Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who Pays? His & Hers Budget Breakdown

One of the least exciting parts of a wedding is talking money, budget, and numbers in general. A touchy subject when it comes to weddings and the cash flow is 'who pays for what?' And, if the groom's family is supposed to pay, how do we approach them and ask them to be a financial contributor to the wedding?

Here, I am going to provide you with the most "super traditional" breakdown of the budget and if it is HIS responsibility or HER responsibility to write the check. Remember that you need to set up a system that works best for you and your families, so modifications will more than likely be made to this outline.

Bride's Side:
Accommodations for the Bride's Attendants (optional)
Gifts to the Bride's Attendants
Gift to the Groom (optional, paid for personally by the bride)
Bride's Gown and Accessories
Bridesmaids' Luncheon
Church or Ceremony Location Costs
Flowers for the ceremony and reception, plus bridesmaids' bouquets and the groom's boutonniere
Groom's Ring (often purchased personally by the bride)
Invitations and All Paper Goods
Music for Ceremony and Reception
Reception Expenses
Rentals for Ceremony and Reception
Transportation for the bridal party to ceremony and reception
Wedding Consultant
Transportation and Lodging Expenses for the Officiant, if invited by the bride's family

Accommodations for the Groom's Attendants (optional)
Bride's Engagement and Wedding Rings (purchased personally by the groom)
Bride's Bouquet
Corsages for Mothers & Grandmothers, and other honored family members
Boutonnieres for the Fathers & Men (other than groom) in the Wedding Party
Gift to the Bride (purchased personally by the groom)
Gifts to the Groom's Attendants
Honeymoon, including Transportation to the Airport
Marriage License
Officiant's Fee or Gratuity
Rehearsal Dinner (all expenses)
Transportation for Groom & Best Man to the Ceremony
Transportation and Lodging Expenses for the Officiant, if invited by the groom's family
Transportation and Lodging for the Groom's Parents

Surprised by some of these? Many people are. So, now you ask, "How do I ask my mother-in-law-to-be to pay for these items?"

First and foremost, it is the bride's responsibility to clearly communicate your expectations with all parties. Hopefully this will result in no surprises or unexpected expenses down the road.

The best person the bride can use to communicate is her groom. Talk with him about how involved his family would like to be in the wedding planning process. If they do not want or cannot contribute, you should be gracious and move forward with your planning with the resources you have. If they would like to contribute, you can explain the traditional areas in which the groom's family contributes and continue the conversation from there.

In the case that you or your sweet groom-to-be are not comfortable or able to communicate these needs, a wedding professional is a fabulous neutral party to utilize. A well-versed wedding professional should be able to approach this situation with ease and grace, avoiding any unpleasant family issues during planning a wedding.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, these divisions of spending are "super traditional." One of the most successful plans on sharing the costs between parties is for each family to determine an amount that they are comfortable contributing. Group this all together and you will have your wedding budget! If all are at ease with you spending the money in the best way you see fit, this is a great plan.

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