillion times. Plus, I’m kinda fun to have around.

And that, my friends, is what you call an all-out endorsement. Thanks for reading!

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