(Closed) Who pays for the wedding? 50/50 anyone?

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

At one point, it was the rule that the bride’s family paid for the wedding.  However, that was when a) brides tended to be much younger and not to have careers, and b) weddings were much simpler (cake and punch in the church hall).

These days, the rule is that the couple pays for the wedding, with whatever financial help their parents or others choose to offer.  So if your family has offered to pay half, and his family has not offered to pay at all, the two of you will need to come up with the other half.

In our case, we paid for the wedding with no financial help.  However, many of our friends helped us in other ways.  For example, our musician and our reception photographer were friends who did these things as their wedding present to us.  A friend framed our ketubah (formal Jewish wedding contract) for us.  A friend who was a club owner let us rent his club for the reception for much less than the market price.  Another friend made our guest book, and will be making our album.  Several friends helped us decorate, and helped us clean up at the end.

Post # 18
Member
2492 posts
Buzzing bee

A cake and punch wedding has nothing to do with whether the bride was of legal age and/or considered property of her father. In many social circles, a full dinner is not done even in this day and age, as they are very new in the grand scheme of wedding history, and has no bearing whatsoever on who pays and the politics behind it.

Post # 19
Member
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Well, we’re going 50/50 in that I’m paying half and my Fiance is paying half. His parents gave us $1,000 which will pay for the rehearsal dinner and a little more. My mom’s contribution is flying 2,000 miles to come to the wedding. We’re even splitting the cost of the engagement ring.

Post # 20
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

It was never discussed with us.  My FI’s family assumed that my family would pay for everything (other than the rehearsal dinner) and my parents assumed that they would be paying for it.  Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay and mine are paying.  We both come from traditional families.  Had my parents been unable to pay, my Fiance and I would have paid ourselves and held a small destination wedding.  Fiance is over 30 and I am almost 30.  We both have careers that fortunately pay in the 6 figures, so we could afford it, but that isn’t the point for us.  For us, its tradition that my parents pay.

Everyone has their own opinion on this matter, but I think that the bride’s parents should pay for the wedding.  That is how I was raised and how my Fiance was raised.  Fortunately for us, it worked out.  But in terms of what my friends and family think is appropriate… we all think that the bride’s family is responsible to pay. 

If you think that your FI’s parents are responsible for splitting the bill, I would ask your Fiance to discuss this with them.  Traditionally, they are not responsible for this so it could come across badly if you met with them and told them that you expected or even just asked them for the money (I’m not suggesting that you are planning to do this, I’m just saying in general).  Good luck with your situation!

Post # 21
Member
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Like others have said, it really varies with every family—and depends on your budget. For instance, if you know your family is interested in helping, you can talk with them about how much they’re able to give, and decide to do a wedding in that budget, or you can plan a larger wedding and pay for the balance on your own, or ask FI’s family to contribute.

In our case, it worked out roughly 30-30-40 for my family, FI’s family, and us. We did not ask either family to contribute, but both offered (one offered money and the other offered to pay for certain events; in the end the amount was about equal). The bigger issue is to make sure you know upfront how much each family is able to give—the last thing you want is an expectation that one family will pay for everything and a plan for a wedding (or a guest list) that is far beyond their resources. It’s a somewhat awkward conversation, but far better to have it upfront and then plan accordingly.

Most people I know have split it with both sides of the family, though, and pay for a significant portion themselves (but most people I know are also in their 30s, which makes a difference on that front).

Post # 22
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: April 2012

My parents covered all my college costs, and I graduated with no debt.  I know they want to help some, but I certainly don’t expect them to pay for a wedding too!

Post # 23
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

its very outdated to have your parents pay for the wedding, please dont ask them, just see if they offer. if fpil offer, great, but otherwise plan a wedding you can pay for yourselves.

Post # 24
Member
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

We’re paying the entire cost of our wedding. My dad and grandpa graciously bought my wedding dress as an early birthday present (under $1k mind you) and my FIL’s are going to book 3-4 nights for us to stay at a nice Red Lion in downtown Seattle because they’re part of a travel program that is accepted there. But we’re contributing about $5k or so to our wedding.

Post # 25
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Although I have not had the dredded talk with my parents, Future Mother-In-Law has told me to let her know what we need help with.  I do not expect anyone to pay for my wedding, any offers are great, but I have no expectations.  I will do things within my (very small) budget and any extra will be greatly appreciated!

Post # 26
Member
1369 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

we’re paying for 50%, my parents 30%, his parents 20%.

it worked out for us because my parents will have more guests, we wanted to lift the financial burden off of both our ‘rents… and thankfully it worked out for all of us.

Post # 26
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2015

View original reply
batzmaroo:  50/50, unless one side has WAY more people than the other. Or unless the bride is planning on being unemployed.

 

Post # 27
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2015

View original reply
batzmaroo:  50/50, unless one side has WAY more people than the other. Or unless the bride is planning on being unemployed.  

View original reply
Ember78:  Parents are responsible for saving and paying for half of their kid’s wedding. To not have saved is disgraceful. You are supposed to send your kid into their new life with the kid’s savings intact for house buying.

Post # 28
Member
846 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

View original reply
starcatcher:  I completely disagree with the idea that parents are obligated to pay for their kids wedding. A wedding is not a necessity, it is a want. You can get married very cheaply in a registry office. My parents worked their asses off to give me a wonderful childhood and a great education. They certainly do not owe me anything more, least of all a non-essential party. 

Post # 29
Member
1056 posts
Bumble bee

We are paying for our wedding ourselves. My parents are deceased and his parents aren’t contributing at all. I actually like it this way. We are in total control and non one else has any say whatsoever. It’s made our planning much easier.

Post # 30
Member
1094 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
batzmaroo:  A lot of people misunderstand tradition; and many don’t realize just how much common sense tradition incorporates.

Tradition (and formal etiquette) say that whatever adult gives a party pays for the party; whatever adult is going to wear the clothes chooses and pays for the clothes; whatever adult(s) sign a contract pay the legal and official fees of that transaction.

Tradition and gracious generosity often lead a lady whose young relative is getting married, to offer to host a wedding reception for her following the ceremony. Host, not “pay for”. Hosting means making all the decisions related to the upcoming event: choosing invitations, setting the guest list, selecting the venue, designing the menu and entertainment. In whose hands would you like to leave those decisions? I appreciate those brides who are modestly willing to leave those decisions in their mother’s hands while they concentrate on preparing for the major life changes before them. But let us be honest: most modern brides have a relatively small life change before them and most would far rather have control of their wedding reception decisions themselves. The third alternative — having a committee of parents hosting — is a recipe for squabbles, pressure and hurt feelings. The idea that the bride makes all the decisions while the collected parents simply provide cash is far from traditional and — like all private financial matters — something etiquette does not have an opinion on as long as the cash payment arrangement is kept strictly private.

Traditionally, hosting guests is considered a privilege, not an obligation. So when the bride’s mother exercises her privilege (as the lady most closely related to the bride) of hosting the wedding, the groom’s mother often claims the privilege of hosting a party following the ceremony rehearsal. She does not interfere in the reception alcohol arrangements: that’s another modern innovation on the slippery slope towards hosting-by-committee. She doesn’t provide flowers: it’s the groom’s job to send flowers to his bride on her wedding day, just as any polite gentleman sends flowers to his lady for any formal event — and if he’s wise he honours his mother and future mother-in-law the same way — but that’s the groom‘s responsibility, not his parents’. Same thing with the clergyman’s fee and the honeymoon: a grown man pays for his own contract fees and his own vacation. Modern women are considered grown adults too, so newlywed wives generally share such costs with their new husband.

 

 

 

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