Traditionally, in the US, the parents of the bride paid most of the wedding costs. This was the custom because after the wedding the groom was supposed to pay all the expenses of the couple’s life together.
The bride’s family is no longer expected to pay for the entire wedding celebration. And they don’t have the responsibility of hosting either.
The Happy Couple Contributes More
Things have definitely changed. People are marrying later. And have lived independent of their parents. They usually both work and are self-supporting. So when the engaged couple marry, they will pool their finances. And both will be expected to contribute in their future lives.
Society has changed and the roles and expectations have shifted. Because of these changes, the happy couple often pays for some of their own wedding.
Weddings are expensive. And the bigger the wedding the steeper the costs.
In the past, tradition wasn’t kind to the bride’s family. The good news is that the burden isn’t just on one family anymore. Both families and sometimes even the bride and groom, can all share expenses.
The average wedding with 100 guests costs in the neighborhood of $25,000 to $35,000. About 33 percent of couples cover all the costs themselves. And another third of them pay for at least half the expenses. And the rest of the time parents still foot the bill.
Of course, parents may have the ability and the inclination to help out. Contributions from the family are always welcome. Even if the couple pays a lot of the wedding costs, there are ways that parents can help.
So it’s time to make some decisions. It’s time to get the bride and the groom’s parents together with the engaged couple. It’s time to negotiate.
There’s several options to share the expenses. Each family could just cover the cost of the guest they invite. Or expenses can be split up on a dollar for dollar basis.
Breakdown of Expenses
Any wedding has certain expenses that need to be paid. Here’s a list of the costs that are typically picked up by the couple and their families.
- Wedding Invitations and/or programs
- Wedding venue
- License and fees for the minister or ceremony provider
- Bride’s dress and accessories
- Groom’s wedding attire
- Flowers, bouquets and corsages as well as floral decorations
- Pre-wedding parties including the engagement party and the rehearsal dinner
- Food including cakes and catering
- DJ services, band and or liquor
- Transportation (limo services)
The wedding party usually picks up the costs of bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and stag parties. The maid of honor and bridesmaids often cover the costs of their own dresses.