Who should Pay for the Wedding (and Who Gets a Say?)

Who should pay for the wedding?

Weddings cost money, and money has a powerful affect on most people, especially when they are spending a lot of it. Even the simplest decisions can become complicated when money is involved. Most people are attached to their money because they work hard for it and therefore want to spend it wisely. This is a major reason for the stress felt by so many people involved in planning a wedding budget.

When a couple gets engaged, they start planning their dream wedding in their mind. Often they don’t give much thought to the budget until they start actually have to figure out how to pay for the wedding. Then the question is asked, “Who should pay for the wedding?” Traditionally, the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding, but that convention is no longer the norm. Many couples split the cost between the bride and groom’s parents, many couples pay for the wedding themselves, and many end up with some combination of the above.

With more people willing to help out with the costs, the financial burden on each party is greatly reduced. The problem is that the person writing the check is going to feel like they should get a say in where, why, and how that money is spent. With more people paying for the wedding, you’ll have more opinions to consider when making decisions. When someone feels like their opinion doesn’t count, feelings get hurt which creates resentment and added stress. Here are some tips to avoid conflicts and stress when planning and paying for your wedding.

1. Assess the situation. What is the financial situation of the parties involved? Will the bride’s parents insist on covering all of the costs? Will the groom’s parents be willing to contribute? Can the bride and groom afford to help with certain costs? If you know these things up front and keep open lines of communication, it will be much easier to figure out who can pay for what.

2. Before you ask anyone to help pay for your wedding, try to work on a proposed budget. This will give the people helping with the wedding an idea as to how the money will be spent. It doesn’t need to be set in stone or exact to the dollar, but a rough budget will do.

3. While it may be your wedding day, everyone who contributes should have a say in how the money is spent. While your opinions may differ, remember that they just want their hard-earned money to be put to good use. They want a beautiful wedding as much as you do. Don’t take offense if your parents or future in-laws want something different than you do. Try to remove the emotion from the situation and look at what makes the most sense for your wedding and your budget. Compromise is key!

4. Be realistic. Remember that in most cases, the bride, groom, and their parents, probably don’t have a lot of experience planning weddings. A brother or sister may have been married in which case one set of parents may be more up to date on the current wedding culture. But regardless, it’s new territory for most people and there is a lot of ignorance which can end up costing you a lot of money, stress, and fighting.

In the end, most people experience some wedding stress and even a few arguments while planning a wedding. The important thing to remember is that these people are your family or soon will be, so make the extra effort to see things from their point of view during the planning. A wedding is about the bride and groom, but it’s also about the family and friends who want to share their love and financial support with the bride and groom. Remember this rhyme: Anyone who helps pay, should get a say, in your wedding day.

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