I have a question. Is there a set rule for who pays for what? What should the bride’s parents pay? What do the groom’s parents pay for?
You have asked a very tricky question and one that will take some time to answer.
Traditionally, yes, there is a set guideline for who pays for what in the wedding. In times past, the bride’s family was responsible for the cost of the wedding because they were seen as ‘marrying off’ or giving away their daughter.
Specifically, the bride’s family would host the engagement party, pay for the wedding invitations, the bride’s wedding dress and accessories, the fee for the church, any wedding photography expenses, the transportation for the bride to get to the ceremony, and the wedding reception, and that’s just the beginning!
For the groom’s side of the family, they can also host an engagement party if they want to and it would take place after the bride’s side does one. The groom’s parents would pay for the groom’s thank you notes, the wedding clothing on the groom’s side (ie. groom’s tuxedo, parent’s wedding attire), the marriage license, and the honeymoon.
Now, that it is ONLY a guideline. In today’s times, most couples no longer follow this traditional list for various reasons. Many brides don’t like the idea of being ‘married off’ or given away. Another issue is, when the family pays for the wedding, they also have a tendency to control everything about the wedding, which makes some couples feel left out of their own wedding planning. Another aspect to consider is how much both sets of parents can contribute to the wedding budget.
Many couples now choose to split the expenses into thirds, giving both families the opportunity to contribute to the wedding budget. Other couples may choose to have a smaller wedding but pay for it all themselves so that they can have full control over the wedding. Some couples ask their parents to contribute to the wedding as a monetary gift. Have a chat with your fianc? to determine how you would both like to divvy up the expenses.