Though tradition has clear-cut guidelines for which family pays for what in a wedding, many modern couples and their families are looking over the rules and determining the cost-splitting structure that works best for them.
The first step in all of this, though, is to figure out your budget. Sit down and determine what parts of a wedding are most important to you and your fiancé and consider what you can reasonably afford. Once you have a foundation for your wedding finances, look over the traditional break down of wedding costs for all involved. Unless your family feels strongly about sticking to tradition – we get it, weddings bring out the best Southern etiquette in us – consider this structure a starting point with nothing set in stone.
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According to Emily Post, here are the traditional divisions of cost for a wedding. Take a look and create a plan that works best for you and your families.
The Bride and Her Family
- All wedding planning expenses, such as a wedding coordinator
- All wedding papers, such as announcements, invitations, and ceremony programs
- Bride’s attire, including her dress, veil, shoes, and jewelry
- Ceremony venue fees
- Ceremony music
- Ceremony décor and necessities, such as a tent, aisle runner, or awning
- Floral arrangements for both the reception and ceremony, including the bridemaids’ bouquets, but not the bride’s bouquet
- Photography, videography, and wedding albumns
- Wedding day transportation
- All reception expenses, such as décor, linens, diner, band, and so on
- Security and/or traffic officer, if needed
- Transportation and lodging for the officiant if coming in from out of town
- The groom’s wedding band
- Present for the groom (typically purchased by the bride herself)
- Presents for the bridesmaids (typically purchased by the bride herself)
- Presents for the attendants (typically purchased by the bride herself)
The Groom and His Family
- Rehearsal dinner expenses
- Corsages and boutonnieres for immediate family members on both sides
- Bride’s bouquet
- Grooms attire
- Officiate fees
- Honeymoon expenses
- Engagement ring and wedding band for the bride (typically purchased by the groom himself)
- Marriage license (typically purchased by the groom himself)