Of all the many wedding day topics, from the gown to the venue, the #1 most searched wedding topic is the super stressful and yucky word…”budget”.
While the topic of the budget may be extremely unromantic, it is incredibly important to discuss at the start of the planning journey. For some couples, it may not me a major concern, while for others it may be a determining factor for many wedding decisions.
The topic is one of importance for good reason…having a wedding will be one of the biggest investments that you make! Even a wedding for under $10,000 is a considerable amount of money that requires savvy ways to stretch your dollar.
Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss our upcoming series that will focus on the wedding budget. Until then, let’s get started by taking on the first question to consider:
Who pays for the wedding and what is the best way to pay for your day?
Photography: Trevor Booth
Traditionally speaking, the majority of wedding day expenses are covered as follows:
The bride’s family pays for:
- Reception costs including decor, food, entertainment, rentals, music
- Ceremony costs including decor and rentals
- Flowers for the ceremony and reception
- The bride’s gown and accessories
- Photography and videography
- Stationary including invitations, programs, and even postage
- Favors for guests
The groom’s parents pays for:
The rehearsal dinner expenses including food, decor, invitations
The bride pays for:
- Her beauty needs including hair and makeup
- The grooms wedding band
- A gift for the groom
- Gifts for her wedding party
The groom pays for:
- The bride’s engagement ring and wedding band
- The marriage license
- The bride’s bouquet
- The honeymoon
- A gift for the bride
- Gifts for his wedding party
- Officiant fee
- Corsages and boutonnières for the mothers, grandmothers, and groomsmen
Before you panic, we have good news!
The days of the traditional who pays guide is often considered a thing of the past as many couples are opting for paying for their day in a way that works less from them instead of going by the traditional ways to pay.
- Couples covering expenses 100% themselves
- Couples accepting some contributions
For some couples, the only choice is to cover all wedding expenses themselves. For others, they may receive contributions that range from gifts for specific wedding based needs or a specific dollar amount towards wedding expenses.
When considering if accepting contributions is right for you, first consider a few key questions:
- Will accepting the contribution mean that the final decision is up to the contributor?
While planning, you may find that there are many opinions thrown your way from family, friends and even colleagues. While some can be incredibly helpful, you may also find it difficult to simply stand firm towards what means most to you if it conflicts with the opinion of others. This can be especially difficult when related to immediate family, especially if contributing.
The best way to keep control of your wedding day decisions is to not accept contributions. When you accept financial assistance, you may find that it is challenging to hold onto control of all decisions. Paying for the day without help from others is a sure way to control all decisions.
- Did you set clear expectations before accepting contributions?
Before accepting any contributions, discuss if you hope to make final decisions or if you are open to suggestions. Be clear if you prefer to make sole decisions and if your contributor will still give resources if they are not given final say.
If your contributor prefers to have final say on the item that they are willing to contribute, consider asking them to contribute towards an area that you don’t have a strong opinion on. You may ask if they are willing to take on your catering expenses if you are flexible with the menu style while asking another contributor to take on an area that you can make final decisions on, such as the gown.
The method that works best is completely up to the couple with one incredibly important condition: that funding your dream day NEVER, EVER leads to debt in any fashion. Get it? Got it? Good!
For over 100 additional steps to consider, get your copy of our limited edition e-book, Getting Started: The Ultimate Wedding Timeline Guide while still in stock! Click the image below to get your copy!