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Who Pays for the Wedding?

March 14, 2011

Trina from Durham asks, Is it still customary for the bride’s family to pay for the wedding/reception? And for the groom’s family to pay for the rehearsal dinner?

Great question!

Weddings are expensive, but you do have options! Many people still believe that the bride’s family accepts the financial responsibility of a wedding, but that isn’t necessarily the case any more.  There are ways to divide the wedding expenses equally among the bride and groom and their families if you decide not to follow the traditional rule of the bride’s family paying for the wedding and the groom’s family paying for the rehearsal dinner.

However, the traditional way of having the bride’s parents pay for the wedding is still the most popular by far. If you decide to go the traditional route, the advantage is that the bride and groom are able to invest in other things like purchasing a home or car.  And who wants to start off their marriage in debt?!?  The disadvantage though is that whoever pays ultimately gets what he or she wants.  For example, if you want to have only 100 people at your wedding, but your parents want to invite 250 and they’re paying, there is a good chance you will end up with around 300 people at your wedding :).

If you opt for going the contemporary route, you would split the cost of the wedding among both the bride and groom and both their families.  I think it would work best to take the total cost of the wedding and divide it three ways, rather than having certain people paying for specific items. Because you are handling this as a group, you have to negotiate and compromise with each other to make sure it all comes together in the end. If anything creates problems for weddings, it’s usually centered around money, so make sure to do a lot of communicating with all parties.

Overall, you certainly have options.  Yes, tradition says that the bride’s family pays for the wedding, and the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner.  But that is definitely not set in stone.

Hope this helps!

What do you think?  Should the bride’s family be responsible for the wedding?  Who paid for your wedding?

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