Parebts/groom- Who pays for what in splitting costs?

katclaws_moApril 11, 2005

Hi everyone,

My DH & I will be married 25 year this May, so it's been a looooooog time since we have been part of planning a wedding. Our son & his fiance are planning a June '06 wedding. We know how expensive wedding can be and would like help make their wedding dream plans come true.

I know it used to be that the brides family paid for the wedding, but we would like to help out and take some of the financial burden off of her parents (whom we like & get along with very well) and our future DIL & DS.

We are not the Trumps, but will try to do what we can. We may not be able to do an equal split, but will try to break it down the best way financially possible. Has anyone else devised a way to split the costs with both sides helping? How did you break it down?

Can anyone suggest a good wedding ettiquete book or planner, magazine, or another specific website to know how things are done these days?

TIA for your help. I mostly am at the KT & the CareGivers Forums, but it looks like I will be spending a lot more time here in the near future. LOL

Best of Luck to all of you almost-newly-weds.



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One way that seems to work well for many parents is to determine an ammount of money you wish to give them to spend on the wedding, then let them budget it as they desire. This method helps keep down some arguments. "Yea, I said I'd pay for flowers, but never in my wildest dreams did I think you'd want that many!" It also gives the bride and groom more control (which many of them want) and more practice working within a budget (which many of them need).

The most well known parents of the groom expense is the rehearsal dinner. If you plan to give a set amount, let the bride and groom know specifically if that is to cover the rehearsal dinner as well, or if you want to take care of that separate.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 6:58AM
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I think that a lot of people get themselves into a jam by focusing on "who is supposed to" pay for what. I don't think there were ever any RULES about that, and even the customs varied from community to community (geographic, ethnic, etc.). Today, I think that the most you can do is to try to figure out what is customary in your and your future in-laws' community/ies, if what you are really after is finding out "how things are done these days."

But I think that is probably a red herring. I would worry less about "how things are done," and figure out what is right for YOU and the families involved in THIS wedding. I think that it is lovely that you are so generous. Duckie's advice is excellent. Decide what you can afford and offer to contribute it. Or, if you prefer, you might offer to host a rehearsal dinner -- and then plan what you want and spend whatever you please, as you are the hosts. Have fun!

Congratulations on your son's engagement and your own anniversary!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 9:50AM
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All contributions to a wedding are voluntary. Traditionally, the bride's parents paid for the costs other than the rehearsal dinner and bride's bouquet, which were paid by the groom's side. I've seen on a couple of Internet boards that in some areas, the grooms family pays for the bar (if there is one) but I've never heard of that in my area/circle.

IMHO, getting married is an adult thing to do and adults pay for their own decisions unless someone else volunteers. If families do volunteer, that's wonderful!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 9:59AM
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We are into a wedding now. The groom pays for the minister and the flowers for the bride and the mothers. And the honeymoon. The groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and invites whomever they want--wedding party and spouses, minister and parents for sure. But they can also invite all the out of town guests if they are so inclined; it is up to the groom's parents as the hosts.

I also hear about the groom's family picking an area of expense in discussion with the couple and her parents and paying for specific item(s). The bar is one area. Or the photographer. Or the music. Or all the flowers--reception, etc. Or whatever, and then the bride and her family select what pleases them--they pick the photographer even though the groom's family is paying, for example, or they pick the centerpieces or the musical group. How very nice of you to offer to help. My hat's off to you!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 11:30PM
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When DD got married a few years ago we gave them a set amount of money that we felt we could afford (we have 4 kids). Now youngest DS is getting married next year and we told them they will get X amount of money (same as DD) and to spend it wisely. Of course, they all ways get the speech that the $$ can be used however they want to, but we feel a down payment on a house would be a wise choice. Then we never say another word about it. We do give the money in installments, so much in the beginning, so much 6 months before the wedding and then about a month before the wedding the remainder.
If we hadn't done it by telling them how many $'s my DD would have had a very extravagant wedding! She has very expensive tastes!!! We put all 4 kids thru college and she went to medical school. Have to put limits somewhere!
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 6:56PM
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I am a wedding coordinator. I find that it works best when the parents (both sets) offer a set amount of money to be used as the couple chooses. If the couple choose to spend more, then they pay for it. Statistically, today the majority of weddings are financed by a joint effort of both sets of parents and the bride and groom, though not necessarily equally.

I like KathyG's idea of giving the money in installments. Initially, the couple will have to make deposits to the vendors that they hire. Then, two to three weeks before the wedding, they will need to go back and make final payments. Having the money available at those times will keep them from overspending during the intervening months.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 6:38PM
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