The next step is to discuss budget. This discussion should be held with everyone who is going to be contributing to the financial support of this big day!
Traditionally, the wedding was funded by the bride’s parents. However, it is my observation that now, in some cases, the bride and groom and the groom’s parents contribute their 2 cents worth (figuratively speaking, of course).
How or why this is done should be determined by your unique situation. The default setting is the bride’s parents pay for most of the expenses.
If the bride and groom are self supporting and have jobs with good incomes they may pay all or part of the costs. An advantage to this is that they don’t have to justify expenses to the mom of the bride (or more importantly the dad of the bride). They can make their own decisions with little input from others.
A disadvantage of this is that they don’t have to justify expenses to anyone and they can make their own decisions with little input from others:) It is not a good idea for a young couple just starting off to go in debt for a one day experience. So if the couple are good money managers and make a comfortable income (with seeming future job security) let them do as much as they can or want to.
The parents of the groom usually contribute or pay for the wedding if the parents of the bride are financially unable to provide. Or if the parents of the groom think their son and his Starry Eyed bride should have a grander wedding or reception than the parents of the bride are able or willing to provide. Or if they want to have something that the bride’s family does not think is necessary.
An example of this might be alcohol at the reception. If the bride’s family does not drink alcohol and the groom’s family does, they might provide beer or wine or an open bar for their friends and relatives (of course, the bride’s friends and relatives could also partake if they so desire!) at the reception.
Even if the bride’s parents are picking up the tab for the whole deal, there are a few items that the groom, his parents, and his bride traditionally pay for:
The parents of the groom traditionally are responsible for:
1. the rehearsal dinner, including food, invitations, decorations, and entertainment
2. their own attire and travel expenses
3. a wedding present
The bride traditionally pays for:
1. the groom’s wedding ring
2. a wedding gift for the groom
3. her hair and makeup, and the hair and make up of her attendants
4. gifts for her attendants
5. sometimes accomodations for out of town bridesmaids
The groom’s traditional expenses include:
1. the marriage license
2. the bride’s engagement and wedding rings
3. the honeymoon
4. a wedding gift for the bride–
5.the bride’s bouquet
6. gifts for his attendants
7.corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
8.boutonnieres for men in the wedding party
9. sometimes accomodations for out of town groomsmen
10. fee for the officiant
Budget planning is an important first step. Sticking to the budget is even harder and more important!
A suggestion for Starry Eyed Daughter and Future Son in Law would be to sit down together and decide on a wedding theme or concept. They might even look into different wedding and reception venues to get an idea of the basic costs involved.
Then they could ask the bride’s parents how much they would be willing and able to spend to make this dream come true.
The bride’s parents, after careful consideration, would reply with a dollar amount they are willing to spend (i.e.$100 or $100,000 or somewhere in between) or with what expenses they would be able to pay for (i.e., wedding dress, reception decorations, and food, etc.) Or they might enthusiastically say “Go for it–we’ll foot the bill!”
If their enthusiasm does not quite cover all the wedding expenses, then discuss plans with the groom’s parents. If they are not the traditional sort, they may be happy to pay a portion.
An important thing to keep in mind while wedding planning–you can spend a ton of money on things that no one notices or remembers. And you can have a lovely, memorable day without selling your soul to the credit card companies:)