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Who pays for what at weddings brides family grooms family

Getting married is not as simple as it seems because of the costs involved. Although a civil marriage cost around 50 / $100, very few people give up having a religious ceremony or at least a reception. And that can cost anywhere between 5,000 and 20,000 ($10,000 - $20,000).

Traditionally the wedding costs were paid in a large percentage by the father's bride. If you like to respect etiquette and the father's bride is able to sustain financially the wedding costs than you should know that:

  • the bride's father pays for the reception and associated expenses, wedding cake, photographer, engagement announcement in the newspaper, the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets, transportation and gifts for the lucky pair, flowers for the church and reception, invitation, wedding gown, veil and other accessories.
  • the groom's father pays for the parents' meeting, dinner rehearsal expenses, marriage license and gifts for the newly-weds.
  • the bride pays for groom's ring, her attire and a present for her future husband.
  • the groom pays for the bride's ring, his attire, presents for the best man, usher, wedding night venue, honeymoon and wedding announcement.

Although this cost dividing happens today only at about 30% of the weddings. For more then 50% of the today's wedding the costs are shared between the bride and the groom, although the parents may help a bit. A reason for doing so is usually both future spouses are working and well on their feet for many years (earlier the pairs were much younger when they got married, especially the brides). For the other 20% of weddings, the costs are shared by the bride and groom's families.

If you and your future spouse have decided to bear the cost of the wedding it will be a good idea to make an estimative budget (include an extra 10% for unexpected expenses). Then think how can you manage to save the money. Some are going for an extra job, others prefer to give up the holiday for the year. Some couples prefer to create a wedding account and a percent of their monthly salary goes there. There are other couples that pay the wedding with their credit card or go to bank and create credit with an overdraft or loan.

But no matter what way you choose to finance your wedding include your parents too (for a small or larger percentage of the total cost, depending on your wishes and theirs). This parental help will give them the feeling that they are really taking part of the event, they do have a contribution to it, they are not just simple bystanders.

For example, the groom's family can pay for the drinks, the flowers and the decoration. The bride's family can pay for the caterer, the DJ/band and accommodation for out of town guest.

But remember it is very important to discus with both set of parents and make clear that although you really appreciate their help, your wishes are to be accomplished, not theirs.

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