Who Traditionally Covers the Costs of a Wedding?
Advice from Prosperity Mansion & Farm, an outdoor, garden, Maryland wedding venue located in Frederick County Maryland and near Westminster.
One of the hardest things to navigate when it comes to planning a wedding is who is responsible for signing the checks. Is the couple responsible for everything? Do their families pitch in? Which family covers which parts of the wedding?
It's important to keep in mind that nothing about paying for your wedding is a hard and fast rule. While, yes, there are historically traditional guidelines for who pays for what at a wedding, that doesn't mean that you're required to follow them. Whatever works the best for your situations and the comfort of your families is how you should break up the costs of your wedding. At our wedding venue in Maryland, we have seen a variety of ways to split the costs for your wedding.
That being said, there are traditions you can follow if you don't know where to start. If you're a little lost on how to split your wedding bill, keep reading for some ideas!
The bride's family has historically been responsible for most of the big-ticket expenses at the wedding. This can include (but is not limited to): save-the-date notices, invitations, and any other stationary for the wedding, the bridal gown, hair and makeup for the bride, transportation for the bridesmaid, ceremony and reception costs, a wedding planner, and more. This is where most couples and their families decide to break tradition, so they can help ease the pressure from the bride's family and cover costs a bit more evenly.
In the past, the bride covered the costs of the groom's wedding band and thank-you gifts. It takes a lot to plan a wedding, so gifting her bridal party, both families, and her groom has become a lovely thank-you tradition. Some brides also help their families with their expenses to make sure her wishes are accounted for.
Often, the groom's family covers the costs related to the rehearsal dinner. This can include the invitations and the food for the rehearsal dinner, the alcohol and the cost of the DJ for the wedding. Groom's families have also paid for the flowers used in the bride's bouquet, and the boutonnieres and corsages for the groom, bridal party and groomsmen. Something that the groom's family can do to offset the costs of the bride's family is to fund the honeymoon for the happy couple.
Like the bride, the groom is the one who covers the cost of the bride's wedding band and her engagement ring, and most grooms cover the cost of buying or renting his wedding day attire. He also gives his groomsmen, his family, and his bride gifts to say thank you for helping him throughout the wedding planning process. Many grooms will chip in and help their families cover the cost of the honeymoon and their other wedding expenses as well.
As with all wedding traditions, this is not set in stone and the budget can be separated in many different ways. The best thing to do is to arrange a meeting with both families at the beginning of your planning process to discuss the breakdown of the wedding costs. The things you should talk about when deciding how to split up costs are: how many people each family wants to invite, the expectations everyone has, and how much money is available from each side. You can use this information to help decide the breakdown. For example, some couples decide that the family who invites more guests will pay more costs. If the grooms family wants more expensive food , liquor, venue etc. then they can and morally should put up the additional cost.
If money is a constraint, that should be something that's clearly established up front. One way to prevent anyone from stress about covering the cost is to say “Here's how much I can afford for the wedding. I can't go any higher than this.” That way, the budget is firm and everyone knows what you can and can't cover for this wedding. If the couple wants more then they can cover the additional costs themselves. There is nothing wrong with the couple kicking in for the wedding of their dreams if the family cannot or won't cover the cost.
The last thing you want when it comes to paying for a wedding is to have a stressful experience or a disagreement between your families. If things get heated, the best thing to do is to end the meeting and put in writing what you have discussed so far, send it out to everyone, and reconvene once some time has passed. That way, everyone has time to cool down and is coming to the meeting with a fresh understanding of the situation.
A key thing to remember is the bride and groom's wishes for their wedding. Parents in particular can sometimes get caught up in what they want to see in their child's wedding. They often feel that, because they're the ones who are paying, they should be able to choose what they spend their money on. This is an understandable feeling, but it's not their wedding. The wedding is to celebrate the happy couple above all else, and they should be the primary focus for their big day. They shouldn't look back at their wedding and be upset that it wasn't the day they wanted.
If you're struggling to decide how to split the bill for your wedding, we hope that we were able to give you some ideas about where to start. Prosperity Mansion & Farm wants to ensure that you have the best outdoor and garden wedding that you can, without having to worry about the costs. Our Frederick wedding venue is here to give you whatever advice we can!
Photo via Globalnews.ca
Prosperity Mansion & Farm is committed to providing a beautiful wedding venue that is affordable to all couples. Our budget friendly venue allows you to celebrate your big day and then move on to the next phase of your relationship without financial burdens.
Prosperity Mansion & Farm proudly serves:
Carroll County Maryland
Montgomery County Maryland
Anne Arundel County Maryland
Loudoun County Virginia and more
Contact us at: 443-350-8100