Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wedding Etiquette: Division of Expenses

I have been receiving a number of questions lately from my 2010 brides and grooms regarding the etiquette of how to divide the wedding expenses. This is a tough question to answer, especially in today's times. Many more couples today pay for their own weddings, rather than in the past when it was more or less expected that the parents of the bride footed the majority of the bill. There are many reasons for this change; some couples are waiting longer to get married, weddings are more expensive and more complicated than in previous years, and many couples I work with have already established households together prior to marriage.

{Photo credit - Impressions are everything}

So most couples today are either paying for their own weddings, their parents are pooling resources, or a combination of all these things - there isn't one standard that is considered proper etiquette for today's couples. I consulted my Peggy Post etiquette book and materials from the Association of Bridal Consultants, and both confirm that it is quite common that the groom's family pays a larger share of expenses than in the past. They simply can offer to share the expenses by contributing a set dollar amount,or they can offer to pay for certain parts of the wedding such as the liquor, the flowers, etc.

If you want to know the traditional age-old etiquette, the majority of the expenses are paid for by the bride's family. The following costs were typically paid for by the groom and his family:

  • Bride's engagement and wedding rings
  • Groom's gift to his bride
  • Gifts for groom's attendants
  • Bride's going away corsage (oh my - let me see...how many of my brides have had a going away corsage?!)
  • Boutonnieres for groom's attendants
  • Corsages for immediate members of both families (unless bride has included them in her florist's order)
  • Officiant's fee
  • Marriage license
  • Expenses of honeymoon
  • All costs of rehearsal dinner
  • Accommodations for groom's attendants
  • Groom's apparel
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for groom's immediate family

Any way you break it down - weddings are expensive. It is important that all parties sit down together to discuss expenses, set a budget, and stick to it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful information. It helps people to know some ideas about wedding etiquette. In all the major part is wedding invitation etiquette. It is one of the most common wedding etiquette while planning a wedding. The main point is send the invitations at least six weeks before the big day.