How to Divide Wedding Expenses

No doubt about it: planning a wedding is an event in itself. The big question, of course, is who pays for what? Having a firm budget in place will keep you sane and keep money fights at bay. Remember that how you handle this experience will shape your future family relationships and your budget for the first few years of your marriage. Below are more tips to make this wedding work out minus the drama and stress.

What tradition says
In the U.S, it is tradition that the bride’s family pays for the wedding. This is a reinterpretation of the ancient dowry, where the bride’s family transferred property or money to the husband and his family upon marriage.

Meanwhile, groom’s family is expected to pay the bill for the rehearsal dinner, honeymoon, and liquor for the reception. Other expenses that may be added include engagement and wedding rings, marriage license, gifts for the bride and groomsmen, and corsages, boutonnieres, and the bride’s bouquet.

However, in modern times, the couple usually leaves their family out of it and pays most of their wedding costs. It is more flexible.

Dividing wedding expenses
The moment you are engaged, you must talk about saving for your wedding and strategizing financially. Do not assume anything and communicate early in a detailed manner. Here are some points that you may want to discuss sincerely:

Set your wedding budget.
This is the first step to a successful wedding. You can choose which costs to prioritize and stay realistic. Look at trade-offs that you can afford or expenses that you can ask your family to help with.

Determine what is reasonable for you.
How much are you willing to spend individually? Remember that you may hae other financial obligations going on on top of the wedding like debt or loans. Ideally, you can split the wedding costs equally, since after this day your finances are likely to be merged anyway.

However, if there is a discrepancy in income, you may want to decide what constitutes an equitable split. Just make sure that you talk it through so you are both comfortable with the arrangement. The last thing you want is to start your marriage with resentment. Do not make this a source of stress. Work together as a couple to put together a nice wedding that you can afford.

Ian Schindler