Wedding Planning: Splitting Wedding Costs

51811792 - savings in glass bank on wooden background The cost of weddings has continued to rise in recent years, and newly engaged couples can often experience “sticker shock” when they begin to explore their options. After all, there are so many wedding ideas to consider, including organization, planning, and who will pay for what.

Unless you have planned a wedding before, your wedding is likely the first time you have been involved in planning an event this large. And even if you are planning a small, intimate wedding you need to plan extensively and be prepared for expenses. Remember - you intend for this day to be a magical once-in-a-lifetime event. The first decision many couples face is their ‘wedding essentials’ — the underlying framework.

How you plan for your wedding is often not just about how much you can afford, it’s also about family traditions. There was a time, not so long ago, when the bride’s parents were expected to pay most of the wedding expenses - including the honeymoon. Today, however, the couple and the groom’s parents often share in the wedding costs. It’s also common today that the bridal couple pays for everything.

The tradition today is if the groom’s parents pay for any portion of the wedding they become co-hosts. This means your wedding invitations should include their names. However, if the couple funds their wedding, they have ‘ownership’ of the wedding theme and planning.

The critical component of a successful wedding is communication. You and your betrothed should take a pragmatic look at your financial resources and set a workable budget. Take a deep dive into a conversation about your priorities. Focus first on your venue and food; these are the two most significant expenses you will face. Discuss all the aspects of your wedding and create separate lists about what you (1) need and (2) want.

Once you have a realistic wedding essentials budget, the next step is to decide who will be financially responsible for each aspect of your wedding. Do this early in the planning process and try to set a tone for communications - you will avoid misunderstandings.

In our experience, issues related to the wedding budget have ended more engagements than any other cause. We firmly believe the better you communicate with your fiancé, wedding planner, and parents, the more likely you are to have your dream wedding.