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who pays for it [Page 2 of 2]

If the parents pay, do they hold the purse strings?

In the event that the brides parents are paying the wedding, depending on their personalities (which the groom cannot change, for better or for worse), they're likely to want some say in the wedding planning. Your dreams of a beach wedding in Aruba may fly out the window unless you can convince them away from a reception at the local Elks Hall.

Their generosity, however, doesn't mean that you lose your voice. Before the budget gets set, the groom and bride should let their parents know what kind of wedding they wish to have. If you want an expensive venue, offset it with an inexpensive caterer, after clearing it with the check-writers. If that is not possible, offer to pitch in the difference. Planning a wedding is a team effort, and your future in-laws will hopefully understand. In some cases, you may have to live with her parents' choices. Choose your battles wisely, as letting them win a few rounds will allow you to dig in your heels on the points that matter most to you.

A head fake

A good way to keep parents involved is to let them pay for and plan specific aspects of the event. If you would like to let the parents (including yours) infuse some personality of their own into the wedding, simply tell them what you'd like their help with. A popular option is selecting the venue, menu and wine for the rehearsal dinner. If you aren't picky, leaving the decision in the hands of the paying parents can save you a few bucks and take an item off your checklist. Also, it allows the parents to feel involved, offering ideas instead of just greenbacks.

Income desparities

You make more money that your parents...

Your parents are living the American dream. They've got a nice house in the 'burbs, are about to retire and have 2.5 kids, each of whom is making it in the world. They have given their children every opportunity, and the kids have succeeded. As a result of their efforts, you and your wife make more money than your parents. Who pays for the wedding? You should offer. In addition to ensuring the wedding you want, this approach is realistic. Why make your in-laws take a second mortgage on the house when you and your bride would only have to tighten your belts a bit? If you have the funds ready to pay and the parents do not, common decency implies that you should pay. But, pride does get involved, and you're going to have to be delicate.

One set of parents is wealthier than the other...

In another alternative, the bride's parents want to pay, but the groom's parents make substantially more money. GroomGroove.com believes there is nothing wrong with the groom's parents saying that "tradition is ridiculous." It doesn't matter that in other circumstances they'd be happy to let the bride's parents fork over the cash - scrapping tradition in favor of expediency is the right choice.

Similar levels of income...

If both sets of parents have similar levels of income, it's a lot easier for the groom and bride to convince each other's parents to participate. "We sat down and had a joint meeting, only after Jess and I figured out our wedding budget. We had an idea based on informal conversations, what our parents could afford to pay," says recent groom, Glen Meier. This groom highlights a key planning idea - the wedding budget. If the bride and groom prepare a proper budget, it becomes much easier to manage expectations, assign payment responsibilities and timing of payments. In sum, communication is key.

Cake toppers from hell, from other family members

Sometimes, surprises happen that don't involve financial costs, but do inpact planning. For example, a family member or friend will send a gift without asking, hoping that it can be incorporated somehow into the wedding. An uncle from Georgia may send a 7 foot tall "unity candle" that "should be lit as the ceremony begins, as a reminder of long-lost loved ones, and our common faith in Jesus." That may not float your boat, nor float your Jewish brides' boat. Or, your Aunt Maggie surprises you with a cake-topper (you know, the G.I. Joe-looking bride and groom figurine that goes on top of a wedding cake." While you extract it from miles of bubble wrap, your fiancee crosses her arms and scowls. "No. Not at my wedding." You try to calm her down, despite agreeing that Aunt Maggie's taste equips her to decorate the kids' table at TGI Friday's, maybe. However, Aunt Maggie is coming to the wedding, and she will notice the topper's absence. What to do?

Don't despair; you have alternatives. Try to use the gift, even if only to supplement your own plans.

In your thank you note to Aunt Maggie, explain that you already have a cake-topper, even if you have to lie a bit. If possible, tell her that the bride's parents bought it for you; that generally trumps everything. But, let her know that you would love to include her gift in your wedding. You could display it next to the cake. Failing that approach, you could use it as the centerpiece on your aunt's table. She will appreciate the gesture, and you won't have to look at her absurd gesture of kindness. As for the unity candle - we have no suggestions. Good luck. Maybe you can light it at the reception, or use it in the summer to keep mosquitoes away.

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Fri, Oct.12th 2012
Carolyn - Wow! Watching the slide show makes me so happy it's wonderful rievilng some of the highlights from that day! Andrea and Renata- you were so awesome to work with and you did an amazing job!!
Sun, Sep.9th 2012
I stumbled upon this site coz I needed to know why the bride or bride's parents have to pay for wedding here in the U.S., I attended 2 weddings here in Calif in the last month and found out both brides paid for almost all expenses. These brides are originally from the country where I came from (Philippines) where as far as I know..grooms pay for all wedding expenses. That's because the wife is precious and is expected to carry the man's child/children. Oh my! I just don't think the bride should pay all wedding expenses..but if not, I think should atleast be 50/50 at the most!!
Thu, Jun.28th 2012
Why does the wedding band have to be gold? From what I've seen, gold is a rare choice for grooms these days. It's mostly modern metals for men, such as tungsten, cobalt, and palladium. So many sites like http://www.tungstenworld.com/ sell only tungsten wedding bands because of how popular they are!
Tue, May.15th 2012
James Dixon - Kate and I had a ball on our wedding day and I would very much remcemond Olivier to anyone who is thinking about using him. His photos are of exceptional quality and he is a great person to have around you on the day! He really helped us because as mentioned in his post, neither Kate and I are at our most comfortable being photographed.
Sun, Sep.25th 2011
You Sir/Madam are the enemy of confusion eevryhwere!
Mon, Apr.4th 2011
I have butterflies all ova me... I am getting married
Thu, Jan.27th 2011
These traditions are based on principles that are so antiquated not even my great grandmother can remember them correctly. These "rules" were put into action and accepted as the norm in a different time. In the past women lived home until they were wed and their father paid for the "reception" as a gesture of gratitude for the man taking his daughter. Back then ceremonies did not involve 6 live bands, ice sculptures, 19 horse-drawn carriages, 450 guests, 5 dresses (ceremony, pre-dinner, dinner, post-dinner, dancing . . .), 13 course meals served all night, 2 photographers, a calligrapher, and a guest MC for all announcements. Today people marry across their socioeconomic classes with much more freedom, and that means total contributions to a joint venture (weddings do involve TWO people ladies, not just yourselves) so that each party can contribute what they can comfortably afford. Again, this is based on the predication that the two getting married are doing it within their economic means and not some wanna-be "I spend all day watching Super Weddings on TLC" dream you've forced upon yoruself. I say if you want something extravagant and need to get a loan to do so knock your irresponsible self out . . . just do not expect me to co-sign that loan. My family is financially secure and I have an above average income ($82k/yr base at 26y.o.) yet spending half my annual gross income on a ceremony is the absolute dumbest idea I have ever heard. I've been to a wedding recently that was 6 figures plus and it was a great time, that night, and we've never really talked much about it since . . . I'd rather dump that into my ROTH and 401k any day. To the guy who decided on a large wedding over a down payment on a house (really?) enjoy your impending debt, foreclosure, and divorce! I'd like to hear the "oh well, its just money" line when you are asking me for change in a few years!
heart broken
Sun, Nov.28th 2010
Can't believe my finance broke the wedding because I discussed the finances involved in the marriage after seeing her pick a 12k ring .. well for us we were marrying and doing the nice ring part at the same time ..not sure what it means when she said I have to expenses on everything and going forward she would keep her account seperate and as a man I would take care of all and she would contribute . and when it came time for contribution out of 30k plan she wanted to spend only 3-4k ..btw she earns as much as I do .though I can spend it but it looked like for future also a contant mystry in everything we would be doing, on how much I can spend on something so I wanted to discuss and she felt I am pressurizing her .. broke my heart money was really not a concern but this feeling of lack of trust leave me heart broken .. came all the way to other coast to do the marriage arrnagement and have no one around in this hotel room I can cry my heart out ...
Sat, Jul.3rd 2010
When a young woman moves out of her parents home before she is married, she is fully responsible for her own wedding.
Fri, Mar.5th 2010
2.2 billion wow.. a wedding of that size must've been publicized.. I have a buddy with one arm.. he actually has a "nub".. we call him nubby, but anyway hes always bragging about how he "nubbs" his girlfriend. Sorry man I know its most likely impossible for you to compete with such girth.=(
Fri, Feb.5th 2010
I just spent 2.2 billion on my wedding. The day after I filed for bankruptcy. She then left me for a chimp with one arm. Go figure? A sad, real story too.
Mon, Dec.28th 2009
Your Comments It such a stupid rule for bride's family to pay for the wedding. Who created this rule?! What men do?? even anything? Or may be they should pay for bride's wedding debt after the wedding.
Mon, Dec.28th 2009
Your Comments It such a stupid rule for bride's family to pay for the wedding. Who created this rule?! What men do?? even anything? Or may be they should pay for bride's wedding debt after the wedding.
Mon, Dec.28th 2009
Your Comments It such a stupid rule for bride's family to pay for the wedding. Who created this rule?! What men do?? even anything? Or may be they should pay for bride's wedding debt after the wedding.
Sat, Oct.3rd 2009
Your Comments I know a young man who has been pushed into something totally wrong. She is Hindu and he is Catholic. They are to have two weddings, A Christian and Hindu. Who pays for what in this situation. There are reasons from many people that this union should not occur. Not because of him, but because of her. Help, Help please. Not once has he said he loves her. I have spoken to him in length and all he says is she cleans and cooks. They don't even live together. Yes he has a fantastic job and she knows how to spend his money. From their first date two years ago she has made remarks about how her left finger is so bare, how light it is. This young gentleman is my son-in-laws very best friend from childhood until know. He has even told him not to do it. Help Help Help
Wed, Sep.16th 2009
Your Comments Listen wedding are to be the one thing in life that should be a blessing from god, it does matter how much you spend on the wedding, I my self would like to have a million dollar wedding and ask for $1.00 donations. Do you think this will work if i put it in to play.
Mon, Aug.17th 2009
Come up with a budget. The parents(and few very good friends) will most likely want to help out, so they can cover little things. The bride and groom should then decide who pays for what and what they will go half and half on. Well thats our plan and all is going well.
Sun, Jun.28th 2009
it is simple: you (and family) pay for ring, she (and family) pays for wedding. Both should cost about the same. If you choose to have a honeymoon, it should be a joint expense of the couple, or a gift of the groom's family.
Tue, Mar.17th 2009
me and my wife got married with everything cater,photographer reception and nice church for under 7,000$ you jus have to know where to cut costs. be smart.do it once, dont do it again. and DAN thats kind of rude font u think?
Sun, Mar.8th 2009
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Fri, Jan.23rd 2009
I believe "BELIEVE" is spelt thus - B-E-L-I-E-V-E. Idiot
Wed, Oct.29th 2008
Tue, Aug.5th 2008
The groomsmen pay for the rentals themselves, although the groom should keep this in mind when deciding what he and his bride want them to wear
Mon, Aug.4th 2008
Do groomsmen and ushers pay to rent tuxes themselves or is the groom responsible for this cost?
Thu, Jun.26th 2008
You know, the most in expensive wedding is the one at the court house. Go out to eat afterward with the family and a few close friends. The "industry" has blown weddings way out of proportion. The point is to go before God and everyone to declare each other as life partners, not spend $20,000 to show off.
Sat, Mar.8th 2008
Why do we rely on old traditions to dictate who pays for what? It is insulting that we in the U.S. claim to be 'modern' but rely on the woman's family to pay for most everything. If we really claim to be progressive or equal wedding costs should be shared equally. Too bad my parents aren't as feminist as me.
Thu, Jan.17th 2008
i told my lady we could do it if shy could come up with some money. i cant pay it all.
Fri, Dec.14th 2007
Your Comments im glad im reseching weddings i found out that i barely have to contribute as the bride and my family will flip for most the cost since they love me very much and i find out that i do not have to pay what i thought what a relief thanks to that i will no longer panic and as for my sister i picked out a resonable dress that she can pay for and it can be altered a little bit thank you for the big tip my shoulders feel relief
Fri, Nov.16th 2007
I just spent $34,000 on our wedding. I asked my wife "do you want a downpayment on a house and a small wedding or a big wedding - your choice." We had a spectacular wedding, and it was total blast. It's all good - it's just money.
Fri, Nov.16th 2007
yeah! they are silly expensive. as if i wasn't enough in debt already
Tue, Nov.13th 2007
I wish weddings were free

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