Wedding Expense Etiquette- Expenses Paid by Groom's family
Expense Etiquette: Past Traditions
Wedding tradition has told us that the common thing for wedding expense etiquette is that the bride's parents simply pay for most, if not all, of the wedding. This belief stemmed from the fact that a good husband would be attracted by a large dowry offered by the bride's parents.
Today's wedding trends are changing who pays for the weddings, too. More often than not, engaged couples are helping to pay for their weddings. (Here's another great web article on changing wedding trends in the 21st century.)
This doesn't mean that the parents of the groom are off the hook, however. There are still some things that are traditionally covered by the groom's parents.
Wedding Expenses Traditionally Covered by Groom's Family
The following is a list of wedding costs customarily paid by the groom's parents:
The rehearsal dinner is customarily paid for by the parents of the groom. Typically everyone who was at the rehearsal should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. This includes, but is not limited to, the bride, groom, parents of both, grandparents of both, the officiant and his/her spouse, siblings and their spouses or partners, etc. It might also include out of town guests or close friends but this is discretionary.
Wedding gifts for the couple
Naturally, the parents of the groom need to remember to buy the couple a gift! Often the parents will by something of sentimental value for their son and future daughter-in-law that symbolizes the couple's love for each other.
Popular Newlywed Gifts
A heartfelt love poem perfect for the newlywed couple
A "how to" guide for picking the perfect gift for any occasion
My wife and I especially loved receiving this newlywed cookbook
Shipping and Handling charges to ship the newlywed's gifts to their new home (if applicable).
In a rush to get out to their honeymoon, the newlyweds often don't take the time to gather up their wedding gifts and take them home (and who can blame them)! It is the responsibility of the groom's parents to make sure the new couple's wedding gifts are transported home.
For a destination wedding, this is increasingly important. Sometimes guests will bring wedding gifts to the destination wedding to give to the couple, but how does that stuff get back home? The parents of the groom need to be sure to cover that cost!
Reception Beverages (i.e. alcohol at the bar)
The bride's parents cover the expense of the reception which includes food and drinks, however, the groom's parents are expected to pay for the drinks at the bar.
How The Trends are Changing
Today's couples are getting married later in life. This changing wedding trend has increased the couple's ability to financially cover their own weddings. Typically, the bride's parents would pay for a majority (or all) of the wedding. However, now that couples are older when they get married, they are earning more money to help with wedding costs.
A recent study by the wedding report dot com proves this new trend:
- The average marrying age for someone who hasn't been married previously is 27.3 years old
- The average marrying age for someone who has been married previously is 33.4 years of age.
Proper Etiquette for Discussing Wedding Expenses
First and foremost, there should be conversations on the cost of the wedding and who helps to pay for it. The conversation should be relaxed and comfortable and should be sensitive to your particular cultural expectations.
However, neither the bride nor the groom should bring up conversation about who pays for the wedding. According to wedding etiquette rules, this would be tacky and inappropriate and sometimes leads to damaged relationships.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parents to bring up the subject of wedding financial aid. Usually the bride's parents will address it first, but the groom's parents are also able (and encouraged) to address it with the couple. These conversations are best made separately and in private.Even if you are unable or simply refuse to financially contribute, you should still discuss it. If there are no discussions on the topic, the couple is expected to pay for the wedding themselves.
All pictures were used with full permission. Since they retain the rigts to their photos, your use of them would be illegal- don't do it. All wedding photos were borrowed from this photography website.