Determining your overall wedding budget can be the easiest part of the budget process. From there you have to allocate it to each vendor category (there’s more on that in the I Said Yes! Now What? series). Along with allocating comes the process of determining who is responsible for paying for what.

Needless to say, budgets are one of those complicated topics and it’s hard to cover everything you need to know in one even two or three blog posts. You see, the budget process is a little bit different for everyone. Whether you and your fiance are paying for the wedding solely on your own or you have family contributing, there are no two circumstances that are ever the same.

Today I want to talk about budgeting from a traditional standpoint where both families are able to contribute financially to the overall budget with you and your fiancé contributing little to none financially. If you fall in this bracket, let’s talk about the finer etiquette points of who is supposed to pay for what.

Traditionally, both families incurred all the costs including honeymoon, bridal party attire, accomodations for the bridal party and more making the couple responsible for none of the expenses. Now that couples are opting to marry later in life and already have established careers and their own salaries, it’s a bit different.

So, let’s break down the modern separation of costs shall we?

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Bride’s Family

Assuming a more traditional contribution, with the bride’s family covering the majority of the expenses, they would be responsible for the following costs:

  • Ceremony and Reception Venue Fees
  • All Professional Services Including: Caterer, Bartender, Photographer, Videographer, Wedding Planner, Baker, ETC
  • Bride’s Attire and Accessories
  • All Flowers Including Boutonnieres and Corsages
  • Engagement Party
  • Bridesmaid Luncheon
  • All Decorations
  • All Stationery Including: Save the Date Cards, Invitations, RSVP Cards, Programs and Thank You Notes
  • Transportation for Guests and Bridal Party To and From Ceremony and Reception (if applicable)

Groom’s Family

The groom’s family is still responsible for a series of costs including:

  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Officiant
  • Groom’s Attire and Accessories
  • Alcohol for Reception
  • Band or DJ for Reception

Bride and Groom

In the modern world, the couple takes on some of the costs. While not a significant amount, it makes much more sense for the couple to cover these costs given that you have your own income if marrying later in life.

  • Wedding Party Gifts
  • Wedding Bands and Engagement Ring
  • Marriage License
  • Honeymoon
  • Wedding Gifts to Each Other

Wedding Party

Many years ago, it was common for the couple’s family to cover all costs for the wedding party. However, times have changed and the wedding party is now responsible for the majority of their expenses including:

  • Attire and Accessories
  • Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
  • Accommodations for Wedding Weekend

Now, of course all of this is up for interpretation and doesn’t apply to every situation as I stated above. Often times families will split expenses in ways that work best for their financial situations. If you need more help with budgeting and other aspects of wedding planning, you can submit your question via email and you may see it answered in an upcoming blog post.

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