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Wedding Expense Etiquette- Who pays for what?
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Today's Wedding Costs
There is no denying that today's weddings are expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $25,000-30,000!
Bringing up a discussion about who will pay for what in the wedding (and the reception, honeymoon, etc) might be an awkward thing to do. It is, however, a topic that must be discussed lest you get stuck with all costs.
Read on to answer questions such as "who pays for what in a wedding" and "wedding etiquette who pays for what".
Tradition's Answer to Cost Splitting
It has often been the case that the father of the bride pay for the entire wedding and reception. (Start saving now, dads!) This can take any form, but the most common situations are:
- Bride's parents agree on a lump sum and give that to the couple.
- Bride's parents agree to cover the cost of the wedding event regardless of price.
With both of these options, the parents usually play (or want to play) some sort of role in the wedding decisions such as caterers, location, wedding attire, guest list and so on. But that's a whole different topic for a different article!
It has also been the case traditionally that the parents of the groom financially contributed to general things for the wedding such as their own wedding clothes, the bride's bouquet and the rehearsal dinner.
Read on to learn about current wedding expense trends and to learn of the importance of a wedding budget. Also, check out the resources below to get specific details based on your role in the wedding:
Emily Post is *THE* book on wedding etiquette. This is the book many of the "experts" turn to for advice.
- Wedding Expenses Paid by Groom's family
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 isn't always the case, and the trends are changing...
- Wedding Expenses Paid by the Family of Bride
Although many of today's wedding trends are changing, it is important to be aware of long-lasting trends, especially those in the area of wedding financing. Traditionally, the parents of the bride-to-be have paid for the following...
- Wedding Expenses Paid by Wedding Party, Attendants and Ushers
Figuring out who pays for what in a wedding is often a difficult and somewhat complicated subject to address. Since there are so many people involved in the process of bringing a wedding together, it's important to keep wedding etiquette in mind...
- Wedding Expenses Paid by the Bride and Groom
You think you're off the hook for covering wedding expenses simply because you're the bride or groom? Think again! Some of these wedding expenses might be obvious, but others might come as a surprise. Read on to learn about them all.
- Wedding Gift Giving Etiquette
Wedding gift giving etiquette does exist, and as a wedding guest you would do well to research it. Guests, naturally, are the ones to pay for wedding gifts, but how much and what to get the couple are questions worth exploring.
Current Wedding Contribution Trends
Although it is still acceptable (and often the case) for the bride's parents to pay for the wedding, it has no longer become an etiquette no-no to have someone other than the bride's parents pay for the wedding.
Today, couples are paying for their own weddings more and more often. Sometimes this is done so that the parents have less "say" in the wedding organization. Most often, though, couples who are getting married are already financially secure and have the ability to pay for their own weddings because of where they are in life.
Regardless of the reasons, couples are helping to pay for their weddings more and more these days.
Who paid for your wedding?
Maybe you can get a perfect stranger to help with wedding costs
Funny skit on the cost of wedding flowers
Negotiating Wedding prices- humorous video
Set A Budget For Your Wedding Early
Establishing a wedding budget is vital in the discussion of who pays for what. The budget can and should be based on what can be afforded by all parties involved in paying for the wedding. Therefore, budget discussions should stem from conversations regarding the coverage of wedding expenses.
Setting a wedding budget can be a tricky thing, but many good things will come because of it. Probably the most important benefit is that it will foster solid communication between you and your future spouse!
More will be said of this in future articles, but in the mean time, take a look at the links below for some related articles on how to budget your wedding:
- Having Your Beautiful Wedding Without Busting Your Budget
Lists off different places in the wedding where the budget can be adjusted and shows how to help stay in a particular budget, whatever yours may be.
- Wedding Budgets for Beginners - At The Family Place
A short beginner's guide to budgeting a wedding
- Creating a Wedding Budget You Can Afford
Longer article that goes into some detail about setting up a wedding that will fit your budget.
Expensive Wedding in online game "Second Life"
The above wedding took place online and costed the gamers (aka the wedding couple) $65,000 lindens!
Fortunately that's only $225 US dollars. But then again, who pays to cyber-wed an online stranger?
A Video on Wedding Costs from a Student (Senior Project)
How to have a wedding under $10,000!
How to have a wedding under $5,000!