Budgeting for a Wedding: Who Pays for What - An Old School Breakdown

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

You're engaged; now what? Congratulations, you have the ring and you have set the date. The excitement of planning the wedding is taking over your mind and body. Perhaps you have been planning for your big day since you were little. You have the color scheme, you know what you want your dress to look like, and you have some other general ideas about how you want everything to look. The cost of a wedding today can average $10,000, and can be even higher with all the bells and whistles. However, with careful planning, it's possible to have your Cinderella moment for much less.

Setting a budget should be one of the first things you do, and it is important to discuss it as a couple. Once you have a good representation of what everything will cost, it's time to decide who pays for what. These lines are more blurred now than ever before. It used to be customary for the bride's parents to extend the financial backing,  for the entire wedding. However, with the modern bride and groom, the monetary contributions are based more upon whom can afford what. The following breakdown follows the traditional line of who pays for which expenses.

The Bride's Family

  • The engagement party, if one is held
  • Flowers, except for the Bride's bouquet, the Mother's corsages, and the males boutonnieres
  • Church expenses (just the space, the clergy fee is paid by the Groom)
  • Wedding Dress and Alterations
  • Musicians or DJ
  • Photographer and/or Videographer
  • Caterer
  • Wedding Cake
  • Wedding Favors
  • Bridal Brunch
  • Father of the Bride Formal Wear
  • Rented Items
  • Reception Space
  • Printed Items

The Groom's Family

  • Groom's Cake
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Father of the Groom Formal Wear
  • The Bride
  • Wedding Ring for the Groom
  • Wedding Gift for the Groom
  • Bridesmaid gifts
  • Bridesmaid Luncheon
  • Accommodations for Out Of Town Guests
  • Wedding Ring for the Bride
  • Wedding Gift for the Bride
  • Groomsmen and Usher Gifts
  • Bride's Bouquet
  • Mother's Corsages
  • Groom's, Groomsmen, and Ushers Boutonnieres
  • Marriage License
  • Clergy/Officiant Fee
  • Limousine or Car Service
  • Honeymoon Costs

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

  • Cost of dresses, alterations, and shoes
  • Cost of suit rental or purchase, alterations, and shoes
  • Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

This list may not include everything so you may have to adapt. Remember there are no hard and fast rules regarding the breakdown of expenses. It is commonplace in today's society for the bride and groom to take on the cost of the entire wedding. It is important however, to line out who will pay for what prior to reserving and putting deposits on the venue, catering, or other items.

This should be a magical time, so try not to stress over the expenses. It can be difficult not to dwell on the expense of planning your wedding. Remember, it is really about joining your two lives and becoming one. Developing a budget and staying within its restrictions will ensure that you start married life on solid financial ground.       

Personalized service from start to finish and a warm, welcome feeling is what you will experience while planning your wedding day at White Pines. Located in a beautiful setting, it makes a perfect getaway near Chicago.

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