Sunday, June 6, 2010

Suggestions on who pays what

Although the bride is the most important person on the day of the wedding, many other people are involved at every stage of the planning. Some of these may not even be acquainted and it is possible that friction may arise. Wedding etiquette helps to smooth over these difficulties by defining the roles of each person before and on the day of the wedding. Fortunately for parents blessed with daughters, the modern trend is for the families of the bride and groom to share the expenses involved in a wedding, so that the bride's parents are not lumbered with the full amount. The following outlines the usual payment arrangements, but do keep in mind that families need to be flexible.

Suggestions of accounts payable by whom:

..Brides Parents

  • Wedding announcements in the press

  • Invitations and stationery

  • Photographer & videographer

  • Brides and bridesmaids clothing & accessories

  • Flowers for the church and reception

  • Transport for the bride to the church

  • The reception excluding drinks, barmen and related expenses

  • The wedding cake

  • Own outfits

..The Bride

  • Wedding ring for the groom

  • Hairdresser, cosmetician and manicurist

  • Going away outfit

  • Gift to bridegroom

  • Gifts to those who helped with the wedding preparations

..The Groom

  • Bride's engagement and wedding ring

  • Legal expenses: anti-nuptial agreement etc

  • Expenses of the ceremony: marriage officers fee, organist, choir, soloist, tips, etc

  • The bride and bridesmaid's bouquets

  • Buttonholes and corsages for the wedding party

  • Groom and best man's outfit

  • Gifts for bridesmaids, best man (and younger attendants)

  • Gift to the bride

  • Stag party

  • Transport for himself and the bride from the church to the reception

  • Drinks at the reception and related expenses (barmen, hiring of glasses etc)

  • Accommodation on the wedding night & the honeymoon


  • Best man and/or ushers host the bachelor party

  • Maid of Honour and/or bridesmaids host a bridal shower and/or girls night out

  • Best man and/or ushers should pay for the rental of their formalwear

  • Maid of Honour and/or bridesmaids should pay their dresses & accessories

..Options to share

  • Bride or grooms family may offer heirloom rings

  • Bride or her family may pay for bridesmaids dresses & accessories

  • Groom or his family may pay for attendants rentals

  • Bouquets may be purchased by the brides family

  • Couple may cover all ceremony costs

  • One family may pay for photography, the other for videography. The grooms parents or the couple may pay for any extra prints

  • Grooms family may offer to share reception costs or cover specific services (liquor, musicians etc)

  • Split the wedding costs equally among the wedding couple and both sets of parents

  • Contributing families pledge whatever amount they would like/are able to contribute. The couple can then work within this budget, or cover additional expenses themselves

The other thing to be aware of:

Traditionally, the bride's family is considered the "hosts" of the wedding reception, and the groom's family hosts the rehearsal dinner. If you are breaking from this tradition, you may need to adjust accordingly, such as including the groom's parents names on the invitation if they are contributing significantly to the ceremony or reception costs.

Also, often when people are helping to pay for the party, they want to have more influence over the planning. You must decide how much of your autonomy you are willing to give up if the people financing your wedding are trying to take it in a different direction than what you want.

You may need to have very clear conversations with all involved about what you want, and where you are willing to compromise. If it comes down to receiving the money only with strings attached, you may want to consider paring your plans down to an event you can afford without their help.

Ref: Internet (various)

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