Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Involvement on your Wedding Day!

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
  • Attendants
    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

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.

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