Wedding Etiquette: How to Divide the Cost?

Weddings can cost quite a bit of money. How to divide the cost without causing a scene or getting into debt? What is the wedding etiquette when it comes to paying your big day?

The traditional wedding etiquette around the cost of a wedding was quite clear: the financing was up to the bride’s family. This kind of logic was steeped in the old-fashioned way of thinking about weddings. Marriages were often business transaction and women were simply part of how families conducted business. Luckily, times have changed and the traditional wedding etiquette has been replaced in many regards, not least in terms of who pays for the wedding.

Modern Couples Pay for Their Own Wedding

It’s very commonplace these days to keep the families out of it and instead, the couples can choose to pay for the wedding themselves. Since the age of getting married is higher, most couples are already rather established career-wise and therefore, don’t find it difficult or odd to pay for it themselves. In some occasions, couples might even take out a small loan to avoid having to cover the full cost at once.

Parents Tend to Chip In

Your wedding day

Of course, having your children get married is a proud moment for the parents. The modern wedding etiquette is, therefore, very flexible and parents often chip in. This can be in terms of one set of parents covering things like the wedding DJ, whilst the other might pay for wedding photography. In addition, the bride’s family might help out to ensure their daughter gets the dream dress.

Furthermore, it’s a good and fair idea to ask for parents to cover some of the costs if they are taking a central role in the planning process. For example, if they insist on increasing the guest list then they should be willing to pay for some of this additional cost.

How to Talk About Money?

Labor Day weddings

In terms of avoiding conflict, the wedding etiquette is rather clear about one thing: talk about the money in advance and set a realistic budget! It’s important for couples to think about what they can actually afford and then reflect it in terms of what they need. This will also help in determining if you need to ask help from your parents. It’s also a good idea to have everyone at the table to talk about money.

Never Expect the Guests to Pay

popular spring wedding songs

Now, the wedding etiquette has shifted in terms of whether wedding guests should pay the bill. Whilst it’s common to ask for donations to a honeymoon fund, for example, you shouldn’t ask for guests to pay for the wedding. The exception to this rule is a situation where you are upfront about the exact cost and you make it clear you don’t mind if people decide not to come – you can’t force others to pay for your big day this way!

Be Smart with Your Spending

wedding photo booth cost

Above all, the modern wedding etiquette is so flexible and sensible when it comes to wedding costs. You should definitely approach the topic openly and realistically.

And don’t forget there are many clever ways to save. For example, swap your wedding photographer to a wedding photo booth, keep the guest list small, offer a smaller but tasty menu and opt for the DIY route when you can!

What are your thoughts on wedding etiquette and paying for the wedding? Let us know how you solved it or are thinking of solving it on your big day!

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