Should I pay for the wedding?

Maybe tradition says the bride's family should cover the wedding, but is that always the solution? Who should pay for the wedding?

40  Answers

3 10

In today's world, it should be whoever can afford it!

22
98 17

If the bride has been living at home or college, the Bride's family pays for the wedding according to etiquette...but there are factors to consider! If the Bride has been on her own or living with her intended, her family are only 'contributors'.
That being said, too much is made of break the bank weddings! We did a beautiful wedding for 300+ guests on $5000, with buffet dinner and dancing! Get creative & make the wedding fit the budget and NEVER take a loan on it!





17
8 2

Uh-OH!!! Loan taken out already. Wedding was in Sept. I totally agree with your comments, but what do you do when they, the couple, go by complete etiquette: want everything according to tradition? They have been living together for 1 + years. I like the lady's answer below. Shoud have had an honest sit down with families. also, mother of groom is widowed. I am also a single mom. So dad, really picked up All of the cost for reception. A huge loan!!!

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0 0

My daugher's boyfriend, of 8 years, is about to finish up his Doctorate. He is now fielding job offers, and wants to teach at the graduate school level. So, according to my daughter, they have been pre-planning their wedding for some time. We will be glad to contribute, but she has said that they have both been working for quite some time and do not expect us to pay for a "securing a second mortgage" type of wedding. They are perfectly happy keeping it small with just their best friends, family, and probably some college colleagues (and whatever we would like to give toward the festivities will be greatly appreciated). I am excited about getting things rolling on this. I'm contemplating a Christmas engagement, and a spring wedding, as graduation is in May.
I have worked in the wedding ministry at my church for quite some time. And in doing so you get to use the church wedding planner, catering friends, facilities, etc. and just pay for food when the "big day" comes.

7
8 2

I think it was great of your daughter not to put that pressure on you.

35 29

My parents and me and my two sisters all eloped so I really don't have experience with even planning a traditional wedding. However I believe that if the man and woman have both lived separate from the parents for a while I think they should pay for their own wedding. If the couple has lived together they should definitely pay for the wedding. Even if one or both live with their parents I still believe it is appropriate for them to pay for or at least contribute to paying for the wedding. The only time I think it might be appropriate for the bride's family to pay is when the bride's family wants to pay and/or has the money to pay.

6
1 23

My son just got married, We had an honest sit down with the families and just started whittling away at responsibilities. We were able to decide who would pay for what and before it was over everything was taken care of.

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8 2

I totally agree with the way things were done here!!! An honest sit down is what is called for these days!!!

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1 20

Honestly, the original way years ago was a joint and community celebration including pot luck! How we got so out of whack is beyond me! Think about it, one day, one celebration and a lifetime of other costs!! We were so blessed that both of our daughters and their future spouses believed it was basically their responsibility. They had more discretionary income at the time. They were not living with their future husbands and they were both in college. Having said that, we did all sit down and discuss and we were helpers with some things. They each had beautiful memorable weddings, complete with dance receptions. They each were so price conscious they spent under 4,000 including dress! You can truly do so much and make it so beautifully personal if you keep everyone involved and participating in the final celebration. Oldest daughter found her dress at a consignment shop, his aunt sewed the bridesmaid dressed and we made the flowers. Her biggest expense was the pictures! The second daughter bought her dress off the show floor in California at the garment district for $150, we got tuxes for her little brothers for $37 complete. The closet dress we found back home comparable to the dress was $1000. Totally worth the airfare! She bought her flowers at 85% off and had two wonderful friends take the pictures! They each had some food at the reception, not huge dinners, just good snacks and plenty of choices. I might add that the year the second daughter had her wedding she bought a book (2nd hand) on How to have a wedding at half cost! The average given in the book was $20,000! We have totally lost our senses here, on purpose of the wedding. Isn't it so that the couple begins a long marriage? It appears we have a wedding today to show off what we really can't afford, just so the fairy tale takes place, when we really need to focus on the marriage. Just my thoughts.

4
2,390 262

My wedding dress was $22 on sale, and I paid $20 for each bridesmaid dress (3 dresses = $60 total).

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7 19

I have a theory, marriage is really hard, it has its good points, but its not all a picnic, and nowadays I think too many people take it for granted how easy it is to "get married", they don't really think it through with many marriages ending in divorce months or years later with all that money being lost. My opinion, the couple should be required to save and pay for the wedding on their own, this way the couple is challenged with immediately accepting reality. If they actually make it to the alter after saving, scraping, earning and bickering...they should then be rewarded with whatever monies their families would have given them for the wedding...
In other words, their not wasting all that money on a wedding, the money could then be used to put towards a house, or a much needed car. Or maybe to start paying of college debt.....
Wishful thinking on my part....

3
11 18

I was 29 when I finally got married 11 years ago but I never expected my parents to pay for my wedding. However I also did not have an over the top Kardashian style or even a "Father of the Bride" dream wedding planned. I wanted to keep things fun, simple and elegant. I didnt want my parents to have to get a mortgage just to pay for it. Too many kids these days EXPECT their parents to go over the top and I think thats just ridiculous and selfish. At least the bride and groom should be willing to cut costs where they cana nd to also help out. I lucked out and got my dress on clearance, I actually paid more for my shoes, veil & head piece than I did my dress b/c I got such a good deal on it. Our church/reception hall didnt allow alcohol so that wasnt a problem for me (I dont drink) and I did my own flowers by shopping at wholesale stores. For our dinner we opted for an English Tea instead of a sit down dinner. We had 6 types of finger sandwiches, veggies, hot tea, iced tea, coffee's (all in a variety of flavors), cake etc. Our guests had a blast and loved the concept b/c they were able to go up and eat as often as they wanted and the food wasnt so heavy that they felt overfull. They could go up have a few sandwiches, dance, socialize and then go get more later on.

3
0 13

WHEN I GOT MARRIED MY SISTER MADE MY DRESS OUT OF ITALIAN LACE FOR 75 DOLLARS IT WAS 500 THIS WAS IN 1964. SHE ALSO MADE MY BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES ALL WE DID WAS SHOES INT HOSE DAYS AS SOME WOULD SAY WE BOUGHT WHITE CLOTH SHOES AND DYED THEM TO MATCH LOL. MY SISTER ALSO MADE MY CAKE AND GROOMS CAKE MY MOM MADE ICE CREAM THERE WERE NO SIT DOWN DINNERS FRIEND ON MINE IN BAND DID RECEPTION FOR FREE WHOLE WEDDING COST AROUND 1500 HONEMOON INCLUDED

37 6

Unfortunately tradition is often out the window these days. In 2002, we paid for our son's wedding...complete with me doing all of the work (with help from dear friends and of course the Bride to be)...I did the cake (4 tiers and different flavor every one), the cooking, serving, decorating, and transforming our backyard into her special day. Her parents were supposed to help...we couldn't afford the day either...but all we ever saw was $25 from her Grandmother.

I suggest, you do what your heart tells you to do! In the end, I have some great memories with the daughter I never had (I have 3 boys).

2
2 0

$25 wow that's bad. What I thought was a bit funny was that the inlaws who I had never met all of a sudden avoided our calls when we said we were getting married. I suspect they were worried we would ask them to chip in. Or maybe they were angry we were rushing things as he proposed after 3 months and the wedding was set 7 weeks away. But i knew on our first date i wanted to marry him as hes perfect. Our Calls would only go thru when I put the phone on silent. It actually really hurt my feelings cos now I feel really rejected and unimportant. Im quite well off and already had a good paying job and owned my own home before meeting my husband and he's an engineer so we really didn't need ther money. Anyway our wedding and honeymoon cost $5000 which was a nice surprise from my parents.

7 19

Its suppose to be the brides family , BUT, when my son got married 4 years ago , the brides family tried to get us to pay for 1/2 of the wedding .. we told them no , not that , we would love to , But we was on limited income .. ( SSI/d .. ) there is a movie out , called , "MY FAMILY WEDDING " funny , too
but this is what happen , with her sisters wedding (my daughter in laws , wedding ) her parents , didnt want to pay being she had a child out of wed lock .. no biggie though .. they ( groom & wife , ) paid for it , had a buffett diner , DVD's , no host bar .. it was one of the best weddings i have gone to . ! now my son wishes , he can , have a do over ..

2
7 19

when we got married , we got married by civil services , ( court .. ) he was wrking I wasnt ..

2,390 262

If the bride is young and so is the groom, then the tradition is that the bride's family cover the wedding and the groom's family the rehearsal dinner. However, when I married I had been on my own for a good 10 years and my husband-to-be was a widower, so we paid for the wedding. $2500 included a buffet, plenty of wine and champagne, and music provided by family and friends, enjoyed by some 700 people. We also did the rehearsal dinner at home. My husband made his world-class brisket an I supplied the salad, beans, and so on. And we got a keg.

One secret to an inexpensive wedding is to find free places to hold the various events, especially ones where you don't need to spend a fortune to decorate. Our ceremony was held in the courtroom where my husband worked as a bailiff, and the reception at the museum where I worked. Rental and decorating costs? $0.00.

We paid for our step-son's wedding, too. It cost a grand total of $1000. The ceremony was held at a gorgeous Watergarden in a public park, the reception was in our backyard, transformed by white sheets and fairy lights into a romantic garden, and the post party was at the bar where my stepson was working at the time. Again we served brisket and beans, a Texas standard, and we had a keg, a wedding gift from our stepson's boss.

Imagination and creativity can trump expense every time. There really is no need for these $30,000 weddings with guys in pink cummerbunds. The vows and the family get-together is what really matters.

2
1

I believe that, traditionally, the grooms family paid for the preacher and the flowers, also.

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4 406

The bride's family paying is the traditional way. The groom's family usually pays for rehearsal dinner. If the bride's family is destitute, then I see no problem with the groom's family stepping up to help. If it's the second (or subsequent) wedding the bride and groom should pay for it.

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8 2

I agree.

41 0

this winds me up heaps - marriage is not compulsory and in this day and age if you want to get married you should pay for your own wedding.
I wouldn't dream of giving my mother (a widow on limited income) a list of must haves for my dream day, and I know that my partners family could certainly afford a big wedding for us but would want too much say in the day. As an adult I can be responsible for the things I want and I think it's incredibly rude to accept money from someone and then not include them on how the money is spent. In the end we decided a home and high quality education for our kids was way more important to us and have not married (we would want a big wedding) we have 2 great kids and been together 10 years, still going strong. The $30000 or so we would have spent on a wedding is in trust for the kids private education, and the grandy's are more than welcome to contribute to that if they like.
I get that some people marry for religious reasons and in that case I'd guess parents will have been saving since birth, but let's face it, most people are not getting married because they feel they are going to hell if they don't

1
102 5

I think that the bride and groom should pay. They are th ones that know how they want their wedding and should be able to budget accordingly. If parents on either side decide to offer help, then by all means. But nothing financial should be expected like that.

1
565 46

I think it should depend on what you can afford and what the couple wants, as long as the couple realizes your financial limitations. I know if I did it over again, I would have refused their help, as my parents really played up the "we're paying, so we decide" card (even on issues where what my now husband and I wanted would be feasible and cheaper to do).

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0 1

My daughter and her husband married in September. They are college students, and paid for their own wedding and their own attire. Granted it was a small wedding, but given today's economy and the fact that we, her parents, are unemployed, she wanted to do it herself. They are using the money they have saved up to go on a really nice honeymoon cruise during the Christmas holidays while they are on break from school.

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0 11

My daughter just got married in September. A beautiful wedding for around 300 people. But we told them when they got engaged we would only give them so much money and they needed to work out how the rest would get paid. Since we had over a year to plan, the places of business they used have worked out a contract to make payments before the big day. After all was said and done, they had everything pretty well paid for and the money we promised them paid the rest ($2500). What I liked is that she worried about the cost and what she could afford. She also used and borrowed decorations from family and friends and made them into her own.

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0 20

I think both parties should pay for it or even the two parties getting married should help. I paid for my own wedding of 250 people. I split the wedding list in half for each side. My inlaws wanted to add more without paying a cent and I said only if you help out with the open bar, they didn't so the same amount remained. We are now in the 21st century so I think this has to change. Everyone should help out specially today with the economy.

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60 13

If you want a lavish wedding and can't afford it, pay for what you can afford. If your fience wants a lavish wedding and you can't afford it, he should pay for it. I know men who wanted a church wedding; but his fience could not afford it. They paid all the bills so he could have the large wedding. I know a woman who wanted a lavish wedding but she could not afford it. Her in-laws to be paid for the wedding. When it comes to your wedding, it's up to you and your future husband. Throw tradition out the window and do what makes both of you happy.

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31 0

I think with the economy like it is and cost of living through the roof, the families (and the couple) should all sit down and discuss costs and just do the best that they can with what they can contribute. My son is engaged and I DO NOT expect his fiance's single mom to pay for the whole thing. That is completely unreasonable. My son just graduated college and secured a good job and is already saving for their wedding next spring. We all plan to just work together to make this a day to remember but not go overboard.

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235 30

We have 6 daughters and the first one just got married this year. We payed for the majority of the wedding, because we felt it was our responsibility. However our daughter payed for some things that she wanted that weren't in our budget. My mother also contributed money for a few things such as hair and nails, without us even asking because she wanted to. I think that parents should plan on paying for their daughter's wedding. However having said that I think that there should be a firm budget from the beginning based on what is reasonable for your family's financial situation. Then if your daughter wants something more elaborate than what you can afford it should be her and her fiance's responsibility to either come up with the additional funds themselves or scale down their plans to fit the budget. We almost had a second daughter getting married at the same time and we weren't going to be able to afford it and the prospective groom's family offered to pay for the reception. I think this is okay as long as their family isn't going to try to take away the bride's choices for what she wants. Same goes for say grandparents wanting to pitch in and then have a say. It is the bride and groom's day and people can give opinions when asked for, but ultimately only the bride and groom should be making the decisions. If you think someone offering to pay is going to try to get what they want in the wedding and it will cause conflict, politely decline their offer of financial assistance. It's not worth the stress.

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1 21

great topic when I was married in 1978 we had roughtly 165 people.. back then it was $17.00 a person for dinner, this included a huge midnight buffet (as we are portuguese and get hungry after all the dancing lol) it's just a tradition. But now a days a wedding like that costs close to $70,000. i didn't hve any frills, my honeymoon was at the thousand islands near Kingston... it wasn't until we were married 15 years that we went on a decent holiday and lucked out in winning that in a contest at my bank. My dad at the time paid for our families side, my husband and I paid for his side as his mom was a widow and could not afford it. Whatever cash gift I received ended up goin to pay for my husbands family side.. so we didnt have much per se. I know someone who mortgaged her house twice to pay for her kids weddings; and these kids worked for themselves.sorry if that is the case, they can pay for their own wedding. They should ahve given their parents the money so that they didnt' mortgage themselves to death. No matter how good a child you had, you should never do that to yourself when you are nearing your retirement years. Our lives are just waytoo busy, over taxed, no time.. we shouldn't be forking over that kind of cash for elaborate celebrations. Great to read these inputs today! Have a wonderful holiday weekend for our Canadian Patrons celebrating Thanksgiving this Monday!

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4 40

I think both familys should, & if the once getting married can give a little then they should too, that also helps them to know that life is not as easy as they think. In this days the more help one has the better, too expensive life is

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1 0

the bride's family should cover the wedding? where you from? wow! in my country usually its the grooms family that cover for the wedding..but then nowadays couple save for their dream wedding and doesn't bother their parents to pay..parents help in a way that they can sometimes. or just give a gift for their future.

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8 2

I'm originally from Philadelphia, PA. Now in Camp Hill, PA. Where you from? Wish it was like that here!!! Oh no, Bride's family is totally responsible, except for engagement part, and rehearsal dinner. According to tradition, Grooms family does this. This is even a huge responsibility!!!

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1

I am getting married next fall. My fiancé and I will be paying for everything on our own. Not once have I asked my parents for money to assist, nor his. This is our wedding and it's our choice to get married, no one elses. Traditionally the brides parents pay for the wedding because they are marrying off their daughter to be a housewife. I have graduated college and am working a full time job. I am 21 and him 22.
The wedding will not be grand, but it will still cost at least $8000, and the honeymoon another $4000. We have created a budget where we can save for it by the big day. We also believe is saving more money for the actual marriage and buying a house than the wedding.
If our family's really want to contribute I rather it be something that contributes to the rest of our lives, not just one day.
My fiancé and I are getting g married, no one else. It's our choice. I am not getting married off, Why would I ask someone else to spend so much money just for something I want, for one day?

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what if the brides family is worried about how they will look based on what my future daughter-in-law wants her wedding to be like? She likes "Shabby Sheek" and wants to be married in a beautiful barn and their grounds (which hosts many weddings) I love her idea's and think it will be a very romantic wedding. Her parents somehow think this typed of wedding idea is somehow beneath them and is trying to talk her into something they want instead of what she and my son want for their wedding day. How do I gently explain to the in-laws that I am willing to pay for half of their wedding but I want it to be their dream not the in-laws. ???? Help!

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2,433 9

I strongly feel that if a couple have decided they're committed enough to one another and mature enough to marry, then they're surely smart enough to realise that THEY pay for what THEY want? Neither set of parents decided that they should marry, they decided for themselves. Of course, parents from either side may wish to help out financially - that's fine! But there is also the problem of parents who pay but expect to be making all the choices because they're paying for it! I would far rather pay myself and make the decisions myself - including the guest list (ESPECIALLY the guest list!).

My daughter married and she and her man paid for it. My husband and I paid the Church fees and also paid for the wedding gown and gave a sum towards to the cost of the honeymoon - but these were all gifts - my daughter still chose the Church they wanted (not my choice - THEIRS!), she chose her wedding gown and they chose their honeymoon destination.

To anyone who complained that they weren't invited, I just said "I didn't pay for it - the happy couple footed the bill themselves - so they were the ones deciding who came ...."

The Groom's family may well have given them some money towards the cost of things as well - I don't know - I'm not nosey enough to ask - but I know the bulk of the cost was borne by the couple themselves. My daughter's wedding was not hugely expensive but cost more than double my own wedding (I married her stepfather about 3½ years before her wedding) - so she knew the likelihood of us paying out for a wedding more expensive than our own was pretty much zero! LOL!!

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353 0

It doesn't matter. Whoever can afford it.

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27 1

Does she still live at home? If so, then Yes, I'd say most of it.
Does the bride already have kids? then I'd say NO, don't pay for it all.

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454 0

Who ever wants to!

It's a grand event... let who ever pay.. his side, her side, both, what ever..

Me and my hubby and my family and his all helped to pay for our wedding...

No one cares when you are drinking and dancing and eating cake and laughing and taking pictures..

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0 28

If they are grown adults over 25 they should

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14 28

I am getting married next year and both families are contributing to the wedding, my mom is paying for a lot but not all, we will buy a lot of the stuff ourselves, rings, flowers bridesmaids dresses etc. basically my mom is paying for the meal and his dad is getting the photographer. I think it's only right that we contribute to the wedding ourselves, it's 2012 not 1912!

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269 28

My husband and I did our complete wedding for under $1000

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2 0

Pay for your own wedding! If your parents offer to chip in accept it. We didnt ask the grooms family to pay for anything but my parents offered to do it with a budget of $5000. It's crazy when "little miss princesses" expect mummy n daddy to fork over $30,000 for the dream wedding then get the poops when they say "no". I want my parents to enjoy there hard earned money not waste it on one day that cost $30,000. I would have been happy to pay for it all ourself. But it was nice for them to gift money. I did it all on a budget. Being a florist I did my own flowers for the reception church, flower girls button holes etc. (We had white phalaenopsis orchids with black calla lillies and red roses,) my wedding dress actually only cost $20 as the shop we went to only had one left and it was a rather large size which was great cos I was pregnant (and fat), it wasn't the traditional just white dress. It actually had black sequens all around the boob area and then was long and flowing white layered fabric.it suited me very well as I always wanted a black and white dress. Im actually a bit of a whizz with hair and makeup and did brown smoky vintage look eyes with red lipstick for everyone and the hair was an updo with tight curls and curls hanging down. Our dresses were reduced from $130 each to $9.01c and were black and white knee length fitted linen dresses. Being a keen scrapbooker we did invites ourselves but they still cost $200 to make. Our reception was actually really cheap at a tiny $35 a head (with alcohol ??) as we went to our favorite restaurant that we go to every week. It's actually a Chinese restaurant but more fine dining and they were so nice not to jack the prices up on us. We left for our honeymoon but everyone ended up at the country club afterwards. We had the wedding at the Hoskins uniting at Lithgow. It's a huge almost cathedral like church that seats masses and is just beautiful! It has huge stained glass windows, gothic style with landscaped gardens that r the best in our town.
So anyway see I proved that you can have a wedding on a budget. Anyway newly weds should be saving for houses not getting huge loans out for one day or sending family broke or shaming them. We would rather save our money and put it in our mortgage for the future. Or save that wedding money to send the baby to a good school or be able to afford braces. It's just too many of my friends have wasted money on weddings that have been cancelled or ruined or have run up so much debt they cant get out. A stupid friend of mine wanted the 3999$ dress and lied to her husband and didn't pay the rent or car loans. They were evicted a month after the wedding. How stupid!

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6 0

which tradition says the bride's family should pay...are we talking about Hindu tradition here...I thought for the rest of the planet men paid for it and in some cases maybe some help from the bride n her family but mostly men paid all expenses ...starting with the first date's expense all the way to the grave...isn't that why men are the bread winners, fathers soldiers, warriors, head of the household while women are the beauty of the earth, mothers, mercy for all mankind from their Lord, respected personalities and protected sacred beings who's company men should consider themselves blessed...
mmm where do bride's pay for their wedding n why...r the men of mother earth dead..

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235 30

This is the tradition in the United States of America.

128 10

I think it should be 50/50. If either party can't afford something big, then go small. Make the food yourself, get a friend or family member to do the photos, etc.

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0 7

My question is this: If the groom's family is significantly larger than the bride's are the bride's parents still expected to foot the bill?
When our oldest daughter told us she was getting married we were expecting something small and intimate. We only have about 10 people on our side of the family. Then we met with his parents and the guest list jumped to about 100. And then they said they didnt have money to help because they were going on a cruise. All I heard through the whole planning period from the MIL to be was "we should do this" "we should do that". When I finally put my foot down and asked if she was going to help pay I got a "well, no, we dont have the money". I will say though, the groom's family did pull together and we had a pot luck buffet at the reception. It did turn out to be a wonderful day, but there was a lot of bitter feelings on our part.

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4 23

In 2001, at 21, & 23 My Husband and I got married. We had a 5 and 1/2 month long engagement, and Both sets of Parents Generously went 1/2's for the whole thing. As Hubby was 2nd son, and they had done the same for older son's wedding they were fine with that. My MIL was so over the moon as we had invitaiton day (where we home printed, and then home sealed all our invitations), then Bonbierre day and included her with each of these, which she had thought she would miss some of these things after having no daughters of her own, and the first wedding they had basically just written a cheque for their half, and the Bride's family had done it all. It was lovely to include her. Anyway, We did our wedding for under $7000.00 AUS, which inclded a 3 course buffet meal, my dress, Our (and a friends ) cars (we're Holden mad, and had a white SS of our own, and a Friend had a Blue HSV, which were our wedding colours!! ) Church (I was the 4th documented generation of my family to be married in that church!) flowers (church only required a donation and the Ladies of the church decorated from thier own gardens as a family favour to me!) a generous bar tab,(which the left over paid for our honey moon suite!!)
We all had a BLAST !! It was one of the best weddings I have ever been too, I was totally stress free, and laughed my way down the ailse!!! All those that attended said the same, and My FIL was stoked that his half came to $3000.00 when he had offered to pay for an elopement and we'd have a huge BBq when we got home, I saved him $7000.00 !!! lol ( I paid for my own dress, which was a $5000.00 dress, but was a second, so I got it for $1300.00, it was just missing some beads under the arms (which no one saw) and had two little black marks on 1 of the petticoats, but there were 4 more between the marks and the dress, so no one saw them either!!)
So you can do a wedding to any budget you set, to any time line you set.
We found that by having a dinner with both sets of parents once we announced our engagement, we discussed everything and were all up front about our wants/desires/needs and set about achieving it the best way we could!
If I were to have another wedding ( Not that I do, Hubby and I are still going strong!!) as A 30 + (or More) I wouldn't dare expect parents to pay, It'd be up to me and Groom! If I had have been older, and working for longer I probably would have paid more for myself for our wedding.

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0 11

If you can afford it

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