The Wedding: Who Pays

Weddings can be very expensive. It is not outside the realm of possibility that a wedding will cost as much as $50,000 dollars or more. So how do all the expenses get paid. The following is a look at who pays for what and how to ask for money when you need it.

Who Pays: Traditional Wedding

Traditionally, the bride pays for wedding gifts and lodging for her bridesmaids, thank-you notes and the wedding program.

The groom pays for all licenses and fees, the engagement ring, his formalwear, gifts and lodging for the groomsmen, boutonnieres and the bride’s bouquet.

The bride and groom pay for their wedding bands and the honeymoon.

The bride’s family pays for photos, the wedding consultant, invitations, the bridal gown, flowers, the reception, music, the bridal luncheon and transportation.

The groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner.

This method of having the couple’s family pay for the majority of expenses works well in that it saves the couple from going into debit. However, it means the couple must allow their family to do what they want with their money. It also means the possibility of the parents going into debt or having financial hardship.

Who Pays: Modern Wedding

Today, the groom’s family pays for liquor, music, photography and limousines.

The bride and groom pay for the bridal gown, flowers, invitations and thank-you notes.

More commonly, as couples are marrying later in life, they are paying for the entire wedding themselves. This allows couples to have complete control over their weddings without anyone else’s influence. On the other hand, it also means depleting savings or going into debt.

Asking for Help

Although it is generally considered in bad taste to ask family members to contribute financially, you can certainly ask.

Before you would ask for help, sit down with your partner and discuss just how much money you will need. If you need a large sum, consider scaling back on your plans.

Be polite when requesting money. Ask if family members would feel comfortable contributing, but don’t request a certain dollar amount. Make it clear you want a gift not a loan.

Remember your family now includes both your family and your partner’s family. Before accepting any contributions run it past your future in-laws to make sure no one’s feelings will be hurt.

When everyone pulls their resources, it is less of a financial burden on everyone involved. But it also means couples give up some control on the wedding planning and may need to compromise.

If finances are causing a problem for you, your partner and your families, communication is key. Discuss how the money will be used, your expectations and the roles everyone will pay.

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