Money, money, money Many couples are getting married later in life when they have moved out of their parents home and are more established to be able afford to pay for their own wedding, or at least most of it. As daunting as that might sound, this means you and your fiance get to call all the shots! I have heard of some families splitting the whole bill three ways: Bride & Groom, Brideʼs Parents and Groomʼs Parents. To me this “splitting the bill three ways” arrangement would leave too many open doors for (potentially) unwanted opinions and guests (bridal etiquette stated that the guest lists is spilt according to the bill payers). Ideally for the Bride and Groom to be able to pay for their own wedding is best for making sure they get the wedding they want.
A friend of mine had her dad paying for her wedding and it turned out to be exactly the wedding that her mother and father never got, instead of the beach wedding my friend always dreamed of. It was sad, but she felt like she couldnʼt say much about it as her parents were the ones paying for everything. Many parents these days sit back and support by just contributing some funds to the wedding plans.
On the flip side sometimes the parents are making less money than their children, and cannot afford to do so(especially if they paid your tuition). But if you have decided to get married than obviously you are ready for handling finances and big responsibilities. What better way to learn about finances and responsibilities with your new spouse than planning your own wedding. Bankers nowadays are helping young couples plan and save for their wedding as well. A good choice if you have time to save and want a comfortable budget for your wedding.
A wedding can be planned on any budget. I know a bride who had a potluck reception! Not ideal, but I donʼt think youʼd be expected to buy a lavish gift 😉
A good wedding planner can work with you and your budget to work out all your wedding day possibilities. They know all the tricks of the trade including which vendors to go back to and the ones to avoid! It is very important that your choices reflect what your budget is, and that you remain realistic. If your one dream was to get married at The Chateau Laurier than we at ITM, can help you achieve this through saving elsewhere in the wedding budget. Many traditional wedding planning books will split up the costs like this: Brideʼs Family hosts and pays for reception and ceremony. Grooms family hosts the rehearsal dinner, covers transportation and honeymoon costs. Depending on how extravagant the honeymoon is, this could work out equal 😉
Each family is different and will have their own pre-conceptions about what is expected. Donʼt forget any step-parents, they should have an interest as well. I recommend thoroughly communicating the financial situation and expectations with all those involved.
Here are three wedding etiquette guidelines that are unclear or rarely mentioned in wedding planning books.
-Who pays for the bridal party outfits? My personal rule of thumb that I recommend is that if you want your bridal party to wear something over $100, then you should be prepared to pay for it. If it is under $100 than your bridesmaids and groomsmen should be prepared to buy it themselves. However if you or anyone in your bridal party is from another country, like say, England, you may need to go over this with them. In England, the costs of the bridal party attire is almost always included in the wedding costs.
-What do you pay your friends/family who you have asked to provide a service for you wedding? This should be treated on an individual basis. Here is an example to use as a guideline. If your cousin djʼs for a living I wouldnʼt expect that he would be over the moon to do it for free for your wedding, when he could be booked somewhere else and making money that night. Always include to pay for a service in your budget if thatʼs what they do for a living, they have bills to pay too. However, if your best friends happen to be an excellent musicians, but have yet to quit their day job for the rock star lifestyle, they are usually more than happy to play at your wedding as a wedding gift. Talk to them about this though, you donʼt want any awkward assumptions
-What do you pay the wedding officiant if there is no fee? If the wedding officiant decides not to charge you it is respectful to make a donation to the organization they work for, such as their church or charity. A wedding officiant who does not work for a church or charity will almost always charge you.
I hope this has cleared up some of the money questions that arise in wedding plans. Remember the more of the wedding you pay for yourself, the more freedom you have in your planning!
Cheers to you and learning about finances with your soon to be spouse. Enjoy it and learn about how your other half deals with finances as it comes up a lot in marriage 😉